News

Old-fashioned parade set for Paly state champs

Volleyball, football players will march down University Avenue Jan. 8

A parade honoring Palo Alto High School's two state championship teams is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, rain or shine.

Players on Paly's girls' volleyball team and boys' football team will make their way down University Avenue, ending with video highlights and a rally at King Plaza in front of Palo Alto City Hall.

Spectators are encouraged to wear Paly's colors of green and white and stay downtown for evening celebrations.

The Paly girls won the Division 1 state volleyball title Dec. 4, defeating Long Beach Poly in the fifth game of a best-of-five playoff.

The Paly boys topped the nation's No. 4 team, Centennial-Corona, in a Dec. 17 down-to-the-wire 15-13 victory for the California Interscholastic Federation Division I Bowl championship game.

Calls for a parade erupted spontaneously "from all age groups," said Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt, who attended the football championship game in Southern California.

"I got approached by so many people in town saying, 'Wouldn't it be so great to have a parade -- we haven't done anything like that in a very long time.'"

Paly Principal Phil Winston said, "The parade is a community event to celebrate the historic fall sports season. Truly amazing."

"Paly and Gunn regularly win recognition nationally for academic achievement. It's fun to see our girls' and boys' teams be at the top of the state in sports too," school Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.

The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m., proceeding from the corner of University and Webster Street with a left turn down Centennial Way, the pedestrian walkway between Bryant and Ramona, toward City Hall.

The Paly band, as well as ensembles from other secondary schools, have been invited to participate.

Staging will begin at 3:30 p.m. at University and Webster.

This year's state titles were the third and fourth for Palo Alto teams since statewide contests have been played in recent decades.

The two previous titles were boys' basketball championships in 1993 and 2006.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

How fitting to have them walk down Centennial Ave! :)
I still get goose bumps when I watch the game on TV, even though I was there!


Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:44 am

This is great! These kids deserve to be celebrated for all their hard work. It must have been very difficult to keep up with the high academic standards of our high schools and still excel in sports. Hurrah for Paly!


Like this comment
Posted by Similarities
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Paly and Stanford are very similar in a few key aspects: they both are among the best in the nation with regard to academic excellence as well as athletic excellence. Is it a coincidence that Paly follows in the shadows of Stanford's incredible dominance at everything, being directly across the street?

The biggest difference: Stanford is a private school, while Paly is public.

I'm glad this parade is going to happen. What a great way to bring the community together to celebrate achievements made by our teenagers as they enter adulthood. And I'm glad to see this being done as a result of recent events, not just another traditional parade that everyone already expects (namely the May Fete Parade).


Like this comment
Posted by Are You Kidding
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

A parade for sports! A parade for Paly! Would this happen if Gunn had won? Who is footing the bill for this one? Why not a parade for academics? Or the robotic team at Gunn? Not jazzy enough?

Doesn't our society place too much emphasis on sports already. Do we have to start the hero worship in high school. This should be a local school celebration not a city event.

Makes one wonder whose kid is on the team.


Like this comment
Posted by pa fan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

"are you kidding me"
just because paly wins big things for sports doesn't mean you need to be bitter, its for the kids. what they have accomplished on the high school stage is frankly, incredible, and deserves recognition beyond just their school.


Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I believe that Paly has also won 2 basketball state championships and neither of these warranted a parade. Although I enjoy sports and think it is great that the Volleyball and Football teams have won State Championships, I am not sold on this idea of a parade. Our students (at both High Schools) have many accomplishments both inside the classroom and outside and win MANY awards. I don't think we should pick just a few to be celebrated in such a manner. Our city leaders should not be making one accomplishment more valuable than another.


Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm

A state football championship is a HUGE deal. It is an old-fashioned, blood-and-guts, tough guy accomplishment...something that Palo Alto needs so badly. Palo Alto has become a city of wussies (to quote Ed Rendell)!. These guys brought back some sanity to this city. They deserve a parade!


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

To those naysayers....'Go take a cold shower' Let's celebrate these victories and bring community together.Great for the kids...great for Paly and great for the community.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

The '06 hoops team got a float in the May Fete Parade if that makes people feel better about this.


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

"Are You Kidding Me"
"Makes one wonder whose kid is on the team."

