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RIEKES CENTER Human Enhancement

Volume 2 Issue #2 December 2008 Staff List Editors-in-Chief Charlie Avis Peter Johnson Noah Sneider Adam Zernik

Business Managers Greg Stewart Matthew Tracy Distribution Manager Liza Dernehl

Section Editors Oliver Davies Cassie Prioleau Ahna Rao Elizabeth Scott

Copy Editor Christine Chang

Photo Manager John Christopherson Photo Staff Charlie Avis Malaika Drebin Emily Fowler Hana Kajimura Allison Shorin Spencer Sims Design Editors Varun Kohli Noah Sneider Copy Editor Christine Chang

Staff Sana Bakshi Sophie Biffar Hanna Brody Ben Brown Chase Cooper Liza Dernehl Malaika Drebin Emily Fowler Lauren Hammerson Wade Hauser Hana Kajimura Ashkaan Khatakhotan Brendon Rider Marco Scola Allison Shorin Spencer Sims Kylie Sloan Scott Witte

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

The L




Volume II, I





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photo credits (clockwise from top left): malaika drebin john christopherson, malaika drebin, emily fowler

18 | SPORTS mOvIE GuIDE Greg Stewart gives his take on 10 sports movies you got to know


20 | GIFT GuIDE The holiday season is upon us and The Viking has a list of must-have gifts 34 | KInG CObRA Senior Eric Jones is one of the top hockey defensemen in the Bay Area and has his eyes set on playing in college by Emily Fowler

54 | GIvE AnD TAKE Emily Fowler and Hanna Brody interview former Paly football coach Steve Foug


In the October edition of The Viking, the photo on p. 20 credited to “Robert Drebin” should have been credited to “Robert Drebin/Stanford Athletics.” The Viking regrets the error.

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mber 2008

29 | FALL wRAP-uPS The Viking reports on the Fall sports season

e II, Issue II

32 | PALY vOLLEYbALL An exclusive report on Paly’s CCS Final game against Archbishop Mitty, ranked 1st in the nation

THE LAST wORD 62 | A SEASOn TO FORGET Ben Brown explains what it is like to root for Michigan Football

by Chase Cooper

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38 | HARD-KOuR Paly’s parkour club hits the streets, literally. Read about Paly’s own urban acrobats

21 | COACH SLAYTOn The heir of Coach Diepenbrock’s basketball program, Andrew Slayton, hopes to continue Paly’s basketball success

by Sana Bakshi

The story of junior John Anderton’s struggle with cancer and his return to the soccer field by Hanna Brody and Lauren Hammerson

56 | SO YOu THInK YOu CAn PLAY Wondering how to get recruited? Marco Scola has all the answers



62 | 64

by Hana Kajimura

42 | IT’S ALL RELATIvE Two pairs of sisters led Paly’s varsity volleyball team to the CCS Finals by Allison Shorin and Cassie Prioleau

45 | LEADInG THROuGH HOPE Senior basketball star Olivia Garcia is not only leading her team, but is also leading a fight against breast cancer by Kylie Sloan



Letter from the Editors


A significant number of pages in this issue of The Viking involve Paly athletes and their struggles against cancer. Our cover story, “There and Back” (p. 48), digs deep into the story of junior soccer player John Anderton’s battle with a rare cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma, while “Leading Through Hope” (p. 45) details senior basketball player Olivia Garcia’s fundraising attempts to aid her grandmother’s fight against breast cancer. These stories touched the staff writers and photographers who worked on them and The Viking would like to thank the Anderton family for sharing their inspiring story with us. We also commend Garcia’s cancer research advocacy. Athletes on the professional level who have been affected by cancer have become icons for the cause. Lance Armstrong, through his LIVEstrong campaign, has raised millions of dollars for cancer research. This September, Armstrong announced that he would be coming out of retirement to race again with the hope of spreading his message: the importance of fighting cancer. Jon Lester, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, another icon in the world of sports, was diagnosed with lymphoma after his rookie season. Lester returned a year later to pitch in the final game of the 2007 World Series. Locally, Garcia and her “Hope” bracelets are like Armstrong and his LIVEstrong bracelets. Garcia has already raised about $13,000 for cancer research. The Viking encourages all those who believe in the fight against cancer to purchase her “pink for hope” bracelets (see p. 45). Anderton resembles Lester and his comeback from lymphoma. Garcia and Anderton are icons here at Paly and have comparable stories to even the most famous athletes who fight cancer. We hope you will take the time to read their stories and consider the effects that cancer has on those who endure it. ~ The Editors


Staff View

A step in the right direction... On Tuesday, November 18th, the Palo Alto High School administration held a mandatory meeting for all winter season athletes’ parents regarding the CIF and CCS rules regarding sportsmanship. In the past, it was the coaches’ responsibility to educate the athletes and parents on proper sportsmanship, but due to recent athletic crises involving hazing and eligibility, the administration decided to take matters into its own hands. “It is the responsibility of administrators to make sure fans act appropriately,” Principal Jackie McEvoy said at the meeting. The Viking believes that this inaugural meeting with the parents is a step in the right direction for the administration, as well as the athletic department. However, there are still holes to fill in the content and manner of the meetings. The meeting included a discussion on sportsmanship and eligibility, as well as a presentation by the Sports Boosters program and the new plans for the Paly athletic fields, all of which The Viking believes is relevant and useful for the parents to be informed about. The Sports Boosters program, which funds all parts of Paly’s athletic programs except coaches’ salaries (which are funded by the state), was a great topic to cover because it explained where the $150 that each athlete pays at the beginning of the season goes and how the donations are allocated. The meeting gave a face to the program that keeps Paly sports running. Along with the Boosters presentation, the administration made it very clear what the expectations are regarding sportsmanship on the field and in the stands. After the controversial handling of the “Freshmen Friday” incidents, the administration did well to set the standards of conduct for fans and athletes. Now the rules are definitive, and it will be clear if an individual breaks them. However, while the information covered was useful, a few important topics were left out of the conversation. Hazing, which in the past has been conducted under the supervision of parents, should have, but was not, mentioned. Another important topic that concerned parents in attendance, but was not mentioned was transportation and rules regarding athlete transportation and whether student athletes are allowed to drive themselves or if parents can drive them to and from games. The last improvement that the administration could make to its meetings would be to conduct them in a more orderly manner. Numerous parents that The Viking talked to following the meeting thought that the sign-up process-- to ensure that all parents attended because it is, in fact, a mandatory meeting-made them feel like they were being “herded”. The sign-up could have been more organized, but that is just part of the learning process. The administration is on the right track towards improving the athletic program and preventing CIF rule violations, such as the transcript error that forced Paly’s basketball team to forfeit its season. Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said that improved meetings will be added to for seasons to come. Berkson mentioned that the topics to be covered will include NCAA requirements for athletes considering collegiate level athletics.

? e t a



Do you want to meet pro golf or poker players?

Your NFL dream date is Joey Harrington:

Joey was born in Oregon and is a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. He is a Roman Catholic who attended the University of Oregon, and loves to play music. He has recently performed with Third Eye Blind and Jason Mraz. He is also the cousin of PGA golfer Padraig Harrington and pro poker player Dan

Do you like Lego Land?



Do you like watching music videos?


Did you grow up as a 49ers fan?


Joey Harrington

You NFL dream date is Reggie Bush:

Reggie was born in San Diego, home of Lego Land, and was the first overall NFL draft pick in 2006. He attended USC where he was the starting running back, and now plays for the New Orleans Saints. Reggie was recently on the cover of the video game, NCAA 07 football. He also appeared in Ciara’s music video for her song “Like a Boy”.

Reggie Bush




Do you like Jason Mraz and Third Eye Blind?




D m a e r D


Who’s your

Are you a New Orleans Saints fan?

Your NFL dream date is Tom Brady:

Tom was born in nearby San Mateo where he attended Serra High School. He continued on to play football at the University of Michigan and is now a quarterback for the New England Patriots. Tom grew up as a 49ers fan.

Tom Brady

Player Polls

The Viking asked 120 Paly students whom they thought the most attractive male and female student athletes were. Here are the results. Most Attractive Female Athlete Helene Zahoudanis 55% June Afshar 14% Emily Brown 12% Daniella Florant 12% Daron Willison 7%

Most Attractive Male Athlete Jenner Fox 33% Sean Keohane 23% Kevin Ashworth 14% John Christopherson 10% Oliver Davies 10% Tim Wenzlau 10%



Palo alto senior eric Jones battles one of his teammates to get to the puck first at a hockey practice. His team, the San Mateo Cougars, won the state championship last season with him at the helm. Photo by Emily Fowler


Junior Gracie Dulik fires a backhand shot during a CCS quarterfinal match against St. francis High School. Dulik, who normally plays doubles, was Paly’s #4 singles player on the day, and went on to lose the match 4-6, 2-6 4-6, 3-6. Paly defeated St. francis overall. Photo by Hana Kajimura


“He is small for his age, but I think he makes up for it in other ways. He is really quick. He’s feisty.” —Jenner Fox (Soccer, Jr.) There and Back pg. 48

“Our team is really close, we do everything together. We’re a lot closer than other teams; for one, we take team showers. I don’t know any other sport that does that. Football players just go home, alone and gross.” —Eric Jones (Hockey, Sr.)

by the numbers 13,000 dollars raised

“But then she went on the only business trip that she has ever gone on in her entire life, and I tried out for team and made it.” —Marissa Florant (Volleyball, Jr.) It’s All Relative pg. 42

King Cobra pg. 34

“So I decided that I would screw with my mom by faking my report card so I basically recreated the Paly report card.” —Josh Newby (XC, Jr.) Inside the Mind pg. 15

“Whether you are a comedy buff, a drama queen or a fan of horror (not for me) the choices are all out there. ” —Greg Stewart (Soccer, Sr.) Sports All-Time Movie Review pg. 18

“Parkour is not meant to be injurious. You do not have to be an idiot about these things.” —Alex Browne (Parkour, Sr.) Hard-kour pg. 38

The Pop Culture Grid

for breast cancer research by senior Olivia Garcia’s bracelet design

0 Leigh’s offensive output

after a valiant four-quarter effort by the Viking’s defense

1990 The last year that

the Paly boys’ cross-country team reached the state finals as a team until this season

4 Number of sisters out of six starters who play on the Paly varsity volleyball team

226 yards Sam Tomp-

kins-Jenkins ran for in Paly’s first round victory over Leigh High School

1/4 final, the World Cup

game Anderton went to with the Make-A-Wish foundation

Paly Athlete and Sport

Hidden Talent

Favorite Slogan

Grossest Food

Biggest Fear

Best T&C Food

Taylor Lovely, basketball, Sr.


Impossible is nothing



Jamba Juice

Tying shoelaces fast

Don’t Give A F*#&




13 Carries Tompkins-Jenkins needed in order to gain 226 yards and 3 touchdowns against Leigh High School


Bite Me




30 minutes it takes for

Kevin brown, basketball, Jr.


Go Hard or Go Home



Coldstone Creamery

Alex Kershner, Soccer, So.

Flipping tongue

Just Do It

Spinach Soufflé

Jack Sakai, wrestling, Jr. Federico Clerici, Soccer, Fr.



Douce France

senior hockey player Eric Jones to drive one way to practice every day

7 Things you need To know abouT:

being a ladies’ man

As told by senior wide receiver Ariel Arsac-Ellison 1) You have to be yourself, don’t put on some fake persona 2) It’s all about being funny... but not too funny 3) Ladies just want to talk to you 4) Once you got it you don’t even have to do work anymore 5) I have hella girls in the bank just waiting for withdrawal 6) You have to be smart about your game 7) Best pick-up line is when you ask to see their hand, ask them some question that you don’t know the answer to, and then tell them you just wanted to hold their hand

HotNot WHO’S


Boys’ Cross Country The boys finished second at the CCS meet on November 15th, qualifying them for the state meet in Clovis. they are the first Paly boys Cross Country team to make states since 1992.

Leigh High School After talking some serious trash before the Vikings and Longhorns met in the second round of the CCS football playoffs, Leigh proceeded to get trounced 48-0.

Tim Lincecum The Giants ace right-hander won the National League Cy-Young award with an 18-5 record and a 2.62 era. He is the first Giant to win the award since Mike McCormick in 1967.

Paly Football Games In the final two regular season home games, three students have been caught participating in suspicious activity resulting in suspension.

Fall Sports So far this year, every Paly sport, Football, Volleyball, Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Water Polo, and Boys and Girls Cross Country made it to the CCS playoffs.

Sophomores With yet another last place finish in Spirit Week, the Sophomores are on pace to be the first class in Paly history to come in last for every single Spirit Week they have participated in. Step it up sophomores.

Ally Whitson Senior volleyball captain Ally Whitson leads the league champion Lady Vikes in both kills and blocks. Whitson plans on playing at UC Davis next season.

Paly Pre-season Soccer With nine key players missing for a club tournament in addition to several other scattered injuries, week-long school trips and suspensions, the team is not in good shape going into its first few games.




the Paly wrestling team works on its moves during practice. they open the season with the Peninsula invitational on December 6th. top: Patrick Sheehan; Bottom: erez arnon. Photo by Hana Kajimura

Q uestions 10 with

Kevin Ashworth

We went to senior soccer player Kevin Ashworth to ask him ten questions about himself. Then, we asked the same ten questions to his friend El Elliot Snow, soccer coach Donald Briggs, and prom date Chelsea Brunett to see who knows Kevin best. Here are how the results played out:

Elliot Snow

Donald briggs

Top Played iTunes Song

Crazy by Pitbull

Crank that Soulja boy

no Idea...

Anabel Snow

Dream Date

no Comment

Peter Johnson’s Sister

maya Fielder


Clean Shave or Scruffy







Center midfield


navy blue

Color Spandex





Dog’s Name


Ruff... Get It?


Pumpkin Pie

Favorite Thanksgiving Food

Saucy Turkey

You Are what You Eat... So Turkey

mashed Potatoes

Spot Pizza

Favorite Off- Campus Lunch Spot

His House

His House

His House


Liners Or The Cooper Test



The Cooper Test

not Spencer

Funniest Teammate

michael, by Far



40% 70%


Kevin Ashworth Senior soccer player


bullet and a Target


Soccer Coach

WANT TO ADVERTISE? Please contact The Viking at 14

Chelsea brunett Prom date


Inside the Mind Josh


ON HIS APRIL FOOLS’ JOKE So I decided that I would screw with my mom by faking my report card. So I basically recreated the Paly report card; which I still have if anyone’s interested for ten bucks. So I made it basically horrible grades, but not so horrible that it is unbelievable, like in the realm of possibility. I put the letters at the bottom ‘Parent, please contact teacher’, ‘Distracting in class’ and finally one that corresponded to ‘April Fools’, so it was executed beautifully. My mom was so mad and worried, like on the verge of tears and so she was like ‘Oh My Gosh’ and then she looks down at the one of the comments and saw the ‘April Fools’ and was like, ‘Oh Josh!’ I filmed it obviously as I left my camera in the corner watching the whole scene play out. ON “JEFFSPECT” So basically, freshman and sophomore crosscountry and track seasons, I strove to achieve the respect of my father, Jeff Billing. It is like he is my father figure. I would always want his acceptance, so I was always working hard trying to earn his “Jeffspect.” Recently, with my improvement in cross-country this season, I maxed out on “Jef “Jeffspect,” and that’s a quote from Jeff Billing. He said, “Josh, I heard about you and Alex and ‘Jef ‘Jeffspect’ and you just maxed out’. So basically game over. It’s the equivalent of him adopting me, which I have always wanted. ON BEING A LADIES’ MAN Pretty much, I stay away from the ladies in order to keep them from getting too jealous. I don’t talk to them really because I don’t want anyone getting their feelings hurt. It is quite simple. I can’t make any of them feel more special than the other. ON HIS FLAME-THROWER CAR So me and my friend Julian built a remote control flamethrower car which was fun. Of course I filmed this, and during



Cross-Country Extraordinaire

Photography by Spencer Sims

the video I recorded the car burning down a cardboard box with the word “orphanage” writ written on it. This caused a stir among the YouTube community, and in the end I had to take it out because I guess, in today’s society it’s not ok to burn down an orphanage. During its prime, I lit things on fire from the safety of my room. I controlled it out my window.

ON HIS LIFE ASPIRATIONS I’ve always wanted to be a crossing guard because they get to wield those massive stop signs. You could just flash that bad boy at anyone. Plus what’s cooler than a pair of neon pants and a vest? Unfortunately, social etiquette at Paly doesn’t permit me to wear such articles of clothing. I definitely would like to do that, and if for some reason I could not fulfill that goal, maybe a toll booth operator. ON HIS EPIC PRANK Well, Mr. Sabbag’s class was pretty great because we just pulled some epic pranks in that class. One time I brought my universal Mac remote to school and I just messed with his computer all period, just like switching slides around and playing music. He thought his computer was broken and every time he would turn it off, I would just turn it back on, and, like, turn the music up. It was hilarious. This went on for about a week before he caught me. He wasn’t too mad. I mean, he was laughing about it, too.

Junior Josh Newby has completed his third season on the boys’ cross-country team, and was a leader on the varsity squad this year. Newby is so devoted to the sport that he has recently acquired some serious stress fractures. But even with all that considered, Newby is the ultimate team player and epitome of a XC stud.


The Viking would like to thank all of the wonderful Paly parents, coaches, administrators, and the PTSA for helping us get off to another great start!

Cinematography has enchanted humans around the world since 1890. Whether you are a comedy buff, a drama queen or a fan of horror (not for me) the choices are all out there. However, nothing seems to have the mystique, the aura or the charm of a sports film. No other genre gets the heart throbbing and sweat glands functioning like sports. Sports tales based on true stories keep you on the edge of your seat even though the outcome is inevitable. The hairs on the back of my neck still find a way to stand up as I slip Miracle into my DVD player for the umpteenth time. If film and sports never came together as one, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny would never have co-starred in Space Jam and Squint would never have hooked up with a life guard twice his age in The Sandlot. So I thank you, sports god, for getting together with those big shots in Hollywood who time after time turn sports stories into 120 minutes of pure gold. Here’s to the past, the present and future of sports on the big screen: a match made in heaven. Due in large part to the lack of diversity in a recent student movie poll dominated by Friday Night Lights and Remember The Titans, I have created my own list of sports movies. As you can see it does not have to be about high school football to be good. So, get out to your local movie rental store or utilize your Netflix service, whichever you please. When you watch these movies, goose bumps are guaranteed.

You have gotta see this

SLAP SHOT (1977)


directed by george roy

Plain and simple, this is not your grandfather’s or your father’s minor league hockey. As a mater of fact, this is not even your minor league hockey. Well then what is it? It is Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) gracing the ice as the minor league hockey player-coach for the Charleston Chiefs. It is a bunch of goons resurrecting a cellar dwellers season. It is a new style of hockey where the gloves are the first to go. It is fight night on ice. It is what it is. It is Slap Shot.


directed by David Anspaugh

RAGInG buLL (1980)

directed by Martin Scorsese

RuDY (1993)

directed by David Anspaugh

On paper, Hickory High School was never supposed to win a game. However in a recent discovery sweeping the nation by storm, it has been determined that a team cannot win a game on paper. Thanks to this phenomenon, Hickory High School had a chance, slim, but a chance to win the Indiana State Championship. With a mix of scrubs and a drunken old coach the team takes the tournament by storm, marching all the way to the final game.

Rocky’s got nothing on the Jake La Matta, The Bronx Bull, (Robert De Niro). After running challenger after challenger out of the ring, La Matta turns to the mob, with help from his brother, to get a shot to be the middle weight champion of the world. Upon throwing a bout, and nearly being suspended in the act La Matta rages the ring to win the 1951 middleweight championship. Following the title, La Matta’s involvement with the mob catches up to him, as his brother, wife and friends all turn on him and watch as he dissolves into yet another athlete dying young.

He’s Irish, 5’6” and 165 pounds. Is there anything else you could possibly ask for in a guy? No. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) stars in a true tale of inspiration. Since his birth, Rudy dreamed of nothing but playing Notre Dame Football. Doubted by everyone including his own family, Rudy shoots for the moon. Despite getting knocked down time and time again, he keeps on chugging. Once accepted to Notre Dame, Rudy makes the scout team, but never cracks the game roster; that is until his teammates give him a shot. Watching Rudy running onto the hallow grounds of Notre Dame Stadium, I felt as if I too, had made it. Rudy! Rudy!

FoR a RaiNY DaY eLeMeNtaRY sChooL CLassiCs

bRIAn’S SOnG (1971)

directed by Buzz Kulik

HOOP DREAmS (1994)

directed by Steve James

buLL DuRHAm (1988)

directed by ron Shelton

THE SAnDLOT (1993)

directed by David Evans


directed by Daniel Stern

The most tear jerking film of the bunch; Brian’s Song (based on a true story) exemplifies friendship between two teammates, Brian Piccilo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams). Both are star running backs for the Chicago Bears of the NFL, a place where egos are large and tempers run high. The two men take the competition in stride, and when one is unable to play due to a knee injury, the other takes center stage until he is stricken with cancer. The injuries, stardom and disease bring Piccilo and Sayers together in a film that portrays what being teammates is all about. Current NFL players Adam “Pac Man” Jones and Terrell Owens would most certainly benefit from a screening of this great motion picture.

Typically conceived as dull and boring, documentaries are now making a name for themselves in the American media, such as An Inconvenient Truth and Super Size Me, to name a few. However, nothing has yet to top Hoop Dreams. The film crew follows two Chicago boys, William Gates and Arthur Agee in their quest to become basketball superstars. With many ups, downs, bumps, twists and roadblocks along the way you begin to root for each guy as if he was your brother. Never before have I been so enamored while watching a documentary, or any other film for that matter. What was originally intended to be 30 minutes of programming piece, turned into five years of filming and 177 magical minutes.

Minor league veteran Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) is demoted to the Class A Durham Bulls to help groom rookie pitching sensation “Nuke” Laloosh (Tim Robbins) into the next Cy Young winner. Laloosh fails to comply with Davis’ advice, and struggles during the beginning portion of the season. Their tension is not limited to the ball field as they both get involved with team announcer Anne Savoy (Susan Sarandon), forming a comical love triangle. Eventually siding with Laloosh, Savoy teams up with Davis in transforming Laloosh into the pitcher everyone expects him to be.

Move over Wrigley Field, stand back Fenway Park; the Sandlot is America’s favorite ball yard. Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry), Benny the Jet (Mike Vitar) and the rest of the neighborhood boys star in a summer filled with baseball and other related shenanigans; a summer that only appears in my dreams.

12 year old, Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas) breaks his arm in such a funky way that it allows him to throw a baseball upwards of 100 mph. He is then noticed by the Chicago Cubs, becoming the ace of their staff, leading them to a stunning pennant victory. Hard to think of which is more fiction. I’ll take the latter. Needless to say, after watching this film, thoughts of breaking my own arm to help the Boston Red Sox win the World Series crept into my head.

SPACE JAm (1996)

directed by Joe Pytka

Hostages on Moron Mountain, the Looney Tunes challenge their captors (Nerdlucks) to a game of basketball to earn their freedom. With Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny on the same set, could an eight year old in the 90s ask for much more? No.



Holiday Gift Guide BY C ASSIE PRIOLEAu AND CHRISTINE CHANG DESIGN BY VARu N KOHLI Is the holiday rush getting to you? Too busy getting the guest rooms ready to shop for holiday gifts? The Viking presents the Holiday Gift Guide, filled with great sports-related gifts! Just call us your little elves!



The new Wii Fitness is verii fun for the whole familii, bringing everii sport into the tvii room. The new wii is physicallii demanding and you get sweatii. It includes sections of yoga, aerobics and strength building. As you play, you get more points and more games are unlocked. Most impressively, Wii Fitness designs a personalized workout plan and tracks your progress. This game is one of The Viking’s top picks for the season and will certainly please any friend or familii member.

Nike running shorts are clearly hottest item for the cross-country team, not to mention the rest of the female (and some daring track boys, too) population of Paly. Comfortable, stylish and limitless in color options, you truly cannot have too many (ask Kaitlyn Tracy). These shorts are designed with Nike’s signature Dri-Fit material to wick sweat away and are fully equipped with the classic built-in runderwear as well as a small pocket perfectly sized for money or keys.

$89.99 at any local electronics store

$28.00 at Nike stores




Warm up your chilly toes with this past summer’s 2008 Beijing General Highlight DVD. Running 180 minutes, this DVD includes performances by medal-winning Shawn Johnson, Kerri Walsh, Misty MayTreanor, and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt. Another great Olympic documentary is Michael Phelps: Greatest Olympic Champion...The Inside Story. This hour long documentary shows behind-the-scenes footage of Phelps’ races, as well as commentary and Phelps’ journey to make his childhood dreams a reality.

This eco-friendly water bottle is sure to bring holiday cheer this winter. Sigg, known for its durability, is a smart choice over other water bottles, most notably the controversial Nalgene brand. Sigg water battles are made from high quality steel, which is reflected in its steep price tag. Siggs come in a variety of colors and sizes. You can also choose between different cap styles including the sport style and sip style. Children’s sizes also available.

$19.99 at

$14.93-29.95 at REI

FIFA SOCCER09 Avoid the cold and stay inside with FIFA Soccer 09, EA Games’ latest version of the FIFA Soccer series. This new version has an option for 10 vs. 10, play as well as a feature that allows gamers to compete against other gamers online. Choose a league, such as the Premier League or Serie A, to join and through the another new feature “Adidas Live Season”, statistics for players will be integrated into your game based on real results. Surprise someone with this stocking stuffer this holiday season!

$59.99 at



Photography by Malaika Drebin & Design by Emily Fowler

New boys’ basketball coach, Andrew Slayton, looks to follow in the footsteps of friend and mentor Peter Diepenbrock and to continue the legacy of Paly basketball.

Slayton strode through the A ndrew familiar doors of the Palo Alto gym

on a warm Wednesday afternoon. Like countless times before, his eyes met the expanse of the dimly lit court and the towering windows tinged with age. Slayton entered those very doors almost every day for ten years as an assistant to basketball head coach Peter Diepenbrock. However, this time Slayton will call the shots. Slayton previously held the title of boys’ varsity head coach at Pinewood

School, a small private school in Los Altos Hills where basketball was not a priority to most students. Slayton now has the responsibility of training a new team and building his own legacy at a school with a rich basketball tradition. “The first day I went for the pre-season basketball meeting I looked up in the stands and there were 50 kids staring back at me,” Slayton said. “At Pinewood, I would be looking at seven or eight kids.” Last June, Slayton accepted the po-

ANTICIPATION “The players know what to expect,” Slayton said. “They work at a high level and they ask a lot of themselves.”

sition as head coach of the Paly varsity boys’ basketball team after a six year stint as the boys varsity coach at Pinewood. He will continue teaching physical education to kindergarten through second graders on Pinewood’s lower campus. Slayton replaces Diepenbrock


PROFILES who coached the Vikings for 11 years, and led the 2006 team to a Division II California state championship title. “Coach Diepenbrock has definitely been a guy who has shaped my coaching philosophy and a guy who I consider a mentor,” Slayton said. Doc Scheppler, the current girls varsity coach at Pinewood, serves as the original connection between Diepenbrock and Slayton. Scheppler coached Diepenbrock at the JV level in high school, and the two remained in contact even after Diepenbrock left to attend UCLA. Slayton met Diepenbrock while playing intramural basketball at UCLA, and then followed suit when Diepenbrock chose to play and coach in Europe after graduation. The two quickly became friends and Slayton later took a position as an assistant coach to Diepenbrock at Paly for roughly ten years. When a coaching position opened up at Pinewood, Diepenbrock suggested to Scheppler that Slayton would thrive as a coach at Pinewood. Earlier this year, when Diepenbrock resigned from his head coaching position at Paly, Slayton jumped at the chance to coach the Vikings once again and continue the legacy of his mentor. on, Diepenbrock noticed the qualities in E arly Slayton as a player which have contributed

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Slayton smiles as he watches his players execute a drill. Slayton looks to lead the Vikes to a successful season in his first year as head coach.


to the way he coaches. “He was a very unselfish player. He likes to pass the ball and get a lot of assists,” Diepenbrock said, reminiscing about his first impressions of Slayton as a college student. Playing and coaching with Diepenbrock throughout the years has had a large influence in the development of Slayton’s coaching philosophy. “Our coaching styles are very similar: Play great defense,” Slayton said. “Play to your strengths on offense to eliminate your weaknesses.” Slayton’s methods are rooted in basic technique, allowing for a structured defense and more creative offensive plays. “I like fooling around with different ideas on offense and seeing if there are any plays from coaches or other teams that I’ve watched and tweaking those to best fit your team,” Slayton said. “Defensively, you have to drill the good habits and stay after it so that the players are consistent.” Diepenbrock has watched Slayton develop his own coaching style, and notices that while both philosophies are woven together by the same underlying core beliefs ingrained in defense, they each channel their own distinctive flair.

