St. Bonaventure FB History Highlights

Troy Hill of St. Bonaventure looks for room to run during 2008 CIF Division III state bowl game against Central Catholic of Modesto. Photo: saintbonaventure.com.

Troy Hill of St. Bonaventure looks for room to run during 2008 CIF Division III state bowl game against Central Catholic of Modesto. Photo: saintbonaventure.com.


The first school to win back-to-back CIF state bowl game titles was not De La Salle, but this one. The Ventura County program also has had the second winningest decade (not counting forfeits) in state history for its phenomenal success from 2000 to 2009 and that doesn’t even include a 14-0 season in 1999. The Seraphs now have all of their scores in one archive provided by Cal-Hi Sports.

Up next in this series: Oak Grove (San Jose). For more on the Cal-Hi Sports football archives project and on how we can help your school, CLICK HERE.

One doesn’t have to go back too many games to find a historically significant result in football for St. Bonaventure of Ventura. In fact, the last time the Seraphs took the field last season it was one of the wildest contests in state history, although it was a 71-70 loss in three overtimes to Norco in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

A synopsis of the school’s football history basically shows a strong start in the 1960s, then 25 years of mostly losing seasons with a few solid teams mixed in, followed by a transformation in the late 1990s from a somewhat unknown small school to the big time.

It’s hard to imagine that when St. Bonaventure started its transformation under then head coach Jon Mack in the middle of the 1990s that having a team finish No. 1 overall in the state was not a goal. But in 2005 that’s what happened when the Seraphs completed a 14-0 season and won their second straight CIF Southern Section Division IV title with a 27-7 win over Moorpark. It was only just four years earlier when the school was competing in lower divisions of the Southern Section playoffs.

In addition to the 2005 Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year honor, the Seraphs’ two other claims to fame in the Cal-Hi Sports state record book and in the CIF bowl game record book is their 43-game win streak from 1999 to 2002 and their back-to-back CIF state bowl game wins in 2007 and 2008.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the 43-game win streak, which is 11th longest in state history, is that St. Bonaventure immediately went on a 26-game win streak after it ended.

Ricky Town, the team's QB for 2012-14, will play next for USC. Photo: Tom Hauck (Courtesy Student Sports).

Ricky Town, the team’s QB for 2012-14, will play next for USC. Photo: Tom Hauck (Courtesy Student Sports).


The 43-game streak began in the first game of the 1999 season. The Seraphs then went 14-0 and won the CIFSS Division XI title. That was followed by two more 14-0 campaigns and two more CIFSS crowns and didn’t end until a loss to Hart of Newhall in the second game of 2002.

Running back Lorenzo Booker, who later started at Florida State, was the leading player on those teams. He rushed for 8,495 yards to set the Cal-Hi Sports career state record, a total that was broken in 2005 by Norco’s Toby Gerhart.

Just after that loss to Hart, however, St. Bonaventure rebounded with an easy win over Alemany of Mission Hills and then won another CIFSS title, except the one in 2002 came in much-tougher Division IV.

In the first few years of the CIF state bowl games, school enrollments were used to determine which divisions teams played in and there was no Open Division until 2008. St. Bonaventure needed to win the CIFSS Northern Division title to get bowl eligible and was an easy choice to play in the Division III bowl games in both 2007 and 2008 once that happened.

In the 2008 D3 bowl game, the Seraphs faced a Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa squad that nearly knocked off No. 1 in the state Oaks Christian in 2006 but it wasn’t close in a 28-6 triumph. St. Bonaventure had done that earlier in 2007 after winning the same CIFSS title and that time trounced Central Catholic of Modesto 35-21.

In the last three seasons, St. Bonaventure has been in the CIFSS Pac-5 Division playoffs, which is perhaps the toughest playoff division top-to-bottom in the nation. The results have been mixed, but it also doesn’t look like the program is going to drop from elite status any time soon.

Here are some other St. Bonaventure football records that the school now has in its possession courtesy of this archive initiative:
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WIN-LOSS RECORDS FOR EACH DECADE

1960s: 28-10-1

1970s: 29-55-5*

1980s: 46-58-2

1990s: 72-42-1

2000s: 130-9-0*

2010s: 46-16

REPORTED ALL-TIME RECORD HEADING INTO 2015 SEASON:

351 WINS, 190 LOSSES, 9 TIES*

*Does not include forfeit wins or losses. There was one forfeit win in 1970s and 11 forfeit losses for 2009. Including forfeits, 1970s would be 30-54-5, 2000s would be 119-20-0 and all-time record would be 341-200-9. Also does not appear to be any unreported scores.

64.6 WINNING PERCENTAGE
(Based one-half win and one-half loss for ties and using on-the-field win-loss records)

Best Records For Single Season
14-0 – 1999
14-0 – 2000
14-0 – 2001
14-0 – 2005

Worst Records For Single Season
2-8 – 1987
2-8 – 1989
2-7 – 1971
2-7 – 1976
2-7 – 1990

Most Points Scored (Single-Game)
80 – VS. Calabasas, 2001
76 – VS. St. Joseph (Santa Maria), 2001
73 – VS. Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana), 2000
70 – VS. Norco, 2014*
69 – VS. Malibu, 2000
68 – VS. Agoura (Agoura Hills), 2002
*Norco won the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff opener 71-70 in three overtimes. It is one of the highest-scoring games (two teams) in state history.

Most Lopsided Wins
80-13 VS. Calabasas, 2001
76-12 VS. St. Joseph (Santa Maria), 2001
69-7 VS. Malibu, 2000
73-13 VS. Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana), 2000
59-0 VS. Royal (Simi Valley), 2011
58-0 VS. Moorpark, 1969
58-0 VS. Notre Dame (Riverside), 2001
68-10 VS. Agoura (Agoura Hills), 2002

Most Points Allowed (Single-Game)
71 – VS. Norco, 2014*
69 – VS. Centennial (Corona), 2013
61 – VS. Carpinteria, 1989
59 – VS. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village), 2006
*Norco won the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff opener 71-70 in three overtimes. It is one of the highest-scoring games (two teams) in state history.

Most Lopsided Losses
55-0 VS. Santa Clara (Oxnard), 1989
49-0 VS. Atascadero, 1980
61-14 VS. Carpinteria, 1989
52-6 VS. Bishop Diego (Santa Barbara), 1967
59-13 VS. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village), 2006

Records Against Notable Opponents
10-1 VS. Newbury Park
28-4 VS. Moorpark
3-4 VS. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village)
4-6 VS. Westlake (Westlake Village)
16-19 VS. Bishop Diego (Santa Barbara)
13-21-1 VS. Carpinteria
1-14-1 VS. Santa Clara (Oxnard)

Longest Winning Streaks
43 – 1999-2002 (three straight 14-0 seasons, including three straight CIFSS championships, then a loss in second game of 2002)*
27 – 2004-2006 (won last 10 in 2004, then 14-0 in 2005, then first three in 2006)
26 – 2002-2003 (won last 13 in 2002, the first 13 in 2003)**
*Ranks 11th on all-time state list.
**This win streak immediately followed the 43-game win streak, resulting in 69 wins in 70 games.

Longest Losing Streaks
0-7 – 1988-1989 (lost last three, then first four)
Note: There also are two six-game losing streaks, but no others longer in school history.

Remember, any school in the state can have this research finished in a customized fashion in return for a reasonable fee. For details, CLICK HERE.

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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5 Comments

  1. Chap Morris
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    The hardest Part about playing in the late 70ies is the Team only started the season with 11 players and we still made it to the CIF playoffs only to get pounded by a very deep and talented team from Atascadero. For the original 11 players it was still a huge victory for not only us, but for all of the Star future players who brought home all the famous championships and Glory to our Great alma mater SBHS.

  2. Coach Tom Luna
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Great SB FB History,
    I was a member of St.Bonaventure’s first CIF Football Championship,1968. We defeated Coachella Valley 27-20 with only one Senior on our team. Coach Dave Currey, Head Coach, Coach Bill Little, line coach, me, backfield coach.
    All three of us coaches have been inducted into the SB Hall of Fame (2010). Honored to be in the Hall with the likes of Coach Jon Mack.
    Tom Luna

  3. High School Football
    Posted August 13, 2015 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Might want to check and update the facts on your second to last paragraph. Played Central Catholic in 07 and Cardinal Newman in 08.

    http://www.cifstate.org/sports/football/past_results_records/index

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted August 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, just got the two seasons’ bowl game results switched in my notes.

  4. A.J. Ahearn
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Very honored to be a part of such a rich history from 06-10. Just a quick correction, that’s Darrell Scott in the top photo.

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