• Important Dates -->
  • 12/20-1/1: Winter Break
  • 1/2: Classes Resume
  • 1/5: Electives Fair
  • 1/15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 1/19: End of Q2 / Semester 1
  • 1/22: Teacher Work Day
  • 1/25-1/27: RRPA's Winter Musical, 'Rent'
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Winter Tryouts Promise Strong Season for the Phoenix

From Nov. 6 to 14, returners and newbies alike came out for winter sports tryouts hoping to earn a spot on the team of their dreams.
(Left to right) Freshman Ayana Hill, freshman Amari Leman, and junior Elina Papageorgiou participate in cheerleading, basketball, and gymnastics tryouts. Photos by: Samantha Chang and Dayanna Anton.

As the temperature begins to drop and students start counting the days until winter break, athletes start counting the days until winter tryouts begin. Preparing themselves for the rush of tryouts, excitement bursts through the gyms, pools, and weight rooms as students await the decision of earning a spot on the team they want to play for.

From Nov. 6 to 14, students came in before school, stayed after school, and even came in on a school holiday for tryouts for the basketball, cheer, gymnastics, swim, track, and/or wrestling teams. Although tryouts varied from sport to sport, in general, they included stretching and warm-ups, and then repetitions of various drills, skills, and/or plays.

Many athletes returned to teams that they had previously played for. Senior Kyle Desai has been playing basketball since the 5th grade and has been on the Phoenix basketball team since his freshman year. “Growing up, I’ve always loved sports,” Desai said. “I’ve played sports my whole life. I played soccer, I played flag football, and then when I played basketball, I really fell in love with it. I enjoyed [going to] the court everyday, so I just continued doing [basketball], and it’s always been fun.”

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Others, like freshman Camille Conner, are just starting out in the world of high school sports. “Tryouts [for basketball] were definitely hard,” Conner said. “[At the same time], it was pretty easy. I knew I would’ve gotten, at least, onto [the] freshman [team]. I practiced a lot, like two to three hours a day, and [my brother] would play basketball with me and help me do my drills.”

Overall, athletes, managers, and coaches are ready and hopeful for what’s to come. “I think we’re going to have a good season,” boys basketball coach Jason Geyer said. “[The team] is still pretty young, but we play really well together, and everybody plays their role.”

Athletes have also set specific goals for themselves and their teams. For Desai and the boys basketball team, this means focusing on defense. And for Conner, this means developing her shooting form. 

Winter tryouts might have ended, but it’s just the beginning for all the student athletes participating in the winter season.


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About the Contributors
Sydney Nguyen, Design Editor
Sydney Nguyen is a senior and the Design Editor for The Blaze. While creating and designing spreads for the newspaper is one of Sydney’s favorite parts, they also enjoy writing articles. This year, Syd is most looking forward to AP Literature. In the coming year, Sydney plans to go to college and major in computer science while still continuing her hobbies of journalism and graphic design. Sydney especially enjoys the Art and Literature Club and being in the marching band at Rock Ridge as a top bass and saxophone player. Sydney’s favorite activities to do in their free time include drawing, rollerblading, scootering, and biking with their family.
Samantha Chang, Staff Writer
Samantha Chang is a sophomore in her second year of staff. An artist and writer from a young age, she has decided to continue working on the newspaper due to the positive experience and friendships she made in her first year. Samanatha has many hobbies, such as painting, writing, and her newfound favorite, krav maga. In school, she’s a dedicated student favoring classes that involve English and tends to stay away from science and math. In the future she hopes to become a journalist or artist.
Dayanna Anton, Staff Writer
Dayanna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. In her free time, Dayanna watches videos on YouTube and plays video games. She is very open to playing all types of video games, such as Roblox with her friends. Dayanna is hoping to re-join Key Club again this year. Dayanna is also part of a program called Campus, where she gets to know more about College and all the necessary steps for getting into it once she graduates high school.

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