It sure wasn’t as easy this year as last year with Mater Dei of Santa Ana, but the Falcons going No. 1, No. 2, No. 2 and No. 2 statewide in boys tennis, girls tennis, boys golf and girls golf combined with brilliance in other sports earns them their second overall No. 1 finish as state’s best sports school.
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Back on May 28, athletes and parents gathered at Torrey Pines High in San Diego for what was dubbed as the first Freddie Awards, an ESPYs-style program named for the school’s mascot – Freddie Falcon – in which various awards such as Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and even Fan of the Year were handed out.
Before the graduated seniors report to their various colleges, however, they may want to gather one more time. There is one more honor to celebrate as Torrey Pines is going down as the Cal-Hi Sports 2014-15 State School of the Year for overall sports excellence.
It was a close decision this year between the Falcons and another CIF San Diego Section school – La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad – along with some of the usual contenders such as De La Salle of Concord and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.
This is the second time that Torrey Pines has been judged as the state’s No. 1 school for overall sports excellence. The first came after the 2002-03 school year when the Falcons ranked among the state’s best in field hockey, girls golf, boys golf, boys lacrosse and girls soccer.
Although the school is not a powerhouse in any of the five sports that are covered extensively by Cal-Hi Sports – football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball, softball – it was more than solid in all five of those sports and was among the best in the state this school year in boys tennis, girls tennis, boys golf, girls golf, girls volleyball, boys swimming, girls swimming, boys soccer and girls soccer.
When all the totals came in, Torrey Pines’ teams won seven CIF San Diego Section titles, 10 league titles and had a school record 52 senior athletes recruited to various colleges throughout the nation.
One of the criteria to being State School of the Year is having at least one team win a CIF state championship or be considered No. 1 overall in a sport in which there isn’t a state championship.
The boys tennis team took care of that by winning the National All-American Invitational Tournament in March, going 31-0 in the regular season, and then topping Los Alamitos 4-3 in the CIF USTA Southern California championship. The team that the Falcons defeated in the finals of that national tourney – Menlo School of Atherton – later won the CIF Northern California USTA. Both Jacob Brumm and Charlie Pei were chosen all-tournament at the national event.
Head coach John Delille of the Torrey Pines’ boys tennis team still has a long way to go, however, to match the girls’ streak of winning 25 consecutive CIF San Diego Section titles. He also happens to be the head coach of the girls’ team as well with assistance from JV head coach Karen Karoub. At the CIF USTA Southern California team playoffs, however, the Falcons fell in the final 5-2 to Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates after posting wins over both Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara.
Two other Torrey Pines teams judged to have been No. 2 in the state were both from the sport of golf. You’d expect a school close by and with the same name as one of the most famous courses in the country would be very good in golf and that’s the case. The Torrey Pines girls were runner-up to Diamond Bar in the fall season’s CIF state finals while in the spring the boys were runner-up to Westlake of Westlake Village.
Some other highlights of the 2014-15 school year at Torrey Pines included:
•Head coach John Olive’s boys basketball team was state-ranked for almost the entire season and ended 31-4. The Falcons, led by Dominic Hovasse’s 13.1 ppg, lost in the San Diego Section Open Division final to St. Augustine, then beat Foothill of Tustin and Long Beach Poly in the SoCal D1 playoffs before losing to Chino Hills.
•With all-state underclass and Oregon commit Sierra Campisano (who got one of those Freddie Awards) knocking down nearly 25 ppg, the girls basketball team recorded a win over eventual CIF Division V state champ La Jolla Country Day in the open division of the section playoffs before losing to Mt. Carmel of San Diego and then Cajon of San Bernardino in the regionals to finish at 21-10.
•Both the boys and girls soccer teams won games in the CIF Southern California Division II regional playoffs to complete 19-7-5 and 14-6-5 campaigns. The boys also made it to the open division section final.
•Head coach Brennan Dean’s girls volleyball squad won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title with a sweep of Canyon Crest Academy, but lost in its first SoCal D1 regional contest to Santiago of Corona in a tough five-game match. And although they would later lose twice to the same team, the Falcons also posted an early-season win over national power Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.
•It was a sweep of the CIF San Diego Section team titles in both boys and girls swimming/diving. The Falcons did not compete in the first-ever CIF state championships since many of their swimmers chose to be in a major SoCal club event, but we’re pretty sure they’d have been among the best in both genders based on who they would have had compared to the schools that were in the CIF swim meet.
In fact, among the 15 teams listed by the school on its MaxPreps index, all were above .500 with the only two even close coming in football (6-5) and boys water polo (15-12).
Congratulations to athletic directors Charlenne Falcis-Stevens (girls) and Matt Livingston (boys) and to all of the school’s coaches and athletes for a truly phenomenal year of accomplishments.
CAL-HI SPORTS STATE SCHOOLS OF THE YEAR
2014-15 – Torrey Pines (San Diego)
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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports