Palo Alto sends its top athletes off to college


It was a special day for thousands of high school athletes around the nation as they signed their national letter of intent on Wednesday to continue their playing careers in college next season.

Palo Alto High had its own share of recruited athletes sign, as well, during a ceremony likely duplicated around the country.

Six featured athletes, joined by their family and coach, signed up with the college of their choice -- Davante Adams with Fresno State football, Kevin Anderson with Stanford football, TJ Braff with Santa Clara baseball, Alex Kershner with Duke women's soccer, Tony Panayides with Colgate soccer and Zach Spain with Presbyterian College lacrosse.

"I am proud of our athletes," said Earl Hansen, Paly's athletic director and football coach. "They represent a small fraction of a larger group of talented scholar-athletes who are going on to play at the collegiate level."

It was perhaps a special day for Adams, Anderson and Braff. All played on Paly's CIF Division state championship football team in the fall. Braff and Adams are currently teammates on the Vikings' first-place basketball team. In the spring, Braff will be playing baseball on a squad hoping to win a Central Coast Section title.

All three athletes could be instrumental to one of the finest overall athletic seasons in school history.

Panayides and Kershner, meanwhile, are close to finishing their prep careers while trying to help their respective squads reach the CCS playoffs. Spain still has his final lacrosse season coming up.

Paly could have 30 student-athletes who will be heading off to college and competing, not all with scholarships. Swimmer Sarah Liang is just one of many athletes heading to the Ivy League (she'll swim at Princeton), which doesn't offer scholarships. Quarterback Christoph Bono is another without a letter of intent. He's expected to walk on at UCLA in the fall.

Other Paly athletes committed to schools are Trina Ohms (Penn volleyball), Megan Coleman (Claremont volleyball), John Richardson (Occidental soccer), Hannah Ohlson (Williams College soccer), Helen Butler (Virginia Tech soccer) and Gracie Cain (Cal Poly-SLO soccer).

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by VBall fan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Also Trina Ohms will play volleyball at Penn, and Megan Coleman will play volleyball at Claremont College. They are also members of Paly's first volleyball state championship squad.

Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Understandable that some athletes might have been missed but omitting the Megan and Trina from Paly's girls volleyball state championship team is a major O.

Like this comment
Posted by By the way
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 5, 2011 at 7:24 am

Do not forget to celebrate those who manage to stay alive this school year. They also need to be recognized not just the high achievers.

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

This was about the kids who were signing a national letter of intent on Wednesday, there are many other athletes who will play college sports that will be honored later in the year (like Megan and Trina).

To By the way - lets celebrate this accomplishment without snide remarks.

Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

Quidditch (from the Harry Potter book series) has become extremly popular for this cohort of college-age students. It clearly is only intramural, but there are inter-collegiate competitions, and there was a national tournament in NYC in the fall semester, drawing teams from all over the country.

Palo Alto does appear to have this year an exceptionally strong cadre of world class athletes. Congratulations and accolades are well deserved.

The good news for other students entering college who have skill sets outside of highly competetive athletics, there will be Quidditch.

Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

"Do not forget to celebrate those who manage to stay alive this school year."

What a defeatist and depressing statement. I fear for those kids who are raised by such adults. The Child and Protective services should remove kids from such families, for the safety of the kids.

Like this comment
Posted by GTitan
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Typical coverage. Should just rename this site

Not sure if Gunn has ever had a similar signing day hoopla, but if there was I hope it would be covered.

Yes, paly has better sports but just to let you all know there are sports going on at Gunn High School. I would love to log on here once in a while and read about the Gunn Titans.

Shame on

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

G Titan

I believe this is an annual event organized by volunteers, as was the Parade. No one is stopping Gunn parents from organizing any kind of event promoting the accomplishments of their students. Don't complain unless you are willing to put in the time.

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

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