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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Former PALY Athletes: Where are they now?


Lulu Gaither

Lulu Gaither worked extremely hard throughout her high school career both in academics and in the pool on her water polo team. This landed her the opportunity to continue her work ethic and talents in college at Pitzer. Gaither loved her time on the Paly water polo team but finds the Pitzer team to be much more tight knit. “We are together all the time because we are on the same team so we have to be, but also by choice, these girls are my best friends” Gaither explains. Lulu gaither spends a significant increase of her daily life in the pool with her team. And spends more time balancing her life, “From practice, to games, to other events, and schoolwork it’s definitely harder to balance, but I think I am a lot better at navigating day to day life than when I was in high school” Gaither says. Gaither is also extremely grateful for all the joy that college athletics has brought her “the team is obviously super close and that has given us some amazing memories from team dinners, team mixers, and most importantly, winning nationals.” Gaither has said. From her roots at Paly, gaither continues to express immense gratefulness towards her her former teammates and coaches “Deke was so important to our team and teaching how to be an effective and supportive teammate, I use the lessons I learn from him every single day and I am so grateful” Gaither explains.

Hillary Studdert

After leaving her forever legacy on the Paly Cross Country and Track and Field team, Hillary Studdert continues to strengthen her abilities across El Camino at Stanford University. Studdert stresses how grateful she is for the opportunities that Paly provided her with in order for her to succeed academically and athletically. “I was able to take really cool classes, as well as have top tier coaches that dedicated so much of their time in order for me to succeed, so for that reason I am forever indebted to Paly” Studdert explains. Studdert is beginning her first year at Stanford and is just getting started on her new pathway. “I love the team here at Stanford” Studdert said “The people here are super passionate about running but they also know how to make a team, a real team.” Studdert is loving team chemistry and working on finding a healthy balance. “The classes here are obviously top notch, so I obviously have to spend a lot more time studying and preparing for my classes. I honestly find college classes much easier to manage because most of the classes that I am taking are classes that I am genuinely interested in” Studdert explains. Studdert continues to appreciate everything Stanford has given her “They have given me the best friends, the best coaches, and the best academics. My favorite memory with my team so far was when we all went to the Flume concert together at Red Rocks it really solidified our friendships together.” Studdert said.

Josh Kasevich

Joshua Kasevich graduated from PALY in 2019, and after attending the University of Oregon for 3 years, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays as the 60th overall pick in the 2022 draft.  Kasevich is in his second year of pro-baseball. He now plays for the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Toronto Blue Jays single-A affiliate, and hopes to climb up to the major leagues. “I’m looking forward to being able to count baseball as my job,” Kasevich said. “That is a childhood dream on its own, and it’s pretty special to live that out”.Kasevich said his favorite memory of PALY baseball was beating Los Gatos twice in the league championship his junior and senior year. In addition, Kasevich noted some key differences between high school and college baseball. “College baseball is a lot more physical. Players are all bigger and stronger, and the game is played with a lot more attention to detail”, Kasevich said. “It also taught me how to grow up and how to manage my time.”At the University of Oregon, Kasevich was named to the First-Team All-Pac-12 Conference, and  the Second-Team ABCA/Rawlings All-West Region. Kasevich also added some advice for anyone hoping to play college or professional baseball. “Take every day as an opportunity to better yourself and better your skill set”, Kasevich said.

Colin Giffen

After graduating in 2020, Giffen attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas and walked onto the football team. After a year at UNLV, he transferred to College of San Mateo where he played football for two years. During his time at CSM, Giffen developed as a football player. As a result of his development , his football ability caused him to be recruited by D1 schools. “Being at San Mateo for two years was good for me”, Giffen said. “It allowed me to get to where I needed to be mentally and physically to be able to play at the next level”.In May of this year, Giffen announced his commitment to Rice University. He transferred from CSM and is on the current 2023-2024 roster. “It’s been a long and difficult journey but I couldn’t be happier to be here at Rice”, Giffen said. “The education is the most important, and being able to get it from a top 10 university because of football is a blessing”. As a freshman at Rice, Giffen is excited for the future of his college football career. “This journey has taken longer than I expected but I knew all the hard work was going to pay off,” Giffen said.

