Introducing the ’18-’19 Varsity Basketball Teams

Catch up with the two ’18-’19 Basketball Varsity Teams.

Jennie Yeom is the captain of the girl’s varsity basketball team. -Ed.

Although many began the tryouts in November, worrying about the large gap the departed seniors left last season, the week of tryouts was a chance to work with the new balance of players as up-and-coming athletes from the ‘22 class joined the varsity team.

In the girl’s varsity team, as eight members of last year’s team graduated, this year’s team is a group of young athletes: one freshman, four sophomores, six juniors, and one senior. It is an understatement to say that it is challenging, as both captain and player, to make up for the 8 graduated seniors. Ashley Woo (12), a veteran player, tells me that “many [members of the team] were worried in the beginning, including myself.”

However, what the team may lack in experience, the amount of energy put into each practice and game makes up for it, so everyone is hoping to build and strengthen their skills in the next few weeks before the AISA and KAIAC tournaments. Although the beginning of this season wasn’t the way some of the veteran members of the team hoped for, pushing each other together through a newfound sense of camaraderie is my ultimate goal. “I think this season has been working out a lot better than we were expecting,” Ashley tells me.

The boy’s varsity team is a gang of skilled players of familiar faces. Through the packed practice schedules, the team expects to get more familiar with the plays and develop their ability to work together. Here are what a few varsity basketball players had to say about the team:

“I think the varsity team is different. Most of the players were already part of the team last year so the chemistry is already established. I’m excited for this year” – Joon Lee (‘19)

“My first game as a varsity player made me nervous. With new teammates and new plays, it was hard for me to adjust to the new environment. However, with the encouragement of coaches and captains, I was able to perform well and contribute to the team, despite the lack of practice time we were given.” – Jay Lee (‘20)

To briefly summarize the team’s work in the first semester, the first home game was against GSIS on December 21. Both teams kicked off a great start of their KAIAC season with a 47:16 win for the girls and a 75:27 win for the boys. Then, they traveled to APIS and DWW for more victory with Phoenix at 3-0 in conference play. The following week, however, was tough against the Tigers. At Chadwick, while the girls fell a bit short, the boys got back on track with a big win.

After the winter break, there will three home games on tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday against Chadwick, SIS, and APIS, respectively, in the Phoenix gym. With the rematch against Chadwick on January 16th at 3:30pm, please come support the Phoenix athletes!

Keep up with our teams’ progress through Instagram (@kis_athletics) and cheer on the players during home games! Game schedules can be found here.

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Diane Kim (’19)

Fall Sports and Why Sports are Important

The start of November marks another closure to a season of sports.

Starting from the first week of school, fall sports tryouts were well on their way to select the best athletes for KIS’s fall sports: tennis, volleyball, and cross country. Athletes went through a grueling first week, working to outcompete others to make the final cut. Once the team rosters were finalized, athletes committed to daily after-school practices except for Mondays. Practices for volleyball and cross country started as soon as school to end just a bit past 5 PM. Unfortunately for tennis, because the “home” courts were located off campus, practices usually ended much earlier – around 4:45.

Once all three sports were 2 weeks into their practices, athletes attended their first game which continues until the KAIAC tournament in which all teams compete with each other in their respective league. For the varsity teams, selected members are given the opportunity to participate in additional tournaments that are usually held overseas.  Varsity cross country and volleyball athletes alternate years hosting the AISA tournament or competing in Japan. For tennis, athletes travel abroad to the International School of Beijing (ISB) to participate in the Dragon Tournament.

With fall sports having their final week of practice just over a week ago, here’s how they have finished their seasons:

  • The junior varsity volleyball teams placed 5th place
  • The varsity girls volleyball team placed 5th in the KAIAC conference, 4th in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys volleyball team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 5th in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity girls cross country team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 1st in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The boys cross country team placed 2nd in the KAIAC conference, 2nd in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 3rd in the Dragon Tournament
  • The varsity girls tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the Dragon Tournament

The final event on the list for all sports was the banquet in which coaches present accolades for each team: the Most Valuable Player award, Most Improved Player award, and the Coach’s Award. The cross country held their own banquet separately, as they usually do, due to the large number of cross-country athletes. The banquet for the tennis and volleyball teams was held the next day. As each sports team was called up, the coaches recognized the athletes and presented the awards to the most exceptional athletes. The banquet was emotional for coaches and athletes especially when senior athletes were recognized for their final year. Following the tradition, the managers for each team presented a video of the highlights of the season in which the athletes were able to celebrate their final moments of the season.

Sports have been an imperative constituent of the numerous extracurricular activities that are offered in KIS. KIS highly values sports and the profound benefits of sports, and for good reason.