My kid is on the team! These kids put in a lot of hard work, academically and on the field. They were underdogs the during the playoffs and the state game, so The State Title is a big deal. Let the kids, parents, fans and community enjoy this.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

What a fabulous idea! To the naysayers above: Please don't rain on the kids' parade!


Like this comment
Posted by J
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Class of 75' this is great. I watch with some old classmate's visiting for the holidays!!! Cheers to all the paly boy's and girls for a great effort. Why take away from something that means so much to the community. We should all be happy for these kids and for Palo Alto Unified School's. Unified!!


Like this comment
Posted by Jane and Ken Kershner
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

What a great idea - its wonderful to celebrate the success of these teams! Thanks for do this.


Like this comment
Posted by enjoy the party
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm


"A state football championship is a HUGE deal. It is an old-fashioned, blood-and-guts, tough guy accomplishment...something that Palo Alto needs so badly." posted by a Susan

as a non-native, this is on the level of my not understanding baseball, but I guess any party is a good party. I certainly enjoyed the Giants win.


Like this comment
Posted by Gunn Mom
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Go Paly! We're proud of you in south Palo Alto!


Like this comment
Posted by Be Happy
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm

To those complainers: life is not fair.

Perhaps this is the Squeaky Wheel Syndrome but still a great thing. When people can get together and celebrate and be happy it's a good thing. We need more happiness and smiles.


Like this comment
Posted by Haha
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:57 am

Haha this is ridiculous.

You know you are in Palo Alto when there are people questioning the idea of a parade for a high school team that just won the Division 1 state championship in the largest state in the country. Do you people have any idea what it means to win the state championship? If we were in Texas or Alabama or Florida or anywhere in the South, you would be hung just for questioning the parade. Just about anywhere else in the country it would be a town's greatest achievement to have their high school team win the state title. You should be happy Palo Alto has enough to brag about that winning a football state title isn't even a huge deal to you. And, oh yeah, volleyball also won...two state titles in the same month? Please...that would make any other high school in the country beg to be in our position right now.


Like this comment
Posted by Team Sports
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:23 am

To "Are You Kidding"

Academics and Robotics are awarded. My kids were on the academic side, but I still saw the value of rewarding and attending team sports. High academics are recognized at graduation and written up in the papers all of the time. Scholarships are received, etc.

Team sports offer a community a chance to come together, competing as a team not against each other. Academics have become so competative that you can hear parents comparing student grades - rediculous!! Schools need team sports and celebrations like this. I can't believe people are complaining.

I have cancelled out of town plans and will be at the parade. I don't have a student at Paly (they went to Gunn), but I am happy for Paly and Palo Alto!!!


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:33 am

The relevant thing about sports rather than academics, although robotics can be included, is that sport is playing for the school, wearing school colors, and that all the school and community can visibly come out and support the team and the school through attending the sports event. Someone achieving high SATs is doing it for themselves, athletes are doing it for their team and their school.

We have all become Giants fans recently and feel that our team won. Why can't we all become Paly fans (yes even Gunn) and celebrate our neighbors' kids, our neighbors who may have played with our own kids back in the AYSO, or Little League, or Knights.

It is good to see that academics are not the only thing that is rewarded in this town. Let's hope that we soon have a basketball and baseball team to celebrate too (and other sports that still have their season to play).

We can all wear the green and white and remember the occasion with them. School spirit is very important to every student. Even the most nerdy or most academic minded can wear the school colors and feel part of the spirit.


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

To the naysayers and "Debbie Downers"...

(Stealing a line from "Stripes"): Lighten up, Francis!


Like this comment
Posted by enjoy the party
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:45 am



Editors,

can you explain how you edited out the (I assume) inappropriate adjective referring to the South that Haha used, and then otherwise left left her/his comment on the posts? it looks relatively normal now.

one of the things I enjoy about these threads is that you get to hear or learn stuff you never knew was in people's brains,

but if I now see you sanitize everything, where is the fun?!

Ha ha,

are you originally form the south, and this is a term of endearment? I googled the term and a hip hop reference comes up.


Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Oh give it a rest. Someone else named the general attitude of Palo Altan's aptly, PALO ALTO NEGATUDE. It really applies.

