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Fairmont Community Unites in Strong Support of Huskies

Whether they’re getting their faces painted or cheering as loudly as they can in the stands, students in the Fairmont community know how to support their basketball teams.

On Wednesday, the Avalon High School Lancers made the trek from Catalina Island to take on the Fairmont Prep Huskies in girls and boys basketball. Both games were played in the middle of the day, creating the opportunity for junior high students from the Anaheim Hills, Historic Anaheim, and North Tustin campuses to be part of an exciting trip to Fairmont Prep to root for the Huskies.

After students ate lunch on the Fairmont Prep campus and had the chance to show their Husky pride with face paint, they made their way to the gym to learn various chants from the Fairmont Prep cheerleaders and then watch an exciting dunk contest, featuring three varsity players — freshman shooting guard/small forward Pape Momar Cisse, sophomore power forward Junior Nuesso, and junior center Mawutor Nogoson — and Fairmont Prep girls varsity volleyball coach Phil Lopez.

Cisse gets major elevation to slam it down in the Huskies’ 67-14 win over the Lancers.

The dunk contest was full of anticipation and celebration from the boisterous crowd as each contestant did his best to do a little showboating and actually make the dunk count. By crowd noise voting, Cisse walked away with the victory and, to show his appreciation, threw down one more turnaround dunk that sent the students into another joyous uproar.

The girls team then took the court, and it was a one-sided contest from the start. The Huskies led 39-14 at halftime and walked away with a final 79-21 victory.

It was a similar story for the boys, who dominated the first half 35-1. The entire game was available via live stream as announcers provided ongoing commentation. At halftime, the younger schools left to return to their campuses, and the Fairmont Prep students were able to fill in the stands and support their team. While the Lancers tried to put up a fight, they were no match for the Huskies, who walked away with a 67-14 win.

Head basketball coach Joedy Gardner said that, while it’s challenging to coach and keep his players motivated with they pull ahead with such a large lead so early in the game, he was proud of the way the Huskies stayed disciplined, played solid defense, and continued to play for one another against the Lancers.

“It’s really easy when you get a big lead not to play the right way — it becomes very individualized,” he said. “But this is probably the most unselfish team I’ve ever coached, and we practice that. We work on these types of situations in practice. The kids are very intelligent, so they get it; they buy in. That’s what great about this group — they’ve all bought in to their roles.”

And the support from the entire Fairmont community certainly helped the Huskies keep the energy alive and fight until the final buzzer.

“This is part of the culture change that we’re trying to establish here, and it’s really important to get all of our students involved,” Gardner said. “It was a great idea to have [our junior high and high school students] be able to experience it. We were trying to keep the energy up so that people get excited and see that we’re for real and that we’re a team that’s fun to come watch.”

The students in the crowd weren’t the only ones who got pumped up about cheering for the Huskies — the players felt their energy and were able to use it on the court.

“[Their support] keeps up the morale of the team, and they really motivate us,” Nogoson said. “It elevates our game.”

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”