By Karissa Jones, Claritin Staff
The Kennedy surf team has had a terrible year so far this season. For the first time since the drought of 2016, the team of rad dudes and dudettes is unable to compete in the Metro League. The rough start is causing the athletes to worry for their performance at the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour, which will decide which surfers compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Last year, due to the amount of rain Sacramento encountered, the school’s iconic “Lake Kennedy” made it easy for the surf team to have practices. This year, the small amount of storms have not been enough to form the natural beauty that is the lake and allow the surf team to get the amount of practice needed.
Due to the new summer event that had been added to the Olympics, Kennedy surfers felt a sudden urgency to get as much practice as they can to be capable of trying out this year. In order to qualify for the Summer Olympics surfers must prove themselves by placing high in the World Surf League Championship Tour. In competitions, athletes have 20 to 30 minutes to catch the best wave possible and to prove how worthy you are. The judging is based off commitment and level of difficulty, creative and progressive maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers, variety of maneuvers, speed, power and flow. The judges rank competitors based on the execution of their maneuvers on a judging a scale of 0.0 being the worst and 10.0 being perfect.
Since the surf team hasn’t had enough time to practice, the chances of them qualifying are not very high. Although the team would love to be able to go to the Olympics, the lack of practice from the lack of rain has caused the school board to decided to cancel the Surf Teams season this year. At a Metro League athletics meeting “we can’t have a sport take our money if they don’t even practice. Standing on a piece of cardboard in the grassy quad isn’t enough for us to allow this team to stay” said Supervisor of all California Athletics Carlowski. Oddly enough the team wasn’t funded by the school to start with so getting rid of a team that funded itself was heartbreaking. The team asked for some funding to rent out indoor surfing places, but the district quickly turned them down. The next week paying for a very costly auditorium at McClatchy “it’s not fair. We fundraise for all of our own equipment and the district couldn’t even help rent out one day of indoor surfing. It’s ridiculous” says Summer Washington.
Some of the participants are upset about the decision, and have attempted bringing lots of water bottles to the quad to try and form the lake. Due to the amount of work and money it would take to self make the lake they realized there was no way the surf team would be capable of staying. Some were very excited to be given the chance to try out for the olympics “I’ve been wanting to go to the Olympics since i was 10, and the one time I’m given the chance Lake Kennedy decides to not fill up and ruins my entry. Its upsetting but there’s nothing we can do, I had fun with my team while it lasted” says captain of the surf team Brad Wilkinson. His ambitious attitude gave people high hopes, but the chances of him getting into the Olympics were extremely low and would have no chance to qualify, but it was a cute idea.
Hopefully next year the storms will be worse and the surf team will have another chance to enter into the Olympics.