Peekskill High School’s Media Day Interviews

Peekskill High School’s Media Day Interviews

Peekskill High School’s Mercury Newspaper writer Brianna Ferguson asks Peekskill Varsity Athletes & Coaches about their upcoming Winter Season during Peekskill’s 1st Annual Media Day on Saturday, December 4. 

Track Coach Interview 

Ferguson: What is something you are looking forward to this season?

Vernon: “Having a full team this year. Last year we only had 12 kids because of quarantine and we had a great squad last year but now we have up to 40 kids. It’s so exciting to see them interact with each other.”

Ferguson: Who do you think will emerge as the leader of the team? 

Vernon: “For the girls team I see a lot of leadership coming out of Vania Diaz Santos and she’s starting to have the team on her shoulders and taking roles of leadership. For the boys team, I see Michael Duran and Josh. They lead by example constantly. They work so hard, they make sure everyone finishes their workouts.”  Coach Vernon, PE Teacher, track coach, volleyball coach, & spring track coach. 

Track Athlete Interviews

Ferguson: What is something that challenges you the most during your track season? 

Carter: “The fact that we are running outside and sometimes it’s cold so trying to avoid injuries during the winter season is hard, but if I eat properly and stretch then I’ll be okay.” Brianna Carter, Track Athlete 

Ferguson:  How do you juggle school with being on a sports team? 

Monge: I love doing sports and I also love school. I try to make space for everything. But I think it’s more of your personality. And your decisions you want to make. If it makes you happy then it’s not a problem.” Sheila Arevalo Monge, Track Athlete

Okoth:  “Definity time management, having a planner or writing on post-it notes all of your assignments and prioritizing them” Ariana Okoth Track Athlete

Iddir:“Once you find a way to fit everything into your schedule, and have communications with your teachers. So tell them you have something to do for your track team and hopefully they can work it out with you and give you an extension for your work if you are behind.” Hannah Iddir, Track Athlete

Girls Basketball Athletes & Coach Interviews

Ferguson: Who do you think will emerge as the leader of the group?

Searight: “I would say all 5 of them would be a leader of the team, not just one individual taking the lead role, i think they all need to adapt to one another so they can all play well together and you’ll see as the game processes who will stand out here and there. But I want them all to play together.” Coach Tyrone Searight

Ferguson: What is your goal for the season?” 

All: “TO WIN!” 

Goldberg: How do you anticipate putting pressure on your opponent’s offense?” Austin Goldberg, Athletic Director

Searight:  “Press the whole game, stay out of foul trouble, make the opponent uncomfortable throughout the whole game. There will be times where you get easy buckets or lay ups but that’s what I try to stress to the girls that we need to be in shape because during 4th quarter being in condition we can take a toll on our opponents.” Coach Searight

Goldberg: What are the benefits of being conditioned?” 

Anonymous Student:  “Before when we ran a lot we wouldn’t be able to do as much, but now we are picking up the pace.” 

Anonymous Student: “We are getting in shape for all of our different sports we play. We are being taught more than we have before and that is benefiting us for all quarters of the game.” 

Dr. Ferris: What does this basketball season mean to you? Dr. Jenna Ferris, Acting Principal

Cleveland: “It’s my last year. We have to go all out.” Amani Cleveland, Basketball Athlete 

Barnett: “I didn’t play last year but this is my year to show what I can do and learn more and we’re family. We are going to be together for a couple of months and we can’t be arguing constantly. We got to be on the same page listening to the coach.” Saige Barnett, Basketball Athlete

Barnett: “There’s a lot of seniors and since they are leaving, I look up to them as role models and being on the team makes me feel like I respect them for who they are.”

Wrestling Athletes & Coach Interview

Ferguson: What is something you look forward to this season?

Ortiz: “I look forward to it because each wrestler has their own individual growth from level 1-10. And also setting their own personal goal that they can accomplish.” Coach Ortiz

Ferguson: What is something that you struggle with and something you want to improve on?

Acevado: “I struggle with my mentally sometimes I give up mid way but I tell myself to keep going and keep moving forward.” Jonny Acevado, Wrestler

Ferguson: Who do you think will emerge as the leader of the group?

Ortiz: “Jonny Acevado, he is always consistent on time, he is a leader on and off the mats so I expect big things from Jonny this year.” Coach Ortiz

Dr. Mauricio: “What has wrestling taught you about life? What have you learned? Dr. Mauricio, Superintendent of Schools 

Anonymous Student: “Wrestling has taught me that there are no excuses.” 

Oliva: “Wrestling has taught me that there are a lot of obstacles and if a skill doesn’t work out, try another one. Don’t give up.” Jasmine Oliva, Wrestler 

Anonymous Student: “Just because you lost a match, doesn’t mean you are gonna lose the next one. Whatever you did wrong the first time, you can go back and correct it for next time.”

Hull: “Always have a goal and a plan to reach that goal, and a backup plan because your plan can fail.” Aaron Hull, Wrestler

Cheerleaders & Coach Interviews

Ferguson: Who do you think is going to emerge as the leader of the group? 

