Page 1

The Year In Review M EW RO I T V KS NG







Get Paly scores by e-mail every morning in Sign up for Express, the daily e-mail news digest from Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly, and find out how Paly teams fared, with links to stories and stats. Plus an update on local news and upcoming community events. Sent every weekday morning at 10 a.m. Join 13,000 others and sign up for Express by going to and clicking on the link at the top of the page. Or, visit and find stories, photos, schedules and other updates on all high school and Stanford teams.

24/7 online

Fridays in print

Weekday mornings via e-mail

Volume V, Issue 6 May 2012

Staff List Editors-in-Chief Kevin Dukovic Alan Lamarque Nora Rosati

Business Managers Hilda Huang Michael Strong Senior Staff Mira Ahmad Paige Borsos Sam Borsos Peter Dennis John Dickerson Marina Foley Sapir Frozenfar Kevin Kannappan Emy Kelty Jacob Lauing Brennan Miller Nathan Norimoto Shannon Scheel Alana Schwartz Nikolai Solgaard

Design Editor Nina Kelty Managing Editors Charlotte Biffar Spencer Drazovich Austin Poore Sammy Solomon Photo Editors Scotty Bara Grant Shorin Columnist Jonny Glazier

Staff Anthony Amanoni Emma Beckstrom Julia Farino Michelle Friedlander Colin Patterson Rohit Ramkumar

Video Editor Annie Susco

Adviser Ellen Austin

The Viking Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: Letters to the editor The Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School’s Advanced Magazine Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The Viking is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Advertising in The Viking The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by email at or call 650-329-3837 for more information. Printing Services The Viking is printed six times a year by Fricke-Parks Press in Fremont, Calif.

MAY 2012 | 3

The Lineup

May 2012 Volume V, Issue 6

JASMINE TOSKY Female Upperclassman Athlete of the Year by Anne Hildebrand photo by Grant Shorin

page 44



26 Awards

15 Kickoff

Coach of the Year

Inside the Mind: Nicky Hu (‘12) 10 Questions: Lydia Guo (‘12) Pop Culture Hot or Not

Female Team of the Year Male Team of the Year Female Upperclassman of the Year

20 Wrap-ups

Male Upperclassman of the Year

28 Features

Female Underclassman of the Year

Olympic Previews London 2012

Home Field Advantage

50 Columns Shannon Says Last Word


Male Underclassman of the Year Alok Subbarao

In Memoriam 8 Emily Benatar (‘11) 1993-2012 w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

photo by Alex Kershner



An overview of the senior athletes committed to playing in college.

A recap of Paly’s best and worst moments from the 2011-2012 sports year.


by Emy Kelty


by Mira Ahmad, Sam Borsos and Nathan Norimoto


Male Upperclassman Athlete of the Year by Colin Patterson photo by Scotty Bara

page 46

photo by Scotty Bara


photo by Anne Hildebrand


photo by Scotty Bara


photo by Scotty Bara






Volleyball coach Dave Winn was voted as Coach of the Year.

The Viking selected volleyball and boys’ track as Teams of the Year.

Katie Foug (‘15) and Keller Chryst (‘14) represent the Underclassmen of the Year.

The Viking honors Arun Varma (‘12) with its annual Alok Subbarao Award.

by Sammy Solomon and Austin Poore

by Michelle Friedlander and Rohit Ramkumar

by John Dickerson

by Paige Borsos

MAY 2012 | 5

Intro/from the Editors

Letter from the Editors Dear Readers, We’re proud to present this sixth and final issue of The Viking for the 2011-2012 school year. Before going further, however, we’d like to extend a huge thank-you to the editors who are now passing us the torch, Emy Kelty and Nathan Norimoto. Their energetic leadership and unrivaled passion for the publication has rubbed off

on all three of us and we look forward to following in their footsteps next year. We are thrilled to continue the esteemed legacy they and the four preceding Viking leadership staffs have left us, and we eagerly anticipate expanding on that legacy during our time as editors. This issue contains the annual Year In

Review summation that provides closure on a fantastic year of Paly athletics. We hope you enjoy this issue of The Viking. Have a fabulous summer and GO PALY!

See you in August, Kevin, Alan and Nora

We love our seniors

Over the past year, our 16 seniors have served us well. From the very first day, they have mentored and supported us. We wish these seniors the best of luck with their bright futures and thank them wholeheartedly for their work on The Viking.

Mira Ahmad

John Dickerson

Paige Borsos

Sam Borsos

Peter Dennis

Sapir Frozenfar

Marina Foley

Anne Hildebrand

Kevin Kannappan

Emy Kelty

Nathan Norimoto

Shannon Scheel


w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Jacob Lauing

Brennan Miller

Alana Schwartz

Nikolai Solgaard

Staff View Year’s sporting events bring community together


aly Strong. That was the motto for the 2012 Palo Alto High School girls’ lacrosse team. From their grueling preseason workouts to their emotional elimination in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) semifinals, this close-knit group of girls took their own interpretation of the United States Army’s slogan and grew even closer with every step they took as a team. The Viking believes that while each high and low moment of the school year may entail its own emotional response, it without a doubt brings the community closer. In the case of girls’ lacrosse, the team suffered two huge blows this season. Due to a Central Coast Section (CCS) transfer technicality discovered on April 19, the team was forced to forfeit six league victories, dropping its record from 8-1 to 2-7. Although this infraction brought the Lady Vikes from first place to the bottom of their division, a playoff berth was still a statistical possibility. “We were all frustrated and pretty down at that point,” midfielder Layla Memar (‘12) said. “But if anything, it forced us to work harder and focus more. Having an obstacle and having to overcome it made us stronger as a team.” So they bounced back, winning five of their six remaining games and clinching a spot in the league semifinals against first place St. Francis, where they eventually lost, 20-9. But the girls’ lacrosse team had experienced an even greater loss earlier that day, when Emily Benatar (‘11), cocaptain of the 2010-2011 team, died of bacterial meningitis at the young age of 19. As word of Benatar’s passing spread, her former teammates responded, cre-

PALY STRONG Several Paly students support the varsity girls’ lacrosse team on May 11. The Lady Vikes lost 20-9 to St. Francis. ating an eye-capturing memorial with flowers displayed in a heart shape, personal notes, decorative posters and candles by the lacrosse field fence to honor the loss of a fallen teammate, former captain and, above all, friend. This shrine was visible from the quad, where over one hundred Paly students gathered during fifth period, some assisting in the decorations and others observing the memorial, sitting in tears, and sharing their memories of Benatar. This loss in the Paly community highlighted an important aspect of sports that every Paly team can learn from; although we often come together in celebration after a win, the way

in which a team and community unite after a tough loss can be just as important. Our community came together this year when our hometown hero Jeremy Lin (‘06) took the NBA by storm and proved all his skeptics wrong. We put together a parade downtown to commemorate the Paly volleyball and football State Championship seasons last season, and rejoiced when the volleyball team won it all again this year. Whether we band together to overcome an obstacle, support each other in a time of need, or celebrate a victory, the emotional moments we experience as a team inevitably bring us closer together. <<<

News Brief

News of death of Paly alum reaches campus Former Palo Alto High School varsity cross-country runner and 2010-2011 girls’ lacrosse co-captain Emily Benatar (‘11) died of complications arising from bacterial meningitis at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. on the morning of Wednesday, May 10. Benatar, 19, had been attending Washington University in St. Louis as a freshman when diagnosed with the disease last month. For the full story, go to

MAY 2012 | 7

In Memoriam


Photo by Allie Shorin

ZOOM SLOW DOWN... ...You know you can’t catch him. E.J. Floreal (‘13) breezes to first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.61 seconds at the SCVAL Championship at Santa Clara High School on May 11. At one point in the season Floreal held the fastest 100 and 200 meter times in California. Photo by Scotty Bara MAY 2012 | 11


ZOOM VIKING PIKING Alex Francis (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;13) completes the opening of a one and a half pike somersault at the Palo Alto Invitational at Paly on April 14. Photo by Hilda Huang MAY 2012 | 13

Business of One

Kate Wilson PHP, Ajax, Linux HTML5, Java, MySQL, C++ avg. rating 25 jobs

Intro/Nicky Hu

Inside the Mind of

On The ‘Tool Belt’ It’s kind of an unofficial name for my group of friends of about 10 guys. It ignites some rivalries between us and other unofficially named groups.

On Senior Advice Don’t take hard classes senior year, because you will really regret it second semester when you lose all motivation. Do not take AP Econ. You will struggle to get a “B”.

Favorite Quotes “Not everything that counts can be





great men.”

Nicky Hu As told to Alana Schwartz photo by Sammy Solomon

On Staying in a Relationship in College It’s not worth it to stay in a relationship unless you think there’s a long term future, which I think mine does.

On Tennis at Harvard I’m pretty excited. The coach talked to me pretty early on and I got pretty lucky. I snagged one of the three recruiting spots this year at Harvard and the coach is expecting me to play pretty highly on the team next year. The team actually got ranked 16th in the country this year (the year before I go), so hopefully my year [and the next] we will be top-10 in the country.

MAY 2012 | 1 5




Higher SAT/ACT scores in less time. Our 1-on-1 tutoring is the most efficient and effective way to improve your score, while our small group classes provide students with a positive, dynamic and collaborative learning environment that fits your budget. Racquets • Apparel • Shoes S t r i n g i n g • J r. E q u i p m e n t / A p p a r e l To w n & C o u n t r y Vi l l a g e 9 9 B 855 El Camino Real, 659.328.3223

Palo Alto CA 94301

w w w. t e n n i s t o w n a n d c o u n t r y. c o m

Mon Sat 10 - 6, Sun 12 -5

Personalized approach with proven results. Over 10 years of rapid growth thanks to the enthusiastic word of mouth from thousands of clients from Paly, Gunn, Menlo, Menlo Atherton, Sacred Heart, Castilleja, Woodside Priory, St. Francis, Mountain View and Los Altos. Charismatic, professional and flexible tutors.

Q uestions 10 with

Lydia Guo

As told to Marina Foley

We went to senior Paly track star Lydia Guo to ask her 10 questions about herself. We then asked the same 10 questions to her friends/teammates Aaron Zelinger (‘12) and Torie Nielsen (‘12), and coach Jason Fung to see who knows Lydia best.

Lydia Guo

Senior Track Runner

Traveling & country music

Category Best part of summer

When I tripped Pippa

Most embarrassing track moment

Good food in the city

Best thing about NYU

The 4 by 1 and Niko

Favorite part of track

Tank top and shorts

Go-to summer outfit

The beach

Favorite summer hang-out spot

The 4 by 1

Best track event

Coach Fung and Pippa Salad and chicken Lauren Wong (‘12)

Images taken from

What You’ll Miss Most About Paly

Pre-meet snack Best friend

Aaron Zelinger Boyfriend

Monterey Bay Aquarium Trips and falls

Torie Nielsen Friend, Teammate

No school Getting “cutest couple” with Tremaine Kirkman (‘12)

Jason Fung Track Coach

No school Don’t have one

She is

Their mascot. Go Violets!

It’s not home

Pippa and babysitting Fung’s Kids

Pippa and the 4 by 1

6 a.m. practice

Classy short shorts In bed (napping) 4 by 100 Very special friends Cottage cheese and other nasty things Lauren Wong


Shorts, rainbows and shades

Flip-flops and shorts

Anywhere with Aaron Zelinger (‘12)

Aaron Zelinger’s house

The 4 by 1

4 by 100 relay

Fung and his kids

Coach Fung

Bananas and Luna Bars

Luna Bar

Food and Toby (her dog)




Athlete Advice from Guo Find a sport you love and focus on it. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do in order to please the people around you. MAY 2012 | 1 7

Intro Section

Explain Yourself...

“Swing batta SWING. The ump better call this a strike.” -Julia Saul (‘14)

photo by Hilda Huang

POSITIVE THINKING Pitcher Julia Saul (‘14) fires a pitch during a win over Santa Clara High School on April 20.

P Culture Grid

The op W H A T D O P A LY AT H L E T E S S AY ?

Oakleys or Ray-Bans? Favorite summer activity I’d like to see ___ streak. Summer movie I’m anticipating Where da party at? 18 | T H E V I K I N G |






Baseball (‘12)

Lacrosse (‘13)

Track (‘12)

Swimming (‘15)

Sleeping in

Baseball No guys

Going to the beach

The beach

Torie Nielsen (‘12)

Pool basketball at Tyler’s

Track (‘14) Oakleys



The Dark Knight Rises

Wherever I am

The Hills

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m



Meghan Byrd (‘12)

Chris Ramirez (‘12)

The Valenti’s

The weight room




Brennan Miller (‘12)

The Lucky One Pool party at my house!




winning percentage volleyball Coach Dave Winn has accumulated in his six-year tenure at Paly


Katie Foug’s fastest mile time, run at the CCS semifinals


number of Paly ath E.J. Floreal’s best time for the 100 meter dash, letes participating in the 2012 USA Summer Olympic trials good for fourth in Calif.

Sit back and relax Paly! Take a seat on one of the new additions to the quad. Chill with your friends or get a tan on your own time, all thanks to ASB who hooked up the quad with some new stress-relieving lounge accessories. Way to put all that excess money to good use guys!


Nothing says summertime like a tan. We’re not talking about the beds or spray tans; it is time to absorb some Vitamin D from real rays. With the California sunshine that we’ve been getting, it’s easy! Get out in the sun and get your golden brown on!


HOT Like countless colleges, the Paly quad has become infested with frisbee players. If you see a shirtless senior guy running around, it’s not your usual shenanigans; it’s fris - Paly’s most addicting and seductive sport.


Senioritis has been spreading like wildfire, just in time for AP testing. Unfortunately, seniors had to study hard despite their urge to slack off. Hopefully it will pay off.

One of Paly’s most fun and beloved traditions has been on the brink of total cancellation. Thanks to some last minute work and a response to the student body’s protest against the cancellation, powderpuff will still take over the Paly quad, just a little bit later.



NOT MAY 2012 | 1 9




A review of Paly sports this year For more online coverage and game recaps visit:

For a team that had lost eight seniors from the previous season, the girls’ water polo team exceeded all expectations and finished the season with a 14-11 overall record. The girls qualified for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) playoffs in which they won their first round game, dominating Wilcox 15-3. Despite losing to the Los Altos Eagles in the quarterfinals of the SCVAL playoffs, the girls qualified for the Central Coast Section (CCS) tournament, and although they lost in the sec-

ond round, they were proud of their season. “This year our team worked hard and became a competitive part of the league,” driver Abbey Kinnaman (‘13) said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished this year.” The team is graduating four seniors, including co-captains Skylar Dorosin and Shannon Scheel, which will hurt the team’s goal-scoring production, but next year’s captains Kinnaman and Martine Leclerc (‘13) will look to lead their team deep into the CCS tournament playoffs.

photo by Scotty Bara


Skylar Dorosin (‘12) photo by Grant Shorin

BOYS’ WATER POLO The boys’ water polo team ended its season with an overall record of 1713, losing in the semifinals of both the SCVAL and CCS tournaments. After a disappointing loss to Gunn High School on Senior Night, the boys entered the SCVAL playoffs with renewed fire and energy. The Vikes made it all the way to the semifinals where Gunn stopped them again by beating them in a tight 15-14 contest. However, the Vikings performed well

20 | T H E V I K I N G |

enough in their league that they were able to gain valuable experience and qualify for the CCS playoffs, where they lost to Bellarmine in the semifinals. The team will graduate four seniors, opening an especially large hole at goalie where Daniel Armitano (‘12) played this year. Despite these heavy losses, none of their top three scorers were seniors and there is a surplus of talented underclassmen on the squad.

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Peter Rockhold (‘12)

Feature Story

The football team finished the season with a disappointing loss to the Bellarmine Bells in the CCS Open Division Championship. The Vikings were disappointed to not follow up their 2010 State Championship victory with another. The team, which finished with a record of 8-2, was led by sophomore standout quarterback Keller Chryst, who transferred to Paly at the beginning of the year, and B.J. Boyd (‘12). Boyd was especially dominant this season, averaging 88 rush-

photo by Scotty Bara


ing yards per game and 12 points per game. The veteran offensive line, anchored by three year starter Tory Prati (‘12), added much needed experience and stability to an otherwise young and inexperienced team, and did an immaculate job protecting Chryst. The team will graduate 20 seniors but is still looking to reload and come back as a formidable force in the SCVAL next season. With returning players such as Chryst and Matt Tolbert (‘13), the future looks bright for the Vikings. Erik Anderson (‘13)

With frontrunner Katie Foug (‘15) and other strong performances from Chika Kasahara (‘13), Audrey DeBruine (‘14), Nora Rosati (‘13) and Sophia Robinson (‘15), the girls’ cross-country team finished second in the Palo Alto City meet, third in the SCVAL Championship meet and sixth in the CCS Championship meet to end its season. Though the team was unable to qualify for the State Championship meet, Foug qualified and raced as an indi-

photo by Grant Shorin

GIRLS’ CROSS-COUNTRY vidual to represent the Lady Vikes. The Lady Vikes also performed well in the invitational meets including 12th out of 29 teams in the Stanford Invitational, second in the Cal Poly Invitational and third in the Lowell Invitational. The Vikings will not lose many seniors this year and hopes for a strong season next year are running high. The team looks to Kasahara, Rosati, DeBruine, Foug and Robinson to lead it forward into the 2012-2013 season. Maryssa Sklaroff (‘13)

photo by Anne Hildebrand

BOYS’ CROSS-COUNTRY The varsity boys’ cross-country team had somewhat of an unsuccessful season, which ended with a disappointing sixthplace finish in the SCVAL league race. Senior runner Nikolai Solgaard managed to finish first for Paly and 13th overall with a time of 16 minutes and 39 seconds in the league race. Sam Carilli (‘12) finished second for the Vikings at 29th overall, while Ben May (‘13) and Ben Hawthorne

(‘13) tied for third at 31st and 32nd overall. Although the team is going to be losing some strong runners like Solgaard, Carilli, William Hall (‘12) and Corso Rosati (‘12), it will also be returning key runners such as May, Hawthorne, Kevin Lavelle (‘12), Justin Zhang (‘13) and Matan Geller (‘13), as well as several promising underclassmen for the 2012-2013 season. Longtime coach Joe Ginnani will not be returning to coach the 2012-2013 team next year. Sam Carilli (‘12)

photo by Hilda Huang

GIRLS’ TENNIS After qualifying only two singles players to play in a doubles match in CCS, the young girls’ tennis team is looking to rebound from close losses this year and send more players to CCS next year. After winning third place in the annual Paly Invitational tournament, the Lady Vikes faced stiff opposition from Saratoga and Monta Vista. Despite two close 4-3 losses against Lynbrook and Mountain View, the team was able to slide past rival Gunn High

School 4-3 midway through the season. With a 4-6 league record, the team placed fourth in the SCVAL, falling short of qualifying for the CCS Championships as a team. After graduating only one senior, Amy Ke, next year’s team will showcase strong singles players, including Aashli Budhiraja (‘14) and Sammy Solomon (‘13), as well as a strong doubles lineup. “I’m really looking forward to next year,” head coach Andy Harader said.

Aashli Budhiraja (‘14)

MAY 2012 | 21

After an unexpected loss to crosstown rival Gunn High School early in the season, the Paly girls’ basketball team came back with a vengeance. The high point of the Vikings’ season was a 47-46 victory over the Wilcox Chargers. Emilee Osagiede (‘12) scored 16 points in the victory, 14 of which were scored in the fourth quarter. After being down by as many as 16 points at one point in the contest, the Lady Vikes tied the game up with

only five seconds left. Then Osagiede came through again for the Vikings by sinking the game-winning free throw with seconds remaining. The win vaulted the team into first place in the De Anza Division of the SCVAL. The team, which ended up ranked second in CCS’s Division I, was led by Osagiade, Stephanie Allen (‘13) and Lindsay Black (‘12). The girls made it all the way to the CCS Championship game where they lost to Gunn in heartbreaking fashion.

Despite a strong 10-2 record in league, the Vikings saw their season come to an end at the hand of rival St. Francis in the CCS playoffs. High-scorer E.J. Floreal (‘13) and shooting guard Aubrey Dawkins (‘13) will have to continue their strong play in the upcoming season if the Vikings hope to recover from the loss of five seniors. For next year, the Vikings expect to get back some of the younger players who chose to leave the squad this year, including Eilon Tzur (‘13).

Stephanie Allen (‘13) photo by Sammy Solomon

BOYS’ BASKETBALL After a deluge of junior players left the team, it appeared as if the 2012 Paly boys’ basketball team would crumble. However, after strong contributions from seniors Israel Hakim and Alec Wong, the Vikes managed to pull out an impressive 21-5 record in their 2011-2012 campaign. “We had really good team chemistry,” center Tory Prati (‘12) said. “Despite having a small roster we were able to overcome this obstacle and have a successful season.”

photo by Scotty Bara


Aubrey Dawkins (‘13)

The Paly varsity girls’ soccer team (2-8-2 league, 7-8-2 overall) finished a mediocre season by failing to earn a spot in the CCS playoffs. The Lady Vikes’ two toughest opponents, Los Gatos High School and Mountain View High School, were responsible for four of the team’s losses this season, but these games were compensated by late season victories over both Saratoga High School and rival Gunn. The Lady Vikes spent the majority of the season adjusting to the new coaching

photo by Scotty Bara

GIRLS’ SOCCER style of Kurt Devlin and filling in the gaps of the graduating class of 2011, as well as adjusting to injured players who were unable to participate in the season. The team graduates nine seniors including Lily Seedman, Marina Foley, Mayssen Labidi, Emily Brown, Suzanna Ackroyd, Hannah Totte, Mira Ahmad and Emy Kelty. The team looks to Nina Kelty (‘13), Erin Chang (‘13) and Jordan Smith (‘13) to lead it into next year’s upcoming season. Lena Chang (‘15)

photo by Scotty Bara

BOYS’ SOCCER The Palo Alto boys’ soccer team (0-8-2 league, 0-14-4 overall) finished in last place in league this year and will be demoted to the El Camino Division due to its poor record. Many attribute the disappointing record to the absence of returning varsity players, including Gerrit van Zyll (‘12), Skyler Felt (‘13), Grant Shorin (‘13), Josh Totte (‘14), Peter Laminette (‘13), Fede Clerici (‘12) and Kris Hoglund (‘12). This year’s team consisted of mostly under-

22 | T H E V I K I N G |

classmen and inexperienced players. The team was further hurt when returning varsity players Geraldo Neto (‘12) and Michael Sullivan (‘13) left mid-season for similar reasons. As a whole, the team scored only four goals all season. However, despite the team’s poor record this year, the Vikings have potential to succeed this coming season against weaker competition in the El Camino Division. A first place finish in the El Camino Division would permit the team to rejoin the De Anza Division.

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Kirby Gee (‘13)

Feature Story

The Paly varsity wrestling team (5-1 in league) finished its season first in SCVAL for the first time in two years. The season started off on a high note for the Vikings when they defeated the rival Gunn High School Titans with a narrow 36-31 victory in their first taste of competition. The team went on to win four more dual meets with its only loss coming against Los Gatos High School. The team was very proud of the outcome of the season.

