Dragons on Fire Early
April 16th, 2003
The Dragons, Stuyvesant’s boys’ handball team, have started the season on fire. In the team’s two games against the High School of Graphic Communication Arts and Park West High School, they have overwhelmed their opponents, barely allowing any of them to score 10 points.
Last year, the Dragons clinched the division championship, as their first doubles team took first place in the city. This year, that tandem has been split up, as senior Vadim Albinsky and junior co-captain Gian Florendo are now the top two starting singles players. Junior Peter Gao has moved up to play third singles and junior Tiankan Li has developed a beautiful kill shot and a low power serve. Li played second singles against Park West and demolished their starter, allowing him less than five points in a 21-point match.
Furthermore, The Dragons are confident that this year’s newcomers will continue to improve and help the team. A notable rookie is sophomore and lefty Brian Yuen, whose polished game made him a standout in tryouts. “The new members are a welcome addition,” said Florendo. “I didn’t expect to see the rookies to be as strong as they are. It was a pleasant surprise.”
However, there are flaws in the team. Many of the players’ weaknesses lie in the control and consistency of their offhand, and the team is working on this limitation at every practice.
Regardless, the season looks promising to the Dragons. “There will be tough opponents we will have to face eventually,” Coach Robert Sandler said, “but with hard work and practice, I can see us winning the city champs.” Once the weather gets warmer, the team will be able to hold intense practices more often.
“I think we have a chance at winning cities this year,” added Gao. “We only have one senior on the team so the roster will remain relatively the same next year. All our players are strong. We’ve always had extremely good doubles players and this year is no different.”
Florendo summed up the team’s hopes. “We’re going to go through hell to get where we need to be so that we win the city championships this year.”