Having been involved in the tennis team since my freshman year, I cherish the memories I’ve made through the team over the past few years. I was able to bond with student-athletes and sports managers I most likely wouldn’t have even talked to if it were not for my involvement on the tennis team. Luckily this year, as members of each grade level was on the members of the tennis team, I was able to meet various freshmen and sophomores. I’ve also befriended students from other schools whom I have met during various games or the Dragon tournament. From traveling abroad and eating amazing food to simply cheering on our teammates, all of the experiences have been a joy. All the team dinners, always followed by noraebangs sessions, were always fun too. Even if we didn’t come out victorious, sport teams are great because they act as a great stress-reliever and an amazing way of sharing memories with fellow teammates.

Here some students’ responses when I asked them what they like being on their sports team:

Playing tennis on the team for the past years have helped me let off stress in the times that I needed most. More importantly, the team has helped me bond and be a part of a new family.
-Diane Kim (Captain of Varsity Girls Tennis) (’19)

After injuring myself playing basketball, I gave a volleyball a try. After playing for a while, I began to love the sport and be good at it which allowed me to participate on the volleyball team for the 4th year. I also love the friends I have made while being on the team; overall, I just love the sport so, so much.
-Richard Chung (’19)

– Andy Kim (’20)

Featured Image: Eliot Yun (’19)

Is it Underrated?

A question that arises in the field of every sport: are girls’ underrated with sports?

Precise. Control. Accuracy. Pass after pass. Kick after kick. The perfect measurement of the foot in collision with the smooth ball creates a crisp pop sound, an indication that the ball was satisfyingly kicked. As the net juts back to receive the impact of the spinning ball’s force, the buoyant  sound of the crowd joins the huddled team’s celebration cheer. GOAL. The scent of dirt and grass lingers on the uniform and the constant concentration on the twenty white and twelve black hexagon designed ball for 80 minutes straight. The nostalgic scent brings back the nostalgic memories in the legacy that the girls have created for the past few years.

Korea International School Varsity Soccer. The girls’ and boys’ teams have started off strong with 1-0 win from boys and 6-1 win from girls. Despite the outstanding performance of both teams, it seems like this statement always pops up: the girls won with more goals, because it was easier for them. But what’s the difference? The teams both play soccer, right? But the crowds and cheers are definitely bigger for the boys’ home games than the girls’. The girls may complain about their practices or bruises, but people question the girls, expressing doubt. “Do you girls run more suicides than the boys? I don’t think so.” Or “You girls don’t even get hurt during soccer games, but the boys are always on the ground.”

So, is the girls’ soccer team underrated? Let’s hear some opinions from people within and outside of the soccer team.

Do you think that the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated? If so, what makes you think that?

“Personally no. The girls rarely lose any games…”

  • Ricky Seo, goalie for Boys’ Varsity Soccer (‘18)

“Although I often can’t make it to the games, I hear little bits and conversations about them. Most of the time, they are about the boys’ physicality and how that resulted in yellow cards, but I never hear about the girls. However, when I look at the statics during yearbook for the girls’ soccer games, it shows surprising results of consecutive wins.”

  • San Yun (‘18)

“I think it is kind of underrated because 1. They have a winning streak, but no one really says much. There is no news about the girls games and results. In general I just think that the girls should be advertised more.”

  • Yerina Kim (‘18)

“I do think the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated. Many factors contribute to my stance, but the most principal would be the fact that we are girls. Soccer is a worldwide popular sport, unrivaled by any other. However, when we discuss the term “soccer,” there is an unexpressed but obvious message: ‘men’s soccer.’ Whether it be founded on a historical or physical background, women in sports have faced derogatory remarks, often being compared to men. And the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team was not an exception. You often ask KIS students and faculty if they are coming to a home game or not, and the response you get is not a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but rather a question of who plays first, girls or boys? Why does this matter? They both play “soccer,” right?  I think it should take on a new meaning. The relative performance does not depend on gender but of skill. This season, girls have been performing extremely well setting records such as 7:1, 6:0, and on. It is time for the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team to take a new meaning for the KISians.”

  • Jee-In Kwon, a defender of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team (‘18)

“Yes, I think the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated. Despite the fact that the girls were undefeated and 1st place for both KAIAC, Korean-American Interscholastic Activies Conference,  conference and tournament, our team is still not as known as other sports teams in our school. Even at home games, people either only stay for the boys’ game or don’t even come on the days girls play first, thinking that girls soccer game is not worth a watch because it will not be “fun”. I hope people recognize our team’s hard work. Our next home game is on April 19th against GSIS and I encourage all of you to come and support our team!”

  • Alice Yoo, a defender of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team (‘18)

 

The question also rises in the professional field where men and women have a contrasting difference in pay, safety, and etc.

So although you may have not witnessed the girls do those belly-diving headers, rabona, or the roulette, just know that’s not what makes the game: it’s the teamwork.

That being said, please come support the girls AND boys at the last home game on April 19th!

Featured Image: Sydney Rich (’18)

– Tae- Young Uhm (’18)