My girls played sports at Paly and knock it all you want, sports kept them happy, healthy and busy. Out of trouble. It takes time and dedication in this city to play a sport, notable given the amount of homework that is assigned each day. I don't know about the football program, but the Volleyball program has earned the academic excellence award each year for maintaining a collective GPA of 3.0 and over.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Excited!!
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

PLEASE!! If you knew how hard these kids worked (on both teams) you would be right there with us suggesting a parade. They deserve every ounce of recognition and more!! Good job kids.


Like this comment
Posted by Ex-VBaller
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I used to play volleyball for paly and I appreciate that city officials have made the effort to acknowledge the volleyball program in this whole celebration, but I don't understand why volleyball doesn't get more credit in general. This sport is just as hard as football if not harder in a more technical way. Sure, football worked very hard this year and earned their title just as much as volleyball, but by this same logic they should be getting the same recognition, not more. This town needs to stop being so biased to football and basketball and male sports and give these female athletes some serious recognition, not just a second-thought mention. In addition, for those of you who didn't look into it, this years team moved up to Division 1, arguably the hardest division in California, and beat Long Beach Poly in the finals, a team that was ranked 7th in the country at the time. Also, the academic award is only given to teams with a 3.3 GPA or higher, not a 3.0. Let's see football do that.


Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm

PAUSD serves Palo Alto, Stanford and part of Los Altos Hills. There is no denying we are very fortunate as public schools go. However, it is getting harder and harder to meet the overwhelming requests and needs of our schools, regardless the location of our particular district.

Our community just captured two CA State championships. This parade will not just throw recognition on our students, but on the coaching staffs of those teams. Earl Hansen has been a long-term employee and athletic director in our schools. Whats not to celebrate? All of the above deserves a public rally of some sort.

Like many colleges and universities, it is their sports teams which call national attention to the school--good or bad. Having personally watched the game from Illinois, we certainly gained national attention. The parade is a great excuse to cheer the two teams and support all Palo Alto Schools-- one should not exclude the other.

May the parade ignite donations, volunteers, and more public participation in all PAUSD events-- the arts, academic or athletic.








See you all at the parade.


Like this comment
Posted by starts at home
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm

"Would this happen if Gunn had won? Who is footing the bill for this one? Why not a parade for academics? Or the robotic team at Gunn? Not jazzy enough?"

If you think they deserve a parade, arrange one.


Like this comment
Posted by The truth
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 31, 2010 at 1:56 am

To Ex-Vballer:

The reason why the volleyball team isn't getting as much attention as the football team is because people just don't care as much about women's sports. You can spin it any way you want and make it sound as politically correct as you want, but the simple fact is, society as a whole is not nearly as interested in women's sports. That shouldn't be news to you. Just take a look around. It doesn't matter how hard volleyball is to play, if women are competing it just won't get as much attention as if a man were to play. Your volleyball team should thank the football team for winning the state title, because if they didn't, this parade would never happen and you guys would never be recognized in the first place.


Like this comment
Posted by Be Happy
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 31, 2010 at 9:06 am

The Truth: a bit blunt, but true! Football is always glorified. How about the boys baseball, lacrosse, golf, soccer, track & field teams? People don't watch those sports in high school nor do they have cheerleaders.


Like this comment
Posted by Art
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 1, 2011 at 6:20 am

Football was, is and always be king. If it makes you feel better, there was no parade when Paly won the state championship in boy's basketball. Twice.

Actually I think there would be no parade if just football had won. It is remarkable that a school has won 2 state championships in the same season, let alone in the same school year.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm

"Paly and Stanford are very similar in a few key aspects: they both are among the best in the nation with regard to academic excellence as well as athletic excellence."

well one difference is that Stanford atheletes get to scoot in with lower scores than the purely acedemic students who actually earn their way in need. But hey, private school they can do whatever they want.


Like this comment
Posted by T
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm

That's not true, it's harder to get into Stanford as a athlete than a student. The requiements are higher for athlete's. Ask the AD at Gunn, he went to Stanford. This is a great thing, how many cities and school can win two State Championshis, in the same season. Be glad you are from Palo Alto and for the kid's and coaches!!!


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

To the naysayers,

I doubt this would happen if it was just one team.
Two teams in one year is extraordinary.

