There is a lot of pride that goes into being a student athlete at East High School. With a heavy E-Rab fan base, high interest and participation in athletics and talented teams of athletes who are striving for success in their sport and in the classroom, the athletes are continuing to rise. East has eight winter sports teams, and all of them had their own moments of success this season.
The boys basketball team has stayed in the top half of the NIC-10 all season. Now, halfway through conference play, the team is on another run to do well in the playoffs after a record-breaking state run in 2019. Along with playing great basketball with no returning starters from the E-Rabs’ state team, the boys continue to be successful in the classroom, with nine of the eleven players making honor roll.
“The thing I’m most proud of this season has been our team chemistry, and the way we just develop that all the way at the start of the summer up until now. Our goal is still to just work our way up and hopefully get another state run this year,” said Josh Crawford, class of 2020.
East’s competitive dance team has had a fantastic go-around the past two years. With five returning seniors, the race to place in conference began. The E-Rabs improved their score and standing at each competition and took 3rd place at the NIC-10 Conference Competition for the second year in a row.
“This season was just our best one yet. You can tell that we’ve improved in every aspect, from technique to emotion to chemistry. It’s just the best feeling to end my last year of dance on such a high note and to get top three in the conference again,” said Kinsley Niedermeier, class of 2020.
The competitive cheer team had one of their best seasons yet in 2020. After placing at the bottom the past few years, the E-Rabs worked their way to a 6th place NIC-10 Conference finish and were extremely close to placing in the top five.
“Cheer made me feel genuinely happy this year. There were many things to be proud of. Ever since the beginning of cheering at East, we have gotten last or second-to-last at the NIC-10 competition, and we pushed ourselves for days this year to do better. We were only 0.2 of a point away from 5th place. I am beyond proud of how much more connected we’ve become as a team this year,” said Alondra Covarrubias, class of 2020
East’s girls basketball team struggled to find numbers in the beginning, but have kept right up with the big-time teams, with starring senior Kabrea Jamerson reaching her one-thousand point-mark and breaking school records this season. The team will send two players off to fulfil their college basketball dreams.
“This season meant a lot to me. I made myself a better player and put myself out there, and I’m proud of myself for that. Even through our struggles, we still made it as a team and had some high points that outshined the low ones,” said Elaini Reed, class of 2020.
The girls bowling team kept up in the conference this year, and at the end of the regular season, the E-Rabs sent two bowlers off to sectionals as individuals. Jurnee Williams and McKayla Gary would represent East in the coming postseason.
“This past season meant the world to me because it helped me realize what I wanted to do in life and who I wanted to be around. I am so proud of how I was able to conquer things in my sport that I never thought were going to happen,” said Jurnee Williams, class of 2020.
The boys swim team had some bright moments this season. Records were broken, and multiple swimmers placed in the top six at the conference swim meet.
The boys bowling team had some great runs this year, conquering things as a team and even individually for some.
“The thing I am most proud of this season is placing in the top sixteen at conference. I’m looking forward to next year being an even better season than this one with the incoming freshman that are going to help us,” said Joe Sisson, class of 2021.
The wrestling team had quite a few success stories this season. Continuing to be one of the top competitors in the NIC-10, the E-Rabs placed 4th as a team at the conference meet and then went on to have two wrestlers place at sectionals.Those two will represent East at the state tournament.
“We had a great team this season, and my only goal was to make it to state. I’m going to give it all I’ve got this weekend and just want to thank my coaches and my teammates for helping me reach that goal,” said Eh Ta Sor, class of 2020.
The winter sports teams have made an incredible impact on the success of the school in the 2019-2020 season. Going into preseason for spring sports, those teams are looking to make that same impact as well. While each class of athletes has their own top players who are striving to be great in their sport while excelling in the classroom, the class of 2020 so far has six athletes from three different sports continuing their athletic journey into college.