More State Schools of the Year

One of the top girls' athletes at Torrey Pines was all-state softball pitcher Rachel Nasland (headed next to Notre Dame). Photo courtesy of family.

One of the top girls’ athletes at Torrey Pines was all-state softball pitcher Rachel Nasland (headed next to Notre Dame). Photo courtesy of family.

Torrey Pines tops the charts for girls sports, Loyola does it for boys sports only while other honorees include Archbishop Mitty (D2), Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (D3), Serra of Gardena (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda (D5). Ten more schools also designated special mention for overall athletic excellence.

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Congratulations to the following schools for collecting a Cal-Hi Sports statewide all-sports honor for the 2012-13 school year:

Girls Sports Only:
Torrey Pines (San Diego)

For the second time in three years, the Falcons get the nod in this category on the strength of winning five CIF San Diego Section crowns and one CIF state title. The state title came in the fall as Torrey Pines clobbered the field at the CIF state golf finals, finishing 19 strokes in front of second-place Diamond Bar. Minjia Luo, with a 74, and Sarah Cho, with a 76, were the team’s top two players. The other four section titles came in tennis, volleyball, softball and swimming. Torrey Pines also was considered for the overall State School of the Year honor, which it won back in 2002-03, since the boys golf team added a sixth-place finish at the CIF state final and the boys tennis team was runner-up in the Southern California championships.

Boys Sports Only:
Loyola (Los Angeles)

This matches the Cubs winning the Commissioner’s Cup for boys sports as determined by a point system in the CIF Southern Section. The statewide selection breaks a two-year run at the top of this category by De La Salle of Concord and is Loyola’s fourth win as state all-sports boys champion since the 2002-03 school year. The Cubs were last No. 1 in this category for 2008-09. They claimed CIFSS top division titles in golf and track and they were runner-up in volleyball (No. 2 nationally) with CIFSS semifinal finishes in basketball, baseball and water polo. In addition, the Cub swimmers were fourth in the CIFSS Division I meet. On the CIF state level, Loyola was fourth in team scoring in track, sixth in cross country and lost to Huntington Beach in one of the best volleyball matches ever played in the CIF Southern California Division I final.

A top player returning next season for Loyola's basketball team will be 7-foot center Thomas Welsh. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

A top player returning next season for Loyola’s basketball team will be 7-foot center Thomas Welsh. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Division I:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

In most years, the Division I winner is the same as the overall State School of the Year and that’s the case for this year. Mater Dei didn’t win either of the two CIFSS Commissioner’s Cups, which are given to boys and girls sports separately, but it was fourth in the boys and second for the girls. No other school in the section was that high in both genders.

Division II:
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)

After seeing their streak of being No. 1 in the state in this division end last year at seven years, the Monarchs have reclaimed the top position but didn’t quite do enough to be in front of Mater Dei. The highlights of the year were led by the girls volleyball team, which went 38-0, won the CIF Division II state title and should have been No. 1 in the nation. Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Aaron Gordon then led the boys basketball team to a NorCal title and into the first CIF Open Division state final (where the Monarchs lost to Mater Dei). In the spring, Mitty’s boys volleyball team won the first CIF Northern California regional crown and did it with a win over 42-1 Deer Valley of Antioch. Other teams that excelled were in girls basketball (CCS Open Division champion, NorCal quarterfinals), boys soccer (CCS champs), girls cross country (CCS champs) and boys golf (fourth in CIF state tourney).

Division III:
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego)

This was a close call, like it has been several times in recent years in this division, between the Dons and Campolindo of Moraga. There were other factors, but a big one was the CIF Division III girls volleyball final when the two schools played and Cathedral Catholic won. The Dons also placed second in the CIF D3 girls cross country race and won the CIF Southern California regional girls soccer title. On the section level, Cathedral Catholic claimed San Diego titles as well in boys water polo, girls track and girls swimming. On the basketball court, the boys team was in the top 20 of the state overall for parts of the season. The Dons didn’t win a section or state title, but defeated eventual section and CIF D3 state champ St. Augustine three times before losing twice later on. Cathedral Catholic was the winner in this division for the 2009-10 school year and for 2007-08. When the school was known as University of San Diego, it was tops in the state for medium schools in 1994-95.

Division IV:
Junipero Serra (Gardena)

The Cavaliers have now been tops in their CIF division for three times in the last four years. On back-to-back days on the final weekend of the school year, the baseball team captured the CIFSS Division III title at Dodger Stadium followed by the boys track team winning the CIF state team crown at the state meet in Clovis. Dominic Smith, the No. 11 pick in the MLB Draft by the New York Mets, led the baseball squad. Serra’s Adore’e Jackson didn’t repeat as the CIF state long jump champ, but he took second and starred on two winning relay units. Lloyd Sicard also won in his CIF state final in the 300 hurdles. Earlier in the school year, Serra won CIF state titles in football (with a 42-15 romp past Oakdale in the D2 bowl game) and in girls basketball (with a 62-60 triumph over Salesian of Richmond in Division IV). The Cavs also won a CIFSS title in boys basketball, but then lost in the CIF D4 South playoffs to Pacific Hills of Los Angeles.

Division V:
St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda)

Unlike in any other category, the Pilots are fun to select because this is their first-ever state school of the year honor. It wasn’t an easy choice, but did get easier when it was determined that two other possible D5 schools – Central Catholic of Modesto and La Jolla Country Day – should be counted for Division IV. The school won a CIF D5 state title in boys cross country, played to a second-place finish in the CIF D5 boys basketball playoffs and was a semifinalist in the CIF D5 girls volleyball playoffs.

Special Mention School:
Bella Vista (Fair Oaks)

If you were ask someone with general high school sports knowledge which school in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section had won the most section titles during the school year, the guesses would include Davis, Jesuit of Carmichael and perhaps Granite Bay. For the 2012-13 year, though, it was Bella Vista and it wasn’t close as the Broncos piled up nine combined section crowns. Bella Vista has always been known as a wrestling power and was listed with two section titles in that sport, but this year the titles also came in girls cross country, boys soccer, girls tennis, boys tennis, girls track, boys track and girls soccer.

Special Mention School:
Buchanan (Clovis)

It’s getting harder to differentiate between the schools of the Clovis Unified School District because Clovis North (the newest school) is starting to win CIF Central Section titles (such as this school year in football and baseball). Clovis West won seven section titles, but Buchanan won six and also was second in two other sports. In addition, the Bears were 25-6-1 in baseball and were state-ranked for much of the season. On the CIF state level, Buchanan was fourth in D1 girls cross country, tied for eighth in wrestling, 12th in boys track and top 10 in boys cross country. Section titles came in boys track, girls track, boys water polo, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls cross country.

Special Mention School:
Campolindo (Moraga)

It would have been nice if the Cougars could have been the D3 school of the year for a third straight time for retiring athletic director Bob Wilson. He still got a nice send off when he was able to see the baseball team win its fourth straight CIF North Coast Section D2 title and the softball team win the D3 crown. Campo also won its ninth straight NCS title in boys swimming (no divisions for that one) and captured the first NorCal D2 boys volleyball title. Earlier in the school year, the football team went 10-2, girls basketball went 25-6, the girls volleyball team made it to the D3 state final and there were high placings at the CIF state meet in boys (sixth) and girls (ninth) cross country.

Special Mention School:
Chaminade (West Hills)

The Eagles recorded a head-to-head win over Serra of Gardena in football in the regular season and nearly beat the Cavs again in the CIFSS Western Division final. In basketball, both the boys and girls teams were among the top 10 in the state. The Eagles also made it all the way to the CIF Southern California D2 final in girls soccer.

Special Mention School:
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)

Going by points and not by placing, the Sea Kings were tops in the CIF Southern Section Commissioner’s Cup standings with 30 combined points for boys and girls sports. Boys’ highlights included a section title in football, a section title in golf, runner-up finishes in swimming (that one was in Division I) and track plus semifinal appearances in basketball and water polo. On the girls side, CdM won a section title in water polo, also finished second (like the boys) in the loaded CIFSS D1 swim meet and made it to the semis in volleyball.

Special Mention School:
De La Salle (Concord)

Other than in football, which won its fourth straight CIF state title and completed a 15-0 season, it wasn’t as strong of a year for the Spartans in their other sports as it was for 2011-12 when they were chosen State School of the Year and No. 1 for boys. Led by Mr. Football State Player of the Year Michael Hutchings, De La Salle roared out to an early lead and beat Centennial of Corona 48-28 in the CIF Open Division bowl game. While the soccer team won another NCS title, it was not to be in basketball and baseball as both of those squads lost in NCS finals. Another highlight of the year was the golf team placing fifth in the CIF state final. Junior Marquis Morris also shined at the CIF state track meet by winning in the 110-meter hurdles.

Special Mention School:
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

The Jackrabbits added two more CIF state titles during the school year to bring their all-time total in all sports to 34, which is more than double than the total from any other school. They won the Division I crown in girls basketball and dominated at the CIF state track meet on the girls side. There was the possibility for much more, but the football team lost in the D1 state bowl game to Granite Bay and a very talented boys basketball team (while it did go 28-4) didn’t get past the SoCal open division semifinals. The Jackrabbits also added a fifth-place finish in the CIF Division I boys cross country race.

Special Mention School:
Redondo Union (Redondo Beach)

If there was a signature moment for the Sea Hawks during the year, it would have to be sophomore Jeremiah Headley’s resounding slam dunk during the CIF D2 state final that was eventually shown on ESPN SportsCenter. Redondo won that game against College Park of Pleasant Hill in come-from-behind fashion and had one of its best years ever. Coach Bob Leach’s cross country program also was stellar. The boys were third in their CIF D2 state meet race while the girls placed sixth. The year also featured one of Redondo’s best girls volleyball teams in recent memory with a 37-5 final record.

Special Mention School:
St. Francis (Sacramento)

This all-girls school deserves to be singled out just for what it did during the final few weeks of the fall. There were no CIF state titles, but the Troubadours were runner-up in the Division I volleyball playoffs, placed second in the Division I cross country meet and were sixth in the CIF state golf tournament.

Special Mention School:
St. John Bosco (Bellflower)

If we could pick a runner-up to Loyola for boys sports only, it probably would be the Braves. They were spectacular in the fall with a 12-1 football team that was nationally ranked and a cross country squad that won the CIF Division III state title. This was followed in the spring with a basketball team that went 24-7, earned national attention due to a win over Florida’s top-ranked team and may have been a D3 state champ were it not for having to play in the new open division. Bosco also placed fourth in CIF state wrestling team scoring and had one of the top boys volleyball teams in Southern California.

Note: Paul Muyskens contributed to this report.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports

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2 Trackbacks

  1. By HONORS: Mitty, SJND, Campo, DLS feted | on July 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    […] has handed out its state school of the year awards and there aren’t a ton of […]

  2. […] Archbishop Mitty has been #1 in the state in Division II eight of the last nine years, according to Mark Tennis at Cal-Hi Sports as they recognize the top schools in all sports. […]

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