One month after he stepped down as Gunderson's football coach, former SaberCats star Steve Papin has taken over the program at Independence.

Papin replaces Norm Brown, who left the program after leading the 76ers to the playoffs last season.

"I'm excited to be taking over a good program like Independence," Papin said Wednesday. "As hard as it was to leave my players at Gunderson, Independence brings a new challenge."

Independence tied for fourth in the Blossom Valley Athletic League's "A" division (Mount Hamilton) last season. Gunderson is in the league's "B" division.

"I accepted the position because I love to coach," Papin said. "I'm familiar with the tradition at Independence because I attended (rival) Piedmont Hills."

Papin said he plans to set high standards in the classroom to prevent eligibility issues and will have similar expectations on the field.

"I expect Independence to complete year in and year out for the league championship and playoffs," he said.

  • The Central Coast Section's top boys volleyball teams will be on the court Thursday as the playoffs reach the quarterfinal stage. St. Francis, the top seed in Division I, opens against defending champion Archbishop Mitty at Homestead, and No. 2 seed Mountain View plays host to Serra. (The entire schedule for Divisions I and II is on the high school scoreboard page).


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    Mountain View won two of three against St. Francis this season but was edged out for the top seed based on section's volleyball point system. "I think the guys are ready," Mountain View coach M. Anthony Chen said.

  • Aubrey Dawkins, who went to prep school in New Hampshire after graduating last year from Palo Alto, is moving on to the University of Michigan. The son of Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins was a first-team All-Mercury News player in 2013 after he averaged 18.8 points and 7.0 rebounds. He played last season for New Hampton Prep.