Donate Now to PiE & Double Your Donation From now through November 20th, every dollar you donate can be matchedâ€”dollar for dollarâ€”up to $250,000.* At Paly, PiE funds: Career and College Counseling including the extensions to the college software Naviance and College Awareness Days for all grades Career Technology Electives including Journalism, Biotechnology, and Foothill extension courses Technology Integration helping teachers bring new technologies into the classroom
Go to www.papie.org to donate today. .*Thank you to the PiE Board and Advisory Council members for making the Participation Challenge Grant a reality.
Want more Viking? Read more at voice.paly.net Town & Country Village
Volume 3 Issue #2 November 2009
Staff List Editors-in-Chief Christine Chang Emily Fowler Cassie Prioleau
Business Managers Sophie Biffar Chase Cooper Wade Hauser
Section Editors Hanna Brody Lauren Hammerson Hana Kajimura
Staff Mary Albertolle George Brown Michael Cullen Brandon Dukovic Will Glazier Alex Kershner Cooper Levitan Sam Maliska Grace Marshall Talia Moyal Dustin Nizamian Mariah Philips Mark Raftrey Marco Scola Allie Shorin Spencer Sims Jack Smale Alistair Thompson
Photo Editor Malaika Drebin Design Editor Varun Kohli In Depth Features Editor Kylie Sloan Copy Editors Sam Greene Erin Kiekhaefer Statistician Sana Bakshi
Adviser Ellen Austin
The Viking Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the editor The Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High Schoolâ€™s Advanced Magazine Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The Viking is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Advertising in The Viking The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazineâ€™s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by e-mail at vikingeds @gmail.com or call 650-329-3837 for more information. Printing Services The Viking is printed six times a year by Fricke-Parks Press in Fremont, Calif.
KICKOFF 6 | STAFF VIEW The Viking explores the controversy surrounding egg wars and the suicides at Gunn High School.
7 | TOP 5 PuMP uP SONgS 8| ZOOM 10| HOT/NOT METER AND By THE NuMBERS 12| grEAT dEBATE: SHouLd CoLLEgE ATHLETES BE PAid? Will Glazier and Cooper Levitan battle it out in a heated debate. 14| TEN QuES. wiTH BENioT CoLLiNgNoN 15| iNSidE THE miNd oF mAuriCE wiLLiAmS 16 | SPORTS DRINKS Need to reenergize or refresh? Here’s the rundown on a variety of sports beverages.
photo credits (clockwise from top left): spencer sims, hanna brody, malaika drebin, talia moyal, malaika drebin, allie shorin, hana kajimura, moyal cover by malaika drebin and hana kajimura
CoLumNS 18 | gETTINg PREPPED Grieving about the incredibly annoying task of getting out of PE. by Brandon Dukovic
19 | rELAx. A football player’s take on the coach’s hiring process. by Marco Scola
20 | FALL wrAP-uPS A look back at the fall season in Paly athletics.
by Sam Maliska
The Li 18 20
Volume III, Is
24 | WHERE ARE THEy NOW? Star volleyball players Erica Gage and Allison Whitson are back in The Viking, but they have shed their Paly jerseys for their own college colors. by Dustin Nizamian
26 | rEBuiLdiNg THE SQuAd While the boys’ varsity water polo team did not qualify to CCS, they made much needed progress this season. by Sam Greene
29 | TriPLE THrEAT Three-sport athlete Gracie Cain shares how she juggles cross-country, lacrosse and soccer. by Erin Kiekhaefer
32 | PALy’S ComPETiTivE EdgEuCATORS Ever wonder about your teachers’ lives before they hit the classroom? Here are some teachers who starred as varsity athletes in their high school days. by Jack Smale
42 | THE Big LiTTLE iSSuE There’s no doubt that size mattes in sports, but just how a big a part does it play?
61 | CALENdAr
by Sana Bakshi
46 | WHAT DEFINES A SPORT? We asked Paly what they thought qualifies as an actual sport and they gave us some interesting answers.
62 | THE LAST word Michael Cullen shares his experience of being ejected from the Paly v. Gunn football game.
by Brandon Dukovic and Mark Raftrey
36 | mAkiNg THE CALL The job of officials and referees is more than just sporting 90s-tastic striped clothing. by Mark Raftrey
39 | LEAdErS oF THE PACk Team captains supposedly fulfill the same roles on their various teams, but these standards have swayed more than may be perceived. by Mary Albertolle
49 | WEIgHTINg FOR CHANgE It’s more than just a place to pick up a staph infection. The weight room fosters subtle sexism than spans to broader gender issues.
by George Brown, Gracie Marshall, and Mariah
56 | voLLEyBALL With a 30 game winning streak, the longest streak in CCS history, the girls’ volleyball team is clearly an untouchable force. by George Brown
staff view Palo Alto Community Needs to refocus its Attention For this issue of The Viking, we decided to put aside the typical sports issues that we address in the other 63 pages of our magazine. When it comes down to it, we may be athletes, and this may be a sports magazine, but most importantly we are also a part of this community. It’s not about the suspensions. It’s not about where the administration went right or wrong. It’s not about tradition. In the aftermath of “egg wars”, a more pressing conversation needs to take precedence. Known amongst students as a Spirit Week tradition, egg wars is an egg fight between junior and seniors.
here or at Gunn, loses a student. The Viking calls Palo Alto community to reshift its focus, and to take its energy away from a Spirit Week incident and put it a greater and more pressing concern: student deaths. Our community, which mobilized so quickly on all sides of the issue, needs to put that energy into suicide prevention. The Paly administration made no official announcement about the most recent suicide at Gunn, a school only four miles away from our campus. A handful of teachers acknowledged the tragedy, encouraging students to look out for each
Unlike past years’ wars, this year’s egg war escalated to greater controversy when students went to Gunn High School to engage in a fight that left students injured and property significantly damaged. When news first broke of “egg wars” and its possible ramifications, the administration and students responded swiftly. The Wednesday lunchtime rally was cancelled. Students protested when their classmates were suspended. They held a sit-in in the Tower Building. Parents complained. Emails swirled. Reporters were busy and articles were written. Palo Alto was up in arms. By contrast, a week earlier, when a Gunn student ended his life, a quiet ripple of troubled murmurs swept the Palo Alto community. The Viking believes that an underlying issue beyond a Spirit Week incident should be at the center of the ensuing discussion, and at the heart of our community. The speed with which the Paly community-- students, teacher, administrators and parents-- reacted to egg wars is the speed needed in response to when the greater Palo Alto community, whether
other and ask for help. Since between one and two hundred teenage suicides a year occur in clusters, it is understandable why the administration strives to avoid the copycat effect or romanticizing suicide; yet we must also acknowledge that there is a difference between romanticizing and informing. The student body should never learn of a death through a cluttering of “RIP” condolences on their Facebook newsfeeds. A Spirit Week scandal mobilized a community of over 2,000 people to voice its opinion and to take action. A student death was quietly recognized. We offer no key to the locked door, but who can? What we can do is push for more communication and openess within the community to watch out for our fellow classmates.
The Viking calls Palo Alto community to re-shift its focus, and to take its energy away from a Spirit week incident and put it a greater and more pressing concern: student deaths.
ISSUE ONE CORRECTIONS
-Hana Kajimura took the cover photo. -Shameem Jamil, as stated in the story Shambam, is not the leading scorer for the girls’ varsity water polo team. Skylar Dorsin is the leading scorer with 37 goals.
TOP 5 PUMP UP SONGS Paly athletes are known for getting the job done on the court, in the pool, and on the field. But what ignites the spark under the players’ feet and puts the fire in their eyes that leads them to be such fierce competitors? The Viking underwent a search to find the Top 5 Paly Pump Up Songs that athletes consider vital necessities in their preparation to school their opponents and keep Paly’s athletic legacy alive. TEXT BY GRACIE MARSHALL DESIGN BY COOPER LEVITAN
1 YES LMFAO
“YES is the best pump up song because everyone knows it and once it starts playing the entire team just gets up and starts dancing. Its got a really catchy tune and it’s our teams theme song so basically it’s the greatest ‘lets win’ song.” -June Afshar (‘10) “For the wopo team we are inspired by the lyrics ‘when I dive in my pool it’s hard to be humble’ because I mean… it’s our home pool and we’re always pumped to play at home.” -Shannon Scheel (‘12)
Party in the USA Miley Cyrus
We Be Steady Mobbin’ Lil Wayne
“It has the best beat and tells you exactly what to do. It is fabulous. I don’t know if it’s possible to not start dancing when you listen to Miley.” -Lauren Bucolo (‘10)
“It gets us ready to play and in the right mind set to win because it gets us focused and energized.” -Max Schmarzo (’11)
Sexy Chick David Guetta ft. Akon
Lets Go Trick Daddy
“Sexy B**** is just the definition of us as a team. We get out on the court and show our b*** faces to the other team for maximum intimidation.” -Gracie Dulik(’10)
“We say ‘lets go’ all the time during the game to pump us up anyway, so it’s just intuitive.” -Marcus Young (’10)
Jackie Koenig (â€˜12) attacks at the net in a match early in the season. The Vikings went on to win their league and 31 staight matches, making for the longest public school win streak in CCS history. Photo by Malaika Drebin
Photo by Erin Kiekhaefer
Philip MacQuitty (â€˜10) runs at the Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park. He ran a 13:42 for the 2.8 mile course. He took first place and had the fastest time of the day.
issue 2 columns
BY THE NUMBERS ..426
percent of students agree that gatorade is the best tasting sports drink out of all available sports drinks.
baseball team’s winning percentage in the last four seasons.
palo alto varsity football point differential through the Mountain View game on 11/06/09
dollars in damage at gunn after egg wars that took place during spirit week.
number of games varsity volleyball has won in a row. This is the longest winning streak a public school team has had in CCS.
The PoP CulTure Grid Ben Sklaroff (Cross-Country ‘10)
Megan Coleman (Volleyball ‘11)
Jack witte (JV Football ‘12)
martine Leclerc (Water polo ‘13)
gracie Dulik (Tennis ‘10)
Let’s Go- Trick Daddy
Sink Into MeTaking Back Sunday
Favorite Pump up Song
Down with the Sickness
yankees or Phillies?
Phillies...and not just because I hate the Yankees
Phillies no doubt, no one likes the Yankees
I don’t have a preference
the most interesting person you’re following on twitter is...?
One of the Stephen Colberts
haha I don’t have a Twitter
I don’t use Twitter
I don’t have a Twitter account
Only losers have Twitter...
Favorite Sport to watch?
Starcraft, all the Koreans are INTENSE
Hockey in person but Football on T.V.
Michael Phelps in the Summer Olympics
Party in the uSA is ...
OMG nobody knows but I secretly love Miley Cyrus
best Song Ever!
kinda catchy but I don’t have it on the Pod
a song by Miley Cyrus
my theme song
S CORC H I Ng Volleyball
“I’m resting my legs in my pool. Miami is the best 4 relaxation” -Dwyane Wade http://twitter.com/dwadeofficial Follow The Viking on twitter at www.twitter.com/thevikingmag
SpoTlight GaME SpoT 10/9/09 paLY FooTBaLL vs.Milpitas Paly upset the formerly number one ranked Trojans 31-28 on a game-winning field goal from Joc Pederson (‘10). Back-up quarterback T.J. Braff (‘11) threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
31 game win steak. Perfect 12-0 league record. Three tournament championships. Need we say more? new yorK yanKees
The New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games in the 107th World Series. The win gave the Yankees their 27th World title. No denying it, the Yankees have finally gotten their money’s worth.
photo by: talia moyal
The Viking’s favorite tweet of the month...
american apparel Hoodies
Congrats to the Key Club for a successful fundraiser. Glancing around campus one would guess that they sold about 1700 hoodies benefitting pediatric trauma prevention.
Notice about half of your class is missing? We have. Swine Flu is running rampant at Paly. The outbreak has been keeping students out of the classroom and athletes off of the field. Maybe think about skipping those postgame high fives... photo by Malaika Drebin
Kimmy Whitson and Marissa Florant “Oh yeah, you know Marissa, she just has such a cute little butt. I just couldn’t resist. It’s our little volleyball thing,” --Kimmy Whitson (‘12)
After juniors and seniors participated in the traditional egg fight during Spirit Week, the administration scrambled to crack down and cancelled the Wednesday lunchtime rally.
Hot or Not 11
issue 2 KicKoff
THE GREAT DEBATE: WITH COOPER LEVITAN AND WILL GLAZIER
Why should they get paid? There are many reasons why, one of which is the fact that the NCAA makes tons of money off of corporate sponsors and T.V. deals and the players don’t get any money for producing the product that these companies broadcast on T.V. or sponsor Yeah, but technically they get paid with an education... And typically their tuition is only about $50,000 dollars max. And lots of athletes don’t get full ride scholarships...and how do you suppose they will get the money they need for everyday expenses? They work...just like normal college students. Why should college sports be any different form other college stuff? College academics prepare you for your job so why would college athletics not just prepare you for professional sports. That makes no sense boy, of course college sports prepare you for professional sports but barely any college athletes actually go pro. And college athletes are forced to spend so much time playing their sport they have no time to have a real job. And that’s their choice. They don’t have to play if they don’t want to. But is it really their choice if their scholarships can be repealed if they get injured or if they stop playing??? How does any of this play into whether they should get paid or not? You are basically just saying that playing college sports is hard and the people who do it have to work twice as hard. The same goes for high school athletes. Everyone knows that it’s twice as hard to get your homework done during your season. Should I get paid for playing high school foot football and lacrosse? No of course not because you are living with your parents who can supply you with money and a home etc. But ok, back to my point about executives of companies making money off the athletes they broadcast. Is it fair that the NCAA reserves $27,899,525 for executive salaries and administrative operations while NCAA athletes get paid zero for their work. Also is it fair that the NCAA makes $ 590,730,000 or 90 % of its revenue through marketing and T.V. deals while again the athletes putting on the show make nothing? Alright Mr. Numbers. All of the money earned by the schools does not just go to big salaries for the fat cats in luxurious offices. That money pays for the salaries of the coaches, the training equipment, and more scholarships. All of that money benefits the athletes in one-way or another.
