PHOTO BY VICKY WENG
By JENIBELLE HSU
The water polo team and Wilson Dance Company recently welcomed new coaches to the ever-growing Wildcat family.
Both teams have been trying to recruit new coaches ever since their previous coaches’ resignations in April and June. Dance coach Kristen Tett accepted a new job in Texas, and water polo head coach Leonard Canchola left without informing the team.
The water polo team greeted Wilson alumni Jonathan Heredia and Rio Hondo water polo coach Emile Eastman. The Wilson Dance Company expects former El-Dorado High School dance coach Karen Ayres, who has yet to complete necessary paperwork from the State Department of Justice.
According to Heredia, his promotion from an assistant coach to a head coach allows him to contribute more to the team.
“[When I first came back to help], I thought that I would only [provide extra] help,” Heredia said. “[Coaching the team] feels great, because now I can tell [the players] all [my strategies] and see their improvement.”
Boys’ water polo captain senior Michael Pfeiffer says the new coach’s connection with the players will help them reach their goals this year.
“We did not have [as close of a] bond with our old coach [as] we [now have] with our new coach. He understands us more and knows what we need to do to improve,” Pfeiffer said.
Dancer sophomore Jazlyn Yu says she foresaw Tett’s resignation but anticipates another successful season.
“We were very upset [when Coach Tett left], but she came and went [many] times,” Yu said. “[After] all the obstacles we went through last year, everyone is more determined and committed.”
Principal Danielle Kenfield says that both dance and water polo coaches will continue Wilson’s legacy.
“[Ayres’ connections] with choreographers will [prompt dancers] to compete in different categories [and] broaden their horizons,” Kenfield said. “[Also], [the water polo team] will be more likely to accept [Heredia] because, [as a former player], he knows the direction they want to go.”