Athletic Cultures

It is officially a cliche that MVHS students only focus on studying. And by that logic, it appears that MVHS can’t support an athletic environment if students are too busy supporting their academic success. For many students here at MV, after-school sports take a large role in their daily lives, and according to them team sports foster unbreakable friendships. It goes beyond another time commitment though; these wins and losses define MVHS on a different field in a way academics can’t.

At a glance

A look at MVHS sports statistics

By Emma Lam, Sreya Kumar, Sarah Young

MVHS is known for stellar academics—in fact, according to Newsweek, it's one of the highest rated schools in the state. On the other hand when it comes to the athletics program, students assume sports are not a priority compared to academics. Do our teams really perform as badly as we anticipate?

What do we really know about MVHS sports? Check out the infographics below for a few statistics of our sports teams as of the 2017 school year.

  • My muscles slowly tensed up as I got ready to confront his demeaning behavior. Yet, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t back it up. My team just lost seven straight, what could I possibly say to refute his argument?
    Sonjun Na
  • Well, the problem is our parents. Yup, our insightful, lovable, always supportive parents.
    Songjun Na
  • In the end, even though I suffered through countless heartbreaks over the last four years as a high school soccer player, I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I was given. Soccer gave me the dedicated, strong-willed people that will stay friends with me for a lifetime. Soccer gave me the drive to push myself every single day. Soccer gave me an outlet to let out all my stress and anger on the field.
    Sonjun Na

Our struggle with mediocrity

Why Monta Vista sports culture is underwhelming

By Songjun Na


For the last 4 years of my life, soccer has given me so much happiness. I wouldn't trade anything else for soccer.

Our Parents

We are immensely grateful for them, but they are to blame for our struggles in sports.


No one respects us a sports school. So many of the Matadors put in so much effort into their respective sports. Yet, we still are demeaned.


MVHS sports culture allows us to be us. I'm truly grateful for that.

A field of ones and zeros

Video games breed a new type of athlete

By Anirudh Chaudry

I see a new generation of athletes emerging in our school, one whose playing field is not made of grass, asphalt or turf, but comprised of ones and zeros. The next generation of athletes are playing video games. Three years ago, the Electronic Software Association published a study that showed that 44% of parents thought that video games were bad for their kids. This is no surprise to anyone who grew up playing video games, including me, but to those outside of the gaming circle think videogames are a waste of time.

For many years now, students at MVHS have been earning money from professionally competing in video game competitions. The MVHS League of Legends club hosts a winter tournament every year that’s officially recognized by Riot Games, the developers of “League of Legends.” Winning teams earn dozens of dollars worth of in-game currency and other prizes awarded by the company. Back when I still played the game, I had gone to watch this tournament two years in a row. Crowds of students cheered for their peers like it was a real football game. This was not just a silly video game to us, it was a full on competitive sport.

MVHS has an abnormally large gaming culture. Whereas playing video games competitively would be an extremely niche hobby in other schools, it’s the norm here. It is not uncommon for students to challenge each other in “Super Smash Bros” on their 3DS’s during lunch or build huge networks amongst students so that there is always enough people ready to play a game of “Counter Strike” or “Player Unknown: Battlegrounds.”

Around all of these games came up superstar athletes. For three years, South Korea’s team SK Telecom T1 and their star player Faker took home the League of Legends World Cup and a 1 million USD prize, which was watched by 396 million viewers worldwide. The contracts these athletes are quite lucrative, too; Faker’s was worth $2.5 million. These players go through the same gruelling training athletes in any other sport would go through. Their diets are carefully monitored, they go through intense physical and mental exercise and training, and practice a minimum of nine hours a day.

Upon researching colleges in the UC system for applications, my eyes lit up when I saw that UC Irvine had a dedicated eSports team with big tech companies and sponsors and all the bells and whistles that any other sports team would get. Students from MVHS that I knew went to UCI play eSports for the school and have been getting scouted for professional North American teams.

Yet despite the prospects, legitimacy, and worldwide popularity of competitive eSports, many still see the idea of video games being on the same level of physical sports, which have stood the stand of time and and shaped entire cultures, as ridiculous. However, whether one were to support this or not, it’s undeniable that the industry is growing with its audience, and the superathletes of ones and zeros cannot be stopped.