Gunn drives for league title and CCS berth with upset of Cupertino; hosts Fremont and Lynbrook in playoff surge

Moonrise and beautfiful Sky over Gunn Titans field portends CCS or share of league title, or 30 boys and six men trying trying again, a-Gunn.







[Updated in about anhour or by Sudany 2 p.m — Terry is yeeling at me to ffed the dog, hence the hitters jitters]

Gunn rushed for 513 yards on the ground spearheaded by quarterback James Lambert’s signature game, with 200 and three long scores, to beat a previously undefeated Cupertino Pioneers in the 408.

The Big Red are now poised to share the El Camino title if they can muster against Fremont and Lynbrook.

In a post game interview, coach Jason Miller referenced the daunting running attack of next week’s foes: “the 600 pound backfield” in reference to TK and TK.

A reporter quipped that Gunn’s Denzell Davis, at about 160 pounds, would relish the challenge of big game in a big game.

“He has technique, he has desire, he has an explosiveness towards his opponent” Miller said. “I’m impressed because in the previous season he was one of the last people who would enter the game”. Family and friends including father Kenneth Davis, a Los Altos star back in the day, and aunt Rashida Davis, a Gunn alumna, root on the local star. Often in the entourage is Eric Williams, nephew of Gunn wrestling coach Ed Williams (also an alumnus and stalwart athlete of his era).

Besides the scoreboard results based on execution in the field, Gunn is interesting in the stands and has families of Hindu, Jewish, Christian faiths and creeds including Kazakh, Israeli, Korean-American, French and Punjabi. One family has a funny name, Haleka, but father (TK ) is a former athlete of the year at St. Francis of Mountain View circa 1990 and his wife says she played three sports for her team in SoCal.

Miller has a young coaching staff in Chris Gumbrecht (Gunn TK), Marcus Moreno-Ramos (2014) and Alvarez, an alumnus.

This reporter has been to five of the eight contests: Gunn is 6-2 and 4-1 when I’m there. Despite having two more shows on the books for Earthwise Productions, and a 2022 season to launch, I am tempted to clear my books to focus on the Big Red Miracle for the duration. And write this story, even right it. 

There’s at least two more chances to hobo this boxcar boxcar boxcar. The ultimate would be to beat Fremont, qualify for a CCS berth and face Paly in the post-season. Win or lose. I mean, win, baby!

Part of the backstory is that Gunn and Paly have not met in 10 years. They were going to play in 2020 but for the Covid epidemic. A 2021 scrimmage ended badly, with Miller pulling his team after 30 of the 40 plays, and his counterpart Nelson Gifford calling him a “coward” in the press. They initially agreed to play September 8 of this year but then Paly settled on Serra, who smoked them 99-1, while Gunn settle for Sequoia, 9 miles south of Serra, but thwocked the former Cherokees 99-1.

Whereas Gunn graduated two all-Metro players in RB Richard Jackson IV and two-way lineman Ken Erlan, a plethora of emerging start, beyond James Lambert, has come out at night: Kevin Green, Denzell Davis, Filipi Montes, TK, TK.


Gunn Oracle, in which I advertise, under all-time-great advisor Kristy Blackburn in terms of tenure, has 34 lines about “Ghostbusters” (in a Halloween feature) but only six lines about football, an interview, from three weeks ago, with Eric Wang (who is better known as a pianist than a player, more Jon Kimura Parker than Jack Tatum):


The Oracle actually gave more space to Sophomore Eliska Injayan, merely because she transferred, from Paly, than to Wang (let alone James Lambert, who will go down in Gunn history as an all-time great and seems a compelling character to boot -“Lambchop”, plays rock guitar, his dad is chief Librarian for City of San Francisco, Michael Lambert, and hails from Charlestown, South Carolina, Gamecock country – in fact two of his neighbors are childhood friends from back home). And I’m not criticising Eliska Injayan: her father and grandfather — or grandfather and great-grandfather– were friends of my parents: Steven Injayan sold my brother his wedding ring; I was the courier. Being at Gunn not Paly was not, for Injayan, a major cultural shock, according to Katie LaWer of the Oracle. I wonder what sophomore Matt Erlan thinks of Palo Alto compared to Kazakhistan, a giant landlocked courntry that separates China from Russian, or Dubai where his family lived until coming here when Ken Erlan was in junior high.

