It will be a historic day for the City of Palo Alto when it honors the Palo Alto High football and volleyball teams with a parade on Saturday through the downtown area.
The event begins at Webster and University avenues at 4:30 p.m. The teams will travel west on University until reaching Centennial Way, where the procession will turn left and head directly to King Plaza in front of City Hall.
There, the athletes and coaches will be recognized by community leaders. Some "special guests" are likely to be present to greet the teams at the end of the parade.
The parade will mark the first time any city high school has been so honored, following the historic performances by both teams last month when they captured the school's first state championships in each sport.
The Paly girls' volleyball team, coached by Dave Winn, got the ball rolling by winning the CIF Division I state title with a five-set victory over Long Beach Poly on Dec. 4 at San Jose State, finishing the season with a 41-1 record. The Vikings' football team, coached by Earl Hansen, followed that by upsetting heavily favored Centennial-Corona, 15-13, to win the CIF Division I title on Dec. 17 in Carson, to finish 14-0.
Both teams established school records for single-season victories with their historic victories, giving Palo Alto High four state championships overall. The Palo Alto boys' basketball teams also won state titles in 1993 and again in 2006.
The state title in football also earned Hansen the ESPN RISE Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year honor for the 2010 season. He is only one of six football coaches from the Central Coast Section to win the honor since 1970.
Hansen also has been selected to be the Grand Marshall of the parade, which is being sponsored by the Palo Alto Unified School District.
The parade and rally will be held in "football weather" (rain or shine).For more information on the parade route and street closures, please visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/paradeofchampions.