PROFILES “We do a lot of things similarly defensively and we have the same sense of humor- though I think I’m a little bit funnier,” Diepenbrock said. “He’s a little bit more no-nonsense than I am and more serious in terms of his coaching.” Players attest that Slayton gives them more creative freedom on the court and is less structured than Diepenbrock. “I think that Diep’s defensive-minded style is something that no one can really match, but coach Slayton gives you a chance to just go out there and show him what you can do on offense,” junior Kevin Brown, a starter on the team since freshman year, said. Scheppler was there to watch Slayton grow as a coach and learn the in’sand-out’s of the game, noticing the tactics that Slayton pieced together from Diepenbrock’s success and experience. “Nobody prepares as well as Andrew [Slayton] does, and he learned that from Peter [Diepenbrock], as far as preparing for a specific game,” Scheppler said, “In terms of X’s and O’s he’s one of the better coaches that I’ve seen at a high school level.” Diepenbrock, Slayton’s mentor and predecessor is confident in Slayton’s ability to take on an established program. “He will bring a lot of coaching experience, a lot of individual skill development, and competitive pride,” Diepenbrock said. Scheppler believes that while Pinewood lost a beloved coach in Slayton, the opportunity at Paly was simply too good to pass up. “He has the right personality to keep the program going in the right direction that it has been for the last 12 or 13 years,” Scheppler said. “He’s in a position at Paly where he will get the players that want to play and want to perform in a particular way and he will do a really nice job there. I’m really looking forward to watching his team play.” Senior veteran Nick Robinson is looking forward to getting acclimated with his new coach. “My hope is that Slayton builds a relationship with everyone on the team and becomes a coach that we can really trust and compete for,” Robinson said. Slayton feels that his players have

helped most in familiarizing him with the ways of Paly. “The players are great,” Slayton said. “They’re fired up which makes it easier. They’re interested in working hard and they’re a fun group.” Slayton recognizes the opportunity he has in his new position and is candid about the allure of Paly. “Paly is one of the best jobs in the area and I know lots of the kids and lots of the people in the community, so it was an easy decision,” Slayton said, “It’s got a great tradition here. A lot of the program has already been built. I am grateful to step into this kind of a program.” It seems as though the Vikings are in adept hands as the season approaches

and both the players and coaches are adapting well to the new coaching change. “We know each others basketball instincts very well,” Diepenbrock said. “He does a lot of things similar to how I do them so it should be a pretty easy transition on the guys.” This period of adjustment will not be all smiles, but Diepenbrock has faith that Slayton will thrive at Paly and create a legacy of his own. “Even when he was coaching his own team the last several years at Pinewood, he was always there to help out,” Diepenbrock said. “He’s always been very supportive of Palo Alto basketball. It’s very fitting that he ends up being the coach no w.” <<<

NEW STYLE Slayton provides ample instruction for his players as they adjust to his new coaching style. Slayton and former coach Diepenbrock have complementary coaching methods.







ollowing a season in which the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ basketball team had to forfeit 11 games on a technicality, the team hopes to improve under new head coach, Andrew Slayton. “I think we will rebound well because we have a bunch of younger guys on the team,” senior guard Nick Robinson said. “We need to think about the upcoming season, and leave what happened in the past in the past.”

STAr WATCH Joseph Lin

-JUNiOR GUaRDJunior guard Joseph Lin will be an integral part of the Vikings’ offense this season. The brother of Paly legend Jeremy Lin, Joseph is a deadeye shooter who the Vikings will rely on to keep opponents honest. “I think my offensive skills, especially my shooting, will really help the team this year.” Lin said. The Vikings currently have a starting lineup with three players under six feet and will need to get many of their points from the fast break and perimeter shooting-Lin’s speciality. Lin, who spent last year as a reserve on varsity, figures to play a very prominent role on the team this year. “Joseph’s ability to score at anytime creates openings for others, he is the definition of a playmaker,” junior guard Brendon Rider said. Lin’s production in the ‘08-’09 season will spell victory or defeat for the Vikings.


THErUNDOWN COACH: Andrew Slayton 07-08 LEAGUE FINISH: Disqualified 07-08 CCS FINISH: Disqualified RETURNING STARTERS: 2

Slayton is a big part of the new look for the Vikings. Having coached at Pinewood for the last six years, he hopes to restore the team to its former glory. After 11 years under coach Diepenbrock, the basketball program’s adjustment to a new coach could have been difficult; however, the players seem happy with Slayton. “It has been a pretty smooth [transition] because he is a really good coach from what I have seen so far,” sophomore forward Davante Adams said. Under their new coach, the Vikings will have to overcome the loss of last year’s top three players guard Mike Scott; and forwards, Jordan Jefferson and Dom Powell, which leaves an a lack of height on the team. The tallest remaining player, junior center Kevin Brown, is 6’5”. To counteract this, the Vikings will need to make adjustments FOCuS Junior guard Joseph Lin looks to play a big in their game plan to keep op- role in the Vikings’ success as a team this year. ponents from taking advantage of Vikings’ small size. many new players that need to step up it.” “We want to run the floor this year,” The Vikings are working to improve Brown said. “We are small, but we have a their overall play in order to make a splash lot of fast guys and we can get most of our in the Central Coast Section, CCS, playpoints from the fast break.” offs. The rest of the team agrees. “I think we need to improve on our de“We are going to have to press more,” cision-making because that is a huge part Robinson said. “We have to get more of- of the game, especially if we want to run fense with our defense and always pres- the fast break effectively,” Robinson said. sure the ball.” With all the work that they are putting In order to implement the new game in, the players believe that a strong season plan, the players will need improve their lies ahead of them. skills for the new season. “We expect to win league champion“Nick Robinson is a solid floor leader,” ship, beat Gunn twice, and hopefully adSlayton said. “And Joseph Lin and Kevin vance in the CCS playoffs,” Adams said. Brown are going to play well. But we have ~ Ashkaan Khatakhotan






oming off a disappointing 2007-2008 season, the Palo Alto High School varsity girls’ basketball team is looking forward to what could be a breakthrough year. Experience will prove to be a key factor in the team’s success, as seven players return from last year’s squad. “Katerina [Peterson] is really the only post player we have,” senior guard Olivia Garcia said. “And Taylor [Lovely] brings a lot of experience to the team.” Lovely

STAr WATCH Taylor Lovely

-SeNiOR SHOOtiNG GUaRDSenior captain and three-year varsity player, Taylor Lovely hopes to play an integral role on this year’s squad. With her aggressive play, Lovely brings tenacity to the game, creating opportunities for herself and her teammates. A versatile player, Lovely contributes on both sides of the court. She is a solid shot blocker and plays lock-down defense, and excels on the offensive attack from beyond the arc, being one of the best three-point shooters on the team. Not solely depending on her skills, Lovely succeeds by utilizing her great vision and advanced knowledge of the game. Along with her physical abilities, Lovely also contributes spirit and support to her teammates. “Taylor has a leadership quality, and everyone looks up to her as a role model,” junior guard Lauren Mah said. “Her leadership on the court as well as off the court helps keep our team together.”


is expected to be a team leader throughout the season. With a more experienced team, Lovely’s role will be easier than last year, ending the season with a record of 8-14. “Last year was tough on the girls, they all had to be baptized by fire,” head coach Scott Peters said. “Most [players] didn’t play as sophomores.” Junior Nehika Miglani agrees that the difference in experience will come as help to the team this year. “We have a lot more returning players than last year,” Miglani said. “Hopefully that can help us.” This coming season, camaraderie will also prove to be important to the girls success. A mutual goal for the players is to improve as a unit, and become more intact with every teammate. INTENSITY Senior Olivia Garcia will be a key compo“Expect us to improve as nent to the Lady Vikes success this season. a team,” senior guard Lakia Young said. “We’re not going to focus on winning, but more on person“We need to focus on being in shape,” ally getting becoming better players.” Garcia said. “We may not be the strongest Without dominating size or skill, the or have the best skills, but we can out husgirls are prepared to work hard and play tle other teams and win games.” disciplined to finish the season successThe Lady Vikes are going into the seafully. son expecting to do well and finish at the The leaders of the team know what they top of their league. With a main goal of need to do to win games, and the message competing for the league title, the team is being relayed down to the younger play- has critical games during the regular seaers. son. Cross-town rival Gunn and the always “We’ve definitely had more skilled strong Wilcox Chargers will be two of the teams,” Miglani said. “But we are still tougher teams on this years schedule. going to pull through and always try our “Our biggest goals this year are beating hardest.” Gunn and Wilcox,” Peters said. “Beating The team plans on practicing hard, and both teams are always high on our list.” putting an emphasis on conditioning. ~Scott Witte







fter two consecutive losses in the Division II CCS championship game in as many years, the Palo Alto High School boys’ soccer team looks to finally take home the championship this season. With a returning line-up that almost mirrors that of last season, the team has oriented its goals towards winning the CCS championship. “I want to get back to the CCS championships and finally win leagues,” senior midfielder Michael Hanabusa said.

STAr WATCH Kevin Ashworth

-SeNiOR MiDfieLDeR-

After an incredible first season, earning the prestigious awards of First Team All-League as well as Co-Offensive Player of the Year, senior Kevin Ashworth looks to have an even more successful season. In his first year playing for Palo Alto High School, Ashworth scored a respectable 9 goals in league play, and helped the Vikings reach the CCS championship game. This year, he and the rest of the team aspire to return to the championship game, and this time win it. “We definitely have a good chance this year because we have so many returning starters,” Ashworth said. “We have a really good midfield with me, Adam [Zernik], Michael [Hanabusa], and Jenner [Fox].” However, in order to accomplish all that they did last year, and hopefully more, Ashworth feels like there are still things that the team, as well as himself, can work on. “This year, I really want to work on teamwork,” he said. “Last year there was a lot of individuals, but this year I definitely want to help us play more as a team.”



This year’s team is filled with playoff experience, as it has a group of juniors and seniors that have been on the team in previous years. “We have almost the exact same line-up as last year, so we definitely have the experience we need,” senior fullback John Christopherson said. The team is looking forward to the continued improvement of chemistry between Hanabusa and senior Kevin Ashworth, who joined the team last year as juniors and were integral to its success. After a solid first season, look for the powerful tandem to have an even greater effect on the team. Along with Hanabusa and Ashworth are two other experienced center midfielders: senior second year captain Adam Zernik and junior Jenner Fox. Together, they should supply the team with a powerful at- HOPS The team practices corner kicks before its first preseason game against Mountain View high school. tack through the middle. “We definitely have the best midfielders in the entire league,” senior goalie Peter Johnson said. “But we lack outside midfielder Greg Stewart said. that one player who can just provide that As well as winning the championship spark and score goals.” game this year, the team also strives to deThe Viking’s hope to find that spark in feat their league rival Los Gatos, who has juniors Spencer Sims and John Anderton, beaten Palo Alto in its last four matches. or sophomore Ricky Minno this season. However, in order to defeat Los Gatos “We’re looking for them [Sims, Anderthis year, the team will need to focus on ton, Minno] to step up and take a leaderits offensive side of the game more. The ship role for next year, and realize that they team is strong defensively, with sopho- too can contribute even though they’re not more Rily Smith, junior Ryan Holland and seniors,” Hanabusa said. Christopherson. However, the team lacks a With the experience of the returning powerful goal scorer who can help put the players, as well as the solid new underteam on the score board. classmen prospects, the Vikings aspire to “We have a really strong defense and finally become CCS champions. midfield, which is always good,” senior -Matthew Tracy






fter a disappointing end to the season last year, the Palo Alto High School varsity girls’ soccer team is poised to be the team to beat this year. With girls from twelve club teams coming together to form this year’s school team, there is no lack in talent or motivation. Despite the experience, both coach Ernesto Cruz and team captains believe that team-bonding will be essential to Paly’s success this season. “We have to unite as a team to be suc-

STAr WATCH Sammi Bengston -SeNiOR MiDfieLDeR-

Senior Sammi Bengston is once again expected to be an integral part of the strong Palo Alto High School girls’ soccer team. Last year, Bengston consistently contributed to the Viking’s midfield line. In addition to playing for Paly, Bengston plays on Juventus, a local club team. Between extensive club practices and tournaments, she still finds time to bond with and support her school team. Her teammates comment on her relaxed style and keen sense of play. “She is calm when she plays,” senior Jessie Duller said. “She makes good choices with the ball and is one of the toughest players I know.” All of Bengston’s hard work paid off when she committed to play soccer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a junior. Bengston recently returned from the Super-Y National tournament in Tampa, Florida, where her club team finished second in their group.

