MORE STATE SCHOOLS OF THE YEAR

We go with Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Mitty of San Jose, Garces of Bakersfield and University of San Francisco as honorees for each of the CIF state enrollment divisions. Click here to see which schools were special mention for Division I and why we chose the schools we did.

(Based on the same enrollment divisions that were used last winter in basketball)

Div. II -- Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

Coach Gary McKnight's boys basketball team didn't lose to a California team on its way to a state title and top five national ranking. Mater Dei teams in girls basketball, football, baseball, softball, boys soccer and girls volleyball also were all ranked among the best in the state. If either the baseball or softball teams had been able to come through to a win a section title, the Monarchs might have been able to nab another State School of the Year label. Special Mention: St. Francis (Mountain View), Jesuit (Carmichael), Helix (La Mesa).

Div. III -- Mitty (San Jose)

The Monarchs won four Central Coast Section championships, but they were in the same division in girls volleyball as national No. 1 St. Francis and arguably were the No. 2 team in the state overall. Mitty's titles came in girls basketball (lost in the Div. I state final to Lynwood), baseball and girls swimming. The softball team also was nationally-ranked (29-3), but was upset in the CCS playoffs by Burlingame. Special Mention: Campolindo (Moraga), Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood), Bishop Montgomery (Torrance), St. Francis (Sacramento).

Div. IV -- Garces (Bakersfield)

In many years, the Rams actually have more depth than they did this year, but what they did in football and boys basketball was overwhelming. This year's football team was one of the school's best ever at 12-0 and was No. 2 in the final Div. III state rankings. The boys basketball team appeared in several national rankings before finishing 35-2 and losing in the SoCal Div. IV final to Horizon. The softball team went 25-5-1 in winning its Central Section crown and yet another section championship came in girls swimming. Throw in how well Zach Ryan (high jump) and Chris White (discus) did in track (both placed at the state meet) and that put Garces over the top. Special Mention: Oaks Christian (Westlake Village), Justin-Siena (Napa).

Div. V -- University (San Francisco)

Make it four of these Div. V school of the year honors in the last seven years for the Red Devils. Two CIF state championships in the fall on back-to-back weekends in girls cross country and girls volleyball got the ball rolling. University's boys cross country team also was among the best in the state, the boys basketball team was in the final top 10 of the state rankings and the girls basketball team was good enough to pin a loss on the eventual state champs from Convent of the Sacred Heart. In girls soccer, despite its small enrollment, the Red Devils were a North Coast Section finalist (no divisions) and appeared as high as No. 8 in the Student Sports FAB 50 national rankings. Special Mention: Immanuel (Reedley), Ferndale, St. Vincent (Petaluma).

Div. I Special Mention -- Clovis

The Cougars won their seventh CIF state team title in wrestling and earned CIF Central Section crowns in football, baseball and softball. Arch-rival Clovis West had five section titles and Buchanan had four, so no one school in the Clovis Unified School District was able to build a strong enough case to beat Torrey Pines.

Div. I Special Mention -- De La Salle (Concord)

In addition to the usual football dominance (the Spartans were No. 1 in the nation for the third straight season), A.D. Terry Eidson's program garnered CIF North Coast Section titles in water polo, soccer and swimming. The tennis team lost in the section final to Monte Vista of Danville and the boys basketball team once again was mentioned frequently in the state rankings before being upset in the NCS playoffs.

Div. I Special Mention -- Loyola (Los Angeles)

Even though there are no girls at Loyola, there was no other large school in the CIF Southern Section this year that was able to win four section titles. Two of Loyola's title teams -- in volleyball and cross country -- were No. 1 in the state overall. The other two crowns came in basketball and track. Loyola's football team also had another strong season with an appearance in the CIFSS Div. I semifinals.

Div. I Special Mention -- Poly (Long Beach)

Coach Don Norford's girls track team added to the school's number of all-time state titles with a team crown at this year's state meet in Cerritos. The Jackrabbits' 4x100 girls relay team also set the national record at the Penn Relays. Poly was near the top of the state this year as well in boys track, girls basketball, boys cross country and football. Retiring boys hoop coach Ron Palmer will be missed.

Div. I Special Mention -- Wilson (Long Beach)

You could just about say that the Bruins were the runner-up to Torrey Pines. They were State Team of the Year in boys soccer and boys water polo, finished third at the state meet in girls track and made to the Div. I final in girls volleyball. Wilson also was seventh in the Div. I girls cross country state finals, rang up another strong season in girls basketball and in girls golf had perhaps the top player in the state in Jennifer Tantiphaiboontana.


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