More State Schools of the Year

Donovan Lee from Chaminade of West Hills (left) starred when school won CIF D2 state bowl game. Gabriella Carta-Samuels (right) plays for Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in CIF D2 state volleyball final. Photos: Scott Kurtz & Student Sports.

Donovan Lee from Chaminade of West Hills (left) starred when his school won the CIF Division II state bowl game. Gabriella Carta-Samuels (right) played for Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the CIF D2 state volleyball final. Photos: Scott Kurtz & Student Sports.

Archbishop Mitty and Torrey Pines continue back-and-forth duel in girls sports with Mitty getting the nod this time. Other schools ending with special honors include St. John Bosco (D2), Chaminade (D3), Central Catholic of Modesto (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda (D5). Fifteen more schools also gain special mention for overall athletic excellence.

For announcement of overall State School of the Year, CLICK HERE.
For honorable mention State Schools of the Year, CLICK HERE.

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Congratulations to the following schools for collecting a statewide all-sports honor for the 2013-14 school year (please note that for our criteria we are going to favor schools that have been in our state rankings for football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball & softball plus schools that have won CIF state titles or have placed high in CIF state meets):

Girls Sports Only:
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)

It was another close race at the top of California girls sports for the 2013-14 school year between the Monarchs and Torrey Pines of San Diego. Torrey Pines was the winner for 2011 and 2013 but Mitty is now back on top for 2014 after its last girls sports honor for 2012.
Mitty logo
The Monarchs, who have now been State School of the Year for girls sports 10 times since the 1994-95 school year, added a CIF state title and No. 2 overall final state ranking this year in girls volleyball. They also were among the top 10 in the nation and No. 4 in the state in softball, reached the CIF Division II state final in girls basketball, won a CIF Central Coast Section title in girls soccer and were second in the CCS in field hockey, cross country and swimming.

Olympic sports such as figure skating aren’t part of the criteria for school of the year, but Mitty also had a girl who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in sophomore figure skater Polinda Edmonds. She was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Team at 15, but finished ninth and showed flashes of brilliance that make her a skater to watch for 2018.

In the final year of outgoing athletic director Will Scharrenberg running the show, it’s also noteworthy that Mitty became the first school in the history of the West Catholic Athletic League to win league titles in football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, golf and baseball in the same school year.

Boys Sports Only:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

There are times when the overall State School of the Year wins with depth across both boys and girls sports and doesn’t win separately for boys or girls. That’s not the case this time as Mater Dei’s two CIF state titles in boys hoops and boys track plus its other strong showings in football, boys golf and boys water polo is more than enough.

Division II:
St. John Bosco (Bellflower)

Braves athletic director Monty McDermott already is in the Cal-Hi Sports state record book for driving in 14 runs in one baseball game when he played at the school in the 1980s. Now, the athletic department as a whole will get a listing for being the Division II State School of the Year.

The primary obstacle toward the Braves getting this honor was determining that Loyola of Los Angeles really should be Division I and not Division II. Otherwise, it could have been the Cubs in this spot instead.

St. John Bosco, which is being recognized as a state school of the year for the first time, went 16-0 and won the CIF Open Division football title. The Braves then won the CIF Division II state crown in boys basketball and were sixth in team scoring at the CIF state wrestling finals. The school claims a small school state wrestling title as a result of that finish, but the CIF doesn’t recognize that and neither do we. Still, add the wrestling to the football and boys hoops plus a top 10 finish in team scoring at the state track meet on the boys side and solid overall showings in other sports (including soccer) and it is enough for Bosco to get a state honor.

Players from St. John Bosco join their fans in a post-game celebration after the CIF Open Division bowl game at StubHub Center. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Players from St. John Bosco join their fans in a post-game celebration after the CIF Open Division bowl game at StubHub Center. Photo: Scott Kurtz.


Division III:
Chaminade (West Hills)

This was one of those divisions in which there were a couple of schools that actually displayed better depth in their programs than the winner, but it was just too hard to overcome three CIF state titles.

