Cherish Every Moment Under the Glowing Lights

Da Vinci Senior Valerie Alden took pride competing at the Summit Championships. Over 500 teams got the National Honor  to compete at the Summit Nationals in Orlando Florida The Summit is an invitational competition only given to the best teams all over the United States. To receive this invitation, hard working cheer teams have to practice diligently for years. The coaches are dedicated to helping the athletes get to where they want to go which is The Summit. University Cheer Force had 7 cheer teams along with 1x world champ team at the Worlds.  

“I was really excited about the 7 teams that went to Summit and the 1 worlds team” said Coach Dwayne

Valerie had some magical moments made with her teammates from University Cheer Force as they hit zero. Her team had no technical errors or deductions. She was amazed when she was on the sideline cheering on other athletes seeing other top cheer teams in the US in one place. As her cheer team was preparing for the performance , there were varsity staff workers talking about her team about to take on the stage

“Going backstage it got darker  hearing the big loud arena I had to prepare mentally and physically, my heart was beating like drums and tears were coming down my cheeks, I went to the side to do my confident power stance two friends taught me and hearing the varsity staff in the background saying  ‘Twisters are about to take the floor.’ I knew I had to go out and do my best”.

Valerie and her cheer team took the summit stage as the spotlights are shining bright on their faces, the crowds cheering and when the routine ended the arena got loud and crazy

Valerie Alden states “It’s the loudest cheering I’ve heard from the audience ever, it was neat that other teams and parents were watching us, the sportsmanship is amazing. All athletes were respectful of each other because all of are the best in the US, I’m so proud of myself”

Davis Blue Devils Showing Their Horns!

The football season just started for the Blue Devils Varsity Team and they’ve already fought their enemy from the year before and ended their losing streak.

After a whole year without a win the Davis Blue Devils came back stronger than anyone would have thought possible. After some starting problems against Grant, the Devils showed their horns!

On Friday, August 24, the Blue Devils destroyed Cordova with 69-20 in their home stadium and ended their losing streak with a big bang. They showed their qualities and kept working hard. The Devils didn’t stop getting better and practicing harder than before to receive their guests from Woodland. The Devils proved their commitment and  a score of 42-6 and got a positive record of 2-1 for the first time for over a year. The devils win the following week as well, this time with a score of 51-13 against Pioneer.

Friday, September 14, was a very hard game for the Devils. They played a tough game against Elk Grove, but were ultimately defeated with a score of only 14-21. The score showed that the Devils fought hard and are hungry to come back stronger than ever before against the best team in the league. We had a by-week, or like Coach Smyte would say, “A get-better-week” in which our players would attempt to increase their focus and their drive to win in order to play against the number one team in the league. On September 28, the Devils played against undefeated Sheldon, and after a hard fight, Davis sadly lost with a score of 21-28.  The Devils would have won this game with a bit more focus and discipline. The defeat will hopefully inspire them to work harder than ever before to be the best team in the league.

Football and Fancy Feet

Homecoming, occurring on October 19, 2018, was a memorable day for staff and students at Da Vinci Charter Academy. Students were excited for Homecoming, which included getting out of school early, a parade, an animated football game and concluded with a dance. The parade included the shaking of the cheerleaders’ poms and the sticks hitting the bands drums. Da Vinci senior Ella Moore was proud to be part of the parade.

Senior Kayden Hoal proudly in the air (Credit Davis Enterprise)

The most exciting part of Hoco for me is marching in the parade. It may seem kinda dumb, but I really like marching in the rows. The percussionists were in the back and we played a lot more than the other instrumentalists.”

Similar to the band members, the cheerleaders worked strongly to get ready for the big game; it was a busy and fun week for them. The cheerleaders performed a routine that filled the crowds with excitement.

Cheerleaders excited on the red wagon. (Credit Angela Schouten)

“The week of practice was busy and consisted of a lot of changes to the routine as we went but overall it was fun. The most exciting part of the game was performing the routine that we worked really hard on and having it go really well. It was also super fun getting the student section pumped up and being able to throw DHS gear to them,” said senior cheerleader Olivia Quesada.

The students liked and enjoyed the Homecoming parade, as well as the Homecoming event as a whole. It’s an event that students and staff will always remember.

