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SPORTS: Gunn, Pinewood advance in NorCal playoffs

Original post made on Mar 8, 2012

The season will continue for the Gunn and Pinewood girls' basketball teams, but not for Palo Alto following the opening round of the CIF Northern California playoffs on Wednesday night, March 7. Read the full story on [Web Link].

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 9, 2012, 12:25 PM

Comments (16)

Posted by PW ROCKS, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

Good job PINEWOOD GIRLS... Way to play what could be your last home game with PW JENNY, 7 of 9 from the 3! w/ a career high 21pts! Congrats!

Posted by Coach Mom, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

Way to go, Coach Stapp and the Gunn varsity! Nice to see our volleyball stars, Julia Maggioncalda and Meghan Mahoney, making a difference for the Titans. Go get'em on Saturday!!

Posted by Tony Alvarez, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Gunn High School has some of the most disrespectful fans I have ever seen. As a parent, I would be ashamed to see my kids behave in such rude behavior. Congratulations on the win Gunn, but teach your fans a lesson.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm

@Tony, it sounds like you saw something, but not sure what. I was at the game and didn't notice anything rude or disrespectful, just hearty cheering on both sides. There certainly was nothing ongoing or large scale that seemed the least bit out of the ordinary. What did you see that you thought was inappropriate?

Posted by Tony, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Sorry if I was overly serious. Yes, overall the cheering on both sides were strong and supportive, which was great. There was really only one group of people that really caused me to have this harsh response. I am referring to the fans sitting in the front corner of the bleachers all clad in red. I don't mind screaming loudly for support into the court, but what they did was unacceptable. All the boys would go all the way to the sideline every time an opposing player would dribble into the area, and heckle them with expletives and derogatory remarks. I will not go into detail on what they said other than it was extremely offensive. Such display of disrespect from a huge mass of boys to a single player was infuriating, and I was surprised they were allowed to stay in the building.
I apologize for generalizing the whole Gunn High crowd, but my sentiments remain the same for the large group of fans I have mentioned above.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm


I am one of the Sixth Man member you are talking about, standing in the front of the bleachers, screaming and yelling at opposing players. I do not deny what you accused us of doing, and I do agree that it is most likely to a parent "infuriating" and "extremely offensive". But if you haven't known, we are playing at Gunn, our own high school in which we are proud to represent as part of one of the best Sixth Man Clubs in the entire Bay Area. Our girls are having arguably the most successful season in Gunn Girls basketball history, and you are telling us what to do? Unacceptable and disrespectful, I cannot agree any more, but we will do ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING, that is legal and part of the tradition of the Sixth Man Club to help our girls attain success. Please do not tell us what to NOT do. The Gunn admin is already pretty strict on us, and you clearly do not know the situation you are talking about. What is the entire point of having HOME COURT ADVANTAGE in a STATE playoff game? If you were on the other side of the gym, you would hear EXACTLY the same things, I would guarantee. That's the entire point of being a Gunn High School sports fan, especially basketball. Heckle the opposing players, cheer on our squads, and do EVERYTHING LEGAL without crossing the boundary. You have no idea what you are talking about, and please stop making us look like irresponsible teenagers who will do anything to get a W. If someone was playing against us, they would hate to face our fans, and that's the entire point. But I'm sure almost all high school basketball players would want fans as great as Gunn's. And we don't plan on stopping Saturday in San Francisco either.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

@Tony, thanks for the explanation. I didn't see that from where I was sitting, but it sounds like it did happen given the later post.

@Gunn Sixth Man - as a Gunn fan and parent, I hope you cool your jets a bit. We don't need to heckle or harass our opponents to win - our girls are good enough to win without that. Go to the game in SF (I'll be there too) and cheer your lungs out in support of the team - but when the spotlight is on our school, let's show our class too.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Membe, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm


You are correct, we don't "need to" heckle or harass our opponents to win. Our girls are good enough. But do you think we would've won against Paly or yesterday night without us? They are good enough, for sure, and they could've too, but we made that chance slightly higher with our presence. As a parent, I don't blame you for not understanding, but that's the entire fun of being in the bleachers at our last home game of the year. We show our class AFTER the game, and hopefully after a WIN. Every fan club of every school heckles, it's part of the game and being a fanatic, we're just more obnoxious. But I'll sacrifice some class during the game to get a win, that's for sure, and I don't think I'm at all alone.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2012 at 6:56 am

@Gunn Sixth Man - I don't expect there is anything I could say to change your mind. But I hope you consider that "showing your class AFTER the game" is kind of too late. If you don't show your class when the game is on the line - well, you might not really have class, no? Keep in mind that the class shown by the fans reflects on the class of the team. Our girls play classy - I hope you can root for them classy too. Enjoy the game.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm

You're right, there isn't exactly much you can say to change the minds of 500 united high school teenagers. I personally don't think showing class after the game is at all late, simply because almost all care more about the results of the game than the fans' "class". And it's not like we're being completely disrespectful being up by 20, and nothing against the brilliant job of the Gunn girls but winning the last two games by 2 points each isn't exactly too convincing. If you haven't noticed, Paly was outscored 21-14 in the first half when they played offense on OUR side, and so was MSJ 18-9, and it would be a fact that the score is somewhat due to our heckling. The girls don't mind, and they always support and appreciate what we do, and the staff clearly doesn't either. Every state champ has a pretty noisy and "disrespectful" fan club, I hope you don't disagree, so what's the issue with that? It's all part of the game and being a fan. Once again, the results count more than class, but as I said earlier we're not sacrificing EVERYTHING to win a game. Just enough though.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

@Gunn Sixth Man - in the long term, or maybe even sooner, I'm sure you'll come to agree that your character and reputation count for quite a bit more than the result of any game, even if it is in the state tournament. There are lots of "champions" (and their supporters) who turn out to be losers in life. Don't be fooled by the trophy.