Chaminade, which is being honored as a state school of the year for the first time, tied a state record by winning its three CIF state titles in football, boys basketball and girls basketball.

The Eagles didn’t just win in those state finals, either. They dominated. It began with a 41-9 victory over Enterprise of Redding in the CIF Division II state bowl game. The hoop sweep was attained with wins of 71-51 against Drake of San Anselmo (Division III boys) and 80-51 against Archbishop Mitty (Division II girls).

Leading players for those teams included quarterback Brad Kaaya and running back Donovan Lee in football, Michael Oguinne and Jack Williams in boys basketball and Devin Stanback in girls basketball.

Division IV:
Central Catholic (Modesto)

This division was by far the most difficult to analyze and choose a winner since there wasn’t one school that came very close to two CIF state titles. It was the domain the last two years of Gardena Serra, but this time the Cavaliers didn’t win a CIF state title and just weren’t close to being as dominant as they were for the last four years.

Although we don’t for a moment think that the Central Catholic football team could have beaten Serra, the Raiders did win the CIF Division IV State Bowl Game in convincing fashion for the second straight year. They also were sixth in the CIF boys golf state final and were No. 2 in the final Division V state rankings in boys basketball.

In addition to those three sports, Central Catholic also was 22-7 in baseball, reached the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section final in girls soccer and was second in the section in boys wrestling.

Central Catholic has been a Division V state school of the year twice previously for 1999-2000 and 2004-05. This also may be the Raiders’ final chance to win for Division IV since next school year they will be joining the Valley Oak League, which is considered Division III for our state rankings.

Division V:
St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda)

For the second straight year, the Pilots have parlayed terrific seasons in boys cross country, girls volleyball and boys basketball into a state honor.

This time, however, they did even better since the boys basketball team won the CIF Division V state title after losing on a heart-breaker at the buzzer from the year before. The boys cross country team earlier in the school year won its second straight CIF Division V state title while the girls volleyball team went to the NorCal D5 final where it lost a five-game thriller to Branson of Ross.

Before last year, St. Joseph Notre Dame had never been a State School of the Year honoree and now it’s two in a row.

(Note: Schools of Distinction listed in alphabetical order)

School of Distinction:
Campolindo (Moraga)

It’s tended to be between Campo and Cathedral Catholic of San Diego for Division III and although neither got that honor this year both schools were outstanding. For Campo, a run of six CIF North Coast Section titles was capped with the boys volleyball team winning the CIF D2 NorCal title and ranking No. 1 overall in Northern California and No. 7 in the nation. The NCS champion boys cross country team featured CIF D3 champ Aidan Goltra while the NCS champ girls cross country team featured CIF D3 individual runner-up Brighie Leach. Additional NCS titles came in boys water polo, girls water polo and girls soccer. The football squad also went 10-0 in the regular season before a loss in the NCS semifinals while the boys basketball team made it to the CIF D3 NorCal semis.

School of Distinction:
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego)

A last-second field goal in the Chaminade vs. Gardena Serra football game likely knocked the Dons out of contention to get a spot in the CIF SoCal D2 bowl game after they won a San Diego Section crown. It was one of seven section titles that the school won, including the 29-3 softball team guided by State Coach of the Year Margaret Mauro. The baseball team also went 25-6 with No. 1 draft pick and Mr. Baseball Player of the Year Brady Aiken, but had to play in the Open Division and thus didn’t win a section title. The girls cross country team also placed ninth in the CIF D3 state meet.

School of Distinction:
Clovis

We’ve got to include the Cougars in this category at the minimum for winning another CIF state team title in wrestling and for being State Team of the Year in baseball. Clovis also went 29-4 in softball (and was nationally ranked for several weeks) and scored points at the CIF D1 meet in boys cross country.

Coach Steve Tirapelle and the Clovis High wrestling program won its fourth consecutive CIF state title last March in Bakersfield. Photo: cloviswrestling.com.

Coach Steve Tirapelle and the Clovis High wrestling program won its fourth consecutive CIF state title last March in Bakersfield. Photo: cloviswrestling.com.