A former Oracle editor myself, I learned that Richard Jackson, who has a younger brother Andrew on frosh-soph, is not related to pro soccer goalie and Gunn alum Chris Jackson — the RJs I-IV are from AL. Not to harsh on the Oracle, but I wrote a joke story for the April 1 issue, where we imitated the Campanile that reads oddly similar to LaWer’s profile of a sophomore adjusting to life 3 miles from what she was used to her frosh campaign. I said: John Norseman is different than three-fourths of those he attends school with; John Norseman is a sophomore. “I can’t wait until I’m 16, so I can drive”, he said. “Now, my mother has to drive me”. Film at 11.

Speaking of which, James Lambert will be on the local sports highlight show. I crashed the paparazzi session just as it rapped and got Courtany (no last name, or refused to state) that she was from the hills of North Carolina, 200 miles from the Lamberts, it turns out – reported here in Plasty but not on Sports Focus, the Oracle, the Merc nor the PAW — and is not a daugther of former Stanford receiver Mike Tolliver, although her colleague is. Gunn had a track athlete daughter of Stanford star Ken Margerum, who played for the Bears.

Somehow related for my glee and keen for Gunn is that fact that Chris Strausser is in town, for the Colts, playing the 49ers. I remember meeting Chris in 7th grade at Terman – 44 years ago – -and him telling me that he played tackle not flag, for Knights not Tigers. Chris did not start a game for his first five seasons for PAUSD schools, but senior year he broke out and was Co-MVP of SCVAL football along with Paly’s Jim Harbaugh. After playing for Foothill JC and Chico State, he got his first break, thru a family friend, being on John Ralston’s staff at SJSU. He assisted Chris Peterson at both Boise State and Washington before jumping to the NFL recently, the Broncos and now the Colts. The announcers lauded him on Monday Night Football recently.

The moon rising over Titans Field (and Hal Daner track) is an auspice.

Good gunn moon rising or waxing

I hereby pledge to watch every down of these last two Clash of the Titans and to invite 500 friends, Romans and countrymen.

Football team captain senior Eric Wang reflects on the season so far. “(The season) has gone pretty well.” Wang said. “We lost one game. We’re still 3-1, so I’ll take it. We haven’t really met my expectations, but a lot of people have been stepping up. For myself, I just want to do better. As a team, I want us to go undefeated in the league and make it to the playoffs”. First of all, compiled by Kenneth Soh, Gunn was 6-2 by the time this paper was published, and not 3-1; the news was a month old. The paper lists Soh as a copy editor and not the sports editor which is either Hila Livneh or Safina Syed. Secondly, that the Titan’s dramatic and redemptive and auspicious handling of Cupertino was a rare Thursday and not a Friday, they might have made spot news coverage of that outcome. Maybe as a banner over the page 1 lead, which was about litter adding to a janitor’s workload. The statement about going undefeated in league was outdated as of three weeks ago, after losing to Los Altos. “I’ll take it”, “stepping up”, doing better, are all cliches. Better to edit out or ask to explicate. Wang is a lesser player but a great piano player: does greatness in other fields help him help the team here? Myself, I played for the best team in Gunn history, but was by far the worst player on the team: I think the coach kept me because I was editor of the Oracle, and yes Kent Lockhart, later drafted by the NBA, said he played with “Ivy Leaguers” I guess including Stanford guys. I was the only Ivy leaguer. But generally Gunn deserves more coverage in The Oracle, and in PAW. Having 16 of 19 top editors as girls does not excuse missing this story. Nor does haveing roughly half of them Asians. 

Why not write about Big Red versus The Titans, as semantic?

Write about the use of the Georgia Bulldog logo, as compared to the actual official and different Block G on the new sign (I literally wrote two stories about the sign, because Los Altos rooters demolished the original 1964-1980 sign the week of homecoming and then again that spring a joke issue thing about lab rat termites eating the sign after smoking dank.)

I think its interesting have a team with Khazaks, Israelies, Koreans, Singhs. More Asians than Blacks (which was true of my 25-3 Titans: Danny Brown vs Jerry Chang, Alan Ng). 