Being there cheering is the most important thing you can do for the team, I think - they can handle the competition fine without the heckling.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm


I never said that the results of any game ALWAYS counts more than character and reputation. We sacrifice enough of it to win games, that is all, especially close ones like the last two. We don't heckle if the game is clearly over. And yes, there are many champions who turn out to be losers, but we're Gunn High students and winning isn't the only thing we care about; it's doing enough on our part as fans to win. I would admit that we are one of the best (or worst) Sixth Man clubs in the bay area, but we're clearly not alone as almost everyone school does very similar things (from personal experience). For the third time, it's part of being a fan, and there's really nothing that can be done about it. The tradition will carry on, as always, and I hope I gave you and other parents a better input from the eyes of a high school fan. We're just taking advantage of this time of our lives to do what we CAN do, because when we get older we wouldn't be able to do anything like that at all.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Just a side note, the girls play fine without us, but they play better with us. None of them, or the coach, on either side has anything against us, and if they did, they would've let us known. Our girls play with class and we're proud of that, we just don't exactly need to do the same. I hope you watch some college basketball this month and THEN judge about our behavior...if only you knew what they said.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

@Gunn Sixth Man, it may be hard to believe, but I have actually been a high school age basketball fan (and player), been going to college and pro games since the '70s, and I have seen a lot of different fans, good, bad and ugly. You may have a mis-impression - what Mr. Alvarez described is pretty out of the norm for college games, let alone high school ball.

You say if anybody had a problem, they'd let you know. This conversation started when Mr. Alvarez, above, said it was the worst display he's seen and he was shocked and disgusted. So there's one person. If his account is accurate - "All the boys would go all the way to the sideline every time an opposing player would dribble into the area, and heckle them with expletives and derogatory remarks. I will not go into detail on what they said other than it was extremely offensive" - then that's more than I've ever seen or heard in 35 years of attending college ball games. If there was swearing and any gender/race insults (was there?), I would say that is was way beyond the pale; if it was "just" aggressive organized harassment by a large group, then it was merely bad sportsmanship and low-class.

I can tell you are proud of the team and a big fan. Me too. We'll both be there cheering. But try to keep in mind that not everyone shares your view, and your actions make at least some of your fellow fans very uncomfortable (knowing some of the players, I would guess it makes some of them uncomfortable too, though I expect they would feel awkward raising it to anyone). Enjoy the game.

Posted by Gunn Sixth Man Member, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm


Okay I'm not really into debating on the Palo Alto online newspage, but March Madness..enough said. Just last week opposing players were trampled on the court after a buzzer beater, it's not a nice world out there on the basketball court or in the bleachers. And of course not everyone shares our views, but certainly the majority of the fan club and many of the rest of OUR high school (key word: our, because we go to the high school, and the high school's players and coach and staff are fine with what we do) do not see a huge problem in heckling. I don't want to reveal who I am but I have personally been heckled in a much much worse way, and I can tell you that I was not affected. Only the mentally unprepared players are affected, and they are our main targets. All in all, if you and Mr. Alvarez think Wednesday night's game was really the worst, no matter how much sports experience you have, you don't have enough, at least high-school-wise. I personally did not use any gender/race insults, and I'm anonymous, so I wouldn't lie. But I'm sure some did, and I apologize on behalf of those fans. And I hate repeating myself but if we were THAT bad, every single sports game, professional, college, or even high school, would have low sportsmanship and low-class fans. If only you knew how it was five years ago, when we were in middle school, I've heard fans being kicked out for much worse things said. So consider us getting better and attaining "higher class". Just watch the game. If you're disgusted, be it, and everyone's entitled to their own opinion about our "low-class" fan club. We're not bothered and it's not going to change. It's our high school, after all, and until we get a serious complaint, there's nothing wrong with what we're doing and being a fan. That's pretty much sums up everything and the fifth time I've said that. I hope there's no need for a response.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

@Gunn Sixth Man - I didn't expect to change your mind, so no surprise there. But think about this - while you do go to Gunn, and it is "your" school, it isn't only yours. It belongs to all of us - alumni, parents, other students, teachers, the whole community. So your actions aren't just about you - they reflect on the institution, which is to say all of us. And while we would be very happy to be known as an institution and community with great sports teams, it is much more important to be known as a community with quality people who respect others and treat people right. So have a good time and cheer like crazy - and try represent your community in a way we can all feel good about. Enjoy the game.

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