Viking Tries: Viking Tries Wiffle Ball

Eleven years after the initial match, Viking once again takes on Campanile in Wiffle Ball.


Cameron Toland and Sirisha Mitra

Here at Palo Alto High School, we are fortunate to have more than eight successful publications, each with their own unique qualities and successes. However, regardless of sharing the same space and attending the same school, publications always have a sense of competition between each other, arguing who is better at design, stories, or magazine layout. 

One May afternoon, 11 years ago in 2012, Viking Magazine and The Campanile (or Campy), Paly’s newspaper, found this competition in a game of friendly wiffle ball, for Viking’s Viking Tries of that issue. 

At Viking, we are the sports publication and are well known for having a staff full of many athletes, with multiple D1 commits on staff over the years.

The Campanile (or Campy), on the other hand, is known for quick, efficient cycles and thorough news coverage, as they are Paly’s only newspaper. 

Viking Magazine faced The Campanile in this wiffle ball match, assuming Viking (the sports magazine) would easily take down The Campanile, given that the Viking possessed a larger number of athletes. To Viking’s great surprise, Campy scraped by with an 8-5 win. 

Peter Dennis was Viking’s head columnist who wrote the 2012 edition of the Viking Tries.

“This game was not what we at The Viking had hoped for. When we, The Viking, can strum up enough of our talent to take you on in a fair battle, we challenge you to another wiffle ball duel.”

— Peter Dennis, Original Author of Viking Tries Wiffleball

Eleven years later, we at Viking finally did strum up the talent for a wiffle ball rematch against Campy. The two publications met at the lacrosse field during PRIME, with tensions high, as the rivalry had brewed over more than a decade. Fans crowded on the sidelines, and photographers buzzed around the field, and Viking adviser Mr. Wilson presided as umpire. 

The teams each met in a team huddle to discuss strategy and to hype each other up. Energy, excitement, and resolve were abundant on both teams as they cheered and took their places on the field.

With Viking up to bat first, the game had begun. 

Viking took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning after staff writer Caleb Wong started the game with a hard shot deep into the outfield, sending Campy outfielders running after it. After a hit from online Editor-In-Chief Tyler Martin, runners had bases loaded and both Wong and Martin scored on a sacrifice fly from social media manager Trey Collins. 

“I think I did a very good job of setting the tone for the game, it was good to get in the lead early cause you never want to go down early in the game,” said Martin. “I think our team just played better out of the gate and we wanted it more than Campy.”

Coming into the top of the second, Viking held a solid 2-0 lead. Campy struggled through the second inning, failing to put up any runs until the third inning. However, Viking struggled in the bottom of the second as well, with Campanile pitcher Tyler Wong striking the first three batters out. 

After a pitching change, with Viking replacing Paly softball’s starting pitcher Cameron Toland with senior staff writer JJ Stoen, Campanile made a comeback as senior staff writer (and former Editor-in-Chief) Dinu Deshpande finally put his team on the board. 

“We all had a solid performance and most hitters for both teams did well after some strategizing,” Deshpande said.

Going into the bottom of the third, Viking failed to put any runs on the board for a second consecutive inning, with strong performances from the Campy outfielders. 

“I want to shout out [senior] Cayden Gu for being a wall in the outfield and making some great catches that definitely kept the game close on numerous occasions,” Deshpande said. 

Despite this, Caleb Wong finally managed to pull it together for Viking in the bottom of the fourth, scoring another run for Viking.

“The game was fun in general, as it’s always fun to compete between publications,” Wong said. “I’m glad to have clutched up at the end and hitting a walk-off against Campy will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”

“I’m glad to have clutched up at the end. Hitting a walk-off against Campy will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”

— Caleb Wong

The initial game was only scheduled to play six innings. But surprisingly, Campanile Editor-in-Chief Dhruv Shetty was able to score another run in the top of the fifth, followed by a quick tying run from Deshpande.

“We started with an early deficit, going down 2-0 in the first inning, that’s pretty rough but I think we fought back pretty well,” Shetty said. “Once you understand wiffle ball is more of a sport you have to hit the ball at the ground and just kind of try to outrun your opponents, we started to get the hang of that we played better but at the start, I feel like we all just went for grand shots that were just too easy to get out.”

The game was certainly heated, going into a seventh overtime inning with a tied score of 3-3. Viking fans littered the sidelines, with many spectators cheering them on, helping the team rack up one more run. 

“I think Viking had the slight advantage because there were so many people cheering for Viking,” said one anonymous viewer. 

The Viking staff managed to complete a clean inning, holding Campy to their previous three runs, thanks to strong pitching from Stoen. Viking came up to bat in the bottom of the eighth, finally having a chance to defeat Campy, ending an 11-year-long rivalry. With Friedrichowitz on third base and Caleb Wong up to bat, tensions were high and players on both teams felt the stress of the moment. With a hard-hit line drive to left field, Caleb Wong secured the win for Viking as Friedrichowitz crossed the plate. 

“I’m glad to have clutched up at the end,” said Caleb. “Hitting a walk-off against Campy will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”

As Friedrichowitz scored the winning run, the crowd erupted in cheers excited to have seen Viking secure the important game. With a final score of 4-3, Viking emerged victorious, leaving the overall standing of inter-publication wiffle ball games at one win for Viking, one win for Campy. 

“I honestly had no idea we had won but when I was told I was really happy and excited they were like “go Yasmin!”,” said Friedricowitz.  “Also a big shout out to Caleb for hitting the ball so that I could score that run.” 

On both teams, participants most importantly had fun playing a fun game of wiffle ball. 

In the end, Viking wants to commend our fellow journalists on the Campanile for a well-fought match. With excellent pitching, attitude, and coordination, Campy certainly gave the Viking staff a run for our money. Perhaps in another 11 years, a tie-breaking game will be held, and the wiffle ball champion score can be settled once and for all.


Check out the original Viking Tries wiffle ball against Campanile here:

In May of 2012, Viking faced a devastating 8-5 loss against Paly’s newspaper, The Campanile,  in a friendly publication face-off of wiffle ball. In a rather snarky editorial by Viking’s former columnist, Peter Dennis (‘12), he lists all the reasons which Viking was placed at a disadvantage. With little to no senior participants and a total of six players in general, Viking was lacking in spirit and overall experience. 

“A few Vikings left to go recruit others and others simply left,” Dennis said.

Another factor he mentioned that must be taken into consideration with this match was the intense wind. 

Dennis also makes a point in mentioning that three out of Campanile’s eight runs were made by their new Editor-in-Chief, Charlie Dulik (‘13). All of which seemed to be “wind-aided” in the first place. 

Regardless of these drawbacks, one memorable play from this match was made by Viking’s Features Editor, Austin Poore (‘13) who saved their initially strong 2-0 lead when it was at risk with a Campanile member on third and threatening to score. Poore was able to quickly and cleanly field a liner hit towards him by Kyle Stewart (‘13) and tag Sam Dodson (‘13) from third and “expertly nab Dod right between the shoulder blades.” 

Despite the unfortunate end result, Dennis seemed to have some impeccable foreseeing abilities as he predicted the outcome of the wiffle ball rematch.

“That’s exactly how our rematch will be,” Dennis said. “LEGENDARY. Because we WILL win. Be warned.” 

Hopefully, we lived up to his expectations.


Check out a photo gallery of the full match here!