Should college athletes be paid? That’s true, but I meant to say in my last point that $451,273,000 of the money is given to D1 athletes which is 68% of revenue so a majority of resources go to them, however the executive of Coca Cola GM and ATT, which are the major corporate sponsors, and the major channels that broadcast college football, such as CBS, Fox, or ABC, all make tons of money and they don’t have to give it back to athletes. And that’s why it’s a business. If companies like Coca Cola GM and ATT didn’t invest in college athletics, then no one would see the games, and the athletes wouldn’t get any exposure OK, well that doesn’t change the fact that the athletes remain uncompensated for their work which the companies show. The athletes are arguably their university’s most visible representation because of the exposure they do get from these companies. But no one would see the athletes representing their universities if those companies didn’t put them out in the public eye in the first place. Basically, the athletes are already paid in ways other than money. If you were to total all the things that they get and liquidate it into straight cash it would probably more than you want to pay the athletes anyway. They have plenty of compensation, whether it is in education, access to facilities, or all the other stuff they get. compenThat’s a good argument squire Cooper but do you have any numbers of how much they are actually compen sated? And also, it completely depends on the university how much athletes will be compensated which means athletes on top flight programs could possibly be compensated much more than athletes at lesser-known schools or athletes who aren’t star players. Is it fair that an athlete who works just as hard and probably profeswont make it to the pros should make less money than someone who is bound to play profes sionally. That is why having college athletes be paid by the NCAA would make pay uniform and avoid problems of unequal compensation. It is absolutely not fair to pay the Matt Barkley’s more then the John Does of college athletics. However, your system of paying people uniformly also wouldn’t work because the people like Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow would definitely want more money. And how would you be able to come up with a just system for that? How could you differenti differentiate between the different sports? There us just no fair way to pay college athletes...not that they should be paid in the first place
Not true, it would be possible to find out a just system if there was enough sup support. And also we have not even mentioned the possibility that college athletes can get injured, therefore ruining their athletic careers and missing out on a chance to make money off all their efforts. Most schools have injury insurance that pays for all of the costs of the injury and rehabili rehabilitation There is no way the injury insurance can possibly compensate for the millions of dollars that can be had by playing professional sports, if all schools even have injury insurance. Injuries are a part of sports. If you don’t want to get injured then don’t play sports. Getting injured is one of the risks that every athlete takes when they play.
WHO KNOWS SENIOR WOPO PLAYER BENIOT COLLINGNON BETTER? TEAMMATE BOBBY ABBOTT, CLoSE FriENd JOSH NEWBY, or COACH GIOVANNI NAPOLITANO? as told to Lauren Hammerson
photos by Spencer Sims
Favorite Color Speedo
Definitely Josh Newby
Shaq: big, strong like him
I don’t have a T.V.!
Favorite T.V. Show
douuugggg (engineering tech teacher)
engineering tech teacher
Boxers or Briefs?
Both. At the same time.
He does not have a He doesn’t watch T.V! T.V! Mrs. Paugh
the French Kissing teacher tighty whities, because he is European French Kiss Memorial Day, it is a French holiday.
Le Quatorze Juillet! Favorite Holiday
Toblerone, aged to perfection.
Favorite Halloween Candy
Bright Lights/Sudden Movements
his hairy legs
Images taken from
Inside the Maurice Mind Williams
By S P E N C E R SIM S oN FooTBALL
This is my third year playing football. I started playing football in high school my freshman year. JV was the best year. That was the most fun because I could do what ever I wanted to do and do any thing that I wanted to do. Coach Duran is the best, you already know. Varsity, not so much. I got to stick to the play book. Got to run all the plays right. Hansen gets mad if I don’t do it, but off the field he’s cool. I play receiver number three and I play corner number three. I mostly play receiver. I like to run very fast and shake and bake. Break people, but I don’t usually do that. I just run fast and score and catch balls. I’m like a decoy on the field. My speed is the best, that’s what I’m on the field for. I get my teammates open because the defense is so worried about me that Joc [Pederson (‘10)] and Davante [Adams (‘11)], or who ever is play receiver, like Charlie Jones (‘11), usually gets the ball and scores. The team dinner is the best part. Sit there, chill, eat food. The parents make good food.
oN BASkETBALL I might not play basketball because it’s too much and I might just play with my club team. I play for West Valley.
oN TrACk ANd FiELd Fung is my favorite coach because he be crackin’ jokes and at the same time he pushes me harder. I run the 100, 4x100 and the 200. I don’t really like the 200. It’s too long. Daniel Jones is my biggest competition.
ON SHAVINg I have to shave my calves for football. If I don’t the tape would [mess] up my whole gosh darn leg and that would be bad.
Photography by Spencer Sims
oN LAug LAugHiNg I have the craziest laugh. Everybody talks about my laugh all the time. I have like ten different laughs for everything. I have fake laughs. People like my HEHEHE laugh the most. I do that the most.
oN girLS I can’t talk about girls. It’s bad about girls. Naw rouge I can’t talk about girls.
oN HiS wALk It’s called a pigeon toed walk. I was just born to do that. I just walk hella funny. People say that people that are pigeon toed actually run faster. I can fall easily though. I’ve fallen in front of people.
ON HIS SWAg You gotta rock the skinnies. Nothing baggy out here - gotta stay swaggy. Colorful clothing, jeans. I got blue ones, purple ones, black ones and grey ones. My cousin from New York, I call him New York, his real name is Travis. He got me into that skinny jeans stuff and tight shirts.
ON FRIENDS O I got four good friends that go to this school. AJ McBride (‘10), Tyrell Walker (‘10), Antwon Chatmon (‘10), and Sean Chatmon (‘10). I’ve known Sean and Antwon since freshman year, so like three years, and Tyrell, too. I’ve known AJ since elementary school. We go out on weekends to have fun. You already know.
ON HIS MOHAWK
Wide receiver speed demon Maurice Williams(‘11) plays a crucial role on the Varsity Football field. He was kind enough to talk to the The Viking about what goes on in his mind.
I have a Mohawk! It’s kind of [messed] up right now. I do have a Mohawk and it’s a little crazy. It’s called a Frohawk. I want to get a perm like Davante and see how it looks. I did it because I like trying new things.
issue 2 KicKoff
SPORTS DRINKS BY SAM MALISKA PHOTOS BY TALIA MOYAL
IS IT IN yOu? The original sports-specific drink, Gatorade leads the market with an enormous variety of different beverages. What originated 44 years ago as the sideline cocktail of the University of Florida “Gators” football team, has evolved into a commercial empire. Gatorade was primarily designed to replenish the electrolytes and carbohydrates that an athlete loses during a game. It contains far more sodium than comparable drinks at 100mg sodium per 8 fl. Oz. serving. The company claims that the added sodium helps athletes regain lost electrolytes more efficiently. Additionally, Gatorade does not incorporate caffeine, which gives athletes a quick “buzz” but ultimately hurts ones performance during the game, dehydrating one more than they were in the first place. “I like Gatorade because it tastes good and keeps your blood running,” varsity football player Sean Chatmon (‘10) said. As for its flavor, Gatorade has an undoubtedly tangy flavor and a slightly tart aftertaste. This unique taste has long attracted athletes seeking optimum refreshment.
HydrATE rESPoNSiBLy Vitamin Water first emerged on the drink market in 2000, and has since grown incredibly popular. The Coca-Cola Company marketed the beverage well, naming their first Vitamin Water products in health conscious fashions like Defense, Energy, and Endurance. However, despite the misconceptions the names might instigate, Vitamin Water has almost the exact ingredient base as other allegedly less healthy drinks. Vitamin Water primarily claims to have no high fructose corn syrup. While this may be true, it contains Crystalline Fructose, which is essentially the same thing behind a different name. Vitamin Water has pleased consumers with its subtle flavor and the refreshing gulp it offers. “I think Vitamin Water is the best because it’s not too sweet,” Paly girls’ lacrosse player Grace Keller (’12) said. “I’m like obsessed with it.”
SPORT IS WHAT yOu MAKE The Coca-Cola Company formulated Powerade in 1990 as an effort to compete directly with Gatorade in the sports drink market. The beverage gained popularity with astounding speed as the official drink of the 1992 Olympic Games. Although Powerade is often viewed as Gatorade’s lesser adversary, the drink contains many of the same main ingredients. Both beverages contain high fructose corn syrup as the second most prominent ingredient after water. With half the sodium of Gatorade, Powerade claims to be the best formula for athletic recovery. Powerade also has a vast array of different flavor choices. While it lacks the bold flavor of Gatorade, Powerade does seem to be more refreshing in the first few sips after partaking in athletic events. This can most likely be attributed to the toned down flavor and a lesser amount of sodium in each bottle. “Powerade tastes better than water,” varsity football player Marcus Young (‘10) said. “If there’s some extra stuff in there that helps me keep my game tight, then I guess it’s good stuff.”
IT gIVES yOu WINgS The sponsor of many extreme sport athletes, such as Motocross stunt man Robbie Madison, Red Bull began its energy drink boom at the turn of the millennium. Followed by other products such as Monster Energy Drink and NOS Energy, Red Bull has faced fierce competition since entering the market. Red Bull’s sodium value is more than twice the amount in Gatorade, which has the highest of any other mainstream sports drink. However, with 75 to100 percent of recommended daily values for vitamins B12 and B6, (which are known to promote energy levels) Red Bull is not entirely unhealthy. From a consumer’s standpoint, it is hard to argue that Red Bull does not do the job. The drink packs a punch, and will get anyone through a dull class period without falling asleep. The taste of this drink is definitely an acquired one, as many people find it too strong and chemical-like for their palette. “Red Bull is the best drink before a race run,” Brian O’Leary (’10), an avid downhill mountain biker said. “However, I like to wash it down with a sip of water afterwards because I hate the weird aftertaste of energy drinks.”
Would like to our Viking parents and the Paly community for their generous support of our magazine!
Anonymous Jane Solomon
College Counseling Associates 724 oak Grove Avenue Suite 100 Menlo Park, CA 94025 Tel: 650-324-8478 Fax: 650-324-8407 email us: email@example.com
issue 2 columns
Photo by Talia Moyal
BY BRANDON DUKOVIC
reshmen and sophomores dread it. Juniors and seniors are forms. You have to set an appointment at the doctor’s office relieved to be done with it. Physical education is one of the and then walk the painstakingly long trek across the Paly cammost exasperating classes that Paly requires its students pus, Embarcadero, Town and Country and finally to the Palo to take. We all know that it is not a difficult class to complete. Alto Medical Foundation. Then, you have to get a physical All you have to do is show up, maybe run (or even walk) a few exam, which is always awkward. Why do athletes even need laps around the track and then play some nonchalant games of a physical? Athletes supposedly are the most robust students badminton. For the real athletes, it’s an insult to their athletic at the school, and we obviously displayed our athletic comabilities. To the not-so-athletic students, it is just the place petence in the three weeks of rigorous tryouts. Yet, they still that they all have to go and put on those disgusting uniforms. need to walk into the reception room, wait 20 minutes, and Even in ancient times, physical fitness was a characteristic then finally go into the room where the nurse asks you a couof survival. Ancient societies such as Greece, Rome and China ple questions. Then they leave, you wait another ten minutes all had a physical fitness program for military training. From and then the doctor comes in. He tells you to breath in and 700 to 600 B.C., the Greeks in Athens strived for physical per- out, weighs you, and tells you that you are in tip-top shape. fection by competing in Who would have thought. the Olympics. Over 2500 After that’s finally done, you years later, the United need to beg your parents to Nothing feels worse than hearing from write a check for 150 dollars States started initiating physical fitness programs. your coach that you are excused, wait- to the Paly Sports Boosters. However, it was not unAfter all of this, the athing eagerly overnight for your first day lete is considered on the rostil 1975 that the United States House of RepresenP.E.-free, then finally going to P.E. and ter. But, in no way does this tatives voted to require mean that they are allowed finding out that your teacher does not out of P.E. No, they haven’t schools to have a mandatory physical education have the roster so he cannot excuse you. suffered enough at all. After class for both genders. that, the coach must turn in But some students the roster to the P.E. teachdo not need Some stuers. Now this is the part of dents are able to avoid the class completely. They are for- the process that usually infuriates most students. It seems tunate enough to earn prep periods. You’ve all heard of the like there is always a computer failure, a lack of commulucky few who do not need to go to that irritating class. Those nication, a lack of paper, or just a down right lack of effort. students who do a Paly sport after school, or are enrolled in Nothing feels worse than hearing from your coach that dance, are excused from P.E. The process of getting this privi- you are excused, waiting eagerly overnight for your first day lege is easier said than done, and it is not that easy to explain. P.E.-free, then finally going to P.E. and finding out that your Now it may sound like these athletes are getting a cushy teacher does not have the roster so he cannot excuse you. The deal, but there is a long and tedious process that the athlete P.E. teachers always seem to have forgotten the roster in their must go through before they are excused. First, the athlete office or just don’t feel like checking. That means either a lot must go through tryouts for the team, which may last as long of pestering to get the coach to get the roster or another day as three weeks. For this entire time, the athlete must attend of waiting. But finally, after some persistence, the coach lets both P.E.... and tryouts. After the athlete makes the team (he or the athlete go. It is a relieving feeling, yet then they realize she may not. In that case, they are laughed all the way back to that three weeks out of their eight-week season has gone by. the locker rooms for at least a trimester of P.E..), they are not Overall, the process of getting a prep is tiring and barely added onto the roster until they have turned in their physical worth it. But, good luck to all of you freshmen and sophomores and sports boosters form. It is a hassle to get those physical who are striving for that prep period, I know the feeling. <<<
Photo by Spencer Sims
relax. now lean towards, “if it’s broke, get a new one.” When reading about the latest Paly baseball coach Jordan French recently, who allegedly embellished his resume on the job application, my first reaction was one of sympathy. Rather than BY MARCO SCOLA react with fury or make jokes about the Paly baseball program uick-name the head coach of the undefeated Indianapo- like seemingly everyone else, I felt bad for the guy. We have to lis Colts. How about the manager of the wild card win- remember, this isn’t Major League Baseball. This isn’t a Division ning Colorado Rockies? Who calls the plays for the Western I NCAA program. This is a public high school baseball team that Conference semifinalist Houston Rockets? 0 for 3? That’s what I has a .426 winning percentage in the last four seasons. The guy thought. But I’d bet you could name at least one superstar player stretched the truth in his resume because he was so passionate from each, like three-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, seven- about the program that he wanted to do anything possible to land time NBA all-star Tracy McGrady, and five-time MLB all-star the job. If you even call it a job, considering his estimated 75 Todd Helton. That’s the point. Everyone can name the guy on the cent/hour reimbursement. And before he ever got a chance to run field, but rarely can they name the puppeteer pulling the strings. his first practice, coach in his first game, or even potentially end But, ironically, when things go bad, we immediately point to the the streak on one-and-done’s in the past five seasons, he lost the job, only adding to the disappointing statistic. coach, whether or not we know his name. It may seem like the logical decision to fire him now, in light It is time to make a change in our well-established thinking in the world of sports. Coaches need to stop being our scapegoats of what we see on SportsCenter each night, where any given segment has a good chance of beand start being appreciing about a coach who should ated for the services they We have to remember, this isn’t Major League be on the hot seat, is on the provide. It is understandseat, or just got fired. able that owners paying Baseball. This isn’t a Division I NCAA program. hot When the article of this guy hundred million dollar This is a public high school baseball team that has was written detailing every payrolls expect results. of his past, clearly inHowever, the sports a .426 winning percentage in the last four seasons. aspect dicating inconsistencies with world is sending the his resume, I immediately wrong message to young knew he stood no chance. He people when coaches start losing their jobs because it is easier to hold them responsible would never be taken seriously, never be treated with maximum respect, and never be able to get the kind of support necessary to than the team on the field. As the old justification goes, “What are we going to do? Fire keep such a volatile position. And it’s sad. If we took a second to step back and look at the situation, and really consider motives, the whole team?” Coaches don’t play the games. The coach didn’t throw that in- all the furry should begin to fizzle out. Was he doing it for the money? No. Was he doing it for the terception, the coach didn’t strike out, and the coach didn’t miss that free throw. All they can do is put their players in the position glory? No. Was he doing it for the prestige? No. He was doing to have a greater chance to make the plays. Far too often does the it to give himself a better chance to land the position so that he coach get blamed for what is nothing more than lackluster talent would have an opportunity to work with kids and give back to the community he came from. And because he had some lapses in and poor motivation on part of the players. When the Detroit Lions lost their final game to finish 0-16 judgment, everything else is for naught. While what he did was last year, the organization immediately responded by firing head certainly the wrong thing to do, it is important to keep in mind not coach Rod Marinelli the following day. But did anyone ever stop only his quality of character outside of this one mistake, which to consider that the players are the ones who actually play the we seem to be ignoring all together, but also what alternatives are games? Coaches these days take the brunt of the blame for a out there in terms of a replacement. As hard as it is to accept in struggling team, but if we want to hold them to such a high level such a privileged community, the Paly varsity baseball coaching of accountability, we should also drown them with recognition position isn’t exactly a “dream job.” With the lack of continuity when their teams succeed. We have grown far too complacent awarded to the program, as well as the pittance we pay them, with the quality of coaches, and it is starting to lead to a new mind maybe it’s time for us to reconsider what we want and expect <<< set in the world of sport. Instead of the old “if it’s broke, fix it” we from a public high school sports coach.
issue 2 KicKoff
2009 Fall Wrap-ups SPoTLigHT gAmE: Paly varsity boys’ water polo defeats Mountain View 16-12 on October 29th, 2009. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANA KAJIMURA
sPLasH From left to right: Michael Kori (‘13) defends the goal from a shot, and Brett Pinsker (‘13) fires the ball at the cage.
