ATHLETES OF THE FALL 2011 —

5 12 2011

Soooo, it’s the Monday after the last football game of the high school season. 1. Congratulations again to Serra. Hell of a team, great kids. I had a ton of fun covering their games this season. If you missed the game and want to read up on it, here’s my game story. And here is the front page of The Daily Journal marking their accomplishment. 

Now onto more pressing business. Mainly, it’s time to start thinking Athletes of the Fall Season, Version 2011.

The little number above is what we did a couple of Springs ago, where we did a billboard kind of theme. I wasn’t in love with the way it turned out. But we’ve done other more successful ones over the years … some better (read: way better) than others either because the idea is better, or there’s more time to execute or etc. etc.

This year is a little different for me considering that I’m an actual part of the selection process. There are no difficult math algorithms or computers. The process at the Daily Journal is actually pretty simple. Sports Editor Nathan Mollat and myself will sit down and bounce names back and forth trying to pick those athletes that are most deserving. So, with that meeting looming in a couple of days, I figure I’d give Oh My readers a look into what I’m thinking as I go in. We have EIGHT athletes to choose, write and design for.

FOOTBALL — 

An argument can be made for a couple of players. Down in Pacifica, Chris Forbes (Terra Nova, QB) had a season untouched by any quarterback in the Central Coast Section. And there other players who enjoyed great seasons that were a bit under the radar — Cameron Moody (M-A), DJ Peluso (El Camino), Michael Latu (San Mateo), Justin Ewing (Capuchino), Alex Shkaratov (South City). But it’ll be pretty hard to vote against Serra running back Erich Wilson. Not only did he break school records for rushing TDs in a season, but he’s the school’s all-time leading TD King. We can talk records all day long actually. Oh, and he’s a CCS champion.

Just as a teaser, July! is thinking of assembling an ALL-JULY! team. So keep an eye out for that. Hopefully I’ll have the time to put out something HOTT.

VOLLEYBALL — We’ve been a little spoiled at the DJ with the play of Michelle Neumayr over the last couple of years. Usually, she was a shoe-in for the award. This year with her graduating, the ‘prestige’ will go to someone else. Mikayla Wilkes of Sequoia had a MVP-kind of season for the Cherokees. Stephanie Miller of Aragon, great passer and leader for the Dons. Aragon also had a whale of a year from Jessica Navarro. The McKeever sisters were a great 1-2 punch for Burlingame. My vote will be between Carlmont’s Shelby Vance and Menlo-Atherton’s Alison Spindt. Vance had  tremendously consistent year for the Scots. Spindt is your PAL Bay MVP and led the Bears to a win away from a CCS title.

BOYS WATER POLO — There were a lot of great players in the pool in 2011. This one will be a toughie. Menlo’s Nick Hale is your PAL Bay MVP. His goalkeeper is Connor Dillon, who is one of the best. M-A has a superb goalie in Alex Gow. That’s just in the PAL. I think my vote is split between Hale and Sacred Heart Prep’s Will Runkel. The junior goalie is the heart of SHP’s defense and was key to their latest CCS title.

GIRLS WATER POLO — This is a two-horse race for me. Pippa Temple spear-headed yet another CCS title for Sacred Heart Prep. Temple has the distinction of NEVER losing the final game of her high school years. Think about that for a second. Her season has never ended with a loss. On sheer numbers though, she’s get a run from me with Charlotte Pratt of Burlingame, an absolute SCORING MACHINE for the Panthers in 2011. The DJ fell in love with her after she scored 16 GOALS in a 20-19 win earlier this season.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY — You can float around a couple of names here. Kylie Goo of Westmoor was a force in the PAL in only her junior season. Sarah Schreck of Carlmont was at the forefront of another team title for the Scots. My vote though will most likely go to Lauren Croshaw of Aragon. Not only are her kicks the sickest, but she won the PALs and CCS, breaking school records along the way.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY — Boys is a tighter race (no pun intended) for me. You can throw around a larger group of names here. So, I’m thinking it’ll be between Mitchell Martin (Half Moon Bay), Chris Waschura (Woodside), Jeffrey Stalun (Carlmont) and Grant Murphy (Mills). This will be a tough one for sure.

GIRLS TENNIS — Gosh, it’ll be hard to argue against giving the award to a TWO-TIME WINNER in Burlingame’s Brooke Tsu. I’m a firm believer that, a champion, you have to be fully dethroned before someone can claim you position as top dog. In the PAL, no one did that. So perhaps we’ll have to look elsewhere. Giannina Ong of Menlo perhaps? We’ll see.

GIRLS GOLF — Admittedly, we don’t cover nearly as much golf as we should. Taking a glance at the standings, All-League teams, and reading around the net, my gut says Xin Fang of Menlo-Atherton. Fang was a Top 10 finisher at CCS and finished second in the PAL finals after dominating the league the entire year.

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