Girls’ JVA Sixth-Grade Basketball Team Wins Gold Championship at WBAL Tournament
In an exciting come-from-behind victory, the JVA sixth-grade girls’ basketball team clinched the 2017 WBAL Gold-level championship on Thursday night, March 2. Going into the game with rival Menlo School, the girls had only lost one game this season — to Menlo. Trailing for three of the four quarters, the Nueva girls pushed themselves to play their best, taking the lead halfway through the fourth quarter and never relinquishing it.
The game was tight the entire time, and the team trailed by four points at the half. Coach Rometra Craig told the girls, "Let's bring it home in the second half. Play to your ability." She encouraged the girls to step up their defense and not be afraid to take shots. Rometra also suggested that the girls be "shot ready"—to take an open shot when the opportunity presented itself, and not just rely on the plays. By the third quarter, the girls had closed the gap to two points, and a short time later they took the lead.
Rometra noted the strong sense of teamwork throughout the season. "It was an absolute pleasure coaching such an amazing group of girls. Every single person contributed in a significant way and I am so proud of all of them! We had so many intensely close games that really helped us grow as individuals and as a team. We set a goal to win the championship in the beginning of the season, and every game we stayed committed to our plan and we did it!"
Each player had to contribute her best over the season, and Rometra's practices "were hardcore but fun," according to the players. The girls learned multiple plays that they put into action in each game. These plays came in handy during the final tournament, when the girls had to dig deep to win.
Members of the JVA squad included: Serena S., Eliza S., Kayla H., Mia T., Lola A., Nixie H., Calder B., Charlotte P., Makenna K., Anya P., Keeley G., Ava G., and Riley S.
Boys’ JVA Soccer Team Captures WBAL Championship Title
Nueva’s JVA Boys team captured the WBAL soccer title on March 7 after squeezing in five games over a two-week period. Rain forced rescheduling of many league games to the end of the season, resulting in an exciting and exhausting finish. The boys were undefeated in their quest for the championship despite facing challenges from Sacred Heart and Woodside Priory near the end of the season.
The boys traveled to Sacred Heart to face a talented team on their home field. The Nueva team showed well, going up 1-0 in the first half. In the second half, the team continued to pass well and defend strongly. They added two more goals to shut out the Gators 3-0. William F. scored twice and Alex W. once in the game.
The team faced a fast and energetic Woodside Priory team with two games to go in the season, but managed to defeating them 5-3 on Monday, March 6. Led by coaches Daniel and Carlos, the boys were ready for the tough game, played at home in muddy conditions. Coach Daniel told the boys that this was their biggest challenge yet. It wasn't just about dominating other teams that aren't as skilled, but showing that they really understood positioning. He told them that each one of them has grown over the season, and that it was important to be consistent not only against the weaker teams but also against the strong teams. The boys took his words to heart.
The team passed well, using the talents of each player and relying on the goalkeeping talents of Thomas R. Scoring in that game were William F., Kevin H., and Xander A. Thomas R. made several crucial stops in the net, including one where he faced a one-on-one challenge with a Priory striker, knocking down a powerful shot and sending the ball out of bounds. Nueva forwards Xander A. and Nick M. made runs against Priory, seeking to extend the lead. Priory continued to press as the clock ticked down but was unable to score against the strong defense of Alex W., Eli P., Caleb O., Colin D., Winston L., and Nico B.
The team faced Redeemer Lutheran the next day and were down 0-1 early in the game, but they quickly equalized the game as Alex's corner kick resulted in a goal. Midfielders Nathan L. and Nolan S. fed passes to the front, while defenders denied attempts to shoot on goal. At the half, Nueva led 4-1, with goals by Xander A., William F., and Colin D. In the second half, the boys dominated the field, with Colin D. adding a fifth goal to the tally.
The boys prepared for their final game against Woodlands on Wednesday, but on Tuesday night, the Woodlands team forfeited the game, giving Nueva the championship. Members of the championship team were Nolan S., Nick M., Eli P., Thomas R., Alex W., Colin D., Xander A., Nathan L., Taher V., William F., Nico B., Kevin H., Winston L., and Caleb O.
March 17, 2017