This article originally appeared in the winter 2014 Harker Quarterly.
What a fall season it was for Harker sports! The girls varsity volleyball team became the first Harker team in any sport to host a NorCal playoff game, and, on the way, won a league championship and tied an Eagles record for the highest-ever CCS seed. Meanwhile, the tennis squad tied a Harker record for the most victories in one season; an Eagles golfer made it further than any other; a cross country runner raced to the highest state result in Harker history; and the water polo teams ended the season with wins. In addition, the football squad, with a freshman quarterback honored by the San Jose Mercury News, pulled off stunning comebacks and marched to enormous blowouts. It was an amazing, record-breaking season for the Eagles – and the year is just getting started!
The golf team’s big story this year was freshman sensation Katherine Zhu. Zhu, who earlier in the season was named to the American Junior Golf Association’s Gary Gilchrist All-Star Team, which includes the top 10 female golfers between 12 and 15 years old, turned in spectacular performances for the Eagles. After winning the WBAL individual championship, Zhu shot a 3-under-par 69 at the CCS Championships. That catapulted her into the Northern California Championships in Salinas, further than any golfer in Harker history. As a whole, the team finished third in the league championships after going 5-5-1 for a .500 record. To boot, the middle school team took first place at the WBAL tournament at Los Lagos – its sixth WBAL championship in a row. The future looks very bright for Harker golf!
Cross country broke records as well, as Niki Iyer, grade 10, ran for the highest state result in Eagles cross country history, finishing fifth out of 193 runners at the state cross country championships. Earlier in the season, Iyer and senior Corey Gonzales each ran in the league cross country championships and finished second, sending them to the CCS Championships. There, Gonzales placed eighth out of 100 runners, while Iyer had the fifth-best time of the day across all runners in all divisions. Also at CCS, Alexandra Dellar and Jack Rothschild, both grade 11, ran personal bests. Iyer also won Santa Clara County Girls Athlete of the Week in recognition of her 10th place finish and personal-best 18:18 run at the Clovis Invitational, a multistate championship race.
The girls varsity squad finished the year with a 15-7 record, tied for the most victories in a season in Harker girls tennis history. The Eagles won their first-round CCS match beating York School 4-3, before falling the next day to league rival Menlo to end the season.
Fall marked one of the most remarkable seasons for girls volleyball – and, indeed, for any sports team in Harker’s history! The girls varsity team made it all the way to the second round of the NorCal Championships and, in so doing, became the first team in Eagles history in any sport to host a NorCal playoff game. Overall, the girls won nearly two-thirds of their games, finishing with a 19-10 record. The team won a WBAL league co-championship, clinched with a win over Sacred Heart Prep on Senior Night. After that, the team earned a No. 2 seed in the CCS tournament, tying them with their 2007 counterparts for the highest seed ever by an Eagles volleyball team. The girls’ amazing year also made headlines in the San Jose Mercury News, as the team was ranked in the paper, and senior Shreya Dixit was named Santa Clara County Girls Athlete of the Week for a tremendous stretch of performances against Menlo and Notre Dame-San Jose earlier in the year.
The Eagles ended the season with a 4-6 record in a dynamic rebuilding year that saw the team start six freshmen in varsity play all year long, including quarterback Nate Kelly, who racked up an insane 480 yards of total offense in the team’s final game of the year, a 48-15 trumping of St. Francis-Watsonville on Senior Night that sent seniors and team leaders Keanu Forbes, Sid Krishnamurthi, Christian Williams, Alyssa Amick and Allen Huang off in style. Kelly also was featured in the San Jose Mercury News’ sports highlight reel of top performances for a game in which he threw for 210 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns to lead Harker to a 64-60 blowout victory. The most amazing game of this year, though, came in mid-October. After being down 21-0 in the first quarter, the Eagles roared back to capture a 32-28 victory on their final drive of the game when Forbes bolted into the endzone to cap off a magical game.
Both clubs finished the season on winning notes. The boys finished with a 12-11 overall record and a third- place league finish, while the girls ended the year at 9-12 overall for a fifth-place league finish.