Mtn. View High girls soccer team builds chemistry on and off the field

Allie Montoya
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High freshman forward Allie Montoya controls the ball in last week’s game against Los Altos.

Although smoky skies prevented the Mountain View High girls soccer team from practicing for nine days last month, it didn’t stop the Spartans from improving before their season kicked off.

Most of those days, coach Ivan Bandov gathered his girls indoors for tactical discussions and to play icebreaker games.

Los Altos girls basketball, Gunn girls soccer stun Paly

The Los Altos High girls basketball team rallied in the second half to knock off upper-division opponent Palo Alto 54-43 last week.

The visiting Eagles, down seven at intermission, outscored the Vikings 38-20 the rest of the way Nov. 28. Jamie Baum totaled 17 points to lead Los Altos, and Mahika Gupta added 14.

Sports on the Side

Reds hire LAHS grad as assistant coach

The Cincinnati Reds last month hired Los Altos High graduate Donnie Ecker (Class of 2004) as the team’s assistant hitting coach. A standout baseball player for the Eagles, Ecker returned to his alma mater as varsity baseball coach in 2013 after four seasons as a minor leaguer. He resigned after the 2014 season and took a development position with the St. Louis Cardinals, serving as a minor-league hitting coach for three seasons. Ecker worked for the Los Angeles Angels’ organization this year in the role of hitting coach for the Triple-A team in Salt Lake.

Local tree lots support high school sports

Tree lots benefiting athletics at Mountain View and Los Altos highs, respectively, are open for business. Proceeds from the Spartans Tree Lot go toward purchasing sports equipment and improving facilities at Mountain View High. Operating hours are 5-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends next to the football field at Mountain View High, 3535 Truman Ave. For more information, visit Proceeds from MVLA Trees, the Los Altos High tree lot, support the school’s sports programs and clubs. Operating hours are 3:30-8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends in the Chase Bank parking lot, 749 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View. For more information visit

St. Francis steamrolls Serra in semis

R. Alan Hwang/Special to the Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Opeti Fangupo dives into the end zone Friday against Serra. The senior rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns in the Lancers’ CCS semifinal win.

The St. Francis High football team is back in the Central Coast Section Open Division II final, again facing a familiar foe. Only this time, it’s Valley Christian instead of Serra – a team the Lancers lost to by a point in last year’s title game.

Top seed St. Francis (11-1) avenged that loss Friday, squashing Serra 38-8 in the semifinals, and is slated to take on No. 2 Valley Christian (10-2) 7 p.m. Saturday in the final at Independence High in San Jose. When the teams met Oct. 5 in West Catholic Athletic League play, the Lancers eked out a 7-3 home win.

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