After the successful season, 14 varsity wrestlers at Paly qualified for the SCVAL tournament, and, following grueling SCVAL and CCS tournaments, the team sent three wrestlers, Andrew Frick (‘14), Kalen Gans (‘12) and Nick Ortiz (‘12), to the State Tournament. Other notable performances include those from James Giaccia (‘15), Trenton Marshall (‘13) and Gary Hohbach (‘13), who helped lead the team with an abundance of pins in the lightweights and midweights.

photo by Emy Kelty


Christian Lonsky (‘12)

The girls’ lacrosse team finished the season on a disappointing note with an emotional 20-9 loss to St. Francis in the first round of the SCVAL playoffs on Wednesday, May 9. The game came the same day as news of the passing of 2011 team captain Emily Benatar (‘11), who died of bacterial meningitis in Saint Louis on Tuesday night. The team ended up compiling an overall record of 7-12 after a drama-filled roller coaster ride that included the forfeiture of six league victories due to faulty paperwork. The team was set to take the No. 1 seed in the SCVAL playoffs this year before being informed of a CCS

photo by Grant Shorin


rules violation late in the season that caused the automatic forfeit of six league victories. This year, the team was led by co-captains Kimmie Flather (‘12) and Emy Kelty (‘12), and supplemented by Division I-bound juniors Charlotte Biffar (UC Berkeley) and Nina Kelty (USC). The four combined for over 61 percent of the team’s 237 goals on the season. Although the loss of players like E. Kelty, Flather, and Layla Memar (‘12) will hurt the team in the coming year, the Vikes are left in good hands with several returning starters, including Biffar, N. Kelty and netminder Emma Beckstrom (‘13). Simone Buteau (‘13)

Even after a season that saw a profusion of injuries to players such as J.P. Flather (‘14) (meniscus), Logan Mendenhall (‘13) (ankle), Tyler Valenti (‘13) (thumb) and defenseman Scotty Bara (‘13) (shoulder), things were still looking up for the Vikes after a decisive 18-5 victory over Carlmont High School in the first round of the playoffs. However, the Vikings’ season ended with a frustrating 12-9 loss to Menlo Atherton in the SCVAL semifinals. The Vikings finished third in league be-

hind second place Menlo-Atherton and first place Sacred Heart Preparatory. The team is graduating six seniors this season, including Kris Hoglund, Matt Lam, Lukas Peterson, Nathan Norimoto, Kalen Gans and Gabe Landa. Hoglund finished the year with almost 50 goals, 19 assists and a two goal per game average for the Vikes, and will take his talents to Tufts University next year. The team will look to Jordan Gans (‘14), Skyler Anderson (‘13) and Jonny Glazier (‘13) for offensive production next season.

photo by Grant Shorin


Kris Hoglund (‘12)

The boys’ tennis team finished the season with a 4-7 league record. Following a 5-2 victory over Gunn, the team was able to qualify for the CCS tournament as a team. The Vikings then trounced the Harker School Eagles in the first round, but were knocked out by Bellarmine College Preparatory to end their season. With the loss of seniors Nicky Hu, who will

photo by Sammy Solomon


play tennis at Harvard College next year, as well as Dar Shavit and Justin Wang, the team will need new leaders to step up and fill those roles. The Vikings will look to Mason Haverstock (‘13), Blake Smith (‘14) and Austin Leung (‘14) to lead the team to a stronger record and CCS berth for the 2013 season. However, the losses of Hu, Shavit and Wang will be tough to stomach for the squad. Dar Shavit (‘12)

MAY 2012 | 23

After triumphing over Los Altos, Saratoga and Lynbrook, the girls’ track team’s momentum was stopped by a loss to rival Gunn High School. However, the team’s hard work earned it a fourth place finish in the SCVAL, with many athletes continuing on individually to the CCS Championship. The team was anchored by sprinters and jumpers Torie Nielsen (‘12) in the 100 meters and 4 by 100 relay, Pippa Raffel (‘13) in the long jump and 4 by 100 relay, Lydia Guo

(‘12) in the 4 by 100 and 400 relays as well as the 400 meter dash and Anna Dukovic (‘15) in the high jump and 4 by 100 relay. Distance runner Katie Foug (‘15) raced the 1600 meter and the 300 meter hurdles, but will only continue to race in the 1600 meters, in which she is ranked fourth in CCS. In field events, throwers Lindsay Black (‘12) and Charlotte Alipate (‘13) are ranked fourth and sixth respectively in shot put and will also continue on to CCS.

Boys’ swimming and diving ended its season with a second place finish at CCS and another victory at the SCVAL Championships. This marked the seventh SCVAL Championship in head coach Danny Dye’s eight seasons at the helm for Paly. The team was led by Byron Sanborn (‘12), who will be going to the U.S. Olympic trials for the London Games. Sanborn had an especially impressive showing this season when he set three SCVAL records and broke a 43-year-old CCS record.

The team will be graduating seniors Rollin Lau, Corso Rosati, Charles Zhang, Peter Rockhold, Daniel Armitano, Youngkuk Lee and Sanborn. Despite these losses, the team has the potential for a strong season next year and is looking to Andrew Liang (‘14), who also qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials, and Eren Kiris (‘13) to carry the team next year. Diving also shows strong potential for next year with three-time SCVAL champion Cole Plambeck (‘13) and teammate Alex Francis (‘13) both returning.

Katie Foug (‘15) photo by Paige Borsos


photo by Anne Hildebrand


Byron Sanborn (‘12)

Girls’ swimming and diving ended its season with a third-place finish at the 2012 CCS Championships. It also captured its 10th consecutive SCVAL Championship this year, with divers Emma Miller (‘12), Serena Yee (‘13) and Nadya Nee (‘13) taking a historic first, second and third place sweep at the diving championships. The team was led by Jasmine Tosky (’12), who is likely to qualify for the 200 meter freestyle, among other events, at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. this summer. Tosky broke her own SCVAL record and set a new one of

After a promising regular reason and high expectations, the Paly golf team failed to qualify for the CCS playoffs. The team finished tied for third place in the SCVAL, but was not able to win the league tournament. “We were favored to win leagues,” Sam Niethammer (‘14) said. “We had a great regular season, we just didn’t play up to our expectations.” Niethammer, however, shot a 72 in the CCS playoffs, one stroke over par, earning himself a spot in the individual CCS Cham-

24 | T H E V I K I N G |

pionships where he shot a disappointing 80. “We just need to play better when it counts,” Niethammer said. Next year, the Vikings will return the same team, with Grant Raffel (‘13) and Niethammer at the helm. Underclassmen John Knowles (‘15) and Alex Hwang (‘15) will also return after impressive rookie seasons. The Vikings will look to build upon this year’s successful regular season and carry momentum into the league season next year.

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Rachelle Holmgren (‘12) photo by Brandon Dukovic


0:55.05 for the 100 yard freestyle, in addition to breaking her own 2010 CCS record for the 200 yard freestyle in the 2012 CCS preliminaries. After graduating 10 seniors, this year’s juniors and underclassmen hope to speed up their times and try to finally win CCS. Future captains Molly Zebker (‘13), Abbey Kinnaman (‘13) and Quitterie Collignon (‘13) hope to lead Paly to its 11th SCVAL Championship next season. Yee and Nee will take the reins of the diving team, with Yee unveiling her back and reverse double somersaults at this year’s CCS meet.

photo by Paige Borsos


Sam Niethammer (‘14)

Feature Story

With a 13-1 league record (25-6 overall) the Vikings entered the first round of the CCS Championships as the No. 1 seed and defeated Evergeen Valley 9-0. Two games later, however, the season came to a close with a 4-2 loss to Valley Christian in the semifinals. The Vikings started the season strong with key league wins over Wilcox, Los Gatos and Mountain View. However, a midseason loss to Mountain View slowed the Vikings’ momentum. Despite this loss, the

photo by Scotty Bara


Vikings bounced back to win the SCVAL regular season. But, after losing the championship series to Los Altos in the playoffs, the Vikes became co-league champions. The Vikings were led by seniors Ben Sneider, Ozzy Braff and B.J. Boyd. Boyd was the team’s best hitter with a .507 batting average and Sneider sat atop the rotation with his 0.91 ERA. The senior-heavy roster will leave the team depleted next year, with very few juniors gaining significant game experience this year. Jack Witte (‘12)

After finishing 4-8 in league and 7-18 overall, the Paly softball team was unable to qualify for the CCS tournament. Among its notable victories were a 12-2 trouncing of Fremont and an 11-5 victory over Santa Clara to end the season, but 10-plus run defeats were all too common for the squad. After losing last year’s head coach, Tim Anderson, and seniors Gracie Marshall (‘11) and Mariah Phillips (‘11), the Lady Vikes had big shoes to fill. And al-

though the team had its second straight losing season, it is a young team that looks to build on the experience gained this year. With the return of key players Julia Saul (‘14), Anna Rizza (‘13), Maya Padilla (‘13) and Hannah Bundy (‘14), the Lady Vikes look to step up next season and become a formidable force in both their league and CCS. This season may have been more of a rebuilding year, but the reloaded Lady Vikes should come back ready to roll next year.

photo by Alex Kershner


Maya Padilla (‘13)

After a promising start to the season, Paly’s badminton squad finished the season on a low note. In the year’s incipient stages, Paly racked up six straight meet victories. “I guess [we] surpassed expectations in the first half of the year,” said Brian Chen (‘13). “But afterwards we slumped.” Paly’s season went into a downward spiral as the team’s record dropped to .500 after a deluge of nail-biting defeats. However, the Vikes kept their season afloat by winning three of their

photo by Brandon Dukovic

BADMINTON last six games to maintain their even record. The forecast for next year may be a little grim due to the fact that the Vikings will graduate their four top girls in Linda Li (‘12), Jodie Chen (‘12), Tiffany Tsung (‘12) and Karine Hsu (‘12). If the Vikings hope to make a League Championship run and capitalize on the potential that they displayed early in the year, co-captains Oliver Wang (‘13) and Gavin Chen (‘13) will need to pay dividends for the Vikings in their 2013 campaign. Oliver Wang (‘13)

The Paly gymnastics team finished its third season with co-captain Sarah Miller (‘12) placing 30th in the CCS individual all-around competition. Miller placed 16th in the same event for the North SCVAL Championships. The JV girls’ team also contributed to much of the team’s success, expanding to almost twice the size it was last season and taking its first win in a meet against Los Altos on April 30. JV also took second place at the SCVAL Championships in Tracy, although varsity failed to

place in any competitions as a team (including CCS) because there were only two varsity gymnasts, Miller and Sophie Jorasch (‘12). Since the team will be graduating both of its varsity athletes, it will be up to Michelle Yin (‘13) and Sharissa Holopanien (‘15) to keep the team on track next year. Without Miller and Jorasch holding down the fort for the Lady Vikes, the young team and new gymnasts will need to work hard to maintain the team’s success next season.

photo by Hilda Huang


Sarah Miller (‘12)

MAY 2012 | 25

Recruiting Map

2012 2012 Athletes from the class of 2012 who will continue their athletic careers next year.

Univ. of Washington, Melanie Wade (volleyball)

Whitman College, Ozzy Braff (baseball)

Montana State Univ., Morris Gates-Mouton (football)

Humbolt State Univ. AnaCena Zander (track and field)

UC Davis, Nikolai Solgaard (track and field)


Stanford Univ, Skylar Dorosin (water polo)

By Sport:

1 2 3 4 5

Univ. of the Pacific, Emilee Osagiede (basketball) Kimmy Whitson (volleyball) UC Berkeley, Monica Van Luven (crew)

San Jose State Univ., Caitlin Warmack-Tirador (softball) Gabe Landa (football) UC Santa Cruz, Dar Shavit

Football (6)


Pomona College, Kevin Kannappan (baseball)

Swimming (5) Baseball (5) Volleyball (5)

Univ. of Southern California, Jasmine Tosky (swimming) San Diego State, Kimmie Flather (lacrosse)

UC San Diego, Gerrit Van Zyll (soccer)

Lacrosse (3) Basketball (2) Soccer (2) Crew (2) Water polo (2) Track and field (2) Diving (1) Softball (1) Wrestling (1) Tennis (1)

26 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Claremont McKenna College, Rachelle Holmgren (swimming), Jack Witte (baseball) Biola Univ., Megan Bredenberg (swimming)

Chapman Univ., Brennan Miller (football)

Feature Story

Harvard Univ., Nicky Hu



Middlebury College, John Dickerson (baseball)

Macalester Univ., Chris Bisbee (football)

Tufts Univ., Laura Cui

Amherst College, Emy Kelty

Carleton College, Ashley Shin (volleyball)


(lacrosse, soccer)

Kris Hoglund (lacrosse)

Connecticut College, Caroline Martin

Univ. of Connecticut, Maddie Kuppe (volleyball) Bucknell Univ., Emma Miller (diving) Princeton Univ., Byron Sanborn


Stevens Inst. of Technology, Kalen Gans (wrestling)


U.S. Naval Academy, Peter Rockhold (water polo)

Johns Hopkins Univ., Tory Prati (football)

Georgetown Univ., Luke Prioleau (crew), Mikey Lyzwa (football)

Trinity Univ., Ben Sneider (baseball) Prairie View A&M Univ. , Isreal Hakim (basketball)

By Division: Division III

By Gender:

44% 51% 3% Division II

Division I   Division  II  


55% 45% Male

Division I

women men  

Division III  

MAY 2012 | 27

su m

2 1 2

r e m


British soccer superstar David Beckham began the 2012 Olympic torchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 8,000 mile journey on May 17. After being lit by the sun in Athens, the torch was escorted by Beckham in the first class cabin of British Airlines flight 2012, where it sat in its own seat. It is currently being passed by 8,000 people on its 70-day tour of the United Kingdom, beginning in the west and ending in the north. The flame will burn until the closing ceremonies on August 12.

pening ceremony will be broadcast on NBC

28 | T H E V I K I N G |

Friday, July 27 w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Feature Story

July 27 - August 12



36 sports




you won’t want to miss:


The Opening Ceremony. England has already spent a whopping $125 million on this year’s opening and closing ceremonies alone.


Michael Phelps swimming for the three medals he needs to trump Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s record of 18 and become the most decorated Olympian.


Jamaican 100 meter dash champion Usain Bolt attempting to beat his own world record of 9.58 seconds on August 5.

4. Paly sophomore Lily Zhang on America’s table-tennis team.


Southern California local and Stanford University graduate Tony Azvedo leading the U.S. water polo team.

6. Californians Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings team up on the beach volleyball court.

7. Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman in the 100 meters, taking the track.


8. 55 men and 55 women racing through


of Paly students spend at least hours per week watching the Olympic Games

Hyde Park in the fourth Olympic 51.5 kilometer Triathalon (women’s August 4, men’s August 7).

9. British tennis champ Andy Murray going

for an unheard of three golds; he will be the first ever to compete in men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

10. Terrence Jennings competing in the

150 pound weight class for Taekwondo. *Results based on a survey taken by 100 Paly students.

MAY 2012 | 29

G Feature Story



Here’s our preview of some of Paly’s favorite events Contributions by KEVIN DUKOVIC, ANNE HILDEBRAND & NIKO SOLGAARD


Key names to look for in the summer 2012 Olympic track events include American runners Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix. Richards-Ross is aiming for gold in the 400 meter race while Felix’s hopes lie in the 400 meters as well. In the men’s 4 by 400 meter relay, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, world record holder in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 by 100 meter relays, has tough competition from David Rudisha of Kenya. This year’s Olympic track events should finish with many close matches and upsets.

30 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m


According to the FIVB world rankings for volleyball, the favorites in the 2012 Olympic volleyball competitions include Brazil on the men’s side and the United States on the women’s side in the indoor events. In beach volleyball, the Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser are favored to win the men’s competition, while Chinese Zhang Xi and Xue Chen and Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh may repeat the 2008 Beijing battle for the gold in London.

BASKETBALL Despite losing center Dwight Howard and point guard Derrick Rose to injury, the 2012 U.S. men’s basketball team is still the overwhelming favorite to repeat its Beijing gold-medal performance. The biggest threat to the Americans is the star-studded Spanish squad highlighed by the Gasol brothers and OKC blocking machine Serge Ibaka. Rosters are not yet finalized, but the usual suspects, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, will all likely be the difference for the U.S. in London.

Feature Story

Trafalgar Square reaches

photo by Grant Shorin

When the countdown clock in


London will be the only city in the world

with the distinction of hosting three Olympic Games.


302 events in 26 sports, over 160 nations,

their athletes and at least

pphoto by Grant Shorin

Jasmine Tosky (‘12)

one Paly Viking Byron Sanborn (‘12)

battling for the ultimate

photo by Scotty Bara

will look to

“Inspire a generation,” athletic distinction

Lily Zhang (‘14)

SWIMMING & DIVING After the recent death of Norway’s first Olympic swimming medalist Alexander Dale Oen, veteran Olympians Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Rebecca Soni and Missy Franklin are leading the way in the American race for Olympic qualifications. Paly will also send two athletes, Jasmine Tosky (’12) and Byron Sanborn (’12) to the trials. 16-time Olympic medalist (14 of which were gold) Phelps remains the favorite in the short freestyle and butterfly events, while Soni looks for gold in the

breaststroke events. Australia and the United States will likely battle for the distinction of having the most medals, with their athletes swimming the tightest races in the 4 by 100 meter and 4 by 200 meter medley and freestyle events. China and Britain will be the dominant nations in the diving competition, with Wu Minxia and He Zi likely contenders for one of the women’s individual medals and Tom Daley, who finished seventh in the men’s individual 10 meter platform event in Beijing.

GYMNASTICS USA Gymnastics boasts a fresh roster of young athletes like Jordyn Weiber and Alexandra Raisman, in addition to veteran Olympians Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone. All-around favorite Weiber remains one of the United States’ strongest contenders for the individual gold after winning three American Cups and last year’s World Championships, and her consistency proves valuable in anchoring the Americans in the team competition. Americans will face the stiffest resistance

from the Chinese and Russian teams, which have shared many top world podiums within the last decade. The Japanese men’s gymnastics team looks to continue its legacy in London, with three-time defending world champion Kohei Uchimura anchoring the Japanese in the team competition. The Chinese and Americans have emerged as the other top teams in the competition after winning two of three top team positions in world team competitions.

MAY 2012 | 31


sports moments

The Viking’s



A compilation of Paly athletics’ worst moments of the year



Jeremy’s knee Lin-jury Jeremy Lin is a hometown hero, Volvo celebrity spokesperson and NBA star. However, his season-ending knee injury halted all talks of Linsanity in the playoffs and sent all the “Linsan-

ity” shirts to the sale racks for 50 percent off. We want to wish Jeremy a speedy recovery, and can’t wait to watch the most “Linsane” player destroy the NBA next year. Paly pride!

Boys’ water polo coach catastrophe This was the last year that Giovanni Napolitano was the head coach for the varsity water polo team. After a fairly successful season in which the Vikings made it to the CCS semifinals before losing to Bellarmine, the administration announced that Napolitano and the rest of his coaching staff would not be return-


ing. The coaches were dismissed quietly and some players disagree with the excess of parent involvement in the making of the decision. While Principal Phil Winston says that the coaches were not “fired” but instead that their “contracts were not renewed,” it was a tricky issue for the water polo program to handle.

Baseball strikes out The Vikings won a CCS Championship last season, but somehow managed to lose to De Anza Division cellar-dwellers the Mountain View High School

Spartans on March 21. This was the Vikes’ only league loss of the season and the Spartans finished their season in second to last place. Embarrassing.


Ozzy Braff (‘12)

Boys’ basketball ousted in OT

After the boys’ varsity basketball team tied for first in the De Anza Division with a 10-2 record, the team went into the CCS playoffs and crushed South San Francisco 75-42 in the first round. In the second round, Paly was matched against third seeded St. Francis High School, a pri-

32 | T H E V I K I N G |


Jeremy Lin (‘06)

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

vate athletic powerhouse. After a back-and-forth battle, the teams tied at 58 at the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime. After this exciting opportunity, however, Paly could not overcome a six point lead by the Lancers, who beat the Vikes 70-64. So close and yet so far.


Feature Story

Girls’ soccer demoted

It was another tough season for the varsity girls’ soccer team, which went 2-7-2, defeating only rival Gunn High School 3-1 and Saratoga High School 1-0. Last season the team went 2-7-3 in league but managed to stay in the more prestigious De Anza

5 3 1

Division. Despite outstanding underclass talent, the Lady Vikes are being relegated to the lower division next season, where they hope to thrive against weaker competition. After this year’s poor performance, better luck next year Lady Vikes!

Softball team dresses to unimpress The varsity softball team has had a disappointing 2012 season, losing games by 10 or more runs on a fairly regular basis throughout the season. After losing key players Mariah Philips (‘11) and Gracie Marshall (‘11) from last year, the team had a rebuilding sea-

son. While there have been some victories, the losses (and dress-up days), have been so dramatic they were hard to ignore. The team is currently 3-8 in league and 6-18 overall, in stark contrast to last years’ team that went 6-6 in league and 10-15 overall.

4 2

Hannah Bundy (‘14)

Girls’ hoops passes CCS crown to Gunn Paly not only crushed the Lady Titans 65-49 in its first matchup against Gunn High School, but also made it look easy. However, after losing to the Titans 52-42 the second time around, the team had a chance at redemption when the CCS title saw Paly take on Gunn at Santa Clara University. After

back-and-forth play in which Paly struggled as a team to communicate and break through Gunn’s defense, the Lady Vikes were down by five with seconds left. Paly’s Emilee Osagiede (‘12) hit a bittersweet three-pointer to cut the deficit to only two points right as the buzzer went off. Ouch.

Football gets rung by Bellarmine Bells Last year, the Paly varsity football team stunned the Palo Alto community by beating Centennial High School for its first ever State Championship. Although Paly had some impressive wins this year, the team’s lowest moment was when Bellarmine quar-

terback Travis McHugh (‘12) proved to be too much for the Vikings’ defense to handle. The team fell 41-13 to the Bells after beating them last year to qualify for States. The loss put dreams of returning to the Home Depot Center on hold for next years team.

B.J. Boyd (‘12)

Girls’ lacrosse transfer fiasco

Despite earning a spot in the SCVAL playoffs the girls’ lacrosse season was marred by league-imposed restrictions. Forced to forfeit six games due to an error on the roster sheet,

the girls’ lacrosse team plummeted from first to fourth place in its league, but still managed to secure a spot in the playoffs before falling to St. Francis 20-9 in an emotional game.

Bereft boys’ soccer struggles The varsity boys’ soccer season was, in a word, miserable. The team lost many key returning players, due in part to head coach Donald Briggs’ strict policy, implemented at the beginning of the season, that prevented most club soccer players from participating on the high school team. As if losing most of the returning

players wasn’t enough, the team proceeded to lose or tie every single one of its games this season, including both league and non-league contests. While the team is being relegated, hopefully next year’s underclassmen will have an edge on the easier competition after gaining a year of varsity experience this year.

Jacob Dorward (‘13)

MAY 2012 | 3 3


The Viking’s

sports moments 2011-2012

A look at the greatest moments from Paly athletics

10 8


Can I get a golf clap? If it was socially acceptable at golf events, the Paly golf team would get a roaring applause for its season. Instead, a light golf clap will do. The team had an impressive regular season, with standout per-

formances from Sam Niethammer (‘14), who qualified for the State Tournament. At the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course on March 22, when Paly defeated Cupertino 198-217, Niethammer shot a team-low 38.

9 7

Grant Raffel (‘13)

Boys’ lacrosse ramps it up in overtime 15 seconds into overtime against rival Menlo High School, Logan Mendenhall (‘13) flipped a pearl past the Menlo goalie to secure a win for the Vikes. This was the first time in two years that the Vikings were able to win at Menlo’s field, lifting a huge weight off the

Katie Foug (‘15)

Katie Foug puts the “mile” in smile There was something in the Paly track air on May 3. The same day that Floreal broke the school record for the 100 meter dash, Paly’s Katie Foug (‘15) took fourth place in the mile with a personal record

time of 5:15.86 minutes at the De Anza League finals. This contributed to the girls’ track team’s second place overall finish in the tournament. The boys’ team took home first place in its competition.

Baseball blasts five home runs

What else is there to say, other than that the Paly baseball team had not one, not two, but five home runs in one game against Carmel High School in a non-league game? Paly

34 | T H E V I K I N G |

shoulders of head coach Craig Conover and defensive coach Casey Clark. The Vikings were also able to push the Knights to a fourth place finish in league. The long stick defense and talented ball handling was too much for Menlo to handle. Sorry ‘bout it!

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

crushed the Carmel Padres 14-4 on April 21, and Isaac Feldstein (‘13), Sean Harvey (‘13), B.J. Boyd (‘12), Jack Witte (‘12) and Austin Braff (‘12) each went deep for Paly.

6 4

Feature Story

Lindsay Black beats her shot put record In order to beat the 34’6’’ school record for shot put, track star Lindsay Black (‘12) realized she would have to beat her personal record by about two feet. At a meet against Mountain View High School, however, Black did just that and more, throwing a 36’4’’ and beating the school record set in 1992. Prior to the throw, Black took only a few

5 3 1

warm-ups, having just come from competing in a high jump event minutes earlier. Not only that, but Black went on to beat her own record later in the season at crosstown rival Gunn High School, setting the current record at 37’7’’. Life’s not bad when the only person you’re worried about beating in sports is yourself.

Three wrestlers at States The varsity wrestling team had an impressive 2012 season, winning the majority of its dual meets and many non-league tournaments. This year was especially unique as three wrestlers from the varsity squad, Kalen Gans (‘12), Nick Ortiz (‘12) and Andrew

Frick (‘14) all made it to the CIF State Championship meet for their respective weight classes. Although none of the Vikings won their tournament matches, it was a great accomplishment for the program, which hopes to build on its success next year.

Girls’ hoops stuns Wilcox to tie league

Trailing a basketball team by 16 points with just under five minutes left is like trying to study for a test during second semester senior year: only the most advanced can handle the pressure. On Feb. 3, the Paly girls’ varsity basketball team trailed Wilcox High School 45-29 with less than five minutes remaining, but roared back in the

fourth quarter and went on a 17-1 run. The key moment of the game came when Paly’s Emilee Osagiede (‘12) was fouled by Wilcox forward and league MVP Josetta Fatuesi (‘14) with only seconds remaining in the contest. Not only did Fatuesi foul out, but Osagiede made the game-winning free throw to wrap up the victory.

E.J. Floreal can run on water

The heat that Palo Alto has been experiencing lately may be coming from junior E.J. Floreal’s track skills. On April 29 at a dual track meet at Saratoga High School, Floreal not only broke the 31-year-old school record for the 100 meters, but he also soared to No. 1 in California with a time of 10.52 seconds

Kalen Gans (‘12)

(now fourth). He had a personal best time of 21.16 on the 200 meters at the De Anza League finals on May 3, beating the old school record of 21.61 seconds and ranking him No. 2 in the state for the 200 meters (now fourth). In other words, don’t run behind Floreal unless you want dust kicked up in your face.

2 E.J. Floreal (‘13)

Lily Zhang is Olympic bound

Let’s face it. We love Jeremy Lin (‘06), and were all a little bit disheartened when Linsanity was put on hold after his season-ending knee injury. Well Paly, wipe those tears away and make way for Paly’s latest celebrity athlete: Lily Zhang (‘14), a table tennis

master who will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. The 15 year-old practices for hours a day and will represent not only Paly but also the United States this summer in London. Make sure to cheer on Zhang this summer as she competes on the world stage!

This fall, the Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team amazed the Palo Alto community once again, capturing its second CIF Division I State Championship title in a row. What’s more, the Lady Vikes made a miraculous eight-point comeback in the fifth set against the Marymount High

School Sailors. The team was led by a plethora of talented seniors this year, including Melanie Wade, Kimmy Whitson, Caroline Martin and Maddie Kuppe. The win earned Paly the No. 1 rank in the nation according to MaxPreps, and double the amount of bragging rights as before.

Maddie Kuppe (‘12)

Volleyball makes the ultimate comeback

MAY 2012 | 35

Awa r d s


Paly Athletic Awards


The Coach of the Year award goes out to the coach who made a significant contribution to the Paly athletic program that he or she is involved in. Coaches are such a vital component in the athletic realm, not only for their teams, but for the Paly community as a whole, that it is immensely important to give a Paly coach recognition for his or her hard work. This award is a ‘thank you’ to a coach who has dedicated his or her time to better the team and individual players.


The Team of the Year award recognizes one male and one female team every year for their hard work and outstanding performance throughout the year. These teams are those that try their best in every game and produce impressive results.

UNDERCLASSMEN OF THE YEAR The Underclassman of the Year award is given to one male and one female freshman or sophomore who have demonstrated athletic excellence in their sport(s) despite their young ages. These athletes are exceptional due to their outstanding performance given their lack of experience with Paly athletics and are expected to dominate in the years to come.

ATHLETES OF THE YEAR The Athlete of the Year award is granted to one male and one female athlete who have stood out as the leading forces behind their teams’ successes. The two winners are the athletes who have delivered standout performances day in and day out, propelling their teams to be the best they can possibly be.

ALOK SUBBARAO The Alok Subbarao award goes out to the player whose greatest impact on his or her team is not necessarily printed in the newspaper or visible at the top of every statistical category. The Viking grants this award to the player who carries his or her team with great leadership and acts as the glue that keeps the team working as one cohesive unit. The value of this athlete cannot necessarily be measured by statistics, but rather by the motivation he or she brings to the team.

36 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m




arsity volleyball head coach Dave Winn could not know for sure whether he would capture a second State Championship this year after leading his team to its first State Title and an almost perfect record in 2010, so going into the season, he decided to take on one game at a time. Winn directed his attention away from the previous championship season and towards a simple goal: working hard and playing tough. “I thought: ‘How am I going to coach a team after winning a State Championship?’” Winn said. “I had to think about what things would be motivating and how we could continue to set the bar high.” If the bar was set high before, the Lady Vikes have now raised it to a whole new level. The team is the first in Paly’s history to win back-to-back State Championships, first in 2010 when the team (41-1 overall record, 11-1 league) beat Long Beach Poly, and again this year, when the team (36-3 overall, 12-0 league) captured its second State Title against Marymount High School and earned them the No. 1 rank in the nation according to MaxPreps. The Viking is awarding Winn the title Coach of the Year for his rigorous determination, strong belief in his team and ability to show that with simple hard work, seemingly unattainable goals are truly possible. “It’s not about how you win a State Title,” Winn said. “It’s about focusing on the present and not looking all the way to the end. I think we did that by working hard in practice and playing tough.” Winn’s strategy carried the team through the League Championship, the Central Coast Section playoffs, the Northern California title and finally the State Champi-

photo by Paige Borsos

onship. The Lady Vikes even came back from a 13-7 deficit to win 17-15 in the fifth and final set of the State game, proving their mental and physical toughness. Along with his novel practice adjustments, Winn’s morale encouragement helped the team to unify. “He encouraged us to find our passion, the motivation in ourselves, in order to pull together and play as a team,” outside hitter Maddie Kuppe (‘12), who played under Winn for four years, said. Part of what keeps a team motivated to work hard is a coach who is equally dedicated. “In the four years I got to play for him, I can honestly say I finished every single practice feeling like we had made some kind of change,” Kuppe said. “The focus [those practices] gave us could easily be what made a difference in the end that led to our recent success.” Kuppe’s teammate, setter Ashley Shin (‘12), agrees. “The fact that he is 100 percent committed to the team and that he cares just as much, if not more, than the players is his best quality,” Shin said. Winn’s coaching career is, to say the least, one for the record books. Along with winning The Viking’s award for Female Coach of the Year, Winn was also a runner-up for MaxPreps’ National Female Coach of the Year award. Despite these impressive accolades there is one aspect of coaching that Winn has enjoyed most. “Seeing how much the team can believe in themselves even more than the prior year, and seeing that it was all possible [is the highlight of my career so far],” Winn said. “It was very rewarding for me to be a part of that.” Shin echoes this opinion and emphasized the belief Winn had in the team. “In every single game this past sea-

design by Nora Rosati

son, I’ve felt he’s always believed that we could win and I’ve never felt like he has given up on our team,” Shin said. “Him believing in us made us believe in ourselves and motivated us.” Just as Winn could not predict a second State Championship this season, the future is equally uncertain. But whatever it holds for Paly volleyball, Winn hopes to continue pushing the team to new levels in the coming years. “We’ve built a legacy of success,” Winn said. “It’s no longer a question of what we’re aiming for. We’ve seen what it takes and what can happen.”<<<

ALL HE DOES IS WINN Coach Dave Winn looks on during the State Championship on Dec. 4. In his six years at Paly, Winn has enjoyed an impressive .820 winnning percentage.

MAY 2012 | 37

Awa r d s

FEMALE team of theYEAR

CELEBRATION Co-captains Kimmy Whitson (‘12), Maddie Kuppe (‘12) and Melanie Wade (‘12) celebrate around the C.I.F. Division I State volleyball trophy. 38 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m




inning a State Championship is an arduous task that requires discipline, focus, determination and strong team chemistry. For most schools, it is an extremely rare feat to win one title and it could take decades to win another. But for Paly athletics, expectations can always be exceeded. After a remarkable 2011-2012 season that ended in an underdog victory over Long Beach Poly and a celebratory parade through downtown Palo Alto, many may have wondered what this year’s volleyball team would do for an encore. At the start of the 2011-2012 season, Coach Dave Winn and his squad established their goal. While they hoped to repeat as State Champions, the players would take the season one game at a time. “We started to just focus on the present,” Winn said. “We spent a lot of time preparing for the next opponent and played every match like that was the most important match.” In order to help the girls gain experience playing against strong competition, Winn entered the team into challenging tournaments throughout the season. “This year we made sure we got into some tough tournaments with the knowledge that we could take a couple losses along the way,” Winn said. Co-captain Melanie Wade (‘12) believes that the girls’ experience against strong opponents was a key component in the success that the team had this season. “We were a lot more confident coming into this year [compared to] last year because we’d been in the situation before and everyone had experience in a State game,” Wade said. This experience, along with the girls’ per-

severance throughout the season, contributed to team’s ability to make it back to the State Championship for the second time in two years. There, the Vikes played a talented Marymount High School squad that was eager to knock off the defending champs. However, the Vikings’ unflappable resilience proved to be too much as they overcame a seven point deficit in the fifth set to become the first team in Paly history to win back-to-back State Titles. While winning the championship was a historic feat, the road back to the top came with an additional challenge: high expectations. “[Winning States] a second time is so much more difficult because there are so many more expectations to fill,” setter Kimmy Whitson (‘12) said. But, in the face of enormous pressure, the girls did not lose sight of their goal and shoved other people’s expectations aside. “We trusted each other when we were down,” Whitson said. “We didn’t doubt that we could do it. We believed in each other.” Following the win, the girls experienced the rewarding feeling that comes when hard work pays off. For many of the players, this game was the high point of their athletic careers. “This is something that I will remember for my whole life,” libero Shelby Knowles (‘13) said. While some winning teams rely solely on physical ability to bring them success, it was the Lady Vikes’ confidence in each other that carried them through the past two seasons. “[Our key] was our team’s belief that we could win and each player’s mental toughness,” Knowles said. “On top of physical ability, we had the most heart.” With eight seniors graduating this year, the team will look to returning starters Knowles and Becca Raffel (‘14) to lead next team. While the chances of a three-peat are slim, with the same work ethic and team spirit the team is sure to have another strong season. <<<

Honorable Mentions With a 10-2 league record and 19-6 overall record, the girls’ basketball team was ranked 1,061 in the nation after the season, up from 1,073 previously.


