Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

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The softball team gathers in their dugout between innings on their senior night last Thursday. Photo by Grace Gormley.
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Courtesy of Harry Sherlock
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Captains Legacy

Team captains are leaders both on and off the field. Here are some Paly captains who have made an impact with their role as team captain, and what they’re leaving behind for the future of their respective teams.

Alessandra Chandler – GIRLS SOCCER

Alessandra Chandler (‘24), a member of Paly’s varsity girls soccer team since her freshman year, has seen the community to be an important pillar in making the team fun and successful.

“I think being on this team has impacted me because of the community we have,” Chandler said. “Everyone is super nice and we have so much fun during practices and our pasta dinners, which are so lively. We also push each other but at the same time we support each other.“

Chandler talks about how she motivated and kept the team on track as well as what she is leaving behind for the future of the team.

“I always come to practice and games with a smile on my face which is hopefully encouraging to my teammates,” Chandler said. “As captain, I always try to make sure we’re having fun while still on task and doing the drills. By keeping everyone on track and by keeping everyone motivated, I’ve helped the team progress further in the season. Lastly, I’d like to think I’m leaving behind an image of what being captain should look like. As captain you don’t mess around as much, arrive earlier to games and practices, and have a positive attitude to encourage team members.”

Anne Threlkeld – GIRLS WATER POLO

Anne Threlkeld (‘24) is a long-standing member of Paly’s girls water polo team. She began her time with the junior varsity team in her freshman year and quickly moved up to varsity in her sophomore year.

“When I joined varsity my sophomore year, I felt a little imposter syndrome,” Threlkeld said. “I felt like I didn’t really belong on that team, so as a captain now, one of my priorities was making the younger players feel that they had a place on the team.”

Threlkeld has also used her leadership role to make sure everyone feels that they’re an important part of the team, having fun at practice, and are spoken to in a way they are happy with.


Alaap Nair (‘24) has been a part of Paly’s basketball program since his freshman year. During his sophomore year on junior varsity, he was a player with stand out leadership skills, which came from watching the varsity captains (at the time), and stronger players.

“What really set our JV year apart was the seniors – they really taught us composure as players and how to act like a varsity player and be on that different level,” Nair said. “They set a really good example for us, leading through all situations and making the most out of every game as well as just hyping everyone up for every practice and every game.”

Now as a senior, Nair has worked with co-captain Aiden Hangerbrauck to keep the team’s energy high, lead workouts and drills in practice, give elite pregame speeches, foster a cohesive working team, and maintain players’ composure through challenging situations. Hoping to pass his inspiration to younger players, Nair aims to ensure the program’s future leaders have a smooth transition and are well prepared to play at an intense varsity level.

In addition to Alaap Nair, senior Aidan Hangebrauck was a co-captain of Paly’s 2024 boys basketball team. Check out an interview with the two senior basketball captains as they reflect on how they guided the team,  balanced their captain responsibilities together, took inspiration from past captains, and the footprint they’re leaving for the future of Paly boys basketball.

Click here for the interview!

Chase Kacher – BOYS GOLF

Chase Kacher (‘24) has been a member of the Paly boys golf team since transferring to Paly his junior year. As captain, his primary job has been to keep the team motivated and organized throughout the season.

“Every night before the matches, I send out a text and make sure that we’re ready to roll, because we take things personally and when somebody talks bad about are name behind our back, we don’t like it, so I make sure we show up ready to win,” Kacher said.

Kacher hopes to have instilled a more competitive mindset into the team.

“I’m not gonna lie, golf can get kind of boring, which is why I’ve made sure the team takes things personally to stay motivated, not just showing up and not caring and goofing off. This is business, and we need to take care of it,” Kacher said.


Declan Packer (‘24) has captained both Paly’s boys lacrosse and football teams. Packer has played for both teams all four years at Paly, playing varsity lacrosse since freshman year and moving up to varsity football his junior year. Becoming a captain in both sports, Packer has focused on creating respectful and healthy cultures and motivating strong work ethic.

“Since being on the football team as a senior and captain, the chemistry between the offensive players has increased,” Packer said. “I was a lot more confident my senior year, and I think others saw that and it rubbed off on them to step up their game and play with more focus and intensity. I felt like this developed mutual respect for every player across the team, which was something good we needed and made a difference for this year.”

Lacrosse teammate Griffin Sturino (‘24) adds on how Packer has been a positive influence on Paly teams.

“He 100% has changed our atmosphere and culture for the better,” Sturino said. “He always gives 100% and keeps the rest of us dialed in. He has spearheaded us into being better winners, better players, and better people, and it has leveled up the way we work practice and present ourselves on the field.”

After leading both teams by example and commitment, Packer is excited for the future of Paly’s football and lacrosse teams. He hopes to continue to see future captains lead with confidence just as he did.

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About the Contributors
Evin Steele
Evin Steele, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Evin, I'm a staff writer for Viking's 2023-2024 school year. I am a member of Paly's girls varsity soccer team. I also play club soccer and have been playing soccer since I was four.
Alena Lotterer
Alena Lotterer, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Alena, and I'm a senior at Paly. I'm a springboard/platform diver, and I'm a coach for little kids in swim and dive. I'm also a member of Paly's Student Athletic Leadership Team!
Jason Hu
Jason Hu, Photo Editor
I'm the photo editor for Viking this year. I love photography and look forward to attending Paly games this year.

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