Another item worth considering:

Football might be the least exclusive of all extracurricular activities.
There are no cuts.
It has perhaps the widest disparity of abilities of any activity and yet everyone contributes.
'Probably has the widest disparity of socio econ make up too.

No disparagement intended here but Basketball, Math and Robotic clubs have 'cuts' or are for the top 2% ers.

I suggest you be proud and enjoy these amazing achievements.


Like this comment
Posted by Jim A Long Ago Paly Grad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

As a 1954 Paly Grad I can assure you that back then we valued both athletic and academic abilities and successes. While I had more success in the academic side of things - the sciences and Mathematics - I still managed to run both Track and Cross Country. I felt more than adequately honored on both "sides of the coin."
I now live a couple of thousand miles away from Palo Alto so cannot attend the parade but I will say, "Have a good one."
I'm still in touch with many of my old classmates and I think they will say as I do to the naysayers, "Why not shut up and enjoy the success?"


Like this comment
Posted by Palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 3, 2011 at 8:53 am

Both teams worked hard and deserve this parade. I think "The Truth" is correct that women's sports at any level are just not as interesting to the general public, but the interest is growing.

Football at Paly is a great community event thanks to the field and lights. There are also more participants than in many other sports, which brings larger crowds.

Congrats to both teams, enjoy a well deserved parade!


Like this comment
Posted by Needless
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

Undoubtedly these were tremendous accomplishments by both teams, and deserving of recognition. At the same time, during these very difficult financial times that the city is facing, I must ask who is picking up the tab for the parade. What city resources will be used and at what cost? I would imagine the police department would require additional officers. The overtime costs alone could begin to add up. I really don't want to be down about this, but when we hear so much about the city budget woes and cutbacks in services, can we really afford the extravagance of a parade. Maybe a rally on the Paly campus would have been more appropriate.


Like this comment
Posted by paly student
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm

add stanford football to the parade!


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm

We are looking forward to the football teams live performance of "Teenage Dream"!!


Like this comment
Posted by So glad this is happening
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

I have to laugh at the few dissenters on this board who don't get the magnitude of these achievements or why they deserve a parade.

At a time when we place too much emphasis on academics in this community(and I say this as someone with Harvard, Yale and Stanford degrees) it is wonderful to celebrate in a very public way these athletic achievements and show that the community doesn't just value bookish grinds who can do nothing that isn't academic. I want my kids to excel in and enjoy their studies, but we shouldn't only care about our kids doing things that will lead them to the next great university admission or the "right" sort of job.

Furthermore, rather than competing against each other these kids came together as a team and made the entire community proud both that they won and how they represented themselves.

I have been worried about my own kids in this school system that places such relentless focus on academic accomplishment. After these state titles, and by our choosing to honor them, I feel relieved to know that this community can produce well-rounded kids who can compete against the best student athletes from anywhere in the state and excel.

See you at the parade!


Like this comment
Posted by paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm

To: "Are you kidding me"
Who would ever attend a parade for robotics? I might be wrong but i don't think more than 30 poeple would show up for a robotics parade.

"Haha" and "the truth" are right, everyone who doesn't think there should be a parade clearly don't understand that Football games on friday nights give the whole town a chance to come out, socialize and support the team all season long. It kills me to think that people are against the idea of celebrating 2 state championships in one season.


Like this comment
Posted by Paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm

To "so glad this is happening": I completely agree with you, this town is already too centered on academic stress and achievement and to not celebrate 2 state championships in one year would be disgraceful!

To: "are you kidding me": what was going through your mind when you suggested a robotics/academic parade instead of a parade for the 2 biggest fall sports of the season winning state championships. What has robotics done lately? This is America we congratulate sports, especially football on huge achievements such as this and it would be emberassing not to have it.


Like this comment
Posted by the truth
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm

the fact of the matter is, no one cares about academics, because most of the time schools dont compete against eachother for academics, let's face it. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm

i don't understand the negative statements posted on this forum. why not embrace the parade for the city as a whole, which includes all of the schools? life is hard enough as it is!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 69 comments | 6,344 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 990 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 817 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 745 views

Populism: A response to the failure of the elites: Palo Alto edition
By Douglas Moran | 0 comments | 508 views