At the suggestion of longtime managing editor Ronnie Flores, he thought we should scour the memory banks over the last 40-plus years for the top five moments in Cal-Hi Sports history, the top five games we wish we’d seen (but didn’t go to for different reasons) and the top five decisions we’d most want to take back. All five sports that we regularly cover (football, boys bb, girls bb, baseball & softball) plus one selection from girls volleyball are included.
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TOP 5 MOMENTS IN CAL-HI SPORTS HISTORY
1. De La Salle beats Mater Dei in football (1998).
Heading into this September matchup of that season, the Spartans already had their winning streak above the previous national record. They had been State Team of the Year for 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. They hadn’t yet faced any of the traditional CIF Southern Section powerhouse programs and there was a lot of discussion among all of the many Southern California followers that it would be a romp for the Monarchs. They’d show that De La Salle was just glorified numbers against very weak competition. We had staked some of our own reputation for doing rankings on the premise that head coach Bob Ladouceur’s program could play with and perhaps beat any teams from the south like Mater Dei. Before a crowd of nearly 20,000 at Anaheim Stadium, DLS won 28-21 and it also proved to be against one of Mater Dei’s best teams since the Monarchs knocked off an unbeaten Long Beach Poly in that year’s CIFSS finals and didn’t lose any other games. There was a group in the press box for the Poly-MD game that night promoting Poly to be the No. 1 team in the nation and not De La Salle. After the game, they quietly left the building. We’re still doing rankings every week.