On the cross country scene, the Bucs under coaches John Jacobs (second year) and Barry Dancher (fourth year) have been building a strong base with exceptional younger athletes, though Jacobs notes the team’s returning seniors and juniors are sure to perform well.
Seniors Dylan Kasper and Jason Watts are running well this year, both of whom have set their sights on the state meet, according to Jacobs.
“This year we are focusing on building a more cohesive and competitive top five for both girls and boys,” Jacobs commented.
On the boys beach volleyball scene, head coach Nikki Caufield is hoping to move the program ahead in only its second year.
“Accordingly, all our players were playing beach volleyball for the first time and we were in a league in which we were the only first-year program,” Caufield remarked. “Thus, while we won some games last year, the season was primarily a learning experience for the boys in that many of the boys had never played volleyball, much less beach volleyball, before the season started.
“This year we return most of last year's squad and have added nine freshmen to the program in addition to some boys off last year’s indoor squad for a total of 20 new and returning players.”
According to Caufield, key returners include seniors Kieran Wills and Jacob Cayetano.
Other new and returning players looking to make an early season impact include seniors Dylan Kasper and Alejandro Torres, sophomore Zander Caufield, junior Stephen Tarbell and freshmen Ian Briski and Dusty Schrader.
The leagues have re-aligned for beach volleyball such that Mission Bay will be playing in a small-school division rather than the large-school division that the Bucs played in last year.
The season started a week ago with a match against La Jolla High School, the San Diego County Open Division champions from last year that Mission Bay narrowly lost 3-2.
"We knew that playing the open division champions from last year would be a challenge, especially with a few boys just returning from injury and/or vacation, but we are really proud of the way the boys played Sept. 1,” Caufield said.
“Last year we were swept by La Jolla, this year we narrowly lost 3-2, with our number three team of Dylan Kasper and Huntley Castner narrowly losing their match even though Huntley has been missing due to injury for nearly a month."
Most of Mission Bay’s matches will be played on Thursday afternoons either in Ocean Beach and/or the "Pit" across the street from the Belmont Park roller coaster.
On the boys water polo scene, head coach John Knight and the Bucs are going after CIF gold.
A year ago, Mission Bay reached the CIF quarterfinals, with Knight noting this year’s team goal being to win CIFs.
According to Knight, the team will be anchored by Andy Dorris, Mitchel Meara and Alex Bauer.