Siena Brewster

Siena Brewster graduated from PALY in 2019, and she attended Missouri State University for one year, where she played beach volleyball. After the 2019-2020 school year, she transferred to San Jose State University. Brewster gave some advice on the process of transferring. “I think that everyone’s story going into the transfer portal and coming out of it is different”, Brewster said. “I think the most important part of deciding where you want to go is making sure it falls in line with what you want for your upcoming journey. Although things may change, listen to yourself and trust your decision for yourself”.At SJSU, Brewster has shined on the beach volleyball team. Although she played regular indoor volleyball at PALY, she now likes beach volleyball a lot more. “Playing beach now is so different and I would say it’s like high school volleyball on steroids”, Brewster said. “So the part of my heart that holds my love for volleyball is still filled”.Brewster said that the commitment of college volleyball is more like a job. Additionally, Brewster said that she enjoys the high standard of being a collegiate athlete. “What I love about college volleyball is the continuing opportunity to learn and grow as an athlete and person”, Brewster said. “As well as the community and friendships it has brought to my life that will last a lifetime”. SJSU beach volleyball has a new coaching staff and a fairly new roster, and Brewster is looking forward to developing a new team culture. Additionally, Brewster said her favorite memory of college sports was attending the Black student athlete summit. “It truly changed my life and inspired me to create the first ever black student athlete association here at the school”, Brewster said. 

Harrison Williams

Showing great success in and out of the pool at PALY, Harrison Williams took the opportunity to continue to pursue his talents in college at Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts. Williams offers a student athlete experience that differs greatly from what Williams experienced in high school. “ It definitely is a higher workload overall as the practices are a higher intensity and more tiring than PALY” Williams said. He continues to work on his swimming talents while also strengthening his academic career but balances his team much differently than he did at PALY “ I’m spending more time at the athletic facilities, and spending more time doing my school work as well. I spend a lot less time in class here than I did at PALY, with some days having just one class that is an hour long, but I’m definitely spending a lot more time outside of class to prepare for exams or just to finish various assignments.” Williams explains. Although collegiate swimming can prove to be a daunting experience there are immense benefits that make the experience enjoyable. WIlliams College Swimming has a tradition during the preseason called “Fun Friday” where the students will join together on a friday afternoon and bond over a relaxing non-swimming activity “Some of my favorite times were just playing capture the pineapple or out doing a Slip N’ Slide with all of my teammates.” Williams said. Williams is extremely grateful for all the experience that PALY provided him before his collegiate career, “Yes, Danny did have me prepared for college swimming. While I do feel that the intensity of college swimming is significantly higher, Danny did a great job preparing me for college swimming with his high volume practices.” Williams said. Along with experience, PALY provided some amazing memories for Williams that he still yearns for today “One thing I miss so much is the outdoor pool we have at PALY. Here in the northeast, it is rare to see the sun sometimes during the summer and it just makes me miss our outdoor pool.” Williams said.

Zander Darby

 Although the physical and academic workload is difficult Darby is certain that he is gaining important values for his life “The balance you need as a D1 athlete in a rigorous major is incredibly difficult and requires lots of thought and energy. Once you can master how to effectively balance your lifestyle, you will be able to apply it for the rest of your life.” Darby said. And what comes with hard work comes with high reward. Darby has created some of the most amazing friends and is eternally grateful for the friendships baseball has gifted him with “The team chemistry at UCSB is a lot stronger and we are a lot more connected. We get to live with each other and spend so much more time together to build connections with one another.” Darby explains. Darby has loved his time at UCSB but his top two memories are winning the Big West Championship in 2022 and anytime he gets to surf. And with all the joy that comes with being a D1 baseball player comes nostalgia for his roots, “I miss team dinners and kangaroo Court the most from PALY baseball. We would all go out to dinner every week and have a blast together.” Darby said. What comes with those memories gratefulness and appreciation follows “I would say that my coaches at PALY prepared me well for college baseball because they taught me how to work hard and be a good teammate.” Darby said. Darby has been an influential member of the Palo Alto community.



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About the Contributors
Trey Collins, Social Media Manager
Hello All! I love to play water polo! I love to ski in the snow! I love tacos! Just a word of advice... Don't talk to me until my morning coffee!
Beau Revenaugh, Managing Editor
Hi, my name is Beau Revenaugh and I am the managing editor of Viking Magazine. I play Varsity Football and am a Captain of Varsity Lacrosse. I love sports, as well as backpacking and camping. I am a big fan of Stanford Football and the 49ers.

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