When my godson Sam Rothstein played, and I knew the fathers of Bibo and Maltz too (but not “as well”) I went to every game, even the kickoff Yom Kippur erev, and wrote 10 stories here at Plastic Alto, but the Oracle had one story all season about the kicker who was a girl. (And by the way, the QB of that team, Noah Riley, now works for NFL Ravens).

I don’t think the Oracle has noted that City of Palo Alto and Mayor Tom Dubois (father of a VB star for Titans, Anna) issued two proclamations honoring the spring campaign. It’s a public record.

I know a Gunn football player who made $10m on Wall Street;  he’s more a track athlete but still. Gordon Dyal, actually his boutique investment firm is at Columbus Circle not Wall Street, even better. Nick Sturiale our QB for grades 8 thru 11, is a VC who’s made millions and stayed in town.And former Geoff Gibbs ’79 a Rhodes Scholar with a son Julian a rising hoops star at Alameda High, said that but for the concurrent reformation from 7-8-9, 10-11-12 to 7-8 10-12 he not Danny McCalister would have been a Black Gunn QB. (In sort of the way John Erhlich claims he not Jimmy Zacanti might have been Gunn’s catcher during the merger years – that’s a story too).

Even if you don’t root for the Niners and don’t know Steve DeBerg from Steve Young, there are multiple fascinating story lines around Coach Jason Miller y sus cuates, beyond the fact that Gunn before beating Cupertino was #7 out of 93 teams in scoring, and third in Santa Clara County.

And by the way I am literally the person who switch the Oracle, after 16 years as a five-story news lead to a tabloid cover linked to a centerfold that used the gatefold to gain more newshole and waist less space. Sometimes we had fine art covers – Mr. Farrell Tim liked Hogarth satires — and influenced us — but the main point was a tabloid cover could SCREAM  spot news and or be a gateway to an easy to find complex issue, which sometimes had six reporters drilling down into. (Into which six drilled down..) Litter, unless its combined with the bubonic plague circa 1760 Vienna, does not belong on the cover of the Oracle. And reviews of four movies that are a combined 48 years old, plus three confections is not worthing running in the margins, let alone the “centerfold”. It’s like running Star 80s toe nail clippins. 

Jo Ann Starworth?

John Stallworth?

To come. 

My add, does not really belong here: I thought the issue was out by 10/16 not 10/23, so as to be timely enough for my 10/17 Mary Gauthier. We actually thought, me and her publicist, that a Gunn reporter might read her book “Saved by A Song” and interview Mary. A Scooby Doo movie from 2019 is the best you have for covering contemporary culture. So if you don’t follow sports or culture, what do you cover, besides litter?

I think the word is navel-gazing.

Why don’t you cover nearly grown men, man-boys, who can run 40 yards and dash and twirl while other man-boys are trying to crush them? 

Or speaking of janitors, maybe Gunn Oracle can find the Paly janitor who record Thelonioius Monk or at least disprove my theory that he was COINTELPRO.

Don’t ask, what’s COINTELPRO. Or ask and answer. We literally but did not meanwhile litter rang Larry Bailey’s door. Ann Vandenberg wrote about janitors, re run her story, call her and ask what she would do differently at 57 not 17 to bridge class and race and idiolect. Whats an idiolect? 

Who was Ron Jones? His team never lost? He waved?

And get a real camera and don’t run six bad photos on page two.

That’s a great band name: Six Bad Photos On Page Tw0.

Get a reporter to list the Gunn football team’s names alphabetically. That’s a better job or reporting and more intersting that 90 percent of Volume 59, Issue 3.

My Gunn tenure featured three advisors: Carol Jones, Tom Harbeck, Tim Farrell: that’s a story. My staff won, later an Academy Award, for documentary film, and produced “Just Shoot Me” and then died. 

Are you covering the international film festival? Jasmina Bojic?Write about Paki chicks who crick, or Vietnamese judo matters. 

If not Big Men in Tights…


edit to add: and to edit: I’m at Peet’s near Cubberley and I thought I heard “You’re One” by Imperial Teen on the player, unless, even better, it’s a cover of “You’re One”. Imperial Teen played the Cub – music series by selfsame Earthwise – in 1999 or so.  Shout to Jone Stebbins. (Though, buzzkill, Gunn grad homie and friend of MR said he did not really hear the song, was focused on his pulls, its a Peets spotify series — that’s a story survey how music is used to keep the precariot hopping…)


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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