O’Brien: “Jayla Council, she’s been on variety since she was in 8th grade. This is my second season coaching her. During football season, she actually played on the football team which was amazing since she wasn’t able to be on the cheerleading team. But she has been growing a lot since the season started and I think that she will show her leadership skills.” Coach O’Brien

Ferguson: What are your biggest obstacles for this season?

Houston:  “Dealing with grades and a sport is pretty hard and coming home after practice having to do homework. It’s a lot but we as Peekskill Athletes are able to manage.” Skyla Houston, Cheerleader

Ferguson: What are some emotions you feel when you are cheerleading?

Houston:  “You’re really excited because you are watching the game and you see everything that’s going on, even if the team isn’t winning you have to keep up and keep a positive attitude throughout the game.” Skyla Houston, Cheerleader

Dr. Ferris: What does being on this team mean to you? Or what is your goal for the season? 

Anonymous Student: “Being positive and being a good teammate.”

O’Brien: “My goal for the season is for all of us including myself is to leave our personal problems before we come to practice or a game so we can have a very positive experience.” Coach O’Brien

Perez: “My goal for the team is to set high expectations for all of us because I know a lot of us can do more than what we are showing.” McKenzie Perez, Cheerleader

Anonymous Student: “The Cheerleaders are the heart of Peekskill.” 

Anonymous Student: “My wish is for everyone to get together and bond. I still want to talk to the other girls and become sisters with them. These girls are all nice and amazing people to be around. I know I may not be the best at cheering but I want to improve and do my best for the team.” 

Boys Swimming Athletes & Coach Interviews

Ferguson: Who do you think will emerge as the leader? Or who do you think improved the most?

Donabie:  “David or Nick because they have been here the longest or at least they have been here the 3 years I have been here. I saw them thrive under the leadership I gave them this year, they are the captions.” Coach Alana Donabie 

Goldberg: To the Seniors, what advice do you give the new swimmers, especially the 7th graders? 

Moscoso:  “It’s gonna get hard, you’re gonna get pushed to where you wanna give up and wanna stop. But you gotta keep pushing through. At the end of the day, I can speak from experience. She is a really good coach, she is gonna have goals for you that might seem unrealistic at first but when you get to your goals, you’re gonna feel really satisfied.” David Moscoso, Swimmer

Velasco:  “Like David said, it’s gonna get harder everyday. You’re gonna feel like you want to quit but pain is part of the process, your effort is part of the process. You can only do better to get better.” Nick Velasco, Swimmer

Dr. Ferris: What does being on this team mean to you? Or what is your personal goal for the season? 

Terblanche:  “I wanna try and break one of the records on the board before I graduate high school.” Luke Terblanche, Swimmer

Donabie: “A goal I have is for everyone to feel that they are part of this team and that everyone improves their times. From there we will keep pushing. To me this team means to me that we are a family and I am super happy to have new faces on this team, especially coming back up after COVID. I can’t wait for another 3rd season.” Coach Alana Donabie 

Anonymous Student: “My personal goal is to look back in a couple years at myself and be proud of myself.”

Boys Basketball Athletes & Coach Interviews

Ferguson: Who do you think will emerge as the leader of the group?

Turner: “We have a lot of players who show strong leadership qualities but I tend to lean towards players who are juniors but however, sometimes I look at other situations where one player steps up and kind of initiates it. Josh has definitely been filling in those shoes. One is a sophomore, one is a junior, so they are the leading candidates.” Coach Timothy Turner

Ferguson: What are some emotions you feel while playing on the court?

Anonymous Student: “Joy, passion, self respect.” 

Dr. Ferris:  What is your goal for the team this year? 

Turner: “My goal for the team is to make sure they achieve in the classroom. Another goal is to come together and take a leap of faith because people are doubting us. We have a very good team this year.” Coach Turner 

Dr. Ferris: Do you think the team is conditioned enough and in shape enough to keep up on the court for all 4 quarters? 

Turner:  “No, not yet. I think we are moving in that direction. One thing I realized with a team like this, they are very interchangeable. You don’t have to constantly wear down 5 guys, you can put someone in and feel confident that they can fill that person’s shoes.” Coach Turner

Dr. Ferris: What is one personal goal you have this season? Or what does it mean to be apart of this team?

Jones: “Personal goal for me is having my teammates look at me as a leader and to me it means a lot, because I feel trusted for a big position.” Josh Jones, Basketball Athlete 

Anonymous Student: “My goal for the team is to do whatever I can to help my teammates.”

Anonymous Student: “My personal goal is to get better in the classroom as well as the court and to be a role model to the younger kids.” 

From doing this 1st Annual Media Day as an interviewer, I have learned that many of these sport teams all have different goals but they all come together as a whole. Having goals and working together as a team, and having a special bond with one another forms them to become great athletes. Being a part of a sports team is like having a family bond. Once you know each player personally, you can form a better team in the end.