Introducing Field Hockey as Palo Alto's newest sport, following boys' volleyball last spring, was not a hasty decision. When the Vikings open their season in September, it will be the culmination of a two-year process.
For Palo Alto Athletic Director Therren Wilburn-Sudduth, it was one of his first items of business when he took over the job after serving as the assistant A.D.
Jennifer Crane/Cal Athletics
"I am most excited about the chance to offer another athletic opportunity to the students at Paly," he said. "Also, our coach is second to none when it comes to Field Hockey experience."
Jenny Crane, who grew up in Los Gatos (and is a member of the Union Middle School Hall of Fame) played for the Wildcats and later for St. Francis and played four years at California, where she led the Golden Bears to a pair of conference championships and served as team captain. She graduated in 2008.
Palo Alto began a club team in the sport last school year to prepare for this season. The Vikings haven't held an official practice yet but the student body has been responsive and supportive.
"Jenny will have a great chance to build a program at Paly," said Wilburn-Sudduth.
Palo Alto will also have a new boys water polo coach in Ethan Look, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt, where he played club water polo, served as co-President and also coached the team as a senior.
"I've always had an interest in coaching," said Look, who works at Google. "There's something very special about working with young student-athletes in the formative years of their lives."
In addition to playing at Palo Alto under coaches Giovanni Napolitano and Sasha Potulnitsky, Look also played for Shoreline Water Polo and coaches Brandon Johnson and Matt Johnson, and for the Stanford club.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to set an example to them of what it means to be a competitive student-athlete in Palo Alto while maintaining a strong school-life-water polo balance," Look said. "I think I'm uniquely qualified for this role because I so recently passed through Paly and PAUSD, so I have an acute understanding of the day-to-day lives of these young people."