Lower and middle school sports teams were busy in September; football, cross country, softball and swimming have kept our after-school athletes literally on the run! Take a look at the slide show at the bottom of this post to see for yourself.
The Gr. 8 varsity A flag football team completed a very successful month by placing third in the annual eight-team Harker Flag Football tournament. Quarterback Brian Bither and running back Kevin Moss provided many of the offensive fireworks as the Eagles swept three games in pool play to earn a spot in the semifinals. The duo combined for four of the team’s six touchdowns in those three games, while touchdowns by wide receiver John Hughes and running back Arjun Goyal completed the scoring. The wins earned the Eagles a semifinal showdown with St. Joseph’s. Ian Richardson and Adarsh Battu led a strong defensive effort as the two teams battled to a 6-6 tie before St. Joe’s advanced to the finals after winning the California tiebreaker. Harker then earned third place with a 14-0 win over Menlo’s varsity B team. The 4-0-1 tournament record left the Eagles at 8-1-1 overall for the year, 3-1 and in second place in West Bay Athletic League play.
Harker opened the season and league play with wins over Pinewood and Crystal Springs Upland before dropping a tough 28-19 decision to Menlo. The Eagles rebounded from that loss to defeat King’s Academy 15-13, rallying from a 13-6 halftime deficit on a touchdown by Battu and a late safety by Richardson. The following day Harker rolled over Valley Christian 25-7. In addition to those mentioned above, coach Mike Delfino commends the strong play of Sean Youn, Sean Knudsen, and Andrew Zhu. The team has two remaining home games, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13.
The Gr. 7 varsity B football team has a record of 5-1 in season play, along with a tie for fifth place at the Harker tournament. The record does not reveal that the team had given up only four touchdowns and one extra point in the first few games. Coach Justin Sullivan credits the entire team with tenacious defense, and reports that the offense is starting to move the ball more each game as the season progresses. The team beat Valley Christian 19-0 on Sept. 24, and hopes to beat them again on Wed., Oct. 7 at Valley. Come out and cheer on the boys!
The Gr. 6 J.V. A football team has a 4-2 record, with impressive wins against Crystal Springs Uplands (41-0) and Priory (20-13). The team has two home games left on Oct. 6 and 14.
Fifth graders on the J.V. B team have played their way to a 2-1 record, with wins against Woodland (39–19) and St. Matthews (15-13). Remaining home games will be against St. Joseph’s on Oct. 6, and Keys on both Oct. 13 and 15.
Coaches Jim McGovern and Tomas Thompson report that the Gr. 4 boys are off to a solid start with flag football. The players are learning positions, pass patterns, the intricacies of hand-offs, listening for the snap count and pulling flags. Teamwork and fair play have been emphasized for the beginning of the season and the boys are extremely enthusiastic out on the field each day. Standout performances so far have included Michael Kwan and Brando Pakel both showing exemplary leadership early on in the season. Positive attitude and overall great effort have been shown by Albert Drewke, Rohit Shah and Maxwell Woerhrmann.
At the Sept. 24 meet at JD Morgan Park, the MS cross country runners continued to perform well. Calvin Kocienda, Gr. 6, took ninth for the boys and Alexandra Dellar, Gr. 6, placed third. Alyssa Amick came in third for the Gr. 7 girls, and Claudia Tischler and Nicholas Navarro, both Gr. 8, took fourth and sixth, respectively. At the meet against C.T. English on Sept. 30, Dellar and Kocienda earned fourth and tenth; Amick again came in third, with Corey Gonzales, Gr. 7, taking sixth. Tischler and Navarro both took fourth.
The MS varsity A softball team started off strong with a 13-4 victory over Priory. According to coach Raul Rios, “We had strong pitching from Regan Heslop, Gr. 6, who had eight strike outs and was relieved by Marita Del Alto, Gr. 6, who shut down the Priory offense.” The team played great defense, allowing only four hits. Laura Thacker, Gr. 8, “was like a wall behind the plate for us this game.” Hits from Safia Khouja, Gr. 7, Sarah Bean, Gr. 7, Heslop, Thacker and a long ball smash double by Nithya Vemireddy, Gr. 8, contributed to the high score of this win. They are now 2-2, with losses to King’s Academy and Valley Christian and an additional win against Castilleja 7-6.
The LS J.V. B softball team, coached by Casey Henderson and Michelle Hopkins, is undefeated with three wins, beating Woodland 17-3, St. Josephs 10-9, and Pinewood 9-8. Henderson reports, “The girls are still learning but we are hoping to continue the advancement of their technique and enthusiasm. Special thanks to all of the wonderful and supportive parents!”
The LS and MS swim teams have had another great turn out this year with over 60 MS swimmers and 65 LS swimmers participating. The Gr. 6-8 girls had their first meet on Sept. 25 at Castilleja, and all the swimmers are gearing up for their meet Oct. 7 at the Bucknall campus. Come out and cheer on the team at the only home meet of the season!
Watch for more sports as the reports come in!