Downey’s Nathan Lopez poised for breakout year

DOWNEY – Downey High School swimmer and water polo player Nathan Lopez is looking to have a breakout year in the pool. 

Lopez has been swimming his entire life and is looking forward to his junior year. As a freshman, Lopez was on the J.V. water polo team and qualified for C.I.F. but did not compete. As a sophomore, Lopez was on a S.G.V.L. champion J.V. team and placed ninth overall in the 200 IM and tenth overall in the 500 Freestyle in C.I.F. Division Four competition.

Lopez is currently competing for the Downey Dolphin Swim Club in the Western Zone Championships being held at West Clovis High School near Fresno. This event started Tuesday and will conclude tomorrow. 

There are more than 20 states represented and more than 700 swimmers competing. According to Lopez, “This is the largest swim meet I’ve ever been to.” Lopez is competing with Dolphin and Viking teammate Warner Rosales.

Nathan currently conducts swim lessons and works as a lifeguard during the summer. He is a busy young man who is learning the importance of time management at an early age. Effective time management will certainly serve Nathan well once he attends college and becomes more independent.

This fall, Lopez will be a sprinter on the varsity water polo team and looks “to break and set records in swim.”  Lopez will compete in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. 

Lopez currently has a G.P.A. of 3.6 and has received college interest by smaller schools in Ohio and Illinois. Nathan would like to be a fireman after he is done competitively swimming.  

■ The Downey Calvary Chapel football team will kick off their 2017 season when they travel to Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. The Grizzlies finished last season with an overall record of 5-4 and were 3-1 in league play. 

The Grizzlies will be led this season by QB/S Jacob Escalante, RB/WR Andrew Rangel, WR/DB Carlos Fuentes and TE/DE Julian Restrepo. The DCC program will suit up 24 players this year as compared to only 16 from last season. With a bigger roster, the Grizzlies can play more players and stay healthier longer.

DCC begin their two-a-day practices today in preparation for their season opener. Practices will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for the morning practice and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the evening practice.

Coach Nuno mentioned three games to watch out for this season. The first will be the Faith Baptist game on September 2. DCC lost that game 28-22 last season. The second will be the Flintridge Prep game on October 14. DCC won that game 38-37 last season. The third game will be the Chadwick game on October 21. DCC lost that game last season after several players were hurt and could not continue.

Coach Nuno, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of the 2017 football season. Muno firmly believes his team can qualify for postseason play “if they show up each day committed and always do our best for the Lord.”

■ The 2017 middle school sports programs will begin soon after fall classes start and all four middle schools will be competing for the coveted Champions Trophy. 

The first rotation of sports will be for sixth, seventh and eighth grade football and sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls’ volleyball. Last year Stauffer won sixth grade football, Doty won seventh grade football and Sussman won eighth grade football. Doty and Griffiths were co-champions in sixth grade girls’ volleyball and Doty won seventh and eighth grade girls’ volleyball.

The second rotation will be boys’ volleyball and girls’ soccer. Last year, Griffiths won sixth and seventh grade boys’ volleyball and Sussman won eighth grade boys’ volleyball. Doty won J.V. girls’ soccer and Griffiths and Stauffer were co-champions for Varsity girls’ soccer.

The third rotation will be boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ soccer. Last year, Stauffer won sixth grade boys’ basketball and Sussman won seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball. Sussman won sixth grade girls’ basketball and Doty won seventh and eighth grade girls’ basketball. Doty won J.V. boys’ soccer and Stauffer won eighth grade boys’ soccer.

The fourth rotation will be boys’ baseball and girls’ softball. Last season, Doty and Sussman were J.V. co-champions in baseball and Sussman was the boys’ Varsity champion in baseball. Griffiths was the J.V. champion in softball and Doty and Griffiths were co-champions for Varsity softball.

The fifth and final rotation will be boys’ and girls’ track. Last season, Doty won sixth and seventh grade boys’ track and Sussman won eighth grade boys’ track. Doty won sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls’ track. Doty won the Champions Trophy with 13.5 championships last year. Doty has also won the Champions Trophy each of the last four years.