Top 10 San Francisco high school sports moments in 2010

St. Ignatius pitcher Collin Monsour and catcher Charlie Goldensohn celebrate after their 3-2 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Bruce Mahoney game on April 17 at AT&T Park. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

By Jeremy Balan

1. St. Ignatius holds of Sacred Heart Cathedral to clinch Bruce-Mahoney

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s hard to imagine a more compelling image (above) from 2010. The expression on St. Ignatius pitcher Collin Monsour’s face, and the utter despair of Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Christopher Miguel, face down in the dirt, tells you all you need to know about the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi. St. Ignatius’ baseball team took a 3-0 lead into the final inning, but the Irish rallied to cut the lead to 3-2 and then loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to third and the winning run to second.

But it wasn’t a storybook ending for the Fightin’ Irish, as Miguel grounded out to seal a 3-2 St. Ignatius victory, returning the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy to the Wildcats on April 17.

2. Wilson’s walk-off gives Galileo AAA title

Galileo's Erik Wilson celebrates with his teammates after their 5-4 win over Washington in the AAA title game on May 13 at AT&T Park. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

It’s almost fitting that the top two moments of 2010 came in one of The City’s best venues: AT&T Park.

In the Academic Athletic Association baseball championship game against Washington on

May 13, Galileo junior shortstop Erik Wilson had three singles, but his final hit ended a 32-year championship drought for the Lions.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wilson lined a walk-off single to left field over a drawn-in Washington infield to break a 4-4 tie and give Galileo the 5-4 win.

“I just wanted a base hit or [to] put the ball in play. That’s what I was thinking,” Wilson said. “The feeling is indescribable. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime feeling.”

3. Feibusch ends legendary run with another title

Lowell freshman Zoe Charter-Kuo (left) and her teammates celebrate her game-winning goal against Washington in the AAA/CIF-San Francisco Section final on May 8 at Boxer Stadium. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

With a goal in the final minutes from freshman Zoe Charter-Kuo, Lowell High School’s girls’ soccer team sent off legendary coach Ernie Feibusch with his 15th AAA/San Francisco Section title with a 1-0 victory over Washington on May 8 at Boxer Stadium.

The win was the Cardinals’ 13th consecutive AAA title. With Feibusch — who retired after coaching at Lowell for 44 years, at the helm — the Cardinals won

15-of-17 girls’ AAA titles since the San Francisco Section began a girls’ league in 1994.

“It was a very good send-off,” Feibusch said. “It is time. The girls here are the only reason I came back. They’re all fantastic.”

4. University shocks St. Joseph Notre Dame in OT to advance to NorCal title game

University High School junior forward Ned Tannenbaum was held scoreless for the first 31 minutes of the visiting Red Devils’ CIF Division V State boys’ basketball quarterfinal matchup against defending champion St. Joseph (Alameda) on March 13.

In the final minute of regulation, however, Tannenbaum hit what may have been the two biggest shots of his life.

The first came on a driving layup with 40 seconds remaining to put University up 50-49.

Then, after St. Joseph’s Kyle Collins put the Pilots up 52-50 with two free throws, Tannenbaum hit an almost identical left-handed layup with 2 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Red Devils jumped out to a 59-54 lead and withstood a late St. Joseph rally to win 60-58 and earn a trip to the Northern California championship game.

6. Urban’s Lauden throws perfect game against University

Urban senior pitcher Danica Lauden’s performance on April 13 can only accurately be described as perfect.

Lauden retired all 21 University batters she faced to complete a perfect game in the Blues’ 9-0 softball win over the Red Devils in Bay Counties League West play.

She was dominant for the Blues from start to finish, striking out the first five University hitters. She finished the game with 15 total strikeouts, throwing 66 strikes and just 19 balls.

7. University stuns Convent with desperation buzzer beater

Convent came to the North Coast Section Division V girls’ basketball playoffs with an undefeated league record and ran into league foe University in the second round.

The Red Devils had lost to Convent by double digits in each of their first two meetings, but on this day it was different, and it happened in spectacular fashion.

Down 47-46, University senior guard Lysi Gonzales banked in a turnaround 30-foot jump shot at the buzzer to upset the second-seeded Cubs 49-47.

“I’m not a long-range shooter,” Gonzales said. “It was really just a shot in the dark.”

7. SI wins inaugural WCAL title in boys lacrosse

St. Ignatius lacrosse players celebrate their win over Bellarmine in the inaugural WCAL title game on Friday at St. Ignatius. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

St. Ignatius lacrosse players celebrate their win over Bellarmine in the inaugural WCAL title game on May 14 at St. Ignatius. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

It was a long time coming, but St. Ignatius took advantage of its first postseason berth by clinching the inaugural West Catholic Athletic League boys’ lacrosse championship with a 16-10 win over Bellarmine (San Jose) on May 14 at St. Ignatius.

