Year in Review: Top 25 moments of 2011

St. Ignatius senior Joey Miller leaps into the arms of a lineman in the final moments of the Wildcats' CCS championship win over rival Sacred Heart Cathedral on Dec. 3 at AT&T Park. (Photo by Doug Ko)

St. Ignatius senior Joey Miller leaps into the arms of a lineman in the final moments of the Wildcats' CCS championship win over rival Sacred Heart Cathedral on Dec. 3 at AT&T Park. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

A remarkable year in San Francisco high school sports was marked by lengthy championship droughts coming to an end, epic runs through the playoffs and one historic football game at AT&T Park.

Here are the top 25 moments from City high school sports in 2011.

1. Football: St. Ignatius wins historic CCS title over rival Sacred Heart Cathedral

The stars were aligned to have an unprecedented Central Coast Section championship football game at the unmatched venue of AT&T Park, but despite the circumstances leading up to it, the game came down to a bounce.

With the game tied in the third quarter, a botched snap caromed off Sacred Heart Cathedral quarterback Jack Harrington and St. Ignatius junior linebacker Danny O’Malley scooped up the ball and ran 50 yards for the game-winning score in a 21-14 St. Ignatius victory in front of 12,000 fans at the Giants’ home venue on Dec. 3.

2. Baseball: Washington completes undefeated season, triple crown

Washington players and coaches celebrate after the final out of their win over Balboa in the AAA championship on May 12 at AT&T Park. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Call it the Triple Crown, call it the Trifecta, call it whatever you want — there wasn’t a need for a name, because it hadn’t been done before.

With a 4-1 win over Balboa in the Academic Athletic Association baseball championship on May 12 at AT&T Park, Washington became the first school in history to win a AAA championship in football, boys basketball and baseball in the same school year.

After allowing the lone Balboa run in the third, