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Volume #1 Issue #3 Feb 2008 Staff List Editors-in-Chief Charlie Avis Nina Gertsvolf Peter Johnson Austin Smith Noah Sneider Steven Tran
Business Manager Steven Tran
Staff Ben Afshar Christine Chang John Christopherson Oliver Davies Liza Dernehl Oana Enache Adam Furlong Olivia Garcia Amanda Hohbach Ian Kelly Varun Kohli Lucy McComas Cassie Prioleau Ahna Rao Elizabeth Scott Patrick Sheehan Greg Stewart Matthew Tracy Adam Zernik
Logo Design Nate James (Cleveland, OH)
Advisor Ellen Austin
Photo Manager Alek Milovidov Photo Staff Allen Au Michela Fossati-Ballani Design Editor Noah Sneider
Viking Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the editor The Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High Schoolâ€™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 magazineâ€™s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by e-mail at email@example.com or call 650-329-3837 for more information. Printing services The Viking is printed seven times a year by Fricke-Parks Press in Fremont, Calif.
ZOOM /// Junior Casey Fields succeeds in putting his Los Altos opponent in an uncomfortable position. There were certainly some sore shoulders after this match as Fields stretches his opponentâ€™s flexibility to the max.
22 | The Viking
ZOOM /// Senior Tommy Ferrari heelflips during his daily skating session at lunch near the crosswalk to Town and Country. Believe it or not, he lands this one. The Viking | 23
February 11th, 2008
Volume I, Issue 3
WINTER SPORTS UPDATES 2007 - 2008
22 Boys’ Basketball 24 Girls’ Basketball 26 Boys’ Soccer 28 Girls’ Soccer 30 Wrestling
52 Domination Sensation
Senior forward Dom Powell has been a force in the paint for the Vikings since arriving from Las Vegas prior to his junior year. By Adam Zernik
55 Not So Newby
Hard work and dedication has helped Senior wrestler Cooper Newby develop into a key component to the Vikings success. By Adam Furlong
6 | The Viking
DOMINATION Straight from Las Vegas, Dom Powell looks to lead the Vikes back to the top of CCS.
The Forgotten Ones
The story of the only three state champions at Palo Alto High School, all of whom have given up the hardwood their senior years. By Ian Kelly
Lineup PALY SKATERS Learn what it takes to ride with the skaters
4 Snapshots 10 Kickoff
Say What By the Numbers Pop Culture Sports We Hate Who’s Hot and Who’s Not Wrestling Moves: A Step by Step guide Inside the Mind of Caitlin Watson 10 Q’s with Ed the Aussie
12 Girls’ Lacrosse 15 Sounding Off A Different Kind of Athlete The Boston Dynasty
20 Letters to the
50 UEFA Rankings 59 College Sports
Think you know what it takes to be a skater? Think again. By Oana Enache
College Basketball Update Stanford Basketball Player Chat: Mitch Johnson
61 Calendar 62 The Last Word
40 7 Habits of Highly Effective Skaters
43 Mountain Men
Rob and Sam Rudy have an affinity for the slopes and big air, and are on their way to making an impact on the national snowboarding and skiing stage. By Matthew Tracy
46 Biking Gets Dirty
Ruptured kidneys and broken bones are just a part of the sport for a few of Paly’s own, who take dirt biking to the next level. By Ahna Rao
The Viking | 7
By the Numbers
“My goals for the team are to finish out the rest of the season without letting in any goals, get into a brawl with another team, make a referee cry and of course win CCS.” —Scott Ostrau (Soccer, Sr. )
44 Straight home wins by
Boys’ varsity basketball prior to January 30, 2008
1.15 Goals per game by
Boys Soccer, pg. 26
Teresa Noyola, as of February 1, 2008. Noyola is headed to Stanford University next year to continue the legacy
“I messed up my kidney and was pissing blood.” —Madis Saue (Motocross, So.) Dirt Biking, pg. 46
“I usually tell people I have an abusive lover, just to freak them out.” —Caitlin Watson (Soccer, Jr. )
Things get hot and heavy when Junior Kevin Ashworth fights for the ball.
3298 The combined
weight (in pounds) of all of the Varsity and Frosh-Soph Wrestlers at Paly in the ‘07’08 season
Inside the Mind, pg. 17
“I was knocked unconscious for about 10 minutes. While I was unconscious, I had a seizure.” —Sam Rudy (Downhill Skier, Jr. )
“The kid was really stinky and ugly... so I was scared of him.”
Skiing, pg. 42
60 Total number of Varsity
“From racing around the block banging pots and pans...to crying in my mother’s arms after the Red Sox’ devastating ALCS loss in 2003.” —Greg Stewart (Boston Fan, Jr. )
home games played at Paly throughout this year
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Winning, pg. 15
Pop Culture Grid Paly athlete and sport
Speedos or Tom Brady... Singlets?
_____ & Juliet
Max Wilson (Soccer, Sr.)
Ms. Lerch, but she left me...two years ago
Liz Slater (Basketball, Sr.)
Joseph Lin (Basketball, So.)
Sydney Lundgren (Soccer, Jr.)
Erez Arnon (Wrestling, Jr.) 10 | The Viking
Mr. Hanmer Witherspoon? Mrs. Antink
Is he going to read this?
Least Favorite Sports Paly athletes share with The Viking their least favorite sports and an explanation why. According to our interviewees, swimming got the most votes for the “least favorite sport” followed closely by golf.
Nick Robinson (Varsity Basketball,
Jr.) “My least favorite sport is water polo because I cannot swim well. The one thing I would not mind is wearing a Speedo because I think it would show off my best attribute.”
Joc Pederson (JV Basketball, Soph.) “My least favorite sport is golf because it is too slow and nothing happens.” Kristina Guzman (JV Basketball,
Fr.) “My least favorite sport is swimming because it is not entertaining and it seems boring. Who wants to swim in this cold weather? But on the bright side male swimmers have excellent bodies.”
Hallie Kennan ( Varsity Water
Palo Alto Cycling
The city of Palo Alto was awarded the Paly wins: Grand Départ of this year’s Amgen Tour 1. Boys’ Basketball of California. The cycling race, featuring 2. Girls’ Soccer x2 the world’s top professional cyclists, will 3. Boys’ Soccer race a short prologue time trial in downtown Palo Alto on February 17.
1. Wrestling 2. Boys’ Soccer
Paly 4, Gunn 2
The former Paly star is averaging 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for her new high school, Urban. With doubledouble performances in about half of her games, the 6-11 Paly girls’ basketball team could use her dominance in the paint. Paly boys’ varsity basketball player, Dom Powell, leads the team in both rebounds (6.85) and points (15.9) per game. He led the team to victory against Gunn and will continue to be an important asset to the team. After winning National Player of the Year, Noyola was featured in “Faces in the Crowd”, in what is sure to be a long string of Sports Illustrated appearances. As well as being a leader on the girls’ varsity soccer team, she is also a key component on the National team. For Paly, she has scored 15 goals over the last thirteen games.
Due to recent weather, the fields are in worse condition than usual. The field makes it difficult for smooth run or any type of practice. Luckily, the battered football field will soon be replaced with turf. Not only did they ruin our column on page 15, but they also broke Greg Stewart and Pats fans across the country’s hearts. Stewart happened to take his emotional distress out on fellow staff writer Ian Kelly, sending him to The Viking’s disabled list. With two league losses in a row to Cupertino and Milpitas, the varsity boys’ basketball team has lost three of the last four games and watched its league title hopes slip away. The girls’ basketball team is 6-11 on the season, but a recent win against Milpitas has things pointing up after losing eight of their first ten games.
Polo Sr.) “I do not like anything to do with running. I am not land coordinated.”
Pierce Marchant (Varsity Golf,
Jr.) “My least favorite sport is swimming because if I tried to swim I would die.”
Sydney Lundgren (Varsity Soccer, Jr.) “My least favorite sport is golf because it is so boring. You have to work up a sweat to experience endorphins and in golf you do not do that. All you do is hit the ball in the hole and that’s just not for me.”
photo by Charlie Avis
TOUR OF CALIFORNIA George Hincapie powers up the climb in last year’s prologue held in San Francisco. This year’s Tour of California will start in Palo Alto with a 3.4km time-trial The Viking | 11
BY OLI VE R DAV I ES
12 | The Viking
Photography by Michela Fossati-Bellani and courtesy of Sherry Bijan
courtesy of Sherry Bijan
Features This spring, Palo Alto High School girls can trade in their soccer shorts for kilts, as Paly will commence its inaugural lacrosse season in the Peninsula Athletic League.
ead Coach Jen Gray, a former lacrosse player at Princeton University, has had previous experience coaching at the high school level, coaching the varsity team at Mercy High School in Baltimore for 4 seasons. Gray is looking forward to Paly’s upcoming season. “Basically, lacrosse is a passion of mine,” Gray said. “I love giving back to the sport and I am excited to help it grow out West!” Lacrosse has been rapidly gaining popularity throughout the United States and will become a mainstay at Paly this upcoming spring, after years of lobbying from the Palo Alto community. As members of the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club, a Bay Area club team, Paly girls and their parents have pleaded with the Palo Alto Unified School District and the Paly administration to establish a girls’ lacrosse team, one to rival Gunn High School’s team which was established over seven years ago. “There were numerous articles about starting a Paly lacrosse team in the Palo Alto Daily News,” sophomore Claire Cooper said. “I think those showed the Paly administration how badly we wanted a team.” Principal Jacqueline McEvoy and her administration were influential in creating the new lacrosse team, a difficult process generally overlooked by the Paly community. Dr. McEvoy has been impressed by Palo Alto community’s involvement in Paly athletics. “One thing which is amazing about Paly is the Sports Boosters who raise all the money for sports, except for coaches’ salaries,” McEvoy said. This shows great support from the Palo Alto community.” The new lacrosse team will play in the Peninsula Athletic League this upcoming spring. Previously, playing in the Tomahawks club was the only opportunity for Paly students to play lacrosse, a sport widely increasing in popularity in
the Bay Area over the past five years. Paly junior and lacrosse player Helene Zahoudanis eagerly anticipates the upcoming season, citing the benefit of added rivalry one can find in a school sport.
Previous page Defenders cannot stop Helene Zahoudanis as she blows by them in a Tomahawks game last year.
“Club [lacrosse] was fun,” Zahoudanis said. “[However] having lacrosse as a school team would make it so much more fun and give the sport an entirely different vibe.”
photo by Michela Fossati-Bellani
Pretty in Pink Senior Mollie Hart, a player on the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club , figures to be a key player in the Lady Vikes’ inaugural season in the Peninsula Athletic League.
The Viking | 13
courtesy of Sherry Bijan
Tomahawk Attack Caroline Lucas-Conwell cradles the ball while evading her defender and scanning the field for an open pass in a Tomahawks game last year. Conwell will play on Paly’s new lacrosse team this season. Paly will offer both junior varsity and varsity teams, but the Vikings will have to work especially hard to compensate for their inexperience. “The other teams in our league have had lacrosse teams for much longer than Paly,” Zahoudanis said. “We will have to work really hard to catch up and improve our skills.” Although Paly will be new to lacrosse, several girls have already gotten a start with the rules and techniques of the game. “During last year’s club season, everyone got the basics and logistics of the game down,” Zahoudanis said. “This season we plan on focusing on plays and perfecting our skills.” Paly assistant coach Mark Dahm understands that it will take a few years to establish the team, but Dahm holds out hope that the rookie Paly team will be able to compete this upcoming season.
“We [Paly lacrosse] are entering a league (CIF/PAL) and playing teams that have been established for many years,” Dahm said. “We have some good, talented athletes, but [we] will need to build depth and experience. I think we may surprise
or even high school. “Ideally, boys and girls [should] pick up a stick in junior high or grade school,” Dahm said. “More often, kids are starting in high school in Palo Alto with the Tomahawks.” According to Dahm, most athletes find the sport easy to learn because its offensive and defensive sets are similar to those of basketball. Because many lacrosse players are either inexperienced or lack formal training, Dahm will be hosting conditioning practices and introductory clinics for new and old players on February 4 through 14 on Paly’s upper field. The Lady Vikes hope to pave the way for future years of lacrosse players at Paly with a victory in their first lacrosse game, a home game on March 20 against crosstown rivals Gunn. <<<
“We [Paly Lacrosse] have some good, talented athletes, but we will need to build depth and experience. I think we may surprise some folks this year.” -Coach Mark Dahm
14 | The Viking
some folks this year.” The Paly girls will be playing against very good, previously established teams this season. These teams include Woodside, Menlo-Atherton, Castilleja and Gunn High Schools. Unlike other sports, most athletes do not discover lacrosse until middle school
Can’t stop, won’t stop...winning
by Greg Stewart
s Jonathon Papelbon recorded the final out to defeat the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series, my family room erupted into a scene of mayhem with high fives and hugs all around, while my Mom telephoned family members ‘back East’. In the midst of the celebration, I began to realize that celebrating my favorite team’s championship wins was turning into somewhat of a routine. These past five years have been the most memorable of my life. I have celebrated five Beantown championship runs: three with the Patriots, two with the Red Sox and possibly two more on the way with the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and the Celtics currently holding claim to the NBA’s best record. I am not one of those pathetic losers who has just recently jumped on the Boston bandwagon after the 2004 campaign in which both the Red Sox and Patriots won championships in their respective sports. These bandwagon jumpers do not deserve the joy that a fan receives upon following a team for so long and experiencing the highs and the lows of Boston sports. In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, the Yankees dominance accentuated the misery of Boston sports fans. Going into any game of remote importance, I was always found squirming on the couch with the thought of a possible choke in the back of my head. The Red Sox had the curse, and the Patriots just plain stunk. Both simply could not get it done in big games. That all changed when Adam Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal in the 2002 Super Bowl to propel the Patriots to the top. Since that moment, the Sox and Patriots have yet to miss a World Series or Super Bowl. Spoiled by all these championships and playoff runs, I now cannot imagine dealing with a Boston franchises failing once again. I just have to let it sink in for the NBA playoffs and MLB season, which are just around the corner. Who knows what kind of magic the Celtics and Red Sox might stir up? The transformation that the city has endured is truly remarkable. It has gone from a city that had not won a championship in 18 years to one that simply cannot lose. Even their MLS soccer franchise, the New England Revolution, nearly captured a title of their own, only to falter in this year’s title game.
You can look throughout Palo Alto and you will not find anyone who has the same passion I do for my Boston sport teams.
“It has been crazy,” Boston Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan said. MacMullan, born in New York, became an avid Red Sox fan upon moving to Westwood, Massachusetts. Growing up in the days in which Bobby Orr and Larry Bird were Boston’s biggest sports icons, there were several deep playoff runs in basketball and hockey, including a few which resulted in championships. The Red Sox and Patriots were a different story at the time. “The Sox just broke your heart,” MacMullan said. She confessed to not following the Patriots, cheering on the Cowboys and Raiders instead. Many other sports fans in the Bay Area may question my fanhood. You may ask what exactly am I doing out here in Northern-California, cheering for the three big Boston franchises. My father was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and my mother is from Dennis, Massachusetts; because both grew up as avid Red Sox fans I did not have the choice to root for any other team, certainly not the Yankees. You can look all throughout Palo Alto and you will not find anyone who has the same passion I do for my teams. From racing around the block banging pots and pans with my brother and sister following the Patriots miraculous Super Bowl victory in 2002, to crying in my mother’s arms after the Red Sox devastating ALCS loss in 2003. However, the situation for the younger generation of Boston fans, such as myself, is different. Other than watching Aaron “Bleeping” Boone’s walk off home run sail deep into the New York night, the new era of Boston fans have yet to endure any other life-scarring moments. My father always tells me that I have not suffered long enough to enjoy all the joy and happiness that I have felt from following Boston sports. But for now, I will just enjoy it while it lasts. <<< The Viking | 15
WRESTLING MOVES BY AMANDA HOHBACH
TAKE DOWN TWO POINTS / / /
/ / /
REVERSAL TWO POINTS /
Photography by Olivia Garcia
TAKING DOWN THE OPPONENT DOWN ON THE GROUND (WITH CONTROL)
THE WRESTLER GETS AWAY FROM HIS OR HER OPPONENT AFTER HAVING BEEN TAKEN DOWN
THE WRESTLER GOES FROM THE BOTTOM POSITION TO TOP POSITION WHILE STAYING ON THE MAT
NEAR FALL TWO TO THREE POINTS /
WRESTLER ALMOST HOLDS THE OPPONENTS BACK TO THE MAT FOR / / THE AT LEAST TWO SECONDS (ALSO CALLED BACK POINTS)
FIREMEN’S CARRY / / /
ILLEGAL MOVES • • • • • •
/ / /
Dangerous Holds Fleeing the mat (moving unnecessarily off the mat to avoid being scored on) False start (acting before the whistle is blown) Unnecessary roughness Unsportsmen like conduct Stalling (being excessively passive)
16 | The Viking
Inside the Mind
BY IA N K E LLY
ON BEING A CAPTAIN It’s pretty sweet. I order the sweatshirts and plan all the pasta feeds. I like being a leader and helping out everyone else on the team. ON PLAYING WITH TERESA NOYOLA Teresa is basically way ahead of everyone else in terms of tactics and dribbling on the ball. She’s just a terrific person in general. Her leadership skills she learned on the National Team really show out on the field. ON BALANCING SCHOOL WITH SOCCER I do a lot of extracurriculars: mock trial, Verde, volunteering, theater; I think I do too much. It helps that I’m a nerd. Especially in APUSH, I am such an APUSH nerd. I feel like I’m doing a million things, I get a lot of adrenaline and then I’m super productive. ON COACH ERNESTO He is my best buddy and I love him, he cracks me up. He is so much fun to be around, and we can talk in Spanish together. He is incredibly supportive and never beats up on anyone. He says B-U-T-T instead of “butt” because he thinks it is inappropriate. One time there were police sirens at a soccer game and Ernesto started freaking out, but then he said “It’s OK, ladies, I got my green card.” GOALS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR We have hit a little bit of a slump, but we will build up and kill Gunn again. Realistically, we need to do well in league so we get a good seed in CCS. We need to win the rest of our games so we can get past the first round. ON WHICH PALY SOCCER TEAM IS BET BETTER, BOYS OR GIRLS GIRLS, duh! The guys would definitely
Caitlin Watson Girls’ Soccer
Photography by Alek Milovidov beat us, but we have Teresa, so we have more star power. And we’re hotter. ON PASTA FEEDS WITH THE BOYS TEAM They should happen more often! Some wild stuff happens but I do not really want to elaborate. ON HER “ABUSE” Once in seventh grade, my teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I was having trouble at home because of the bruises on my legs. People often think I am abused because of the intense bruises I get from soccer, and I usually tell them I have an abusive lover to freak them out. ON HER IDOL I do not have an idol because I really hate idealizing people. Everyone has flaws, and if you build up an image of them it will just let you down. ON HER DREAM SCHOOL I like Wesleyan because it is right in-between New York and Boston, and seems like a really passionate, interesting school. I also like Brown because it has a really nice city next to it, and it is a hippie, alternative Ivy.
Junior Caitlin Watson is an outside defender and captain of the girl’s varsity soccer team. She has been on the varsity team since her freshman year, and led the squad to a recent number 1 ranking in the Central Coast Section.
ON HER EX-BOYFRIEND ZAL DORDI’S ab HAIRY LEGS (for more on Zal’s absurdly hairy legs, see To Shave or Not to Shave, p.62) prob They are hairy. But it was not a problem.
Kickoff G’day Mate!!
Dom Powell Jim Hall Daron Willison
as told to John Christopherson
We asked Paly’s own varsity Basketball player Ed Hall 10 Q’s about himself, and then went to a close friend, brother and an acquaintance.
Who knows Ed best?
Favorite basketball player
Fat girls in tights
Having dinner with mum
Can’t live without...
He wishes he was...
Ed doesn’t take classes
Senior varsity basketball player
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The Real Olympics by Charlie Avis The 2008 Beijing Olympics are fast approaching, but the true “Olympics”, the games that test not only skill, but also endurance and athleticism, are already here. Dolphin Olympics, the new sport that is sweeping through the Paly Facebook community, has attracted the best computer-athletes in the MRC to its star seeking excitement. “Tailslides” on stars, corkscrews past Pluto and a stop at the prestigious “Cosmic Diner” have made Dolphin Olympics not only a popular pickup game to play with friends on a Saturday afternoon, but a competitive endeavor that brings out the fire inside all of us. To play the game, which is not yet an official Santa Clara Valley Athletic League sport, the athlete must use, nay master, the arrow key strokes to propel the dolphin to infinity and beyond. Yes, the objective is to shoot the small but powerful dolphin as far into the depths of space as possible. Experienced athletes formulate a pre-game strategy to maximize the height of the jump in the given two minutes, but only the truly gifted can excel in this highly competitive sport. The best computer gaming athletes from all across Paly have congregated at the English computer lab (E-lab) for the last month, competing side-by-side trying to match their neighbors’ high scores. These athletes, ranging from grammar guru Nina Gertsvolf to soccer star Adam Zernik, have mastered the art of arrow key controls and have impeccable eye-finger coordination. Zernik, who squeezes time to train between his APUSH and Humanities homework, uses his talent in “D.O.” as a form of cross-training for soccer. “On the soccer field, I can be the Dolphin,” Zernik said.
“When it comes down to the end of the game, all I have to think about is executing a perfect ‘starslide’ to get by the defender and then putting the ball in the goal.” We consulted the mathlete Radu Toma to find the correlation between an athlete’s Dolphin Olympics score and his or her performance in the less exciting SCVAL sanctioned sports. We found that, in the case of soccer players, to find the number of assists any D.O. player would have in a season can be found by dividing his or her D.O. score by a constant (k = 10,647,857.1). Zernik’s high score of 149 million in Dolphin Olympics yields a total of 14 assists, which happens to be his exact total to this point in the season. However, a cloud does surround this rapidly growing sport because studies have shown that it is, in fact, impossible for the common Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates) to jump out of the stratosphere. Steroids, DGH (Dolphin Growth Hormone) and EPO have all surfaced as explanations for the soaring dolphins. Some scientists even believe a new, far more powerful steroid has been developed for the dolphins as it is quite common for the dolphins to reach
I have witnessed their perfectly manicured fingers whiz over the keyboard at hand-breaking speeds high enough to send any animated computer-game animal to the Cosmic Diner, beyond the outer reaches of our solar system. Saturn, and even Pluto. Dolphin Olympians strongly disagree with these claims, and I side with the athletes as I have witnessed their perfectly manicured fingers whiz over the keyboard at hand-breaking speeds high enough to send any animated computer-game animal to the Cosmic Diner, beyond the outer reaches of our solar system. Dolphin Olympics may be all the rage this month, but history shows that the exceptional athletes who dominate Facebook games day-to-day often change their taste in sports. Also legendary in the Facebook athletic world is the revolutionary Jetman, a game that consumed the life of many a Paly students. Next came Super Snake, the new and improved version of the already popular cell-phone game over which I have seen editor Peter Johnson lose fingernails. Then came Dolphin Olympics as it sent athletes on a cosmic adventure with its super strong, high-flying dolphin. So now the mystery remains - what sport will come next? The Viking | 19
Letters to the Editors Hazing Revisited Since our December 3 issue featuring an article about hazing (Hazing: A look into the dark side of Paly sports), students, coaches, administrators and school board members have discussed the hazing culture at Paly. A week following publication, principal Jackie McEvoy released an official response to the story in which she stressed that, “As a school community, we need to have ongoing conversations with coaches, players, and their parents about what it means to be a member of a team and how we create an overarching environment of mutual respect among our players.” Her complete response can be found at voice.paly.net. “We’ve had conversations with both the athletic directors and principals [at Paly and Gunn],” Superintendant Kevin Skelly said. The Palo Alto Weekly later published a story documenting the community reaction to the incidents presented in the article. Community members also discussed the issue in a Palo Alto Online Town’s Square forum. Additionally, the CBS 5 Newschannel (San Francisco) broadcasted a segment on the reaction to the piece. The original article can be found at voice.paly.net. 20 | The Viking
Dear Editors, In response to this article, I wrote an e-mail to the PAUSD Board Members. It follows below: Dear Board Members, My name is Alex Rosenberg, and I am a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, and a 2006 Paly graduate. My senior year at Paly, I served as Editorin-Chief of the Campanile. I wrote an article that year about hazing, specifically a clandestine wrestling party in which freshman wrestlers were brutally hazed (an incident corroborated by two freshmen wrestlers). While researching my story, I heard rumors about a football party that got out of hand; however I couldn’t find any direct sources to corroborate the claims. I recently checked the Paly Voice website, and discovered an article detailing those claims. Quite frankly, the party described in the most recent story was horrific. The fact that such grotesque hazing goes on at Palo Alto High School is unacceptable. The climate the athletics department has cultivated is toxic and dangerous. I saw hazing as a freshman, sophomore and junior football player. I saw my freshmen friends hazed on the wrestling team. I attempted to shine the spotlight on Paly hazing with my article, but unfortunately it fell on deaf ears. I hope this e-mail won’t suffer the same fate. The Palo Alto High School Athletics Department has demonstrated
an unwillingness to take any responsibility for the safety of its players. It is for that reason that I urge you all, as elected officials, to investigate these claims and put Palo Alto athletics under review. If you don’t, who will? Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I plan on sending this e-mail to other elected officials, and to post it on community websites. Thank you. Alex Rosenberg (former Paly student) Dear Editors, I was on the Paly basketball team for the past three years and I have never heard of/seen anybody cry during a gametape session. The atmosphere during video sessions is very serious and everyone is focused on improving.
on the Paly Sports website. I can also be reached by leaving a message with the athletic department. One could have spoken to the Head Coach, Dave Winn and gotten a message to him. One could have called me again. None of these actions were taken. As far as what happened with the JV girls, I did catch wind that there was going to be a ‘team activity’ led by the team captains. That this activity would be outside the realm of our practice and before school.
Dear Editors, I am Jekara Wilson, the JV Head Coach for JV Volleyball at Paly. I would like to set the record straight. The article stated that I was contacted ‘several times’ to comment on this article. That is incorrect. I received ONE PHONE MESSAGE, which was almost indecipherable. I could not make out the name or phone number.
Just in case they had any questionable activity in mind; I took the captains aside at the Gunn game and told them in case this activity involved hazing of any type, it is not acceptable and would not be tolerated. That if anyone participated in such an event, there would be a consequence. Upon finding out that the girls did indeed participate in a mild initiation, I went to my head coach for guidance and a decision was made. After much discussion with all the coaches in the volleyball program, we decided upon what punitive action we would take. We then notified the athletic director.
If someone wishes to really reach me, my email is posted
Beside the benching we had more discussions
Connor Baskauskas (Senior)
Letters with the players in a group session to point out what they did wrong and opened the floor for discourse both at that time, and if the player chose, in a private meeting so we could come to an understanding of what happened and how to prevent it in the future. We also held out that offer if it individually upset a player, try to help her with that as well. No one took me or any other coach up on that offer.
their goals. That requires a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice on the part of the student-athlete, as well as the coach. Part of that dedication revolves around forming team chemistry for team sports. I have been blessed with some tremendously gifted athletes on my roster the past 2 years at Paly, but what really set them apart was their geniune
which some of the JV players dressed up in silly costumes during the school day. I would like to reiterate that this was not per the direction of the coaching staff, and those involved received appropriate consequences for their actions, even for such a mild infraction. I felt that my JV coach, Jekara Wilson, handled the situation very professionally and has
I do not condone hazing, and take steps to do what I could to prevent it from happening in the first place. What happens outside of school is beyond my control, and all I can do is what I DID do, try to elucidate the players on what is expected of them, and if the worst happens, deal with the fallout in the most fair and effective way possible. Jekara Wilson Volleyball coach)
Dear Editors, This is certainly an interesting article and I commend you for your research work.I would like to find out if anything similar happens at Gunn. Somehow I suspect the attitude is a little different there, but we will find out. Bob Cranmer-Brown (President of Gunn Sports Boosters)
Editors’ Note: All facts and quotes were re-checked in light of these concerns. The Viking stands by everything printed in the “Hazing” article in the December edition. Dear Editors, I’m the head girls’ volleyball coach at Palo Alto HS. I reviewed the recent article from Peter Johnson regarding hazing in Palo Alto sports. I think it’s an important subject that should be addressed by every coach in every sport as they start each season. Webster’s defines hazing as “Persecuting or harassing with humiliating tasks, words, or actions”. As coaches, our job is to help student-athletes achieve
Dear Editors, Hazing is disgusting, inhumane, and sick. The “victims” are doing an equal amount of damage NOT reporting being hazed. Hazing does not make the team “closer”. It alienates, demeans, and is destructive. MAKE IT STOP PLEASE! This article has changed my views of PALY and the true intentions/feelings of my peers. I’m scared for them and myself!
respect and loyalty for one another. Team bonding activities definitely help to foster an environment in which teammates can build this intangible chemistry. Some of the team bonding comes from jointly going through tough, physical practices. However, our volleyball program does not condone any sort of physical, verbal, or mental abuse that would even come close to hazing. The article mentioned a scenario from the 2007 season in
always strived to keep her student-athletes in a fun and safe environment. While the media always is happy to provide examples of coaches and players that cross the border when it comes to hazing, I feel that Earl Hansen and the athletics staff are exemplary when it comes to taking care of their kids, while also producing successful results. Dave Winn (Varsity Volleyball coach
Dear Editors, I found Liza Dernehl’s article about being a backup goalie quite interesting and amusing, mostly because I am one. I’m the backup keeper for the boy’s soccer team, and I share many of the experiences you describe: joking with teammates, and day-dreaming through games. However, instead of throwing in the extra ball, I chart shots. I mark the player who shoots, and if he scores, I circle his number and write the minute – exciting stuff. Andrew Chen (Senior) Dear Editors, I like this article (Another Year of High School)! Thanks for opening my eyes about this opportunity for high school athletes. Anonymous The Viking | 21
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BOYS’ BASKETBALL Fifth-straight league title slipping out of reach for Powell, Vikings
COACH: Peter Diepenbrock RECORD: 14-7* STANDING: 2nd*
STATISTICAL LEADERS POINTS/GM: 15.9 - Dom Powell (Senior) REBOUNDS: 6.9 - Dom Powell (Senior) ASSISTS: 2.6 - Mike Scott (Senior)
KE Y RESULTS January 26th @ Gunn (Win 43-35)
A triumph over cross town rival set up a showdown against Saratoga for the league lead.
January 30th vs Cupertino (Loss 47-29)
The loss dropped the Vikings two games behind the league-leading Pioneers.
REMAINING GAMES February 13th @ Fremont February 15th vs. Gunn * As of February 1st 22 | The Viking
n their biggest game of the year, the Palo Alto boys’ varsity basketball team fell 29-47 to first place Cupertino High School, squandering their chance to gain a share of the league lead. The team dropped to 14-7 (5-3 league), two games behind Cupertino with only four games remaining. “We didn’t have that usual ‘Palo Alto Intensity,’” senior guard Mike Scott said. “It seemed like they wanted it more than we did,” The loss not only severely crippled the Vikings’ hopes of winning a fifth straight league title, but was the team’s first home loss since their first-round exit in the 2003 CCS playoffs. “[Winning league] is doable, but at the same time it’s a little tough,” head coach Peter Diepenbrock said. “It’s tough for us to think about the league championship when they beat us twice.” The Vikings shot poorly from the field and their nightmarish fifty-five percent free throw shooting for the season
clutching his ankle in pain. “My first thought was I really don’t think he needs to make a behind-the-back pass right there,” Diepenbrock said. “Then I hoped he was okay and that his foot wasn’t hurting him too much.” The Vikings struggled without Scott’s leadership and aggressive play on the court. He averages 10.2 points, 2.6 assists and 3.1
“I think Mike is a big part of our offense and a very dominant player when he is healthy,” Diepenbrock said. “But we saw the team can still win without him.” declined to thirty-seven percent. “We missed a large amount of our shots,” Scott said. “They seemed to hit every shot that left their hands.” Cupertino has proved troublesome for Paly, serving up two of their three league losses. However, Cupertino is in a different division and the Vikings will MAKE WAY Jordan Jefferson splits the defense not meet them again this season. In their first meeting on January 9, Paly suffered an embarrassing 29-35 loss as their steals per game. offense failed to score double digits in any singleThe injury thew off the Viking’s play quarter. and allowed Cupertino to shut down the In addition, standout guard Scott’s game was production of Paly’s offensive anchor, secut short due to a sprained ankle in the second nior center Dom Powell, who averages 15.9 quarter. As he drove down the court, Scott fed points per game. sophomore forward Kevin Brown a behind-theThe Vikings bounced back quickly, deback pass and shortly after was on the ground, feating Milpitas High by a margin of 53-39
pare them for a league title run. Though Paly’s hopes of winning league have dimmed, the team is still optimistic about the rest of the season and playoffs. “One of our goals was pretty much eliminated with the loss to Cupertino,” Scott said. “Our main goal now is to finish the rest of the league with no more losses and win CCS.” Unfortunately, Scott’s ailing ankle may keep him off the court and from helping the team achieve this goal. “Mike is not 100 percent better,” said Diepenbrock. “We don’t know what’s next, he might take time off, we’re not sure.” Even with the end of the season nearing, the Vikings have an agenda of improvements to make. “The boys have worked very hard,” Diepenbrock said. “We’ve had some games where we’ve played at a very high level and at the same time we’ve been inconsistent in our play,” Free throws have been a low point for the Vikings this year, sacrificing valuable points, and possibly costing victories in close games. The team also has several other aspects of their game to perfect. “We need to put a lot of attention on getting better pressure defense and half-court offense,” Diepenbrock said. “Next time we face a team like that, hopefully we will be better at those two things.” Though the loss served as a wakeup call the Vikings are not ready to call it quits. “We won’t give up, no matter what,” Scott said. <<<
“One of our goals was pretty much eliminated with the loss to Cupertino,” Scott said. “Our main goal now is to finish the rest of the season with no more losses and win CCS.”
~ Cassie Prioleau & Austin Smith Photography by Alek Milovidov
l l e w o om P
r a w r o f enior
15.9 points/gm 6.9 rebounds/gm goal 62% field percentage 2.3 steals/gm Powell has anchored the offense this season with his strong play in the frontcourt. At 6’ 4’’, he has used his size and athleticism to dominate opposing defenses in the low post. Last year’s co-league MVP has put up big, double-double performances in some of the season’s biggest games.
on January 11 and Los Gatos 64-39 just five days later. The Vikings proved their depth in these two games, bringing home victories without Scott. “It was definitely hard to play without him,” sophomore guard Joseph Lin said. “But I think we played surprisingly well against Los Gatos.” Lin and junior guard Nick Robinson stepped up to replace Scott, calling attention to the team’s young talent. The victories over Milpitas and Los Gatos disproved the many doubters who believe the Vikings merely ride on the shoulders of Powell and Scott. “I think Mike is a big part of our offense and a very dominate player when he is h e a l t h y, ” Diepenbrock said. “But we saw the team can still win without him.” The Vikings swept away Fremont High with a landslide 71-47 victory. Scott returned for this game with a partially recovered ankle but was not able to play at his usual level of intensity. “With me back at about 80 percent speed,” Scott said, “I’m not able to contribute as much as I wish I could.” Saratoga High broke Paly’s winning streak with a heartbreakingly close 49-57 game January 25. The Vikings braved enemy turf on January 26, dominating the crosstown rival Gunn High School in 4535 victory. Scott and Powell kept the ball in Paly’s possession with six rebounds each. Powell and Lin made significant contributions to the score with 17 and 13 points respectively. Yet even the momentum of this victory was not enough to propel the Vikings to defeat Cupertino and pre-
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GIRLS’ BASKETBALL The Lady Vikes steadily improve and work toward playoffs
COACH: Scott Peters RECORD: 6-11* STANDING: 4th*
STATISTICAL LEADERS POINTS PER GAME: 9.17 Liz Slater (Senior) BLOCKS PER GAME: 2 - Liz Slater (Senior) REBOUNDS PER GAME: 6.5 - Liz Slater (Senior)
KE Y RESULTS January 11th vs Milpitas (Win 59-51)
The team showed improvement by beating Milpitas in a overtime.
January 29th vs Mountain View (Win 47-41) The Lady Vikes had previously lost to Mountain View and this win will hopefully secure their spot in the playoffs.
REMAINING GAMES February 12th... Fremont February 15th... Gunn * As of February 1st
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hrough the first ten games of the season, the young Palo Alto girls’ varsity basketball team has gained valuable experience from a tough schedule. With the loss of junior superstars Rachael Pecota and Kiley McDermot to school transfers, the Paly squad has struggled so far, but is continuing to gain experience. With only one senior on the team this year, the team is focusing on improving throughout the long season. The young players are still getting adjusted to playing with each other and are slowly improving their team chemistry. “At this point we are still trying to find our team identity,” head coach Scott Peters said. “We are still figuring out what girls can do what successfully. We are improving with every game because we are slowly figuring that out.” Since league play began on January 5, the team has won just one of its first
As many girls find their role on the team, Garcia and junior shooting guard and captain Taylor Lovely have emerged as team leaders. Lovely has proved to be an extremely effective outside shooter thus far in the season and will look to keep her success rolling into the second half of the season and the rest of league play.
“We need to work on taking advantage of our individual strengths and applying them to help the team,” Garcia said three league games. After dropping a tough league opener to defending coleague champion Wilcox and losing again to Mountain View, the Vikings pulled off a hard fought win against Milpitas High School. Freshman Mariah Phillips sunk a last second 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, and the Vikings eventually won the game 59-51. During the pre-season, DRIVE Junior Taylor Lovely takes an opposing the team compiled a 2-6 record from a player to the hoop in Paly’s loss to Pinewood tough schedule made up of all non-SCVAL teams and now combined with league play the Vikings have compiled a 3-8 record for the “I really want to improve my driving season. so I can add to my perimeter shooting and “I think we’re doing well considering we are a become a more complete offensive threat new team,” junior point guard Olivia Garcia said. for the team,” Lovely said. “We are not winning all of our games but we are Garcia is also focusing on personal definitely improving, which I think is extremely goals that she hopes will help the team important.” reach its goals.
Athletic League De Anza Division game. In the last three seconds of the second half, Lovely shot a threepointer and gave the team confidence to finish the game with a strong 4434 win. The highlight of this season was the Viking’s 59-51 win against Mountain View on January 29. Despite the initial hardships the Lady Vikes faced, they have rallied the energy and confidence to compete for the playoffs. <<< ~ Patrick Sheehan
“We need to learn to always give our full effort, whether that’s in a game or in practice,” Peters said. “If we always give that consistent effort, I think we will improve.” coach Peters believes that his players can improve at a much faster rate with a little more work. “We need to learn to always give our full effort, whether that’s in a game or in practice,” Peters said. “If we can learn to always give that consistent effort, I think we will improve much more quickly.” Peters has proved to be a very helpful coach to varsity squad by devoting a lot of one-on-one time to helping players who want to improve. “Coach is always great at working with individuals,” Lovely said. “If someone needs help he will gladly come in during 7th period to help them improve their game.” As the league play continues, the varsity Vikings will maintain their focus on improvement by taking the season one game at a time. Peters believes that with some adjustments, the team will play better throughout the remainder of the year. “We need to look to get better every day and every week,” Peters said. “That means always improving as a team and playing our very best in every game.” On January 22 the team defeated Fremont in the Santa Clara Valley
r e t a l S z i L THE NUMBERS
Rebounds per game - 6.5 As we projected in the last issue, Liz Slater (left) has guided the Lady Vikes through this season. During the Viking’s surprising 47-41 win on January 29th against Mountain View, Slater defined her star-status. She scored a game-high of 15 points and a career-best of 16 rebounds. During Palo Alto’s 4434 victory against Fremont, Slater scored nine points and contributed five blocks. “Liz always has tons of energy,” junior Olivia Garcia said. “She comes to every game ready to get the most blocks and rebounds.” Slater’s determination and skill has helped the Lady Vikes exceed expectations this season.
“As a team we need to work on taking advantage of our individual strengths and applying them to help the team,” Garcia said. “Personally I need to work on my ball handling and all-around defense.” Paly has nine more league games scheduled for the remainder of the year including an away and a home game against cross town rival Gunn High School on February 4 and 15 respectively. As much as the team has improved thus far in the season,
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BOYS’ SOCCER Paly stumbles against Gunn but clinch a CCS spot in a 1-0 win over Santa Clara as they look onward to another successful playoff run. oming off of a phenomenal second-place finish in CCS (Central Coast Section) last year, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ soccer team hopes to play and finish this season with the same success. Though the Vikings started off undefeated through the first nine games, they had disappointing losses later in the season to Los Gatos, Saratoga and Gunn High Schools. “Our season is going pretty well,” junior center-midfielder Kevin Ashworth said. “We have had a couple of mistakes which have cost us a couple upsetting games, but we’re on track for making CCS. If we finish off the season with a couple of wins everything will work out.” With losses of 2-0 on December 19 and 3-2 on January 23 to Los Gatos, the team was knocked out of its first place position in SCVAL De Anza Division leagues. “Our losses to Los Gatos were unfortu-
COACH: Donald Briggs RECORD: 11-4-5* STANDING: 2nd
STATISTICAL LEADERS GOALS: 9- Kevin Ashworth ASSISTS: 14- Adam Zernik GOAL DIFFERENCE: +27
KE Y RESULTS Feb 4 vs Santa Clara (1-0)
The win against Santa Clara clinched the Vikings a spot to the CCS playoffs
Feb 1 vs Gunn (1-0)
The Vikings were able to hold back Gunn until the last several minutes of the game. The 1-0 defeat marked Paly’s first to the Titans in five years.
REMAINING GAMES CCS playoff games start 2/13/08 * As of February 1st 26 | The Viking
Other players agree that the team lost the match due to defensive errors. “We played well overall, but we had a couple of defensive mistakes which led to some easy goals,” Ashworth said. In its second win over Los Altos on January 18, Paly won 3-0 with goals scored by Ashworth, Hanabusa and Ostrau.
“If we finish off the season with a couple of wins everything will work out,” Ashworth said. nate because we have the skill and ability to beat them,” senior forward Scott Ostrau said. Though the Vikings took the lead early in their second match against Gatos when sophomore Jenner Fox scored with an assist from Matt Nguyen, Los Gatos then went on to score three times in 11 minutes. Paly was able to hold off the Wildcats for the rest of the game, but Los Gatos ended ELEVATE Junior John Christopherson jumps over a defender to head the ball in a 1-0 win over Gunn. up with the 3-2 victory. “Defensively we should have done a better job in preventing counter attacks,” junior In their game against Milpitas, the Vicenter-midfielder Michael Hanabusa explained. kings won 4-2. Ashworth scored twice with Despite the Vikings’ loss, they know what they assists from center midfielder Adam Zernik, needed to work on to improve their game. and Zernik and Ostrau scored once each. “Both teams created their share of scoring Earlier in the season, Paly had a big chances, but they did a better job of capitalizing,” win against Gunn High School on January Ostrau said. “We could have done a better job fin- 11. Ashworth scored both goals in the 2-1 ishing and organizing our marking on defense.” game with assists from Zernik both times.
“We need to work on not getting countered,” Ashworth said. “We push up for the attack but leave some mismatches or uneven numbers in the back. Just fine-tuning the
“We have a lot of good talent and team chemistry. Our goal is basically to win league and CCS because we have a pretty good team this year,” Johnson said. communication would help.” Other players agree. “Our strengths are probably our center mids, but we need to work on our counter attack,” senior left-mid Max Wilson added. “Our team has amazing individual skill and not much size or physical presence, so we are best suited for quick passing and dribbling - possession style of play,” Ostrau said. The Vikings hope to play as well in CCS as they did last year. “My goals for the team are to finish out the rest of the season without letting in any goals, get into a brawl with another team, make a referee cry, and of course win CCS,” Ostrau said. Other players also hope to do well in CCS. “We hope to win CCS because we have a lot of good talent and team chemistry, junior goalkeeper Peter Johnson added. The Vikings are 11-4-5 and eagerly anticipate the upcoming CCS playoffs.
“Both teams created their share of scoring chances, but they did a better job of capitalizing,” Ostrau said. Titans back for the greater part of the game, Gunn junior Ryan Wood scored a goal in the last several minutes of the game.In the game agaisnt Santa Clara on February 4, the Vikings clinched their spot in CCS with a 1-0 win. Ashworth scored off of a free kick with an assist from Zernik. However, the team hopes to improve in the future.
~Nina Gertsvolf Photography by Charlie Avis
h t r o w h s A n
Stopper + Center-Midfielder
Despite scoring in the second half, Gunn missed the rest of its opportunities, as junior goalie Peter Johnson made a number of key saves in the second half to save the win. “The Gunn game was close,” senior right midfielder Ian Kelly said. “It was our first game back and historically we’re not very good after break, but we won.” The team later lost on a 2-1 in a league match to Saratoga High School. In the second half, Saratoga scored two goals before Paly came back when Jenner Fox scored an unassisted goal. This was a tough loss for the Vikings because of their 25 shots to Saratoga’s 5. “We’re doing really well but we’re inconsistent with finishing off our opportunities, which can be frustrating,” Kelly said. Unfortunately, however, the Vikings lost their second game 1-0 against Gunn on February 1. Though they were able to hold the
The junior newcomer has already proved his worth (pun intended) as a varsity soccer player. Racking a total of nine goals and three assists, Ashworth is irreplaceable on offense. As a stopper Ashworth is a forced to be reckoned with, stopping offensive struggles with relentless tackling. Ashworth’s greatest effect on the field is felt when playing in the air. Ashworth is key at containing and handling balls in the air, excelling at both trapping and heading them out of dangerous territory.
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GIRLS’ SOCCER Noyola, Watson, and Duller help bring the Vikes to another CCS playoff run.
fter a tough loss last year in the second round of the CCS (Central Coast Section) playoffs, the Palo Alto varsity girls’ soccer team is back fighting for a league championship and another CCS playoff spot. “We had a disappointing loss last year in CCS against Mitty, but we are determined to do well and prove ourselves this year,” junior midfielder Samantha Bengston said. The Lady Vikes started off the season with 2-0 a win over Pinewood. Later in the season, they defeated their long time rival, the Los Altos Eagles, 3-1, which led to an amazing 9-0 run and a championship in the Palo Alto Tournament. However, the Vikings lost the next time they faced the Eagles and suffered a 1-0 defeat. “It is really hard losing a game like that, but I think we need to focus on the next few games and get ready for the end of the season,” junior midfielder Sydney Lun-
COACH: Ernesto Cruz RECORD: 11-4-1* STANDING: 4th*
STATISTICAL LEADERS GOALS: 18 - Teresa Noyola (Senior) ASSISTS: 7 - Jessie Duller (Junior) SAVES: 68 - Alex Kershner (Freshman)
KE Y RESULTS November 11th vs Los Altos (3-1 W)
The Lady Vikes battled out a championship win in the Palo Alto Tournament keeping their record perfect.
January 14th vs Monta Vista (0-2 L)
The 0-2 defeat was the first loss of the year for the Vikings, and dropped them out of first place.
REMAINING GAMES CCS playoff games start 2/12/08 * As of February 1st
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lenge. “It’s a little scary being on varsity, but the girls have been really nice to me,” Kershner said. “I feel like we have come together and it’s paid off in the games.” Junior Jessie Duller, has helped the Vikings with her seven assists and two goals. The Vikes have outscored their opponent
“Everyone likes winning, but beating Gunn is so much better,” Cain said. dgren said. “I feel like we have the talent and the skill to beat that team, but we don’t have the heart.” Other girls realized where they stood as a team and what they had to do to beat the Eagles next time around. “That loss really woke us up, but coming back and beating Los Gatos got us pumped and we are ready for them again,” sophomore Sophie Cain said. The Vikings look to build off of last RIVALS Noyola fights for the ball against Gunn year’s team and have stayed strong with help from seniors Teresa Noyola, Leah Gaeta and Allison Wyndham. Freshman Alex 41-23 over the entire season. Kershner has come up with big saves and anchors Advancing to the playoffs is a goal for the Vikings this season. the Lady Vikings. With a recent tie against “We are really happy she is on the team,” Lun- Mountain View, the team is looking strondgren said. “It’s a big position to fill and she has ger then ever and is making a name for itreally proven herself.” self as the season goes on. With the new player comes the responsibility, With sophomore defender Maeve Stewand Kershner has stepped up and taken the chal- art back from a left foot injury, things can
straight game when they played the Eagles again 2-0. All the goals came in the first half and the Vikes could not manage to get a spark in their offense and failed to convert in the
“We had a disappointing loss last year in CCS against Mitty, but we are determined to do well and prove ourselves this year,” Bengston said. second half. The girls tried to get back on top of their game but later suffered a loss to Los Gatos. Starting midfielders Samantha Bengston, Jess Duller and Teresa Noyola all missed the loss to Los Gatos. Bengston and Duller were invited to a camp in Florida, and Noyola was practicing with the national team in Los Angeles. The girls managed to score in the first half and entered the second half with a 1-0 lead. Shortly into the second half, the Wildcats scored and started a 6-1 scoring spree, dropping the Vikings to a 6-3-1 record in league. The Vikings look to rebound after the losses and win their remaining games. “If we can win the next three games that would be huge,” Cain said. The Lady Vikes are 11-4-1 overall and ready for the upcoming CCS playoffs. <<< ~John Christopherson Photography by Allen Au
“Its really hard losing a game like that, but I think we need to focus on the next few games and get ready for the end of the season,” Lundgren said. Monta Vista did not go as planned, and the girls suffered a tragic 2-0 loss, bringing their record to 6-2-1 in league, and increasing the gap between themselves and Los Altos. The Vikings lost their second
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13 games played 18 goals 7 assists Teresa Noyola has been the key to the Vikings success from her talented play to her leadership position. Noyola has scored 15 of Vikes 41 goals and averages an astounding 1.15 goals per game. Teresa was named Parade Magazine High School National Player of the Year.
only go up this season. “Having Maeve back on the field is really awesome, she is quick and fast, and can always put the ball in the net,” Bengston said. Stewart had one of the three goals late in the game against Mountain View and the Vikings came from behind in the final minutes of the match to tie it up. “Getting back on the field is awesome, it feels good to be able to play again,” Stewart side. The Vikings were on the top of their league at the midway point in the season. “We need to play our best in every game to pull out a win in league,” Kershner said. The girls gained some momentum playing cross-town rival Gunn and rolled by them with a 3-0 victory. “Everyone likes winning, but beating Gunn is so much better,” Cain said. The following game against
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Wrestling The Vikings pick up their first league win heading into SCVALs
COACH: Dave Duran RECORD: 1-4* STANDING: 4th*
STATISTICAL LEADERS WINS: 30* - Cooper Newby (Senior)
KEY RESULTS December 19th vs Los Gatos (Loss 57-15)
The Vikings put up one of the best performances of any team in SCVALs, losing 57-15 to this wrestling powerhouse.
January 31st vs Los Altos (Win 61-18)
This was the crucial first win for the Vikings this season in league and raises the morale and changes the mind set of the team going into CCS.
REMAINING GAMES February 6th... Milpitas February 9th... SCVALS February 22th... CCS February 29th... CIF State * As of February 1st 30 | The Viking
ith a disappointing 1-4 league record (1-5 have lots of talented individuals who have overall) in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic the ability to score points for the team.” League De Anza Division, the Palo Alto This skill was shown in the CuperHigh School varsity wrestling team has watched a tino Memorial Wrestling Tournament, one promising season turn into disappointment. While of the tougher tournaments in California, the record may seem like a disaster, two of the loss- where Newby placed first, senior Ryan es were by a few points. Despite these close losses, Drebin (171 pounds) fourth, junior Patrick many individuals on the team have excelled indi- Sheehan (145) third and senior Kevin Hall vidually. first (189). Hall’s performance helped him The Vikings began the season with four tough win the outstanding wrestler in the heavy losses to league opponents Cupertino, Los Gatos, Fremont and Gunn High Schools. The losses easily could have been wins, as two of the outcomes of the matches were decided in the final round. “We didn’t wrestle as well as we should have [in league matches],” head coach Dave Duran said. “We had some holes due to weight issues, but we’ve done well in various tournaments, including the Sierra Nevada Classic.” TAKEDOWN Junior Noah Feldstein (152) attempts to pin Los Altos The Sierra junior Enrique Calderon (152), who is ranked number seven in CCS. Nevada Classic, held in Reno, Nevada, consisted of over 90 schools. The team weights award. The team placed fifth oversaw many quality performances from various wres- all. tlers, including senior captain Cooper Newby (135 The performances were what Duran pounds) who placed seventh in his weight class. expected. The team has placed impressively in tournaments, “Drebin, Sheehan, Hall and Newby usually placing around sixth place in around 30-50 have developed to where they want to be at this point in the season,” Duran said. teams. “As a dual [league match] team, our perforhile the team has had issues in the mances are not as strong as tournaments due to past with sickness and injuries, both weight class holes at dual meets,” Newby said. “We
matches in “Murderers Row” (171275 lbs) letting Drebin, Hall and sophomore Troy Boyland receive six points each.
ven with the high number losses, coach Duran and the wrestlers remain optimistic. “We always wrestle better at the end of the season,” Duran said. “So I believe we will improve and turn our season around.” “The end of the season is what really matters,” Newby said. “Hopefully the guys that put time in the off season to train will do well in CCS and qualify for state.” The last opponents the Vikings will face is Milpitas, an under performing team that the Vikings will have a good chance to beat. With SCVAL and CCS qualifying matches coming up, all the wrestlers will be hoping to qualify for the state tournaments. “They are all where they want to be at this point in the season, but there’s still need to improve for CCS,” Duran said. Newby and Duran both believe that the team will perform at the CCS matches. “We should finish in the top ten in CCS,” Duran said. “Realistically we should have at least four placers [Newby, Drebin, Hall and Sheehan] and a few state qualifiers.” Newby has high hopes for the upcoming matches. We have one of the strongest and hardest-working teams ever in Paly history,” Newby said. In the end however, the record still speaks for itself. “We’re not getting it done,” Duran said. <<<
“We have one of the strongest and hardest-working teams ever in Paly Wrestling history,” - Senior captain Cooper Newby
~By Steven Tran. Photography by Austin Smith.
l l a H Kevin s b l 9 8 1 , r o i Sen THE NUMBER
Duran and the wrestlers believe that they need to improve their performances in dual meets and cannot blame their problems on injuries. “Our strong wrestlers need to capitalize on weaker opponents and get the pins so we can rack up more points,” Newby said. “As a team, we are not performing up to our ability,” Sheehan said. “We have the talent but not the mind set.” Senior Eliot Wilson (135) also believes that the players have been affected by the close loses. “ W e needed to focus and get into the right mind set,” Wilson said. T h e team turned things around against Los Altos High School. The Vikings went down 0-12 early, but quickly turned it around with a 32-0 run. Sophomore Chris Tang (119) stepped up and destroyed his opponent. Tang pinned his opponent in under a minute and sparked the 32-0 run. “The time I put in over the summer and working hard throughout the season allowed me to get the quick pin,” Tang said. “By working hard, anything is possible.” Sophomore Jack Sakai (125), junior Erez Arnon (130), Wilson, junior Kasey Fields (140), and Newby (145) all contributed points to the rally. The biggest match of the night came when junior Noah Feldstein (152) wrestled Los Altos junior Enrique Calderon (152), Feldstein started strong and almost got the pin before losing. “[Feldstein] has the ability, he just needs to finish his matches better,” Duran said. The last match featured Sheehan, who fought through a bloody eye to gain seven points for the Vikings. Los Altos forfeited all
Senior Kevin Hall has experienced many ups and downs this wrestling season. With an upset win in the Cupertino Memorial Wrestling Tournament over Los Gatos wrestler, Nick Kalpin, (who was also football MVP and the Mercury News football player of the Year) Hall won outstanding wrestler in the heavy weights award. Shortly after, Hall lost in the last round of Paly’s 34-33 loss to Fremont High School. “I feel pretty confident that I can get to state,” Hall said. “It won’t be easy, but I welcome the challenge.” What others think:
Senior captain Cooper Newby: “Kevin’s stronger than his brother John [#1 Wrestler in CCS last year] and has the potential to do very well at states. Unlike most big guys, he is able to shoot due to his athleticism.” Head coach Dave Duran: “He’s done good stuff this season. He should finish top four in CCS and has a good shot at states.” Photo by Robert Drebin
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the forgotten ones By Ian Kelly
Photography by Alek Milovidov Layout and photo illustrations by Noah Sneider
Three teens sit overlooking the court, watching the boys' basketball team battle city rival Gunn in a jam-packed gym on a rainy winter night. Gazing onto the court, they fixate on the green and white jerseys zooming up and down the hardwood. The atmosphere feels right: reporters are watching intently, stands are crammed, and the game is intense. Yet something is different.In the backs of their minds, they know they are watching the shadows of what they could have been. Camouflaging easily into the crowd, the trio looks like any group of regular high school kids, out on a weekend night to watch their school team. Except these three are not ordinary teens. They are basketball state champions, the only ones at Palo Alto High School. Yet none of them still play.
