The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Winter Sports Preview

Jordan Balousek
Photo Courtesy Kayla Friedman

Boys Basketball

The Boys Basketball team is looking to improve on their performance from the previous season. “Last season was a challenge to all of us. We had a very young team, and many new players with big or significant roles,” senior captain Jax Bredy said. The team finished the 2021-22 season with a 4-14 overall win-loss record and a 3-10 district record, placing them fifth in the KingCo District. “Although the season may not have gone as we would have liked, we all grew, and we’re coming back this year hungry,” Bredy said. While the team would like to see overall growth, they also have some specific things that they’d like to improve from last year. “Our [goals] for the season [are] of course to win KingCo, and move on to state,” senior captain Myk Kovarskas said. The team is feeling confident going into the season and hopes to use the momentum from their off-season games and practices to improve on their record from last season. The team has strong shooters and a great half court offense, but look to improve their transition defense while capitalizing in transition on offense and limiting turnovers. “I think our team is very skilled and we also [play] smart. I think [the] most important [thing] for us this year will be to play together,” Kovarskas said. Both captains emphasized the Dec. 2 home opener against Bellevue as a game to watch. The team’s Senior Night is Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. against Juanita. Bredy also had one final note for the fans. “If there’s anything else I’d like to say, it is that I apologize for us not playing up to our standard last year. This year, though, we have a shot at redemption, and we appreciate everyone who will come to support us!” Bredy said. “Our goal as a team this season is to put a banner on the wall.”

Girls Basketball

The Girls Basketball team is excited to get back into the regular season after a successful Summer Ball season. “Last season went alright, we started off a bit slow, but we improved a lot towards the end which is giving us confidence going into this season […] going into the regular season the team is feeling pretty pumped,” junior captain Caitlin Monahan said. Caitlin Monahan co-captains the team with her sister, senior Lauren Monahan. Lauren Monahan believes that a lot of the team’s confidence comes from their camaraderie. “As a team we are all very close,” Lauren Monahan said. “The team chemistry is 100% there off the court, but I definitely think that we need to work a bit with our team chemistry on the court.” Caitlin Monahan is confident that the team this year will be strong contenders in the division. “We have a lot of strong returning players and lots of incoming potential,” she said. “I think that a reasonable goal for us this year is being top two in KingCo and making it to districts.” While Caitlin Monahan believes that the team is above average in defense and shooting, she also thinks that there are some areas that they lack in. “We can improve in our height and size, but that can also be an advantage because we are quicker than most teams,” she said. Lauren Monahan also agreed that while the size of the team is a disadvantage, their speed will be a benefit. While the team would appreciate your support at any game, they specifically are excited for Quad Night vs Bellevue, taking place Dec. 2. “Make sure to come out and support!,” Caitlin Monahan said. “We are excited to get started and see how we can make our mark in 3A this year.” Jax Bredy also echoed this statement, and asked the fans of the boys team to also show up and support the girls team as well. “Be sure to come real early and give your support to our girls’ team before watching us,” Bredy said. “I’m also very confident in them and their abilities … be sure to come watch our boys’ and girls’ teams play throughout the season!”


Boys Swim and Dive

The Boys Swim and Dive team hopes to continue their winning streak and secure another state title this season. “I think we’re pretty well prepared for this season. We’ve got some fast freshmen coming in and everyone else is up for the challenge,” senior captain Nolan Knievel said. “We’re all really excited for what’s to come.” The team saw many fast seniors graduate last year, but are still confident in their success this season. “The beauty of swimming is it’s just as much an individual sport as it is a team sport. Our team’s success will also hopefully be in the form of everyone getting faster in the pool,” Knievel said. A goal of the captains this season is to improve the team chemistry. “In past years of Swive I think there’s been a bit of a disconnect between our club and non-club swimmers. This year, my fellow captains and I are hoping to build a more cohesive sense of community in the team,” Knievel said. The team also welcomes a new head coach this season, Craig Nisgor, and are excited to have him. They have their season opener Thursday, Dec. 2 at 3:30 against Newport at Mary Wayte. The team would love the support of Mercer Island fans at any and every meet possible.

Girls Gymnastics

The Girls Gymnastics team is excited to begin a new season. “I saw a lot of new and familiar faces at the pre-season meeting and I am looking forward for the season to [begin],” senior captain Sarah Kann said. The team hopes to keep spirits high throughout the season. “My goals for the team this year are to have lots of team bondings and for everyone on the team to get close and have fun throughout the season,” Kann said. “We are all there to have a good time, we are accepting of people of all skill levels and we know how to cheer loudly at the meets.” The team will have their home opener Wednesday, Dec. 7, and their Senior Night Jan. 11, in the main gym.


The Mercer Island Boys Wrestling team had a strong showing last year, but believes that they can become even more successful this upcoming season. “Although we had a small team, we were able to win a good portion of our matches against other high schools,” senior Liam Watson said. “We sent a large amount of our wrestlers to Regionals, and one to State … this year’s team is much bigger than last year’s with even more hard workers.” Watson emphasized the importance of the team gettinging enough practices in, but believes that the team overall has a high skill threshold and a good work ethic, which will aid them through the season. “For our team to be ready for the coming season, we’re going to be confident, determined, aggressive, and ready for our matches,” they said.

Unified Basketball

Unified Sports will be playing basketball during this winter season. Unified Sports is a program that combines intellectually disabled students and able-bodied students as mentors, and generally has one game per season. While they recently completed their flag football season, they will be moving into Basketball season. “I honestly consider [last year’s] season to be not the best, especially if you count our game at Roosevelt, but we should be better this season,” athlete Ben Murawski said. One point that Murawski made was the lack of fans at Unified Games as compared to Boys and Girls Basketball games. “You might remember the Boys Basketball team was actually at the second half of [our] game [last year], but we don’t have as many spectators in the gym for our home games as they do,” Murawski said. “Honestly my biggest hope for the season is that we’ll get more spectators [this] year than we did last year.”

Coed Ultimate Frisbee

The Ultimate Frisbee team is feeling good coming into the new season. “Last season went well. We had a lot of tough matchups, but it was still great to be out on the field playing Ultimate,” senior captain Ryan Hsi said. “A lot of players from last year are returning, but we’ll also have new team members which is always exciting.” Their goals this season are to be as competitive as they can while also having fun. “The Winter Coed season is unique in that everyone gets to connect and play together, so we also want to focus on building great chemistry and spirit within the team,” Hsi said. The team has great speed, but looks to improve their handling skills. “We want to be able to take advantage of our speed and make the forehand or backhand throw to keep the disc moving downfield and minimize mistakes,” Hsi said. The team’s first matchup will take place Dec. 3, away against Westside Ultimate Frisbee.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jordan Balousek
Jordan Balousek, Managing Editor
Jordan Balousek (she/her) is the Managing Editor for the MIHS Islander, and she is in her third year of journalism. Outside of school, she enjoys playing soccer, watching baseball and hockey, working at Arena Sports, reading and hanging out with her friends. She is also a very big fan of multitasking and chocolate ice cream.
Tiffany Zhang
Tiffany Zhang, Features & Sports Team
Tiffany Zhang is a senior at MIHS and in her second year of journalism. She is currently a member of the Features Team and the Sports Team and has served as a staff writer in the past. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys reading, thrifting, and watching Formula 1 races.

Comments (0)

All The MIHS Islander Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *