State School of the Year: Mater Dei

Curtis Godin (left) won two events in leading Mater Dei to the team title at the CIF state track meet while Stanley Johnson (right) led the Monarchs to 35-0 record and CIF Open Division state crown. Photos: OC Sidelines & Mater Dei H.S.

Curtis Godin (left) won two events in leading Mater Dei to the team title at the CIF state track meet while Stanley Johnson (right) led the Monarchs to 35-0 record and CIF Open Division state crown. Photos: OC Sidelines & Mater Dei H.S.


It’s not really close this time as Monarchs repeat as state’s No. 1 overall sports school. They also collect top honor for the fifth time in school history. First-ever CIF state title in boys track followed by top five finish in boys golf two days later turned race into a rout.

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Oftentimes when choosing the state’s top all-around athletic champion for one school during a particular school year it’s not an easy task. It can result in almost microscopic differences from school to school.

That’s not the case for 2013-14. If this were a World Cup soccer semifinal, it would be Germany vs. Brazil and not Argentina vs. Netherlands.

The winner and 2013-14 State School of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports for the second straight year is Mater Dei of Santa Ana. In addition to repeating for the first time, the Monarchs previously have been State School of the Year for the 1996-97, 1994-95 and 1991-92 school years.

athletics-message-logoFor the second straight year, Mater Dei was judged to have eight teams that would be top 10 overall in the state. This time, however, the Monarchs won two CIF state titles and for the first time its two CIF state titles were not of the boys-girls sweep in basketball. Most of the eight teams also were closer to the top than last year, when it was a close decision with Mater Dei edging runner-up Serra of Gardena.

Mater Dei’s two CIF state titles during 2013-14 came in boys basketball and boys track.

On the court, head coach Gary McKnight’s team (he also was the athletic director when Mater Dei earned its first three State School of the Year honors) capped an historic 35-0 season by beating Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland for the CIF Open Division state title. The Monarchs were led, of course, by University of Arizona-bound senior Stanley Johnson, who later was voted the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. They also were ranked either first or second in the nation depending on which national poll you look at.

On the track, senior and UCLA-bound Curtis Godin wowed everyone at the CIF state meet in Clovis by sweeping the 100- and 200-meter dash races in lifting the Monarchs to 20 of the 30 points they scored in team standings. Two fourth-place showings in the shot put and discus by junior Malik McMorris also greatly aided the cause, helping Mater Dei edge Castro Valley for its first team title.

More Magical Monarch Moments

This year’s State School of the Year honor for Mater Dei was achieved even though the usually dominant baseball and softball teams were not as strong as usual although on any given day those teams proved they could beat anyone.

Katie Lou Samuelson  scored in a myriad of ways for MD girls hoops team. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Katie Lou Samuelson scored in a myriad of ways for MD girls hoops team. Photo: Willie Eashman.


In football, head coach Bruce Rollinson’s squad crushed Long Beach Poly 30-0 in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division semifinals before losing to eventual CIF Open Division state champ St. John Bosco in the final 34-7. Despite that loss to the Braves, Mater Dei’s 11-3 finish was still strong enough for a No. 5 overall final state ranking. McMorris was one of the leaders of the defense along with senior Johnny Johnson (team-high 86 tackles) while quarterback Chase Forrest passed for 2,001 yards and 14 TDs.

In girls basketball, the Monarchs were ranked No. 1 in the nation after they won the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona, but ended up losing to Windward of Los Angeles in the first-ever CIFSS Open Division final and then lost to eventual CIF Open Division state champ Long Beach Poly. Coach Kevin Kiernan’s girls still ended 27-3 and were No. 3 in the final state rankings. And with State Junior Player of the Year Katie Lou Samuelson returning next season, they might be even better.

In girls volleyball, CIFSS Division I Player of the Year Frankie Shebby sparked Mater Dei to a title at the prestigious Torrey Pines tourney. The Monarchs eventually would play for the CIF Southern California Division I title but lost to Los Alamitos.

