Boys Team of the Year – Swimming and Diving


The boys celebrate their CCS victory in the pool along with head coach Danny Dye.

After not being able to compete at CCS the past year due to the pandemic, the Paly boys varsity swim team made a statement this year. With a strong senior class, they lead the team to another undefeated season, extending their win streak to 30 meets while bringing home the Viking’s fourth consecutive league championship. They also won Paly boys swim and dive’s first CCS Championship ever, and by a massive margin. 

Last season, the Vikings were allowed to compete in a few meets during the regular season, and held out hope that there would be a CCS Championship meet. They had hit all the necessary qualifying times, and had a real shot at winning the title, but unfortunately ended up not being allowed to compete in any championship meets due to league restrictions from the pandemic. 

“It was very disappointing,” senior captain Jack Galetti said. “We had a really strong team and thought that we had a good chance of winning CCS. It was devastating hearing that our season was canceled.”

Despite losing a number of valuable seniors, the team has a really strong group of young athletes, and was able to quickly step into a winning pattern at the start of the season. The team knew where their strengths lay, and had clear sights on their goals for the year. Head coach Danny Dye knew his team really well, and was able to play to everyone’s strengths. 

We had a really strong team and thought that we had a good chance of winning CCS. It was devastating hearing that our season was canceled.

— Jack Galetti

“We knew that we were a good team,” Galetti said. “We wanted to remain undefeated, and bring home the Viking’s first CCS championship for boys swimming and diving.”

In the first home meet of the season, the Vikings brought incredible energy against league opponent Los Altos. They won all eleven events at the meet, including sweeping seven of those events: placing first, second, and third. 

“Although most of us didn’t have our best races and didn’t hit our best times, we were still able to win every event,” senior Parker Wang said. “I was really proud of the team for winning by so much at our first home meet of the season.”

This year, the boys roster is incredibly deep, filled with talent across all grades. In a dual meet against the second place league opponent Homestead, the Vikings won by 70 points despite the absence of UCSB commit and senior Eric Gabbassof, as well as junior sensations Ethan Harrington and Arthur Balva. With a group of underclassmen stepping in the absence of those three, the Vikings still dominated, winning nine out of the eleven events. 

“It was just an amazing meet,” junior Henry Gibbs said. “Our top end boys are one of the best in school history and our depth is definitely best in CCS right now, allowing us to routinely win by massive margins without our full strength team.”

On senior night against Monta Vista, the team continued their incredible season, defeating the league opponent by 60 points. They celebrated their seniors, who have helped lead the team through countless hardships and kept the team undefeated going into the postseason. 

During the preliminaries of the SCVAL championship meet, the Vikings qualified to finals in 32 out of 32 possible swims, something that no other school came close to accomplishing. They kept up their victorious streak through the finals, winning eight of the eleven events offered, and putting up nearly 200 points more than the second place team – an incredible margin for a high level meet like league champs.

At CCS Championships, they started off strong and never looked back. The boys won the first eight events of the meet, and ended up winning nine of the possible eleven events, breaking two long-standing CCS records along the way. 

The trophy and the title belong to the school, the credit and recognition belong to these young men.

— Danny Dye

The meet was highlighted by junior Ethan Harrington, who broke the CCS record in the 50 yard freestyle in a 19.73 seconds, becoming the first athlete ever to break 20 seconds at CCS. He also led off the record-breaking 400 freestyle relay, also swam by Gabbassof, Balva, and senior Harrison Williams. The previous record, which was at one point the national high school record, had been standing for thirteen years, set by Saratoga in 2009.

“It was an amazing year,” head coach Danny Dye said. “The trophy and the title belong to the school, the credit and recognition belong to these young men.”

The boys swim and dive team will continue their postseason journey at the CIF State championship meet next weekend, hopefully extending their legacy of record-breaking and event-winning. 

Honorable Mention – Baseball

The 2022 season has been one to remember for Paly varsity baseball. The Vikings are currently 13-1 in league and 22-5 overall, boasting an undefeated record at home. They recently traveled to Sacramento for the prestigious Boras Classic, a tournament showcasing the top high school baseball teams in Northern California, finishing the competition with a 2-2 record. 

“Everyone on our team just tries to do their job,” senior Dominic DeFeo said. “Nobody tries to do too much, and we play the best that way.” 

Paly is heading into league playoffs with high expectations for another SCVAL title and an eventual CCS championship, and are confident in their chances. 

“The older guys on the team have done a great job of taking the younger guys under their wing and slowly handing over the torch,” sophomore Charlie Bates said.

No matter the competition, the Vikings are set to succeed behind powerful bats, lights-out pitching, and a stifling defense for the remainder of the season.