Halfway through their seasons, all US sports teams are working hard, with some teams earning unprecedented success.
Boys Water Polo
Boys varsity water polo won in dramatic fashion on Oct. 1 at the Singh Aquatic Center by defeating Saratoga High School 9-8. Stefan Schwartz, Gr. 12, scored the go-ahead goal with five seconds remaining in the game! Although the team is 2-1 in tournament play, the league record is currently 1-3, with the Oct. 6 game results not available at press time.
Girls Water Polo
Thirty girls are playing water polo this year, necessitating the addition of a J.V. team. J.V. is 1-2 in league play. Cynthia Shwe, Gr.11, leads the J.V. team with 10 goals, all scored with her left hand. She is right-handed but is recovering from a wrist injury, so watch out when she is fully healed! Other leading scorers are freshmen Sonia Sidhu with five, Joy Li with four, and Rachel Yanovsky and Catherine Manea each with 1. Goalies Sierra Lincoln, Gr. 9 and Daniela Lapidous, Gr. 10, are working hard in the cage and have made many saves. Varsity coach Kandace Lopez reports, “These two are fierce!” She added, “Good things are sure to come from this group of girls as they show much improvement after each game they play.”
The varsity team is 2-2 in league play with the two losses being hard-fought and very close. Leading scorers are seniors Tina Ma and Sarah Jane Estrada with 31 and 10, respectively; Keri Clifford, Gr. 9, with seven; Kelsey Chung, Gr. 12 and Miranda Gorman, Gr. 11, with four each; Andrea Lincoln, Gr. 12, with two, and Amy Johnson, Gr. 9, Niva Bigler, Gr. 11 and Simy Bhagat, Gr. 10 with one apiece. Ma received recognition in the Mercury News for her high score total. Melanie Herscher, Gr. 12, the starting goalie, has also scored on the other team’s goal in the last seconds of the quarter. The competition is intense and the girls are relentless, so come on down to the home games and cheer on these girls.
The girls varsity tennis team is working hard toward their goal of winning the league championship. Currently, they have a 7-0 overall record and are 2-0 in WBAL play. The team is lead by captain Arthi Padmanabhan, co-captains Kelly Chen and Brittany Chu, all Gr. 12. Vivian Huang, Gr. 12, also provides excellent leadership for the young team. Sophomores Jaya Chandra, Aranshi Kumar and Tanya Piskun join freshmen Jenny Chen, Daria Karakoulka and Chau Nguyen to provide a solid lineup. Coach Craig Pasqua expects the girls to be tested in October with matches against last year’s NorCal champion, Mitty, as well as against CCS powerhouses Sacred Heart, Menlo and Homestead. Pasqua comments, “The team works very hard together and is working to improve their competitive spirit.”
Rachel Gast, the J.V. girls tennis coach, reports that the team has a league record of 3-0-1, putting the team second in league behind Sacred Heart Prep. Gast states that captains Kaavya Cherukuri, Gr. 11, Supraja Swamy, Gr. 11 and Priyanka Sharma, Gr. 10, are very talented and that the team is enjoying the winning season as they become great tennis players and competitors. Gast praised juniors Lydia Demissachew, Swetha Repakula, Frankie Nagle, Swamy and Cherukuri. Both our number one singles player, Ishika Peravali, Gr. 10, and number two singles player, Nagle, are undefeated in league. Some freshmen to watch for this year are Emily Wang, Maya Sathaye, Anika Radiya-Dixit, Akarsha Gulukota, Marissa Moser and Isha Patnaik.
This year’s varsity cheer squad has had a great season so far. Through summer and early fall practices, the team has added impressive tumbling moves and tosses to their routines. Coach Chris King credits the team’s dedication and the new folding cheer flooring with allowing these athletes to safely practice and learn the new skills that have already wowed audiences at football games.
The squad is made up of captains Amanda King, Gr. 11 and Saira Ahuja, Gr. 10; choreographer John Ammatuna, Gr. 11, and cheerleaders Sammi Werthen, Gr. 12, Alice Loofbourrow, Gr.11, Jessica Lin, Gr. 10 and Amy Wardenburg, Gr. 9.
Although illness gave the cross country team a rough start this season, the varsity girls finished fifth at the first meet, with Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 12, placing fifth overall with a time of 20:15. J.V. boys finished ninth and varsity boys finished tenth at that meet. At the Saratoga Invitational on Sept. 22, the girls were only able to field four runners due to illness, but they all had outstanding runs. The boys, while still facing sicknesses and recovering, were able to pull eighth place.
On Sept. 26 the varsity teams competed at the Stanford Invitational, where the girls took 14th out of 27 teams and the boys pulled off a 24th place out of 32. Both the lead girl and boy had incredible times on this course; Hilbrich ran a 19:49 placing 14th and Aadithya Prakash, Gr. 12, pushed out a 17:02.