THErUNDOWN COACH: Ernesto Cruz 07-08 LEAGUE FINISH: 3rd 07-08 CCS FINISH: Quarter-finals RETURNING STARTERS: 3

cessful,” senior captain Sydney Lundgren said. The loss of Gatorade Player of the Year, Teresa Noyola, will no doubt change the team dynamic. “Losing Teresa is like losing six players,” Lundgren said. “But we will do our best to make up for her.” Cruz stresses the importance of the Paly “style” this upcoming season. “We like to see as many players touching the ball and switching the pace throughout the game,” Cruz said. The seniors: Jessie Duller, Sammi Bengston, Sarah Brown and Sydney Lundgren look to start the new team off strong with their experience and teamwork. “They are a very talented group of seniors,” Cruz said. “They have been playing together for four years and really FRESH TALENT Freshman forward, Marina Foley defends against Gilroy High School game on Nov. 19th lead the team.” Another returning star is sophomore goalie, Alex Kershner. Her of the area, according to Cruz. Powerhouse quick skill cultivated a strong reputation teams such as Monta Vista, Los Gatos and and the nickname “el gato,” or “the cat.” Mountain View pose the greatest threat to In addition, junior forward Kelley the team’s CCS title. Jenks and junior midfielder Maeve On November 18th, the Lady Vikes lost Stewart add to the sophisticated squad. their first game against Menlo School with The goal for this year’s team is unani- a score of 3-0. Six of the team’s starters mous among the players and Cruz: win the were unable to play because of a collegeCentral Coast Sectional (CCS) Division II recruiting tournament. competition. The next day, the team tied its first “We have made it to CCS in past home game against Gilroy High School. years,” Duller said. “But this time we want “The outcome of the first games isn’t to win.” representative of my expectations for the This will require the team to perform team,” junior Hana Kajimura said. “We well in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic can surprise a lot of teams in the league.” League, which has the hardest competition - Elizabeth Scott







fter a disappointing 2007-2008 regular season and an early exit from CCS, the Palo Alto wrestling team is hopeful for the upcoming season. “We’ve got an exciting group of young wrestlers, as well as a handful of solid returning varsity wrestlers,” head coach Dave Duran said. Replacing graduated wrestlers Cooper Newby, Kevin Hall, and Ryan Drebin may be a challenge for a young Viking team this season, but the team started training early,


Senior Patrick Sheehan expects to come off a strong junior year and lead the Vikings to a successful 2008-2009 season. “As an individual my goal is to place at the CIF state tournament,” Sheehan said. “As for the team, we have a lot of strong individuals and we expect to do well in tournaments.” At the same time Sheehan recognizes that the team will have a difficult time competing against the strong competition in the league. “The end of the year is going to be hard, Los Gatos brings tough competition,” Sheehan said. With the loss of many strong wrestlers, Sheehan must lead the young team.” “This season I really have to lead by example,” Sheehan said. “I have to go the extra mile and work hard to set an example for the young wrestlers.” The team still maintains high expectations for the upcoming season. “Our goal is to place in the top four in our league,” Sheehan said.



with many players already involved in rigorous off-season workouts. “We did a lot of weight training this off season, as well as a bunch of on mat practice,” senior Noah Feldstein said. Along with Feldstein, seniors Erez Arnon, Kasey Fields, and Patrick Sheehan are projected to be team leaders. “[Sheehan] is our number one wrestler,” Duran said. “We also expect Kasey Fields and Noah Feldstein to have big years.” With tough competition from Fremont, Gunn, and Los Gatos, the Vikings will not have to only rely on their senior leadership, but also some underclassmen to help carry the load. “Joey Christopherson, Gabe Landa, and Ryan Oshima are all really good wrestlers for freshman.” Duran said. “Especially POWER Senior Erez Arnon practices his technique in Oshima; he has the chance to preparation for the upcoming season. The Vikings exbe one of the better wrestlers to pect to finish atop their league this year. have ever come through the program by the time he is done.” Dual meets were a problem last year for With high expectations coming from the the Vikings, as they excelled more in a tourcoaches, the freshman look for guidance nament format. Their first big tournament from the older wrestlers. will be held in Reno, Nevada, a tournament “They really help us learn the difficult where the team has often found success in moves, and are really good role models,” previous seasons. Christopherson said. “We usually have a few guys place high With a solid core group, Paly has set in that tournament,” Duran said. “That is a high goals and expectations for this upcom- pretty good test to see where you stand.” ing season. With the season fast approaching, the “My goal is to reach state,” Fields said. team knows it must come together and uni“And to not get pinned.” fy if it wants to be successful. Coach Duran, however, has more mod“If we step up our game and come toest goals for his squad. gether we should do alright,” Arnon said. “Our goal right now is to finish in the top “We just need teamwork, hard work, and three in league, and improve our record in discipline.” dual meets,” Duran said. - Wade Hauser

SInCE wE LAST SAw YOu... RECORD: 20-4 FInISH: CCS Semi-finals



After dismantling league opponents Saratoga, Los Altos and Los Gatos, the Palo Alto High School varsity volleyball squad has momentum in it’s favor going into postseason play. The Lady Vikes had a season full of ups and downs, but find themselves atop the De Anza League and in position to contend for a CCS title. “We have all the right pieces in place,” head coach Dave Winn said. “We just need to go out there and play the way I know we can.” The Lady Vikes went through their share of troubles on their way to the league title, losing to Los Altos and Mountain View in the same week. “We had to bounce back from those two losses and put them behind us,” senior Ally Whitson said. “ In the long-run I think it actually helped us because we then knew what we had to work on to improve.” With over 400 kills this season, Whitson is on pace to break the single-season record and has been a force up front for the Lady Vikes. “We would not be where we are now without Ally, she is such a competitor and really leads by example,” junior Ke’ili Deal said. “We all have learned a lot just by watching [Whitson].” With five of the six starters as seniors, the Lady Vikes rely heavily on the experience of their older players; but they also have confidence in their younger players to come in and be prepared.

“Our seniors really carry us in tough matches,” Winn said. “It is a luxury to be able to stick in some underclassmen and know that they can also get the job done.” Due to a successful regular season, the Lady Vikes will be rewarded with a top seed in the upcoming postseason. This puts them on the opposite side of the bracket from other top teams. “[Archbishop Mitty] is a really tough team that really has no weaknesses,” Winn said. “We will have to play almost flawlessly and play with a great deal of energy to come out with a victory.” The seniors went out with a bang as they defeated a Los Gatos team that was also fighting for a share of the league title. Anticipating a close match, the Lady Vikes were surprised with their own play as they defeated Los Gatos easily in three straight sets. “We certainly knew we could win,” Winn said. “But the way we won and the dominance that we showed was surprising to most people.” The girls were able to upset the St. Francis Lancers in their first round playoff match, with strong play from Junior Marissa Florant and Ally Whitson. “Marissa played one of her best games of the year, she has been huge for us.” junior Kristen Dauler said. ~Chase Cooper

RECORD: 8-3 FInISH: Advancing to CCS finals (as of november 30th)

With talent on both sides of the ball, the Vikings were expected to be a top contender for the CCS championship this season, and they have not disappointed. After getting off to a 5-1 start, the Vikings appeared ready to cruise into CCS playoffs. However, consecutive losses to Wilcox and Milpitas had the Vikings reeling until they came back stronger next week with a 56-0 thrashing of Mountain View. Another win the following week at Los Gatos vaulted the Vikings into the playoffs, and gave them a chance to defend their CCS title from last season. “Those two losses put things in perspective,” junior linebacker Jared Beeson said. “We realized that we need to refocus for the playoffs and not play on autopilot.” Although they made it to the playoffs, the team agrees that it could have played better throughout the season. “This season we did not play to our potential as a team,” junior lineman Troy Boyland said. “But I still think we can win CCS; we just need to play strong all four quarters.” Regardless, the team still had a successful regular season with contributions from both junior receiver Joc Pederson and linebacker Jared Beeson who have done extremely well this year. Pederson has hauled in 35 passes for 603 yards and four touchdowns leads the team in receiving, and Beeson is among team leaders in tackles. However, the playoffs are a whole different scenario; to do well the

FOCuS Paly gets ready for a point against Archbishop Mitty in the CCS semifinal match.

ANTICIPATION The Viking football players look on during their game against Archbishop Mitty.

Vikings will need to improve their execution and discipline. “To be successful in the playoffs we need to the run the ball well,” senior running back Sam Tompkins-Jenkins said. Along with a strong running game, the Vikings will need to execute in all aspects of the game to succeed in the playoffs. “Everybody needs to do their part,” Boyland said. “The offensive line needs to push, the quarterback needs to throw, the running backs need to run, the wide receivers need to catch, and the defense needs to stop people. It’s that simple.” As the team looks ahead, it is confident that it has the ability and work ethic to get the job done in the playoffs and claim a third consecutive CCS championship. “We have the momentum from the last two games so we should be able to go deep into the playoffs,” senior safety Will Holder said. Paly, a sixth seed in the playoffs, played its first game on November 21st against third seed Leigh High School. What was supposed to be a tight game turned into a Viking blowout as they outplayed Leigh from start to finish for a final score of 48-0. The Vikings next game is against two seed Monterey on November 29th at San Jose City College. “We have to play well this week,” head coach Earl Hansen said. “And play solid, mistake free football the rest of the way.” ~Ashkaan Khatakhotan




This season, the Palo Alto High School girls’ crosscountry team finished with many accomplishments under its belt. With high morale going into the end of the season, the team was disappointed when it was not able to continue to states. At the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Preview Meet at Central Park on September 23rd, the Lady Vikes’ showed excellent performances from two underclassmen runners, sophomores, Gracie Cain and Susan Heinselman, who ran the 2.3 mile course in times of 15:31.6 and 15:46.9 respectively. “This is the strongest team we’ve had in years,” junior Kathleen Higgins said. “We work well together and enjoy what we do.” The SCVAL Scrimmage on October 2nd was also a successful meet for the Lady Vikes with impressive performances from many of the senior captains. Senior Elizabeth Scott, came in third place with a time of 19:15. Senior Gillian Lui came in next for Paly with a time of 20:16 to take seventh place, followed by senior Sarah Haydock in 11th place with a time of 21:22. Although the meet was successful, the Lady Vikes declare the team’s success was not reflective of the team’s hard work. “We were separated by grade, which was kind of disorienting,” Higgins said. “I wasn’t racing with any of the people I normally run with, so I didn’t know how fast I was running and I had a hard time keeping the right pace.” At the Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park, the Lady Vikes stepped it up with a second place finish overall. Scott finished with a time of 19:54 over the three mile course, fin-


FInISH: 2nd in CCS, State qualifiers

FInISH: 7th in CCS ishing first out of the Paly girls. Cain came in second with with a time of 21:01 and Lui coming close behind at 21:02. This This course was an important race for the Lady Vikes because because it was held on the same course as the CCS meet. The Palo Palo Alto City Championships was also a substantial meet for for the Lady Vikes, which was held at the Gunn track on OctoOctober 28th. This meet showed great improvement from the first first meet of the season, which was held on the same site. “We ran the same course that we ran for our first meet meet of the season,” Jones said. “Of the 30 plus girls that ran, all all but one had significant improvements over their first race. race. One to four minutes over a 2.18 mile course.” The season finished with great performances from many many runners, but especially from the senior captains, Haydock, Haydock, Lui, Scott, Grace Park and Jessie Kuo. Come next fall, the the team will be disappointed to lose many of their senior runrunners who have improved greatly over the years and have have proved to be strong leaders of the team. “I am very pleased with the season,” Jones said. “We “We have great leadership from our senior captains.” On November fourth, the Lady Vikes were not able to to accomplish all their goals at the final league meet, but still still had a couple great performances from underclassmen and and placed third in league overall. Cain came in first for Paly in in an overall spot of tenth place allowing them to continue to to CCS, where they placed 7th overall. Regardless of team rank, the Lady Vikes had personal personal improvements all across the board. Look for equally great great performances from many of these runners come track seaseason in the spring. ~Lauren Hammerson Hammerson

The Palo Alto High School boys’ cross-country team is looking forward to a successful end to its season at the California Interscholastic Federation state meet on November 29 in Fresno, California. “Our goals at state are for every individual on the team to run their best race yet and be in the top half of the 23 teams,” junior Peter Wilson said. After a standout performance at the Central Coast Section (CCS) meet on November 15th at Toro Park, the team placed second in Division II and qualified for a spot at the state meet. Junior Philip MacQuitty finished third overall with a total time of 15:48 on the three-mile course. Senior co-captain Charlie Avis placed seventh with a time of 16:30. “We actually did not run that well because of the bad conditions at the race, but still placed second in CCS which is really good,” MacQuitty said. Overall, the season has been a successful one. At the Palo Alto City Championship on October 28, Avis and senior co-captain Skyler Cummins finished first and third, respectively. Avis finished with a time of 10:42, the third fastest time in the 2.2-mile course’s history, and Cummins finished close behind in 10:45. Both varsity and junior varsity teams defeated Gunn at that meet.

girLS’ LS’ TENN TENNi TENNiS iS iS For For the first time since 1981, the Palo Alto the first time since 1981, the Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity tennis team made it High School girls’ varsity tennis team made it to the to the Central Central Coast Coast Section Section semifinals. semifinals. Although it was knocked out by its toughest opthough it was knocked out by its toughest opponent, Saratoga, the team was content with ponent, Saratoga, the team was content with its performance. its performance. In In league league play, play, the the team team lost lost only only to to Homestead and Saratoga. Homestead and Saratoga. “We “We played played well, well, but but we we lost,” lost,” junior junior Lauren Mah Lauren Mah said said in in reference reference to to her her match match with doubles partner Christine Koepick. with doubles partner Christine Koepick. Mah agrees that vast improvements have Mah agrees that vast improvements have been made. been made. “People always talk about how we have “People always talk about how we have improved in in terms terms of skill,” Mah Mah said. said. improved of our our skill,” “But I think the key component in how far we “But I think the key component in how far we went in CCS was due mostly to how our team went in CCS was due mostly to how our team was able able to to improve improve mentally. We gained gained was mentally. We the mental toughness to get us to the semifithe mental toughness to get us to the semifinals.” Prior to the CCS quarterfinals, the Lady Prior to the CCS quarterfinals, the Lady Vikes handily handily beat beat Notre Notre Dame Dame 6-1. 6-1. They They Vikes then went went on Francis out out in in an an then on to to knock knock St. St. Francis exciting 4-3 match. Their CCS lineup was deexciting 4-3 match. Their CCS lineup was designed for a win over Saratoga, with sophosigned for a win over Saratoga, with sophomore, Janet Liu playing number one singles, more, Janet Liu playing number one singles, followed by by sophomore, sophomore, Mira Khanna, then followed Mira Khanna, then by junior, junior, Sophie Sophie Biffar, Biffar, and and lastly lastly junior, junior, by Gracie Dulik. Sophomores, Emma Marti and Gracie Dulik. Sophomores, Emma Marti and