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BROOK SEAMAN: Senior, CIF Division II State Basketball Champion 2006 “I was a glue-guy who could do a lot of stuff well, but not great. I was never going to be a star.”
t was the most memorable game of their lives. They remember that night two years ago at Sacramento’s Arco Arena, enduring thirty-two agonizing, heart-wrenching minutes of basketball between their Palo Alto Vikings and the Mater Dei Monarchs. They remember the pre-game hype, trumping how Paly, the small public school from the north, had zero chance against Mater Dei, the private SoCal powerhouse with the $20 million gym. They remember how Mater Dei had players set to play Division One ball at Oregon, Arizona and Duke, whereas they had one headed to Harvard and a few others going to “Hopefully I will walk-on” university. They remember screaming their hearts out, as a see-saw game went back and forth until the waning seconds. And they remember the end, when the euphoric celebration rocked the rafters of Arco, the
clock read 00:00, and the unthinkable had happened: Mater Dei 47, Palo Alto 51. Then-sophomores Brook Seaman, Connor Baskauskas and Brian Karvelas were all members of that statechampionship winning team, the only current Paly students to have won a state championship. During the 2008 season, their senior year, many had expected the trio to be dominating on the hardwood and dreaming of a return to Sac-town. Instead, the three now are just fans, watching the team they were once part of continue on without them. It is a story that puzzles many; to understand their tale, you must go beyond that night and leap back half a decade, all the way to days on junior high blacktops.
etween 2002 and 2004, the greatest dynasty in Palo Alto was not a Paly
team. It was not a Gunn team. And no, it was not even a Stanford team. The most dominant team in town was a group of scrawny pre-teens from Jordan Middle School. During that time, the Jordan ‘A’ boys’ basketball team annihilated its opponents year after year, ending a threeyear span with an unprecedented 36-0 record. If dynasty had a definition, this was it. “We were dominant,” said senior Stevie Medearis, a member of the Jordan team for all three years. “We never lost a game because our talent was unmatchable.” The Jordan team was made up of a core of players hailing from the north side of Palo Alto, almost all of whom were stars on their NJB (National Junior Basketball) teams, or selected to NJB All-Net (AllStar) teams. The team consisted of smart, team-oriented players including, among The Viking | 33
CONNOR BASKAUSKAS: Senior, CIF Division II State Basketball Champion 2006 “I have played basketball, and just basketball, since I was 12. Basketball is where my heart is.”
others, Seaman, Baskauskas, Medearis, Thomas Price, Jordan Jefferson, Michael Martin, Khalin Sandifer, Daniel Furlong, Tyger Pederson, and the teams’ two stars: Brian Karvelas and Jeff Fuller. Paly varsity basketball Head Coach Peter Diepenbrock coached the team during its sixth-grade championship season. “They had a good understanding of the game and played really well together,” Diepenbrock said. “They were a group that held basketball as a passion, so much so that it was almost a part of their individual identities.” The team had new coaches in both seventh and eighth grade, which is typical for middle school basketball. Yet they continued to consistently beat opponents, winning championships both years and ending each with a 12-0 record. Their reign received recognition in local papers, and 34 | The Viking
it seemed only appropriate that the next avenue for their success was high school basketball. “In eighth grade, I thought we would be state champions as seniors,” Baskauskas said. “At Jordan we were stacked. We never had any competition.” Indeed, their expectations were high. Some felt that the Jordan Class of ‘04 and the eventual Paly Class of ‘08 would become one of the greatest Palo Alto Senior High School had ever seen. “I thought they would be excellent as seniors,” said Bob “Grandpa” Pederson, the team’s coach during their eighth-grade season. But before any of their high school careers could take flight, the riches of their class took a major blow. Fuller, a 6’1” center who could dunk in seventh grade, abruptly moved to Texas during the spring
of eighth grade, never to don a Palo Alto jersey. “Jeff was a ridiculously good athlete,” Karvelas said. “His departure made us significantly less athletic. I still felt that we had a really solid team, but him leaving definitely hurt us.” Though unseen at the time, Fuller’s departure was the beginning of the dynasty’s downfall. rook Seaman was an integral part of the fabric that held those Jordan teams so close together, a good player who, like most of his teammates, dreamt of future high school success. “In eighth grade, I looked at the Paly varsity team which had won CCS,” Seaman said. “And I remember thinking that we were better than they were at our age, so I thought we had a shot at a state title senior
BRIAN KARVELAS: Senior, CIF Division II State Basketball Champion 2006 “I was a scorer. I felt responsible on the offensive end for getting our team going.”
year – if everyone stayed playing.” Like Karvelas and Baskauskas, he was devoted to his sport, spending countless frosty mornings running sprints, miles and more miles for pre-season basketball conditioning. Seaman’s addition to the state championship team occurred at the end of his sophomore year, when Diepenbrock needed an extra member for the varsity team. “We basically asked the junior varsity team who would want to come up to the varsity team,” Diepenbrock said. “Brook was the one who wanted to do it.” As Seaman sat through the entire ride – league, CCS, Norcal and the game, he hoped to experience even more in the years to come. “Winning state was one of the most exciting things in my life,” Seaman said. “I thought we had a shot to come back and
win it again in 2008.”
onnor Baskauskas’ choice to play basketball was not a hard one. His father, Mike, starred at Yale as a threetime all-Ivy league guard whose name still stands in the record books. His brother, Brian, represents one of the true legends of Palo Alto basketball, a fouryear varsity player who won multiple CCS championships and led Paly to the Northern California championship during his senior year. It is not hard to tell that basketball runs in the Baskauskas family blood. “I have played basketball, and just basketball, since I was 12,” he said. “Basketball is where my heart is.” Though the majority of Baskauskas’ sophomore year was spent on the junior varsity team, Diepenbrock brought him up
to the varsity squad during the late part of the season. “Connor was brought up earlier because we wanted someone with size,” he said. nlike Seaman and Baskauskas, Brian Karvelas was a definitive star on the Jordan team, a basketball phenom with an impeccable work ethic, a kid who screamed success. “Brian was one of the stars of those teams,” Diepenbrock said. “He was a hard-nosed player, someone who was very competitive and always played one hundred percent.” Karvelas ruled middle school basketball, once scoring 48 points in a single game. As an offense-oriented forward, he contributed tremendously to the team’s consistent ability to outscore opponents. “I was a scorer,” he said. “I felt
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responsible on the offensive end for getting our team going. I had a really big role on the team, and it allowed me to expand and stretch my game.” Upon entering high school, Karvelas started on the junior varsity team his freshman year, earning honors as a second team all-league player. Diepenbrock promoted him to the varsity team for the entire season in his sophomore year. “[I brought him up] because he was extremely motivated, and had played a lot as a freshman,” Diepenbrock said. “He was looking for a new experience and wanted a new challenge.” eaman, Baskauskas and Karvelas’ ride on that state championship team was filled with sporadic playing time in blowout games, chances to gain experience for future years to come. During their sophomore seasons on the varsity team, Seaman averaged 0.3 points per game over 13 games, Karvelas 1.3 points over 18, and Baskauskas 3.5 over two. Despite the limited playing time, Karvelas felt good about his basketball future, “I was really optimistic at the point,” Karvelas said. “The lack of playing time didn’t really concern me because of the strength of the senior class.” Unlike that teams’ seniors, Seaman, Baskauskas and Karvelas’ post-seasons on that team were characterized by sitting on the bench, emphatically urging on their teammates. They did not play in the CCS championship game against Mitty, the NorCal championship against the same Mitty team, or the state championship against Mater Dei. Yet that was to be expected – they were only sophomores, waiting for their time to come. The thrill of that ride, topped by their improbable upset in the state championship game, led them to the goal they had dreamt of as middle schoolers.
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They still vividly remember that fateful night in 2006, the game entrenched in the memories of Palo Altans, the defining high school memory for so many current and former Paly students. “It was exhilarating to be a part of that time,” Karvelas said. “It was really exciting to be on that team. Even as a bench player I felt like I was part of something special.” Like Karvelas, Baskauskas was elated at winning state. “It was, and still is, the pinnacle of my basketball career,” he said. “I was ecstatic. It was amazing to be a part of that team.” “I was really excited,” he said. “But I knew that was going to be the climax of my basketball career. I could not imagine a team that worked together better than that team.”
rook Seaman was always a talented
player, but never a star. By all accounts a hard worker, Seaman would do all it took to do as well as he could. Off-season open gyms? Brook was there. Spring league games? Brook was there. Summer basketball camps? Of course – Brook was always there. His sophomore year, Seaman took the chance to join the varsity team, even though he knew he was mostly going to be used in practice simulations. He jumped at the opportunity in order to prepare himself for the years to come. “I wanted to practice against the best,” he said. “I wanted to improve enough to be an impact varsity player in the future.” At 6’2” and around 165 pounds, Seaman was well-built, a solid basketball player with size who could do a number of things. “Brook was an allaround player who was a very good team guy,” Diepenbrock said. “He would try to do whatever was asked of him. He had good offensive skills, and was a good shooter and ball-handler.” Yet Seaman never saw himself as a star-type player. “I was a glueguy who could do a lot of stuff well, but not great,” he said. “I was never going to be a star.”
y of urtes
. It time a t a as f th rt o am. Even ing a p th te ea some to b on that f g o n art be rati as p hila ting to w x e I ke ci was “It eally ex felt li ial.” r rI spec was laye p h benc
onnor Baskauskas was a tall, lanky player who did not find a lot of playing time because he lacked a defining position. At 6’6” and 185 pounds, he always had problems holding up against bulkier, aggressive frontcourt players. “In middle school I was tall, but I did not really have a position because I wasn’t strong enough to play down low,” he said. “Then in high school I worked on my shot, and started playing on the wing.” Though he made solid contributions in middle school, during the early years of high school he finally began to blossom. He developed an outside shot, and the team began to use his size on the perimeter. “Connor is someone who put a lot of time in during high school and developed into a very good shooter,” Diepenbrock said. “He really improved throughout his high school career.”
ometime after the state championship, something happened. Maybe it was the luster of having won a state championship too soon. Maybe it was the realization that nothing could top that season. Maybe it was the endless cycle of preparation and conditioning. Maybe being geared toward playing basketball their entire lives just got a little old. Or maybe it was a combination of all of them.
came back off two ankle injuries,” Karvelas said. “That was the time I noticed a change in the atmosphere around the team. It all felt foreign to me.” “All of a sudden I noticed the makeup of the team was far different,” he said. “Taking the Jordan teams into perspective, that was when it really started to show that essentially none of us was a key part of the team, like we had been in the past.” As the three began to fall below the curve midway through high school, the influx of new players, from Christian Bakken to Dom Powell, continued to push Seaman, Baskauskus, and Karvelas out of the spotlight. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jordan Class of ’04 was leaving or had already rian Karvelas was never left Paly basketball. particularly tall. Unlike Following the state his brother, Nick, a forward championship season, for Paly from 2001-2004 Daniel Furlong, Michael who measures up at 6’2”, Martin, Stevie Medearis Brian barely reaches 5’10”. and Tyger Pederson did not Though Karvelas was return in their junior years considered a rising star to play on the varsity team. “In Photo eigh through his sophomore Khalin Sandifer had stopped court esy o cham th grad f C o p season, he never evolved playing after his freshman year. nnor stac ions as e I tho Bask a u ked. u s k g into the player many Thomas Price never even entered us We n seniors. ht we w ever o thought he would. the program. Yet Diepenbrock had At Jordauld be s any Some attribute his saw their exits as part of a natural comp n we wertate etit e stagnation to a single reason: he cycle that engulfs every class. ion. ” never grew. “It is not that unusual for kids to “Height was definitely a big factor,” find other interests,” he said. “Many Karvelas said. “In eighth grade, I was 5’8”, “I think if you want of their motivations and passions yet junior year I was only 5’10”. In eighth to play varsity basketball for change, and it is hard to predict from grade I was tall for a guard, but being on Paly, you have to shape your life around sophomore year to senior year who are that same height level in high school is it,” Seaman said. “For some people, that going to be great players.” really a disadvantage.” just was not going to happen. After a few The players left from those Jordan As one of the go-to guys on his middle years of such a rigorous program, you stop teams had been cut down to four remnants school team, Karvelas was a prolific small enjoying the sport. And unless you have a of that once-spectacular class. forward with a scoring touch. Yet in high chance at the next level, you are tempted In October of their junior year, Seaman, school, he was moved to the ball-handling to quit.” Baskauskas and Karvelas showed up for based guard position. The season following their state pre-season conditioning, going through “I remember he played a lot of forward championship, the atmosphere was the same preparation routine they had and wing in middle school,” Diepenbrock different. LIN, LEHMAN, TRIMBLE, gone through during their freshman and said, “and then in high school he was BROWN, K SCOTT and MILLER were sophomore years. asked to be a ball-handler, but his game taken down from the Paly gym forever, This time, however, they knew they was developed more from a scoring, take- replaced with POWELL, M SCOTT, were going to be on the varsity squad. it-to-the-basket type approach. If he had GOODSPEED, ROBINSON and BAKKEN. This would be their turn to build their grown more, he could have stayed in that It was a new season, a new team. reputations on the fabled Paly basketball same position.” “After the summer of sophomore year, I team, after spending the last five years
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waiting for their moment in the spotlight. It didn’t happen. Nothing changed for the three during their junior year. Karvelas averaged 1.6 points per game, Baskauskas 1.3, Seaman 1.1 – albeit in very few minutes. They continued to receive limited playing time throughout the year all the way through the season-ending loss against Mitty in the CCS semifinals. Their transformation into bonafide starters never took place. Senior year, the three went their separate ways, leaving behind Palo Alto basketball and the storied team for which they once had such high hopes. asketball was never Brook Seaman’s first love. “I always wanted to play football, but because I had high expectations for basketball, I decided not to,” Seaman said. “Finally I realized I would always regret it if I did not play football, so I decided to do it.” Perhaps those elevated expectations from the Jordan years were finally subsiding. His senior year Seaman changed sports, exchanging the hardwood for the gridiron, deciding it best to discontinue what was left of his basketball career. “I still planned on playing basketball, but in the end I decided I would be happier without it.” Seaman played wide receiver and special teams on the varsity football team, winning a CCS championship. He and Diepenbrock never discussed Seaman’s departure. When basketball tryouts rolled around after football season, Seaman never showed up. By senior year, Connor Baskauskas’ interest in high school basketball was declining. “It was a huge time commitment and it became something that I was starting to not look forward to,” he said. “For me, playing at the high school level was no longer a recreational activity, it had become almost a chore.” Baskauskas’ decision took Diepenbrock
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aback. “Connor I was very surprised by,” Diepenbrock said. “I thought he was going to have a good chance to help us, and get some playing time.” Senior year, Baskauskas briefly flirted with crew, but now plays on a NJB team along with former Jordan players Furlong, Medearis and Price. In addition, he coached the Jordan eighth grade ‘A’ team, the same one
Brian Karvelas’ decision to quit playing basketball was based on his lack of contribution to the team and his newfound success in running. “Diepenbrock and I shared our perspectives on the season, and from what he told me it seemed I was not going to play a lot,” Karvelas said. “So for me it seemed better not to play basketball. With running going well, it just seemed more beneficial to continue my (cross-country and track) training through basketball season.” His senior year, Karvelas began his first year running on the crosscountry team, winning all-league honors and qualifying for the CCS meet. This winter, he is training for the upcoming track and field season. Diepenbrock accepted Karvelas’ decision to leave, yet it was a cheerless moment for him. “I understood it, since he had so much success with his running,” he said. “But it was very sad.”
he once-invincible Jordan dynasty, the grade that was going to be the peak of Paly basketball classes, had been whittled down, little by little, to one remaining player: Jordan Jefferson. “It feels different without the three of them,” Jefferson said. “They were a part of the team, e e r h guys I’d make jokes ut the tteam, o h t i w t and laugh with in the differeen a part of thteh in the s l e e f locker room. Now, not “It They weers and laugh weim makes it , m e h t having them makes it of ake jok not having thged.” m d ’ I s feel like something guy om. Now,something chan o r r e k c changed.” e lo feel lik Their dream of leading Paly to a CCS and state he played championship as seniors faded away. The on four years ago, to a 12-0 expectations built up from those Jordan championship season. Baskauskus always years never came to fruition. Yet, the joy of had an unconditional love for basketball, being a state champion and the memories but the high school game he had found of that thrilling season still remain within himself playing was different from the one them. ` he grew up in. “It really is an honor,” Baskauskas said. “I wanted to get back to the roots,” “There are so many amazing athletes at Baskauskas said. “Back to the basketball Paly, but we have the greatest honor there I fell in love with as a child.” is. It meant everything to me.” <<<
We Canâ€™t Do It Without You Parents, Alumni, Students, Community. We are all Partners in Education Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) is the only non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting ALL schools in the Palo Alto Unified School District and the only non-district source for school staff funding. Please join us in our effort to sustain excellence at Paly and all PAUSD schools. Visit www.papie.org or contact Paly representative Anne Barry email@example.com
The seven habits of highly effective skaters by oana enache photography by alek milovidov layout design by austin smith
n A s y e s
dmit it-you’ve always wished you could pull off an ollie, grind a board along the sidewalk or stand on a skateboard for more than three seconds without severely maiming yourself. There are plenty of good tricks, but tricks are not everything. “A lot of skateboarding on the street is style...not so much what you wear but how you skate,” Palo Alto High School freshman Billy Lee said. So here are the commandments of skateboarding attitude. Read them. Learn them. Live them. Rule #1: Don’t fall in love with your shoes.
There’s a reason why Vans has over a hundred different styles of shoes-skaters often have shoe closets rivaling those of fashionistas. After hours of flips and tricks, skate shoes just can’t stand it anymore—they fall apart. “I get new shoes about once a month,” Lee said. His current pair of tan and brown Nike SD’s are already fraying and worn down from one too many ollies. As a skater, you will have more pairs of shoes than you can remember, but few (if any) that you will keep. Learn to let go.
LIFTOFF Senior Tommy Ferrari gets airborne to perform a trick
Rule #3: Learn to fall with grace. Or, better yet, don’t fall at all.
Don’t even think of buying safety gear. Wear a helmet while street skating and lose all credibility. “No matter what, no one really wears pads,” Lee said. Ferrari has some more blunt advice: “Don’t fall.” Like all skaters, he has an expansive collection of scrapes and scabs, and once split his chin open while skating at Greer skate park. Despite the pain, suffering, and band-aids, on this subject true skaters are adamant: no pads. Ever.
Rule #2: See the world as your skate park.
Remember that curb you’ve stepped over thousands of times on your way to Town and Country? It’s waxed-perfect for grinding. From a skater’s point of a view, the basketball courts behind the gym are more than just a slab of concrete - it’s flat space perfect for carving, turning the board in a long, continuous s-shape. Since he began skating three years ago, Paly senior Tommy Ferrari has gained a new perspective on stairs. “Every time [I] see stairs, [I] think, ‘Is that a good ramp? Is it a good landing? How fast will I get kicked out?’” Ferrari said. Street skating began in the 1980s in response to the closing of a number of skate parks. Since then, it has evolved so much that skate parks have become superfluous. “[The point of street skating is that] you can do it anywhere,” said junior Hansen Moon.
Rule #4: Try not to think about what you’re doing.
If you stop to analyze what skateboarding really is, it’s the act of taking a piece of wood with wheels attached and defying gravity. Skateboarding is a battle against the forces of nature—which is a scary thought. Therefore, it’s better not to think about it. “[When skating] you can’t be afraid or skeptical, because then you’ll be too scared to do anything,” Ferrari said. Just take the leap and don’t look back. see SKATING continued on pg. 58 The Viking | 41
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Mounta i n Men Extreme Sports
Rob an d Sam dared R evil sid udy show off the es as slope ir they te s wee k in w a r up th eek o e ut
By Matthew Tracy Photos courtesy of Stephen Rudy 42 | The Viking
lying down mountains at blistering speeds, trying daring double back flips, and bouncing between threefoot high moguls at full speed may seem like suicide to most. Not only is there a serious risk of permanent and painful injury, but many people have died from serious accidents over the last decade. Instead of giving in to the powerful force of the mountain slopes, Sam and Rob Rudy have grasped this challenge and made it their own. With a great deal of personal sacrifice, motivation and support from their parents, the Rudy brothers have increased their focus on their extreme sports. “Skiing is just what I do,” Sam said. “It is so fun, and I love it. I can’t imagine a life without skiing.” The Rudys have been participating in winter sports for as long as they can remember. Sam has always been a skier, while Rob switched to snowboarding at a young age. After trying many different ski resorts early in the brothers’ child-
Sam, Rob’s younger brother, is now in his junior year at Paly. Like his brother, Sam made his snow sports debut when he turned three as well. However, unlike Rob, he continued to ski past his eighth birthday, and is a full-time skier now. “I didn’t switch [to snowboarding], because skiing is the best sport,” Sam said. Once Rob and Sam became familiar with their new sports, they decided to improve their skills even more by joining prestigious Squaw Valley snow sports teams. Rob joined a Squaw team first, but after improving and competing in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, Rob decided it was time to try something new. In seventh grade, Rob added an event called Snowboard Cross to his snowboarding repertoire. Snowboard Cross, commonly referred to as Boarder Cross, is a fast-paced event which consists of 4-6 racers per heat and a course filled with sharp turns and huge jumps. Rather than scoring based on points and
Speed On the left, Rob flies down a boardercross course moments before an event-ending crash with race leader Alex Tuttle at the 2007 Junior Men National competition. Sam, right, bounces between moguls in his freestyle event at a mogul competition. hood, the Rudy family decided to settle down at Squaw Valley Ski resort, well known for being the location of the 1962 Winter Olympics. With difficult terrain and dangerous conditions, Squaw was the perfect place for the Rudy brothers to increase their winter sports experience. Now the Rudys have become much more dedicated extreme sport athletes, and although many Paly students participate in winter sports as well, only a select few compete at the national level, as the Rudy brothers do. Rob Rudy, the older of the two brothers, is now a senior at Palo Alto High School, and recently turned 18. He has been participating in winter sports since he was just three years old. Though he began as a skier, he decided to take up snowboarding when he turned eight. “I just wanted to try it out,” Rob said. “But my parents told me that I had to wait until I was eight. So I just rented a board and tried it. I immediately liked it a lot more than skiing, and it kind of clicked with me.” 44 | The Viking
tricks like many of the other snowboard events, Boarder Cross is only scored by time, so the first person to finish the course moves on to the next heat. Sam joined a Squaw Valley team after he saw his brother’s success with his team. He had always had a passion for freestyle skiing, an event alternating mogul fields and huge air-filled jumps, which is now the main event that Sam focuses on at competitions. Unlike boarder cross, freestyle skiing takes into consideration both the time it takes for a skier to complete the course as well as the judged score for aerial tricks. However, the distance the family travels to accommodate the brothers’ respective events is quite an obstacle. “The commitment our family makes is huge,” Mr. Rudy said. “We drive over 10,000 miles every ski season so that the boys can ski every weekend.” However, weekend trips take up the least amount of time in the Rudy brothers’ busy schedule. As the two progressed rapidly over the years, competitions and races have become more
Extreme Sports and more time-consuming and out of the way. In the 2007-2008 ribs, torn ligaments, an MCL tear and a spinal fracture in his ski season alone, Rob will compete in at least six out-of-state tibia. However, most of these injuries have completely healed. competitions, while Sam will participate in at least four. With But on the last day of the 2007 ski season, March 31, Sam expethis kind of time and effort put into their sports, Sam and Rob rienced the most severe accident of his life. have begun to see results. Rob began to excel at his sport, and “I was trying to complete a 720 degree flip when I was has been participating in X-game qualifiers and national com- knocked unconscious for over 10 minutes,” Sam recalls. “While petitions across the country, all while earning a number one na- I was unconscious, I had a seizure, and was taken down the tional ranking within his age group in 2007. Sam also continues mountain by the Ski Patrol, and then taken away to the hospital to improve in his main event as well, mainly by mastering new by an ambulance.” aerial tricks such as the double back flip. As scary and traumatic as this experience could be for someAlthough the distance barrier proves to be big hindrance, one, it still cannot keep either brother from the slopes. They it acts as a uniting force work hard each day they between the members of ski, not just to enjoy themthe family. “Skiing is the selves, but also to better center of our life,” Mr. Rudy their skills. In addition to said. “We are all extremely training on the slopes, the supportive of one another, Rudys both lift weights at and the trips definitely home in Palo Alto, and atbring our family closer totend sessions with a pergether.” sonal trainer to improve During the ski season, their strength, prevent a period that begins with injury and increase endurThanksgiving and ends ance. in mid-April, the family When they are not with packs up the car after dintheir respective teams, ner every Friday night, and the brothers ride together departs for the long fourand challenge each other hour journey to the house to see who can go faster they own in Truckee, Calidown a slope, or who can fornia. After two ski-filled jump down the bigger days at Squaw, the family cliff, in order to both betpacks everything up and ter themselves each run heads back to Palo Alto and to just have a good so that the boys can get a Soaring Rob Rudy gets some major air off of a jump at his ‘home’ time. “But skiing [or snowstart on the work that piles resort Squaw Valley, notoriously known for its difficulty and ruggedness. boarding] is not a competitive thing between us up. “It’s really tough to keep everything in line with school and at all,” Sam said. “We do different events in different sports, so everything else in our lives going on,” Rob said. things never get too competitive.” Somehow, the two manage to get all of their work done, and Whether the two are out having a good time with each oth-
“I was trying to complete a 720 degree flip when I was knocked unconscious for over 10 minutes,” Sam recalls. “While I was unconscious, I had a seizure, and was taken down the mountain by the Ski Patrol, and then taken away to the hospital by an ambulance.” are able to return to the snow each weekend to hang out with their team. “It’s pretty weird,” Sam said. “For some reason, during the winter season my grades actually start to go up.” To go along with the good grades, the Rudy brothers have accumulated many scars and horrific memories of extreme pain. Rob has snapped and spinal-fractured his tibia, broken his collarbone, his leg twice, his wrist and his tailbone, to name a few. Sam has similar injuries, including a broken radius, cracked
er, or training hard for better performance with the team, the brothers are always doing what they enjoy in life the most, flying down the cold, unforgiving slopes, doing flips and spins or just going fast. “I race for the same reason anyone plays a sport; I love competing and the more pressure the better for me,” Rob said. “Snowboarding in general is both an adrenaline fix and a way to be so in touch with yourself that nothing outside of what you are doing matters anymore.” The Viking | 45
46 | The Viking
S T E G G N I K BI
Y T DIR BY A H N A R AO
Soaring off of forty-foot jumps, jetting around curves at 35 miles per hour and training relentlessly define the lives of motocross riders. Although they are unnoticed as they walk around campus, a select group of Paly students has become accomplished freestyle riders. “Some people just don’t have a great understanding of what [dirt biking] is,” senior Andrew Hall said. “It is just not really talked about.” A dirt bike is similar to a motorcycle except it has a smaller engine, a lighter weight and increased suspension. However at Paly, dirt biking seems almost secretive, because most students have never even heard that some of their peers participate in the extreme sport. “It’s not readily available to the public,” senior Cory Hassell said. “It is very time consuming.” Hassell has been dirt biking since age 11 when his dad surprised him and his brother with brand new dirt bikes. Since the day he received his bike up until the middle of last spring, Hassell rode almost every weekend. Most riders take drive up two hours to Hollister Hills where there are over 65 miles of trail for dirt bikers. Though most athletes at Paly ride just for recreational reasons, sophomore Madis Saue explains that for him, freestyle motocross is also a lifestyle. “I train four out of five days a week,” Saue said. “Then I get up to the track every weekend to either race or practice.” Saue started dirt biking in second grade and now boasts sponsorship with Redwood City MDK. The Washougal National
Illustration by Malaika Drebin
motocross races in Washington proved to be a benchmark in his career as a rider. “The jumps range from 40 to about 125 feet long,” Saue said. “The races are not only for speed because you ride on a track full of jumps.” Though Saue claims his focus is not on tricks, he manages to pull off some impressive stunts; no hander landers, neck-necks, and no-footers to name a few. However, the danger of dirt biking cannot be over-emphasized. Last spring, senior Cory Hassell set off on his bike expecting a normal day in Hollister Hills. Instead, he came off the track with a severe concussion, a broken wrist and a seriously injured shoulder. “I was coming off a 40 foot jump and I came off the lip too early,” said Hassell. “ I hit the ground hard, and my helmet broke.” Hassell cannot remember the incident clearly because of the severity of his concussion. Accidents like Hassell’s are not uncommon in the dirt biking world, and motocross riders must be aware of the possible repercussions. “I flew over the handle bars of my bike,” Hassell said, “Since the accident I have only been up once.” Hassell’s injury has hindered his development as a rider, because the emotional effects of the injury are inconsolable. Saue was going through some practice runs before his race in the Washougal Nationals over the past summer. He decided to try some whips on the last three jumps of the track, a decision he would live to regret. The Viking | 47
Extreme Sports I was being dumb and I tried a double and then a triple and I ended up crashing,” Saue said. “I messed up my kidney and was pissing blood.” The consequences of trying out these outstanding stunts are out of the hands. Not only are riders putting their physical health on the line, but also the possible damage of expensive equipment remains a great risk. “Now to be competitive it is really expensive,” Paly grad-
things sometimes.” Though bikes are built to be durable and have impressive suspension, accidents still happen. “I was much more enthusiastic [about dirt biking] when Michael [Cullen] was younger,” Linda Cullen said. “Now there is a lot more risk.” As a parent, allowing kids to participate in such a dangerous sport is quite a sacrifice, but sometimes holding a child back from a beloved
“ I messed up my kidney and was pissing blood.” - sophomore Madis Saue uate Eliot Ross said. “It cost about $8000 dollars for the bike, not to mention maintenance.” Riders also wear helmets, gloves, boots, goggles and chest guards. Eventually the cost adds up, and for high school students parental support is usually required. “Bikes get trashed up,” Pharisien said. “ You break small
sport is a much greater risk. “I’m happy for him,” Ms. Cullen said. “I just have an extreme son and I’m glad he has chosen dirt biking.” Despite the consequences, riders continue to pursue a sport they love. Almost every motocross rider interviewed has experienced a concussion, a shoulder or knee injury, and many scrapes and bruises.
courtesy of Madis Saue
FREESTYLE Sophomore Madis Saue soars off a jump during one of his freestyle motocross sessions. 48 | The Viking
Freestyle Motocross Tricks 1. No Footer - As the name implies, the rider lifts his feet off the pegs while in the air. 2. Double Can Can - The rider kicks both legs off to the side of the motorcycle. 3. Nac Nac - The rider “dismounts” his bike by swinging his leg over his bike while in midair. 4. No Hander Lander - The rider lands the jump with either one or two hands off the handlebars “It is just so competitive and nothing can really beat it,” Ross said. “And you can’t really get that much air doing anything else.” Riders love the thrill and the danger of dirt biking, but at the same time there always exists the threat that their next ride could be their last. Paly athletes have firsthand knowledge of the dangers of dirt biking, and have come to the conclusion that freestyle motocross deserves
its title as an extreme sport. “[Freestyle motocross] is fun because there is so much adrenaline,“ said Hall. “The danger is what makes it extreme.” Athletes ride for the thrill, the speed, the jumps and the danger. “Your just riding really fast and ripping around corners,” Saue said. “There is definitely a lot of adrenaline before a race, and when you come out with a win.” <<<
UEFA Champions League 2008 The Rundown
By Ian Kelly and Adam Zernik
In a special version of the European rankings, this edition will focus exclusively on the sixteen teams left in the UEFA Champions League and their chances of winning the most coveted title in all of Europe. Of course, it is way too early to accurately judge the odds of any team’s chances at the present moment, but, what the hell, who cares? In descending order:
The Charity Case
16. Olympiakos (Greece) - Darko Kovacevic has been a nice story (13 goals in Greek Super League), but then again this is the Champions League. Against Chelsea it will take nothing short of an absolute miracle for the Greeks to advance. Verdict: Round of Sixteen
15. Fenerbahce (Turkey) – Despite being the surprise squad of the group stage, Fenerbahce has just not faced the type of competition fit to prepare them for a legitimate run through the Champions League – no offense Turkish “Super” League. Verdict: Round of Sixteen 14. Celtic (Scotland) – Celtic might be strong pick for a dark horse, except for one thing: Barcelona. The Scottish side will put up a good fight, but Barcelona’s endless offensive talent should be too much. Verdict: Round of Sixteen 13. Lyon (France) – Though Florent Malouda (Chelsea) and Eric Abidal (Barcelona) are gone, midfield maestro Juninho, stalwart goalie Gregory Coupet and rising star Karim Benzema still make Lyon a very good team. Unfortunately, they are playing Manchester United. Verdict: Round of Sixteen
12. Schalke 04 (Germany) – German Kevin Kuranyi and Ghanaian Gerald Asamoah form an unheralded yet lethal forward duo, and the Veltins-Arena serves as a massive home-field advantage. The Porto clashes will be close, and though good enough to make it to
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the quarterfinals, Schalke don’t have the widespread talent to make a run in the competition. Verdict: Quarterfinal (Barely) 11. Porto (Portugal) – 1. Subtract Kuranyi, Asamoah and home-field advantage 2. Add on Cristiano Ronaldo-esq playmaker Ricardo Quaresma 3. See above. Verdict: Round of Sixteen (Barely) 10. Roma (Italy) – The Italians almost have what it takes to pull of the upset. The squad is led by Francesco Totti and Danielle De Rossi, and could be a strong sleeper pick if not for Real Madrid’s European experience, exemplified by Raul and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s combined 116 Champions League goals. Verdict: Round of Sixteen
9. Liverpool (England) – This year has not been the dream year many envisioned, as the squad has fallen past their customary 4th spot in the EPL and were in horrid form during the group stage. Italian Champions Inter Milan is an exceedingly difficult draw. Their chances depend on which team shows up: the one that struggled in this years’ Champions League group stage and lethargically lingered through EPL play, or the one that went all the way to last years’ Champions League final. Verdict: Round of Sixteen
The Convalescent Home
8. AC Milan (Italy) – The returning titleholders in the eighth spot??? Yes, it may seem odd, yet Milan are playing utterly unlike anything close to last year’s squad, as exemplified by their disastrous year in the Italian Serie A (30 points, 20 behind leaders Inter). A
Pro Sports first round bout with Arsenal represents one of the worst possible draws for Kaka and co., and with their aging veterans not getting any younger, it’s about time Milan start bringing in more youth. Verdict: Round of Sixteen
The Over (Paid and Rated)
7. Chelsea (England) – Yes they are skilled, but the dough forked out for the likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack has seen little improvement. The world’s most expensive squad face minnows Olympiakos and should not have a problem with their Greek counterparts. However, the club’s form has been suspect at times this season, and with stars such as Didier Drogba and John Terry nursing major injuries, the team may struggle. On paper Chelsea possess the talent to make a deep run, but this year’s team has lacked the killer instinct from previous years. Verdict: Quarterfinal
The Dark Horse
6. Sevilla (Spain) – Though the Andalusians have struggled in Spain, their Champions League form has been terrific – as seen by their first place finish in Group H over Arsenal. Luis Fabiano and Fred Kanoute are good forwards and should create lots of opportunities, and Fenerbahce should not be much of a test, but it is still unclear if Sevilla have enough talent to muster past the big guns. Verdict: Quarterfinal
5. Inter Milan (Italy) - In terms of form, they are alongside Manchester United as the best in Europe right now. Possessing a bonafide star in Zlatan Imbrahimovic and the likes of Julio Cruz, Estaban Cambiasso and Patrick Vieira, Inter has built an excellent squad that has performed each and every week. However, the squad has never gone far in the competition, only making it to the semifinal only once in the last five years. It remains to be seen why this year will be any different. Verdict: Quarterfinal
4. Real Madrid (Spain) – Everything seems to have clicked for Real this season, whose form has been irrefutably top notch (16-2-2 in La Liga), and it should take a team with more class than Roma to overcome them. With last year’s early exit at the hands of Bayern Munich still in the back of their minds, Los Merengues will be looking to prove themselves with the world’s best keeper (Iker Casillas) and the three R’s (Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Robinho and Raul) taking them deep into the competition. Verdict: Semifinal 3. Arsenal (England) – AC Milan is a tough firstround draw, but the Gunners’ skillful style should be good enough to get past the Rossoneri. Emmanuel Adebayor has transformed himself into a world-class striker, Cesc Fabregas is among the finest center mids in Europe, and Manuel Almunia has put together an excellent year in goal. If coach Arsene Wenger continues to keep this team playing in its current form, there is no reason they cannot go all the way. Verdict: Semifinal 2. Barcelona (Spain) – On paper, Barcelona is the best team in Europe, period. To mention a few names: Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, and wonder kids Giovani dos Santos (18) and Bojan Krkić (17). With one of the most dynamic attacks ever, Barça has the potential to beat any team on any given day. Though their domestic performance has been sluggish by their standards, look for the Catalonians to turn a few heads in Europe. Verdict: Final
The Ol’ Favourite
1. Manchester United (England) – The Red Devils have been the best team in the world’s best league. Cristiano Ronaldo has established himself as the most dangerous player in the world, and Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney form a downright scary partnership. With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the center of defense, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team has one of the top backlines in Europe. United have no clear weaknesses, and undoubtedly will be one of the contenders to hoist the crown in Moscow. Verdict: Champions The Viking | 51
BY A DA M Z E R N I K
PHOTOGR A PHY BY A L E K MILOV I D O V
or Las Vegas middle school standards, the bleachers were jampacked. High school recruiters were scattered throughout the crowd to witness one of the biggest showdowns of the season, a confrontation between Fertitta and Kenny C. Guinn Middle Schools. For a 14 year-old eighth grader still in the midst of his first year playing basketball, Dom Powell was sharp enough to recognize that this was his moment to make an impression. He deftly sprung forward at midcourt, taking the opposition by surprise and swiping the ball away. He looked up, saw nothing but an empty court between himself and the basket, and let his instincts take over. “Somehow, I already knew, right then, that I was going to dunk the ball,” Powell said. “I just let myself go, rose up, and threw it down before I even knew what had happened. The crowd went into a total frenzy.” The unforgettable slam dunk was only the first chapter of the success story for the inexperienced 14 year-old. In the four-plus years since the magical moment, the high-flying Powell has used his raw athleticism and determi-
Career Paly StatiStiCS Games: 31* Points: 479 rebounds: 228 assists: 31
Points Per Game: rebounds Per Game: assists Per Game:
15.45 7.35 1.00 *as of 1/25/08
ing the team again with 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Perhaps the best example of Powell’s potential came in the first game of this season, when he scored 39 points in 77-33 trampling of Andrew Hill High School of San Jose. “He [Powell] is a very, very athletic kid and an asset to have on the team,” head coach Peter Diepenbrock said. “He not only rebounds and scores but he anticipates the game, sees the game, and is extremely unselfish.” Surprisingly, the power forward/center has not always been a basketball player; in fact, he used to be almost anything but one. Powell grew up in Vallejo, California, playing sports like soccer, baseball and football in competitive leagues, but never basketball. The decision to play organized basketball did not come until after he moved from Vallejo to Las Vegas before the beginning of eighth grade, when his size advantage became unmistakably noticeable. He proved to be a quick learner, and by the following year he was the star player on the Spring Valley varsity team. In his first two years on the team, colleges nationwide like Cal and Stanford, took notice of him as a top prospect.
“I just let myself go, rose up, and threw it down before I even knew what had happened ,” Powell said. “The crowd went into a total frenzy.” nation to transform into a more developed, disciplined, and successful student of the game. Powell, now a senior at Palo Alto High School, has been a vital component of the varsity basketball team since he moved from Spring Valley High School in Las Ve-
gas shortly after his sophomore year. As a junior, Powell electrified Paly crowds with his immense size and dunking ability, while averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds per game, both team-leading statistics, en route to League Co-MVP honors. This season, Powell has stepped up his game, lead-
Powell’s transition back to California came at an inopportune time, as he had just become comfortable in his role as a star player, and he did not want to shift from his seemingly perfect environment. Unfortunately, his mother had been transferred to the bay area for work and he was going to have The Viking | 53
Profiles to come along. “I was already averaging a solid 16 or 17 points my sophomore year and I was only expecting it to go up,” Powell said. “The move was a big blow for me to take because I did not know how I would adapt as a player.” Initially, his fears about moving were valid, and the hardnosed style of play for which the Paly basketball program is known alarmed the new team member, who was used to the lax defensive play of Las Vegas. “It is actually a completely different type of game here,” Powell said. “In Las Vegas, teams do not focus as much on defense and it is not uncommon to see a team’s score run up into the 80s or 90s. That is a huge contrast to the games here where neither team puts up more than 40 [points] a lot of the time.” Fortunately, Powell’s insecurity did not
last and he was able to adapt hastily. By the beginning of the season he was a key starter for the Vikings, and soon began to develop a reputation for his size and athleticism. “He definitely brought a new dimension to our team right away with his size,” senior guard Mike Scott said. “At first he was not used to some of my no-look passes and things like that, but we were able to build chemistry quickly.” The chemistry lasted and the Vikings, led primarily by Scott and Powell, took their game all the way to the CCS semifinals, where Archbishop Mitty extinguished their run. However, life for Powell consisted of much more than just basketball. Upon his arrival in Palo Alto, Powell immediately thrived off the court as well as on it, as both a student and a member of the community. At the end of his junior year,
he even made the bold decision to run for ASB office, and now holds the title of Palo Alto High School Athletic Commissioner, a major accomplishment for someone who has been at the school for less than a year. “Obviously, when you are new somewhere, you want to become immersed the best you can, and I figured there was no better way than to join ASB,” Powell said. “For my position, I am supposed to promote all the Paly sports and draw out big crowds. I think I am doing a decent job.” Coach Diepenbrock, who has witnessed Powell’s journey from the start, thinks that it is nothing short of remarkable. “The way he has come here and fit in socially is rather amazing, I think,” Diepenbrock said. “He is a very popular guy on the team and off the team, he is active in the school, and he is doing it the right way and truly getting the best out of his high school experience.” Although his stock as a recruit has gone down chiefly due to California’s lowerscoring and more defensive style of play, Powell still has a bright future ahead of him. Nonetheless, several other universities have shown him a significant deal of interest, the most prominent being the University of Puget Sound and University of California, Santa Barbara. “Wherever I do end up, I hope to bring basketball with me because it is what I love,” Powell said. “More importantly, I will need to bring everything learned from my experiences as a player and a person.” <<< Dom’s Delights
Posting Up: Powell holds off his defender in a 43-35 win over cross town rival Gunn on January 26. Powell’s 15 points led Paly to its ninth straight victory over the Titans.
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movie: Color: soNg: artist: FooD: teaCher: Class: viDeo game: t.v. show: hookup: aNimal: pro team: College team: player: NumBer:
FriDay Night lights Navy Blue your haND iN miNe explosioNs iN the sky ChiNese mCNulty asB DDr 24 “i DoN’t Do that” Dog phoeNix suNs texas loNghorNs traCy mCgraDy 32
Cooper: Not So Newby BY A DA M F URLO N G
Photography by Alek Milovidov and Austin Smith
Cooper Newby in the his match against Los Altos. He gained four points in the victory.
Senior Cooper Newby slowly circles around the outside of the mat, eyes fixated on his opponent. No longer feeling the nerves that he did as he first walked into the packed gymnasium, he studies his opponent’s technique, looking for an opening. Spotting a gap in his adversary’s defenses, Newby pounces, lunging for the right leg. He hooks his arms, and pulls upward, fighting to find a solid grip with his sweaty palms. He executes a “single leg” grab flawlessly, flipping his opponent on his back, pinning him. The match is quickly over, and Newby has earned an top-eight finish in the California State Freestyle tournament, against some of the best wrestlers in the state.
read on >>> The Viking | 55
GRIT Newby goes hard every practice. He has sustained as many injuries in practice as in matches.
ooper Newby fully dedicates himself to whatever he does. He wrestles six or seven days a week year round and plays in a high school band. Even with all of these commitments, Newby still finds time to work on the weekends assembling acoustic panels. And with everything he tries, he excels. As one of the top wrestlers in CCS, Cooper looks to continue to thrive in the spring. During the summer, Newby dedicates his entire vacation to wrestling, attending Junior National tournaments on the east coast and wrestling hours every day. Although it is hard work, he enjoys the rigors of the sport. “Wrestling is so much more demanding than any other sport,” Newby said. “Your hard work really pays off. You cannot hide or make excuses.” In addition to the national tournaments, Newby participated in a California statewide tournament in Lemoore. Although the wrestling was “freestyle,” 56 | The Viking
which differs from the “folkstyle” that is used in high school competitions in the way that a wrestler scores points, he wrestled marvelously, finishing in the top eight in the state. “I wrestled very well at that tournament,” Newby said. “That was the main reason why college coaches started looking at me. Newby started wrestling for Paly in his freshman year, after JV football and wrestling head coach Dave Duran convinced him to try it out. “Coach [Duran] talked to me during football practice,” Newby said. “He said I had the heart to be a great wrestler.” Newby’s hard work in football prepared him mentally and physically for wrestling. “Like all good wrestlers, Cooper is a worker,” Duran said. “He has worked so hard to put himself in a position to be successful. He is often the first one in the wrestling room and the last one to leave.”
Coach Duran is not the only one who noticed Newby’s drive. Fellow wrestlers have marveled at Cooper’s work ethic and his never-say-die attitude. “Cooper never gives up,” senior Eliot Wilson said. “Even when he is stuck in a bad situation he never stops wrestling.” Newby’s attitude on the mat made him an obvious choice for one of the team’s captains. “I think the younger wrestlers see how effective he is on the mat, and it gives them a model to work off of for their own personal success,” senior Ryan Drebin said. Apart from his diligent work ethic, Newby has several traits that are crucial for wrestling. “Cooper [Newby] definitely has a mean streak,” Drebin said. “His willpower is also noticeable. He never gives up, and usually outlasts his competitors.” There is a saying in wrestling: “The first round goes to the wrestler with the most physical ability. The second round goes to
Profiles the one with the best technique, and the third to the one with the most heart.” “This saying fits Cooper perfectly,” Drebin said. “He may not have the most physical ability of the two wrestlers, but he definitely has great technique and more heart than his opponent. He usually wins two out of the three rounds, and that is why he is successful.” Newby has carried this hardworking attitude over into another one of his hobbies: guitar. He formed a band several years ago with fellow Paly students. The band included seniors Will Goodspeed and John Kutay, as well as Matt Staiger, who moved back to Wisconsin after his junior year. “Will, John, Matt and I thought it would be a good idea to form a band,” Newby said. “It was fun to write the music. On the weekends, we would get together and play for three or four hours, creating riffs, and building on them.” The garage band got Newby interested in working as an acoustic engineer at a recording studio, where he works on the weekends, constructing acoustic panels for a top-notch company. “I really enjoy working at the studio,” Newby said. “I am interested in pursuing engineering in college, and this is a terrific way for me to get a feel for what I can do in mechanical engineering.” Although wrestling is an important criteria for Newby when he picks what college he will attend this spring, engineering is still his top priority. “There aren’t many schools that have both a great engineering department and a wrestling team,” he said. “For me, engineering is first, but wrestling is a really close second. Both Division I and Division III coaches have scouted Newby during his statewide tournaments. Coaches from Stanford, Duke, Drexel, and the Colorado School of Mines have all expressed interest in Newby. “My top choice is probably Duke, followed by Stanford,” he said. “Both are great schools, with excel-
DOMINATION Captain Cooper Newby has been a powerful force on the mat this year for the Vikings, accumulating a 31-8 record this season lent academics. I would love to attend either university.” Duran has no doubt that Newby will continue his success in wrestling after graduating from Paly. “Cooper possesses the qualities that any
coach, at any level, coaching any sport, would want their captains to have,” he said. “Cooper has been accepted to a few schools although he is not sure which school he will be attending. Whatever he decides, that institution will be fortunate to have him.” <<
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Extreme Sports SKATING continued from pg. 41 Rule #5: Locate all exits.
Part of the street skating is going anywhere that has a good ramp or good rail. If you’re allowed there, that’s great. If not, go anyway. “In a sense, [a part of street skating is that] it’s illegal, too,” Lee said. He has gotten in trouble for being somewhere he wasn’t supposed to, and knows people who have been arrested as well. Paly skaters at Town and Country skate there because they are not allowed to skate on campus. There is a simple solution: If you go somewhere, know how to get out. Fast.
Rule #7: Don’t stop believing.
There are non-believers in every lifestyle, and skateboarding is no exception. “Society still views [skateboarding] as a problem,” Ferrari said. Skateboarders at Paly have been threatened, chased down, and kicked out-and they keep on skating. At the end of the day, love of the sport has to outweigh all the problems you’re sure to encounter. It won’t be easy-you will crash, fall, scrape, and burn. But pick yourself up and keep on going until one day, you too will be able to ollie with style. And it will feel great. <<
Rule #6: Make the board your best friend. Skate every day. Skate all the time. It is not enough to own a board - you have to use it. Don’t walk to class-ride your board. Immerse yourself in skating. “[Once you start skating], you start living [it]. You skate all the time. You go to places [just] to skate,” Ferrari said. You cannot be a true skateboarder without, well, skateboarding. So become permanently attached to your board. There’s no other way to do it.
DUDE Junior Kyle Clark goes big or goes home
Meet some Paly Skaters
You see them every day-grinding along the Town and Country curb, practicing ollies and eating pizza with ranch dressing. But who are the Paly skaters?
Junior; been skating for 1 year Best part of skating: “Being able to do a trick flawlessly” Favorite class: Psychology Plays varsity badminton
Junior; been skating for 1 year Favorite class: Java Favorite band: The Fall of Troy (“I like the complexity of music”) Played JV badminton last year; hopes to make varsity this year
Junior; been skating for 6 years Skates because “there’s nothing else to do but skate in Palo Alto” Favorite band: Horse Played JV badminton last year
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Senior; been skating 4 years Loves World of Warcraft Friends describe him as: “spazzy”; “tempered”, “ladies man” Works at PacSun
Freshman; been skating 2 years Likes pencil drawing Favorite class: world history Likes indie and rock music
Senior; been skating (“on and off”) for 8 years Favorite band: The Police Inspiring skater: Stevie Williams Best move: Casper flip
The Year So Far... College Basketball By Noah Sneider
PLAYER MICHAEL BEASLEY (K-State)
Kansas will defeat Tennessee for the NCAA Championship, as part of a topheavy Final Four that includes UCLA and Memphis.
If the 6’-9” freshman sensation missed the rest of the season, he would still be a frontrunner for National Player of the Year. Beasley is putting up 24.9 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game and has double-doubles in 17 of his first 20 games.
Michael Beasley will be the unanimous choice for player of the year and the consensous #1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after leading the Wildcats to the Sweet Sixteen.
TEAM MEMPHIS (Conference-USA)
Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose help form the nation’s best backcourt, and have led the nation’s best team to a 21-0 record. Barring any upsets, the Tigers should enter the tournament as the first undefeated team since St. Joe’s in 2004.
Kevin Love will decide to stay at UCLA for one more year and will combine forces with Russell Westbrook and an outstanding recruiting class to make the Bruins next year’s favorites.
The Biggest... SURPRISE
No one expected the Gaels to be atop the WCC, let alone in the top-25 in the country this season. Freshman guard Patrick Mills leads the Gaels with 14.9 points per game and 3.9 assists per game, and Diamon Simpson and Omar Sahman are an imposing tandem in the paint. The Gaels picked up a huge win in overtime against Gonzaga, and that victory combined with big time wins over Oregon, Drake, and Seton Hall should be enough to get St. Mary’s an NCAA berth even if they don’t win the WCC.
The disappointment is not that he has been gone, but rather that he is coming back. Fans everywhere were surely enjoying a “Dickie V”-free season, and ESPN’s coverage has been noticably more balanced without Duke’s number one spokesman on the air all the time. The over/under on the number of times Vitale calls Michael Beasley a “super-amazing-fantabulous (or any other excessive superlative) diaper dandy, baby!” in his first week back is set at 200. I’m taking the over.
The Viking | 61
Player Chat Mitch Johnson
Stanford’s starting point guard, junior Mitch Johnson chatted with The Viking and gave us the lowdown on the team this year, and what they’ve done to prepare following the first round loss to Louisville in the NCAA tournament last year.
The key for Stanford’s success this year...
Well, we basically brought everybody back next year, so we have pretty good knowledge of what each of us can do on the court. It gives us an advantage to speed the process of improving. It also helped over the off-season because we only have one freshman... so we could get going full speed over the off-season sooner than usual.
Main focuses over the summer...
We went to Italy late in the summer. It was nice because we got to play some really good teams over there. It helped us prepared for the season. We got to work on a lot of things that we struggled with last year like taking care of the ball. Last year turnovers were a bugaboo for us, so we worked a lot on taking care of the ball...
Biggest Challenge for the team...
Staying consistent is always hard. It can be difficult to put out the right effort at every practice. Sometimes guys don’t want to work hard, or practice that day, or guys aren’t playing as much as they’d like to. We have to be consistent with our ence Hill r w a L : t effort. rizona on mos
ch t i M o t ording Coach rags y in Pac-10: A
Ayecr:cDa’Veed Dildy Toughest place to pla
w errick Lo D : 0 1 c la P Pa guard in Funniest roved: Taj Finger o t t s e h p ug ton Most Im ens To w O Washing h s d o e r J F : : d 0 e -1 cus er in Pac d Most Fo n e Typical practice.... f e d Best
We run a lot at practice... Our practices could be categorized as really physical. The intensity and physicality of our practices is almost more tiring than actual running. The practices are very intense, very business-like. Everything from film study, to shooting free throws, to executing plays is very intense.
Most memorable moment of his career...
Most memorable moment by far was, not the NCAA tournament because that was a moment to forget, but the selection show. There were 64 teams already announced and we were really on the fence and we were the last team announced. That feeling was definitely something I had never experienced. It was pretty Hometow incredible.
rsH e b m eight: 6’1 ” e Nu
n: Seattle, Washingto H ig h S c n h ool: O’Dea Weight: 19 ‘07-’08 P H S 0 ( S eattle) ‘07 HS State PG Class: Jun C ’0 hampionsh 8 APG: O’D : 6.8 ior ips: 2 ea HS (Se HS PPG: 2 attle) ‘07-’08 A 2 /TO: 2.17 ‘07-’08 F G%: 45 Loss to Louisville... You bet it’s in our minds. A lot of our deficiencies showed up glaringly in that game. I felt like we kind of got pushed around in that game. It sort of brought us down to reality and we realized that it’s one thing to make the NCAA tournament, but it takes a lot more effort to actually be successful. Now we’re just trying to take the necessary steps to be successful when we get another crack at it.
Advice for future college ballers...
I know it’s really cliché, but time management is huge. You don’t have a lot extra time. It’s very time consuming and you have to balance homework and school with practice and stuff.
60 |The Viking
Track and Field
) at Gunn
CCS Begins - TBA
at St. Francis
CCS Begins - TBA
CCS Begins - TBA
Los Altos Dual
Green & White Meet
CCS QualiďŹ er - TBA
Green & White Meet
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
24 25 26 27 28 29
March 2008 S M
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
27 28 29 30 31
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
9 10 11 12
February 2008 S M
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
January 2008 S M
The Last Word
To Shave or Not to Shave
by Austin Smith
Now we all know that part of the definition of beauty are those long, tanned legs that we see on supermodels. Just look at whatshername, the girl Tom Brady is dating (the chick he’s dating as of January 28th, not the one he will be by the time this is published.) Take a minute to think about her legs. They’re obviously oh-so-long and oh-so-tan, but they’re also soft and smooth like the freshly basted skin of a slow-cooking turkey dinner. I mean, I’m guessing. But why is it only women who get to have these beautiful legs? Leading me to the subject of today’s lesson: leg hair, to shave or not to shave? Now when Romeo asked himself that question back decades ago it was a pretty foolish thing to ask. There simply wasn’t metal to make razors back then. But in today’s modern culture, this debate for certain athletes is not only difficult, but operose (def: kinda like difficult.) The excuse for swimmers and runners is that shaving one’s legs will, in turn, shave some seconds off one’s times. While that may help a little, it’s also a bold-faced lie. Don’t believe it for a second. These guys like to shave their legs. That’s the truth. They love everything about it. They love the smoothness and comfort they get, but they also love the idea of it as well. Ask any one of them. They won’t tell you straight-up that they love the culture of femininity, but if you bring me along, I’ll read it from their faces and tell you that, yes, they too just want to feel like a natural woman. What I want to do is help these young men who are deeply searching their souls for answers. To shave or not to shave? Let me help you with my own pros and almost-pros. Exhibit A is junior cross-country and track boi Charlie Avis. Charlie is extremely successful as a runner and cyclist, but even Charlie will tell you, with his body language and tone of voice, that he loves shaving his legs for different reasons. I’ve seen him spend hours at a time singing the Dixie Chicks and rubbing melted butter on his legs. If you find yourself relating to Charlie, then shaving is the way to go. Exhibit C is senior soccer player Zal Dordi. Mr. Dordi is the hairiest thing on the earth. Bigfoot is just embarrassed that there’s a human hairier than him, that’s why he’s in hiding. When Zal visits the zoo, he wears the original “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” t-shirt. Now it’s difficult for Zal sometimes during soccer. Imagine his leg hair is a lush, untamed forest. Now add three hours of soccer practice and you have 62 | The Viking
a dense, tropical rainforest of intense humidity and heat. Do you know what it’s like in a rainforest? The mosquitoes alone will get you. Nonetheless, Zal Dordi is content looking like King Kong and Naomi Watts’ son. If you relate to Zal, then don’t bother shaving. How do I personally feel about leg hair on a dude? I’m glad you asked. I’m exhibit B. Growing hair isn’t exactly a talent of mine, but I will tell you that I love being naturally smooth. One advantage: I personally like the tight pants. I’m generally a “tight” type of guy with anything I wear, like jeans that cut the circulation off at your knees and boxer briefs that cut off the circulation of your manhood. I would be left with no choice, because my jeans plus leg hair would probably start a fire. Now one thing you have to understand about me is that I’m a calf-lovin’ man. Calves get me going. I dream about freshly-lotioned calves like dogs dream about sweet, sizzling bacon. Well it’s a scientific fact that the shaving of the legs accentuates the muscle intonations of the skin. You will look ripped. So, for me, I’ve got no problem with shaved legs. Shaved legs, for me, are like an all-you-can-see calf-fest. That’s just one of the many advantages that come with bristle free legs. Story time. When we were in fourth grade, Kushal Tantry and I aspired to be secret agents. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he’d need an IQ higher than his shoe size.) We used to spy on countless numbers of our Walter Hays peers. Section 7, Code 213 of our Super Secret Spy Manual (© 1999 Krasner-Karpen Publishing) reflects on the idyllic, “free-form” art of disguise. No one knows when an emergency disguise will be needed and, most importantly, what type of disguise that will be. Keep your options open. For a man, this means retaining certain feminine traits in case the strategically placed cross-dress disguise is needed. A classic Bugs Bunny escape technique. Now although Kushal’s dream has evolved (he now wants to be Neal Ketchum), mine has remained. Along with the code. I can transform from a successful, Wall Street banker to a scantily-dressed, drag queen version of a Hooters waitress right before your eyes. Still on the ropes about shaving? Let me leave you with some data. In a recent Viking study, 100% of women ages 14-18 prefer shaved legs to unshaven legs.* Nuff’ said. Gentlemen, you know where I stand. So if you relate to me as exhibit B, first stop and take a minute to thank god for blessing you with great genes, then I encourage you to raid your sister’s cabinet and go to work. (Yeah, and if you already shaved your legs, I was just kidding. Don’t shave ‘em. I will make fun of you.)
Shaved legs, for me, are like an all-you-can-see calf-fest.
*study includes one participant
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Published on Feb 8, 2008