They weren't that great in the sports we compile state rankings in, but when you add it all up Torrey Pines High of San Diego has what it takes to nab its first-ever State School of the Year honor for all-around athletic excellence during the 2002-03 school year.

The awards just keep piling up for Torrey Pines High of San Diego, although this one is for sports. In 1993, Redbook Magazine named the Del Mar beach area school as the best in the state for academics and overall excellence. Then just a few months ago, Torrey Pines appeared on Newsweek Magazine's list of the 100 best high schools in the United States.

The latest honor: the Falcons have been picked as the 2002-03 State School of the Year by They are only the 10th school from the San Diego area that will appear on the all-time list, which dates back to the 1890s, and most of those selections are for San Diego High prior to 1950. The most recent state school of the year honoree from the section was Poway in 1991.

There is no point system to determine the winners of this award because the size of each section within the California Interscholastic Association varies so much and since there are so few sports in which state champions are determined. At the conclusion of the school year, an evaluation of those schools that had multiple teams to finish at or near the top of the state in various sports was made. Usually, those evaluations favor schools that appeared frequently in the sports in which provides state rankings -- football, boys & girls basketball, baseball & softball. This time, Torrey Pines rang up so many titles in so many other sports that it became too much for any other school to overcome.

Nine separate Falcon squads captured CIF San Diego Section titles: boys cross country, girls cross country, girls volleyball, girls golf, girls tennis, girls field hockey, girls soccer, boys golf, boys lacrosse. That was more section titles than any other large school in the state.

Three of those section title teams also were picked as the State Team of the Year in their sports. In field hockey, Torrey Pines won its second straight section title and has three prominent players moving on to major colleges -- Cara-Lynn Lopresti to Stanford and twin sisters Tracey and Haley Scott to defending NCAA champ Wake Forest. In boys golf, the Falcons won every event they entered and shot a combined total of 366 at the Southern California regional championships. And in boys la crosse, Torrey Pines won the section title and went 19-1 overall. No other school evaluated had three teams that were considered No. 1 overall in the state.

More highlights from the fall at Torrey Pines saw the girls volleyball team, led by Stanford-bound all-state middle blocker Rachell Johnson, advance to the semifinals of the CIF Div. I Southern Regionals. The football team was among the section's best, dropping a thrilling 36-28 game in triple-overtime to Vista in the Div. I semifinals. The Falcons and longtime coach Ed Burke wound up 9-4-1. The cross country teams were seventh in the state (girls Div. I) and 10th in the state (boys Div. I) at the CIF championships in Fresno. The girls golf team also was nearly No. 1 in the state. The Falcons were the team favorite entering the Southern Regional tourney, but lost by one shot to Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates.

The school's girls soccer team was the most outstanding in the winter. Torrey Pines dropped a regular season match to La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad, but came back to win the section title and was 23-1-3 overall. The Falcons were No. 7 in the final Student Sports FAB 50 winter season national rankings. They were led by All-American Rachel Buehler, who is on her way to Stanford. The TP boys basketball team also shined, finishing 24-6 and making it to the Div. I section semifinals behind honors candidates Avi Fogel and Joel Kramer.

Another spring team at Torrey Pines that almost won a section title was in boys tennis. The Falcons were unbeaten going into the championship match, but were upset by La Costa Canyon. Torrey Pines also was 24-5 in softball, led by pitcher Karla Wilburn, and made it to the section Div. I semifinals. And, finally, how can we forget bodyboarding? At the state surfing association finals in the spring, Torrey Pines' bodyboarding team was first.

Congratulations to athletic director Anne Meigs and to all the coaches and athletes who competed during the 2002-03 school year at Torrey Pines. You can call yourselves the best in the state for combined sports.



(Compiled by

2003 -- Torrey Pines (San Diego)

2002 -- Poly (Long Beach)

2001 -- Poly (Long Beach)

2000 -- De La Salle (Concord)

1999 -- Clovis West (Fresno)

1998 -- Santa Margarita (Rancho SM)

1997 -- Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1996 -- De La Salle (Concord)

1995 -- Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1994 -- Clovis West (Fresno)

1993 -- Esperanza (Anaheim)

1992 -- Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1991 -- Poway

1990 -- Bakersfield

1989 -- Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)

1988 -- Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo)

1987 -- Mission Viejo

1986 -- Bellarmine (San Jose)

1985 -- Bellarmine (San Jose)

1984 -- Cordova (Rancho Cordova)

1983 -- St. Francis (Mountain View)

1982 -- Mission Viejo

1981 -- Poly (Long Beach)

1980 -- Berkeley

1979 -- Mt. Whitney (Visalia)

1978 -- Andrew Hill (San Jose)

1977 -- Pasadena

1976 -- San Fernando

1975 -- Clovis

1974 -- Kearny (San Diego)

1973 -- Monte Vista (Spring Valley)

1972 -- Ygnacio Valley (Concord)

1971 -- Lompoc

1970 -- Blair (Pasadena)

1969 -- Compton

1968 -- Homestead (Cupertino)

1967 -- El Rancho (Pico Rivera)

1966 -- El Segundo

1965 -- Poly (Long Beach)

1964 -- Poly (Long Beach)

1963 -- Santa Clara

1962 -- McClymonds (Oakland)

1961 -- Compton

1960 -- Poly (Long Beach)

Note: List extends back to 1890-91 in Cal-Hi Sports Record Book & Almanac.

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