Harker awarded CalHi D4 School of the Year

by Aditya Singhvi, Aquila Co-Sports Editor

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The Harker School was awarded the CalHiSports.com Division 4 school of the year award for the Eagles’ overall athletic performance over several sports last year, including boys volleyball, swimming and girls golf. 

The honor, presented to schools that perform remarkably in several sports, is the first of its kind for Harker. 

Anna Vazhaeparambil
Billy Fan (11) reaches for a ball in the first set.

“It’s a nice validation that there’s somebody out there is noticing and recognizing the quality athletes and quality coaches that we have,” upper school athletic director Dan Molin said. 

According to Mark Tennis, the editor and co-founder of CalHi Sports, the award began 30 years ago, when CalHiSports was still a newsletter, and has since evolved to include multiple divisions.

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  • Olivia Guo (11) watches on after hitting the ball in the varsity girls golf team's match against Sacred Heart Prep.

  • Ryan Tobin (11) chases after a Gunn player in the varsity boys soccer team's CCS quarterfinals match against Gunn High School.

“The school of the year program was begun to honor schools that were outstanding in multiple sports,” Tennis said. “A lot of people take it very seriously because we do a lot of research on the teams when we sit down and try to pick them.”

When picking the teams, Tennis takes into account notable playoff results as well as overall depth, before deciding which teams best fit in which divisions. Although the Eagles did not stand out in the five main sports that CalHiSports covers (football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball and baseball), the success of the boys volleyball team put Harker on the map as a contender for the honor. 

Irene Yuan
Heidi Zhang (’19) runs away from two Aragon players with the ball in her hand during the varsity girls lacrosse team’s CCS quarterfinals match.

“Once I clicked on [the boys volleyball team’s] season results and saw some of the teams that they played and beat, I was like ‘Wow, I had no idea Harker was that good at volleyball,’” Tennis said. “They are arguably right up there with the best boys volleyball team in Northern California, period.”

Nina Gee
Anya Gert (12) dives to save the ball in the varsity girls volleyball team’s match 3-1 win against Westmont High School.

The Eagles’ fourth place finish at the state swim meet, led by Ethan Hu (12), Matthew Chung (11), Jason Kwok (11), and Rhys Edwards (11), as well as the girls golf team winning seventh at NorCals, also contributed to the award. 

In addition, the girls volleyball, boys soccer and girls lacrosse teams all made Central Coast Section (CCS) playoff runs, establishing the depth of Harker athletics. 

Nicole Tian
Ethan Hu (12) swims in the 200 IM against two opponents from King’s Academy during a meet in the season.

“There are great stories every single year. It just so happened that this year revolved around some winning,” Molin said. “We enjoy it when then when those occur. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and keep trying to get better.”