This article was originally published in the summer 2012 Harker Quarterly.
This spring was a season of ups and downs for Harker sports, as teams pitted themselves against worthy opponents from across the state. School records were broken in the pool and on the field, as students shattered previous shot put and 500-yard freestyle numbers. Lower and middle school athletes continued to impress with their enthusiasm and dedication, as well as their stellar results, with many teams coming away undefeated or nearly so. Overall, it was another exciting season for Harker athletes. Go Eagles!
Harker sluggers finished a difficult year with a 9-17 record, 2-8 in league. “Three tough extra-inning losses hurt the Eagles’ chances in league play,” said head coach C.J. Cali. Highlights of the season included a monster 18-0 thumping against North Valley Baptist, as well as an exciting extra-innings 5-4 win in the season opener against King’s Academy. To cement the bond between campuses, the upper and middle school teams took a group trip to an A’s-Angels game in May, where they enjoyed the fun from a luxury suite.
Harker cradlers had a historic season this spring, posting their first winning season since the program began. Coach Andrew Irvine had his first year as head coach, building off the foundation of Dawn Clark’s four years as head coach, with Jason Berry, also a varsity girls soccer coach, assisting. “We beat out league rival Mercy Burlingame for the first time in several years,” said Irvine. “We are looking forward to the development of the lacrosse program in the coming years as it is the fastest growing
sport in America.”
Congratulations to the boys volleyball team on their tough-fought season. “Harker arguably competes in the strongest league in the state,” said head coach Dan Molin. “[Their league] features three other teams ranked in the state’s top 25.” The boys were 14-18 overall and 4-8 in league.
Harker linksmen finished 7-3 this spring, with a strong third place in their league. “I think we had a great season and competed very well against Menlo (who won the league) and split with Sacred Heart (who finished second and won the league championship tournament),” said cohead coach Phil Hall.
Harker’s aquatic athletes posted admirable results in the CCS championships this spring, which included more than 100 schools stretching from San Francisco to King City. Nevertheless, Harker had many top 10 finishes, including second and third places, respectively, in girls 100-meter backstroke and boys 100-meter freestyle. Overall, the girls tied for 16th place, and the boys came in tied for ninth. Great work!
Harker’s lady sluggers finished the season 11-10-2 and 7-5 in league, placing fourth. Two players made first team All League. In a heartbreaking last game, the team missed the CCS playoffs by one home run, abdicating to Castilleja 1-0. “We are losing two seniors this year,” says head coach Raul Rios, “but are getting most players back. The girls know how close we were to getting [into the playoffs], so next year they will try even harder. I think we are going to be better and stronger next year.”
The Harker racquet men showed not only a winning season this spring, but made it to the CCS championships for the ninth straight year! Though the boys got off to a slow start losing three of their first six matches, they then took off and won nine of their next 11, including one stretch with seven straight wins! They finished the season with an overall record of 11-7 and finished third in the WBAL.
Track and Field
“A small band of talented, hardworking athletes is a powerful force,” said coach Brian Dougall, and indeed he was right, as Harker track and field athletes posted impressive results at the WBAL varsity finals on May 12 in Daly City, even though they had one of the smaller squads in the league. Harker posted first-place results in the men’s 100, 200 and 3,200 meters, as well as the women’s 200 meters. Other top five finishes included men’s shot put and discus, and the women’s 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. Said Dougall, “We had a young team this year and they will be back next year. So, watch out.”
Lower and Middle School
Big congratulations to the VA girls volleyball squad, who went undefeated all season, ending 8-0. “It was an amazing season with effort from every kid,” said coach Alisa Vinkour. “This is a very talented group of kids.”
The VB girls team posted impressive results this season, ending their league with a three-way tie for first place, with a win-loss record of 6-1. Coach Diana Melendez said the team had a positive attitude and a strong team spirit. “They were a fun group to work with and an eager-to-learn bunch, which made their learning process much more fun. They were dedicated and committed; considering the many activities Harker kids have, I was very pleased when almost all girls would attend practices and games.”
The VB2 girls team had a strong season, going 5-2 and placing third in their league.
The girls on the JVB1 team had a wonderful season, going 5-1 and finishing the season co-champions! “The girls played their hearts out, and I was very proud of all of them,” said coach Michelle Hopkins.
The grade 4 intramural team had an amazing time and built a strong foundation of skills to use in future years. “I am very proud of the progress the girls made from the first day of practice until the final practice,” said coach Patrick Hightower. “This team began the season as young girls who had never seen or touched a volleyball. They have progressed by making controlled passes and sets. By the end of the season, they were able to serve and receive a serve.” Good work, girls – we look forward to seeing you shine in future seasons!
What a season it was for the boys varsity A team, who finished the season 10-1 and placed first in the ADAL (Art David Athletic League). “This is a tremendous accomplishment and a tribute to the volleyball talent here at Harker,” said coach Pete Anderson. “The team meshed and worked hard throughout the year.” This was the varsity A team’s first season in a boys volleyball league after many years playing as an independent.
The JVA boys had a difficult season, going 0-5-1, with a tie in their last game against Menlo. “We continued to get better and better as the season went on,” said coach Matt Arensberg.
With only 11 players on the roster, the grade 5 JVB sluggers fought hard and ended the season 0-3 in league play. Coach Walid Fahmy said, “I am really looking forward to seeing the boys improve and get better next year as they move on to Blackford. Coach [Joe] Mentillo and I are very proud of each and every boy who came out for baseball and made this a memorable season.”
The grade 4 intramural team was superlative in their enthusiasm this year. “The boys’ passion for the game and their love of practicing and playing while challenging each other to improve was remarkable to witness on a daily basis,” said coach Jim McGovern. “Their dedication to working on fielding, hitting and base running was evident early on to Coach Wade and me, and the entire team improved their skills throughout the season.”
A hearty congratulations to the varsity A girls tennis squad, who competed for the first time ever and pulled off a winning record of 4-1. “The girls performed to their best every match,” said coach Silvana Dukic. “Such enthusiasm, spirit and love for the game … I’m so proud of them! It was a pleasure to coach them.”
Kudos go to the middle school water polo squad, who finished fourth in their league.