School of Distinction:
Clovis West (Fresno)

Although Clovis West didn’t have any one team quite like Clovis in baseball and wrestling, the Golden Eagles did win six CIF Central Section titles, placed second in three other sports and won the supremacy title in the Tri-River Athletic Conference for the 25th time in 31 years. Highlights included the wrestling team finishing second in the CIF state meet plus the girls swim & dive team winning an 18th straight section title along with the boys swim & dive team making it 16 straight section crowns.

School of Distinction:
Davis

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse in multiple sports had a great spring that included nationally ranked teams in boys swimming and girls swimming as well as the D1 section champs in baseball. The boys tennis team also went far in the NorCal playoffs and in the fall it was a second-place finish for girls cross country at the CIF Division I state final and a ninth-place showing for the boys.

School of Distinction:
De La Salle (Concord)

The Spartans didn’t win a CIF state title during the school year, but it took one of the best teams in recent Southern California history from St. John Bosco to deny them from winning a fifth straight CIF Open Division bowl game in football with a 20-14 decision. DLS also finished third in the CIF state meet in track, placed seventh in the CIF Division I state meet in cross country and won CIF North Coast Section titles in wrestling, baseball and soccer.

School of Discinction:
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)

It was a season of outstanding depth throughout the program for the Mavericks. They were 28-6 in boys basketball (winning the San Diego Section Open Division title), 26-5 in girls basketball (went to D2 SoCal semifinals), placed fourth in the CIF D2 girls cross country race, ranked among the top 10 in the nation in boys volleyball and scored points at the CIF state finals in boys cross country and wrestling. Girls soccer and girls volleyball also had standout seasons.

School of Distinction:
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

It’s automatic for the Jackrabbits to be on this list and always among the contenders for State School of the Year. Some of the depth was lacking this year, however, for Poly to get close to Mater Dei. The Jackrabbits also weren’t as strong as they’ve been in football, boys basketball and boys track. The highlights of the year came in girls basketball and girls track as both teams won CIF state titles. The girls track team also sent veteran Hall of Fame coach Don Norford into retirement by possibly having the most dominant team in state history. Led by sprinter Ariana Washington, the Jackrabbits amassed an amazing 70 points in team scoring. Counting the girls basketball Open Division title from earlier in the school year, Poly will start the 2014-15 school year with 36 all-time CIF state titles in all sports combined. No other school in California has even half of that total.

School of Distinction:
Loyola (Los Angeles)

We would say that the Cubs would be right up there with St. John Bosco as the runner-up to Mater Dei for having the top boys sports teams in the state for the year. There were no CIF state titles, but the soccer team went 30-0-6 and will go into the state record book as State Team of the Year. Loyola also was one of the best in the nation in boys volleyball, losing only to national No. 1 Huntington Beach in both the CIFSS and CIF SoCal tourneys. The Cubs also went 27-4 in boys basketball, 23-6-1 in baseball, placed fifth in the CIF D1 cross country race and were strong once again in swimming.

Sophomore Amanda Outcalt was a standout on Danville Monte Vista's girls soccer team that was recently named FAB 50 national champion for all soccer seasons combined. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Sophomore Amanda Outcalt was a standout on Danville Monte Vista’s girls soccer team that was recently named FAB 50 national champion for all soccer seasons combined. Photo: Mark Tennis.


School of Distinction:
Monte Vista (Danville)

All three of the Mustangs’ top teams were going for it all at the same time in early March and two of those teams – in boys basketball and girls soccer – went all the way. Coach Nick Jones’ boys in basketball topped Centennial of Corona for the CIF Division I state title and ended 32-1. On the pitch, Monte Vista completed an unbeaten season by beating arch-rival San Ramon Valley of Danville for the CIF North Coast Section D1 title and also finished with the No. 1 ranking in the Student Sports FAB 50. The girls basketball team also was playing at a high level at the same time. The Mustangs finished 26-5 and lost in the CIF D1 NorCal semifinals.