After the Palo Alto City Championship, the team competed at Championship, the team competed at the El Camino League Finals on November November 4th 4th at at the the 2.95 2.95 mile mile Crystal Springs course. MacQuitty placed placed second second with with at at 15:25 15:25 time followed by Cummins, who placed third. As a whole, the varplaced third. As a whole, the varsity team placed second overall with a cumulative time of 80:27 for cumulative time of 80:27 for the top five runners. “Our whole varsity team has been been really really good good this this year,” year,” junior Henry Jordan said. “Hopefully we we will will continue continue to to improve improve throughout the rest of the season.” In addition to the team steadily improving as a whole, individual runners have stood out in the eyes of their coach and peers. “Junior Andrew Stober has probably improved the most over the past couple months,” coach Joe Ginanni said. As the season comes to an end, the varsity squad looks to succeed at its final test, the CIF state meet. The squad has adjusted to a coaching change, various injuries, and a young team to earn itself a berth in the state meet for the first time since the early nineties. “Our season has been high above expectations-it has been the result of diligent training, and constantly staying in shape,” Wilson said. “This has been the fastest team Paly has ever had, so obviously it has been successful.” ~Hanna Brody

RECORD: 19-3 FInISH: CCS Semifinals Margot Gerold played number one doubles followed by seniors Vrinda Khanna and Lisa Ke playing at number two. Mah and Christine Koepnick played at number three. Dulik was Paly’s alternate player, which allowed her to play number one in doubles against Saratoga with Gerold who stepped into play number four singles. Unfortunately, the Vikings fell to Saratoga in the CCS semifinals. Head coach Andy Harader was proud of his team, but was frustrated by the outcome. “It feels wonderful to progress as far as we did,” Harader said. “But, at the same time we were within striking distance of winning it all. There are only two teams going to the ‘Superbowl’ - we were #3.” Harader attributes this loss on the lack of Vikings who did not play during the offseason. “There were very few players playing tennis or tournaments during the offseason,” Harader said. “Consequently, our player improvement level was very high. I sincerely hope the players expecting to make varsity next year play competitive tennis, particularly doubles in the off-season.” Despite Harader’s disappointment, the players were satisfied with their season and are looking forward to coming out strong next year. “Last year we were in the lower league and this year we came close to winning the higher division,” j unior Sophie Biffar said. “It gives me hope that we will win it all next year.” ~Liza Dernehl

STANFORD SPEED Senior Elizabeth Scott (top), and Junior Philip MacQuitty (bottom) running at the Stanford Invitational on September 27.

RECORD: 18-11 FInISH: CCS quarterfinals


A season filled with questions and mixed emotions about a young, yet talented boys’ water polo team, ended in disappointment after a crushing defeat to Saint Francis in the quarterfinals of the CCS playoffs. After a strong start to the season the Vikings looked to take control of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League by beating rival Gunn 10 -5. The following week Paly suffered losses to Los Altos and Mountain View, killing the much-needed momentum the Vikings desired going into the CCS playoffs. “It was tough losing those two games,” Junior Bobby Abbot said, “those two teams have always given us trouble in league, and losing to them just leaves a bitter taste in out mouths.” Following the shaky end to the league season the Vikings moved on to beat Salinas High School 12-11 in overtime. “That game was won all on our energy,” senior Tim Wenzlau said, “They continued to fight and we were able to keep our energy level up and beat them in the end.” The drive Paly acquired after the dramatic overtime win, unfortunately, did not carry on to the quarterfinals against CCS powerhouse Saint Francis High School losing 15-3. “I thought that our inexperience played a key role

girLS’ WATEr POLO In a season lacking expectations, the Palo Alto High School varsity girls’ water polo team surprised many by finishing second in the postseason league before falling out early in the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. After losing six of last year’s seven starters, the Lady Vikes held their own, ending the season with a 7-5 record going into the postseason. “The young players stepped up and played really well,” head coach Corey Olcott said. “One example is sophomore Haley Connor, she played very well.” The Lady Vikes’ offensive improvement benefited the team most. “Our communication skills improved, which helped us play better on offense during games,” senior captain Tara Murao said. In leagues, the girls needed to play to their full potential to move on in a tough bracket including Los Gatos and Los Altos. “It was a combination of things; some days we are not on our A-game and at leagues we really wanted to play our best,” junior June Afshar said. “It was a combination of being determined to win and being on top of it.” Following their surprising second place finish in leagues, the girls moved on to CCS competition,

in that loss,” senior Jeremy Kim said. “Only having two returning starters hurt us in the end I thought.” Though Paly suffered a tough loss in CCS the future looks bright for the Vikings. Although seniors’ Tim Wenzlau and Jeremy Kim are graduating this year, the Vikings look to be led by junior Bobby Abbot next year. “Bobby just knows how to score,” coach Giovanni Napolitano said, “he also has the experience to be an even bigger role on our team next year.” The team has seen Bobby as a leader this season as well. “I think that Bobby could make a great leader next year,” Wenzlau said “he has the talent to lead team, and I think that he is mentally strong enough to handle the pressure a captain must go through.” After this years experience the Vikings will be full of experience. Having five returning seniors to next year team, Paly’s team next season looks to take advantage of the knowledge gained through this growing season. “We hoped to win league and CCS, but the major factor coming into this season was just gaining game experience for our younger unfamiliar players,” Napolitano said. With next years season looking bright the Vikings hope to put the Lancers thrashing behind them and advance their focus to next seasons goals and hope. ~Brendan Rider

RECORD: 15-13 FInISH: CCS Second Round where they faced Archbishop Mitty in a first round matchup and came out on top by a score of 7-6. Unfortunately, their season came to a close with a rough second-round loss to St. Francis. The second-round exit was not a bad result for the Paly team, which lost in the same round in the previous two seasons with teams held in higher regard. Much of this year’s team’s success can be attributed to the captains and other seniors. “The captains have had a huge responsibility and played a big role,” Murao said. “I tried my hardest to lead the team.” Along with the seniors, head coach Olcott worked hard to rebuild the team and prepare for future years. “Olcott had big shoes to fill and I think that he did a great job in rebuilding our team,” Murao said. Although the girls did not achieve all the goals that they set at the beginning of the season, they found some consolation in accomplishing some of them. One of the goals the team achieved was growing as a team and gaining new skills, something Olcott worked on all season “By the end of the season, we had grown as a team and become less reliant on individuals,” junior June Afshar said. “Most of the girls really stepped it up.” ~Spencer Sims



Too Much to Handle Lady Vikes fall to nation’s best, Archbishop Mitty, in a hard-fought CCS semifinal match.

BY CHASE COOPER Fighting off a second game run by the Lady Vikes, the nation’s top-ranked Archbishop Mitty Monarchs proved to be too much for the visiting Lady Vikes in the CCS semifinal match. With the likes of junior hitters Rachel Williams and Kristina Graven in their front-court, Archbishop Mitty lived up to its high expectations and sent home the opposing Palo Alto Lady Vikes, ending their improbable run at a CCS title. The green sea of Paly fans desperately rooting for the underdog Lady Vikes made for a lively atmosphere, but the energy did not translate into a victory. “This is the largest visiting crowd I have ever seen,” a Mitty fan said. “It is incredible that all these people traveled this far to be here and support their team.” The Lady Vikes were able to postpone

Photography by Spencer Sims their inevitable defeat by making numerous tough digs and not backing down from the powerful hits of the Monarchs, but did not have enough tricks up their sleeves to pull off the upset victory on Wednesday night.. “We gave it everything we had tonight,” head coach Dave Winn said. “I am really proud of our girls for putting up such a good fight against a great team like Mitty.” As the top team in the country, the Monarchs expected an intimidated Paly squad, but were surprised to see their opponent unshaken by their impressive 34-1 overall record. “We treated this game like any other.” senior hitter Ally Whitson said. “We knew that if we came out and played our game, we would have a chance to win.”

DEFEAT Senior Allie Coleman reacts to a lost point in Wednesday’s semifinal loss to Archbishop Mitty.


The Lady Vikes proved that they could contend with the Monarchs when they narrowly lost the second game 25-23. “That second game really defined us as a team and showed what we are all about,” Winn said. The resilience displayed by the Lady Vikes garnered respect from members of the Monarch coaching staff. “Those girls fought hard tonight, and gave us a scare in that second game,” Archbishop Mitty head coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said. After losing the first game 25-14, the Lady Vikes showed their true character throughout the match, not worrying about the scoreboard and sticking to their gameplan. “We just never gave up and kept fighting until the end,” junior outside hitter Marissa Florant said. “We showed how tough we can be and put up a great fight.” The Lady Vikes were sad to see their seniors lose their last game, but recognize their accomplishment. “I’m sad to see all the seniors go, but I am glad they got a chance to come this far in the playoffs,” junior Ke’ili Deal said. “They got to go out on a high note and have something memorable to look back on.” The loss marked the end of a magical season for the Vikings, who defied all odds by even reaching the CCS semifinal. “This loss was a bad last chapter of our season,” Winn said. “But that doesn’t mean that it was a bad book as a whole.” <<<


Capturing The Moment CLOCKWISE LEFT TO RIGHT Senior Allie Whitson serves the ball. Vikings strategize during a timeout. Freshman Melany Wade blocks. The Palo Alto crowd watches on as their Lad Vikes take on Mitty. The Lady Vikes encourage their teammates from the bench. Mitty gets pumped up in a team huddle.



King Cobra BY EMILY FOWLER Photography by Emily Fowler


PROFILES San Jose Arena is comT hepletely packed with an over-

flowing sea of teal and black. The avid fans make the famous shark bite move and sing along to the blasting music as the San Jose Sharks smack in another goal. Amid all of the chaos, a young boy sits mesmerized by the skaters tearing up the ice below. The game of hockey is so embedded in Eric Jones’ childhood that he does not even remember how old when he first attended a Sharks game. “I remember my favorite player was Owen Nolen; he liked to hit,” Jones said. “It just looked really fun and I always wanted to play.” Jones was immediately drawn to the fast-paced and aggressive nature of the game. Now a senior, he is one of the best defensemen in the California Midget AA hockey league. Jones has played for almost eight years, and last year he led his team, the San Mateo Cougars, to the state championship. His coaches and teammates are confident that he has a promising future in hockey. The Cougars’ goalie Mario Retana has no doubt that Jones will continue to play hockey. “If anyone could go far in hockey, it would be Eric Jones,” Retana said. “College hockey and Junior A (a level of amateur hockey for players under the age of 20), are all real possibilities in his future.” While those who surround Jones are all willing to boast about his talent, he remains modest. After talking to the pleasant, soft-spoken Jones, one would find it hard to believe that he has one of the most ferocious hip checks in the league. left Senior Eric Jones prepares to pass the puck.

SlapShot Eric Jones speeds towards the goal and prepares to shoot. The Cougar’s season looks promising with a record of 13 -5- 2 as of November 20, 2008.

The Cougars’ head coach, Aaron Mullagh, even says Jones, or “Jonsey” as he calls him, is one of the most tactically dangerous defensemen he has ever coached. “Jonsey plays a conservative style, with a strong ability to hit,” Mullagh said. “Most notable would be his hip-check. I compare his ability to surprise an oncoming player, by using his hip-check, with the surprise striking ability of a Cobra.” Retana does, however, also notice Jones’ humble personality. His quiet nature can also appear on the ice, which makes his aggressive playing style even more surprising. “[Jones] is a silent leader, whose actions speak louder than his words,” Retana said. “He is a great teammate.” takes approximately 30 minI tutes to drive from Palo Alto

to San Mateo. After a long day of school, Jones endures this trip four days a week to go to practice. After arriving at the ice rink, Jones laces up his skates, puts on all of his equipment and prepares for another rigorous workout. “Our practices are very demanding,” Jones said. “We have to put everything out on the ice. We pour our hearts out.” These grueling practices consume at least 18 hours of Jones’ time every week. “I have no free time,” Jones said. “Every once and a while I will have a free weekend and I can do other things, but otherwise, no.” The huge time commitment of hockey has occasionally become an issue for Jones. He tried to play football his freshman year at Paly, but stopped when head football coach Hansen asked him choose between hockey and football. To Jones, the choice was obvious.


PROFILES DeDiCation “[Jones] is the guy I can trust protecting me in the net. [Jones] works hard on and off the ice,” teammate Mario Retana said.

“It’s a huge commitment, but I love it; it’s all worth it,” Jones said. “Hockey is different from other sports. I like to think it’s more physical, and faster paced.” For the Jones family, hockey is a lifestyle rather than a sport. Jones’ father, Jeremy Jones, grew up in Canada where a love for hockey can often become an obsession. Mr. Jones is an assistant coach and the chiropractor for Jones’ team. He maintains that hockey is not only a major part of Jones’ life, but has also become a family investment. “Everything about it is expensive,” Mr. Jones said. “From equipment, to entry fees, to team membership, to travel, to time, it is a huge commitment, but I have no reservations about it at all.” grew up playing street hockey, J ones but at age 11, he decided to trade in

his roller blades for ice skates. He began playing at the Winter Lodge in Palo Alto, before playing his first season at the Ice Oasis in Redwood City. Jones quickly picked up a knack for the game and decided to try out for a more competitive team. “I remember coming to the first Cougars practice,” Jones said. “I tried my best and I made it even though I was the youngest on the team by three years.” Jones has continued to play for the Cougars for the last four years and is now a team veteran. “I bring leadership to the team now that I am the oldest,” Jones said. “I lead by example.” He has started in every game of his career, and continues to grow as a player. Mullagh has been lucky enough to witness the substantial progression in his level of play throughout his years of coaching. “[Jones’] ability, character, and skill set have all flourished in the time I have had the pleasure to watch him develop as a hockey player,” Mullagh said. “[Jones] brings 100% every game, every practice, and understands the value of hard work.” Last year, the Cougars were the hockey champs of California. They dominated all local competition and even moved up a division because of their seamless season.