After a disappointing tie to Homestead High School on Oct. 16, the Palo Alto High School football team (7-1-1) has surged to important victories over the past several weeks. Quarterback T.J. Braff (‘11) has taken over for Christoph Bono (‘11) since Bono broke his clavicle in Paly’s triumph over Gunn High School on Oct. 9. Braff has thrown for six touchdowns and averaged over 200 yards per game in the air. The following week, the Vikings faced Los Gatos (6-2), which played without star quarterback Nick Hirschman (‘10), who was out with a broken fibula. The Vikings are in position to win the De Anza League this season. If they beat Wilcox High School on Nov. 13, they will clinch first place and with it a birth in the CCS Open Division playoffs. Regardless, Paly will be competing in the CCS playoffs this year, which start on Nov. 20.
Coach: Earl Hansen Record: 6-1-1 Paly Offensive Line for the Snap Photo by Hanna Brody
The junior varsity football team has Team Leaders been equally as successful as varsity, Passing with an 8-2 record this season. The Christoph Bono team managed to wrap up the league tiTJ Braff tle despite the loss of running back Ben Receiving Macias (‘12) to a torn anterior cruciate Joc Pederson ligament. Maurice Williams “We are doing really well,” Macias Rushing said. “Even when we have a lot of playMiles Anderson ers out like [Morris Gates-]Mouton and Peter Ibarra Demarco [Leanord]. It’s been a good season.” -George Brown, Jack Smale, Mark Raftrey
1087 yards 790 yards 578 yards 544 yards
309 yards 178 yards
The Palo Alto High School varsity volleyball team enters postseason play as one of the hottest teams in the Central Coast Section (CCS), riding a 30 match winning streak. Currently, their overall record stands at a dominant 33-3 and they also boast an undefeated league record at 12-0. The team steamrolled through their regular season competition, especially in tournament play, where they set a school-record by winning three volleyball tournament championships. The Lady Vikes clinched the De Anza division title with a five game thriller against Los Gatos, during which they were two points away from falling in a three game sweep. The Lady Vikes, lead by co-captain and outside hitter Marissa Florant (‘10), opposite hitter Trina Ohms (‘11) and libero Megan Coleman (‘11) have their sights set on a potential CCS championship game showdown with the unde-
Janet Liu (‘11) Photo by Allie Shorin
Entering the Santa Clara Valley League playoffs, the girl’s varsity tennis team concluded their regular season in a less than satisfactory manner, with an overall record of 6-11, (3-9 league). Despite this lackluster record, the team was still able to send one singles player and two doubles teams to the league playoffs. Mira Khanna (‘11) represented the team in the singles tournament but was eliminated in the second round of play. Christine Koepnick (‘10) and Emily Efland (‘11) lost in the first round of the doubles tournament, but the team of Janet Liu (‘11) and Emma Marti (‘10) won their first two matches to advance to the semi-finals on Nov. 4. The Lady Vikes lost five consecutive matches from Oct. 20 to 27, including a 1-6 loss against Monte Vista High School, before winning the final match of the season against Los Gatos High School. These losses made it impossible for the team to win SCVAL, and also for
Coach: Andy Harader Record: 9-10
any of the individuals to qualify for the Central Coast Section Playoffs November 12. Players attributed this late season breakdown to the inconsistency in their lineup. “Our biggest issue is that the line-up is never the same,” Captain Sophie Biffar (‘10) said. “It is really frustrating for the players.” The girls JV tennis team finished their season with a record of (10-5). The main contributors throughout the season were Annie OuYang, the number
one singles player, and Chloe Lischinsky (‘11), the number two singles player.
-Gracie Marshall, Spencer Sims and Sam Maliska
Team Leaders Sophie Biffar Emma Marti Mira Khanna
Recent games vs. Saratoga 6-3 6-1 vs. Salinas 6-1 vs. Los Altos 1-3
Coach: Dave Winn Record: 11-0
Melanie Wade (‘12) Photo by Malaika Drebin
feated Mitty Monarchs, as well as a possible state championship tournament berth. Impressively, the team has done this with only four upperclassmen on the roster, relying heavily on their underclassmen stars Melanie Wade (‘12) and Maddie Kuppe (‘12), who have each made significant contributions to the starting lineup. The Lady Vikes J.V. squad also ran over their league opponents, finishing with a record of 11-0. The Lady Vikes JV was lead by sophomore captain Madeline
Dahm (‘12). “We thought we would have trouble with a lot of players on varsity,” Dahm said. “But we connected and worked well together.” The CCS playoffs will open on Wednesday, November 11, and the Lady Vikes have their hopes set on one of the top two seeds in the Division II playoffs. -Will Glazier, Marco Scola
Megan Coleman Marissa Florant Trina Ohms
issue 2 columns
Boys’ Cross-Country As the regular season comes to a close, the Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity cross-country team has advanced to the Central Coast Section (CCS) meet, and will hopefully continue on to the State Championships at the end of November. Varsity’s stand out runner Philip MacQuitty (‘10) placed first for varsity in the meets he has raced thus far this season. At the League meet at the Crystal Springs course, MacQuitty placed fifth overall with a time of 15 minutes, 57 seconds. Ranked second on the varsity team, Josh Newby (‘10) has consistently placed high in races throughout the season, aiding the team in its quest for the State Championships. Newby set a personal record at Gunn’s Bol Park course this season, decreasing his time by 34 seconds from the beginning of the season to the last race at Bol Park, the Palo Alto City meet on Oct. 27. Though a majority of the varsity team has either been injured or are suffering
Coach: Joe Ginanni Captains: MacQuitty, Sklaroff, Jordan and Newby
from illness, the boys pulled through at the League meet with a satisfactory performance. The junior varsity and frosh-soph teams have also had a strong season. The top runners have been Nikolai Solgaard (‘13) and Corso Rosati (‘12) for frosh-soph and John Brunett (‘11) and Walfroy Desbans (‘11) for junior varsity. All in all, the boys’ cross-country team has had a respectable season, but the varsity team hopes to improve their perfor-
mance in the CCS and State Championship meets in the next few weeks. The varsity boys race again next Saturday, Nov. 14 at Crystal Springs for the CCS Championship meet. -Erin Kiekhaefer
Crystal Springs 11/02/09
Phillip Macquitty Josh Newby Peter Wilson
15:57 16:06 16:15
Coach: Paul Jones Captains: Heinselman, Higgins, Kiekhaefer and Wang
Elaine Yau (‘11) Photo by Brandon Dukovic
Girls’ Cross-Country With the regular season coming to a close, the Paly girls’ cross-country team continues to have second-rate performances. At The Palo Alto City Championship meet at Gunn High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, the top seven varsity runners placed second out of two teams with only six girls running for Gunn. Two runners from Castilleja competed in the race; however, the team’s scores were not counted. Gracie Cain (‘11) came in first for Paly at 13 minutes, 16 seconds for the 2.18 mile course. Kathleen Higgins (‘10) followed Cain with a time of 13:24, placing seventh overall. The junior varsity squad beat Gunn in the same meet, with 33 girls competing. Shaheen Essaboy (‘13) won the junior varsity race coming in at 14:15. Overall, Essaboy’s season went well. “It went pretty well,” said Essaboy. “I think over the season I got a lot better and it was a lot of fun. I just need to keep running with friends that are faster.” On Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Lady Vikes
Jordan Brown (‘10), Walfroy Desbans(‘11) and Rafa Ramos (‘11) Photo by Erin Kiekhaefer
competed in the league meet at the 2.95 mile Crystal Springs course. The team placed third overall, with Mountain View and Gunn in first and second, respectively. With the top four teams going on to CCS, the girls qualify to compete. For the first time this season, Higgins placed first for Paly with a time of 20:10, placing tenth overall. Susan Heinselman (‘11) followed Higgins with a time of 20:28, placing 14th. Usually first for Paly, Cain finished behind Higgins with a time of 20:32, placing 15th
overall. The girls’ next meet is CCS on Nov. 14, 2009,a t t he C rys tal S pr ings c our se. -Mary Albertole, Brandon Dukovic and Sam Greene
Crystal Springs 11/02/09
Kathleen Higgins Susan Heinselman Gracie Cain
20:10 20:28 20:32
Coach: Giovani Napolotano Record: 9-16-0
The Palo Alto High School’s boys’ varsity water polo team has ended their league season with a record of (9-16-0) overall and (4-8-0) in league. The team has entered post-season play following a 16-12 victory against Mountain View High School on Paly’s senior night. Although Paly is suffering tough league losses and still trying to rebuild their team, the team is finally hitting its stride. Bobby Abbott (‘10) leads the team in help on Armitano’s part and offensive goals (77), steals (31) and shots (135). spark by Zelinger (45 goals). With the assistance of goalie Daniel ArThe boys’ junior varsity water polo mitano (‘12) defending the net with 95 team is lead by star driver Ethan Mellsaves, the Vikings hope to continue their berg (‘12). However, in a disappointing post season. Because the team is largely season, the JV water polo team went made up of underclassmen, with seven 3-14 on the season. Fortunately, the fuout of the 14 members freshmen or ture looks bright for next year’s varsity sophomores, the team still has room for team, which will include a strong senior growth. Sophomores Daniel Armitano class, and more experienced younger and Aaron Zelinger (‘12), are the only players. underclassmen starters for the Vikings -Alex Kershner, Mariah Phillips, Talia Moyal and have contributed with defensive After finishing third in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL), the Palo Alto varsity girls’ water polo team (15-9) is heading into the SCVAL tournament with high ambitions. After riding a six game win streak at the beginning of October, the Lady Vikes went 3-3 in their final six games. Down the stretch, the Lady Vikes pulled out a win against Los Gatos, but suffered an overtime loss to cross-town rival, Gunn. Another disappointing loss came against league rival Los Altos on Oct. 15. Although the Lady Vikes controlled the tempo for the first three quarters, Los Altos was able to break away from the 6-6 tie and dominate the fourth quarter, scoring six more goals to win 12-7. Skylar Dorosin’s (‘12) hat trick was a highlight in the loss. Throughout the season Dorosin has spearheaded the Lady Vikes’ balanced offensive attack. At the other end of the pool, goalie and captain June Afshar (‘10) has provided the Lady Vikes
Team Leaders Bobby Abbott Ken Wattana Aaron Zellinger
77 goals 48 goals 45 goals
Shameem Jamil (‘10) Photo by Hana Kajimura
Girls’ Water Polo
Coach: Cory Olcott Record: 7-3
Michael Kori (‘13) Photo by Hana Kajimura
Boys’ Water Polo
with consistent play in the cage and has served as an anchor for the team’s defense. As the Lady Vikes head into the playoffs, they will look for their younger players to step up and contribute down the stretch. The girls’ junior varsity squad closed out its season with an 8-7 triple overtime win over Mountain View on October 29. All around improvement was a highlight for the team.
“We got so much better,” junior varsity captain Anjali Ahuja said, “It was great to see the new players learn how to love the sport as much as the more experienced players do.”
-Alistair Thompson, Cooper Levitan, Michael Cullen
Team Leaders Skylar Dorosin Shameem Jamil Rachel Harrus
37 goals 24 goals 24 goals
issue 2 KicKoff
Where Are They Now? Photo Courtesy of Tami Lahaie
BY DUSTIN NIZAMIAN
Collegiate Success is the name of the game for ex-Paly volleyball stars Allison Whitson (‘09) and Erica Gage (‘07)
alo Alto High School volleyball has a long-standing tradition of excellence on the hardwood. Over the years, many great players have donned the green and white to make Paly volleyball the successful program that it is. But after the roaring excitement of a league championship or an inspired Central Coast Section run subsides, the future looms over the heads of many graduating players. For a select few, opportunities for playing at the next level present themselves. Erica Gage (‘07) and Allison Whitson (‘09) are two Paly players who have taken their game to the collegiate arena and found success there forever. Erica Gage played varsity volleyball for three seasons. Gage joined an especially motivated team, fresh off of a disappointing 2003 season that dropped the Lady Vikes to the El Camino league from the De Anza league. Paly went undefeated in the lower league that year, and advanced as far as the second round of the CCS playoffs. The league victories returned the team to the De Anza league, where the team has remained ever since. In 2006, Gage lead the team as a senior co-captain to a De Anza league title under new head coach, Dave Winn. Gage’s 2006 league championship team started the program on its current 4-year league championship streak and
TOuCH Gage (‘12) tips the ball in a varsity game her senior year. cemented Winn’s tenure as head coach. However, this marked the end of Gage’s time in Paly’s volleyball program. Gage graduated from Paly in the spring of 2007. She is now attending her third year at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she plays middle blocker for the volleyball team. Gage has noticed the immense commitment college athletics demand. “Being a college athlete is extremely different from high school athletics simply because there is more time dedicated to practice, training and conditioning,” Gage said. Noting the transition from high school
to college, she said, “In high school, sports are more of an extracurricular activity, but in college my whole schedule revolves around practice times and games.” Still, despite the difficulty of balancing academics, athletics, and everything else in her life, Gage has been having great success so far. She was ranked fourth on the UAF roster with 23 blocks last year and earned the coaches award and AllConference Academic honors. “Playing in college requires a lot of dedication to the sport, your studies as well as maintaining a balance in your personal life,” Gage said. “While it is difficult at times, it is unbelievably rewarding to
Photo by Malaika Drebin FAmiLy Whiston “9” celebrates on senior night 2008 with her family. be able to continue playing a sport you love.” Allison Whitson’s star-studded varsity career began when she was pulled up for the 2006 CCS playoffs her sophomore year after the team had won its second straight De Anza division title. In her following two years on varsity, Whitson dominated from her outside hitter position, leading the team to two more league championships. “It always came down to Paly or Homestead for the league title,” Whitson said. “I remember all of those games being really intense and exciting, and we would win, which would make it even better!” Her senior year Whitson earned the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League most valuable player award and was the Palo Alto Daily’s 2008 Player of the Year. She racked up an astounding 525 kills, 55 aces, 51 blocks, and 268 digs over the course of the season, according to Maxpreps.com.
These efforts not only helped the team win league, but also to advance to the third round of the CCS playoffs. “We beat St. Francis in the quarterfinals of CCS for the first time in school history, which was very exciting,” Whitson said. Whitson was recruited by University of
“While it is difficult at times, it is unbelievably rewarding to be able to continue playing a sport you love.” California Davis to play volleyball after graduating in the spring of 2009. Whitson has taken the transition to college volleyball well in stride. “I feel like I’ve been able to adapt to the level of play pretty well,” Whitson
said. “It is definitely a step up, and the double days during the summer were a little rough, but practices have gotten a lot better. In terms of the level of play, I felt prepared so it has not been too hard to adapt to the collegiate level. Other than that everyone is taller and stronger than the most of the people I played against in high school and club.” Whitson has had immense success thus far in her freshman year at UC Davis, leading the team in kills by nearly 50. “This is only the fourth or fifth year since Davis switched from Division II to Division I, so it’s really fun to be a part of a developing program and to know that I am having such an impact on the program,” Whitson said. Despite the new intensity of the game, Whitson has still been able to find joy in the sport she loves. “DI volleyball is definitely a whole different game than high school or club volleyball because it is a lot more intense, but I’m having lots of fun,” Whitson said. “Everyone on the team is really nice. It’s basically like a big family since we spend so much time together whether we’re practicing or traveling or doing something else.” Even though Whitson’s college career has taken off and her volleyball related activities occupy so much of her day, she still remains connected to Paly volleyball through her younger sister, Kimberley Whitson (‘12). “My sister now wears the number nine jersey at Paly, which is the same number I wore all four years,” Whitson said. The shoes are tough ones to fill. “I’m sure she probably feels some pressure to play well, especially from the coaches, and she has been doing a great job stepping in as a sophomore setter,” Whitson said. The ultimate impact that the Whitsons will have on the volleyball program remains to be seen, but already their names are enduringly linked to Paly volleyball. “I hope we will leave behind a legacy at Paly, not only as good players but also in terms of leadership and being team players,” Whitson said. <<<
issue 2 KicKoff
SPORTSMANSHIP Bobby Abbott leads the team in line to shake hands after winning a match against Homestead.
Rebuilding the Squad BY SAM GREENE PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANA KAJIMURA seasons with a hefty senior-dominated
his past season, the Palo Alto High School boys’ varsity water polo team jump-started its new program with a squad of 14 athletes; nearly half of which were underclassmen. Given the circumstances and an understanding of the lack of size, skill and experience in the roster, the team came together to learn the ropes. With the future in mind, the team set off to rebuild the program that placed as finalists in the Central Coast Section (CCS) for the last two years. Luckily, alongside a strong and experienced coaching staff, the team had the opportunity to learn from four-year returning player, leading scorer and captain, Bobby Abbott (‘10). Beyond tactical skills that could simply be taught to the young squad, Abbott had what the team needed most to find their way to success ( experience at the varsity level. Coming out of consecutive winning
team, Abbott naturally mastered the ropes of the game after putting away goals one after another alongside Paly All-League MVP Tim Wenzlau (‘09) “Tim [Wenzlau] and I played together for a while so we knew how to get the job done,” Abbott said. “We were kind of a dynamic duo because of the way the game played through us in front of the goal.” After reflecting upon last year’s squad, Abbott acknowledged how having a tightly-knit core group of seniors helped to frame the team’s style of play and kept the team close together in and out of the pool. Given that, Abbott stepped up to lead the team as captain this year, passing on his experience to strengthen the team chemistry and skill set. Through building the team, Abbott will leave the program with yet another rising core group of seniors; an aspect that next year’s squad will greatly benefit from.
“This year, we are going to continue to try and strengthen our younger players so by next year we’ll have a bigger fleet of seniors, and then the following year we’ll have those players lead the team,” varsity water polo player Josh Rapperport (‘11) said. “It’s just a building process in making sure that the younger players have the time to get their skills up and gain experience.” Abbott, as well as many other players, recognizes that the team this year came together quickly and had to see beyond the grade differences to develop into more of a unit by the end of the season. From day one, Abbott helped rebuild the team chemistry and gained the players’ respect through his ability to communicate productively and positively, both in and out of the water. “We listen to him [Abbott] when he has something to say,” returning player Jack Smale (‘11) said. “He always knows what he’s talking about and keeps the team’s best interest in mind. Bobby un-
derstands when it’s time to mess around and when it’s time to be serious and get to work.” The 2009 Vikings approached the season with a clear understanding that this year would be unique in Paly’s water-polo history. Under the circumstances, the team accepted that they simply could not match the skill and experience of last year’s lineup but nevertheless making it into CCS was still possible.
last year was largely due to grade differences between the players. Although off to an awkward start, the team came together quickly in the games and focused more on their common grounds rather than age differences to strengthen the team chemistry. “In the beginning of the school year, the freshman knew each other from 8th grade and naturally stuck together,” assistant varsity coach Craig Rockhold said. “Then they played, became part
“We were kind of a dynamic duo because of the way the game played through us in front of the goal.”
“First and foremost we want to rebuild the program but I expect that we will make our way into CCS this year,” head coach Giovanni Napolitanno said. “We have the potential to make it [into CCS].” Coming into the season, the squad felt that the lack of unity compared to
-Bobby Abbott (‘10)
of the team and their the relationships have built because of that. So, it’s pretty cool when you consider that 14 year olds and near 18 year olds getting along and playing together. I have not once seen players getting down on each other.” In the pool, the team has felt the shift in its physical presence from last year’s
starting squad of six seniors and a junior to this year’s variety line-up of players from each grade. Notably, the team had to adjust to the loss of 6’4”, two-year varsity goalkeeper George Kadifa (‘09) and recognize rising sophomore Daniel Armitano (‘12). Armitano had to quickly fill in the large shoes Kadifa left behind. “George was obviously a consistent goalie all of last year largely in part to his size and experience at the varsity level,” Smale said. “But Daniel has also done a great job showing constant improvement in front of the cage.” Beyond the physical size of the team, Abbott sees the lack of experience amongst the players as the biggest hindrance in the team’s ability to close out games and secure wins. This season Abbott tried to pass on his understanding of the game to the squad by approaching players individually and leading by example. “Last season [Wenzlau] and Jeremy [Kim] (‘09) directed traffic in the pool but now I have to,” Abbott said. “Defensively, I help the team by telling players where to be on counters and how to adjust to different offensive attacks. I try and lead by example a lot of the time, and usually the team figures it out.” The team has grown with experience
ONE ON ONE Bobby Abbott faces opposition while taking a shot on goal during a match against Homestead
issue 2 KicKoff
SWIMMING Bobby Abbott drives through the water in an offensive attack against Mountain View high school. throughout the course of the season by learning from their mistakes in closecall losses. While struggling to snap out of a losing streak early in the season, the players began to lose confidence in themselves, but understood that at some point enough was enough. At Los Gatos, the team fell apart after giving up weak goals early in the match and surrendered a 17-7 loss. When push came to shove, the young team simply did not return the favor after teams like Los Gatos began to build momentum and mentally break them apart. “We didn’t come prepared to play a full 28 minutes of water polo and they shut us down for the start,” Rapperport
said. “We had nothing to say back.” After the loss at Los Gatos, the team assessed their losses and identified their weaknesses: attitude and focus. “We needed to restore the confidence in the team and have more focus and preparation before games so that we can put away teams who aren’t better than us and only win easy unchallenged matches,” Rapperport said. Specifically, the team solidified its defensive presence in the pool and worked to build up offensive attacks that structured less around Abbott, the go-to man, and more towards a unified front. “I think [the offense] is more spread out [this year],” Abbott said. “Last year it
SHOOTING Bobby Abbott winds up for a shot on goal in a league match
was a two man wrecking team [Abbott and Wenzlau], but this year it’s mainly focused around me. Usually, when the team is shutting me down though, everyone will step up, come together and score.” Although Abbott did not meet his goal to reach 100 personal goals this season, he has unquestionably remained the leading scorer for the team as the starting driver utility-man. After the last match of the season against Mountain View at Gunn High School in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League tournament to qualify for CCS, Abbott put away his last goal of his 85 this season. Regardless of the team’s consistent progress throughout the season, they couldn’t manage to pull through, losing 10-6 after failing to keep it’s composure in the fourth quarter “We came out weak and didn’t seem like we really wanted to play,” varsity water polo player Michael Kori (‘13) said. Despite the tough loss and overall losing record, the squad managed to close out the season with accomplished goals and high hopes for 2010. Now, with strong rising seniors and a further developed lineup, the boys will take advantage of their experience from this season to come out fired-up and ready to lead the program back to the top. “We all have experience playing with each other at a very competitive level now and we are going to convert that team chemistry into a great season,” Smale said. “I can’t wait for next year to see what we’ll be able to do.” <<<
BY ERIN KIEKHAEFER
Photo by Christine Chang
Three sport stud Gracie Cain (â€˜11) dominates the cross-country course, the soccer pitch, and the lacrosse field.
issue 2 KicKoff
Photo by Malaika Drebin
fifth in the city. Cain started running crosscountry in her sophomore year, mainly as a way to get in shape for the winter soccer season. With her natural athletic ability and commitment to practices last year, Cain proved herself as one of the top runners, securing a spot on the varsity squad her sophomore year. She is the top runner on the team this year; consistently placing among the top three for Paly in every race she has run this season. With club soccer, an all-year sport, and Paly cross-country, soccer, and lacrosse in the fall, winter, and spring, respectively, Cain is busy year-round with various practices, games and meets. Currently, she juggles club soccer and cross-country practices, and misses Thursday crosscountry to make it to soccer on time. Come spring season, Cain will deal with varsity lacrosse practices everyday after school, plus spring soccer practices and games. Cain began lacrosse in her freshman year. She made varsity her freshman year and has played on varsity since then. Initially, she joined to get out of P.E. Instead, Cain found that she loved the sport. She continFORCE Cain passes the ball up field to a teammate during a Paly soccer game in the fall of 2008. ued to play her sophomore year and plans on continuing lacrosse Stepping onto the track, Gracie Cain (‘11) lines up her feet this spring. with the blue arrows. The Paly lacrosse coach, Jen Gray, is one of the only female “Is everybody ready?” The starter says. coaches that Cain has had. Girls nod around Cain; everyone anticipates the start of the “I love Jen,” Cain said. “She came out right as the program race. started. I think she actually helped start lacrosse at Paly. She’s “Okay, I’ll give you two signals, ‘Ready’ and ‘Go.’” out there because she loves it. She definitely runs us hard, but Cain tenses as the starter raises his hand. Her ponytail, with a she’s relatable because she’s younger and a female.” little braid to keep the hair out of her eyes, catches in the wind Gray sees Cain as a big team player and contributor to the and flies every which way. team, not just in her positive outlook, but in her playing ability At “Go!” Cain leaps forward with the other girls to start off as well. the Palo Alto City Championship cross-country meet. “[Cain] is a solid athlete, with great speed, strength and stick Cain finished the 2.18 mile course in 13 minutes, 16 seconds, skills,” Gray said. “She is always happy and optimistic, and she matching her personal record of last season, and placed first for lifts her teammates up just by her positive attitude.” the Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity cross-country team and When watching Cain play in games and practices, Gray finds that
Photo by Allie Shorin
Cain’s greatest qualities are her consistency, work ethic and humility. “Her teammates can count on her to work her hardest anytime she is on the field,” Gray said. “She understands what it means to work together to reach a goal and she takes personal responsibility to do what she can to help the team get there. She is inspirational on the field, making big plays at the right time, but she is also a sort of ‘quiet’ foundation, backing up other players when they take big risks to make the big plays.” Gray’s opinions of Cain line up directly with Stephen Liu’s, Cain’s club soccer coach. “She has an outstanding character and attitude that can best be summed up in two words: unselfish and positive,” Liu said. “Grace is the type of player that works hard not only for herself, but to make others around her better, even if that means encouraging them from the bench at times.” Although Liu has not coached Cain for long, he has already noticed the commitment and dedication she devotes to her favorite sport. Cain joined his team, the San Jose Tornados, in April. “Grace will run until she drops, challenge her hardest, play at speed, and look to perfect her technique. I couldn’t ask for more from anyone,” Liu said. Cain has played soccer competitively since fourth grade, and she joined the San Jose Tornados after her former team, the Stanford Wildfire, disbanded last year. Attending the two hour Tornados’ practices twice a week is made easier by the company of Cain’s sister, Sophie Cain (‘10), who played on the Wildfire with Cain before they both moved to the Tornados. “It’s the best,” Sophie Cain said. “I get to take the carpool lane to practice. She likes to drive I like to sleep; we’re a good combo.” Sophie Cain finds that playing on the same team has been a good experience for both of them and has brought them closer together. “I only have a little bit of time left at home so this is something we’ve bonded over and will remember forever,” Sophie Cain said. Though the sisters may be bonding while driving, their relationship on and off the field is similar, sisterly arguments and all. “It’s probably the same as it is at home,” Sophie Cain said. “We have moments where we defend each other and support each other and moments where we’re pissed at each other and yell at each other. Getting a bad pass is almost like borrowing a shirt without asking.” The Cain family practices together outside of their other sports. “My dad will definitely take me out sometimes and work on my corner kicks and stuff; Sophie [will practice,] too,” Cain said. Not only does soccer allow Cain to spend more time with her family, it, as well as lacrosse and cross-country, introduced her to many friends and provides a common ground and interest in her relationships. “Every single one of my friends plays another sport,” Cain
CAPTION Since she plays three sports, Cain often has to cope with multiple practices in a day and juggle overlapping commitments. said. “I’m on some of the same teams as them. We get to talk about them a lot.” Cain’s time commitment to her sports leaves little time for other activities in her life, and what little time she has is filled with homework and friends. “I love hanging out with my friends, but I don’t get much downtime,” Cain said. “But weekends I definitely [hang out with them.] Homework is a whole other aspect of my life. That takes up a lot of time also.” Cain may want to play club soccer while in college, but she is not looking to play competitively after high school. “Ideally, I think I’d like to play club soccer in college. I’m not really sure yet, I’ll see what happens,” Cain said. Cain’s dedication and eagerness to play soccer in the future has much to do with the values soccer offers. “Soccer teaches you a lot like commitment, teamwork and just working together,” Cain said. “You meet a lot of people through it and it keeps you in shape and it’s a lot of fun.” <<<
issue 2 KicKoff
Paly’s Competitive Edge-ucators BY JACK SMALE PHOTOS BY JACK SMALE
Some students see their teachers as one-dimensional figures, administers of knowledge and the occasional discipline. However, not so long ago, some teachers were student-athletes, just like the majority of Palo Alto High School’s students are today. This is an inside look into a few of Paly’s very own teachers past sport careers.
