New boys’ lacrosse team at Paly
With a two-year-old girls’ lacrosse team, lacrosse is relatively new to the 90-year-old Palo Alto High School community. But finally, after years of persistent effort, boys’ lacrosse is here at Paly. Some sports are dominant in certain areas of the country. In the south, it is football. In the west, soccer. In the east, lacrosse. Slowly, over the past five years, lacrosse has hit California faster than ever. Lacrosse is now the fastest growing sport in Northern California, and is continuing to increase in popularity.
Bill Glazier contributed greatly in the addition of a boys’ lacrosse team at Paly. The president of the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club since 2006, Glazier was essential to the movement for the new team.
“Bill Glazier has run the club for a while and he was instrumental in bringing lacrosse to Paly,” lacrosse player Elliot Beckstrom (’11) said. “He also brought over some of the best coaches from the Tomahawks to help form a strong team at Paly.”
Glazier pushed the administration and district in hopes to finally get the team implemented.
“Two people who were important in the process were Kevin Skelly and Earl Hansen,” Glazier said. “Kevin is big on athletic opportunities for kids. Earl was initially skeptical three years ago, but became a big supporter and I thank them both.”
His connections with the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club also factored into adding the sport.
“There was lots of process. It is important to work the system, and we worked the system,” Glazier said.
The start up of the boys’ lacrosse team was not a fluid and easy effort. It took time and careful planning to convince the administration to allow the team.
“We were really unorganized in our efforts; there was a lot of talk and little action,” lacrosse player John Brunett (’11) said. “The reason there’s a team now is because of the strong contingent of boys in the junior class that has been pushing for a team the last few years.”
With the new girls’ team at Paly, there was hope for the boys at Paly, but there were still many obstacles to overcome in order to create the Paly team. Certain district equality rules involving Gunn prevented the team from being formed.
“Paly has not had a boys team until now because there has not been enough interest in the sport, therefore, there were not parents to help push the district for teams,” Beckstrom said. “Under some other district law Paly could not get a team until Gunn High School got a team.”
Other obstacles, including general practicality, were holding the team back from being created.
Finally, after a long and tedious process, boys’ lacrosse is holding tryouts in preparation for its season. Many high school players are relieved and hopeful for the upcoming season. With so many players coming from Tomahawks into Paly, the team is expected to be strong its first season.
“I am confident the team will have a winning season and make it to the finals in our league,” Beckstrom said. “The league we are competing in is made up mostly of first and second year teams who lack a sufficient number of strong players.”
Other players are confident in Paly’s upcoming season, but realized that the team is new and will not be the best out there.
“I think that this year, especially for a first year team, we’ll do pretty well. We’ll most likely lose to a couple of powerhouse teams, but other than that do solidly,” Hoglund said. “We should be building a solid franchise for the future.”
Some players to watch out for on defense are Michael Cullen (’11) and Cooper Levitan (’11). At the midfield, Kris Hoglund (’12) and Isaac Plant (’10) are the prospective standouts. On attack, Zach Spain (’11) and Cory Valenti (’11) are expected to excel.
“We are in the El Camino league, the lower league with all the new teams,” Glazier said. “We are fortunate because we have experienced players who played Tomahawks. We are cautiously optimistic that we will win leagues, go to the playoffs and then go from there. We would call ourselves the early favorite.”