With 44 schools from which to choose, only three were removed from the Mt. SAC area this year. All three are Catholic affiliated.
This is the argument lawyers representing Damien and St. Lucy’s will utilize in a federal lawsuit they hope will prevent their clients’ athletic teams from being placed in leagues with parochial schools in the fall of 2014, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer Aram Tolegian’s story. The decision was ostensibly based on competitive equity, something the schools’ lawyers find questionable when the obvious common thread is the schools’ religious affiliation.
The reasons cited for the lawsuits are one thing. The reasons Damien and St. Lucy’s would like to remain in their current arrangement is another.
Both are competitive in the Sierra League, but if forced to move in the fall of 2014, could land amongst a group of private schools with a reputation for a higher level of play in all sports. Apparently that level is high enough that the two schools – along with Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure – are willing to take the CIF State, CIF-Southern Section and CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod to court.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
FIRST ROUND, Wednesday DIVISION 1
Santa Barbara 17, Huntington Beach 7
Irvine 7, Villa Park 3
Laguna Beach 9, Dos Pueblos 8
Newport Harbor 18, Anaheim Canyon 3
Corona del Mar 17, Ventura 4
Los Alamitos 17, Costa Mesa 2
San Marcos 11, Edison 8
Foothill 22, Beckman 2
Los Osos outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden (pictured above) claimed Player of the Year honors for the 2012 All-Valley volleyball team after helping her team to the CIF finals for the first time in school history. Los Osos coach Franco Macchia also reaped the benefits of the Grizzlies best ever season, earning Coach of the Year honors.
FIRST TEAM MEGHAN BUZZERIO, Chino Hills
The sophomore burst onto the scene with 532 kills in just 29 games to lead the Huskies to a playoff berth. The outside hitter also had 228 digs, 33 aces and 26 solo blocks to go along with a kill percentage of 39 for a Chino Hills team that posted an 18-11 record.
ERIN CLARK, Ayala
The Ayala setter had a spectacular year with 617 assists for the Bulldogs, who finished second in the Sierra League behind St. Lucy’s, the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Division 1A playoffs. The junior was instrumental in the team’s turnaround from a fifth-place finish in league in 2011 to second in 2012.
ARDEN DAVIS, St. Lucy’s
The senior libero, a member of two CIF-SS championship teams during her tenure, totaled 308 digs this season and earned All-CIF honors in Division 1A. Davis helped the Regents win a fourth consecutive Sierra League championship and a No. 1 playoff seed.
In anticipation of the 2014-2018 releaguing cycle, Damien and St. Lucy’s were recommended by the CIF-SS to be moved from the Mt. SAC area to the parochial area. If they so desire, the current members of the Sierra League can present arguments on Dec. 13 to their recommended placement.
Pomona Catholic has been recommended to move from the small schools area to the parochial area. If the schools are indeed moved, there are a number of possible members for a new league. One of the major issues with the parochial area is the distance between schools all the way from Santa Ana Mater Dei to North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake.