Summer Fun

Students, teachers enjoy time to pursue their passions


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This summer was a memorable one for many students and teachers at the Islands!

Some people vacationed outside of California, whereas others drove just a few miles away from Oxnard. Either way, they still had a pretty awesome break.

Adrian Leon Gonzalez and Mr. Sam Kochel were two of the many Raiders who had a blast during their summer break.

Gonzalez, also known as “Gallo,” is a junior who competed in several out-of-state soccer tournaments over the summer.

Gonzalez and his teammates traveled to a few locations, the first of which was Temecula, California. It was here where the team, Santos Laguna White, won their very first tournament.

The second tournament was in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they stayed for one week. Gonzalez and his team won the Utah tournament as well.

Next, they headed to another tournament in Auburndale, Florida.

The team practiced the day before a game, for each game.

Gonzalez felt nervous during every tournament. “Before the first whistle blew for the start of every game, I was really nervous,” Gonzalez said, “but while I was on the field playing, I felt like I was playing any other game.”

Adrian Gonzalez, front left, was one of several CI students on a winning travel team.

Gonzalez and his team stayed in Auburndale for a week. In this tournament, they played teams from Texas, New Jersey, and Missouri.

Santos Laguna White had won all three of these games. They won the first game 2-1, tied the second game 1-1, and beat the third team 1-0.

The championship game was up next, which they won by 2-0. After Santos Laguna White won the game, Gonzalez and his team celebrated in a very touching way.

“After the championship, we celebrated together as a team,” Gonzalez stated. “After the final whistle blew, many of us were smiling, hugging each other, and some cried tears of joy. It was just an amazing feeling.”

Mr. Kochel, the social science teacher, went on a very exciting trip this summer as well. He visited the Son Doong Cave in Central Vietnam.

He and his wife, who traveled with him, met a few amazing people during the trip. They met an Iron Man participant who ran in an ultramarathon, an Army captain, and the director of iTunes for Apple.

Mr. Kochel, his wife, and the other visitors hiked through a huge jungle to reach the cave.

“The Son Doong Cave looked — and was — very terrifying,” said Mr. Kochel. All of the travelers were mandated to wear harnesses, helmets, head lights, and gloves. They stayed in the cave for 4 days and 3 nights.

The Son Doong Cave was discovered back in 2009 and is the largest cave in the world. In fact, the cave is so big that it could fit a 40-story skyscraper. One can even fly a jumbo jet through it!

New species of bugs and fish were discovered within the Son Doong Cave. Mr. Kochel even had the chance to swim in the water inside the cave.

He was very lucky to sightsee the cave as the Vietnamese government limits how many people can go. “It felt like being in another planet,” Mr. Kochel stated.

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