Vikings get ready for spring sports

Arohi Bhattacharya, Senior Staff Writer

As the sun comes back out to shine from winter, spring sports are beginning to kick in for the new year at Palo Alto High School. With a wide variety of options from swimming to lacrosse to badminton, these new sports share one main goal in common: winning.

Both girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse are popular sports are Paly. This is the first year both teams have the opportunity to advance to CCS. Boys Varsity Lacrosse Coach Daniel Joseph (DJ) Shelton is hopeful for the upcoming season.  

He said that his motivation to make CCS this season comes primarily from his fearless past assistant coach Colin O’ Kane, who passed away in June 2016.

“Coach O’Kanes short but dramatic impact on this program is a legacy that drives every decision I make,” Shelton said. “I honor him by focusing more on the growth of the game.”

Shelton said he expects the season to run smoothly despite having to fill key positions on the field left by outstanding senior players. One of his primary focus is shaping players during the season, not necessarily the results. 

We are undoubtedly one of the top public schools in the CCS,” Shelton said. “I want our program to see where they stack up against the private schools when it really counts.”

According to Shelton, the eagerness of the players will help the team overcome challenges that they faced last season on the field. 

“I think last year we excelled at out ‘athleting’ our opponents,” Shelton said. “We were always more physical and much faster. However, I think there was a lack of understanding of some crucial components of lacrosse. That is our goal for this year: to be better lacrosse players, and focus on understanding the game as a team.”

Palo Alto High School freshman Miles Hudson passes the baton to sophomore Luca Pagani in the 4 x 100 meter relay on Thursday at Paly. The team clocked in with a time of 46.16 seconds and the performances by Hudson and Pagani were key contributions to the Viking’s win. “I think we did well considering we only had one day to practice handoffs,” Pagani said. “There is room for improvement, but it was a good first meet.” Photo: Eric Yap

Junior Varsity Baseball Coach John Suter shares the same mentality as Coach Shelton. With tryouts coming soon, Suter said that the individual player goals are slightly different than the team’s general goals.

“Goals for the upcoming season vary from player to player but our team concept within the program is to develop players emotionally, mentally and physically for baseball life at the varsity level,” Suter said.

Suter said it’s unique to the baseball teams this year because they’re fixating on developing pitching this season. 

Students themselves are feeling optimistic about their seasons. Junior David Evans is excited for the track and field season to come, hoping to ignite new personal records individually and with his team.

“I just want to run some really fast times in the mile and try to be a good leader,” Evans said. “We try to build up a good team mentality when we run. A strength we had last season was the last kick [sprinting the last couple hundred meters] and I’m really hoping to utilize that this time…I can’t wait to compete.”

Junior Alex Selwyn also expressed his enthusiasm for the awaiting season.

“I want to improve my speed, endurance and build on our achievements as a team, and collectively strengthen our ties to each other so we have a better team atmosphere,” Selwyn said. “When everyone is cheering you on and has a stake in your performance, it empowers you to do better.”

All the coaches, players and teams for the incoming spring season are dedicated to working towards an improved playing style in their games. 

“It is essential that we all grow and learn together. Everyone on the team has a commitment and responsibility to each other.” said badminton coach Alex Adame.