Sports

Local trio will add depth to Stanford's football roster

Menlo's Badger, SHP's Gaertner and Walter among 14 players after signing day

Brig Badger, Chris Gaertner and Matt Walter spent the past few years knocking heads on opposing football teams at Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep. When Stanford opens fall football practice in less than two weeks, the three will be teammates for the first time.

That was assured when 14 players were added to the training camp roster this week, giving Stanford its full complement of 105 players.

"This year for the first time, our roster at the start of training camp will be full at 105 men," said head coach Jim Harbaugh. "I am very excited for this year's freshman class because of the depth and quality, including these 14 post-Signing Day additions. They may not be as publicized, but they have come from near and far to fill a variety of positions and great needs. The most glaring attribute of this class is the quality and potential of contributors and future starters."

Badger (5-11. 190), a safety for Menlo coach Mark Newton, made 92 tackles and caught passes for 140 yards last season as a safety, linebacker and receiver while helping the Knights reach the Central Coast Section Division IV championship game.

Gaertner and Walter both played for coach Pete Lavorato, helping the Gators advance to the CCS Small School Division semifinals last season.

Gaertner (6-0, 185), now a safety, was a first-team all-league pick who compiled a school single-season record of 2,128 all-purpose yards as a tailback and added a school-record 14 career interceptions as a defensive back. He ran for 13 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 7.1 yards per carry on the ground. In the spring, Gaertner competed in track and field and set a school record in the long jump at 20 feet, 6 inches. He helped his team win the West Bay Athletic League title this season, the school's first in the sport.

Walter (5-11, 180) was a first-team all-league running back, rushing for a single-season school records of 1,705 yards with 23 touchdowns while earning MVP honors in the PAL Bay Division. Walter finished his three years of football with school records of 3,740 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns. In track and field, Walter sprinted to school records in the 100 meters (11.11) and 200-meters (22.7) and on the 400 relay team (44.5). He also lettered in soccer.

The first day of practice for Stanford football is August 9. The home opener against Sacramento State is September 4.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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