The final high school sports column of the 2014-15 high school sports year starts with a look ahead to the 2015-16 high school sports year.
The super-early football preseason top 10, super-subject to change between now and when our 2015 football preview is published in August, goes like this …
1. Mater Dei (9-3 in 2014): T
Santa Margarita’s Kaitlyn Merritt will be remembered as one of the county’s top girls field athletes of all time, having won the CIF-SS title in the pole vault for all four of her high school years.
The event has some rising stars worth watching Friday at the CIF-SS Masters Meet and, perhaps, in next week’s CIF S
Every Freeway and Sea View League team in the CIF-SS baseball playoffs advanced to the second round.
From the Freeway League, Sonora, Troy and Sunny Hills still are playing in Division 4. Sunny Hills had to win a wild-card r
Maybe this one will be different.
Huntington Beach boys volleyball’s 100-match winning streak includes a 25-21, 25-19 victory over Corona del Mar in the Orange County Championships in March. They meet again in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 final Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Cerritos College.
Corona del Mar is a different
Last year, I correctly predicted the champion in only one of the seven CIF-Southern Section baseball playoff divisions.
I learned how DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard feel when they are shooting freethrows.
They get hacked; I’m a hack. They keep missing free throws; I keep misfiring on playoff predictions.
The most difficult team championship to win in the CIF-Southern Section is the Division 1 baseball championship.
The quality of baseball in Southern California in general and at the Division 1 level in particular is as high or is higher than the quality of play in any other CIF-SS sport.
Many teams that finished fourth in a Divis
Orange County athletics has a shortage of game officials in several sports.
Parents and coaches can help by being kinder to the refs and umps.
Of course, the level of officiating in county high school sports is not at an MLB, NFL or NBA level.
Guess what? Neither is the skill level of the teams and athletes.
Baseball has many “don’t jinx it” superstitions, like not discussing a potential no-hitter that is in progress.
Laguna Beach this week might set the Orange County baseball record for consecutive league wins. The Breakers tied the county record Friday with a win over Estancia, the Breakers’ 45th consecut
Trona might become the new normal.
Trona High, located in the high desert of San Bernardino County, has an on-campus dirt football field. Grass cannot grow there and the school has no artificial turf. The dirt is watered, leveled and lined on game day.
If this drought persists, perhaps there will be Tronas all over Orange County
Around the horn in county baseball:
• JSerra plays St. Francis of Mountain View in the Boras Classic championship game Saturday at noon at Cal State Fullerton. JSerra, No. 1 in calhisports.com’s California top 20, won the South bracket and No. 12 St. Francis was North bracket winner of the statewide tournament. ESPN3 will tele
Sofia Tam was a bit late for softball practice at Century. When she got to the field, she found the school’s principal and vice-principal waiting for her.
“I thought, ‘Uh-oh,’” Tam said. “‘What did I do now?’”
What Tam did was win a great award.
Tam was the CIF-
The other nine teams in the Coast View Conference know what Mission Viejo is dealing with. So do the eight teams in the Century Conference.
“We’re 16-7,” Mission Viejo coach Chris Ashbach said. “But we’ve played only four league games.”
That’s life in these conferences, no matter t
Great pitchers are all over south Orange County baseball and in the Sunset and Trinity leagues, too. JSerra alone could have multiple pitchers on the All-County and All-CIF teams.
Other leagues have terrific hurlers. This week in the Golden West League, league leaders Ocean View and Orange are sending some good ones to the mound.
While Marina was winning the Ryan Lemmon Invitational and JSerra was winning the South bracket of the Boras Classic, Foothill was doing plenty of winning of its own 200 miles to the north.
The Knights won the Righetti Tournament in Santa Maria last week. They beat Calabasas, 3-0, in the semifinals Saturday and later that day beat Thousan
Every Arcadia Invitational has a few races and events that will provide great competition and excitement.
This year, the boys 300-meter hurdles will be one of those races at Arcadia, which outside of the CIF sectional and state meets is annually the biggest high school track and field meet in California. The meet is today and Saturday at
Around the horn in Orange County baseball:
• El Modena has produced some excellent baseball players, including Atlanta Braves all-star Freddie Freeman. The latest could be Brett Conine, a senior pitcher/first baseman who signed with Cal State Fullerton. Last week, as the Vanguards won two Crestview League games against
The following is a semi-encompassing review of the 2014-15 boys basketball season.
Subtitled “The State of Orange County Basketball” …
• The quality of play in the county is OK. It would be better if players would stop passing up open 12-foot jump shots so they can drive to the basket where three defenders
If the reaction to Kolby Allard’s back injury was “there goes San Clemente’s season,” well, the season is going just fine.
The Tritons won the National High School Invitational, probably the best high school baseball tournament in the nation, last week in Cary, N.C. They took home the 3-foot-tall trophy aft
It’s been a challenging and successful March for Mission Viejo’s softball team.
How does April look? Also challenging.
The Diablos, undefeated going into Thursday’s game against Santa Margarita and No. 1 in county, state and national rankings, play in the Michelle Carew Classic that begins Wednesday. The tournam
They call it the Orange County Championships. And they aren’t kidding.
The top seven boys volleyball teams in the county top 10 are in the Orange County Championships. The two-division tournament begins with pool play today at Corona del Mar, Edison, Huntington Beach and Newport Harbor.
Division 1 of the tournament has the
JSerra has all of the elements of a great team.
Now the Lions have to put those elements together on the field.
“This team has a chance to be the best team we’ve had,” JSerra coach Brett Kay said. “We’ve got 10 starters back, when you include the pitchers. But we haven’t played anybody y
The Trinity League is known for being great in many sports. The sport in which it might most excel this school year is girls basketball.
All five of the league’s teams – JSerra, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Rosary and Santa Margarita – reached the CIF-Southern Section semifinals or better: JSerra was Division 4A runnerup