In addition to overall No. 1 and Division II No. 1 Mission Viejo, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2016 are Mater Dei of Santa Ana (Division I), Grand Terrace (D3), Paraclete of Lancaster (D4) and Rolling Hills Prep (D5).
For announcement of the 2016 State Team of the Year, CLICK HERE.
Note: For the final divisional state rankings, all of that info is for our Gold Club members only. We do have a three-month subscription going right now, however, that is just $9.99 and in addition to all of our rankings that also will include state record updates plus additional, exclusive Gold Club content. For details, CLICK HERE.
Congratulations to these five softball teams for being added to the list of all-time state teams of the year according to our traditional Cal-Hi Sports five-division format:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
This is actually the first time since 2004 that an Orange County team has ended at No. 1 in the state for D1. The last two years it was Amador Valley of Pleasanton from the CIF North Coast Section and for several years before that it was Inland Empire teams that have done the best in the CIFSS D1 playoffs. Mater Dei head Tia Meza was on the Monarchs team in 2000 that ended No. 2 in the state, but that wasn’t due to a decision. In that year, the Monarchs (32-2) lost in the CIFSS D1 final to Foothill of Tustin 1-0 in eight innings. Foothill (32-2) was then named State Team of the Year so the game itself was winner-take-all. We do actually prefer it when it works out that way.
As dominant as the Diablos have been in recent seasons, the first time they ever ended No. 1 in the state was two years ago. They were No. 1 in D2 that year as well and won out in another very close pick over D1 No. 1 Amador Valley of Pleasanton. Although Mission had one loss that season and Amador was unbeaten, that loss was to a Pacifica (Garden Grove) squad that the Diablos also beat twice.
The Titans would have been No. 1 in this division last season as well, but they were upset in the CIFSS D3 championship by La Serna of Whittier. The only other Inland Empire teams that have finished No. 1 in the final D3 state rankings have been Chino Hills in 2012 and Corona in 1991.
We’re still not ready to release any overall state rankings beyond the top 10, but it’s obvious that the Spirits are No. 1 for D4. They were No. 1 last year in this division as well, but did even better this season at 28-0 compared to 26-3. Prior to last season, Paraclete had lost seven straight times in appearances at the CIFSS softball championships. The only other school from the Antelope Valley that has ever been No. 1 in the state previously was Boron, which was No. 1 in D5 in 2000 at 21-4.
Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro)
This is Rolling Hills Prep’s first-ever No. 1 state finish in softball, but it’s not the first for a small school team from San Pedro. Just three years ago, Port of Los Angeles, which actually plays in the CIF L.A. City Section, was the D5 State Team of the Year. The team that Rolling Hills Prep defeated in the CIFSS Division VII final, Faith Baptist of Canoga Park, was No. 1 in this division in 2002.