Page 1

Volume XV, Issue 1, Oct. 2021




Intro Package


Hidden Life of a Teacher Athlete


Fans In The Stands


Fall Sports Spotlight


Superstition Or Super Lame


Lights On The Pool Deck


Friday Night Lights: The People Behind


the Homecoming Game

New Olympic Sports


Women in the Weightroom


Viking Tries: Wii Sports


Hidden Gems


Final Word


on the cover:

Our feature story, “Women In The Weight Room” profiles female weightlifters at Paly and their experiences in a male dominated sport. (Design by Greg Laursen)

Thea Enache (‘22) and Taylor Zeman (‘23) set up for a block (Photo by Caleb Wong)


Volume XV, Issue 1 October 2021


would like to thank our sponsors...

Terri Butler The Beck Family The Leva Family The Chang Family

The Fetter Family The Mostofizadeh Family The Toland Family The Li Family

Interested in sponsoring or subscribing? E-mail us at

The Hayward Family The Donaker Family The Callan Family The Ramkumar Family The Bates Family

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Meet our Staff! Editors-in-Chief Hailey Callan, David Gormley Greg Laursen, Madhu Ramkumar Online Editor in Chief Anika Chang Creative Director Sofia Leva Multimedia Director Zach Hayward, Jake Foster Social Media Manager Hailey Beck, Emily Neumann Business Manager Parker Bates

Viking Magazine Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: Follow us @vikingsportsmag or go to for current game updates/scores. 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 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 Printing Services 2,500 copies of The Viking are printed, six times a year (barring restrictions due to remote learning) by Folger Graphics in Hayward, Calif. Logo Font Courtesy of Måns Grebäck

Photo Editor Grace Li Head Columnist Roei Ziv, Henry Bolte Staff Writers Caleb Wong, Cameron Toland Caroline Mostofizadeh, Elizabeth Fetter Harrison Williams, Ivan Ijzerman Jackson Martin, JJ Stoen Josh Donaker, Oliver Marburg Owen Bittinger, Sebastian Chancellor Sophia Cummings, Josh Butler

Carol Li Realtor DRE 01227755 650.281.8368 578 University Avenue | Palo Alto, CA 94301

Letter From the EDITORS Hey Vikings! We’re so excited to bring you the first issue of Viking for the new school year. Last year’s distance learning and the lack of sporting events at Paly forced Viking to shift our focus from Paly athletics to professional sports outside of the local community. Although we are incredibly proud of the work we accomplished in the 2020-2021 school year, it feels good to finally be returning to Viking’s true purpose, which is to cover Paly sports. And don’t you worry, we have got an issue jam-packed with exciting stories for you! Even though we are excited to write new and innovative stories, we know the Viking Magazine faithful are just as enthused for the more classic components, like “10 Questions.” After seeing the crowd of people that have been attending this year’s

Paly sporting events, it’s fair to say that Paly fans have been itching to see their favorite teams in person. “Fans Back In The Stands” (Page 18) explores how the return of fans to Paly athletic events has impacted our athletes and even the outcomes of our games. If you want to know more about this season’s games, be sure to check out the “Fall Sports Spotlight” (Page 24) so you won’t miss the most anticipated matchups. Our feature story, “Women In The Weightroom” (Page 37) profiles female weightlifters at Paly and their experiences being in a male-dominated environment. It also includes some tips for beginners who want to start lifting. On a more lighthearted note, “Superstition or Super Lame” (Page 26) dives deep into the minds of Paly

athletes as they prepare for a big game, and “Viking Tries: Wii Sports” (Page 42) will take you down memory lane as you watch our staff members battle it out in everyone’s favorite childhood game. Check out the story to find out who is crowned the Ultimate Winner. We hope you enjoy all of those stories and the rest of the other amazing stories that are in this issue. We look forward to a new year full of Paly sports and excitement. This year is definitely going to be one for the books, so get ready for all that Viking’s got for you! Sko Vikes!

Hailey Callan David Gormley Greg Laursen Madhu Ramkumar

Later School Days from an Athlete’s Perspective As our fall semester kicks into full swing, Paly sports are feeling normal. Almost. Masks and social distancing measures during practices have faded for most sports. Teams are enjoying luxuriously long seasons after last spring’s truncated schedule. But carefully calibrated practice times have been upset as a result of Paly’s later school start times - and our new schedule isn’t without its controversy. First, I’ll acknowledge the obvious downside: It seems like our already bustling evenings have become even busier. By the time you’ve biked home, eaten, started that math homework you said you’d do yesterday, and stopped for a 45 minute Tik Tok break, it’s already closing in on midnight. The ungodly hours that used to be bedtime have somehow been pushed to even deeper

in the night. That being said, as teenagers we are programmed to grumble over anything (and I certainly wasn’t initially a proponent of pushing practices back either), but in our frustration we seem to have forgotten a key benefit of our new schedule: later morning practices. Seven a.m. start times are a thing of the past and the groggy, frigid pain associated with morning workouts has become marginally less brutal. Ultimately, while our schedules have been shifted back, there are still 24 hours in a day. Later start times means later dinners and later bedtimes, but it also gives us an equivalent amount of extra time in the morning. It’s not easy to make this shift, but as we learn to adapt it’s important to consider where we were a year ago: No school. No practice. No

packed grandstands filled with Paly spirit. It’s hard to complain about later practices if the alternative is no practices at all. One last thought to take us into fall: If you’re playing a sport at Paly, or even if you do debate or scioly or theatre or however you contribute to our school, remember one thing: Paly games don’t last forever, so get out there and take it all in. Win and lose with grace. Don’t be afraid to give it everything. Capture every fleeting moment - even if those moments are now an hour later. - David Gormley

Photo by Grace Li



The season started off rough with two losses, but the team treated it as a learning experience and came back better than ever with a three-game winning streak. The camaraderie among the players inspired and motivated the team to come back strongly. Senior quarterback Danny Peters (on right with Lucas Black) threw six touchdowns against Santa Clara, leading them to their decisive 63-13 win.

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 7


Center defensemen Damon Schultz (‘22) makes a pass in the game against Harker, where the team lost 14-13. The Paly water polo team had a strong start with three league wins in a row and second place at back-to-back tournaments.


Photo by Grace Li

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The Paly cheer team has been performing at most home Paly football games since the start of the season. In this halftime performance, Natalie Karel (‘23), Bee Montez (‘24), Tara Correa (‘22), and Sophia Soto (‘22) strike a pose during the second game of the season against Serra.


Photo by Grace Li

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 11

DRIP Check

You’ve seen them on the field, you’ve seen how they play, but there’s just one question... do they have the drip? viking met up with some of the most driptastic fall athletes to test how much drippyness they truly have.







Rowan Felsch (‘22) 12 | VIKING MAGAZINE |


blake Chase (‘22)

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Slaney, Jenna Hickey, and Karen Hickey























VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 13

10Q? With Olivia Harrison as told to JAKE FOSTER and CALEB WONG

Olivia Harrison (‘22)

Girls Volleyball


The motto by drake, lil wayne

Hype Up Song?


Nike or adidas

Really good at puzzles

Hidden Talent?


Favorite Team To Play?


Spirit Animal?


Favorite Exercise?

pizza bites

Pregame Meal?


Celebrity Crush?


Is a hot dog a sandwich?

hailey callan

Funniest Teammate?


Viking asked Olivia Harrison (‘22) 10 questions and tried to have her coach, teammate, and friend guess her answers. Photos courtesy of Karen Hickey

?? Owen Rice (‘22)

Hillary Cheung (‘22)

Assistant Coach



Shots By LMFAO

Shots By LMFAO





Shooting Balls Into The Cart

Knowing everything About Harry Styles

Ability to do Mental Math

Los Gatos

Los Gatos

Los Gatos







Welches Gummies



Ryan Gosling


Megan Fox




Hillary cheung

Hailey Callan

Hillary Cheung




Julia tri (‘22)



Paly teachers are well known for their educating capabilities. However, many of them are secretly amazing athletes as well.

kating across the roller derby arena, an athletic figure wearing a helmet and knee pads elbows her way past the opposing blockers. With a face of determination and a heart full of grit, she paves the way for her jammer to come around and score a point. One might think this to be a fellow classmate. However, this is actually one of our teachers on campus. Probably everybody has heard the expression “studentathlete,” but has anyone heard of a teacherathlete? This phrase might seem oxymoronic to some; how could teachers have a life outside of school? Isn’t all they do at home grade papers and plot seemingly infinite homework assignments? On the contrary, it’s actually quite common to find teachers in amateur adult leages or adult club teams for the most popular sports such as basketball, football, soccer, or baseball. However, finding a teacher that does a completely unique sport is not as easy. Here at Paly, two of the most prominent examples are: social studies teacher Christopher Farina, and econ teacher Apryl-Joy Pascua. Farina’s sport, ultimate frisbee, is a non-

contact competition in which two teams diving catch and snagging the disk mere of seven try to score in the opposing inches from the grass. team’s end zone. The playing field is You will often be able to find Pascua similar in length to a football field but skating in circles at your local rink or slightly narrower. lifting weights in preparation for her next Unusually, there are no season when she is not writing lectures referees, which leaves about supply and demand or the pros players responsible and cons of both communist and for following and capitalist markets. enforcing the rules. Somewhat unusually, Farina didn’t grow On the other hand, up playing frisbee, he actually picked it Pascua’s sport of up by chance the last year of high school. roller derby is one “My senior year I had a friend whose that involves a lot of younger brother had … convinced his physical contact, as older brother and all of his friends, which described previously. included me, to not play our spring It is played on a track- sport… ” Farina said. “And instead learn shaped roller rink, with how to play Frisbee over the winter and two teams, then play in the consisting spring.” of five Like Farina, players, a jammer and a four Pascua started blockers. The goal of each skating not when team is to have their jammer she was little, but lap as many opposing instead halfway blockers as possible to through her teen score points. Blockers work years. She picked together to help their own up skating after jammer get through, while going to a roller also blocking the opposing derby rink for a jammer. birthday party as When not teaching a kid. Photo courtesy of Christopher Farina psychology, spending time After being told with his kids, or exploring Farina makes a diving catch at Ultimate she was “pretty Frisbee Nationals. national parks, Farina can be decent” at it, she found elegantly flicking his frisbee across decided to learn more about roller derby the length of a football field or making a and just attend a local practice.

[Frisbee] definetely gives me


for student athletes who are in season. -Farina

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“ All I have to do is ,


nothing beats that. -Pascua

“The practice was outside and I just kind of showed up,” Pascua said, “And the coach was like ‘what are you doing here’ and I was like, ‘I’m here to check it out’ and there was a dusty bag, an army bag full of gear, and I ‘ve been skating ever since.” Although both Farina and Pascua’s stumbles into the world of their respective sports were somewhat

with the ever-increasing workload of his job as a teacher. Some competitions could take up multiple days, and be as many as two or three states away. “There were definitely moments when it was really nuts,” Farina said. “The district that I was first teaching at had to get special permission to take days off that were up against the weekend, and we only accrued one personal day every year. I had to request a special leave or use up my sick days instead when I wasn’t actually sick.” Most of the time, Farina was able to toe the line in terms of his delicate balancing act. He managed a hectic schedule of practicing during the week, traveling on the weekends—sometimes as far as Vancouver—then rushing back to teach at eight in the morning t h e accidental, following t h e day, not to endurance mention of it in their the papers lives is due to grade, to anything homework but chance. to assign, Fa r i n a a n d continued tests to to play write. At f r i s b e e times this through equation Photo courtesy of Apryl-Joy Pascua c o l l e g e , Pascua (left) and her teammate attempt to block the opposing jammer from d i d n ’ t j o i n i n g scoring a point. l e a v e amateaur leagues. After finishing enough space for both passions, he had college, his connections with some old to make sacrifices. friends led him back into the competitive “It was the first year that I had started frisbee community. teaching in New Hampshire, my team had He had to balance his love for the sport qualified for the world championships, 16 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

which were on the other side of the world, and you can’t fly directly there,” Farina said. “The people that went took off a week or two weeks, and to do it, I really would’ve had to take off a full week of school and I couldn’t get permission for that.” At first, these sacrifices were for his teaching career, but later on, his priorities shifted towards something even more precious. “My first son was born and that summer there was a world championship game up in Canada,” Farina said, “I did go, but it meant my wife was on her own with our kid who was six months old. I went for the week and came back and that’s the last big tournament that I’ve done since having kids.” Pascua also juggled countless activities at once. Before COVID-19, Pascua was teaching part-time as a substitute teacher while competing and practicing derby on the side, all while trying to complete another degree at graduate school. “When the pandemic hit everything stopped and that included roller derby,” Pascua said, “So, everything just seemed to line up: I started working [full-time] and I had time for it because I wasn’t practicing three times a week.” Despite activities lining up well for Pascua, she has still had experience with the struggles of balancing her multiple activities. “It’s definitely difficult because not only was I going to practice three times a week, I was also cross-training outside of practice,” Pascua said, “I was a substitute teacher, I was working a before-andafter school program, and then before that I was a middle school teacher. It was definitely difficult to juggle all those things for sure.” Even with the difficulties roller derby brought her, the sport will always, always be worth it, especially with the support she receives from her teammates. “[Roller Derby] is a team sport,” Pascua said. “I kind of have a hard time asking for help from people. I always think that I have to go at things by myself. I just grew up that way. I felt like if I asked for help, I was bothering people. But with roller derby you can’t win it by yourself.” Even though Pasuca is currently taking a break from Derby, partially due the pandemic, and partly because she has to prioritize school, both as a teacher and a student. The sport, along with the thousands of memories of competitions, practices, and laughing teammates, are things that will never leave her body,

Teach Athle er tes

mind, or soul. “All I have to do is skate. Nothing, nothing beats that,” Pascua said. “Anytime I feel like I’m having a hard time with school, or life, I just remember that I am strong enough to make it through those kinds of things. I am resilient. I can put in that hard work because I’ve done it before and I know what it takes to get to where I want to go.” H a v i n g experienced what it is like to live the life of a teacherIp l athlete, the co ay P m i parallel to our be pet ckleb i c more pla ause tive o all b e commonly found ga y be it’s utlet cau me cau alw . It se student-athlete, ay ’s v it’s wit se s e a i hl both Farina and ots t’s a dou ry so gre b at v c of l Pascua have str ery c es. I ial a e a insights that teg reb lso y in ral others vo lve m a y d. lack. “ [ Fr i s b e e ] definitely gives me empathy for student athletes who are in season and when they’re not in season,” Farina said. “How everybody’s trying to balance what they’re doing with their sport. Or even people that are playing music or something like that. Anything that’s going to end up taking a good chunk of your time, I definitely have empathy for them.” Pascua has a deep understanding of the tribulations that come with balancing many things at once, and an even deeper understanding of what it is like to try and balance too many things by yourself, drawing the parallel between athletics and life. “Roller derby saved my soul,” Pascua said, “I was in a marching band, and I didn’t play that many sports when I was in high school. I kind of just started [playing roller derby] so that way I could be a part of a culture. I really never thought I was an athlete, and it wasn’t until my very first roller derby tournament that I realized I was.”

DIE PETE R P E N Cu rre PE T BR nt s eac “ port her OC s: P


leb all


I R E SH E O R L MU eacher PE T

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 173

Exploring the return of fans to Paly sports after a year without a crowd. by OWEN BITTINGER, SEBASTIAN CHANCELLOR, and EMILY NEUMANN art by VIVIAN TRACH



rom the energy and passion that surged through the Paly crowd, it seemed as if the varsity football team had just won a championship. But in fact, they were down 42-0. Somehow, the fan presence underneath the Friday night lights is enough to make every game—even the most catastrophic of defeats—feel like a win. Paly’s school spirit at sports competitions is well recognized by the Palo Alto Community. The heart of Viking spirit is the loud, energetic student section spilling out of the bleachers at almost every home football and basketball game. Fans play a crucial role in helping teams succeed and may hold the key to Paly’s state-renowned sports programs. Unfortunately, the echoing chants of

Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey

Senior Blake Chase, starting slot receiver and safety on the varsity football team, felt the team struggle during their fan-less season. “Especially for home games, if we went down, we couldn’t really find a way to get ourselves back up,” Chase said. There was a glaring decrease in the performance of the Paly varsity football team compared to previous years. Paly ended their 2020-21 season with a record of 2-3, considerably worse compared to their record of 7-5 during the 2019-2020 season and the 10-2 record of the previous 2018-19 season. While team performance may have been influenced by a variety of other factors, such as losing the 2021 senior class and not having access to the Peery Center weight room; it’s hard to not place partial blame on the loss of the faithful Paly fans. This same theme was present across other sports as well. Starting shooting guard for the boys varsity basketball team, senior Matt Corrigan, also felt the negative effects from the absence of fans.

“Especially for home games, if we went down, we couldn’t really find a way to get ourselves back up” - Blake Chase (‘22) Paly’s student section came to an abrupt halt when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, where the majority of fans were banned from entrance. During the 2020-21 Paly sports seasons, parents were the only spectators permitted at games. The CCS board made this decision in order to adhere to the Santa Clara county guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus. Without the support of their fans, Paly athletes found it harder to keep momentum throughout their games.

“It was definitely much harder to gain momentum and go on runs without many fans,” Corrigan said. “In a normal setting, we can feed off of the crowd’s energy, but that wasn’t the case this past year.”

Multiple studies, including several published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, have shown that having fans in the stands creates a significant impact on the result of the game- across all sports. When facing an opponent at their home field, the odds of leaving with a win are much lower for the visiting team. What could be the reason for this? What does it come down to? The significant increase of fans at home games that give teams the home-field advantage.

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 19

Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey

Extensive independent studies that plays at home, they simply have a better spanned across the NBA, NFL, and MLB chance of winning than when playing for the league’s entire existence found away. that in each respective sport, However, playing at home on average, teams versus playing away playing at home doesn’t change won significantly the validity of more than the venue. v i s i t i n g Equipment is teams. In re g u l a t e d the NBA, to never h o m e provide teams an unfair w o n 6 2 % of the time. In the NFL, h o m e t e a m s MORE GAMES IN THE 3 w o n YEARS PRIOR TO THE 2021 60% of advantage, games. The the rules SEASON trend did not are the same change in the for every team, MLB either, with and rosters do not 54% of teams winning fluctuate often in high at home. These studies all school athletics. So what point to the fact that when a team makes home field advantage so




valuable? The fans. For the Paly teams that draw in the biggest crowds, the absences of a fan section hurt the most. Now with school back in person, vaccination levels rising, and COVID restrictions slowly lifting, fans are once again coming back to the stands. Even though half the student body has never been to a Paly football game or been part of the student section before this season, the Paly spirit has never been more alive. “It’s really great to see the same intense energy coming from Paly fans, even after a year without games,” junior Eoin O’Connell said.

So much is overlooked when it comes to fans’ impact on games. Fan support has effects that many would not even consider. Even when teams are not performing at their best, the passion Paly fans bring to each game is incomparable. A considerable amount of data has exposed the fact that part of home court/field advantage comes down to referees subconsciously being in favor

of the home team, specifically due to fan presence. A study conducted in a German soccer league, Bundesliga, found there was a distinct difference in the amount of fouls called when there were fans in attendance versus when there were not fans. In 83 matches analyzed last year, visiting teams were penalized substantially more when they were playing in front of fans compared to when they played with no fans at the same stadium. More fouls were called in empty stadiums last year than full ones in years’ past—perhaps proving to be a sign that referees feel less inclined to favor the home team while playing in empty stadiums. Fans not only have an effect on the referees and players, but more importantly, they have the potential to dictate the game’s outcome. Home teams in the Bundesliga scored fewer goals in empty stadiums than they did in full ones. They took fewer shots, and the shots they took were considerably less efficient. According to the same study, home teams also took less aggressive attempts to score, less corner kicks, less crosses, and dribbled significantly less. All of these findings go back to the significance of having fans in the stands. Fans prove to be a crucial factor when it comes to a team winning or losing. They provide energy for teams that need to kickstart their momentum.

The Paly football team, while having a rough start to this season, has already felt the effects of the return of fans. While playing traditionally very strong teams, such as Serra High School, Paly’s varsity football team has fought to stay in tough games with the support of the student section. After being down 42-0 in the first half, the Vikings fought back, outscoring Serra 14-0 in the second half. The team has gone on to win 2 home games. “It is a whole new environment with fans,” Starting senior tight end for Paly football, Lucas Black said. “They bring so much energy and hype to the game, which gets everyone on the team hyped, too.” Both the freshmen and s o p h o m o re classes have already become integrated into the Paly football environment in just the few home games they have attended this season. “It was really cool to see how almost the entire school comes to support the athletes, even though their most

“We don’t have cheerleaders so our team is the cheerleader” - Kyle Park (‘23)



recent performances have not been the greatest,” Freshman Ryan Stonich said.

Even students who do not particularly care about football come out to show their support for the team and take advantage of the social environment that the games provide. “I would probably go again just for the experience of meeting new people and being around friends,” Stonich said. “Not exactly for the football game itself, but just because everybody there is so nice.” Black suggests that the abundance of underclassmen actually contributed to the increased energy and helped the spirit of the players. “I think the energy at Paly is even better than previous years because a lot of the underclassmen have never been to high school sporting events, so it is a first time experience for a lot of people which leads to a big turnout and lots of e n e r g y ,” Black said. P a l y football is back in full swing with many s t u d e n t s , whether veterans or newbies, showing full support for the playing team, enjoying each season to the fullest.










3rd VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 21

For the Paly sports where student viewership is not the norm, the biggest change that the pandemic guidelines had on their viewership was the lack of parents at events. This was a variable that hardly affects the players. Sports such as cross country, golf, badminton, received little viewership from Paly fans in previous years. “I think the lack of viewership stems from the fact that we are running on courses in places like San Francisco or Monterey and they tend to be a little out of everyone’s way,” junior cross country

runner Kyle Park said. While travel distance and length of the events are major factors in the lack of fans, what it really comes down to is the popularity of the sport. Sports like football or basketball tend to drive in a larger crowd, whether it be at a professional or high school level. These sports have a reputation that events are not just games, but social gatherings. However, for the less attended


sports at Paly, even if the team is doing well or historically strong, they tend to attract a smaller crowd. “It sounds sad to say out loud, but people think of cross country as more of a conditioning than anything,” Park said. “They think that because you run in other sports, running itself is not it’s own sport.”

The Paly varsity girls volleyball team felt the difference that fans make at a close game. On September 21, the Vikings faced cross-town rival Gunn High School. It was one of the largest crowds that volleyball had experienced, especially at an away game. In a commanding 3-1 victory over the Titans, the team enjoyed having the enthusiastic Viking student section there to celebrate their win. “It really helped build confidence for me and for a lot of quiet and self reflective players on our team in terms of athletic performance,” Thea Enache (‘22) said. “On another note, it made winning feel so much better. That was probably the most fun game I’ve ever played in my whole career and I think the fans had fun too. The fans really boosted that Paly athletics atmosphere.” The girls varsity basketball

team saw few fans beyond parents and friends even in the years before the pandemic. As an injured player for most of last year, junior McKenna Rausch was able to directly observe the shift in energy from season to season. She felt that most of the team’s energy fed off the cheering she led on the bench, not from the minimal fans watching the games. “I think that the girls basketball team doesn’t usually have many fans in general, so even without COVID’s regulations, it’s always been up to the bench to show up and cheer,” Rausch said. Despite there hardly being any fans at these aforementioned sports, there is not a lack of Paly spirit. “Our team is the cheerleader when fans aren’t there,” Park said. “We have pasta feeds the night before meets, we do our cheer right before our races, we run to all of the viewing points to cheer others on when we are not racing.”

In order to compensate for the lack of fans, sports such as cross country and girls basketball put their “all” into supporting and cheering for their teammates. By holding team events and encouraging each other on the sidelines, these sports are able to maintain high enthusiasm, but it is hard not to wonder what they could accomplish if more Paly fans were to be in attendance. Fans are an integral part of any sport, so whether they are popular or not, students should try to support all of the Paly sports. “Just seeing a group of people supporting you, wearing your jerseys, with signs, sharing the team name, and cheering the team on means a lot to us players,” senior varsity soccer player Sebastian Bonnard said. “Having them there just makes all the difference. It’s just really like an extra player, like the 12th man.”

Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 23

Fall sports are back, and that means that the Vikings’ varsity teams have some big games that are bound to be thrillers. This is a collection of six fall varsity sports and their biggest remaining home games of the season. Can’t wait to see you in the stands! BY JOSH DONAKER AND IVAN IJZERMAN

Paly’s biggest rival, the Los Gatos High School Wildcats are ranked 34th in the state, and Paly varsity football looks to take them down on Homecoming night. “It’ll be a battle on both sides of the ball,” junior Vainga Mahe said.

The varsity field hockey team plays Homestead on the Paly Lacrosse field on October 22. The girls have been dominating their league, and are looking forward to a challenge against the Mustangs.


“Cupertino is a really good team, we played them earlier this season and they beat us pretty easily, although we did have some close matches. Hopefully now that we know what to expect we’ll be able to perform better,” junior Riya De Datta said.

Watch Paly’s fastest long-distance runners compete at the CIF and CCCAA Cross Country State Championships, hosted in Clovis, CA. “There’s lots of really fast competition, so it’d be amazing to compete in States,” junior Eoin O’Connell said.

Photos courtesy of Celeste Bates and Karen Hickey

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 25




hough Paly athletes come from a wide range of sports and backgrounds, many are bound by a common ritual: superstitions. Some are as strange as Paly alum Kevin Cullen, who refused to wear deodorant on game day, while others are as simple as starting quarterback Danny Peters’ habit to always wear an arm sleeve. Superstitions can calm athletes before an intense game. They


can also motivate the teams that practice them, as they bring the team together and give the athletes a sense of tradition. The origins of these idiosyncrasies are as varied as the superstitions themselves. Some adopt them from their idols while others randomly create them and make them a habit over time. Let’s take a look at some of our own superstitions from different Paly athletes.

“Every time I swim the 200 Breaststroke I have a pre-race routine,” Audrey Teo said. “I always listen to ‘Copacabana’ by Barry Manilow before I get in the pool and do my warmup. I have always loved that song and it has the perfect tempo and energy. It helps me mentally prepare for races, it is definitely a routine.” Photo courtesy of Audrey Teo

Mr. Sleeve “I wear an arm sleeve during every single game that I’m playing,” Danny Peters said. “At first it was because of a comfort thing, but ever since the first time I wore it when we won by over 30 points, I knew I had to wear it every game. If I were to stop doing it, I feel like I wouldn’t be as confident in myself as much as it makes me feel calm and controlled when I play.” Photo courtesy of Danny Peters


Pre-Swim Jams

ESQUER All Laced Up “I like to touch certain laces on my glove a set number of times as I stomp my feet a certain amount of times,” Xavier Esquer said. “I believe I am somewhat responsible for the pitcher to throw strikes. I started when I was like 9 or 10 in Manteca or Vacaville whenever I played shortstop.”

Photo courtesy of Xavier Esquer 26 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

Power in Pink “I wear a pink towel every football game I play,” Blake Chase said. “I started wearing one in the beginning of my sophomore season and it stuck. I wear it in honor of my mom who fought breast cancer. Since the first time I wore it, I felt it was an obligation to myself and her to wear it every game. Wearing it gives me a sense of security.”

Shake It Off

Photo courtesy of Blake Chase

Blake Chase

Unlucky Ball “If I serve a ball and don’t make it, then I can’t use that same ball for the next attempt,” Diana Narancic said. “I feel like that ball I messed up on has bad luck on it and I need to have a different ball. I started doing this when I was a sophomore on varsity, and my tennis game was getting serious. Why risk the ball with bad luck on it.”

“My whole team does a shake out before every performance,” Riley Herron said. “Our team started doing it my freshman year on the team and we’ve done it for every halftime, competition, and performance since. Lots of dance teams do these on dance shows and at competitions we go to, so we got inspired by other dancers. It is a fun way to hype up the team and bring everyone together.”

Riley Herron

NARANCIC Photo courtesy of Diana Narancic

Putting them to the test Free Throw Analysis Key




Sebastian Chancellor and Ryan Lykken saw an improvement when they did their signature free throw routines. Chancellor went 10/10 with his routine and 8/10 without it. Lykken shot 9/10 while performing his routine and 7/10 without it.

We took Xavier Esquer out onto the diamond and shot ground balls his way at shortstop. While no errors occurred in either test, he mentioned he felt a lot more comfortable after performing his superstition.

With Routine




Photo courtesy of Sebastian Chancellor

Overall, we can see superstitions have the possibility to help athletes in all sports genres. However, we can see that their main purpose is that they are able to create a sense of

confidence, and security inside the minds of these athletes that help them perform in their games week after week.

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 27




POOL DECK Shane Cadogan and Greg Meehan have two very different narratives, yet both know what it means to represent their countries at the highest level.


s the beep sounded, 20-yearold Shane Cadogan dove into the pool hoping to etch his name in Olympic history. With swimming being one of the most highly anticipated sports in the Olympics, dominant swimming countries like the United States, Australia, and China sent many big-name athletes to hopefully medal for their team. These popular athletes had thousands of fans that were cheering them on, while Cadogan was only one of the two swimmers for St. Vincent, an island country. Cadogan won his heat in the 50 meter freestyle preliminaries and it was not only a huge accomplishment for himself, but his country as well. Due to his home being within the vicinity of multiple beaches, Cadogan started swimming when he was five years old for safety reasons. He learned in his backyard pool with a

private teacher and continued to build up his skills in the water naturally over time. Cadogan currently studies at Stanford, splitting his time between St. Vincent and Palo Alto. He trains on two teams: the Blacksands Swim Squad in St. Vincent and the Alto Swim Club in Palo Alto. “I was always interested in sports, but swimming is what really stuck with me,” he said. Swimming was not


years until he became one of the fastest swimmers on the Blacksands Swim Squad. He trained vigorously and polished all of his strokes, but soon narrowed his focus down to his best stroke, which was freestyle. T h e Blacksands S w i m Squad was a smaller team, and a larger team would help Cadogan compete to the best of his abilities. “[Leading up to the Olympics] I have been somebody who’s trained, down here, in St. Vincent, kind of alone, with not many training partners,” Cadogan said. With Alto Swim Club, Cadogan has been able to train with a larger team filled with swimmers that challenge him to push further. “Back in California, it’s a much better experience [than training alone],” Cadogan said. “And I have the [Alto] guys who are so much younger than me, and I appreciate that because team building is key, especially in swimming.” In early 2021, Cadogan's talents were put to the test when he was invited to represent St. Vincent as a swimmer in the Tokyo Summer Olympics. In preparation

“I was always interested in sports, but swimming is what really stuck with me.” - Cadogan

popularized as a competitive sport in St. Vincent until Cadogan was 10 years old, which was when he started to participate in regional competitions. The swimming teams and programs were small, which made it more convenient to travel as a group and race in meets. Cadogan continued to improve for the next 10

Swimming Slang I.M. Individual medley: swimmer does all four strokes.

Outside Smoke Win heat from outside lane.


Negative Split

Going slow on purpose.

Faster in second half of race purposefully.

for the honor of representing the country, Cadogan traveled to Oahu, Hawaii with Alto Swim Club for a two-week training camp just a month before his heat. They went on long hikes, swam thousands of meters, and worked on team building exercises. “Oahu was a very necessary part of preparing for the games because I wasn’t able to train as well as I hoped back home,” Cadogan said. “It was a great balance between hard work and fun and helped a lot in getting me ready [for the games].” Soon, the time had come for him to leave for Japan, but due to traveling issues, Cadogan landed in Tokyo just four days before the games started. He struggled with jet lag and tried to swim it out as his event was getting closer. To make matters worse, the Olympic schedule was unusual for Cadogan. Typically, prelims take place in the morning and finals take place at night. However, the Olympic committee wanted to match this format to fit American time, so Cadogan’s prelims session was at night in Japan time. Cadogan got to the call room on time and started to get more nervous, but

Pop Swam really well. (I popped.)

Tech Suit Tight, expensive race suit.



Riding your Resting your body opponent’s wave in before a race. a race.

those nerves fueled his excitement and competitive spirit. As he saw the broadcast start, it hit him that he was finally at the summit, and was experiencing an opportunity of a lifetime. “You can hear a pin drop when you are about to start,” Cadogan said. “People I knew were in the stands, you can hear them distinctly say my name.” As he got on his block, he reflected on all his previous competitions and the training he went through that led up to this moment. “Throughout the race, I was honestly just trying to stay ahead of whoever was next to me,” Cadogan said. “I just had my head down and didn’t breathe at all.” During the race, Cadogan’s only focus

was to reach and touch the wall. “I touched the wall and I looked up… [and] saw my light [on the block] light up first,” Cadogan said. “The cameras were immediately in your face there were like three cameras surrounding me after.” After winning his heat, he not only brought pride to himself, but to St. Vincent and Alto Swim Club, for supporting such a young and talented swimmer. Even though Cadogan’s event lasted less than 30 seconds, he will carry this memory with him for the rest of his life. “Being around so many big name athletes and especially representing my country on the biggest stage was a very empowering experience,” Cadogan said.

“People I knew were in the stands, you can hear them distinctly say my name.” - Cadogan

29 VIKING | VIKING MAGAZINE MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | | 29

Viking had a chance to sit down with Stanford Women's Swimming coach Greg Meehan to talk about his experience at the Olympics.


SENSEI Greg Meehan is the women’s swimming training stimuli,” Meehan said. “This Over 50 people with different coach for Stanford and recently got helps us as coaches, put together a plan backgrounds, training, and skill sets all invited to be the head coach for the USA that can take come together to make swimming team in the Tokyo Olympics. advantage of up the team- and Meehan With 23 years of coaching experience, what they do has to act as “the glue” to Meehan’s knowledge for the sport is well while still unite them as a whole. “I believe in finding shown through his philosophies. staying true to This is especially hard ways to motivate Meehan has a strong passion for our core training when he and the other swimming and more specifically, values.” coaches were given only people to push coaching the sport. He believes that all A f t e r a short period of time to them towards goals swimmers can be successful if they are e v a l u a t i n g train with the entire team. they never thought open to struggle. which training “We don’t begin “Swimming challenges your physical, exercises fits training together as a full possible,” mental and emotional state and those each swimmer Olympic team until about - Meehan who embrace the challenge are typically best, he turns four weeks prior to the successful,” Meehan said. his focus to the Games,” Meehan said. Swimming is mostly an independent team dynamic. Even with such little sport, which forces swim coaches to take Even though time to train, the USA a different approach. swimming is a sport that is heavily swimming team united and won 30 Meehan’s beliefs are established independent, the team environment is as medals, 11 being gold. not only on the Olympic team, but his important as the training. This is because Meehan’s experience as a premiere Stanford team as well. the sport has to do a lot with willpower coach and ambassador for the sport has “I believe in finding ways to motivate and mental toughness, so a support allowed all of his swimmers to succeed at people to push them towards goals they system is necessary from teammates and the highest level. never thought possible,” Meehan said. coaches. “Swimming challenges your physical, When incoming freshmen come to Meehan had paid special attention to mental, and emotional state and those swim at Stanford, a primary challenge his Olympic team to ensure they connect who embrace the challenge are typically is maintaining their high school success and grow as a team. successful,” Meehan said. “It’s not about in a new environment. To combat this “Our Olympic team dynamic, call embracing those challenges with the challenge, Meehan made a detailed it culture, is rooted in working hard, mindset of being perfect…it’s about plan. supporting each other and having fun growth.” “[I] usually spend the first few weeks representing the United States,” Meehan learning how they respond to different said. 30 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

Stanford Stats Katie Ledecky ALUM

Stroke: FREESTYLE RANKINGS 400 free #1 (World Record) 800 free #1 (WR) 1500 free #1 (WR) © Donald Miralle

Simone Manuel Stroke: FREESTYLE ALUM

RANKINGS 4x100 medley relay #1 (WR) 50 free #1 (AR) 100 free #1 (AR) © Creative Commons

Regan Smith FRESHMAN

Stroke: BACKSTROKE RANKINGS 200 back #1 (WR) 4x100 medley relay #1 (WR) 100 back #1 (AR) © Creative Commons

Torri Huske

Stroke: BUTTERFLY RANKINGS 100 fly #1 (AR)

FRESHMAN © Maddie Meyer VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 31

Friday Night Lights

The People Behind the Homecoming Game

THE FOOTBALL PLAYERs “The energy at the Homecoming Game is always high, and we look forward to competing with a good team.” -Lucas Black (‘22)

“This game will be very different because it’s sort of a last hoorah for the team.” - Danny Peters” (‘22)

THE BAND “We are practicing our Homecoming songs and using day classes to go to the football field to practice marching.” - Nico Sama (‘22)



THE DANCE and Cheer TEAMS “Getting ready with my friends in our uniforms and flower crowns made us feel that sense of Paly pride.” -Rowan Erickson (‘22)

“We have been practicing the routine that we will be performing for weeks now so that we can be super prepared for it.” -Nicki Loewy (‘22)

Photos Courtesy of Karen Hickey

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 33

by CAROLINE MOSTOFIZADEH and CAMERON TOLAND Photo Courtesy of Reed Shulman

After a delay of almost a year, the Tokyo Summer Olympics were a big excitement and distraction from the chaos surrounding the pandemic, with surfing, rock climbing and skateboarding being introduced to a global audience this year.


e saw typical sports such as swimming, gymnastics, and track and field, but new sports, including surfing, rock climbing, and skateboarding were introduced to a global audience this year. These sports target a younger demographic and the majority of medalists were under the age of 30. Here at Paly, surfing, skateboarding, and rock climbing are growing increasingly popular among students.


Photo Courtesy of Paige Henry

Although surfing is new to the Olympics on their top two waves for maneuvers, this year, it has an extensive history going speed, power, and flow. back to pre-Inca Peru. Despite its ancient Here at Paly, surfing is a relatively history, the sport only took popular sport. off in popularity in Hawaii at Sophomore Eliza “It was amazing to see the start of the 20th century. Gaither has been Since 1995, the International surfing for around surfers being recognized five years and felt Surfing Association has petitioned for surfing to be that seeing surfing and awarded for their in the Olympics, and this in the Olympics year it finally happened. allowed for better talent” In the Olympics, there are representation and Eliza Gaither ‘24 six rounds of surfing with recognition of the multiple heats. After the sport. second round, surfers are “I loved watching eliminated, leaving only the top surfers the Olympic surfers because it was in each heat to advance. As the rounds amazing to see surfers being recognized continue, the heats progressively get and awarded for their talent,” Gaither smaller. Surfers can catch up to 25 waves said. per heat, but they are only judged

Although skateboarding has long been popular globally, skateboarding at Play has gained popularity over the last two years due to the pandemic. Skateboarding made its Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics after the Olympic Committee finally recognized it as a sport. Olympic skateboarding has two competitions, park and street. Participants in the park competition can use the course to perform whatever tricks they would like. The course resembles a large bowl, with steep sides and almost vertical drops, allowing skaters to perform spins and tricks throughout the course. Skaters are judged based on the quality and height of their tricks. Twenty skaters perform three 45-second runs with five judges scoring based on a zero to 100 point scale. The street competition takes place on a course that mimics a real street - with benches, stairs, rails, and walls. Speed, height, originality, and execution are all factors that will affect the overall score. Twenty skaters have two runs and five tricks which are scored by the judges on a zero to 10 scale. In both competitions, eight competitors

Currently, amateur and professional surfing has a primarily male demographic and is only popular on the coasts, and Gaither believes that the positive media representation will increase popularity amongst people who have never surfed. “I think that since the sport was so widely streamed this summer, it will become more popular and [more] people will begin surfing,” Gaither said. “As a new Olympic sport, I think surfing will no longer be a sport that only a specific group of people participate in.” Globally and locally, surfing is on an upward climb and it will be crucial to see where the sport goes in the next few years as it receives more mainstream media attention. Photo Courtesy of Keshav Srinivasan

will advance to the final “I could see the rounds. In Tokyo, Olympic skateboarding j u d g e s was dominated by teenagers, such as m e s s i n g Great Britain’s 13-year-old Sky Brown, up tons of who won bronze, or Japan’s 12-year-old trick names Kokona Hiraki. making me think Freshman Keshav Srinivasan, an avid they don’t really skate skateboarder, shared his opinion on all that much or understand the media portrayal of skateboarding, skate culture,” Srinivasan said. and the misconceptions presented in Although Srinivasan believes that Olympic coverage. the Olympic coverage will give “In my opinion skateboarding being skateboarding positive representation in the Olympics was a good thing, as it and respect, he also acknowledges that gave skateboarding some good positive putting it in the spotlight, it will change publicity, and skate culture. it portrayed “I think that the Olympics “I think that the Olympics will s k a t e b o a rd i n g make skateboarding as just any will make skateboarding culture less core, and other sport more beginner-friendly,” like basketball culture less core, and more Srinivasan said. or soccer,” Unlike many traditional beginner-friendly,” Srinivasan said sports, skateboarding Historically, doesn’t require a lot of Keshav Srinivasan ‘25 s k a t e b o a rd i n g money in order to be has not been successful, as all you need is widely covered in the mainstream media, a skateboard to begin. and is most well known for its distinctly “In the end I like skateboarding subversive “skate culture.” Skateboarding being an Olympic sport, as it will give is filled with independence and skateboarding more good publicity and influences on street fashion and music. more money,” Srinivasan said. VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 35

Photo Courtesy of Reed Shulman While rock climbing has long been an adventurous and popular sport, it was just included in the Olympics this year. A total of 40 climbing participants, 20 women and 20 men, competed in this combined event. This event included three climbing formats: speed climbing, bouldering, and lead climbing. Speed climbing involves two people climbing a relatively easy fixed-route extremely quickly, whereas bouldering is a climbing race done without safety ropes where an athlete climbs as many routes as they can in four minutes.

Lastly, lead climbers compete to ascend as high as possible on a 15-meter wall. Even though this sport is a new addition to the Olympics, it has been growing its popularity rapidly in recent years. Here at Palo Alto High School, there are many young athletes interested in the sport. Reed Shulman, a Junior, shared his thoughts on his sport being finally included in the Summer Olympics. “I was quite pleased to see my sport receive exposure in the Olympics,” Shulman said. “Hopefully, this will have a positive result on the industry as climbing continues to grow extremely rapidly.” All athletes competing in this Olympic sport participated in all three different forms of climbing. To prevent the athletes from observing other Olympic participants scaling the walls before them, each climber was kept away from the climbing wall before their turn. This format was quite controversial as the

OPINIONS: “I think orienteering would be cool to see in the Olympics because it not only tests your physical strength but also your mental strength.” ELIZABETH FETTER (‘23)

"I think arm wrestling should be a part of the Olympics because it is a very unique sport and really competitive.” ANNIKA CHANG (‘22)

“I would like to see backwards power walking in the Olympics because it would create an interesting alternative to an already popular sport.” GREG LAURSEN (‘22)

“I think cricket would fit great in the Olympics as it is one of the most popular sports in the world.” HARRISON WILLIAMS (‘23)

“I think spikeball would be a cool sport to add to the Olympics because it’s very popular among the youth and would attract a lot of viewers.” OLIVER MARBURG (‘23)


three disciplines are wildly different and few are elite in all three. “The Olympic format for climbing was questionable due to the nature in which all disciplines were combined,” Shulman said. Sport climbing was primarily dominated by young adults around the age of early twenties. Spain’s Alberto Gines Lopez took the first-ever Olympic gold medal in climbing. “Although my favorite climbers were not in the Olympics, it was cool to see the best of the best receive the world’s attention,” Shulman said. Due to the Olympics, the sport and the athletes participating in it have been able to get the recognition they deserve. It will be fascinating to see where this sport goes in the future.


We asked a group of Paly Students what their favorite sport to watch in the Olympics was, with options including typical sports such as gymnastics, and incorporating the newer sports: skating, surfing, and rock climbing. HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID:

n e M O W

e h t in


t h g i We Room



Breaking the barriers of stigmas and stereotypes, an increasing number of women can be found in the weight room with the intention of lifting to enhance both their physical and mental health. VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 37


n the basement of the Peery Family Center, blasting music and the sound of clanging metal radiates through the weight room. Like many gyms, upon glance the Paly weight room is a mainly male-dominated space. Taking a closer look, however, there are a few women who are routinely in the Paly weight room, taking advantage of all the benefits lifting can provide. One such student is senior Wallie Butler, who has been lifting since sophomore year. Before the sport became a passion, she was on the cheerleading team for Paly where she became familiarized with weight training as a part of the team’s training routine. After she stopped cheering, she sought alternative ways of staying active and gravitated towards the weight room since it was accessible at Paly. Butler sees weightlifting as somewhat of a creative endeavor where she can play around with how she spends her time in the weight room. “Through trying so many different exercises, I usually pick my favorite ones and the ones that get me the most active that day,” Butler said. “I build my own routine and do what is best for me.” Senior Gabi Winer is also a regular in the gym, spending her time there with the intention of building muscle and working out to get stronger physically and mentally. W i n e r ’ s introduction to weightlifting began during

“My workout is a time for personal reflection and it’s a time I get to check in with myself and sort through my thoughts” Gabi Winer

her sophomore year as a mode of mental and physical recovery. “I was in recovery for an eating disorder and I needed to gain weight,” Winer said. “I started to get into lifting heavy weights in order to gain my weight back in muscle.” She started going to the gym six times a week, determined to strengthen and heal her body, and more importantly, her mind. “My workout routine has been subject to change for a while as I’m still getting to know my body and what works best for me,” she said. “So far, alternating muscle groups has been working well for me because it allows me to give my body time to recover.” Winer’s experience with weightlifting has created a pivotal change in her mentality towards exercise. “I learned that exercise is for building yourself up, not breaking yourself down,” Winer said. Winer prefers to work out alone most days, simultaneously using the time she lifts to be vulnerable and transparent with herself. “My workout is a time for personal reflection and it’s a time I get to check in with myself and sort through my thoughts,” Winer said. Lifting has given many the opportunity to learn more about their bodies and to experience the mental health boost exercise can provide. Senior Khushi Agarwal has developed an appreciation for how much healthier, both physically and mentally, she has become since she has started to lift during quarantine. “Lifting has improved my confidence,” Agarwal said. “I still have a ways to go, but it gives you a different perception of yourself and makes you feel more respected and better overall.” She started out with doing


simple workouts with her dad, and then gradually started incorporating weights into her routine. Initially, Agarwal found the environment of the weight room intimidating because she had only ever lifted alone in her home gym. Now, she lifts in the Paly weight room as many mornings as possible. “Being around other people lifting was a bit scary at first, however, I’m pretty confident in my skill set as a lifter because I’ve been doing it for a bit,” Agarwal said. After becoming more comfortable with the weight room environment, Agarwal greatly appreciates the encouraging and respectful environment she has experienced in Paly’s gym thus far. She found that while the atmosphere of a public and at-home gym varied significantly, one commonality was that she did not have to feel self-conscious and could focus on herself and her workouts. “When I went, everything was normal and I felt like I was working out alone,” she said. “There are a lot of other people, but no one really pays attention to what you do.” Amongst those in the lifting community, there is a mutual respect that those who lift have for each other. Many acknowledge that they are there for similar reasons: to become stronger both physically and mentally, and reinforce each other to achieve those goals. “We all understand that we’re just trying to get better for ourselves,” Agarwal said. However, for most females, gaining

recognition and respect from other lifters is more challenging. As a female participating in a heavily male-dominated activity, Agarwal found herself in instances where people, especially males, questioned her skill and commitment as a lifter. “There are many times that I’ve told a guy that I lift, and the initial assumption is that I’m in there to do squats or abs,” she said. “I have to prove myself as a lifter.” In order to try and combat these assumptions, Agarwal uses the knowledge she has gained from lifting to discuss it with those who may question

her. “If a guy ever questions me, I just ask him, ‘what’s your split,’ which is the workout structure,” she said. “Right when I tell them my split, they understand that I know how lifting works, and then they respect me.” Although Agarwal is somewhat unfazed by sexist comments made towards her about lifting and finds satisfaction after proving herself to anyone that doubts her skills, it is still a sensitive topic. Gabi Winer has also experienced sexism directly in the weight room, whether it be getting stared at while

doing certain exercises or receiving discouraging comments from males around her. “What really pisses me off is when I get ‘mansplained’ about lifting,” Winer said. “Men have come up to me all the time to correct my form or to tell me I’m going too hard and I need to lighten the weight. In moments like these I really just try to hold my ground by telling [the men] ‘I got this.’” With her experience in the male dominated weight room, Butler likes to challenge herself to match the pace of

“having muscles is

something that should be

celebrated and embraced. I personally love my muscles because it’s

Photo courtesy of Gabi Winer

tangible proof of my hard

work.” -Gabi

Winer (‘22)

39 |VIKING VIKINGMAGAZINE MAGAZINE| |@vikingsportsmag | 39

place. Winer is passionate about speaking out against this stigma and sees muscles on females as something that should “I still have a ways to go, be appreciated. but it gives you a different “The truth is if we all ate the perception of yourself same diet and and makes you feel more did the same respected and better workouts, we’d all look overall.” Khushi Agarwal completely different to one another,” Winer said. “Having muscles is something that should be celebrated and embraced. I personally love my muscles because it’s tangible proof of her male counterparts, my hard work.” Winer’s insight and knowledge in the and uses this as motivation. “I feel like [having boys in the weight weight room has earned her the position room] pushes you because whenever of Paly’s Weightlifting Club co-president. She was the first female lifter to join I go in there is usually a guy lifting a lot heavier than me [and] that motivates me the club after being disappointed with the lack of female representation and to do better,” Butler says. The crowded room and high energy participation in the Paly weight room and environment of the weight room weightlifting club. “As co-president, my main goal is encourages Butler to get better every to recruit more women to the club day. “I’m someone who is very competitive around other people, so the competition is definitely a big motivator,” Butler said. The experiences that women have in the weight room can be taxing with the prevalence of sexism many women face in such a space. Everyone reacts differently to these circumstances, whether it is having to prove their knowledge of weightlifting or demonstrating their capability of lifting heavy. Oftentimes, the frequency of sexism in the weight room results in discomfort for female lifters and leads many women to shy away from going to the weight room, contributing to the lack of female presence in the gym. Additionally, general societal stereotypes and norms have also made women reluctant to workout for strength and muscle. The stigma against women weightlifting attributes becoming bulky or muscular as a negative outcome; it is seen as less feminine and desirable. These views tend to dissuade women from considering weightlifting in the first Photo courtesy of Khushi Agarwal 40 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

and encourage women to feel more confident in the gym,” Winer said. The weightlifting club welcomes new members of all levels, from beginners to experts, with open arms. As a club leader, Winer strives to make herself available to her weightlifting peers if they are in need of guidance in the gym. She hopes her availability and leadership role will also help attract more girls to the club, who may be in search of a way to get started. “If anyone needs me to check out their form I will,” Winer said. “I’ll even personally train someone to help them reach their own specific goals, or take someone through my workout with me.” As a club leader, Winer hopes to be a role model for other girls as well as everyone else in the weight room. She has also started her own fitness Instagram account where she posts about her lifting journey and progress with the intention of inspiring others to join the community and repping female presence in the weight room. By constantly encouraging her female peers, shedding light on her story, and exhibiting the benefits of weightlifting, Winer is hopeful that many girls will try out the weight room and achieve their goals through lifting routines

“I think the main reason why we don’t see as many women in the gym is because of a lack of education and experience,” she said. “I hope that by teaching my friends some lifts and bringing them through my workouts that they’ll gain enough confidence to go to the gym by themselves.” Although women in the weight room are outnumbered by men, the

women who lift provide representation, knowledge and access to other women. Developments such as female leadership roles in the weightlifting club reflect a shift towards more inclusivity and towards creating an activity that keeps both men and women’s interests in mind. At Paly, the weightlifting community has grown rapidly with the aim to embrace

everyone regardless of gender. With this in mind, those in the weight room have the interest in supporting and motivating each other towards the common goals of physical and mental strength, and hopefully with growing numbers in the weight room, this outcome may be truly experienced by everyone at Paly.



uilding the courage to start lifting or just walking into a gym c a n

be hard and intimidating. For this, Winer has some recommendations for any newcomers. “I’d say the biggest word of advice I could give to girls looking to start lifting is to just jump right in,” she said. “The hardest part of working out is just getting started.” She acknowledges that the beginning can be tough, but once the hard work starts to pay off, it’s all worth it. “The first couple of times in the gym is gonna suck and it’s gonna hurt, but as you get stronger, you’ll fall in love with the process,” she said. Lifting weights is something that

also requires skill and attention. When putting too much pressure on the wrong parts of your body, there may be consequences. “One thing to say to beginners is to really make sure you’ve got your form down,” Butler said. “You can get very injured if you try to lift heavier weights with incorrect form.” Agarwal also puts to light the importance of researching about lifting prior to entering the gym “Google’s your best friend,” said Agarwal. Having a goal that you are working towards as a beginner is also important, and helps create a path to follow. “Figure out what is good for you and what your goals are,” Agarwal said. “If you can identify your goals, people could help you reach them.”

41 | VIKING VIKING MAGAZINE MAGAZINE | | @vikingsportsmag | 41






Viking staff members dust off their Wii Sports skills to participate in a throw-back tournament for the ages

rowing up, there was one video game console that outpaced the rest. While younger generations might find it hard to believe, this console was not a Playstation or an Xbox, but instead a Nintendo Wii. Just by saying its name, many of us can picture its unique frame and recall hours of throwback memories. With the Wii as the dominant console around a decade ago, Wii Sports also enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of video game stardom. It seemed like, at one point or another, every Wii owner had this game. We put our fellow Viking members -and ourselves- to the test to see which staff member was able to retain their skill the best. The first sport was a Wii Sports Classic: boxing. This specific competition was formatted as a head-to-head tournament, with four staff members on each side of the bracket going through their quarter-final and semi-final matchups to ultimately get to the championship round, where the winner of the challenge would get the maximum amount of points possible. Those who were eliminated in the quarter-final will receive zero points, those who were eliminated in the semi-

final will get one point, the person that loses in the championship gets one point, and the person that wins will receive three points. The most notable game in this challenge was the first-round boxing match between Josh Donaker and Jake Foster. Donaker was able to knock down Foster’s Wii character four times during the match, but the character was able to recover every time. Towards the end of the third and final round, Foster was able to knock down D o n a ke r ’s character Photo by Roei Ziv for the second time in incredible fashion. Remarkably, the KO move ended the match, advancing Foster to the next round. Foster would later move onto the championship following a crushing defeat of Hailey Beck, where he defeated Roei Ziv to take the belt. “It felt amazing to get the win,” he said. “I’m hoping to carry on this momentum into the following sports as well.” The next sport the staff members were challenged with was tennis. When you think of Wii Sports, tennis has to be up there with some of the most iconic sports on the game. Very rarely do kids grow up wanting to be tennis stars, but when we were younger, everybody felt like Serena Williams or Roger Federer when it came down to playing tennis on the Wii. The highlight of the tournament

was the incredible back and-forth match between Sofia Leva and Sophia Cummings in the semi-final. The match came right down to the wire and saw Leva just barely edge the efforts of Cummings. The grit and determination from both of the staff members in itself could have been enough to give them a mention, but their performances were off the charts as well. Although both of their forms resembled something far from swinging a tennis racket, the tournament was a lot of fun and, in the end, it was a fierce matchup between Beck and Leva, with Leva coming out victorious, and with three points to her name. “I’m glad I was able to bounce back from my disappointing performances in the boxing match and that I was able to take all the possible p o i n t s ,” s h e said. The t h i r d sport the Vikings took part in was baseball. Baseball was a bit more of an acquired taste when it came to playing it on the Wii. Some people think that it is

Photo by Sophia Cum-


too technical, and not realistic enough. For us, the competition that it brought was unreal. To have people who have never played baseball in their lives pick up a controller, move their arm a bit and throw an insane curveball that is impossible to hit is special. By far the most exciting game of this tournament came in the championship game when Sophia Cummings and Roei Ziv were in a deadlock going into the final inning. The two were going back and forth throughout the entire game, with their rust wearing off by the inning. It was definitely more of a hitting game than anything else, as the two were each barely able to scrape outs with the other not sending an absolute nuke to left field. But at last, with two outs down and a full count, Ziv lined a ball into the gap and walked it off with a double that scored the runner from second base, ending

what was one of the craziest games of Wii baseball we have ever seen. “I’m glad I was able to go in there and show what I can do,” he said. “Sophia put up a fight, but my Wii Sports skills have been buried since elementary school and were bound to come out at some point, and I’m happy it was when it mattered most.” The fourth and final sport was perhaps the most iconic Wii sport: bowling. Unlike the previous sports, the staff members will face off in a league-based format, where the best score will get first place, and the worst score will get eighth place. Because bowling is the last and most desired competition among the staff members, First place will receive seven points, second place will receive five points, third place will receive four points, fourth place will receive three points, fifth place will receive two points, sixth place

and seventh will receive one point, and the person who finishes last will get no points. The best performance in regards to bowling was hands-down Elizabeth Fetter, who bowled a lights-out game to take all 10 points. With a disappointing last-place finish was Greg Laursen, who struggled to press the correct buttons at times and as a result, was unable to knock down many pins. “Bowling was never really my go-to on Wii Sports, but I really enjoyed how well I did today,” she said. After a long and challenging competition, Elizabeth Fetter, powered by a strong finish in the bowling alley, took the win with 10 points. Overall, it was great to compete against our fellow staff members, dust off a game we all thought we would never play again.

Final Standings The results after competing in several different games, earning points with each win.




10 pts.

3 Sofia Leva

7 pts.


Josh Donaker


Jake Foster

# #

Elizabeth Fetter

5 pts. 3 pts.

8 pts.

Roei Ziv



Sophia Cummings #4

7 pts.

Hailey Beck

4 pts.

Greg Laursen

2 pts.





VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 43



“Hidden Gems” are outstanding athletes that don’t necessarily receive the recognition they deserve in comparison to better known sports.


ushing the ball downfield, with her eyes locked into the goal, she fires. The ball hits the back of the field hockey net, junior captain Kellyn Scheel celebrates with her teammates as she runs back towards midfield. Scheel’s goal is met with enthusiasm from a handful of parents and students, but not nearly reaching the level of excitement that the goal seemed to merit.

This raises the question: are star athletes in smaller sports gaining the recognition that they deserve? It is often easy to overlook the effort that these talented athletes put into their sport because they are not in the spotlight. However, athletes in these niche sports need to be recognized. Field hockey is a relatively new sport at Paly, debuting in the fall of 2018. Despite its many successes in a short

time period, the novelty of the sport may be one reason why it is not getting its deserved attention in the Paly community. As a result, even the brightest stars, like Scheel, aren’t nearly as well known as their counterparts in more popular sports like football and basketball. Viking Magazine hopes to change this narrative by profiling some of Paly’s best athletes in lesser known sports.

Kellyn Scheel


uring the 2021 season, soccer and basketball, With the Viking’s Scheel scored an impressive but her passion has successes, including 11 goals in the shortened always been rooted in an undefeated season, season, tied for the team lead. Her field hockey. Some of Scheel noticed an success is unsurprising given that her earliest memories increase in attention Scheel is not new to field hockey, of sports come from surrounding the unlike the vast majority of her playing field hockey team among several teammates. in the backyard with publications. However, “Both of my dad’s sisters played her aunts and cousins. the praise has not come - Kellyn Scheel field hockey at UC Berkeley,” Scheel When she got word from the broader Paly said. “I got to know the game really that Paly was starting a student community. well, and was inspired to keep field hockey team, she “We need more playing, no matter if others were or was ecstatic. support all around just because it makes not.” “Something clicked in a way it hadn’t everyone excited to play knowing you Scheel grew up playing numerous with other sports,” Scheel said. have a community backing you,” Scheel sports, including more popular ones like said. 44 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

“We need more support all around”

Max Felter


ax Felter, a Paly senior wrestler, has had lots of experience with overcoming adversity, despite the smaller recognition he receives. “It’s just something I like to spend my time on,” Felter said. Wrestling is a physical sport between two athletes using strength and grappling techniques. The sport takes an excruciating amount of hard work and dedication to master. Wrestlers must stay focused throughout their season and push through many difficulties,

including weight cuts, hard drilling, Felter said. “I’ve definitely learned a and dealing lot about perceived with injuries. difficulty… it helps me Regardless of just have perspective your natural to what constitutes “Wrestling isn’t ability, it is hard.” intense practice Wrestling at Paly may a big deal to and commitment not draw thousands most people that separates of fans, but that is not the “good” from what drives Felter. here” the “great” in Felter puts aside this sport. the lack of support - Max Felter F e l t e r wrestling receives trains for compared to other hours each sports such as football practice and basketball, and lets going through warm ups, hard his determination drive him towards drilling and then goes 100% success. against one other player to finish “I can’t act like wrestling deserves the the practice off. But when taken into limelight,” Felter said. “We get a good the game, it is only in the brightest amount of support from the school, moments that there is a little more than and parents especially, so I would say a smattering of applause to greet his wrestling is just where it needs to be.” achievements. It could also just be a misunderstanding “I’ve been fortunate enough to have and lack of knowledge for the sport very supportive teammates and real that resulted in the underwhelming partners,” Felter said. “My teammates support. and coaches are the primary source of “I think it’s just culture and location, my motivation.” wrestling isn’t a big deal to most people Wrestling also teaches its athletes here,” Felter said. “It’s complicated important life lessons, such as setting and takes a lot of effort to learn how goals, and putting in the work to to understand what’s going on in a achieve them. Goals help to keep match.” athletes focused on a single task in their never-ending search for success. “I’ve learned a lot about work ethic,”

Photo Courtesy of Max Felter

Photo by Karen Ambrose Hickey

Scheel is hopeful that the sport will continue to grow and become a big part of the Paly sports world. She continues to motivate herself through

“My motivation all

comes from wanting to get the sport out there”

- Kellyn Scheel

her pure love of the game, though she is optimistic that the future of Paly field hockey will be backed by more support from student fans. By “My motivation all comes from wanting to get the sport out there so that eventually it will get the attention it deserves from the Paly community,” Scheel said.

The Numbers

11 1.4

goals scored in the 2020 short season goals per game

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 45


Hillary Studdert

unior Hillary Studdert, a Paly track athlete, trains almost every day to achieve her goals of getting the attention they deserve from the Paly community. Track and Field, unlike traditional team sports, requires athletes to compete against oneself and other athletes. It is a sport that demands sheer determination and grit in order to pass the finish line ahead of your opponents. Studdert knows this grind all too well and knows how her hard work would eventually pay off. In the 2021 track and field season, Studdert boasted a 2:12.84 800 meter time in the CCS track and field finals—placing her in the top-10 800 meter times for girls Photo Courtesy of Hillary Studdert

in the state of California. Running has races.” always seemed to Studdert rarely hears come naturally for anything about the Studdert. team’s successes whether “It can “When I was it’s her peers or over younger and we announcements at school. be really would do running “It would be nice to get frustrating to activities in PE, I more recognition around noticed I was pretty the Paly community and see the lack fast compared to publications,” Studdert of equality the other kids in said. “It can be really my class,” Studdert frustrating to see the lack of between said. equality between football Despite her and a sport like track.” football and dominance, Although Studdert feels a sport like Studdert has like her sport doesn’t get noticed that track the attention it deserves, track.” and field doesn’t she still finds a way to - Hillary Studdert quite get the same motivate herself and her recognition as teammates to continue some other high and get better. profile sports. “My teammates are always pushing “The issue is certainly not talent and me to be my best during hard workouts success,” Studdert said. “Myself and and I try to think about how the work I others have been or are ranked high in put in will positively affect the outcome the state in our respective events and of my upcoming races.” produce great results in championship

Mihir Menon


aly sophomore tennis player situations,” Menon said. “More Mihir Menon, wakes up almost than actually my tennis skills, I everyday and gets ready for both cherish the different experiences school and tennis practice afterwards. that I have gone through.” Tennis is Tennis requires a sport that tends athletes with stellar to be neglected hand-eye coordination, at times, not “I feel like quickness and balance receiving as much to become a great attention as some tennis is not player. other larger sports respected for Just as important as at Paly. the physical aspect of “I feel like tennis how physically the sport, the mental is not respected difficult it really aspect of tennis plays a for how physically key role in victory and difficult it really is.” handling adversity alike. is,” Menon said. “I fell in love with the “Matches can - Mihir Menon competitive aspect,” last up to 3 hours Menon said. “In tennis, and the weather it is just you and your is extremely warm opponent; there are no coaches on during the tennis season.” the court. It’s just as much mental as With the hard work that Menon, and it is physical, that is what has kept me his teammates put into tennis, the playing.” Menon’s past with tennis have recognition that they deserve should created great opportunities for him on surge. and off the court. Menon hopes that tennis will soon “I have learned a lot of life lessons receive the recognition that the sport and how to deal with different deserves at Paly. 46 | VIKING MAGAZINE |

Photo Courtesy of Mihir Menon

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With soccer being the most popular sport in world, you would think that its main governing body would be a fair overseer of the game. That assumption couldn’t be more wrong.


he idea that sports is a moneydriven business is nothing new. At the end of the day, sports teams are trying to make as much money as possible. They are a business. But what is currently happening in the soccer world is corrupting the sport, and freezing out the fans that have dedicated their lives to supporting their respective teams. Every single professional soccer team in the world is a part of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA for short. This organization is the governing body of world soccer, and is responsible for maintaining the game. As a governing body, FIFA has several rules and regulations that every single one of its members must follow. One of these rules is the “Financial Fair Play,” or FFP rule. Just like any other law, the official wording is complicated, but when simplified, this rule clearly states that no club can spend more than they earn/ bring in. Typically, a soccer club’s biggest expenses are buying players and paying their players on a weekly basis, and their biggest profits come from selling those players to other clubs, as well as any profits they make off of ticket sales and the selling of merchandise. Although the rule, especially in relation to FFP, is incredibly clear, there have been significant discrepancies in the enforcement of the law. Just like in any regulatory organization, money talks. The clubs that bring in the most money for the organization (Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, etc.), are almost immune from any consequences, because if they


were to be punished, FIFA would lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Over the past five or so years, Manchester City, who were bought a decade ago by the Abu Dhabi United Group, a group of extremely wealthy investors mainly from the United Arab Emirates, have spent over 619 million euros (over 720 million dollars) more than they have brought in, and that is on players alone. That does not count their brand new state-of-the-art training facility, and their immense weekly wage bill from player salaries. That, of course, is a blatant violation of FFP, but of course, FIFA does not punish the club because of how much money and attention they bring to the sport. A few years ago, UEFA, the European soccer governing body, decided to take action against Manchester City by barring them from participating in the UEFA Champions League, the most popular and coveted club soccer competition in the world.

Manchester City immediately filed an appeal, because a ban from the Champions League would see the club lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars, and the attraction it needs for players to want to play at the club. Just a few days after UEFA announced this ban, Manchester City’s appeal was granted, and to the lack of shock for the rest of the soccer world, they were allowed to continue competing in the competition. Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, an Israeli soccer club not even near the ranks of Manchester City, and therefore does not spend nearly as much money as them. In 2015, Maccabi qualified for the Champions League, an unprecedented accomplishment for a club of their size. In an attempt to compete with the massive clubs they will be playing against, Maccabi made moves in the transfer window, buying players for more than they would usually do with the huge influx of profits they made from making the Champions League. FIFA rewarded them with a three year transfer ban, where they would not be able to spend a cent on players. It’s this type of financial inequality in the sport that has corrupted the sport. The big teams become richer and the smaller teams are left behind. FIFA has never been a “governing” body in the world of soccer. It has been, and always will be a moneygrabbing corrupt group of people sitting in their high-rise building slowly taking away the beauty from the beautiful game.

VIKING MAGAZINE | @vikingsportsmag | 47


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