The Palo Alto High School football team (5-7, 3-3) ended its season last Friday with a 42-0 loss to the Milpitas Trojans (10-2, 6-0) in the Central Coast Section semi-finals, marking the Vikings’ second loss to Milpitas of this season.
Vikings’ head coach Jake Halas is regretful of the loss.
“As a player and a coach, you always want to continue playing as long as they’ll let you,” Halas said. “Unfortunately, we ran into Milpitas again.”
Despite the loss, Halas said the season went well overall.
“Overall this was a good season, not because of our record, but because of what our kids accomplished,” said Halas. “Our senior leadership was a big reason for the late success of our program.”
The Vikings will lose 22 seniors, almost half of the team, next season.
Junior offensive guard Sean Romeo is apprehensive about next season.
“It doesn’t feel [like] that big of a deal at the moment, but I think that once we actually begin the senior year we’re going to realize that we’re the face of the school now and it’s going to be a huge step up,” Romeo said.
Despite this, senior running back Takeru Nishi said that he believes the younger players will be able to pick up the slack.
“I think they will do fine,” Nishi said. “There are many young, talented players who will work very hard to play to their full potential.”
Halas echoed Nishi’s sentiments about underclassmen replicating the seniors’ talent and success.
“Our seniors know that they are a major reason for turning this program around and laid a good foundation for the underclassmen to build upon,” Halas said.
The Vikings ended their season with a 5-7 overall record, improving on the 3-8 record from last year.
“Our philosophy has always been to get better at every practice and improve on every game,” Halas said. “It’s less about how you start and more about how you finish.”