In boys water polo, Mater Dei’s boys were shooting for a sixth straight CIFSS Division I title and another mythical state and national title. That didn’t happen due to a loss to Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood in the final, but the Monarchs probably still would be regarded a No. 2 in the nation and No. 2 in the state behind the Wolverines. Monarchs’ star McQuin Baron was the CIFSS D1 Player of the Year and is currently playing for the U.S. National Team this summer.

The girls water polo team also lost in the CIFSS finals, in its case in Division II to Trinity League rival Santa Margarita. Still, the team made it that far and it was the program’s third straight trip to the finals.

Finally, just two days after the boys track team won its first-ever CIF state title, Mater Dei’s boys golf team got to compete in the CIF state tournament. The Monarchs finished fifth out of six teams, but qualifying for that tourney required high finishes in other events. Marcus DeLaRosa, who carded a par 71 in the state final, was the team’s leading individual.

Congratulations to athletic director Phil Bellomo and all of the school’s coaches and athletes for a truly phenomenal year of accomplishments.

Cal-Hi Sports State Schools of the Yearmater_dei_monarchs_logo
All-Time List

2013-14 – Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
2012-13 – Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
2011-12 – De La Salle (Concord)
2010-11 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
2009-10 – Junipero Serra (Gardena)
2008-09 – Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
2007-08 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
2006-07 – Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
2005-06 – Buchanan (Clovis)
2004-05 – Clovis West (Fresno)
2003-04 – De La Salle (Concord)
2002-03 – Torrey Pines (San Diego)
2001-02 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
2000-01 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1999-00 – De La Salle (Concord)
1998-99 – Clovis West (Fresno)
1997-98 – Santa Margarita (Rancho SM)
1996-97 – Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
1995-96 – De La Salle (Concord)
1994-95 – Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
1993-94 – Clovis West (Fresno)
1992-93 – Esperanza (Anaheim)
1991-92 – Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
1990-91 – Poway
1989-90 – Bakersfield
1988-89 – Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)
1987-88 – Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo)
1986-87 – Mission Viejo
1985-86 – Bellarmine (San Jose)
1984-85 – Bellarmine (San Jose)
1983-84 – Cordova (Rancho Cordova)
1982-83 – St. Francis (Mountain View)
1981-82 – Mission Viejo
1980-81 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1979-80 – Berkeley
1978-79 – Mt. Whitney (Visalia)
1977-78 – Andrew Hill (San Jose)
1976-77 – Pasadena
1975-76 – San Fernando
1974-75 – Clovis
1973-74 – Kearny (San Diego)
1972-73 – Monte Vista (Spring Valley)
1971-72 – Ygnacio Valley (Concord)
1970-71 – Lompoc
1969-70 – Blair (Pasadena)
1968-69 – Compton
1967-68 – Homestead (Cupertino)
1966-67 – El Rancho (Pico Rivera)
1965-66 – El Segundo
1964-65 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1963-64 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1962-63 – Santa Clara
1961-62 – McClymonds (Oakland)
1960-61 – Compton
1959-60 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1958-59 – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
1957-58 – Berkeley
1956-57 – Fresno
1955-56 – Jefferson (Los Angeles)
1954-55 – Centennial (Compton)
1953-54 – St. Ignatius (San Francisco)
1952-53 – Santa Monica
1951-52 – Compton
1950-51 – Compton
1949-50 – Jefferson (Los Angeles)

Note: All-time list extends back to 1890-91 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book and Almanac. All selections prior to 1980 made retroactively through research by the late Nelson Tennis, founder of Cal-Hi Sports.

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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One Comment

  1. Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Dear KR131,Transfer students are pro-rated in terms of both secvrie hour requirements and Religion course requirements ( unless they transfer in from another Catholic school ). For example, a sophomore transferring in to MDHS is required to complete 60 Christian secvrie hours and 3 years of Religious Studies courses ( unless they transfer in from another Catholic school ). All transfer students must complete the full course load of required academic credits. Thank you for the great question.Patrick Murphy

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