The team performed extremely well at their first league meet. Hilbrich dominated the girls race as she crossed the finish line first, completing the 2.8 mile course with a time of 18:16. She was followed closely by three up-and-coming freshmen runners, Ragini Bhattacharya, Isabelle Connell and Adrienne Mendel, with April Luo and Anne West, both Gr. 11, followed in by Sara Teplitsky, Gr. 12. The girls team placed third overall. The boys varsity placed second as a team with Prakash leading the race until the end, when he placed third, and Stefan Eckhardt, Gr. 12, taking fourth, followed by Adam Perelman, Gr. 12, Proteek Biswas, Gr. 10, Charles Levine, Gr. 10, Tyler (Robert) Yeats, Gr. 9 and Arjun Mody, Gr. 12. The J.V. girls placed second and J.V. boys fourth.
The team is looking strong and is proving to show much talent and potential. While it is the middle of the season, this is just the beginning of the league meets, and Harker is proving to be a force within the league. October will provide the team an opportunity to display their talents, with much potential for a strong finish at the end of the season. The next two league meets are at Shoreline, on Thurs., Oct. 15 and Fri., Nov. 6. Come out and support our cross country Eagles!
The Harker Eagles football program has made history already this season with a 4-0 record with wins against San Jose High (21-7), Yerba Buena (17-0), James Lick (14-7) and California School for the Deaf (19-6). Their 3-0 start was even mentioned in the Mercury News!
The boys faced their toughest competition so far when the J.V. and varsity squads traveled to James Lick HS on Sept. 25. The J.V. team lost a hard-fought contest 20-6, and things didn’t go well early in the game for the varsity team. The Comets drove the ball deep into Harker territory in the first quarter, then scored to take a 7-0 lead. This was the first time the Eagles had trailed another team this season.
The momentum shifted to Harker when defensive back Gautam Krishnamurthi, Gr. 11, stripped the ball from a James Lick receiver and sprinted 30 yards to the end zone. The kick by Jose Costa, Gr. 12, was then blocked by the Comets, and the quarter ended with Harker trailing James Lick 7-6. In the second quarter, Harker took control on offense and capped a scoring drive with a 21-yard pass from Rishi Bhatia,Gr. 11, to Kevin Fu, Gr. 12, for a touchdown. Bhatia passed to Fu again to make the score Harker 14, James Lick 7.
Lick threatened late in the fourth quarter, downing two successive punts on the Eagles’ one-yard line. The Eagles offensive line, seniors Mark Roh, Stephen Wang, Patrick Campbell, and juniors Justin Shamlou and Jerry Shteynberg successfully blocked the Comets’ attempts to push Harker into its own end zone. In the closing minutes, the offensive line took control by opening holes for quarterback Cole Davis, Gr. 12, who rushed for two key first downs to preserve the 14-7 win. This is the first time in school history that the Harker varsity football team has started a season with four consecutive wins. Head coach Karriem Stinson dedicated the game to Harker history teacher John Near, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer.
The remainder of the Eagles’ league schedule is loaded with very tough competition. Fortunately, many of those games will be at home on Davis Field, so come on out and join us!
Girls golf shot their best scores of the season against Sacred Heart Prep on Sept. 30, but couldn’t overcome a very talented Prep squad as they lost 185-159. They are now 2-2 overall, 2-2 WBAL.
Earlier victories include a 201-220 victory over Notre Dame San Jose where Sonya Huang, Gr. 12, picked up her first medal of the season with a 46. In that match-up, scores between each seeded player were closely contested, until Patricia Huang, Gr. 9, defeated her opponent by 15 strokes with a career best 47. Rounding out the team scores were Karen Wang, Gr. 10, with 49, Katie Marcus Reker, Gr. 10, scoring 59, Katie Liang, Gr. 11, with 60 and Jessica Son, Gr, 9, with 61. Coach Ie-Chen Cheng is stressing the importance of putting to the girls, and the efforts are helping, as the girls are showing steady improvement.
In an earlier loss against Menlo 169-200, Sonya Huang paced the Eagles with a 41. Coach Cheng was proud of the girls’ efforts, stating that the Menlo score was “probably one of their best scores in history.” She added, “Menlo’s 169 would be hard to beat for any top high school teams. With that said, I am very proud of the way all the girls fought. We were off today, but we didn’t give up, and that’s what’s important. Even when Menlo were bombing their drives, the girls did not let that intimidate us.”
The team opened the season with a 210-240 victory over Mercy Burlingame. Despite the high heat, narrow fairways and playing short-handed, the win called for a complete team effort. Sonya Huang paced the Eagles with a 47, followed by Wang with 51, Marcus Reker with 55 and Patricia Huang with 57.
The varsity team is off to a 5-6 start heading into league play. After graduating five seniors last year, the team is very young and eager to get back to CCS. This year there are just two seniors, Danielle Buis and Tiffany Kyi. According to assistant coach Michael Leonard, the girls continue to improve and create team chemistry each day. They look to build on their current success so far as they enter WBAL league play.
The J.V. girls volleyball players have improved tremendously so far this season, returning four sophomores while adding seven freshmen. Four girls are playing positions they’ve never played before and the team continues to build chemistry. According to coach Pete Yee, the team has a solid sideout game, plays defense well and serves tough. The team was 2-4 in preseason play, and finished 17th out of 31 teams at the Milpitas/Independence J.V. tournament, taking the red championship. The girls took 10th out of 16 teams at the Los Gatos J.V. tournament, placing second in the silver bracket.