Biology teacher Elizabeth Brimhall, a three-sport athlete during her high school career, became an active participant in intramural sports throughout college. “I played volleyball, basketball and high jumped for the track team throughout high school,” Brimhall said. “In college, I played a lot of intramurals [like] volleyball, soccer, football, softball, etc.” Growing up in a family that loved sports, Brimhall quickly embraced the idea of becoming an athlete. “My mom remarried when I was in fourth grade and my new step-father loved sports, so he introduced me to playing basketball and watching baseball on TV,” Brimhall said. “I started joining teams at the local boys-girls club.” Brimhall attended three different high schools in just four years, she used sports to make a smooth transition from school to school. “Athletics made [moving schools] easier because sports acted as social event,” Brimhall said. “I was able to jump right onto my teams and make lots of friends.” Brimhall enjoyed volleyball because she could use the various skills she had
fun,” Brimhall said. attained through other sports. She was Brimhall’s sports participation did able to capitalize on those characterisnot end at college though. Soon after tics, which led to her overall success. she became a high jump and freshman “I loved many aspects of [volleyball]. volleyball coach at Paly, and organizer of I was a middle blocker and enjoyed staff teams for sports events like Spikefthe net game: hitting, blocking, etc,” est. Brimhall said. “I also loved high jump“Post college I played volleyball both ing and, in this case, I loved the combifor fun and with a few club teams, as well nation of power and grace exemplified as some soccer in the past,” Brimhall by the high jump.” said. “Whenever I can get enough inAs a varsity high jumper on her terest, I try to organize a staff team for school’s track team, Brimhall sees the the spikefest at Paly. I’ve coached a bit event as a positive learning experience. at Paly before I decided I was a bit too “For high jump, you have to learn overscheduled and needed to simplify from each failure and really have a my life.” growth-mindset,” Brimhall said. “You Sports have had a huge impact on will always end a meet in the high jump Brimhall’s life and she still uses the many with three misses, the key is letting lessons she learned through sports. those failures motivate you and teach “[Sports] have helped me see the cruyou how to improve in the future.” cial need for regular exercise and has alWhile attending Los Banos High ways been a great way for me to form School in Los Banos, CA, Brimhall still friendships with diverse groups of peoremembers her basketball game against ple that are long-lasting, and has taught rival team Dos Palos High School. me self-discipline,” Brimhall said. “The one I always remember was a basketball game with our nearest rivals, Dos Palos, my senior year,” Brimhall said. “It was a close game and we won it on a three pointer buzzer shot.” After graduating high school, Brimhall attended Stanford University and played on many intramural teams. “[Intramurals] were really just about the LEAP Brimhall clears the bar during a meet on April 25, 1990
Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Brimhall
Photo by Jack Smale
Physical Education teacher and Paly alumni Jason Fung, a multi-sport athlete in high school and a track and field competitor in college, continues his legacy as a sports legend at Paly today. Starting his sports career in high school, Fung was introduced to sports for social reasons rather than competitiveness. “I never did the AYSO [American Youth Soccer Organization] or Pop Warner thing,” Fung said. “I started playing because my friends wanted me to play.” Playing football under the current head coach Earl Hansen, Fung played as the team’s receiver and corner back. “It was a great experience,” Fung said. “Game days are what you looked forward to. It was a great feeling when you figured out how to dominate your opponent.” As track season came around, Fung ran as one of the team’s leading sprinters on the varsity track team for all four years of high school. Running the 100-meter, 200 and 4x100 relay races
“I just had it,” Fung said.
and competing in the long jump, Fung had the ability to excel in sports from the beginning. Fung excelled in the 100, clocking in at 10.8 seconds. “I just had it,” Fung said. “It’s one of those things you don’t really have control over and just have to work on from there.” Fung attended Foothill College as a freshmen and sophomore and was a member of the track team for both years, running in all of the same events he competed in at Paly.
Photos courtesy of Jason Fung
Photo by Jack Smale
speed Fung sprints in the 4 by 400 relay at Los Altos High School on April 23, 1992
“Like anything you do, the competitiveness of the sport gets greater and people in college are doing sports to, hopefully, have a future in it,” Fung said. “It’s something that you make a decision to do and you have less influences from your friends.” In college, Fung raced against strong competition that made running an enjoyable learning environment. Fung thought competing against Olympic gold medalist runner Alvin Harrison and his brother Calvin Harrison in several junior college meets was great practice. “Being able to complete against [Alvin and Calvin was one of my greatest moments in sports],” Fung said. After completing two years at Foothill Community College, Fung transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He tried to fit track into his schedule, but studying architecture took up too much of his time. “Like any sport the time and commitment [made it hard to continue],” Fung said. Once Fung graduated college, he got a job at the local General Nutrition Cen-
faKe-out Fung rushes past Turlock High School defenders during a home game
ter. A colleague introduced him to the sport of bodybuilding. “For me personally, it is a way to stay motivated to work out and push myself to new levels in my workouts,” Fung said. “When I decided to do my first competition, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding [things] I have ever done.” After competing in about 10 competitions, Fung saw his career end after the birth of his two children. In his last competition during May of 2008 at the Contra Costa competition, Fung knew it was time. “I have two kids now so it’s hard to compete,” Fung said. Overall, Fung saw his experience as a bodybuilder as one of the most influential factors in his life. “I’ve enjoyed it all,” Fung said. “It takes a lot of discipline to [be a bodybuilder]. Your results come from how much you put into the sport. The experience has helped me tackle a lot more difficult tasks.”
issue 2 wrap-ups
Photo by Jack Smale
Paly math teacher Kathi Bowers started playing softball in the second grade. Beginning her athletic career through family ties, Bowers immediately fell in love with the sport. “I was a bit of a tomboy because my dad really liked sports and I always loved baseball,” Bowers said. “My parents got me into a league and I just loved it from there on.” As Bowers grew older, she joined competitive softball teams that played almost all year long. As a female athlete, her community treated her with the ut-
“I was able to play two sports at a time,” Bowers said.
most respect, unlike many places in the United States at that time, where sports were not encouraged for all girls. Playing in the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation gave Bowers playing experience in the ultimate softball setting. “Girls sports were really supported in my community,” Bowers said. “We had three softball diamonds and a baseball field; it was a huge organization. There was always a game going on and we were able to travel all over the area and play almost all year long.” Entering Burbank High School, Bowers took advantage of a wide variety of sports including volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis. As a varsity athlete for all three years on the basketball and softball teams, Bowers embraced the opportunity to become involved in other sports. Bowers played both softball and tennis in the spring season of her junior
and senior years of high school. “Back then [the school] wanted a lot of girls to play sports,” Bowers said. “I was able to play two sports at a time.” Bowers continued her softball career into college, playing at Stanford University. For all four years, Bowers remembers the many conflicts that balancing her sports career had on her academic schedule. “A challenge was all the time [softball] took,” Bowers said. “You missed a lot of class and the practices were really time consuming.” Although sports did pose some difficulties, Bowers recalls the game she played against the University of Arizona her senior year. “We were really bad at Stanford because we didn’t have any pitching,” Bowers said. “Because softball wasn’t a scholarship sport, it was hard to get [good pitching]. We were playing Arizona at home and they were the fifth ranked team in the nation. We ended up beating them 2-1. I still remember that game today; it was one of the coolest moments ever.” Many of the lessons Bowers took away from her experiences as an athlete in the past are constant reminders of how to live her life today. “When you play a sport it gives you the confidence and ability to work as a team, and [gives you] friends that you will have forever,” Bowers said. “Also, when you’re in a slump, it isn’t the end of the world, I think that that relates to
Photo courtesy of Kathi Bowers
stance Bowers steps up to the plate in a tournament game with Burbank High School in April of 1981 her junior year. the real world in lots of ways.” Today, Bowers raises her two kids, Travis and Kevin, both of whom are active in the sports world, as well. Bowers encouraged her children to become involved in sports by introducing them to athletics at an early age and still tries to be involved in the sports community as much as possible by helping her kids out. “I try and play slow pitch as much as I can,” Bowers said. “I want to coach girls National Junior Basketball next year, but my main purpose is as a fan; I’m a huge fan! But I also drive the kids around too; that is my main job.”
Photo courtesy of Kathi Bowers
TEAM Bowers lines up with the Stanford softball team before a game against Arizona.
Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson played two sports in high school and continued his athletic career at the next level, in junior college, with baseball. Growing up as the youngest child in his family and having two older brothers who were fascinated by sports, Berkson followed in their footsteps. “I had two older brothers that played [baseball] and it was only right that I would do the same,” Berkson said. “They helped me because they would always let me join in their pick-up games every weekend.” Berkson remembers all the experience he gained from a young age because of the games the kids in his neighborhood would put together. “During the summer there would always be a good six on six pick-up game going on in my front yard,” Berkson said. As Berkson grew older and entered Hillsdale High School, he joined both the varsity soccer and baseball teams. “It was fun in that I was able to just get in there and play,” Berkson said. When soccer season came around, Berkson used the time to prepare for the baseball season. “I only played soccer my senior year to get in shape for baseball,” Berkson said. “It was a young team and I was one of only two or three seniors. I taught the underclassmen lots of stuff.” Berkson especially shined during baseball season. As one of two lefty pitchers on the baseball squad his senior year, Berkson had a 2.01 ERA and a 9-1 record. That same year he threw a shutout against Los Gatos in Central Coast Section (CCS) to advance them
into the next round. “It was great, we had an incredible team,” Berkson said. “We were ranked number one in the peninsula, even over Serra High School.” Berkson attended the College of San Mateo and played varsity baseball there for all four years. He recalls the friendships he shared with many of the players on the team. “I loved the camaraderie between the pitching staff,” Berkson said. “We really became life long friends.” Entering college as a high school star, Berkson found that there were many differences between the competition at the two levels. “[College] is a whole different level,” Berkson said. “When you play high school you look to the catcher for signs. But in college, you’re looking to the shortstop and first basemen for signs while the catcher is giving you four sequences at once.” Berkson not only noticed that the competition was greater at the college level, but so were the workouts during practice. “I hated the conditioning,” Berkson said. “Somehow my coach managed to find every hill on the campus.” Berkson experienced baseball at a higher level when he played for former Chicago Cubs coach, John Noce. “I probably played for the greatest coach in history,” Berkson said. “I loved that there was always something to take in. I got quite an education with baseball.” After Berkson graduated college he became an assistant coach for the varsity baseball team at Carlmont High School, which he took to the CCS championship victory. At age 23, he opened up his first of four memorabilia stores in San Mateo called, “The Bullpen” and became San Mateo College’s head coach. “It was a lot of fun,” Berkson said. “I was able to do what I wanted. I could show up at work around 10 and leave work early to coach baseball, it was really great. It also had a lot of similarities between what I do now and what I did
then. I learned how to manage people and I got to meet lots of pros.” Once the baseball strike of 1994 and 1995 began to affect his business, Berkson decided to look to a long-term career by going back to school and getting a degree in history. Teaching part-time with San Mateo College, he moved to Abbott Middle School where he taught two years of history and three years of physical education while remaining San Mateo’s head coach. “Because I was good with kids I thought it would be a good idea to get involved with the schools,” Berkson said. When Berkson began teaching at Abbott Middle School, he met Rick Sundberg, who was in charge of the Starmaker travel team and who had a son that attended the middle school also. Berkson took a job as the team’s coach for six years. Two years later he created his own travel team called the West Coast Federals, which is made up of 12-yearolds from around the bay area. “I wanted to stay involved in sports somehow,” Berkson said. “It’s just like video games, you can really control everything that’s going on. It’s also fun to help people out and be able to develop them into great athletes a couple years down the line.” <<<
Photo courtesy of Jerry Berkson
Photo by Jack Smale
Berkson and the West Coast Federals pose (above) with its first place trophy’s in a tournament in Concord in October of 2009. (Left) Berkson enters the field during a game he managed in the Junior Olympics in Knoxville Tennessee. The Peninsula Mets were bronze medalists out of 64 teams.
issue 2 KicKoff
official BY MARK RAFTREY PHOTOS BY HANNA BRODY, MALAIKA DREBIN AND HANA KAJIMURA
Two football players wrestle each other to the ground on the side of the field. “It’s over!” shouts referee Phil Beltran, and the battle breaks up.
Photo by Hanna Bridy
From “ref” to “blue,” one thing that every sport has in common is the presence of an official or referee. Whatever the setting, it is the referee’s job to help the game run smoothly and fairly. Essentially, the goal of the referee is to seem nonexistent, and to let the players decide the game for themselves. Yet the pressure placed on referees to perform is often overlooked, and they are taken for granted. However, some Paly students have taken up refereeing as a job, and realized that it is harder than it looks. Beltran began his refereeing career
Photo by Hanna Brody TWEET A football referee waves the play dead at a varsity football game versus Gunn high School, signaling that the player is down. “I get parents that try to subtly disagree with a call just loud enough so I can hear it, but quiet enough that it’s not being said straight to my face,” Dodson said. He relies on confidence and strong umpiring skills to persevere through these nuisances. “The best way to deal with this is to be confident,” Dodson said. “I trust my calls and decisions. It never really gets to me because I rarely blow calls.” Dodson believes that all umpires should be able to make correct calls, and be aware of all the rules.
“If the umpire makes bad calls or is inconsistent, I might suggest that its time to find a new career,” Dodson said. The official Little League rulebook consists of 41 pages of rules, each of which George Brown (‘11) has memorized. Actually. What do you do when there are runners on second and third, and the batter hits a clean double, but one of the scoring runners left early? Without hesitation, Brown responded. “The base umpire throws the flag, its a red flag, and then you have to let the play progress,” Brown said. “Once the
Photo by Hana Kajimura
39 years ago, and has since officiated football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball at both the high school and college levels. For football, “[The hardest part] is the myriad of rules, and mechanics on the field,” Beltran said. He has become accustomed to complaints and anger towards officials. However, Beltran fights fire with water. To deal with high school players and their rampant emotions, he keeps the game under control by controlling himself first. “I don’t yell or scream [at players], but I’m constantly telling them ‘good play, good play,’” Beltran said. Geoff Dodson (‘10) started umpiring for Palo Alto Little League (PALL) six years ago. He usually umpires once or twice a week during the spring season, and once a week during the fall. For Dodson, umpiring is a way to rake in the cash quickly. “I umpire behind the plate at the (PALL) Majors level, so I make $40 per game,” Dodson said. “I also usually umpire once a week during the Fall-Ball season, where I make $35 per game. With all those games you can do the math by yourself...I can make it rain.” However, there are difficulties in an otherwise lucrative employment. Dodson says that he faces animosity on a consistent basis. “Most of the time there is one coach who agrees with me and thinks I’m doing a great job, while the other one disagrees with me,” Dodson said. In addition to coaches, there are inevitably parents who are passionate about their child’s success.
foul ball An umpire watches the ball fly past at a Paly varsity baseball game.
issue 2 KicKoff
Photo by Malaika Drebin
play is over then you call time out and Soccer player and referee Brandon ments rise, along with the competition. place the runners where they should be. Nguyen (‘11) says he refs twice a month To become a Central Coast Section (CCS) If I throw the flag and one gets out, he’s during soccer season. Like Dodson, official, one must first become part of a out, it doesn’t matter if he left early. If Nguyen refs “to get money.” He does recognized officiating association, such he’s out he’s out. The runner from sec- his referee work through the Stanford as the National Association of Sports ond has to go back to third, assuming Soccer Club organization. Those who Officials (NASO) which has over 16,000 that they are both safe,” Brown said. officiate through this club must earn a members. Associations must organize Section 7.13, example 9 of the rule- license with the United States Soccer and require at least 18 hours of trainbook confirms this call. Federation and renew it every year, ac- ing for potential officials, in addition “It’s important to have a good strike cording to the club website. Soccer ref- to a process for official evaluation, aczone and make good judgment calls, but erees make between $25-$50 depend- cording to the California Interscholastic it’s more important to know all of the ing on the age group and whether they Federation website. To finalize the protechnicalities in the rules and to be in are the center or the assistant. cess, schools contact these associations the right position to make a call,” Brown Like Dodson, Nguyen experiences which then assign officials to certain said. similar hostility from parents and events hosted by the school. However, unlike Dodson, Brown um- coaches during his games. Lacrosse is the most highly-paid high pires for the love of the game. “Parents and sometimes coaches try school refereeing position, with $69 per “I love baseball,” Brown said. “I to bully me because of my age,” Nguyen game set as the maximum compensawould never do it for the money. I do it said. “They know that I am not as ex- tion by CCS, followed by baseball at $67 because I like helping out the kids and perienced as many other refs and try to and football at $65. However, there is seeing them improve. It’s fun to be in- advantage of it.” little variance between sports in regard volved and help run the game.” However, he does not let complaining to hourly pay. This does not take into There is no motive of money to affect affect his reffing. account the difficulties that officiating a Brown’s decision to umpire, because all “I tell my AR’s to handle any coach- certain sport may induce. of his proceeds go directly to his college es or parents who disrupt the game,” Beltran summed up the life of an ofaccount. He has been interested in um- Nguyen said. “They yell and then stop ficial. piring since he was ten years old, and when the game resumes.” “Every game someone is unhappy began reading up on the rules shortly <<< At the high school level, the require- 50% of the time,” Beltran said. thereafter until he became an umpire at the age of 13. Another sport that allows teenage referees is club soccer. For California Youth Soccer Organization (CYSA) District II games, the center referee must be an adult if the age group is above under 13s. Anything younger, and the referee must be at least two years older than the age he is refereeing. Assistant refs must be at least the same age as the players. time out Kevin Ashworth (‘09) lays on the ground as the referee stops the clock and calls for a
Leaders of the Pack
Team captains lead regardless of the circumstances. BY MARY ALBERTOLLE PHOTOS
PHOTOS BY MALAIKA DREBIN AND HANA KAJIMURA
Photo by Malaika Drebin POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT “We [the captains] have to make sure to be positive all the time to set a good example for the team, even if the team is losing,” three year girls’ tennis captain Gracie Dulik said. “We need to play hard all the time no matter what.”
ith less than three minutes left on the clock, the score tied, the players sprint down the field in attempt to defend the goal. The whistle echoes in their ears as a foul is called against their defender, resulting in a free kick. As the opposing team kicks, the ball smacks a defender’s head and he redirects it up into the air towards his own goal. The goalie, ready to block the ball on the other side, dives to prevent the goal, however, the ball soars past his hands and is caught by the net. The players drop to the ground in despair, now one goal behind after their own teammate scored in the Central Coast Section semifinals.
The captains scream at their teammates to get up and off the ground and to continue playing hard for the few remaining minutes left on the clock. As they lift themselves up and wipe off the tears running down their faces, they jog to the middle of the field to restart the game. The offense tears down the field and the ball glides out of bounds. As a midfielder flips the ball onto the court, the ball manages to slip into the opponents. With the score now tied, the team captains encourage their teammates to keep their energy up throughout overtime. A forward speeds through the
opposing defense and propels the ball into the goal, winning the game for his team. The coach applauds his players for their excellent effort and tough win in the semi-finals. The athletes look up to their captains as they join their coach in praise. Team captains lead teams in every sport at Palo Alto High School. They acquire these positions through various forms of selection and each hold different responsibilities. Some coaches select the captains that they know are trustworthy and responsible, while other teams elect a leader by a vote. “This year there was a team wide vote,”
issue 2 KicKoff
thinks a freshman is qualified to be its leader, than that’s it. I have never seen a team make the wrong decision in its leaders.” Even players that lost in an election are welcome to step up and lead by example even without the official title of captain in every sport. Other coaches, for such sports as girls’ tennis, appoint captains regardless of the team’s consensus. Wrestling head coach David Duran is a strong advocate of coaches picking captains. “They emerge, so the coaches know who they are and we get together and pick them,” Duran said. “We wouldn’t select them if we didn’t think they would be successful.” Cross-country coaches appointed captains during the 2008 season because they felt there were only two obvious choices: the only two seniors on varsity. “This year we did a team vote and its hard doing that, especially with freshmen and sophomores, when a lot of them don’t even know each other let alone the older guys,” boys’ cross-country head coach Joe Ginanni said. This year, however, Ginanni decided to hold a team election because of the many seniors on varsity to choose from and the difficulty posed by the decision. “It really depends on the group,” Ginanni said. “The reason we had a vote this year was because our entire varsity team was seniors and it was too hard for us to pick a captain because all seven [varsity runners] could’ve been captain, so that was why we decided to take a vote, but I guess it kind of depends year to year what we want to do as far as selecting captains.” Badminton head coach Kara Prentice allows captains to emerge from the team without a formal election or appointment. “I use the non-method, and I have never needed to change the process to an actual election of captains because it has always seemed to work out,” Prentice said. “There will be a few players, usually seniors, that will take on a role of captain, but anyone that wants to be more involved is welcome to assert themselves as such.”
Many teams not only pick captains through various selection processes, but also have different levels of chosen captains. In some sports, for example crosscountry and track and field, the varsity and junior varsity teams are closely related and have one set of captains between them. Other teams, such as volleyball and football, have separate captains for varsity and junior varsity. Badminton follows cross-country’s lead by having one set of captains for all players to follow. “In badminton, there is no definitive line between varsity and JV, so the whole team is always being represented,” Prentice said. Some players, mostly underclassmen, LEAdiNg By ExAmPLE “i talk to the players about how it is possible to be a leader without being ‘named’ a leader, by leading by example,” Gray said.
Photo by Hana Kajimura
varsity cross-country runner Andrew Stober (‘10) said. “Everybody who wanted to run for captain nominated themselves.” Both the girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams each have four captains who lead the varsity and junior varsity teams. Every runner, regardless of grade, voted in an election for his or her respective captains. With a freshmen majority on both teams, the nominated girls and boys who swayed the freshmen with their speech won the election. “Our coach had people who wanted to be captains stand up and each of them had to tell us [the team] why they would be a good captain,” junior varsity runner Nora Rosati (‘13) said. “I chose [who to vote for,] based on what they told me. I chose the people based on whether or not they were able to speak out and grab my attention.” Many varying opinions surround the issue of picking captains. Supporters of team elections believe that the players should pick their own captains to lead their team. Critics disagree and say that it is unfair for teammates, especially freshmen, to pick their captains by basing their vote solely on speeches instead of other attributes, like consistent performance and personality. “The captains are for the whole team, it’s not specific varsity or frosh-soph,” Stober said. “Captains act more as leaders to the underclassmen and as an example to the rest of the team.” Like the cross-country team, other teams also use the method of election in choosing their captains. At the beginning of each season, the girls’ lacrosse team holds elections after the junior varsity and varsity teams have been selected. “I let the girls vote,” girls’ varsity lacrosse head coach Jen Gray said. “It is a secret ballot so everyone feels free to vote for who she really wants, then the top three nominees are the captains.” With very few “mistakes” of choosing bad captains in Gray’s nine years of coaching, she remains firm in her choice to hold a team election. “I leave everything up to the players,” Gray said. “Anyone on the team can be nominated. I believe that if the team
players, while in other sports they lead by example alone. In many sports like football, lacrosse and basketball captains also talk to the referees during the game. “They are supposed to lead at practice and during the game,” Anderson said. “If there is a penalty the referee with ask the captain if they want to decline or accept.” Despite many differences from the form of selection to the respective re-
sponsibilities captains unify players across Paly campus. During every game and every practice in every sport, captains help players focus and push harder to better themselves both physically and mentally. After a strong win after a long game competing through overtime, the players gear up to face another team while the captains push them to exceed any expectations. <<<
Photo by Malaika Drebin
do not like the lack of young captains because their voices are easily lost. “If there was a freshmen captain, information would be relayed more smoothly, Rosati said. “There should only be a freshmen captain if the other captains can work well with a freshmen because the upperclassmen captains would still be the boss.” Most teams, such as girls’ lacrosse, have separate captains for both the varsity and junior varsity teams. “There are three varsity and three JV captains,” Gray said. “They represent their teammates to their coaches, the refs, and their opponents.” Football and basketball also follows girls’ lacrosse by having separate captains for the different levels of play. Captains’ responsibilities also vary for every sport. These responsibilities range from monitoring players skills and their game to assisting player’s mental growth both on and off the field. “I expect them [the captains] to support the coaches in practice and in games in terms of setting the tone of practice and reinforcing what we are teaching,” Gray said. “I expect them to be open and available for any players to come to in case she doesn’t feel comfortable coming directly to the coaches. I expect them to be mentors and always lead by example, on and off the field. They are responsible for addressing any team tension or conflict among members. If they do not resolve the issue, I may step in, but I like them to try to resolve it amongst themselves first. I expect them to be motivators.” Often, captains lead warm-ups and stretches before games and practices as they get their teammates ready. They are also in charge of organizing their team, making sure that practice and game times are clear so that everyone shows up. “We read out the lineup at the start of every match,” three year varsity girls’ tennis captain Gracie Dulik (‘10) said. “We give pep talks to the team to get everyone pumped up and we lead stretches.” Captains’ jobs vary from sport to sport. On some teams they play a crucial role of unifying the team and helping improve
BONDINg “The team captain should be the glue of the team and look out for every teammate; despite whether they like or dislike them and everyone knew that they could really go to them for anything,” three sport varsity athlete Lauren Mah (‘10) said.
issue 2 KicKoff
last last word word
BY SANA BAKSHI PHOTOS BY MALAIKA DREBIN
n the world of varsity sports, success is limited. Letâ€™s face it: who succeeds and who does not is not always up to us. you can teach someone to be aggressive, you can teach someone to run faster, and maybe even jump higher, but when it comes down to it, you cannot teach size.
Some are blessed with being tall and others are blessed with being short. It can be an advantage or a disadvantage. It all depends on how you perceive the situation. Basketball is a sport that relies heavily on one’s height. It can affect where you play on the court during offense and whom you guard on defense. Varsity point guard and shooting guard Brendon Rider (‘10) is the shortest member on the varsity basketball squad. Rider embraces his size, which is ideal for a point guard who usually plays at the top of the key.
“When I have to guard a bigger guy, that’s when I feel the height difference,” Rider said. Girls’ varsity basketball point guard Victoria Shih (‘10) finds that being shorter than everyone her whole life gave her the opportunity to learn from experience. “I am used to playing with my height,” Shih said, “It is quicker and easier to change positions.” Shih finds that her lower center of gravity helps her change directions faster. Additionally, moving the ball to the other
A point guard relies on his speed and agility to move the ball down the court. “Because I am not taller, I have to use my speed to get by defenders,” Rider said. “I don’t have the height, I have to use agility.” Usually the shortest one on the court, the point guard uses his skill to maneuver the ball. At 5’9”, Rider focuses on the advantages of his size rather than the disadvantages. “I imagine someone taller will be a lot slower than I am,” Rider said. “The only way they can guard me is if they catch me at the post or have me in a bad situation. There is no intimidation.” Rider feels one of the biggest disadvantages for someone his height is his difficulty guarding on defense.
side of the court is much easier due to her speed. She feels that guarding taller people is simpler because it is harder for them to get around her. Football players Sean and Antwon Chatmon (‘10) are the shortest players on the varsity team. As second year varsity players, both believe that size impacts the way they choose to play their game. “I have to have a different strategy to reach the same goal,” A. Chatmon said. “People may feel like they have an advantage, but it is a part of my game now. Usually everyone is bigger than I am, so I am used to it.” Standing at a mere 5’6” while his brother stands at 5’7”, A. Chatmon feels the daily frustration that comes with being shorter than a lot of other football players.
“I don’t have the height, I have to use agility,” Rider said.
Quick Rather than relying on height, Victoria Shi (‘10) uses her speed and agility to maneuver around past tall defenders.
issue 2 KicKoff
“It has definitely held me back because people have told me that if I was taller, I would be better,” he said. “I am good for my size, but in comparison, I am not as good as I could be.” S. Chatmon uses his size to prove wrong those who believe that shorter people cannot succeed. “A lot of people are taller than I am,” S. Chatmon said. “It makes me want to play harder. It’s different being smaller. People don’t expect you to do well.” Standing at 5’ 9’’, starting free safety and second baseman Scott Witte (‘10) excels at both baseball and football. “My size doesn’t limit anything in baseball,” Witte said. “It helps because I’m quicker and can play more positions. In football I guess it makes me only able to play skill positions, but then again, fat people can only play line.” Witte uses his size to an advantage in both the sports that he plays. “All different sizes are made for different positions,” Witte said. “I’d rather play skinny kids in football and fat kids in baseball.” Boys’ varsity basketball post and center player, Adrian Augmon (‘10), stands at 6’5” and has a different body structure than most tall players. Though he has a height taller than most, he weighs a mere 198 lbs, thinner than most people his height. “I guess a lot of people are my size, but I am a lot skinnier [than they are],” Augmon said. “I am a lot quicker than people who are my height.” Shooting guard Nehika Miglani (‘10) is one of the stronger and taller players on the girls’ varsity basketball team. “I would consider myself one of the stronger players, physically, [but] not skill wise.” Miglani said. Miglani realizes the disadvantages of being tall and has learned to watch the shorter players for their stronger aspects. “When I see a smaller player, I’m like yes, I can walk all over them,” Miglani said. “I am usually wrong because you have to watch their drive.” HeiGHt “Being tall allows me to set up a Aaron Zellinger (‘12) sees both sides bigger block and touch higher when I’m of height. Standing 6’3”, Zellinger plays hitting,” Melanie Wade (‘12) said. water polo, basketball, and swims.
tOweRiNG varsity basketball player Adrian Augmon (‘10) stands at 6’5”, easily the tallest player on the team.
