This was perhaps the most competitive year ever for this selection with Buchanan of Clovis and Loyola of Los Angeles perhaps having their best all-time school years for overall athletic excellence. But in the end the overwhelming number of top teams in boys and girls sports from Torrey Pines of San Diego – we counted eight that were considered top five in the state – allows the Falcons to repeat as State School of the Year. There’s no doubt that Torrey Pines was much stronger this year than last year and had to be to nip Buchanan.
For State Schools of the Year by division plus seven more Schools of Distinction, CLICK HERE.
For honorable mention State Schools of the Year, CLICK HERE.
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To be completely honest, we don’t like to choose a State School of the Year two years in a row. And for most of the last few weeks in evaluating the leading schools for this year’s Cal-Hi Sports State School of the Year choice, it looked like Buchanan of Clovis had the inside track.
After all, the Bears were No. 1 in the state and nation in baseball (a sport we cover regularly at Cal-Hi Sports) and they were outstanding in CIF sports, especially in wrestling where they won the CIF state team title.
But even though Buchanan won nine CIF Central Section titles and was second in four other sports, it still wasn’t enough to prevent Torrey Pines of San Diego from repeating as State School of the Year.
The only major problem for Torrey Pines is that the school wasn’t highly ranked any of the five sports in which Cal-Hi Sports does state rankings, although the Falcons were 23-6 in boys basketball, 22-9 in girls basketball, 21-13 in baseball and 23-6 in softball.
It’s what Torrey Pines did in so many of the other sports that just became too overwhelming. First, compared to last year when the school earned its second-ever State School of the Year honor with seven section titles and 10 league titles, this time there were 11 CIF San Diego Section titles (their most ever) and 15 league titles.
One of the strengths of Buchanan’s argument was being No. 1 in the nation in one sport (baseball) and being No. 1 in the state in two (with wrestling being the other). Torrey Pines matched that by winning an invitational national title in boys tennis and was the CIF boys golf state champion.
Digging deeper, Buchanan added CIF state finishes of fourth in D1 girls cross country, fifth in D1 boys track and sixth in D1 girls track. Torrey Pines was fourth in the CIF girls golf state tournament, but moved ahead for what it did in girls volleyball, girls soccer, boys lacrosse, girls tennis and girls lacrosse.
On the volleyball court, the Falcons were nationally ranked the entire season and finished 35-2 with their loss in the CIF Division I SoCal playoffs to eventual champion Redondo. They ended No. 4 in the state. In girls soccer, Torrey Pines went 17-2-4 with a loss in the second round of the CIF D2 SoCal playoffs but also was No. 4 in the state in the final rankings by Top Drawer Soccer. In boys lacrosse, the Falcons went 18-3, including a win over Loyola, the CIF Southern Section’s top team, with their 7-6 loss in the section final coming to a Poway team they beat 8-4 earlier in the season. That’s why they were No. 3 in the final state rankings in that sport. In girls tennis, Torrey Pines almost matched the boys for being the best in the nation but saw its 24-0 season end with a loss to Peninsula (Rolling Hills Estates) in the CIF SoCal finals. And finally in girls lacrosse, Torrey Pines was No. 4 in the final LAX power state rankings.
For Buchanan to have finished higher in our evaluations, the Bears needed to have done better in the CIF SoCal playoffs in girls tennis, boys soccer and boys volleyball. They lost in the first-round in all three of those brackets, although the boys volleyball team (33-4) was still shown with a No. 9 final state ranking by the MaxPreps computer.
But there was even more to Torrey Pines’ resume than even those eight sports previously highlighted. The Falcons also were 23-4-3 in boys soccer (shown with a No. 13 final state ranking), went 22-3 in boys water polo (falling to Grossmont in the section Open Division playoffs) and they were 24-3 in field hockey (losing only to perennial powerhouse Serra in the section Open Division final).
This is the third 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.
Congratulations once again to athletic directors Charlenne Falcis-Stevens (girls) and Matt Livingston (boys) and to all of the school’s coaches and athletes for a year of accomplishments that was without doubt one of the state’s best ever.
Cal-Hi Sports State Schools of the Year
2015-16 – Torrey Pines (San Diego)
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.