PROFILES Considering they spend virtually all of their time together, the athletes have developed a strong bond. “Our team is really close, we do everything together,” Jones said. “We’re a lot closer than other teams; for one, we take team showers. I don’t know any other sport that does that. Football players just go

On this talented team, there are several accomplished players, but Jones stands out among the crowd. He will be a key component this year in his team’s success in a more difficult playing field. “Eric works hard on and off the ice,” Retana said. “He brings

“THIS yeAR, AnyTHIng leSS THAn A nATIonAl CHAMpIonSHIp MeAnS fAIluRe,” joneS SAId. “If we plAy ouR HoCKey, noBody CAn BeAT uS.” home, alone and gross.” This intense bond contributes to its success, as all members share a deep trust and a strong dedication to the team. Now that the Cougars have proven themselves in the state of California, they are looking on to bigger and better things. “This year, anything less than a national championship means failure,” Jones said. “If we play our hockey, nobody can beat us.” Though the team is enthusiastic, this is an ambitious goal considering the more intense level of play in their new league. Jones notes that the play is harder, faster, and involves a lot more hitting. However, he remains confident that his team will do well this season.

leadership, dedication, passion, and a drive to win to the team.” Jones’ love for the game is evident in his level of commitment to the team. The game of hockey demands dedication, and Jones never fails to rise above all expectations. With his passion and drive hopefully the Cougars will reach their season goals. “Eric has the opportunity to take his game to a further level in the future,” Mullagh said. “He is the type of player, and person, who deserves to be, and is, a state champion.” <<< ambition “I want to win nationals, try my best and be fully committed to my team,” Jones said.




What was once a serene stair railing in front of the Tower Building is now the base for Palo Alto High School senior Alex Browne. In a matter of seconds, Browne will launch himself at the railing, picturing his body flying over the railing and landing successfully on the other side. As Browne looks at the railing, a feeling of apprehension fills his head. Closely related to martial arts, parkour is hard to compare with other sports; it is neither a conventional sport nor an extreme sport. Rather, it is the act of getting from point A to point B and overcoming any obstacles that fall in the way. Participants train to react to each unique obstacle as a new challenge. Parkour is not technically considered a sport because it has no particular moves like gymnastics or plays like in football. When an athlete thinks of a sport, he or she thinks of the four main components: athleticism, skill, competition, and difficulty. Parkour requires a high level of athleticism and skill. It is also considered a high level of difficulty. The only aspect lacking in parkour is competition between participants.

SMOOTH SAILING Alex Browne performs a tic-tac off the wall of the Paly tower building.




FEATuRES Each jump is different depending on the size, positioning, angle, and the athlete’s body structure. There is no universal way to jump over a wall because of the differences between each and every person. Consequently, junior Rishi Patel considers parkour a universal sport. “Parkour is a sport you can do anywhere,” Patel said. “Anyone can do it.” One of the main components of parkour is efficiency. Frenchman David Belle founded parkour in order to escape any emergency in the quickest way possible without injury. This separates parkour from free running, because parkour focuses on acrobatics, flips, and turns. A sport like this comes with the danger of both long and short-term injuries. For most athletes, the risk involved in parkour would immediately turn them away from engaging in it. But for those who do participate in parkour, the chances of getting hurt are the same as in any other sport. “If you get hurt, you get hurt,” junior Cameron Weigel said. “You get hurt in most sports.” To avoid injury, athletes must be aware of their surroundings at all times. They need to know exactly what is going on throughout each jump. Injuries are rare in parkour because it focuses on knowing one’s limits rather than trying to test them. “After I hurt my back in gymnastics at the end of sophomore year, I started doing parkour,” Senior Alex Nee said. “It’s not that parkour is any safer. But now I know my limits and I’m not going all out, all the time.” Parkour quickly became popular all over Europe after its development in 1997. In pop culture today, parkour is used in action movies such as District 13 and Casino Royale. “In Europe, it’s everywhere,” Nee said. “But here, it’s just in the Bay Area and maybe Southern California. The best place to see it would be college campuses, especially Brown [University].” The best places to practice parkour are elementary schools, college campuses, play structures and the urban areas of San Francisco. Browne and Nee often need to drive to San Francisco


or to Cupertino to practice parkour seriously. Regardless of where people practice, parkour is not always well received by administration or security guards. Some call it public disruption, while others call it vandalism. Since the security guards do not know a lot about parkour, they often rule it out completely. “Some [security guards] are chill with it, but others get really uptight about it,” Nee said. “They say its disturbing the public in a way.” Browne and Nee began parkour at the end of their sophomore year and they are the co-presidents of the parkour club at Paly. “As of right now, the club is not fully functional yet,” Nee said. “We will probably be doing more during second semester.” The advisor to the club, James Hamner, a fan of martial arts, has a lot of faith in the parkour club. “I love to support all sorts of creative enterprises,” Hamner said. After starting at the play structures at Walter Hays Elementary School, both Browne and Nee joined Bay Area Parkour (BAPK), a Bay Area group that gets together to train for parkour. Browne and Nee also started the South Bay chapter of BAPK. For Browne, parkour is about getting in touch with his surroundings and the city. “They say you can get in touch with nature, so why can’t you get in touch with urban surroundings?” Browne said. Parkour also helps Browne build confidence in his mental and physical ability. “Sometimes I think I just can’t do it [a trick]; that it’s impossible,” Browne said. “When I do complete a trick, I’m just like, ‘wow, I can do that.’” The satisfaction of making it over a fence, avoiding a collision with a stair railing or getting around an obstacle appeals to both Browne and Nee. “There is all this apprehension when you don’t know if you are going to make it,” Browne said. “It’s a great feeling knowing your going to make it. It’s a feeling of accomplishment.” <<<


Parkour is NOT...

According to Alex Browne and Alex Nee

* “Meant for running away from the cops. It may have been created to get out of a situation where you are being chases, but do not go out and learn it just to run away from the police.” * “Injurious. You do not have to be an idiot about these things. There is always a safe way to do something and if you are smart about it you do not have to get hurt.” * “Vandalism. Or a public disturbance. I do not even know where people get that idea from.” * “Free running. Some people get really worked up when people confuse them. Free running is totally different. It is all about tricks and flips, whereas parkour is all about Efficiency.”


FLORANT SISTERS Daniella (left) and Marissa (right).


COLEMAN SISTERS Allie (left) and Megan (right).



FEATuRE and Serena Williams are unV enus questionably America’s favorite

womens’ tennis players. Ask Venus who she would love to play, and she will say Serena. And Serena? She would challenge her sister in a heartbeat. For spectators, watching sisters play changes the whole aspect of the game. If you watch closely, you notice that the competitive sparks in their eyes turn to admiration as they exit the playing field as sisters, not opponents. When two outstanding athletes hail from the same family, the highlight of the game is not the winning point or incredible save, but watching the sisters shake hands after the game. This year’s Palo Alto High School volleyball team boasts a unique dynamic: two sets of starting sisters: the Coleman sisters and the Florant sisters, who have been key components to the team success. These sisters fill four of the six starting spots on the court, and two are also senior co-captains In 2008, the team counted a Paly record: 33 wins and six losses. This fall, the Paly girls went 10-2 in league, earning their third consecutive league title. Daniella Florant takes off and smashes the ball straight through the lancers’ blockers arms and to the floor. Turning around to celebrate with her teammates, she looks to her right and high-fives her sister. Marissa Florant celebrates with her sister, then the two return to the net, side by side. The Florants are the characters of the team. Laughing and completing each other’s sentences, teammates say the two speak a different language when they are together. “They really work well together,” junior defensive specialist Ke’ili Deal said. “They’re really funny together. They have these nicknames for each other that don’t make any sense to anyone but themselves.” According to their teammates, the Florants constantly crack jokes on and off the court. When they start joking, the whole team finds itself on the verge of tears from laughing so hard. Even the coaches are captivated by the humor. “They really are very funny,” head coach Dave Winn said. “When the Florants are telling a joke, I want to make sure I’m around to hear it.”

Daniella, a 6’1’’ middle blocker, and Marissa, a 5’9’’ outside hitter, could be mistaken for twins. Both have curly brown hair and are tall, but graceful. Side by side, the Florants’ long arms stretch over the net to block the opposing team’s hit, sending the ball to the floor. They turn around to their teammates, yelling and celebrating, with a similar intensity in their eyes. The two have always been close, and the trust they share affects the rest of the team. In a sport with such a high concentration of people in a small area, where every player’s actions depends on a teammate, team chemistry is vital. But the sisters agree that Marissa is not following in her sisters’ footsteps, but rather creating her own path. Marissa’s initial interest in volleyball began when Daniella began playing. “What happened was that I was already playing about three different sports: softball, basketball and soccer,” Marissa said. “Daniella started playing volleyball and she kept coming home every day after school saying it was so much fun and I got so jealous. And then I asked my mom if I could play, and she said I was way too busy and I wouldn’t have time for it. But then she went on the only business trip that she has ever gone on in her entire life, and I tried out

for team and made it.” The two first played on the Paly junior varsity during 2006, and both made their varsity debut during the 2007 season. They are a huge part of the team’s offense and overall play. Marissa has the team’s second best season average for kills and digs, averaging 2.9 kills and 3.6 digs per game. Daniella has racked up 17 solo blocks over the course of the season and leads the team with 57 assisted blocks. The tight-knit Florants admit that during Paly volleyball season, they spend an excessive amount of time together, both on and off the court. Although the minute they step onto the court they are just teammates, before matches they have sisterly rituals. “We have these superstitions--,” Daniella said. “--Like she always does my hair before a game,” Marissa said, finishing Daniella’s thought. “And we always play ‘pepper’ together and run out onto the court together,” both girls said nearly simultaneously. Their coach agrees that the Florants’ close bond adds another layer to the team chemistry. “When you have your sister on the team, you have a built in sense of trust,” Winn said. DYNAMIC DuO The Florant sisters set up to block in the Los Gatos game.


FEATuRE the team. She leads the team in assists, or sets that result in a kill. She averages 10.8 assists per game, making a total of 1,044 assists this season. Allie has been on varsity since her sophomore year, the three consecutive years the Paly girls have won the league championship. Her teammates describe her as a great leader and as very inspirational. Like Allie, Megan made the varsity team as a sophomore, securing a starting spot as the libero, the main defensive player. Megan leads the team in digs, averaging 4.4 per game with a totaling of 424 this season. “When you play on a team with girls and spend so much time together, you almost become sisters,” Allie said. “But with Megan, I already have that bond so everyone’s just that much closer.”

GAME FACE The Coleman sisters bring intensity and focus to the team.


egan Coleman quickly dives to the floor and digs the opposing team’s hit. Allie Coleman hustles to the ball and sets it up for Paly’s hitter who crushes it to the floor. As the team gathers to the middle of the court to celebrate the Coleman sisters highfive, grin at each other, and reset for the next point. Their teammates describe the Colemans as intense and possessing arguably the best work ethic on the team. They are two consistent, solid players who never flinch in high-pressure situations. Teammates describe Megan, a sophomore, as calmer but tenacious, while senior Allie is passionate and hardworking. “Marissa and Daniella are the team characters, while the Colemans are very intense,” Winn said. when the Paly team lines up on the edge of the court applauding as their starters are announced, Megan steps forward coyly, waving after her name is called. Her thick hair is braided into a ponytail and she wears a different color jersey because of her position. A few teammates down the line, Allie jumps out, throws her arms up, and smiles at the crowd after her name is called. unlike her sister, Allie’s dark brown hair is so curly it almost hides her braid.


The Colemans have always been different, but still close. Playing on a volleyball team together has improved their relationship. “Since being on the same team, we communicate a lot better,” Allie said. “We’ve spent more time together--” “--We aren’t afraid to tell each other what we think,” Megan finished. However, it is not always easy to compete and play with a sibling. The pressure to measure up to an older sibling can be a challenge. “Being compared to your sister is hard,” Megan said. “Being the younger sister, I always feel like I have to live up to Allie’s image.” Megan uses the comparison to her sister as a source of inspiration to work harder and do her best and she their competitiveness “healthy competition.” The two agree that this season, the first time the two have played on a team together, has brought them closer. Megan originally began playing volleyball after Allie started playing in sixth grade. Both sisters are extremely athletic and versatile and have played an impressive number of sports, including basketball, soccer, softball and lacrosse. Allie plays for the Paly softball team and Megan plays Paly soccer, but volleyball is their one mutual sport. Allie is a setter, creating offense for

bond as sisters is not a conT heir scious thought during volleyball,

but their teammates recognize the special connection. “Once we’re on the court, we’re all just teammates,” sophomore teammate Trina Ohms said. “But you can tell there is a special spark between Megan and AC [Allie] when they play. The same goes for Marissa and Daniella.” Winn explained that they would be the same players even if they were not sisters, but it certainly makes the team closer. The sisterly bond the Colemans and the Florants share translates to the rest of the team. After their final defeat in a match against Archbishop Mitty, the Paly girls gathered in a circle in the corner of the Valley Christian gym. Holding hands, the girls looked around, at their teammates and at their sisters, remembering their incredible season together and all they had accomplished. winn reassured the girls that their greatest victory of the season did not occur on the court. The bond the girls had established was the real win. winn has said that although the 2008 Paly volleyball team may not have been the most talented group of players, they were the most cohesive team he has ever coached. “At the end of the day,” Winn said. “It’s the team that trusts each other that is going to win games.” <<<


Leading Through Hope By Kylie Sloan

Photography By John Christopherson and Malaika Drebin

Olivia Garcia found her own way to benefit society by designing a bracelet that raised roughly $13,000 for breast cancer research. Her actions in the campaign transfer to her role on the court as she returns for her final year on the varsity basketball team.


pink bracelet with the word “Hope” carved into its silicone body dangles from senior Olivia Garcia’s wrist. That same wrist snaps when she shoots a jump shot and steadies a dribbling ball as the Lady Vikes’ star point guard approaches halfcourt. Though this bracelet appears to be just another article of clothing, to Garcia, it has a deeper meaning. In eighth grade, Garcia had an idea. She developed all her thoughts into a plan that she single-mindedly put into action. “[Garcia] goes ‘I know you guys are really busy and really concerned about grandma but I was just wondering if you would be willing to make a $3,000 investment in this idea’ - that’s Olivia,” her mother, Kimberly Garcia, said. And so the breast cancer campaign began... When Garcia was in fourth grade, her grand- PRETTY IN PINK Garcia poses wearing the “Pink for Hope” bracelet that she designed. mother, Faye Johnson, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. how it would feel for other families.” Garcia created her own, independent campaign for breast When Johnson was diagnosed, Garcia said that she had cancer called “Pink for Hope” to benefit her grandmother. She difficulty making sense of the situation. However, once her designed the bracelet that she proudly sports, and raised grandma had breast cancer related back surgery, the situation $13,000 in sales for the Stanford Cancer Center. came into perspective. “My grandmother has had breast cancer for a couple of “I think she felt left out, and I think she felt like there wasn’t years, but, in eighth grade, she had back surgery and I really anything that she could do to help,” Mrs. Garcia said. “She just wanted to help the bigger picture,” Garcia said. “I wanted to wanted to help because she saw that all the adults were very do something for a lot of women, for breast cancer, not just overwhelmed.” my grandma. Her sickness really affected me so I kind of knew Sure enough, Garcia found her own way. After requesting