Blue Devils Shoot Baskets

When the referee starts the basketball match next Friday, the 9th, at 5.30 pm in the DHS Gym, the Blue Devils Basketball JV team will be starting their last home match for this season. This year, four DaVinci students will do their best to score as many points as possible to help their team to win.

Sophomores Shiya Solodoff and Nathaniel Thompson both joined the team in their freshman year. “The best part of basketball is the bond that you make with your teammates and trying to make them look better and not just yourself,” said Thompson. “The worst part is probably losing when you know you should have won. This year we have lost in overtime twice and both times our team under-performed heavily.” he continued.

Of course, playing basketball is also about winning. “The aim for the season was too win the league, but it’s not looking like we can do that right now,” said Solodoff. Thompson agreed with Solodoff’s statement. “Our team’s goal is always to win the league, but right now that isn’t very realistic. Currently our team is not doing too well but we can usually hang with any team in our league,” he said.

With every team there is a rival. And like for most of the Blue Devils sport teams, the DHS rival is Jesuit. “We played them on Monday, [January] 29th and lost by 2 points,” said Thompson.The final score was 59 to 61. On Friday, February 2nd they played against Franklin in Franklin and won with a final score of 55 to 41.

“Our next and last home games are against Pleasant Grove and Grant on February and 9,” said Thompson. The aim for those games is of course winning, but also enjoying as they are the last home games for this season.

Track and Field Pre-Season

Track and Field starts in one week, but for now it is the preseason where students can try all the disciplines to see which one they would like to do during the season. They meet four days a week, Monday through Thursday, for two hours.
Bruna Menezes, junior at Da Vinci, started track because she is required to do a sport for her school in Brazil. “I first started doing track because I had to do a sport and I thought track was a good idea,” she said.
Hanna Sienknecht, junior and staff writer, joined track because she wanted to stay with her friends. “A lot of my cross country friends went to track after cross country ended,” she said. For senior Abby Reina-Guerra it was pretty much the same. “When I was starting freshman year I did cross country at the beginning of the year and my friends and my brother convinced me that I would have just as much fun on the track team,” she said.
Track and field includes a wide variety of events, there are a lot of different disciplines including hurdling, high jump, triple jump, long jump, four by fours, distance running and throwing. “I think it is a good sport because it is diverse and you can try different things,” added Sienknecht. “We also go to the weight room which is were we workout two times a week.”
Track and field has a big team. “We are already a lot of people, +/- 50, and when the season starts, we are going to be a lot more,” said Menezes. Because of the large amount of athletes, the team has a lot of coaches to help them. “We have 8 coaches for track and each coach is in charge of a different section of the track team,” said Reina-Guerra. “We have one head coach, that is Elliot,” continued Hanna Sienknecht. All the coaches are very supportive and help the athletes believe in themselves.
Everyone has different expectations about track. “I knew going into track that some days were going to hurt, but I never expected to love the sport as much as I do,” said Reina-Guerra. “I was very excited but I had no idea how it’s going to be,” said Menezes. “It is hard for me because I am not used to running but it is very fun and I like it a lot.”
Even if they don’t have the same expectations, they are all there because they like it and because it is a fun sport with a great team. For Reina-Guerra, the team is like a big family which is why she recommends joining.

Running Like a Devil

Seven o’clock in the morning, already 90 degrees and the DHS Cross Country team with eight Da Vinci students meets in Vacaville to race in the first, and probably hardest, meet of the season-the Lagoon Valley Classic. On Saturday, September 2 at 11 o’clock in the morning, all members made it through the challenging route with a successful ending.

“The results were really good,” said head coach Bill Gregg, “All new runners did a great job despite having to climb up Big Momma on their first race.”

He has a good reason for being happy about the results.The Blue Devils took first place in the category Frosh/Soph Girls and Freshman boys, third place in Frosh/Soph boys, second place in Junior Varsity Girls and the Da Vinci senior Abby Reina-Guerra took third place in that category. Congratulations!

It was a really hard race. Some may say that it is the hardest race of all. “It was difficult,” said Da Vinci senior Jenna Meyer. First of all you have to run up two aggressive hills, the ‘Big Momma’ and the ‘Little Sister’.

“It’s not the best way to start the season, but on the other hand, it’s the biggest hill the runners will see this season. We don’t have to climb it again, thank goodness,” said Coach Gregg.