As the girls’ swim team well knows, placing third in CCS is no easy feat, and breaking a few records in the process makes it even more impressive.

photos by Paige Borsos


MAY 2012 | 39

Awa r d s

Clockwise from upper left corner: photo by Anne Hildebrand, Anne Hildebrand and Scotty Bara

MALE team of the YEAR

END IN SIGHT Brian Benton (‘12) clears a hurdle in the 110 meter hurdle race; Sam Carilli (‘12), Justin Zhang (‘13) and Ben Hawthorne (‘13) accelerate from the starting line of the 1600 meters; Jayshawn Gates-Mouton (‘13), Tremaine Kirkman (‘12) and E.J. Floreal (‘13) blast to the finish of the 200 meter dash.

40 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m




Fung believes that the many hours of work the athletes have put in over the course of the season are the main key to the team’s success. “They’ve all worked at this all year,” Fung said. “[From] putting in the time from the beginning, to trusting the workouts and knowing it’s the day in and day out grind you have to put in to get better.” Du believes that in addition to all the time each of the athletes put in, some fortunate timing also contributed to the team’s outstanding season. “All of us work really hard, and this year we just happened to hit all of the events,” Du said. “We can’t win the league with just one or two good people. Right now, we have a lot of good people all over the place, and that gets us all the points.” According to Floreal, the team has bonded over the course of the season, which has also contributed to the string of victories. “We’ve got to be like a family,” Floreal said. “Everyone has to be cool with everyone. [The sprinters] are like my brothers. We just have that family kind of aspect, where you trust each other.” This trust among the teammates will only help the team’s pursuit of its ultimate goal: Paly’s first ever Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship. Standing in the way are the always-formidable Bellarmine Bells and a handful of other strong teams waiting to take down the undefeated Vikings. Yet even the prospect of such daunting competition has not dampened the team’s optimism. “Fung set it down for us in the beginning of the season [when] he told us we could win CCS,” Floreal said. “We were told from the beginning what we had to do [to reach our goal].” And now that the season is coming to a close, the rest of the team hopes to follow Floreal’s blazing footsteps straight to a championship, as long as they can keep up. Which, as Floreal’s opponents will tell you, is no easy task. <<<

photo by Anne Hildebrand

.J. Floreal (‘13) is fairly wellknown around the Palo Alto High School campus as one of the stars of the basketball team and a frequent participant in the annual Spirit Week slam dunk contest. He led his team in scoring, rebounding and blocks this year, and finished second in steals and assists even while spending the majority of his time in the post. But now, Floreal is scorching the competition in a completely different sport. One that does not even use a ball. Last spring, Floreal opted to follow in the footsteps of his track athlete parents, both former Olympians, and joined the Paly track team following the end of the basketball season. The school records have not been safe since, as this year he has already shattered both the 100 meter and 200 meter records with times of 10.52 and 21.16 seconds in the events respectively, both of which top this year’s CCS standings. However, Floreal is not the lone bright spot for the track team this year. The rest of the athletes have also stepped up to help propel the team to an undefeated record and a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Championship. In addition to Floreal’s outstanding races thus far, the track team has received strong performances from distance runner Nikolai Solgaard (‘12), sprinter Jon Alee (‘13), hurdler Michael Johnson (‘13), throwers Tory Prati (‘12) and Spencer Drazovich (‘13), jumper Victor Du (‘13) and a number of other athletes. For the team’s outstanding performance this year, The Viking decided to award boys’ track the 2012 Team of the Year award. “What makes the team so special is the amount of depth we have in our athletes,” coach Jason Fung said. “We have a lot of talent at the top, but it’s when you look at the amount of kids we have filling in at the second, third and fourth spots, that’s when we dominate.”

Honorable Mentions

Led by MLB hopeful B.J. Boyd, Paly baseball had a successful season that ended with a shared league title and a CCS berth.


Three wrestlers, Kalen Gans (‘12), Nick Ortiz (‘12) and Andrew Frick (‘14), all went to States after the team went 5-1 this season.

photo by Scotty Bara


MAY 2012 | 41

Awa r d s




ith two seasons wrapped up and one to go, Katie Foug (‘15) stepped onto the track this spring ready to continue her freshman success as a varsity athlete. As a member of the girls’ cross-country, soccer and track teams, Foug has become a rising star on all three, qualifying her as the Female Underclassman of the Year. With her dedication to Paly athletics evident through her three-season career, Foug proved herself to be a well-rounded athlete on each of her teams. Moreover, her outstanding performances have earned her the respect of older, more experienced teammates, including cross-country and track captain Torie Nielsen (‘12). “Katie is really dedicated,” Nielsen said. “During the track season a lot of different events were thrown at her, and she just did them without complaining, so that made me respect her.” Foug showed a preview of what her standout year would become early in her Paly career. She was the only member of the crosscountry team to qualify and compete at the State meet. “[My biggest accomplishment was] probably going to States for cross-country,” Foug said. “A couple people on my team stayed around and helped me train, and one girl came with me [to the race].” In her second varsity sport of the year, Foug did not see much playing time, but gained valuable experience through her time spent with other players on the varsity soccer team. For her third and final sport of the year, Foug excelled on the track. Her season records include 2:28.67 minutes in the 800 meter run, 5:15.86 minutes in the 1600 meter run, and 50.64 seconds in the 300 meter hurdles. Foug’s 1600 meter time qualified her to compete in

42 | T H E V I K I N G |

photo by Jim Foug

SPEED KILLS Katie Foug (‘15), a three-sport varsity athlete, competes in the Stanford Invitational for cross-country on Sept. 24. the Central Coast Section (CCS) semifinal meet on May 19. Though playing three sports is no easy feat, Foug learned to balance her many commitments by going from one practice to the next and occasionally missing workouts. “In the fall it was a lot harder [to balance everything] because soccer and cross-country practices were right after school, so I had to miss practices,” Foug said. “Now my soccer practices are at night so I go straight from track to soccer.” Foug explained that much of her speed can be attributed to her experience with her club soccer team, the Union Football Club, which trains intensely to build agility and stamina. “Both [soccer and running] help each other because we do a lot of running in soccer,” Foug said. “In games I run a couple miles, which helps, and track is getting me in shape too.”

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

However, her athletic ability is not the only thing that differentiates Foug from her peers. According to girls’ cross-country and track coach Paul Jones, Foug is more than just a fast runner: Her willingness to compete and her enthusiasm are aspects that make Foug the outstanding athlete she is. “Katie doesn’t get buffaloed by competition,” Jones said. “[Her] attitude is really the big thing about how good she is.” Foug’s soccer teammate Suzanna Ackroyd (‘12) agreed with Jones in that Foug’s character makes her an exceptional athlete, but also adds that her drive as a player singles her out. With high expectations now set, Foug stays positive and looks onward to her future in Paly athletics. “I just want to [focus on] improving,” Foug said. “I want to [keep] making new goals and [working] hard to meet them.” <<<


of the


Honorable Mentions


Becca Raffel (‘14), Pippa Raffel (‘14)


Andrew Frick (‘14), Andrew Liang (‘14)


photo by Grant Shorin

IT’S IN HIS GENES Keller Chryst (‘14) finds an open man in a game against Mountain View. Chryst threw four touchdown passes in the 46-14 win.


nly a year ago, the San Francisco 49ers were 8-8 to finish the season and the fan base was looking to run quarterback Alex Smith out of town. However, in the off-season the team hired Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh and a new quarterbacks coach who the team hoped would turn things around. The 49ers tasked Geep Chryst, previously an offensive coach for the Carolina Panthers, with the daunting assignment. Chryst brought his family with him, including his son Keller Chryst (‘14), to Palo Alto where he could compete for the starting quarterback spot at Paly. So far, Chryst has shown people at Paly and around the Bay Area that he is for real and that Paly will be a formidable force with him at the helm for the next two years. Chryst was initially given unjust expectations

when he took over for the Vikings. Following in the footsteps of Christoph Bono (‘11), who led the team to a State Championship last year, was a tough task, but center Spencer Drazovich (‘13) feels he handled it well. “He knew what his role was, he had big shoes to fill, and he filled them better than any other person could have,” Drazovich said. Despite being an underclassman on the football team with major responsibilities, Chryst worked extremely hard in the weight room and studied the playbook to get up to speed with the the offense. “We have a difficult offense, but Keller did a masterful job of learning it,” Drazovich said. Safety Matt Tolbert (‘13) attributes Chryst’s athleticism and matured physical tools to his smooth transition to Paly. “Keller was shy coming in but it helps that he is so big and he has a cannon for an arm,” Tolbert said. “This made his transition a little easier.”

At times this year, Chryst showed flashes of brilliance and at others he made mistakes. However, unlike most underclassmen on varsity, Chryst did not hunch his shoulders or hang his head. Instead, he rose to the occasion and almost led Paly to a second straight Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division Title. “I expected myself to do the best I possibly could but I also didn’t want to be too hard on myself and take the fun of the game out of it,” Chryst said. “I didn’t hang on one win or good performance for long or hang on a loss or bad performance.” Quarterbacks need to be vocal and commanding while keeping an even keel during pressure situations. At school, Chryst may not come across as the talkative type, but on the gridiron he takes on a different personality when tasked with the job of commanding players. “He is asked to lead a group of guys who are mostly older than he is but he grasped that role very well and he never lost his composure,” Drazovich said. Despite the age discrepancy Drazovich alluded to, Chryst tries to keep it simple and lead by example. “I try to lead by setting an example, not just commanding people what to do,” Chryst said. Drazovich also attributes Chryst’s poise to why he will be a star in the future. “He’s methodical and he has a better work ethic than anybody,” Drazovich said. “He goes about doing his business without any distractions, and he has that killer instinct.” What’s more, as an underclassman, Chryst feels like he still has the opportunity to improve his game. “I can improve my mental aspect of the game and become an even better leader,” he said. Chryst has proven to the coaching staff, team and the Paly community that he will be a force to be reckoned with for the years to come. <<<

MAY 2012 | 43

Awa r d s

FEMALE ATHLETE of the year




photography by Alex Kershner

design by Nora Rosati and Nina Kelty

n April 18, something unprecedented happened in Paly’s swimming pool. In a 100 meter race, Rachel Acker (‘12) of Gunn High School beat Paly’s prospective Olympian Jasmine Tosky (‘12). It was Tosky’s first loss in her four-year Paly swimming career, although it came in an event in which she typically does not compete. Staying true to her character, Tosky shrugged it off and continued to swim in her other events, winning every one of them. Every year, The Viking chooses an outstanding male and female athlete who have each positively impacted the Paly sports community. Of all the many phenomenal and deserving athletes at Paly, The Viking selected Tosky as Female Athlete of the Year for her strong

work ethic and attitude, which enabled her to qualify for the 2012 Olympic trials. Even more than piling up points upon points for the Lady Vikes, Tosky has had a profound effect on the aspirations and goals of many local athletes. “It was kind of exciting to know that I was swimming in the same lane as Jasmine Tosky,” Isabella Richter, a young Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) teammate of Tosky said. “I felt fast. It feels kind of fun to be on the same team with her and it’s kind of fun to sometimes show off for her.” It is not every year that Paly has a prospective Olympic athlete on a varsity team. But its even more rare that that athlete has 12 out of the 13 possible swimming Olympic trial nominations, an amount topping even 13-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps’. Tosky’s accolades also include a national re-

cord time of 51.92 seconds in the 100 yard butterfly. Additionally, Tosky has, in 2011 alone, won a silver medal in the 200 meter butterfly at the U.S. Nationals and a gold medal in the 4 by 200 meter freestyle at the World Championships. She also has comparable times in the 100 meter and 200 meter butterfly, as well as the 200 and 400 meter individual medley events. These accomplishments showcase her hard work and are part of the reason she deserves the award. However, record-breaking times are not all that set Tosky apart. In addition to being a nationally ranked athlete on the U.S. team, Tosky is an exemplary teammate. “She sets an example by hard work and perseverance, but also by leadership [and] friendship,” coach Danny Dye said. “She gets along with all the girls. She’s just a good role model.” Although Tosky has not attended many team practices due to private training for the 2012

