Moments of the year: Norman athletics year in review


Arman Zadeh, sports editor
Jackson Prince, sports editor
Eunice Kim, staff writer
Audrey James, staff writer

Well, 2013-2014 has come and gone, and Beverly has seen some outstanding moments from our teams and athletes. Before we say goodbye, we asked athletes of Norman Nation what they thought their team’s moment of the year was.
The football team, who looks to get back on track next fall after a paltry 0-10 season, still produced memories which will stick with players for the rest of their lives.
“My favorite moment of the season was scoring my first varsity touchdown,” tailback Raehaan Poonja said. “It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
The team, though losing several seniors, saw the development of younger players in the 2013-2014 season, including quarterback and defensive back Michael Massie, linebacker Dylan Rutigliano and tight end Solomon Nwankwo.
“The team looks to get better and stronger everyday [this offseason],” Poonja said.
Girls Water Polo
Girls water polo has not defined their success based on the conquering of titles, but rather based on the chemistry formed amid the players. Girls water polo’s success lies in the chemistry that exists amid the players.
Senior Allie Kahn described many successful moments during the season but placed the team’s game against Torrance High School at the top spot.
“Our team beat Torrance in two overtimes, it was the biggest moment of the season in my opinion,” Kahn said. “It really showed us exactly what we were capable of and pushed us to do more.”
There are not ‘finals’ or ‘league’ in Water Polo, but despite the team’s persistent efforts, they did not qualify within the top three to continue onto the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). At the close of the season, Allie Kahn was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.
Girls Basketball
The girls varsity basketball team put together a successful season with many “big” moments.
“Our team’s biggest moment of the year was our last home game against Culver City,” junior Gaby Ghermezi said. “It made me feel incredible because it was nice to see that all of our hard work and countless hours of strenuous practice had finally paid off.”
With the team’s win against Culver City, the Normans were not only able to see their hard work play out on the court, but also able to achieve a second-place bid in the Ocean League.
According to junior Bronte Yamodim, the entire team contributed to the overall success of the team.
Girls Volleyball
Despite facing adversity throughout the year, girls volleyball put together a successful season.
Senior Liat Hackman recounts the team’s biggest moment of the season, a win against Flintridge Prep High School.
“The most exciting moment in our volleyball season was when we beat the Flintridge Prep volleyball team,” Hackmann said. “We knew that they were good. Our team knew that we still had the chance to win and we did it. We really worked well as a team, encouraging each other and fixing all our mistakes in the next play.”
Hackman recalls that this win established the motivation the team needed to win third in league at the end of the season.
Girls Soccer 
Although the girls failed to win league, sophomore Carli Stein believes that  her team’s greatest moments of the year took place during the Samo games.
“We’re very proud of our achievements and I felt like we accomplished something amazing by making it so far into our season,” Stein said.
Stein expressed gratitude for the senior players and stated that she “would miss them very much.”
“I believe the seniors [to be] the team’s most valuable players,” Stein said.
Girls Tennis
Sophomore Martina Bocchi feels “proud” of her teammates for their determination and courage during the 2013-2014 girls tennis season.
“I think our biggest moment of the year was when we made CIF semifinals. I was very happy and proud of my team, because we got to the semifinals together and never doubted we couldn’t do it,” Bocchi said.
Bocchi expressed that important games, like the semifinals, brought the team closer together, which furthered her development as one of the top players on the team.
“I think most of the team would say that I am the most valuable player because I lead them to many victories, and kind of kept the team going,” Bocchi said.
Junior Shyra Costas believes that softball’s first win against St. Monica was her team’s biggest moment.
“Winning was an amazing feeling and a great start to the season and it also showed us what we were capable of,” Costas said.
Costas believes that every member of the team is important; consequently, there is no single most valuable player.
“I believe we are all valuable because we all serve a purpose and have a place on the team. Everyone in this team is just as important as the last,” Costas said.
The softball team, while missing out on CIF this year, will bring back the majority of its starters for next season.
Boys baseball will make a CIF appearance despite not winning league. The season was filled with small victories, such as the team’s win against Culver City which was the team’s “best moment of the year” according to junior Trevor Bergher.
“This win was huge for our team as it gave us energy to bring to our next games in league,” Bergher said.
Team leaders include Maxwell Martin, Jackson Martin and Rigo Fernandez, who all exemplified prowess on the field and in the dugout.
The team will compete in its first CIF game on Wednesday.
“By far,” senior Bram Geiderman said, “Our greatest moment as a team occurred against Torrance.”
The wrestling squad hadn’t beaten Torrance in over 45 years, until the 2013-2014 season came around. In what can be considered as a reasonable blow-out, the Normans pounded Torrance on their home mat.
“It was an honor to be a part of this team, as we made history with this triumph,” Geiderman said.
Water Polo
Despite losing their long-time coach, Rob Bowie, boys varsity water polo had a “successful” season, according to middle Justin Shegerian.
“We came in third in Ocean League, which we were happy about,” he said.
The team peaked against El Segundo, when Shegerian’s overtime goal gave Beverly its first victory against them in years.
“In that game, we came together and we had a real reason to rejoice,” Shegerian said.
The team, though losing several “pivotal” seniors, is “confident” that they can improve further upon this season.
“[Our best moment was] definitely finding out we won league for the first time in almost 35 years after beating Culver,” senior Ben Cohen said.
The boys basketball team ended a historic season back in February after highlights like sweeping Samo, winning league and reaching the second round of CIF playoffs. The senior heavy team featured point guard Siavash Yektafar, center Ronan Massana, guards Brandon Neman, Nima Rafizadeh and Eli Sachs and forward Ben Cohen.
After sweeping nearly every Ocean League rival, team members were understandably disheartened after a second round exit, saying beforehand that “anything short of a CIF championship would be a disappointment” according to Yektafar.