In addition to that, it was a hot day. “Other than the fact that it was a hundred degrees that day, I think that running up the hill really takes a physical toll on you and an emotional,” said Reina-Guerra. “There was a lot of crying involved.” Due to the weather conditions the race was shortened: the time between the races was only two minutes so that nobody had to run in the middle of the day.

The Lagoon Valley Classic is definitely a challenge, but how else can you improve your running skills? “The boys varsity learned that they can be good team with the top five boys finishing close to each other,” said Coach Gregg. ”They also know that they have to continue working hard in order to catch the Jesuit team.”

Apart from challenging races, Cross Country is a lot of fun. “The team is just a really nice community,” says Reina-Guerra. There are pasta feeds before the races where the whole team gets together to eat pasta and invitational races including a trip to DisneyLand. Therefore, the team is getting bigger and bigger every year.

“And they keep adding coaches and we got ‘XC stats’, we have now an account,” says DHS senior Laura Young. XC stats is an App where the runners keep track of their times and distances so that you can find out easily, if you have improved your running.

At the end, advises Reina-Guerra, “If you are thinking about doing it [Cross Country], do it.”

Ultimate Frisbee is Back

Over the past year, Da Vinci’s back field has been left empty. However, with the return of the Ultimate Frisbee team, there is hope that the field will be once again filled with Da Vinci students flicking and catching frisbees.

In the 2015-2016 school year the Da Vinci Dino’s Frisbee team was one of the hottest teams around, placing 7th in the statewide Division 1 Ultimate Tournament. However, with the loss of the team coach, former math teacher Natalie Bladis, and the graduation of influential players such as Gavin Cosgrave and Joey Balderama, the team fell upon hard times and failed to produce a tournament-ready team the following year.

This year however, the Da Vinci Ultimate Frisbee team is back with new captains to revitalize the once great and award-winning team. This year’s captains are seniors Joshua Danzik and Diego Tamayo, who each have their own set of objectives for the team this year.
“The goal right now is basically to just get a solid foundation for a club team and to get new people out there to experience what it’s like to be a part of a team,” said Danzik. Tamayo added, “Some more of the team’s goals are to have fun, be inclusive, and work hard.”

“Ultimate Frisbee is a frantic, fast-paced, free-for-all that features elements of basketball, soccer and football while being played without a referee,” said Tamayo. Ultimate Frisbee promises ultimate excitement. The rules offer thrills, and the lack of supervision equals ultimate confusion.

“Ultimate Frisbee provides great exercise. It involves a lot of running but it’s a lot of fun while you’re playing so you start to forget that you’re tired. It’s a sport hugely based on community which is perfect for Da Vinci,” said Danzik.

Diego Tamayo and Joshua Danzik are working very hard to recruit players. “We need people to come to practice, and that’s why we are advertising our club with flyers throughout the school and over the daily announcements,” said Tamayo.

So feel free to visit the Ultimate Frisbee club. They have practice on Tuesdays from 3:45 to 5:30 and Wednesday 2:45 to 4:30 and anyone can participate. “If you come play frisbee with us bring a short sleeve shirt, shorts, and cleats if you have them,” said Tamayo.

Blue Devils Back on the Slopes

Winter is the season of hot chocolate and cookies, but also of skiing and that’s why three Da Vinci students are hitting the slopes in Tahoe with the DHS Ski team.

Da Vinci sophomore and skier Charles Longshore-Neate has been skiing since he was two years old, and explained why he loves the sport.“Skiing is all about getting out on the hill having a good day on the course and even if you don’t win your race, you have a good time,” said C. Longshore-Neate.

But before they go into the real snow, they have to strengthen their body. “Three days a week we go to DHS at like six in the morning and run in the gym,” said Da Vinci senior and skier Frederick Longshore-Neate. “That’s our dry-land practice and nobody enjoys it, but it helps you to get in shape for the year.”

What else do you need to be a good skier? “To be a good skier, you need to have a fairly decent level of fitness and the right mindset also no scene of fear,” said C. Longshore-Neate.

With the start of the new year, the practice on the mountains starts as well. “The resorts are all pretty sweet; they have good hot chocolate in the food place and the runs are all very enjoyable to ski,” said C. Longshore-Neate.

However, the ski team does not practice with the snowboard team. “Skiers have kind of a conflict with snowboarders,” said F. Longshore-Neate. “We don’t like people who snowboard, we like to make fun of them, but it’s all good natured.”

