The Palo Alto football team received what appeared to be its final big honor of the season last Friday when the Vikings were presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy, as part of the sixth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions.
Palo Alto finished No. 13 in the final MaxPreps national rankings to qualify as one of 50 schools being honored.
On Monday, however, there were more honors for Palo Alto as senior Kevin Anderson was one of four Vikings named to the 32nd annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Team.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Anderson, who has verbally committed to Stanford, was a dominant player at defensive end for the Vikings during their school record-breaking 14-0 season that was capped with a 15-13 victory over Centennial (Corona) in the CIF State Division I bowl championship game in December. Anderson finished the season with 103 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks. He was named to the first-team defensive unit.
Fellow two-way starter T.J. Braff was named to the all-state second team on defense while Paly senior quarterback Christoph Bono and wide receiver Maurice Williams were named to the third team on offense. Braff had a team-leading 170 tackles this season (12.1 per game) while Bono completed 165 of 251 passes for 2,690 yards and 30 touchdowns. Williams caught 27 passes for 791 yards (an average of 29.2 yards per catch) with 11 touchdowns.
Three other local players received all-state honors in the Small Schools division.
Menlo School senior wide receiver Tim Benton was named to the first team on offense along with Sacred Heart Prep senior offensive lineman Brian Moran. Sacred Heart Prep senior linebacker Hunter Shaw received second-team all-state recognition on defense.
Benton caught 68 passes for 1,406 yards and 12 touchdowns this season while Shaw had 116 tackles (an average of 9.7 per game). The 6-7, 295-pound Moran was a force in the offensive and defensive lines for the Gators, who won their first-ever Central Coast Section Division IV title in 2010.
Castilleja senior Natasha von Kaeppler and Priory senior Brandon Willhite had something in common last week as both players put up some huge numbers while their teams finished 1-2.
Von Kaeppler did everything she could for the Gators as she poured in 77 points with 39 rebounds and 14 blocks. She had 16 rebounds and eight blocks in a close loss to Mercy-San Francisco and tied the school single-game scoring record with 33 points (plus 13 rebounds) in a loss to Sacred Heart Prep.
Willhite had 61 points in three games as the Panthers managed just one win in three outings. His best performance was 31 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in a 72-67 double-overtime loss to Crystal Springs.
One player whose scoring efforts did not go for naught was Mid-Peninsula senior Lydell Cardwell. He poured in 34 points in a victory over Summit Prep last Tuesday before tallying a season-high 42 points in a wild 88-55 victory over San Francisco Christian on Friday. Cardwell made 10 three-pointers, the best single-game performance of any local player this season.
Boys water polo
Three members of the Menlo School squad and two from Sacred Heart Prep were named to the annual California-Hawaii All-American team recently.
Menlo senior John Holland-McCowan earned second-team honors while senior Keegan Williams was named to the eighth team and junior Nick Hale earned ninth-team All-American honors.
Sacred Heart Prep seniors Philip Bamberg and Robert Dunlevie also earned All-American honors, Bamberg on the sixth team and Dunlevie on the ninth team.
Thomas Agramonte, a senior at St. Francis who plays for the Stanford Water Polo Club, earned first-team honors while Mark Garner of St. Francis and Colin Mulcahy of Los Altos -- also Stanford Water Polo Club team members, were named to the third team. St. Francis junior Peter Simon from Palo Alto earned recognition on the eighth team.