GiaNt At 6’5”, Adrian Augmon (‘10) towers above fellow seniors Brendon Rider, Sean Chatmon and Antwon Chatmon.
“I am indisputably the tallest guy on the water polo team,” Zellinger said. “More often than not [I am] the tallest guy in the pool and on the bench.” Zellinger notes the immediate disadvantages of being a taller player in water polo. “In water polo you can only see a player’s head at first, so the second the referees and other players realize my size, I know I am automatically held to a higher standard,” Zellinger said. “Referees will often pick on me because I am big, so when I guard a little guy they are stringent in their foul calling. The corollary applies as well, as when I get kicked in the face and try to draw a foul because of it. I am often denied the call. I have learned to recognize this, and now I try to lead with my size, instead of sink with it.” Volleyball player Melanie Wade (‘12) made the switch from soccer to volleyball in sixth grade because of her long legs. Wade uses height to her advantage as a middle blocker on the court. “Being tall allows me to set up a bigger block and touch higher when I’m hitting,” Wade said. “Being tall is almost a disadvantage, because I’m not forced to jump as high as some shorter players.” Tory Prati (‘11) is one of the oldest kids in his grade. As a three-sport athlete, Prati uses his size as an advantage in
football and basketball. He has been playing basketball since the second grade and started football his freshman year. “I am an offensive and defensive lineman because of my size,” Prati said. “In basketball I was a center, but I am switching to forward because some people are taller than me now.” According to athletic director and head football coach Earl Hansen, size does not matter at the high school level. “You have some who are tall and they go forward,” Hansen said. “Some of the best high school players are not that tall, but they don’t usually go onto the next level.” Hansen also said that in football, regardless of size, there is a place for everyone on the field. But whether or not you play a sport, with size comes intimidation. Anyone who sees someone significantly bigger than himself or herself is usually afraid. Upon seeing someone shorter, athletes usually assume they are weaker. “I used to be intimidated by tall players, but now I just go out there and try to work their size against them,” Prati said. “If they are tall, push them off balance. If they are fat and slow, be quick.” Size is the one aspect of athletics that cannot be altered. Either you have it or you don’t. But regardless of your size, you can learn to get around it or use it to your advantage. Size is never the most important aspect in any sport. Skill always comes before height. <<<
issue 2 KicKoff
What We Think... alex voet (‘10) Cross-Country
by Brandon Dukovic and Mark Raftrey From competitive eating to football, from cricket to horseback riding, there are countless activities that can be considered a “sport”. But why do only the elite few of these sports make it onto the Paly scene? Students aren’t able to sign up for a Paly croquet team, but they are encouraged to come out to badminton tryouts in the spring. Somebody, once upon a time, made an executive decision about which sports were legit and which simply didn’t cut it. Of more than 643,609,003,261 athletic activities in the outside world, only 16 of them are accepted at Paly. While many aficionados readily argue their hearts out - making the case for NASCAR driving and golf others stand by their convictions that only football deserves the title of “sport”. But why leave it up to these few to decide? In our opinion, a monkey can drive a car around a circle 500 times and cavemen have been swinging clubs since the beginning of mankind. A sport requires refined physical expertise, not simply a body on the field or court. The Viking asked several Paly students to define “sport” and received fiery attacks, whim-
“A sport is a form of competition that requires the use of outside objects. you can’t have a sport without equipment.”
Photo by Erin Kiekhaefer
What a “Fun”
dictionary definition: Sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
Photo by Brandon Dukkatie Maser (‘11) Water Polo “I guess a sport is defined by a group of people who accomplish something having to do with athletics or intelligence, usually for fun or as a hobby or professional I guess. I don’t really believe that there is or isn’t a sport, I think it’s defined by whoever is doing it.”
Noa Dagan (‘11) Dance “To be a sport it must be opposing sides actually competing head to head and despite the fact that I’m a dancer I actually don’t think that it’s a sport. It’s an extreme form of art but I’m not really sure how to classify it because it’s more like a sport than it is like painting for instance, but it’s somewhere in between.”
Photo by Spencer Sims
Melanie wade (‘12) Volleyball “I define a sport as something athletic where you exercise and when you’re committed and you stick with it. Like in volleyball we practice everyday.”
Photo by Malaika Drebin
“Skill” Noah Berman (‘11) Fencing “I think a sport is an activity that involves practice, skill and hard work. Not accompanied by a motor or horse, only human power.” Photo by Mark Raftrey
100 Cardinal Way Redwood City, CA 94063-4755 (650) 385-5000
Weighting for Change BY GRACIE MARSHALL & MARIAH PHILIPS ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GEORGE BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY BY MALAIKA DREBIN AND HANA KAJIMURA DESIGN BY EMILY FOWLER
issue 2 KicKoff
“THE PALY WEIGHT ROOM IS LIKE A MIDDLE SCHOOL dance,” football player Kevin Anderson (‘11) said. “There is a clear line that divides guys and girls.” The weight room is a cramped building located between the boys’ gym and the pool deck. The 24 machines and structures, which overshadow the size of the interior, consist of a wall of free weights, a roman chair, four different bench and
Katerina Peterson (‘11)
basketball & track
was a varsity shot-putter her freshmen and sophomore year. Peterson frequently works out in the weight room because as she explains, “I’m really busy outside of school and Paly’s easily accessible to me throughout the day.” Peterson became motivated to go in the weight room when she was introduced to how beneficial weight training could be to her improvement in her various sports.
“i don’t want to look weak, i want to impress people,” Peterson said. “i think i am respected for it.”
squat bars, two leg press structures, and several other leg, core, and upper body machines. Aside from a broken bike, which greets incomers at the door, there are no cardio apparatuses. It is dimly lit, and grungy, masked with an odor of sweat and metal. After the final school bell rings, a group of male studentathletes enter the weight room. The athletes begin with bench presses, bicep curls, and leg presses, each guy interacts with the other. When bench-pressing, they spot each other, joke around, and listen to hip-hop through a worn down boom box. It is all comfortable and familiar, until two female athletes walk in. The guys look over and notice the new feminine presence, glance at each other, and the horseplay dies down. In the corner, one of the guys is lifting free weights. After a few reps, he exhales with strain, allows the bar to drop and steps back as the weights clatter to the ground. As the two
“I became influenced by my coaches to become better when I first started training for basketball and track,” Peterson said. “[Coach Brandon Sakowski] brought me into the weight room for the first time, and opened new doors for me. After getting used to training, I gained this feeling of wanting to become better and felt the need to improve more after I saw the positive effects pay off. Once signs showed that I was becoming stronger and faster, I liked the results and continued to be influenced [to go to the weight room].” Peterson’s routines for track and basketball include power cleans, box jumps and bench presses. However, although many exercises are useful for both sports, Peterson targets specific muscle groups for each sport. “During basketball season, it’s all about leg work outs and working on building speed and jumping higher,” Peterson said. “For track, it’s more about power. I’m building my strength and really working on my arms, legs, and core. There’s a lot
“it’s a distraction and girls change the atmosphere from ‘Push yourself’ to a more relaxed environment, which isn’t good for lifting,” Prati said.
girls enter, they pick up a medicine ball on the opposite side of the room and hurry out to start their regimen outside. The chill of an unfamiliar breeze provides temporary relief to the two girls hard at work outside of the weight room. Both Katerina Peterson (‘11), and Mary Albertolle (‘11) are in the process of preseason conditioning for the varsity girls’ basketball team. Peterson started on the varsity girls’ basketball team and
tory Prati (‘12)
football & track
of different work for each sport.” Peterson explained that specific leg workouts for basketball improve speed and agility, essential components to being successful throughout an entire game. In track, it is even more essential to workout both the lower and upper body. “In track, you are using all of your body to push an object as far as you can,” Peterson said. “You use all sorts of muscles to create an inertia that influences the ball before you even let
go of it.” Throughout her two years of utilizing the Paly weight room, Peterson has noticed a great improvement in her overall physical condition. “Oh yeah, I have changed big time,” Peterson said. “I’m a lot stronger and leaner. I’ve become a lot quicker and in way better shape. I take pride in that.” Albertolle, a two year JV starter on the girls’ basketball team, is training hard to compete with the varsity squad in the 2009 season. Since freshmen year, Albertolle has been building up her strength, becoming more powerful each year. “I definitely do heavier weights than I did freshmen year,” Albertolle said. “I can do more reps and help other people with their form.” When in the weight room, Albertolle usually focuses on leg muscles. “It’s important to have the endurance to stay in a defensive stance. It takes a lot of strength,” Albertolle said. Albertolle realizes the effect of years of weight room training and how it has enabled a growing skill in basketball. “It makes me more physical,” Albertolle said. “In the fourth quarter I can still be aggressive.” Both Peterson and Albertolle begin their regimen by tossing a ten-pound medicine ball to one another; starting with underhand tosses, then chest passes, and finally from the top of the head.
THE ExTENT OF PALO ALTO ATHLETES’ WORK out routines is not limited to the practices and games that occur on the Palo Alto campus. For the majority of Paly athletes, extended workouts outside of school are necessary to keep them at a high level of play, one they must be at in order to compete in their respective sports. Of a sample of thirty boys that are involved in various sports at Paly, 45 percent of them work out and find the Paly weight room suitable for their particular work out regimens. However, of a sample of thirty two female athletes, only 14 percent work out in the weight room on a monthly basis; the other 86 percent spend time either at full service gyms such as the YMCA, or are at home or another location where weight lifting machines and cardio apparatuses are not necessary. Back inside, one of the weight room regulars feels unaffected by the girls’ presence. “It didn’t change at all,” baseball player Conor Raftery (‘10) said of the atmosphere when girls came into the weight room. “I was thinking about my workout. It doesn’t affect me. I saw them, but I was thinking about my workout.”
June Afshar (‘10) works out in the weight room to stay fit for water polo. She plans to continue playing next year in college.
issue 2 KicKoff
Tory Prati (‘12), a guard for the football team who also plays basketball and track, expressed this sentiment. “It’s a distraction and girls change the atmosphere from ‘push yourself’ to a more relaxed environment, which isn’t good for lifting,” Prati said. Upon encountering guys in her endeavor to the weight room, June Afshar (‘10), the girls’ varsity water polo team’s starting goalie, could feel a subtle, negative vibe emanating from the completely male inhabited domain. “They definitely have a ‘What’re you doing in here’ kind of look,” Afshar said. “They don’t have to say anything, I can feel it.” As she begins her exercises, a few guys, who will remain nameless, smirk at her or yell comments like ‘Yeah, get it June!’ in what she interprets as a condescending manor. One
“It is a threat,” Dr. Atzmon said. “So it’s more comfortable to interact with people who are like you because when there is a difference, there is a threat. It is easier to [be] separate [from those who are different than you].” It is more difficult to interact with a different gender because they are socially different and interact in different ways. This fact causes a rift between the sexes, especially in the weight room. This discomfort leads to a divide between the two genders in such an environment, which is the stem of several generalizations. “The differences are looked at as inferiority or superiority,” Dr. Atzmon said. “So if I’m a guy and you’re a girl, I’m better than you. It’s a distorted perception but it’s how we perceive a different group of people. The difference is looked at as less
boy yells in passing, “Look at June trying to get buff!” “I feel really underestimated, like they think it is a joke I am in here,” Afshar said. “I guess they can’t see that I am serious about my workout.” This disbelief in an unfamiliar presence in a formerly comfortable area sparks conflict within males. This occurrence is explained by a psychological theory known the cognitive dissonance theory. “[This] is a situation in which you have conflicting ideas and it creates a tension within the person,” Psychologist Orit Atzmon explained about the cognitive dissonance theory. “There is a tension here [where guys feel that], ‘We belong here, [we are] the physically stronger gender, what are they [girls] doing here?’” The idea that males are threatened by a new factor in a normally familiar atmosphere, explains much of the tension between boys and girls in the weight room.
than.” Afshar’s hypothesis regarding guys’ perceptions of the seriousness of girls’ workouts in the weight room proves to be true according to this theory. However, she can understand why the stereotype persists ever today. “Guys are taught to see themselves as these athletic machines, superior to girls, so when girls mess up their plan they can’t help but be offended,” Afshar said. “I think that most boys aren’t trying to insult the girls; it just comes naturally to them.” Afshar is not only the starting goalie for the girls’ varsity water polo team, but she is also pursuing a water polo career at the collegiate level. Afshar’s ambitions are led by her love of the game. “I really like water polo and I want to see what I can do at a more competitive level.” Afshar said. In order to be competitive at the level Afshar strives for,
she needs to work out regularly, improving her strength and endurance. Afshar explains her main emphasis in the weight room. “I usually focus on upper shoulders and core because for my particular position [goalie] those muscles need to be strongest,” Afshar said. An average workout for Afshar includes band training three times a week, with the school team and weight training with her Stanford club team. Afshar has made strides since her freshmen year and first year playing water polo, dedicating more time to strength in her junior and senior years. “I didn’t use the weight room at all freshman and sophomore year because I was on JV,” Afshar said. “But once I got to varsity I had to be stronger to compete. I wasn’t going to get
of sex, physical education teacher Jason Fung teaches boys and girls the same way. “I teach kids how to get stronger,” Fung said. “I teach them how to lift weights, properly. Lifting is lifting, girl or boy. Just like you don’t teach soccer any differently to girls or boys, you teach them the same thing [in the weight room].” Afshar, on the other hand, has had contrary experiences with coaches in the weight room. “I’ve never seen the coaches, besides girls’ teams coaches, say anything to the boys to help make it easier for the girls,” Afshar said. “In fact, I’ve seen some coaches laugh at us [the girls water polo team] when we come to work out.” Albertolle and Peterson move onto kettle bell squats, stair sprints, the vertimax, and box jumps, all of which are lower body exercises. Girls are naturally stronger in their lower
“It’s intimidation,” Fung said. “why would the girls want to go in there?” stronger by just going to practice.”