Besides practice, racing is a big part too. “We race every Monday for six weeks at the beginning of next year and then we have championships, the state meet in March for a week in some big resort,” said F. Longshore-Neate.

The first race the ski team will participate in is on January 8.“What I like most about skiing is the speed you get when you come out of the bottom of a race course,” added C. Longshore-Neate.

Da VInci sophomore and skier Kyle Vaughn believes that trying skiing is definitely worth it. “Each turn is as good as the next, and going faster only makes it better” he said.

DHS Women’s Water Polo Dominate in the Pool

This fall season, the Davis High women’s varsity water polo team have a total of 22 wins and only six losses, due to their amazing teamwork in the pool.

The team is already undefeated in league play, and eager to take on all challengers.

“We are undefeated in the league and section,” explained senior Aly Lodigiani when asked how the team was doing.

Fresh off a 23-4 pounding of Del Oro, the Blue Devils are getting ready to seek revenge on the Campolindo team after a bitter 11-10 loss earlier this fall. who they are playing Monday, October 23.

The water polo team is now hoping to repeat their 2016 season, where they earned the title of Delta League Championship and the Sac Joaquin Section Championship, according to CBS Interactive.

Water polo is a viciously competitive sport, but the players of the women’s varsity team can’t get enough of it. “I like that it [water polo] is more intense than just swimming. I also like the team connection and how everyone is very supportive of each other,” said Lodigiani.

The success of their teamwork is apparent this season in their incredible defense, surrendering an average of four goals per game this entire season. After their most recent, and dramatic, win over St. Francis of Sacramento of 19-4, the girls look forward to a bye week for the first round of the Section Playoffs.

With the end of this year’s water polo season quickly approaching, the Blue Devil varsity women’s water polo team is dedicated to win the CIF playoffs and bring home the state trophy. “We are hoping to make it to the finals of Sections this year. It would be great if we could win,” said junior Izabella Terry. With the team’s phenomenal efforts in the pool, there is no doubt they will make it far.

Football Practices in Intense Heat: Worth It?

Football season has started, athletes on the Davis High School football and cheer squads are suffering through daily grueling triple-digit temperature practices to prepare for the Friday night lights. There are several students at Da Vinci High School who have experienced these blistering practice conditions first-hand.
One of the students is is sophomore Sebastian Tamayo who plays defense on the Junior Varsity team who described how the heat affected him during practice. “When it’s really hot during practice you get really tired and can’t work as hard,” said Tamayo. The Junior Varsity team practices from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm four days a week, with a three hour-long game on Fridays. The majority of this time is spent in the hot sun.
The DHS Junior Varsity Football Team began the 2017 season with a summer boot camp at the beginning of July. It is important to note for this year, 2017, that high temperature records were broken twenty-one out of the thirty-one days in July and that there was only one day in the month when the high temperature was below 90o F.
The effects of high ambient temperatures on the body, called heat stress, include excessive sweating, dehydration, confusion, highly elevated respiratory and heart rate, the loss of consciousness and death.
Football players practicing under the sun on artificial turf, in full uniform even at temperatures under 85o F, experience significant heat stress with turf temperatures of over 100o F.
“During exceptionally hot practices, if we are not prepared, the heat can ruin our practice. Fatigue caused by dehydration is one of the biggest problems,” said Tamayo. Because of this, coaches take preventative measures to insure the safety of their athletes.
“If it’s really hot, coaches pay more attention to our physical health, and if they know ahead of time it’s going to get really hot, they will require us to bring cold water,” said Tamayo.
Heat can not only degrade an athlete’s physical performance, but it can also significantly impair the player’s mental functions. Juniors Isabella (Bella) Carrazco and Marissa Thompson of the DHS cheer team have both experienced how extreme heat can affect performing team activities.
“When the dance room that we practice in becomes really hot we all get really sweaty and it becomes a little bit more dangerous to perform stunts,” said Thompson. The football and cheer teams share similar complaints about practicing in hot weather.
“We don’t work as well in the heat because we’re more focused on trying to keep our body’s cool and hydrated, therefore a lot of the cheerleaders aren’t working to their full potentials,” said Carrazco.
Although the dangers of practicing in the hot sun are evident, changing the practice times for the football and cheer teams is nearly impossible due to the busy lives of the students who participate.