Bosco officially State Team of Year

Players from St. John Bosco joining their fans in a post-game celebration include Matthew Katnik (55), Josh Rosen (3) and Gavin Windes (29). Windes made the play that stopped De La Salle's last drive that could have won the game for the Spartans. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Players from St. John Bosco joining their fans in a post-game celebration include Matthew Katnik (55), Josh Rosen (3) and Gavin Windes (29). Windes made the play that stopped De La Salle’s last drive that could have won the game for the Spartans. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

For the fourth straight season, there’s no debating the final No. 1 ranking as St. John Bosco of Bellflower wins State Team of the Year honor. It’s the first No. 1 finish in the state for the school in any sport.

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The coolest aspect when looking over all of the previous Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year winners in football, which dates back to 1891, is trying to envision what the list may look like a few years down the road.

Will this year’s St. John Bosco of Bellflower team start a new trend in which the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division champion is going to win a bunch of CIF Open Division state bowl games in a row? Or will it look like just a one-year blip in the continuing saga of the Concord De La Salle program?

All that is known for sure is that St. John Bosco (especially on offense) and De La Salle (especially on defense) are going to be very strong once again next season.

Before looking ahead too much, however, it’s more important to continue to salute this year’s No. 1 team for California.

After defeating De La Salle 20-14 in Saturday night’s CIF Open Division state final, the Braves capped the first 16-0 season by a State Team of the Year. The only reason they didn’t become the first 16-0 team in state history, period, is because Corona del Mar of Newport Beach beat them to the punch earlier in the day.

Not only is St. John Bosco No. 1 in the state in football for the first time since the high school portion of its school opened in the early 1950s, this also is the first time any team in any sport at St. John Bosco has made it onto one of the Cal-Hi Sports state team of the year lists.

The closest school to St. John Bosco to be listed as State Team of the Year for football seems to be Downey, which was 12-0-1 and is considered No. 1 for 1956 even though that team finished with a 13-13 tie against Anaheim. That Downey-Anaheim CIFSS final at the L.A. Coliseum also is the one that drew 41,393 fans (a state record for a high school postseason game).

The Braves’ performance not just against De La Salle (which is regarded as being as strong this year as in the last four) but throughout the season against tough competition in the Trinity League and Pac-5 playoffs also has many longtime observers (including Cal-Hi Sports) trying to compare them to other top teams they have seen.

St. John Bosco head coach Jason Negro gets upset at the officials during the game. He probably was objecting to one of several holding penalties that were called. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

St. John Bosco head coach Jason Negro gets upset at the officials during the game. He probably was objecting to one of several holding penalties that were called. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

First off, De La Salle’s best teams were the ones from 1998 to 2003 that stretched the school’s win streak to 151 games. Those were teams that featured not just the great execution everyone has come to expect, but also players with big-time talent, such as 1999 Mr. Football Player of the Year D.J. Williams along with NFL star Maurice Jones-Drew and NFL players Demetrius Williams (WR), Matt Gutierrez (QB) and Derek Landri (OL/DL). Toss in other players who probably would have been in the NFL were it not for injury (Kevin Simon) or tragedy (Terrence Kelly) and these were teams that really had no weaknesses.

Top Southern California teams in recent years that compare favorably to St. John Bosco would include Corona Centennial for 2008 (Vontaze Burfict, Taylor Martinez, etc.); Mission Viejo for 2004 (Mark Sanchez); Long Beach Poly for 2001 (Marcedes Lewis, Herschel Dennis, Manuel Wright, Winston Justice); and going back further Rialto Eisenhower for 1993 (beat Mater Dei 52-3 in CIFSS final).

Much of these debates will go on for years and do depend to some degree on how players develop. How many from this year’s Bosco team, for example, will one day be in the NFL? It’s easy to see that two or three might get there, but injury and circumstance and plain dumb luck will all come into play as these young men at Bosco proceed to the next level.

No one from the Bellflower community will ever forget what these young men just accomplished. Congratulations to every member of the team and to all the coaches, parents and other support staff who helped make it all possible.

CAL-HI SPORTS STATE
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
ALL-TIME HONOR ROLL

(Last 103 years listed, but it goes back further than that to 1891 in our files, as compiled from 1891 to 2003 by the late Nelson Tennis)

2013 — Bellflower St. John Bosco (16-0)
2012 — Concord De La Salle (15-0)
2011 — Concord De La Salle (13-1)
2010 — Concord De La Salle (14-0)
2009 — Concord De La Salle (13-2)
2008 — Corona Centennial (15-0)
2007 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2006 — Westlake Village Oaks Christian (15-0)
2005 — Ventura St. Bonaventure (14-0)
2004 — Mission Viejo (14-0)
2003 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2002 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2001 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
2000 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1999 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1998 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1997 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1996 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1995 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1994 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1993 — Rialto Eisenhower (14-0)
1992 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1991 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (13-1)
1990 — Merced (14-0)
1989 — Fontana (14-0)
1988 — Carson (12-1)
1987 — Fontana (14-0)
1986 — El Toro (14-0)
1985 — Vista (13-0)
1984 — Riverside Poly (13-1)
1983 — Mountain View St. Francis (13-0)
1982 — Anaheim Servite (11-1)
1981 — San Jose Bellarmine (12-0)
1980 — Wilmington Banning (12-0)
1979 — Huntington Beach Edison (12-2)
1978 — Visalia Mt. Whitney (13-0)
1977 — Rancho Cordova (12-0)
1976 — Wilmington Banning (12-1)
1975 — Rancho Cordova (11-0)
1974 — Vista (13-0)
1973 — Hacienda Heights Los Altos (12-1)
1972 — Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (13-0)
1971 — Carson (12-0)
1970 — La Puente Bishop Amat (12-1)
1969 — Pasadena Blair (13-0)
1968 — Alameda (9-0)
1967 — Anaheim (12-1)
1966 — Pico Rivera El Rancho (13-0)
1965 — San Jose Bellarmine (9-0)
1964 — Stockton Stagg (10-0)
1963 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1962 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1961 — Monterey (8-0)
1960 — Redwood City Sequoia (9-0)
1959 — Long Beach Poly (11-0)
1958 — Long Beach Poly (11-0-1)
1957 — Berkeley (8-0)
1956 — Downey (12-0-1)
1955 — San Diego (11-0-1)
1954 — Vallejo (9-0)
1953 — Santa Monica (10-0-1)
1952 — Santa Monica (11-0-1)
1951 — Pomona (12-0)
1950 — Compton (11-1)
1949 — Compton (10-1)
1948 — Long Beach St. Anthony (11-1-1)
1947 — L.A. Washington (8-0)
1946 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1945 — Santa Ana (11-1)
1944 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1943 — Redondo Beach Redondo (6-0)
1942 — La Verne Bonita (11-0)
1941 — Piedmont (9-0)
1940 — Piedmont (8-0)
1939 — Alhambra (10-0)
1938 — Stockton (8-0)
1937 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0)
1936 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0-1)
1935 — Long Beach Poly (9-0)
1934 — Piedmont (8-0)
1933 — S.F. Galileo (8-2-1)
1932 — Inglewood (10-2)
1931 — Santa Ana (13-0)
1930 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1929 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1928 — Lodi (9-0)
1927 — Bakersfield (12-0)
1926 — San Mateo (9-1-1)
1925 — Los Angeles (10-0)
1924 — Berkeley (11-0)
1923 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1922 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1921 — Bakersfield (9-0-1)
1920 — Bakersfield (9-1)
1919 — Long Beach Poly (12-0)
1918 — L.A. Manual Arts (9-0)
1917 — L.A. Manual Arts (11-1)
1916 — San Diego (12-0)
1915 — Pasadena (7-1)
1914 — Pomona Rugby (12-0)
1913 — Pomona Rugby (11-0)
1912 — Berkeley Rugby (7-2-1)
1911 — Los Angeles Rugby (9-0)
1910 — Alameda (5-0)

Corrections or comments? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.

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


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