PROFILES her product on a global trading company website, contacting a manufacturer in China and sending in her designs, Garcia saw her own artwork inspire true “Hope” in a mere six weeks. Then, she spread the word using various methods to promote her campaign. She supplied her basketball teammates with “Pink For Breast Cancer” shoelaces, handed out fliers and created her own website. Garcia also continues to stay in

contact with the Stanford Cancer Center by keeping track of her sales and presenting at meetings. “I think what [Garcia] did is really inspiring,” senior teammate Taylor Lovely said. “[Garcia] was only in eighth grade. I don’t think I would have been able to do something like that, and it’s really nice that she did it all for her grandmother.” Garcia describes her grandmother as more than just an inspiration, but as an overall role model for her strength, courage and determination. Garcia admires these characteristics and they are reflected in her own personality. She will draw upon these qualities when she returns to the hardwood for her final varsity basketball season. Garcia started playing basketball in second grade, in a youth YMCA l e a g u e . Through the years, she continued to play on the girls’ basketball teams at Jordan Middle School, and on club teams, such as NJB (National Junior Basketball) and AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). This year, Garcia will return to her spot as a point guard, and the Lady Vikes will count on her to bring the same leadership that spearheaded her “Pink for Hope” campaign, to help carry the team to victory. “She’s a natural leader, and people tend to gravitate towards her,” head coach Scott Peters said. “She has enough confidence in herself to verbalize her opinions.” Garcia’s junior teammate, Lauren Mah, agrees that Garcia’s natural leadership abilities are an asset to the team. “[Garcia] helps guide the team with Taylor [Lovely] which is nice because she really picks you up when you’re down,” Mah said. “[Garcia] helps me improve.” While much of Garcia’s leadership skill is innate, her breast cancer awareness

campaign helped her realize a practical application for this skill. She believes that assisting her community helped her learn to take the initiative both on and off the court. Garcia emphasizes the need for more teens to get involved in this eye-opening experience as well. “I think that community service is really important for young people because it gets them connected to something bigger than themselves,” Garcia said. “In high school, you’re so focused on yourself; your grades, your own achievements. But community service allows you to affect the bigger community outside yourself.” Garcia’s love for helping others stems from her optimistic personality. “[Garcia] is a really positive person,” Mah said. “She always says ‘hi’ to me and she’s just really happy. She’s a very personable person.” Garcia’s positive, personable ways can also be found in other areas of her life; basketball only makes up a fraction of what she does day to day. Garcia’s interests vary, this fall she was an avid participant in the Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign: making phone calls, working at events, fundraising, and advocating throughout the neighborhood. Garcia recently formed a club at Paly called UNITY (Unifying Neighbors in Today’s Youth) that aspires to eliminate barriers between races. This is a theme that she promotes through her art, such as the t-shirts that she spray-paints emblazoned with hearts and peace signs; a promotion form she plans to expand to “Pink for Hope”. “She is really inspired by peace,” Mrs. Garcia said. “She’s a little independent activist in her own way.” Garcia’s playing style for basketball reflects her peaceful persona as well.

“In hIgh school,

you’re so focused on yourself; your grades, your own achIevements,” garcIa saId. “But communIty servIce allows you to affect the BIgger communIty outsIde yourself.”

AIR BORN Garcia practices her jump shot.



3,000,000 Women currently living with breast cancer 1,000,000 Number of those women who do not know that they have it 182,460 Women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 40,480 Number of women who will die from breast cancer in 2008

STEALING THE SHOW Garcia dribbles the ball away from teammate Lakia Young.

“She’s very calm with the ball,” Peters said. “We relied on her a tremendous amount on defense last year.” Although the bulk of her play was focused on defense last season, Garcia will do more on offense this year, according to Peters. In addition to her point guard duties, Garcia will play as a shooting guard to spark the offense. Besides making it to Central Coast Section (CCS), Garcia hopes that the team will be able to beat Wilcox and Gunn this year, although her own goals are more fundamental. “My personal goals are to definitely stay positive throughout the whole season because for the past couple of years we have had a difficult time,” Garcia said. No matter how much pressure is put on Garcia in her leadership role, Peters is confident that she will be able to handle it. “[Garcia] doesn’t panic,” Peters

said. “She sees the floor very well.” Beyond basketball, Garcia’s calm composure will be useful for her future college plans: law school, yet another leadership position. Although Garcia is not planning to play basketball in college, she will still make basketball a part of her life. “I think I will definitely still play for recreation because when I play it’s a lot of fun,” Garcia said. “At some point, I would like to coach younger girls.” Whether she is coaching, on the court or in the courtroom, the leadership experience that Garcia gained through her “Pink for Hope” campaign will help her accomplish whatever she chooses to do. “You need a leader all the time,” Garcia said. “I want to be the person who steps up and does that.” As she leads the way, Garcia will continue to make additional differences that better society. <<<

What Y ou Can do to Help Buy a pink bracelet! 1 band: $3 2 bands: $5 5 bands: $10 10 bands: $20 For more information go to: All proceeds go to: Stanford Cancer Center for research towards new treatments Total estimated donations: $13,000 Do your part. 47

Facts courtesy of the National Cancer Institute ( and the Stanford Cancer Center (

About Breast Cancer



s the referee blows the whistle signifying half time, John Anderton, a junior at Palo Alto High School, runs off the soccer field, eager to play the second half. His green Paly jersey ripples in the wind, and his quick feet move back and forth as he weaves through the herd of other players strolling towards the sidelines. Anderton snatches his water bottle from the bench and listens as his coach and teammates congratulate him for the goal he scored right before the halftime whistle. He looks down, concentrating on what he can do to improve for the second half. He listens intently and soon enough, the whistle blows. He sprints back to his position as forward, as he runs by, people on the sidelines see the blur of his number two jersey flying past. It is hard to believe that less than four years ago, Anderton barely had enough strength to prop his body up to watch soccer from his hospital bed.



n 2005, when Anderton was in seventh grade, doctors discovered he had a case of Ewing’s Sarcoma, an extraordinarily rare type of cancer in his bones. The cancer, which was localized to a tumor in his rib cage, required surgery and chemotherapy. His battle against cancer lasted one year. As he struggled to hold on to his life, soccer became a way to escape from the pain, and a way to stay connected to a world he loved. By the time Anderton was able to return to the field, he discovered the connection had grown even deeper. Soccer has always been a major part of Anderton’s life. His father, Mark Anderton, grew to love the sport as a boy growing up in North Africa, where Anderton’s grandfather worked as a diplomat. While living there, Mark became immersed in soccer culture, and passed on his love for the sport to his son, who started playing at age three. john Anderton, a forward, in Anderton grew up reading about professional soccer. He constantly read the World Soccer Magazine, and a recent practice with paly’s began to develop favorite teams and players. varsity squad. Anderton joined the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) in kindergarten and in fifth grade he made the transition to a California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) club team. He began to play more competitively and develop a greater appreciation for the sport. In seventh grade, Anderton had a plan for the next five years of his soccer career. He envisioned himself succeeding in club soccer, helping his team win tournament after tournament. He imagined himself spending long afternoons at the soccer field perfecting his touch. He even saw himself eventually trying out for the Paly soccer team his freshman year, persevering through the dreaded two-mile run. And then it happened. As Anderton was biking home from school one Friday afternoon in February of 2005, he felt an extraordinary pain in his chest and was suddenly fatigued. He could barely force himself to power the pedals all the way home. As he slowly walked through the front door of his house, he knew that something was not right. His mother, Gail Kaiser, suspected pneumonia. She took his temperature, which was a dangerously high 104 degrees, and she and Anderton immediately left for the Stanford Hospital emergency room. Anderton sat in the waiting room, nervously anticipating the doctors arrival. He was unsure what was wrong because the inconceivable pain was greater than anything he had ever experienced. Worried thoughts rushed through his head as he awaited the diagnosis. Soon, a nurse came out and took Anderton to an examination room where a doctor questioned him and listened to his breathing. When the doctor ordered an X-ray of his chest, Anderton’s worry increased. “After all this, I kind of thought I had something worse,” Anderton said. “But I still hoped that I just had pneumonia.” Doctors could not determine the cause of his symptoms, and sent him to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital for an MRI. That evening, the doctor entered the examination room with a grim face. The MRI confirmed the family’s worst fear: Anderton had cancer. “My stomach felt like it dropped out of my body,” Mrs. Kaiser said. “I was shocked.” A group of doctors then entered the room to ask him if he knew what cancer was. “I just sat there and replied to them, ‘You die’,” Anderton said. Anderton had an Askin’s Tumor in his rib cage, an extremely rare tumor that is often lethal. His left lung was also filled with fluid. The morning after his diagnogAiL KAisER sis, Anderton had surgery to implant two chest tubes in his lung to drain the fluid, (ANDERToN’s (ANDERTo (ANDERT oN’s N’s thus beginning what would become a year-long treatment process. It was difficult for Anderton to emotionally process the news. Almost a week moTHER) THER) passed before the severity of his condition hit him. Anderton realized that he might not make it through his illness. “I didn’t cry when I was first told I had cancer,” Anderton said. “I was in shock

my sT sTomACH s T fELT LiKE fELT iT DRoPPED ouT of my BoDy. i wAs sHoCKED.


Anderton (left), with close friend and teammate jenner fox.

and awe. I cried a week later at the hospital when I realized that I wasn’t able to do anything at all, when I realized that I might die.” His parents knew that losing the ability to play soccer really hurt their son. Unable to play, Anderton still wanted to stay connected to his passion. “When he got sick, we got cable,” Mr. Anderton said. “He was then able to watch a lot of the soccer he used to read about. That was the one thing he would look forward to after a week of chemo when he came back home. Being sick forced him to look at the technical side of the game.” In order for Anderton to fully recover, the tumor had to be surgically removed. To John’s father, the removal of the tumor was one of the lowest points. “He was in pain,” Mr. Anderton said. “The operation was really long, and he had to stay in the ICU for a couple of days. He was pretty beat up.” After the tumor was removed, Anderton underwent two different types of chemotherapy: outpatient and four-day treatment. During outpatient therapy, he would go to the hospital for 12 hours to receive medication, and then return home. This was better because it was not as intensive and he was also able to sleep in his own bed. During the four-day sessions, he would come to the hospital every third week and be assigned to a room to undergo a nonstop treatment. Anderton often had to share his room with another patient. “It was the worst if you had to share a room with a baby because it would cry all the time,” Anderton said. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep.” For those four days, Anderton would receive medicine through an IV in his chest. Anderton was always exhausted. Almost all of his time was spent in his hospital bed. For a teenage boy used to moving around and playing sports, he missed simple pleasures like walking around without help from others. One of his most exciting moments during chemotherapy was finally getting a chance to leave his hospital bed. He called it an “accomplishment” to be able to walk down the short hallway. In addition to fatigue, Anderton’s stomach weakened. The first time he ate during chemotherapy, he threw up soon after. He learned that his body was not able to take in nourishment during chemotherapy. Any taste in his mouth would make him queasy; even swallowing his own spit made him vomit. “As the day wore on, I would feel more and more sick,” Anderton said. “I would spit into a bucket next to my bed so I wouldn’t throw up.” Because he was not able to eat, Anderton experienced massive weight loss during his chemotherapy. His weight dropped to a shocking number in the low sixties. JoHN ANDERT ANDERTo ANDERToN oN N “He lost a whole lot of weight during chemo,” Mr. Anderton said. “I stopped counting after 20-25 percent of his weight was skin and bones.” Anderton’s ability to think, focus and concentrate also suffered. When his mother tried to hold a conversation with him, he was too tired and too sick to be engaged and was only able to talk for a short amount of time before he was exhausted. Since social interaction became too difficult for Anderton, he turned to watching television for entertainment. Watching soccer became a major pastime for Anderton. Soccer was always there for him after a rough week of chemotherapy. His passion for soccer influenced him to look at the sport as an escape from his difficult experiences, and watching soccer on TV allowed him to cheer week after week for his favorite team: England’s Chelsea FC. “Soccer was always something to look forward to,” Anderton said. “I’d know that at the end of chemo, I had soccer to watch at home. It was something fun and enjoyable that helped me to get away from chemo and everything.”

i’ i’D i ’D D K KNow THAT A THAT AT THE END of CHEmo, i HAD soCCER To wATCH AT HomE.


AT fi fiRsT i THoug TH THougHT oug my LuNg CAPACiTy wouLDN’T LET mE PLAy AT ALL.