School of Distinction:
Redondo (Redondo Beach)

Although the Seahawks didn’t win a CIF D2 state title in boys basketball, this year’s team was comparable to the one from the year before but had to compete in open divisions. Redondo also had another great season of distance running with a third-place finish at the CIF D2 state final for girls and a fifth-place showing for boys. The boys volleyball team then had perhaps its best year ever with a top five national finish, although it was behind national No. 1 Huntington Beach and national No. 3 Loyola of Los Angeles. Other Seahawk teams shined in girls volleyball and baseball.

School of Distinction:
Santa Margarita (Rancho SM)

The Eagles actually won more CIFSS titles than any other school with six, but before their fans get too excited about us choosing Mater Dei ahead of them keep in mind that two of those titles – in boys and girls basketball – came in lower divisions. Still, it was a more than solid school year for the athletic department. A 3-1 win over Foothill of Tustin at Dodger Stadium in the CIFSS Division I baseball final was the capper. The other three section titles came in girls water polo, girls soccer and girls swimming. All three of those teams also would be judged to be at least top 10 in the state overall, probably higher.

School of Distinction:
Serra (Gardena)

The Cavaliers, who were State School of the Year for 2009-10 and just missed for 2012-13, stayed among the state’s top all-around schools by going 13-1 in football and ending No. 4 in the state overall behind Mr. Football State Player of the Year Adoree’ Jackson and then following with several other standout seasons. Those included boys basketball at 22-10 with a trip to the CIF D4 SoCal regional semifinals and girls basketball at 25-6 with a trip to the CIF D4 SoCal regional final. The boys track team suffered some late-season injuries and mishaps but still finished with several individual marks that ranked among the best in the nation, including Jackson in the long jump.

School of Distinction:
Torrey Pines (San Diego)

It wasn’t quite enough for the Falcons to beat Archbishop Mitty of San Jose this time for girls sports only, but overall it was another stellar year. Torrey Pines added to its CIF state title total by repeating as CIF champs in girls golf. The school also ended up 33-4 in girls volleyball with a trip to the CIF D1 South semifinals and finished with seven San Diego Section titles in all. Boys cross country, girls soccer, boys tennis and boys volleyball were among other teams evaluated to be among the best in the state.

School of Distinction:
Vacaville

A 29-1-1 softball team that ended No. 5 in the state and among the top 15 in the nation helped cap a more than solid year for the Bulldogs. In the spring, Vacaville’s crew of elite nationally-ranked hurdlers in girls track – led by Pattriana Perry – also turned a lot of heads and helped the team place 11th at the CIF state meet. In the winter, Vacaville also was fifth in the CIF state wrestling finals while in the fall the football team went 8-4 and was among the top 20 in Northern California.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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2 Comments

  1. phil garofalo
    Posted July 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Bosco – any school that defeats De La Salle deserves extra cred. And they won titles in the two major sports. Too bad you don’t count fencing. Mater Dei won the track with basically one guy. But they did have highly ranked teams in a number of sports, I’ll admit.

    A rumor says that Chaminade won the state fencing title. If true, that makes four, with football and two basketball titles included.

  2. Mike
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Huntington Beach – HBHS won both a CIF-SS Division 1 Championship and CIF Division 1 SoCal Regional in Boy’s Volleyball, in addition to be awarded a national championship, which is very impressive to repeat two years in a row. This season the team went 40-0, which puts them at a 65 match win streak, just 4 short of the all time record set by Laguna Beach.

    HBHS also prevailed in winning a CIF Football title, led by OC player of the year Kai Ross.

    HBHS’s Girl’s Basketball team finished near the top once again, with a tough semifinal loss to Ventura ending their 26-3 season and run at the elusive CIF title.

    Boy’s baseball was the 5th seed going into Division 1 CIF, with a 22-4 record before being eliminated in a devastating 2nd round loss.

    In track, HBHS had two athletes, George Gleason and Cassie Durgy, travel to the CIF State Championships, where the pair finished in the top ten of their respective fields.

    Sounds like an honorable mention at the least.

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