The Wildcats, a perennial lacrosse power in Northern California, have played as an independent until the WCAL started its first league season in 2010.

“It’s one of those things where 10, 20, 30 years from now, these guys are going to look back on this and say, ‘You can’t take our name off that trophy, we won it,’” said St. Ignatius head coach Chris Packard, who was dripping wet after a celebratory Gatorade bath. “It feels great and it’s bittersweet because it’s over, but this is what we’ve strived for, for 10 years. We now have a league championship.”

8. Quincy Nelson runs all over Balboa

Galileo senior running back Quincy Nelson stretches out for the goal line while carrying a Balboa defender on Oct. 8 at Galileo Academy. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

Balboa High School, fresh off its league-opening win over Marshall the week before, looked to be primed for an upset over Galileo in football on Oct. 8, but the Lions proved in the second half why they were still the team to beat in the AAA: They had Quincy Nelson.

Galileo held a 20-13 lead at the half, and after being relatively contained by the Balboa defense in the first half (98 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries), Nelson exploded for 251 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the second half and the Lions pulled away to win 56-33.

Nelson finished with a staggering 349 yards and six touchdowns on 28 carries.

9. SI Volleyball wins first ever CCS title

St. Ignatius girls volleyball players celebrate after the match-winning point against Sacred Heart Cathedral in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division III final on Nov. 20 at Independence High School in San Jose. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

Sacred Heart Cathedral came into the Central Coast Section Division III final seeking its fourth consecutive girls’ volleyball title, but rival St. Ignatius made it clear early in the match that it was the superior team on the court Nov. 20.

The Wildcats imposed their will early and clinched their first CCS title in school history with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-20 win over Sacred Heart at Independence High School, the third time St. Ignatius beat the Irish during the season.

10. Lewis and Riordan shock St. Ignatius

Riordan senior A.J. Lewis acknowledges the home crowd during the Crusaders' upset of St. Ignatius on Oct. 9. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

The first considerable upset of the football season came from the most unlikely source — Archbishop Riordan High School.

Behind the play of standout senior wide receiver and defensive back A.J. Lewis, the Crusaders stunned rival St. Ignatius 21-14 on Oct. 9. Riordan’s struggles were well-documented this season and the win was the first and only for the Crusaders and first-year coach Bryan Blake, an S.I. graduate.

Lewis began the day by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for the touchdown and the Crusaders carried that 7-0 lead into the half, but St. Ignatius scored twice in the third quarter to take the 14-7 lead.

Then, in the fourth quarter, Lewis made his presence felt again when he intercepted a pass from St. Ignatius quarterback Jeff Farlow and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.

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15 Comments

  1. Pdawg says:

    I dont see how you missed the University girls cross country team winning state. Surely you must have heard of the story, it was even put as the number one top high school stories of the year by the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.

  2. Go Cats says:

    Not to downplay Riordan’s victory (#10), but they lost to Sacred Heart 55-6 after playing SI. SI’s “upset” over SH deserves the same kind of respect that Riordan’s victory earned because of how much the players overcame during the season. Not only did they have their coach replaced half way through the season, SI barely contended in WCAL play and struggled to move the ball until their offensive explosion against the Irish. Obviously SI dominates the list with three separate achievements, but the football team’s pride and perseverance “against the odds” rivals all of these achievements. Congratulations to St. Ignatius and all of the other schools and teams on this list who accomplished so much this year!

  3. Irishpride says:

    How about SHCP break through at CCS cross country finally making it to state for both boys and girls after coming close (10 years as the number 4 team for girls & boys going for 1st time in 5 years). And I totally agreed about the university girls xc team and Reynolds inspiring finish at state. It was a national news story!

  4. Johnny Drama says:

    SI over SHC is not an upset as SI seems to beat SHC almost every year despite SHC having a so called “better team”. SI has SHC’s number and they get in their heads before most big games. Riordan, on the other hand, played inspired ball to beat SI on that day. They were dragging last in conference yet managed to win their homecoming game. This was clearly a bigger moment.

  5. WCAL Alum says:

    To editor:
    SI-SHC is not the oldest H.S. Rivalry west of Mississippi. According to NFHS, one in Kansas and one in Colorado are both one year older (1892). It is tied for eleventh oldest in nation. However, the SH/SI rivalry is the oldest west of the Rockies and the oldest private school high school rivalry in nation (all other are between public schools).”

  6. Go Crusaders says:

    @ Go Cats, typical response from an SI supporter, rather than accept what is given and be grateful, you see fit to denounce others accomplishments to build yourself up. Low self-esteem is not an attractive trait to have on display.