ON PETERSON AND ALBERTOLLE’S SECOND SET, THEY encounter coach Pete Colombo meandering past the weight room. He looks at them, smiles and asks why they are there. The girls laugh and do not take the comment seriously. “I feel like a lot of boys’ coaches feel that we shouldn’t be there,” Albertolle said. “It feels good, though, because you are proving them wrong and showing them girls can be in the weight room.” Peterson also took the comment in stride. “I didn’t think of it in a sexist way,” Peterson said. “I’m just used to people asking me what I’m doing in the weight room.” The Paly PE department, as well, disregards the gender difference in the weight room. Because every student enrolled in physical education at Paly visits the weight room, regardless
body, a possible explanation for why no girls are on the immortalized bench press plaque wall. The wall, however, is not the only factor in the males’ perception of females’ strength. “Guys think girls are weak because of society,” Emilee Osagiede (‘12) said. “Girls are expected to fail.” Osagiede, who played varsity basketball her freshman year and is a competitive soccer player outside of school, agrees with Peterson that the weight room is easily accessible. “It’s convenient and easy to get to,” Osagiede said. Osagiede, who suffered from a dislocated kneecap and a torn meniscus simultaneously, and later an anterior cruciate ligament injury, utilizes the weight room as a source of rehabilitation for her injury. Her regular routine includes doing leg extensions, bench-press, lateral raises, bicep curls, leg presses and using the vertimax. She works out her upper body initially and then targets her lower body. “I work out my lats, then biceps, triceps then my abs, then
issue 2 KicKoff
move to lower body, which includes calves, quads and hamstrings,” Osagiede said. Osagiede has found that the accessibility of the weight room has contributed strongly to her success in basketball and soccer by strengthening her muscles and getting her back to her physical condition before her injury. “My major muscle groups are way more noticeable and stronger,” Osagiede said. “Like my calves, hamstrings and quads because the machines in the weight room really helped build the muscles.” Not only does the weight room provide a place to increase strength, but it also encourages a motivation for self-improvement. “I don’t want to look weak, I want to impress people,” Peterson said. “I think I am respected for it.” Osagiede has felt a similar need to prove herself. “Sometimes it is awkward,” Osagiede noted. “But I don’t
Some females feel required to put on a façade when going to the weight room. A mask of impartiality and a fake swagger are key elements to this deceptive persona. Other girls feel relief when there are no guys in the weight room, since they no longer have to maintain a steely exterior. For this reason, Osagiede was glad for the lack of males in the weight room when she went in to work out. “I was relieved there were no guys in the weight room today,” Osagiede said. “I felt like I didn’t have to act or pretend like I was tough.” Osagiede’s lack of confidence in her own athleticism when males are present, according to Fung, is due largely in part to the pressure of having to compete with the intense level of weight lifting that occurs in the weight room. “It’s intimidation,” Fung said. “Why would the girls want to go in there?” Paly trainer John Tamez agrees that girls are intimidated
“i think guys think girls are weak just because of society,” Emilee Osagiede (‘12) said. “girls are expected to fail.”
want it to look like I don’t know what I’m doing.” According to Laura M. Horsch, a local adolescence psychologist, this phenomenon, in which chances of failure is increased due to perceptions, is known as stereotype threat. “Stereotypes are generalizations about people based on membership in a certain group or category,” Horsch said. “Stereotype threat happens when a person is at risk of confirming a negative stereotype about their group and as a result sometimes performs worse than they otherwise would.” The anxiety of a constant judgment sometimes impairs the results of the athletes. “It is hypothesized that this happens because the person develops anxiety that they will perpetuate the stereotype if they do not perform well,” Horsch said. “This anxiety in turn actually interferes with their performance.” There is a tendency for qualities like aggression and strength to be associated with males. “Even though a lot has changed over time, stereotypical ideas about gender as it relates to physical activity still exists, which suggests that females are less athletic than males,” Horsch said. Because of this lingering generalization many females attribute athletic successes to outside factors, or coincidence. “Even when females do have athletic success, studies have documented a tendency for female athletes to believe it is due to luck rather than to their own skill or ability,” Horsch said.
emilee osagiede (‘12)
by the idea of going into the weight room. “Girls who are brought into it [the culture of lifting], like those that play basketball or water polo, understand lifting, so they do it,” Tamez said. “But a girl is not going to be motivated to work out by herself in front of boys.” Another major factor in the gender tension is the hormone influx associated with adolescence. “The sexual aspect that is on everybody’s mind for a few years now plays a major role,” Dr. Atzmon said. “You want to be attractive to make a good impression, be liked, be desired sexually, socially, and academically. The tension is very important. Once you put the genders together they try to impress each other in different styles. In adolescence this is heightened.” Regardless of whether the causes of the awkwardness of the male female interaction in the weight room is due to Stereotype Threat, the Cognitive Dissonance Theory, or even the immaturity of High School students, it is evident that a difference between the two genders exists in the Paly weight room.
AS PETERSON AND ALBERTOLLE GATHER THEIR BAGS along the outer wall, the sonorous beats of the newest D-Lo song fade into the distance the farther the two girls walk, each step distancing themselves further from their male counterparts. <<<
Quinn Rockwell (â€˜13) swims to the ball during the November 5th Varsity Water Polo game against Mountain View High School. The Vikings lost the game disqualifying them from the CCS tournament. The first time since 1991. Photo by Allie Shorin
issue 2 KicKoff
The Never-Ending Winn Streak Volleyball coach Dave Winn propels program into future BY GEORGE BROWN PHOTOS BY TALIA MOYAL
flood the court after Palo Alto High School’s final serve sails over F ans the net and straight to the floor. The ace completes Paly’s incredible comeback: the Viking volleyball team has come all the way back, after being down two games to zero, to beat Los Gatos High School in the final game, extending the team’s enormous winning streak. 56
The Oct. 29 win extended the streak to 30 games. Now at 31, it is the longest win streak in Central Coast Section (CCS) history by a public school. The streak started on Sep. 10, and has drawn significant attention to the team and its young talent. The challenge for head coach Dave Winn has been controlling his players and focusing on each individual match, rather than concentrating on the larger picture of the streak. “We are trying not to think about the streak, because we are a very superstitious team,” outside hitter Maddie Kuppe (‘12) said. “If anything, I think it makes us more determined to come back in games that we’re down in. It’s motivation, and I’ve definitely gotten a lot stronger mentally from this season.” The team lost three of its first five matches of the season, all of which were played on Sep. 5 at the Spikefest I tournament. Since then, the Vikings have won every match, shutting out their opponents in 20 of the 31 matches. “We don’t completely depend on the winning streak to help us win, but it’s definitely something that we all are thinking about in the back of our heads,” outside hitter Trina Ohms (‘11) said. “This win streak has really brought us together to show that volleyball is a mental game just as much as it a physical game.” Paly’s biggest challenge in the CCS playoffs looks to be number one seeded Archbishop Mitty High School, who has a perfect 32-0 record. The Lady Vikes are seeded number two, and will not have to face Mitty until the championship game. If both teams continue their win streaks through the first three rounds of the CCS Division II playoffs, they will be slated to play each other in the championship on Saturday, Nov. 21. The first and second place teams will head to states. Right now, the league champion Lady Vikes can only take it one game at a time. “The thing we have done the most is to try and not focus on ‘the streak’,” libero Megan Coleman (‘11) said. “When we get caught up in how many games we are winning, we stress about it and it becomes overwhelming.” At the beginning of the 2006 season,
coach Winn took over a Paly volleyball program with a 5-7 league record for the previous season. “Paly allowed me to fully implement the principles of my coaching in a posi-
Dave Winn coaches Paly to a three game win over Saratoga on Nov. 5 tive environment, and our teams have flourished,” Winn said. With Winn’s philosophy, the great success that the team has enjoyed has blossomed into another league championship, the 31-game win streak and a possible run to the CCS championship. Since taking the job as head coach, Winn has built a consistent volleyball
program from top to bottom. “It’s an honor to be a part of the streak, but more than the winning streak, I’m happy for the long term health of the program,” Winn said. In order to build up the program, Winn has focused on promoting team unity. By stressing chemistry, Winn goes beyond teaching the players simple skills and strategies: he has turned the 12 players into one unified team. Now, Winn is in his fourth season as the Paly varsity volleyball head coach. Each year at Paly, he has coached his team to the league title. The team is currently 33-3, and a perfect 12-0 in league. “He [coach Winn] has put four plaques on our wall,” Ohms said. “That’s a unifying experience because now all of the incoming players that want to play at Paly know that Paly means business.” Winn has been successful in changing the program’s mentality so the players can work together in a more cohesive way to achieve their goals. “My whole shtick coming in here was, ‘If you love each other and you support each other, there’s nothing you can’t do,’” Winn said. “And when it comes down to the x’s and O’s, we practice good things for volleyball, but we really stress team chemistry.” He has been aided in this endeavor by the influx of young talent. This year, eight of 12 players on the team are underclassmen. “At the beginning, the inexperience affected us because many of us had not played on varsity before,” setter and first year varsity player Kimberly Whitson (‘12) said. “But we worked hard and made it work. It doesn’t feel like we [underclassmen] are out of place; it feels like we are a normal and united team.” Outside hitter and co-captain Marissa Florant (‘10) said, “At the beginning, the lack of experience showed, especially in Spikefest I and the first preseason games. Now, we don’t think about the age gap.” Following the five game leagueclinching victory against Los Gatos on Oct. 29, Winn said, “It’s a tradition of high expectations. I don’t know what it was
issue 2 KicKoff
Focus Kimberly Whitson (‘12) and Megan Coleman (‘11) put forth total concentration at the Saratoga match like here before, I only know it from the other side of the net. [When I coached Los Altos], we played against Paly and they had remarkable athletes, they just didn’t always gel.” Winn was extremely happy with all of his players and their resilience in coming back after losing the first two games against Los Gatos. “There’s no other way we come back [to beat Los Gatos] unless we believe in each other,” Winn said. “They are too good of a team to just try hard. You have to have something deep within
yourselves: ‘I trust that girl on the right of me more than anyone, I trust that girl
emphasizing team chemistry has helped the team achieve its goals. “I think he [coach Winn] has done a great job at channeling our energy and determination into getting results,” Kuppe said. “Right now we are self-motivated, but I think he really helped us get on track in the beginning and channel all of our energy into working hard and getting better.” In order to get better and achieve its goals, the team works hard throughout the entire season. “He works us pretty hard in practice,
“You have to have something deep within yourselves: ‘I trust that girl on the right of me more than anyone, I trust that girl on the left of me more than anyone. And I’m going to dive, hit the floor, do whatever.’” - Dave Winn
on the left of me more than anyone. And I’m going to dive, hit the floor, do whatever.’ That’s what they did tonight. It’s been beautiful.” According to Kuppe, Winn’s unique combination of coaching volleyball and
but it is always useful and it always has a purpose,” Coleman said. “He finds the weak points in our team and we do certain drills over and over until that skill becomes a strength.” Winn’s hard work to improve the team has paid off this season, and it is evident in the win column. The time commitment that goes
love.” Winn’s commitment to the program does not go unnoticed. It is no secret that many of the athletic programs at Paly have not enjoyed the stability that the volleyball program has had over the years. Winn is able to provide this consistency through what he describes as “fair and honest” coaching. He makes
less than a dollar an hour? “I’ve had my share of lousy coaches in my life and I always said that if I got a chance, I’d find a way to make a positive difference in the lives of amateur athletes,” Winn said. “I love to win. But more than winning, I like to see my players succeed in life.” <<<
unity The Paly girls’ volleyball team huddles together before its Nov. 5 victory over Saratoga High School along with being a head coach is anything but negligible. Even though Winn has a family and sacrifices over two hours every weekday, plus entire weekends at tournaments, he keeps coaching to help the team achieve its greater goals. “I coach because I feel it’s a noble goal to help others achieve their goals and succeed in life,” Winn said. “[My wife] and my two young daughters get to know the players and parents and become part of the Paly community. That’s what I
sure to let players know when they are making mistakes.
“He works us pretty hard in practice, but it is always useful and it always has a purpose.” - Megan Coleman (‘11) So, why put in the multiple hours nearly everyday each fall, in a hot gym at a public high school, while getting paid
upcoming Matches CCS Quarterfinals - Nov. 14 time and location TBD
CCS Semifinals - Nov. 18 @ Valley Christian, time TBD CCS Finals - Nov. 21 @ Valley Christian, time TBD
Did you miss the last issue of The Viking? No problem, just visit voice.paly.net today to catch up on everything you missed!
Do you snow ski or snowboard? Agile Physical Therapy can help YOU increase your speed, enhance your performance, prevent ACL injuries Agile Physical Therapy is a private physical therapy clinic that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of sports related injuries. We are located at 2450 El Camino Real, Suite 101 in Palo Alto. For additional information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, please call: 650-565-8090 Mention Palo Alto High School ad for a special rate
23 30 7
at Paly-Football field (6:00) at Serra HS (TBA pm)
at St. Ignatius, SF (3:15) SCVAL Playoffs (TBA) SCVAL Playoffs (TBA)
at Paly-El Camino field (4:00)
9 at Menlo Atherton (3:15)
at Paly (5:30)
at Paly (TBA)
at Scott’s Valley HS (9:00)
at Paly-El Camino field (12:00) at Half Moon Bay (9:00pm)
Wrestling Girl’s Basketball
November/December SU N
29 6 13 20
issue 2 KicKoff
The Last Word
by Michael Cullen I’m an emotional guy. Just ask my mother. Actually don’t ask my mother, she will probably tell you what an evil child she thinks I am and attempt to show you embarrassing pictures of me as a young lad. And the worst part of it is, after all that, she’ll bake cookies, offer them to you and not me.
football field with the rhythmic drumming of cleats resonating off the concrete, the feel of a helmet fit snuggly to your dome, and the sight of the gridiron gloriously illuminated by the towering lights blazing above. So when I was ejected from the Paly vs. Gunn game, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach—only the feeling lasted for about a week. I realized that not only was I out for the rest of the game, I was also gone for the following week’s game, too. After the initial shock set in, I wanted to justify it. I wanted to make excuses for myself. I wanted to go back in time and run backwards on the play where I had been tossed, just so there was no way I could do anything wrong. But most of all, I wanted to be left alone. I had let down my school, my team, and my family. As I had more time to think to myself and the significance of the situation dawned on me, I made up my mind: there would be no blaming anyone but myself for what happened. No excuses, no “what ifs”, and no denying the fact that I, and I alone, had messed up. I put on my pads the next Monday knowing that the week of practice ahead would be about helping my team get better, but that it would also be one of the hardest weeks of my life. Friday came. I watched my teammates put their gear in the compartments under the bus for the journey to Fremont High School. I watched them pull on their jerseys and lace up their cleats. From the sidelines, I watched my team play a
Everyone makes mistakes. Some people choose to learn from their mistakes, while others do not. i learned my lesson the hard way.
It’s happened before. No, don’t ask my mother. Ask my teammates. Or ask anyone who saw one of my darkest moments, which occurred at Gunn High School when our football team played the Titans some weeks ago. I was tossed [for you citizens out there not familiar with the term, I was in short, ejected] for allegedly throwing a punch at a Gunn player. For those of you who don’t know, I live, eat, and breathe football. There is no thrill in the world like jogging onto a
game that I knew I should have been a part of. Everyone makes mistakes. Some people choose to learn from their mistakes, while others do not. I learned my lesson the hard way. As my mom will tell you. we don’t always agree. But my mother taught me that you can either make excuses for your mistakes in the past, or you can use your experiences to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. I think I’ll listen to her for once.
iAS SuPPorTS The STudeNTS oF PAlo AlTo hiGh SChool ANd STANdS WiTh You!