44 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Summer Olympics, her close friendships with many of her teammates as well as her openness and kindness to everyone on the team, regardless of their skill level, have made her a vital part of the team. “[Being on the Paly swim team] brought me closer to a bunch of friends,” Tosky said. “It gives me a lot of bonding time to fool around with friends. It’s a mental break and time to enjoy senior year.” Tosky also feels that her friends on both the PASA and Paly swim teams have helped her get to where she is today. “Friends, especially ones on PASA I’ve known for so long and created in my 10 years there [have helped me],” Tosky said. “People I [have] met have really changed who I am.” Furthermore, with this willing attitude and ability to inspire others through her hard work, Tosky has become a force to be reckoned with

both at Paly and the Olympic trials. “She has dreams and aspirations,” Dye said. “Being able to live them out, I mean, that’s what every athlete should strive for. Jasmine’s a great example at a high level of really being able to accomplish what you set your mind to.” Regardless of what the future holds, Tosky has already had an immense impact on the Paly community by inspiring other swimmers. “I don’t even notice I have that much of a role with people,” Tosky said. “I’m surprised. Maybe I’m humble, but I don’t see myself as special.” It is exactly this attitude that leads many younger athletes to aspire to follow in her footsteps, and a primary reason why Tosky deserves to be Paly’s Female Athlete of the Year. “I’m going to try [to become an Olympian like Jasmine],” Richter said. “I don’t know if I’ll make it, but I hope so.” <<<

Honorable Mentions Kimmie Flather (‘12) Midfielder Kimmie Flather (‘12) had 38 goals, seven assists, 37 ground balls and an average of two goals per game on the nationally ranked girls’ lacrosse team.

Melanie Wade (‘12)

Volleyball middle blocker Melanie Wade (‘12) had a team-high 27 kills in the State Championship game against Marymount High School.

MAY 2012 | 45

Awa r d s

MALE ATHLETE of the year




n the first 10 seconds of the 20112012 Paly football season, B.J. Boyd (‘12) found the end zone. Using his blistering, 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed, Boyd took the opening kickoff 85 yards all the way past the San Benito High School defense. Three months and 25 touchdowns later, Boyd closed the season with another touchdown return and a touchdown reception against Bellarmine High School. As a two-sport varsity athlete, he continued his standout performance on the baseball field. Not only does Boyd bring his undeniable talent to both sports, but he also brings his positive outlook. “He’s got a good attitude,” head baseball coach Erick Raich said. “He’s fun and keeps things a little loose. Guys

46 | T H E V I K I N G |

photography by Scotty Bara

like him [are] all you can really ask for.” As a vital component to the varsity football and baseball teams, Boyd inspired his teammates with his constant effort. He manifests his raw talent and enthusiasm to achieve his full athletic potential, demonstrating his merit for the Male Athlete of the Year award and often serving as the motivating factor that sparked the rest of the football squad into action. “I started off with [kickoff return], brought a couple touchdowns back to get the team going,” Boyd said. Boyd transferred from St. Francis High School as a sophomore, and once his eligibility as a Paly athlete was confirmed, he became a member of the varsity football team his junior year and earned a position as starting running back. “He didn’t start out like a gangbuster his junior year,” head coach Earl Hansen said. “But he got

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

design by Nora Rosati and Nina Kelty used to what was going on and did a good job.” Boyd quickly became a key part of the offense and helped steer the team to a State Championship victory. This year he came close to doing it again, leading the team to its second consecutive Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship game against Bellarmine. Despite the disappointing 41-13 loss for the Vikings, Boyd continued giving his all and scored Paly’s only two touchdowns. He finished the season ranked first on the team with five kickoff returns for touchdowns, 11.5 points per game and 1,108 receiving yards according to MaxPreps. Along with his effort during the football team’s State Championship run, Boyd was also a contributing factor in the baseball team’s success last year. The team reached new heights in 2011, with Boyd scoring twice

Honorable Mentions E.J. Floreal (‘13) E.J. Floreal (‘13) not only has top-five times in Califonia for the 100 and 200 meter sprints (as of May 22), but he is also a leader and dunking machine on the varsity basketball team.

Kris Hoglund (‘12) Lacrosse attackman Kris Hoglund (‘12) came back from a broken leg he suffered last year and this season had 36 goals, 19 assists, 58 ground balls and scored an average of two goals per game. in Paly’s first ever CCS Championship game, and this year the baseball team went on to finish the season as SCVAL co-champions and earned the No. 1 seed for the CCS playoffs. “He puts the [other] team on defense right off the bat being in the leadoff spot,” Raich said. On the baseball field, Boyd excels on both offense and defense. Hitting in the leadoff spot, he batted an impressive .507 with 13 runs batted in and 32 runs scored this season as of May 14. Not only has he been a force to be reckoned with in the batter’s box, but also on the bases, swiping over 25 bags this season. “B.J. is a really good offensive spark when we need a few runs,” teammate Jack Witte (‘12) said. “He tends to get rallies going because he gets on base a lot and his speed kills. His speed is something we can utilize on the base paths to manufacture some runs.”

As Witte alluded to, Boyd’s speed is a key part of his game in both sports. From sprinting past defenders on the gridiron to stealing bases on the baseball diamond, his speed is beyond ordinary. However, Boyd understands that he will have to keep improving his baseball game to accomplish his goal of making it to the professional level, and he relishes any opportunity he gets to improve on this and anything else. “I got more experience when I went up to a thing called Area Codes in Los Angeles,” Boyd said. “It’s the top kids from California and all over the world and that got me going.” Area Code Baseball is a camp for gifted athletes who get specialized baseball training and a chance to play on one of the teams created by scouts. Back at Paly, Boyd was able to implement these new skills and experiences into his game.

Hansen, who watche s all of the baseball games, has noticed Boyd’s formidable presence at bat. “He’s a threat every time he swings a bat and when he gets on base because he steals bases all over the place,” Hansen said. On the defensive side, Boyd has been an accomplished center fielder, proving himself as a crucial outfield element who can be counted on to make plays. Following his high school career, Boyd hopes to make it through the draft and play pro ball for his favorite team, the Oakland Athletics. After coaching and working with him for two years, Raich is proud of Boyd’s progression. “From this year to last year, I’m just happy with how he’s grown up and matured,” Raich said. “I hope he continues to improve and get better, because that’s what it’s going to take for him to go a long ways in this game.” <<<

MAY 2012 | 47


Awa r d s



photography by Scotty Bara

design by Michelle Friedlander

ach year, The Viking chooses one athlete to receive the honorable Alok Subbarao award. The recipient must demonstrate the spirit of Alok, a former cross-country runner who showed impeccable character and attitude both on and off the playing field. The award is only given when a qualified candidate exists. This year, the recipient of the Alok award is baseball player Arun Varma (‘12). To receive this award, an athlete does not necessarily need to be the best player on his or her team; instead he or she has to show outstanding character and spirit. Varma embodies this persona. Varma came to Paly with the hopes

of competing on the baseball team. However, those hopes were quickly put on hold at the start of his high school career. He was cut from the junior varsity baseball team during both his freshman and sophomore years. “I could not give up without a fight,” Varma said. “I was unwilling to let go of my beloved sport.” Getting cut was not easy, but coming back again was even harder for Varma. “I’m not going to lie - it hurt,” Varma said. “Rejection never feels good, no matter how you look at it. It took me some time to bounce back, but I learned to look forward and not back. Sophomore year was harder still, having already been cut the previous year. Honestly, I almost quit. But I didn’t give up. That’s one of the best lessons I

have learned from this whole experience.” While some athletes who were cut from the Paly baseball team never came back, Varma instead honed his skills by playing for Old Pro in the Palo Alto Babe Ruth League and the NorCal Bulldogs travel team. “I played on two teams both freshman and sophomore year and really got a lot of playing time,” Varma said. “That’s exactly what I needed, a shot to show I could play and a chance to get even better.” Although Varma is not an especially hard throwing pitcher, he came to tryouts his junior year determined to make the team. The hours of practice had paid off, and it showed. His command had improved, and he was an effective pitcher. “He is 18 years old, but he is like a crafty veteran, throwing off-speed stuff, keeping it

48 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

low, and getting mostly ground balls hit,” assistant coach Dave Goldman said. “He is a smart kid, he is using his intelligence to pitch well.” Goldman spends a large amount of time working with the pitchers on the team and has had a chance to witness Varma’s development firsthand. “I think [his progression] is incredible,” Goldman said. “It’s the result of perseverance, hard work, and dedication.” Varma saw time as a relief pitcher his junior year, and even got a win against Bellarmine High School towards the end of the regular season. “His hard work really translates to his performance on the field,” teammate Alec Wong

Varma’s journey from being cut to being an important component of the Paly varsity baseball team is no small feat, but the fact that he did so with near perfect grades and a positive attitude is even more impressive. His high school grade point average is 4.0 unweighted, he is currently enrolled in a plethora of advanced placement classes and he recently enrolled at Brown University in Rhode Island. Furthermore, Varma takes the term studentathlete very seriously. When asked by a teammate if he would “trade A’s for B’s to make the team,” Varma responded with “of course not.” Even though he may not be making headlines

Varma’s attitude and dedication hold true to the character that Alok Subbaro showed. Varma was cut twice, but kept on trying. He did not let this setback affect his athletic or academic career in the long run. “Just because I wasn’t good enough initially wasn’t going to keep me from playing,” Varma said. “I also had a lot of people rooting for me, and it really meant a lot.” He may be leaving Palo Alto in the fall, but Varma plans to take his extraordinary academic and athletic work ethic to Brown, where he hopes to compete for a roster spot on the baseball team

“Just because I wasn’t good enough initially wasn’t going to keep me from playing,” Varma said. “I also had a lot of people rooting for me, and it really meant a lot.” (‘12) said. “Without his work ethic he wouldn’t be where he is today as a baseball player.” Varma entered his senior season with higher expectations and a larger role than before. This season, he pitched a total of 13.1 innings, and had an earned run average (ERA) of 3.15, despite missing roughly two weeks due to college visits.

for baseball, Varma is noticed around campus. “Arun is an inspirational player and he makes the most out of everything he has through hard work and dedication,” former teammate Will Glazier (‘11) said. “I have never seen a kid get cut twice but keep working at it, on top of all the other things he does, and the lack of sleep he gets.”

just as he did his freshman year at Paly. “I’m going to work on my pitching this summer and I’ll try out [in] the fall,” Varma said. “It’s a D-1 school, so it’s a long shot. But at this point, no matter what happens, I’ll be happy. These last years in varsity baseball have been some of the best of my life.” <<<

LEFT Arun Varma (‘12) smiles for the camera after a practice during the 2012 baseball season. RIGHT Varma, a right handed pitcher, warms up before one of his games this season. MAY 2012 | 49

ZOOM PALY STRONG Annemarie Drez (‘14) powers her way past a St. Francis defender in the first round of the SCVAL playoffs on May 10. The Lady Vikes lost 20-9 just hours after learning that 2011 team captain Emily Benatar (‘11) had died. Photo by Grant Shorin MAY 2012 | 51

No Place Like Home BY JULIA FARINO photo by Grant Shorin

Just how important is “home field advantage” at the high school level? Paly athletes offer insight into its significance.


or a sports team, there is

nothing more sacred than defending the honor of its home field, and there are few feelings more demoralizing for athletes than walking off their home field after a loss. Members of the Paly football team, like guard Tory Prati (‘12), thoroughly understand this concept. “There is an unwritten rule in sports that you don’t lose at home,” Prati said. The rest of the football team has taken on this mindset, and as a result, has not lost a game at home in over two years. Walking onto your home field on game day brings a certain sense of comfort that can greatly benefit a team. This “home field advantage” is a combination of many factors,

52 | T H E V I K I N G |

both literal and psychological, which work together to build a certain confidence and swagger often felt by Paly athletes, including varsity soccer player Jordan Smith (‘13). Smith recognizes everything when playing at home: how the ball bounces when it hits the field, which way the wind swirls on the pitch and every idiosyncrasy the field contains. “My team and I are more familiar with our home field than the opposing team,” Smith said.   The feeling of reassurance that Paly athletes receive from their knowledge of their own field can impact their attitude and ultimately influence the outcome of their games. The home field advantage often enters an athlete’s brain during a game, potentially giving the player and team that extra boost of confidence they need to perform at their best.