    Face it, on that given Saturday, in a face-to-face competition; Riordan beat SI. SI didn’t loose, Riordan beat them. SI tried to come back, only to have Riordan shut the door and refuse to give up. You mention SI’s coach being replaced….and why was that? Oh that’s right, because “lowly” Riordan beat SI.

    It’s true, SH beat Riordan and badly. One could even say Mr. Lee ran up the score as a message to his cousin. Paybacks are a bitch, and SH has theirs coming, soon enough.

    Conversely, the SI victory over SH is nothing new. Look through the records, and even over the past three years, SI beating SH is nothing new. SI deserves no recognition for that victory because many assumed Mr. Lee would once again choke as he has done over the past two years.

  7. jbalan says:

    @WCAL Alum

    The first SI-SH game was in 1891, so Central-Centennial in Colorado and Abilene-Chapman in Kansas were actually started a year later…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_high_school_football_rivalries_%28100_years%2B%29

    “This rivalry is also noted as being the oldest high school football rivalry West of the Mississippi River, but it is not. See San Francisco’s Saint Ignatius-Sacred Heart rivalry, which dates to 1891, making it older and much more known than this rivalry. In 2009, this rivalry was also picked by ESPN as the greatest rivalry in Kansas.”

  8. Anonymous says:

    That would be nice if true, but the 1891 date may be the part of “selective” dating as archival records indicate that St. Patrick’s Day in 1893 marked the start of this tradition when the two schools met in Central Park at Eighth and Market Streets for a rugby game; a game won by Sacred Heart, 14-4 (go to SI website). The 1893 date mysterically changed to 1891 a few years after a report was provided. Beside wikipedia list of game record is only for the games involving Bruce-Mahoney trophy – not the entire record going back to pre 1900.
    In the NFHS there is a list of oldest and longest (to date).

    Regardless, it is a wonderful rivalry with an extremely rich tradition that both alums can be proud.

  9. WCAL says:

    That would be nice if true, once an article verified the rivalries in Kansas and Colorado, the date mysterically changed from 1893 to 1891. Archival records (SF library) indicate that St. Patrick’s Day in 1893 marked the start of this tradition when the two schools met in Central Park at Eighth and Market Streets for a rugby game); a game won by Sacred Heart, 14-4 (SI website).
    Besides accounts in wiki also erroneously have record only from inception of Bruce-Mahoney Trophy which started in 1947, not including games that pre-date 1900 (remember wiki doesnt always verify its accounts).
    The NFHS list both oldest and longest prep football rivalries (oldest being date; longest being most games played against each other. SH-SI is on oldest list, but not on other list. Lots of old mid-west and northeast rivalries have played each other more than once in a year (for football).

    Regardless, the SI/SHC rivalry is very unique with a storied tradition that both schools should be proud.

  10. Anonymous says:

    San Fran Preps Staff: I congratulate you guys on compiling such a wonderful list, yet I do believe you missed one big one. The Lick-Wilmerding Baseball team winning the first ever 4-peat in the BCL West (winning 4 straight championships). Many critics may point out the lack of competition in the BCL West, but what I would say to those people is, What about the Tigers stellar walk-off win VS. the flame throwing Frank Duncan who is now pitching D-1 at Kansas University. As he pitched over 100 pitches the Tigers beat Stuart Hall in the last game of the season off a walk off hit. In the Tigers quest for their first ever 4-peat they met the Urban Blues in the Semi-finals, and Haden Cory led the Tigers as he pitched 5 no hit innings, later broken up by a double. The Tigers eventually won 2-0, after an Urban rally that proved futile. The Tigers met MA in the championship and with a 3-2 count and runners in scoring position, the Lick Tigers beat MA 2-1 in the first ever 4-peat in Baseball for the BCL West.

    Personally, I feel as though attaining excellence for a long period of time, rather then one miraculous win when two sub-par teams play each other, SI vs. Riordan, deserves more recognition.

    Keep doing a great job, you guys add a lot of enthusiasm to SF Prep Sports.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And may I also say the Tigers survived 6 innings in the Championship without their Captain and starting catcher Matt Foley, who ended up breaking his hand on a play at the plate as he scored what would be the winning run in the 1st inning.

  12. SprideF says:

    @GoCrusaders that is nont why he was fired so….
    and the SHC XC team did not do very well at either CCS or state. If they had won, or podiumed at state I would agree with you. However they only beat about 3 teams, the CCS was pretty weak this year, most years NMC and Aptos are fighting for a spot while SI and Willow Glen take the other 2. In fact at the latest CCS XC meeting there was talk of the CCS being given only 2 team invitations because of the poor performances at state that usually result from CCS teams.

  13. Sf says:

    Shoulda had riordan baseball upsetting number 1 in state serra

  14. The Real Deal says:

    where is Thurgood Marshall whooping sorry lincoln for its first win in 10 years??? that was the sports moment of the century right there.

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