Anderton valued his days at home between chemotherapy sessions, using them as days to recover and eat. He needed to make up for all the weight he lost the previous week and gain weight for the next chemotherapy session. Even though Anderton was receiving cancer treatment, he was still determined to attend school as often as possible. After a couple days at home, Anderton would gain enough strength to begin catching up on his schoolwork. “The teacher wouldn’t make me try to make up everything,” Anderton said. “But I would try to do it all anyways, because I felt like I should. I didn’t want to be an exception.” Jenner Fox, a Paly junior and fellow soccer teammate, was an important friend to Anderton. Fox was always there to kick the soccer ball around on a Sunday afternoon, or to help John catch up on his schoolwork. “We were, like, ‘baby’ friends,” Fox said. “We played on the same AYSO team in kindergarten and have played on the same team until this past summer.” Although he had the support of friends and family, Anderton’s health became worse and worse. Because his cancer had become so severe, he became eligible for an opportunity to participate in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, whose purpose is to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening JoHN ANDERT ANDERTo ANDERToN oN N medical conditions through its wish-granting work. When a Make-A-Wish Foundation associate approached him in July 2005, Anderton had just one wish: a chance to go to the 2006 World Cup that was less than one year away. But he would only be able to go to the World Cup if he completely finished his chemotherapy. In the eleven months after making the wish, Anderton successfully finished the long process, unaware that his wish would come true. When June rolled around, he was surprised that the MakeA-Wish foundation had in fact organized a trip for him. “It was almost a last minute thing,” Mr. Anderton said. “The Make-A-Wish rep was obviously a magician. With the help of Yahoo and other sponsors, we were able to get tickets to a game. John was a happy guy.” Anderton flew to Europe and traveled around the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, where he lived out his dream and witnessed the home team, Germany, take on Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals. It turned out to be a thrilling match that was determined by penalty kicks, with Germany coming out on top. “One of the things I wanted to do in my lifetime was go to a World Cup game,” Anderton said. “I was rooting for Argentina, but it was pretty awesome seeing Germany win, because it was in Germany and everyone was celebrating.” After the once in a lifetime experience, however, it was back to the struggles of making a complete recovery. The removal of Anderton’s chest tumor had taken a toll. After the surgery, his left lung would never fully function again. To this day, Anderton has a 75 percent lung capacity due to a severed nerve to the diaphragm. And soccer? Anderton had reservations about ever playing again. His mother recalls dragging him to practice in eighth grade against his will after his chemotherapy. Anderton felt embarrassed and uncomfortable, In 2006, Anderton went to the but was able to go out on the field. world Cup in germany through “At first I thought that my lung capacity wouldn’t let me play at all,” Anderthe Make-A-wish foundation. ton said. “But then it got better and better as I exercised more.” Even though Anderton was physically able to go back to soccer after his chemotherapy, he did not feel ready to join his club team again so quickly. “It was a slow process,” club soccer team Stanford Landslide, coach Vilmar “Vava” Marques said. “I was first trying to help him work on the mental part of it because it is hard to come out of therapy and go into practice. I was careful not to push it, so I gave him time to become comfortable again.” Because he was short of breath sometimes, Anderton took breaks from the field when he needed. “He used to only be able to play for 10 or 15 minutes, then for a half,” Marques said. “[After a while] I couldn’t get him off the field, he wanted to play the whole time and he could.” Teammate Daniel Kwasnick agrees. “At first he had like no endurance; he could only play for a short amount of time,” Kwasnick said. “But he kept on playing and built up his endurance to the point he could play the entire game.” Anderton’s year of chemotherapy had also taken away a year of possible growth at a crucial time for many boys.


He now stands at 5’6”, significantly shorter than most of his teammates. “He is small for his age, but I think he makes up for it in other ways,” Fox said. “He is really quick. He’s feisty.” Although Anderton is small, he finds inspiration in professional soccer players who are also small. Shaun Wright-Philips, who currently plays for Manchester City and the England national team, is a role model in Anderton’s life. He stands at 5’5” and encompasses the qualities that Anderton admires in a soccer player, like tenacity and a genuine understanding of the game. “I like him [Wright-Philips] not only because he is a fantastic soccer player, but also because he is short like me, and we short people have to stick together,” Anderton said. Defying even his own expectations, Anderton made Paly’s varsity soccer team as a sophomore. Despite his doubts, he turned out to be a vital team member.

“I think he did not believe he was going to be on the [varsity] team,” Fox said. “But throughout the season he got a lot of playing time, and I think he got more confident.” In reflection, Anderton has mixed feelings on his view of his experience. Although he did not necessarily believe it changed his outlook on life, it did make him realize how strong his love for soccer had become. “Having cancer definitely helped me realize how much I loved soccer and getting to play around and get hurt,” Anderton said. “When I was sick, I really couldn’t do anything. I would be too tired and it would be unhealthy and dangerous. It just made me realize how much I took being able to play for granted.” Anderton’s experience has not only had an impact on him, but also his family and friends as well, inspiring others to appreciate life as they have it. “When you’re parents, you are always looking for things that will make your kid

Anderton makes better,” Mr. Anderton up for his size said. “It’s just natural (5’6”) with a soft human nature. I came touch and sound out of it feeling like technique. I was just grateful for “He is really quick,” everything he was as teammate jenner opposed to worrying fox said. “He’s about what he was not. feisty.” I was just grateful.” Anderton has overcome severe illness and today remains cancer free, but he knows that his quarterly checkup at Stanford Hospital looms in the near future. Imagining the familiar white walls of the hospital and the sterile scent of the waiting room brings back memories of one of the hardest times in his life. Although the remainder of the soccer game is not the only thing on his mind, he sprints back onto the field and takes his position, preparing to play the second half. <<<


give and Take... The Viking’s own Hanna Brody and emily fowler chat with teacher and former football coach Steve foug. E&H

When did you start coaching Paly football?


I started in 1996, I had been coaching two years prior at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in Ann Harbor Michigan

E&H Did you play football when you went to Paly? SF

I did. My senior year was 1990, the year before Hansen was hired, so that tells you a little something about Paly football- it was terrible.

E&H Really? Even with you on the team? SF

Thank you, but yes. Well, I played left guard and defensive end. We went 4-6 and we ended the year with two terrible games. We beat Gunn, but the game was called in the fourth quarter because both benches cleared in a brawl and the refs just left the field. The game was over at Gunn and the crowds came out of the stands. The players, students and the coaches were fighting.

E&H Were you fighting? SF

I was not fighting. I was in the mob. Except football fights are pretty dumb, you know what can you do? You just shove people. It’s not too different than from what goes on the field. But then after that, we lost to Lynbrook and they hadn’t won a game in two years. So it was a great way to end the old senior year football campaign. But it was from having kind of a sour experience playing that I wanted to coach. It was a very unsatisfying football career and I wanted to see what it was like to win, because we never did. E&H Well, you beat Gunn... SF

Yeah well, beating Gunn was like beating Addison, so you know.

E&H So then you went to Michigan, right? Yup. I went there because I had the family ties. I was born and raised a Michigan fan. E&H Did you ever consider playing football for Michigan? SF

Uh, NO because there is no way on God’s green earth I could ever make the team. I would have been worse than Rudy (see page 18) if I had made the team.

E&H What are your thoughts about Michigan football this year? SF


I mean, the deal is; the whole thing with Michigan is ever since I’ve been alive they’ve never had a losing season- the last losing season was 1967.

They’ve had a long tradition continuity where other programs just kind of hire and fire coaches. Michigan has always had guys they promoted from within the program into the head coach position, and they keep this continuity. They’ve always had quality quarter backs, good linemen. And people nowadays want trendy offense and everything so their coach from last year retired. So, they get the new hot coach who runs the new hot flavor of the month offense. He does so many things differently. They brought in a whole different style. Players are transferring and it is a season in upheaval. I am not happy with him at all. I have been uncertain about him since he was hired in December last year. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen so far. And yeah, so for the first time since 1974, I won’t be watching them in January. E&H

Why January?


You know, in like a bowl game. They normally always play in a bowl game. So yeah, I’ve caught a lot of heat this year but, I don’t know if students realize that with every snarky Michigan comment that is made their grade goes down at least ten points. It is so easy to criticize because what are they? Stanford fans or something? Yeah, send me a postcard when they make a bowl game or when they win a national title for crying out loud. Good grief. Stanford is like a pet project, a distraction from the real things in life, which are Michigan football and the San Francisco Giants.


Are you a Tim Lincecum fan?


If Tim Lincecum were up for adoption, I would apply to adopt him. He is the best thing to happen to the Giants since 2002.


So back to Paly, do you get along with coach Hansen?


I get along with him great, I’ve been working with him for 11, 12 years and the more I’ve coached with him, the more I’ve learned about how to run a team. I’ve learned all the little things that involve being a head coach. With all these types of personalities, anyone who has been on a team sport, especially in high school, has invariably been involved with some sort of what you guys would call ‘drama’. Coaches must have the ability to handle that off the field, to make players feel comfortable, and to find a spot for them. I like football because it takes all kinds. You don’t actually have to be that good of an athlete; they can find a spot for you. I’m living proof. He’s really good at finding spots for players and putting them in the right place. We have a great open and working relationship, well until I decided not to coach this year. E&H

Speaking of which, why did you decide not to coach this year?


So, I’ve been doing it every year since ‘94. It’s weird because you coach because you like football and you love the sport, but that means your only exposure to football when you’re coaching, is going to be high school. You don’t have time for anything else. Last year, not because of the team, but because of the grind, I was getting a little more stressed, in terms of all the work I had to do. I felt exhausted. Like anything you’ve done for a long time, it was getting to the point where if I didn’t take a little step back, I maybe wouldn’t keep doing it, and I love doing it. I just needed a little break. Sometimes you need to step back to kind of reevaluate things. It’s given me time to just be a teacher for a year and see what that’s like. I am now done with that. At this point in the season, when I’m watching them in the playoffs from the sideline, I miss it desperately. So if Coach Hansen will have me back- I may have to reinterview and resubmit my resumeI would like to try to be a part of the team next year. I am glad I did it though. I just needed a one year break.





Bobby abbott throws a pass in Palyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game against Mountain View. the Vikings lost the match, but kept the score close during the loss on Palyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Senior Night. Photo by Hana Kajimura

22 29

at St. Francis Tourney at Sierra Nevada Classic

at Sacred Heart (3:30)


8 9

16 23 30

at St. Francis Tourney at Sierra Nevada Classic

vs Los Altos (5:30)

at St. Francis (6:00)

Boys’ Basketball Girls’ Basketball Boys’ Soccer

Girls’ Soccer Wrestling


at Santa Clara (3:30)

at Gunn (5:30) vs Mtn. View (7:00) at Homestead Tourney at Menlo-Atherton (Dual)


18 24



at Rocklin Tourney vs Milpitas (Dual)


vs Wilcox (7:30)





at Rocklin Tourney vs Gunn (3:30) at Homestead (3:30) at Coast Classic

at Monta Vista (3:30) vs Monta Vista (3:30)


30 1 2 3 4 at James Lick Tourney5 at Carlmont (4:10) at Homestead Tourney at James Lick Tourney` at James Lick Tourney DAY Winter Classic Tourney Winter Classic Tourney Winter Classic Tourney at St. Ignatius (6:00) Winter Classic Tourney


7 14 21 28

at St. Francis Tourney




at Homestead Tourney at Peninsula Invitational

vs Riordan (6:00)

at Rocklin Tourney at Coast Classic


at St. Francis Tourney


at Menlo-Atherton (7:00) at Cupertino

The Last Word A Season To Forget... by Ben Brown Last issue, I mentioned the fact that I am a huge Michigan football fan, and how it’s been a little tough for us Wolverine fans for the past couple of years. I realize now that choosing Michigan as my favorite college football team may not have been the best idea. All the teasing and bullying I get after every loss, it’s like someone gave me a massive wedgie. Thankfully, I have no clue what that feels like, but I’m pretty sure watching Michigan try to play football causes much more pain. I would never consider leaving the fanhood of Michigan football because I just remind myself that they have the most wins, and the highest winning percentage in Division 1 college football history. Just doing that makes me feel like I just saw the wedgie-givers have their favor returned. For those of you who don’t know about Michigan’s recent failures, first of all, lucky you. Second, you should know that Michigan football has brought me to tears numerous times. It’s not funny. Michigan has lost to its archnemesis Ohio State four years in a row and six out of the past seven years. On top of that, Michigan can’t seem to make it past its “easy opponents.” The worst was last year when Michigan, ranked 5th in the nation, played a Division 1 AA (practically Division 2) school. They lost 34-32 at home in arguably the biggest upset in college football history. This year, the Wolverines played Toledo, who was ranked 115 out of 120 schools in Division 1, and lost. Actually? Are you @%&#ing kiddin’ me? Maybe that’s because they have a white quarterback trying to lead an offensive scheme that requires a mobile quarterback. I’m not trying to be racist, but a clumsy 6’6” white guy is not going to be able to lead a fast-paced offense like Jamarcus Russell would. My friend Nate Munger is a big Notre Dame fan, and every year when they play each other, we have a gentlemen’s bet. Unfortunately, I have lost the majority of these bets recently, even though all time, Michigan has more wins head-to-head. So, Munger, if you’re reading this; haha. Munger is arguably the funniest kid at the school, and he is so fun to annoy. A few tips for annoying Munger: repeatedly change the subject while talking to him, say the restaurant name Togo’s


like “to go’s”, and always ask: “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” I sidetracked a little from Michigan football, but Munger is sometimes more fun to talk about than the woes of Michigan. Some might wonder why I haven’t left the bandwagon of Michigan; in fact, I’ve wondered that myself. Now, I say this in the manliest possible way; but you cannot control what the heart wants. No need to get all touchy-feely or anything, but when the Michigan Wolverines win a game, the feeling is far better than that of having the first kiss with the girl (or guy) of your greatest fantasies. My dad introduced me to Michigan football when I was young, and ever since I have been attached. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend four Michigan football games, including three Rose Bowls in Pasadena, California. When I see 110,000 screaming fans all yelling for my favorite team, I become happier than Stewie when he kills Lois on Family Guy. There’s nothing like seeing a bunch of 300-pound freaks-of-nature run out onto the field wearing matching maize and blue uniforms. There are few comparisons to my love for Michigan football. I guess you could say that my attraction to Michigan football is like many teenage boys’ attraction to Sofia Bush. Sorry, I couldn’t let two of my articles go by without mentioning Sofia. She is like God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Zeus, and every other God combined. What I would do to be Chad Michael Murray on One Tree Hill…. You could say that I have a huge crush on all the guys on the Michigan football team, a little “bromance” if you know what I mean. Everyone has felt the confusion of the body when they have a crush. And for guys, that feeling can sometimes be embarrassing. Thankfully, Michigan has not given me these feelings, yet. Ms. Burton taught me exceptionally well in Living Skills last year, so I know that these feelings are normal. Just try to keep some of those “thoughts” to yourself. GO BLUE.

You could say that I have a huge crush on all the guys on the Michigan football team, a little “bromance” if you know what I mean.


Did you miss the last issue of The Viking? No problem, just visit today to catch up on everything you missed!

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Profile for The Viking Magazine

Viking Volume 2 Issue 2 - There and Back  

The cover story features John Anderton, a Paly soccer player who overcame cancer.

Viking Volume 2 Issue 2 - There and Back  

The cover story features John Anderton, a Paly soccer player who overcame cancer.


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