By Britt R. and Zhuan Ee Y.
Season 1 has been an amazing start to the 2017-2018 sporting calendar for the International School of Beijing (ISB) Dragons! All ISB teams demonstrated commitment, dedication, and perseverance throughout the season. This recap highlights the efforts and accomplishments of athletes and coaches on the rugby, volleyball, cross-country, and baseball teams.
The girls’ rugby team went into the season with a positive attitude and a relatively new team. Over the first few weeks of practice, the girls not only improved their skills but also their understanding of the game. Leading up to their three major tournaments, they had quite a few games with the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), allowing them to get in lots of beneficial game experience. The girls did well at WABX, beating WAB to place third. At China Cup in Puxi, they placed third having crushed Hong Kong International School (HKIS) in their high-scoring final clash. Lastly, for APAC, the girls’ team traveled to HKIS where they faced difficult matches, as well as many unfortunate injuries. Despite losing several players, the girls placed fourth. All in all, an incredible season for a team which improved immensely, and made some great memories.
Having finished third place in APAC last year, the boys’ rugby team began the season with high hopes. The team lost both matches in the first weekend of games, before bouncing back to beat both WAB and Dulwich. The boys’ first game at the China Cup was against rugby powerhouse, HKIS. A blowout win for HKIS was anticipated, and although ISB lost three tries to five, the ISB team didn’t make it easy for HKIS. Beating Shanghai American School Pudong, the boys ended their China Cup journey with a third-place finish. On their return to Beijing, and with APAC looming, the coaches put the players through grueling training sessions. Well prepared, the boys did not expect to lose four games straight. However, on the last day of the tournament, the boys capitalized on big wins against Taejon Christian International School to finish the season on a high note. Even though the team didn’t achieve their dreams, the bond of friendships created between the coaches and athletes will carry on for a lifetime.
With last years’ team composed in the majority by seniors, this year ushered in a new era for the boys’ volleyball team who displayed great spirit and teamwork from the beginning of the season. Under the guidance of coaches Bujar Kumi and Jason Cuthbert, the team connected and worked well together. However, as a new team, they struggled, losing all four games and finishing fourth in the China Cup, and seventh in the tournament in Vietnam. Even though the season wasn’t what the team had hoped for, lasting memories and friendships were created through the strong chemistry that the boys had displayed with each other through the season. Hopefully, the boys will have a better result next season!
The girls’ volleyball team had an exciting season, even getting to travel to Brent International School Manila for Super APAC. The team was extremely strong placing second at the China Cup in Hong Kong! Leading up to APAC, the girls were motivated to work hard. In the Philippines, the girls were placed in the hardest pool, making it a difficult tournament for them. However, after the first few games, the girls bounced back ultimately placing ninth.
The cross-country team participated in many competitions that included a meet in Bangkok, a meet at ISB, and of course, APAC. At APAC, the team finished fourth overall, and Luke S. gave an outstanding individual performance, placing first overall for the boys’ pool across all APAC teams. With Luke’s talent and some other new faces, the cross-country team looks extremely strong for next year.
The baseball team had many fresh new faces this year. The appearance of numerous new players was a sign of hope that this year will be the year that great things will happen. Early in the season, the team won relatively few games. However, the hot weather did not stop the drive of the players at China Cup, and the team placed third overall. Unfortunately, the team could not repeat their China Cup form at APAC, and they finished seventh. Though the season was rough for the baseball team, some positives still can be drawn with the third place overall at China Cup and so many fresh faces joining the team.
The ISB Tennis players saw their fair share of success this season, with some really outstanding performances along the way in both singles and doubles competition. They were definitely the team that had most tournament action since August, taking part in ISAC, Tri-Cities, China Cup, and APAC. At China Cup our varsity boys team came within a whisker of beating HKIS, losing out and finishing second by the narrowest of margins. At Super APAC, the boys struggled to find that same form amid intense competition, but finished a creditable fourth place out of the 12 APAC schools.
The girls, despite not doing as well at China Cup really bounced back with a vengeance at APAC to finish fourth out of 12, with Terri and Stephanie absolutely killing it in the girls doubles to make the finals and finish in second place. Overall a great season and an unbelievable amount of tournament tennis played.
All Dragons should be extremely proud of their hard work and efforts. Season one was amazing and now it’s time to look forward to season two!