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

Athletes also often feel motivated and encouraged by their fans, who play an essential role in inspiring momentum throughout the game. Moreover, fans contribute an added pressure to perform, which for some serves as added motivation. “You never want to give your home fans less than a victory,” Prati said. Throughout the season, this field becomes an athlete’s home. Every team forms a special bond with its home field; it’s where players practice everyday, compete against other teams and occasionally make history. For varsity boys’ lacrosse player Walker Mees (‘13) and his teammates, the advantage hits home because of historical ties: They became league champions on that field during their first year as a team.

Feature Story

“[The Paly field] has had a special vous. Varsity lacrosse player Simone Bufeel to it ever since then,” Mees said. teau (‘13) compared the differences bePaly teams feel the need to keep up their tween playing at home and playing away. reputation at home, and play well to show that “I like driving right to the game,” she said. “I get they deserve the field they play on. Athletes on the field, I do my thing with my teammates can let the psychology from the home field and it’s the same thing every time. With away advantage make or break them, or they can games you have to get on the bus, do a forty-five chose to ignore it and play their best on any minute drive and warm up somewhere else.” field. Paly athletes utilize their own home field Many athletes feel there is a different vibe while advantage, but do not let that mindset inter- playing on an opponent’s turf. Athletes can gain fere with their focus and emotions during the a little more energy walking into a new place game, and instead use it to improve their play. and stepping onto an unfamiliar field, which “[Playing at home] can elevate the team’s often gives them the motivation to upset the play and demoralize the opponent,” var- home team and leave their mark on that field. sity basketball player Kenny Jones (‘13) said. Some teams, like the Castilleja lacrosse Just as playing at home can have encour- team, have no field to call their own. Because aging factors for players, away games can they have to play all games away at opponents’ weaken morale and make a team ner- fields, the girls do not get to experience the

coveted home field advantage, nor host a Senior Night to honor the seniors on the team, which can be disheartening to some players. “It is pretty tough [not having a home field], especially for lacrosse, because our only experience on a full field is during games,” Castilleja lacrosse player Martha Harding (‘12) said. Teams at Paly, however, have the opportunity to build memories of grueling practices, celebratory Senior Nights and critical moments in games which all took place and helped shape them and their legacies. According to Mees, these ties combine to create individual mindsets that all share a communal sense of pride and can push an athlete forward. “I have a lot of memories on that field, and right when I walk on to it they all flood back,” Mees said. “It’s a powerful place.” <<<

MAY 2012 | 53

Columns: Shannon Says

Shannon’s Laws


ell Paly, here it is. Shannon’s last column ever. I just put “The Final Countdown” on via iTunes as I sat myself down to write this. Oh, how the time goes... But I am not going to launch into some ridiculous rant about “how much I will miss this” and all that stuff that fills every Viking columnist’s final page (even though I will miss Paly and The Viking more than words can accurately express). No no, fair readers, I will not disappoint you. Because more important than my going away speech (as I think of it) are the memories we have shared together: as a school, as teammates, as athletes. Which is why I feel it appropriate to give something back to the community that I have so thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these past four years. Paly Vikings, you are the best athletes around and I feel privileged to have been called one of your own. So here’s the word on some advice that I wish I had known before stepping onto this campus as a wee (and decently dressed) underclassman: 1. If you are in the stands at a Paly football game...FOR GOODNESS SAKES, STAND UP IN THE STUDENT SECTION. You are a student, and thus a fan. You go to the games to

CHEER. So, please. Do it. And if people tell you to sit down because they can’t see, stand on your tip toes. 2. It takes approximately 10 minutes to squeeze one’s body into a properly sized racing swimsuit...when you are dry. I don’t even want to know how long it’s going to take to shove myself into Jasmine Tosky’s (‘12) size 24 FS Pro after Central Coast Section (CCS) warm ups. So if you are wearing ANY sort of brand new athletic gear prior to a major competition...make sure you try it on beforehand and wiggle around a little to get the feel of it. 3. Heckling (within reason) at basketball games is actually effective. The gym echoes and you might play your role as a fan if you squawk while the other team attempts to hit those free throws. 4. Powder puff is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Just ask coach Tory Prati (‘12) and his coaching visor. Don’t be afraid to try out next year. Trust me, it is the best. Plus, senior year you get to wear the football player’s actual jerseys. 5. I admit, I made fun of the cheerleaders. But I shouldn’t have, and you shouldn’t either. Have you tried doing one of their practices? Well, when you tear your groin trying to do splits in the air, come talk to me. Respect the cheerleaders. They are making up for the serious lack of spirit at this school. Which brings me to... 6. Don’t have high expectations for

BY SHANNON SCHEEL getting your dream jersey number, freshmen. Especially if you are a varsity letterwinner. You will get the slim pickings at the bottom of the heap, but view it as the opportunity to give that number an identity. I was initially “stuck” with number 14 for water polo but after three years, I’ve grown to love it. 7. Ladies, I have been a student at this school for four years. And I will say that, excluding various individuals on the other male sports teams, the varsity baseball team as a whole, over the course of my years at Paly, takes the cake for hottest boys’ team on campus (basketball and lacrosse tie for second). So if you are looking for the cute ones, ladies, I’d hit up one of those three sports. (As I said above, there are individual exceptions to this, so no one get heated now.) 8. If you are pulled up to the CCS team for playoffs, it is easy to be intimidated by the upperclassmen starters. Don’t be! You are the future of the sport, and they want to encourage you to play your best. So embrace your role as a varsity athlete and follow their lead. Well Paly, those are my final tidbits. I hope you’ve learned something new from one of The Viking family’s greatest (just kidding...I am far from it) and I wish you a prosperous next few years in your high school careers. Once a Viking, always a Viking. For the last time…Scheel is out. <<<

photo by Scotty Bara

FIELD OF DREAMS Shannon enjoys a final tender moment on the baseball field, taking in its wondrous sights. 54 | T H E V I K I N G |

w w w. v i k i n g s p o r t s m a g . c o m

The Last Word

Machinery Malfunction BY SPENCER DRAZOVICH

photo by Scotty Bara

cold sweat formed around my brows. A lone bead broke free and trickled down the side of my face. My breathing was nervous yet controlled. I lowered myself into position and moved my hand over my weapon of choice. My eyes locked on my prize… target acquired. Thirty seconds until it was time to strike, I exhaled and got ready to pounce. Five seconds until show time. Every muscle in my body is tense. My nerves are on high alert, I have complete focus… I am in control. The clock strikes zero, with one swift move of the mouse I attack and secure my prize buck. I can hear the commissioner in my head… “With the first pick in the 2012 fantasy baseball draft, the Croatian Crushers (my fantasy baseball team) select Albert Pujols.” I jump up and run around the house like a rabid dog. My brother gets in the way of my victory lap and is promptly run over. As my adrenaline rush subsides and my blood pressure returns to somewhat normal levels I return to my throne and ponder what has just occurred. This was my year. The baseball gods had spoken and their divine intervention had secured me the first overall pick in the draft. With that pick I had treated myself to a heaping, full serving of the greatest player to step on a baseball diamond in the last decade. Albert Pujols has hit over 30 home runs in each of the last eleven seasons. In the off season he had transferred to sunny Los Angeles to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This move to beautiful California and the $240 million contract he had signed would surely motivate him to have the best season of his career… or so I thought. Two months later, here I am sitting in front of my computer evaluating the first month of the baseball season and how my team has performed. I am sitting comfortably in ninth place out of 10 teams and 38.5 points behind the league leader. Obviously this is not optimal. However, to make matters worse, my marquis player, good ol’ Albert is hitting like a 12 year old facing Randy Johnson. As a matter of fact Pujols is playing so poorly that ESPN baseball insider, Tim Kurkjian, said that Pujols “has been the worst hitter in the American League throughout the first month of the season.” In 113 at-bats Pujols had not gone ya-ya once, the longest streak

FALLEN ANGEL Albert Pujols has been one of the worst hitters in the MLB this season, leading to the demise of my fantasy baseball team. of any power hitter in the history of the game. I am not going to pretend like I know what Pujols is going through. I’m sure there is a lot of pressure on him and walking around with $240 million in his back pocket has to be a terrifying experience. But, for the sake of the Croatian Crushers franchise I would really appreciate if he could turn it around a bit and put his wood to better use.

If Pujols doesn’t turn it around, the Angels may have purchased a $240 million hunk of man meat. Finally, on a fateful day in May, my luck changed. Angels’ fans and disgruntled fantasy owners all over the world rejoiced. With one runner on a base on a mild Sunday afternoon, Pujols ended his drought and launched the ball into the deep left field bleachers. I found myself plopped down on my couch with a lone tear sliding down from my eye. Watching him trot around those bases felt better than waking up on Christmas morn-

ing. This is what I had been waiting for. With my team dangling by threads Pujols was able to give me a sense of security in one colossal swing of the bat. I don’t care if I looked like a teenage girl watching Titanic. It was a beautiful moment. My mom brought me a box of tissues and I cried to myself, soaking in the moment. For one fleeting second I thought this could be the change in luck that I had desperately been awaiting. With Pujols hitting again my team would ascend from the depths to become the dominant force it was destined to become. My whole team would receive the jolt of energy it would need to turn its season around and take the league by storm. The sky was the limit and no that’s not hyperbole because things could not get any worse. Unfortunately for my team and it’s unfortunate manager, Pujols has hit a total of two home runs since his initial bomb. This officially makes him the most expensive showpiece in the history of baseball. Fans have booed him and analysts have criticized him, and yet none of it seems to be what he needs to start hitting again. Could we be witnessing the end of one of the most appreciable careers in modern baseball? It’s very possible and at the moment it’s looking plausible. If Pujols does not turn it around quick, the Angels may have just purchased themselves a $240 million hunk of man meat... That can’t hit a baseball. <<<

MAY 2012 | 55

2011-2012 The Viking staff

Sports Medicine Specialists Frank Chen, M.D. Colin Eakin, M.D. Sally Harris, M.D., MPH Warren King, M.D. Amol Saxena, DPM Sean Cutright, P.A.-C Melissa Fought, R.N., N.P. Laurel Greenfield, P.A.-C Beth Ogelvie, P.A.-C

If you are the parent of a young athlete, you may be concerned about the demands of their training, and you may worry about the potential for injury or permanent damage. For over forty years, Palo Alto High School has trusted the sports medicine experts at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation - including current team physician Dr. Colin Eakin - to help its student athletes stay in the game. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Sports Medicine Department is nationally recognized for its non-surgical and surgical approaches to adolescent sports injuries. They are committed to helping young athletes prevent future injuries, and they’ll be the first to tell you when there is a better alternative to surgery. Learn more about how your student athlete can stay in the game at Palo Alto Center Clark Building 795 El Camino Real 650-853-2943

The Viking: Volume 5 Issue 6  

A recap of key Paly sports moments in 2011-2012.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you