IHS sports return with Vaquero pride

Aanya Sharma, Alexis Tran


Cheerleaders will continue preparing for the end of football season, upcoming basketball season and rallies under the leadership of seniors and captains Tori Nguyen, Aubrey Fleischaker and Amy Shandel. A separate competition cheer team will start their season in the Winter.

“My favorite part about [cheer] is how close you have to be to your team,” senior and captain Amy Shandel said. “Since stunting is a team effort, we have to have trust in each other. Therefore, the bonds we create in the team are strong and everlasting.


The football team played their first game on August 27, 2021 against Canyon High School. The varsity football team has a league record of 8-0-0. The next football game is on Oct. 22 at Portola High School. Come out to support all of the fall sports!

“The football season has been going great,” senior and captain Nick Rudolph said. “We’ve improved since our previous seasons and we plan on working hard to continue to improve. We just have to perform better than everyone else and keep our heads in the right place. If we can do that then we can have an outstanding season with a good outcome.”


The boys water polo team played their first game on September 10, 2021 against El Toro High School. The boys varsity water polo team has a league record of 5-4-0. The boys junior varsity water polo team has a league record of 0-1-0. The boys frosh/soph team has a league record of 1-1-0. The next boys water polo game is on Oct 25 at Northwood High School. Seniors Ethan Stout and Ethan Macvicar, junior Camden Peterson and sophomore Declan Carter are leading the team.

“The water polo season has been going well,” senior and captain Ethan Stout said. “We are currently on track to make Division 2 CIF and we are hoping to make a deep playoff run. We have a very young team and I am proud of what we have accomplished so far.”


Girls varsity volleyball started their season with a win against Tustin High School on August 17. Their final league game was this Thursday, making their league record 4-8-0. They then advanced to their first California Interscholastic Federation game yesterday at Riverside. The Lady Vaqueros were led by senior captains Madi Lee, Nikki Chen and Sierra Shuttle.

“My favorite part about this sport is the adrenaline rush when we win,” senior and captain Sierra Suttle. “I love working with a team, competing with them to win a game. I plan on making this season different by bringing positivity to the court.” 


Varsity boys cross country, led by seniors and captains Lucas Hepinger and Emmanuel Bulalacao, started their season on Sept. 4 with the Great Cow Run in Cerritos where varsity placed third. The Vaqueros are racing tomorrow (Oct 23) at the Mt. SAC Invitational in Mt. SAC Community College. They will conclude their season at their league finals meet on Wednesday Nov 3.

“This season, I’ve made so many friends and have gotten closer with the team,” senior and captain Emmanuel Bulalacao said. “We all hope to take the league title and compete in CIF. I’m really blessed to be a part of this team.” 


The girls cross country team ran their first race at Laguna Hills High School on Sept 11. The girls cross country team has competed in four races so far. The next girls cross country race is on Oct 23 at the Riverside Cross Country Invitational. Senior Izzy Feng and juniors Anika Kanitkar and Emily Garcia have been leading the Lady Vaqueros.

“Our girls have been working hard to make this season count,” senior and captain Isabella Feng said. “Meets are slowly going back to normal, and I’ve felt a shift in the work ethic and mindset of the team. For the rest of the season, we’re all hoping to come out with [personal records] at our league meets.”


The girls tennis team played their first match on Aug 21 against Crean Lutheran High School. The team has a current league record of 2-7-0. The next girls tennis match is on Oct 25  at Northwood High School. Seniors and captains Sydeny Luong, Meili Barber, Keerthi Singam, Maanasa Panuganti, Janani Ayer, Rebecca Tio and Angie Wang led the team throughout the season.

“The strong teams that we’ve played this season have brought out the team’s best tennis,” senior and captain Sydney Luong said. “Watching our players push themselves to fight for every point lifts our spirits and keeps us inspired.” Sydney Luong (top right) is one of the seven senior captains. 


Girls varsity golf, led by seniors and captains Vy Nguyen and Auzzy Varnado, concluded their season with a win against Laguna Hills, making their league record 7-5-0. Senior Auzzy Vernado, junior Ashley Pack and freshman Reese Villanueva advanced to the second round of league finals. Results of the first round of California Interscholastic Federation games were unavailable at the time.

“The team is like a family to me,” senior and captain Auzzy Varnado said. “We’ve seen each other’s highs and lows and we definitely have a strong bond together. So as a team, our goal is to do well.”


Irvine Frontier won the OC Student Section People’s Choice award on Oct 3 and our student section was crowned champions for week six on Oct 4. The theme for that week was Pink Out, where students decked out in pink to support the Breast Cancer Awareness cause. Co-presidents Sawyer Spivey and Caden Shaffer lead chants during home and away football games. They will be present during home sports games for the remainder of the school year.

“Our motive is to get as much participation at games,” Commissioner of Spirit, co-president of Irvine Frontier and senior Sawyer Spivey said. “Our goal is to bring a large student section, like the one at football games, to other sports that don’t get as much turnout. Its to bring back spirit to the school after COVID-19.”

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IHS sports return with Vaquero pride