Meet the captains of winter athletics: Lauren Koyama

Bianca Al-Shamari, Author

As Palo Alto High School’s winter sports teams build chemistry and prepare for league play with vigor, the new captains of the soccer, wrestling and basketball teams enter the scene ready to take on the field, the floor and the court. Let’s meet the captains.

Girls’ Basketball

The girls’ team dominated leagues last year, posting an overall record of 19-8, en route to winning CCS.  After a 1st place finish in the CCS playoffs and a first round NorCal loss to Dublin High School Gaels, 55-49, in the first round of NorCals, the Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team hopes to return to CCS finals.

Girls’ basketball does not elect official captains. Instead, seniors collectively lead as team-recognized captains, according to one of the senior varsity captains Lauren Koyama.

Senior Lauren Koyama describes her beginnings in basketball, and the inspiration she drew from her sister. Koyama shares her goals for the upcoming season, and the important role her fellow teammates play in her life. Photo: Bianca Al-Shamari.

Meet Lauren Koyama. Koyama began playing for varsity her freshman year, and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) her sophomore year.

LK: “My sister played basketball, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” Koyama said. “I made varsity my freshman year, and started games as a freshman. The four seniors that have been on the team since freshman year are the leaders of the team. In the beginning of the games we send up the underclass men as the captains, so the upperclassmen have more time to warm up.”

PV: What are you excited for this season?

LK: “This season I’m looking forward to being a main leader, and how the senior leadership [will] guide our team,” Koyama said. “We are really excited to hopefully redeem ourselves against Los Gatos since we lost two games against them last year, including senior night.”

According to Koyama, she is looking into the possibility of playing in college and will miss her Paly team upon graduation.

LK: “I will miss my team the most after graduation. We have created a family bond, and I will never have such a close team again in my life.”


To meet more Paly winter sport captains, click one of the links below:

Girls’ Basketball: Skylar Burris

Girl’s Soccer: Emily Tomz

Girls’ Soccer: Natalie Maloney

Wrestling: Sara Aguilar

Wrestling: Seth Goyal

Boys’ Basketball: Miles Tention

Boys’ Soccer: Derek Schoenberger

Boy’s Soccer: Neil Verwillow

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  • Palo Alto High School junior Josh Wilde goes head to head with his opponent during the Vikings 51-17 loss to Fremont Tuesday at home. Head coach Jon Kessler said the team is going to continue training after this loss. “Were gonna get back into the practice room tomorrow and were gonna work hard,” Kessler said. (Photo: Jonathan Chen)


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  • The Viking boys basketball team plays at one of its first home games of the season last semester against Overfelt high school. In lieu of the surge of Omicron cases starting this semester, Athletes are now forced to follow increased precautions, such as weekly Covid Testing, in order to slow the transmission of the virus. According to girls’ basketball coach Scott Peters, with COVID cases having risen before the first lockdown in 2020 at around this time, the athletic community must continue to be careful. “If we look at the past you know up till January 14th and 15th we’re going to have to keep dealing with the big surge, but hopefully it will get better,” Peters said.


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  • Paly senior midfielder Noah Adesnik defends the ball from the Aragon High School Dons during the Vikings Friday night game at home. According to Adesnik, who scored the first goal of the 2-0 game, the Dons made a good effort, but scoring early gave the Vikings the advantage. It was a rough second half but we scored a late goal to seal the win, Adesnik said. It was a good win, it was team effort. (Photo: Jonathan Chen)


    Boys’ soccer overpowers Aragon

  • Boys Basketball topples Overfelt in first game of season


    Boys’ Basketball topples Overfelt in first game of season

  • Senior Iris Li prepares to serve the ball last week at home during the first round of the Central Coast Section tournament. In the second round of CCS, the Vikings lost to St. Francis, 0-7. Li said she was happy with the teams performance during the season. It was not necessarily the best way to end the season but I think we had a great overall season and it was really fun, Li said. (Photo: Jonathan Chen)


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  • Viking senior middle blocker Olivia Harrison spikes the ball in the Bears’ defense at the Central Coast Section quarterfinals, 0-3 loss Tuesday at home. Harrison said the outcome of the game was unexpected. “It’s pretty disappointing,” Harrison said. “I think I’ve had a lot of fun just playing with this team. This one was really like a home game again.”


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  • The Vikings line up at the line of scrimmage in Fridays senior night game win against Milpitas. 
According to head coach Nelson Gifford, he wanted the team to finish senior night with a win. 
You want to be able to close it out for all the guys and for the work that theyve done for the fans and for the community, Gifford said. To play with the sort of effort that they did even though they didnt really have to play for 48 minutes, I mean its special. It means more. (Photo: Benjamin Grimes)


    Vikings beat Milpitas in thrilling senior night victory

  • Viking senior quarterback Danny Peters runs past a Wildcat defender in Friday nights 0-49 homecoming game loss against Los Gatos. Peters said that the Vikings’ lack of teamwork was a major factor in their loss. “Everyone should have been thinking together as a team and I think thats just what should have happened,” Peters said. “And today, [it] was not — it was all individual stuff and we all got in our own heads and it just didnt work out.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)


    Vikings collapse in homecoming loss to Los Gatos

  • Freshman Sophie Mies serves the ball.


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  • Junior Kellyn Scheel dribbles the ball during the Vikings’ second game of the season, where they won, 6-0, against Salinas on Thursday afternoon. Scheel said that the Vikings’ positivity was crucial to their success. “Our team dynamic is really going to help everybody build that confidence, just because everybodys so uplifting,” Scheel said.

    Field Hockey

    Girls’ field hockey shuts out Salinas

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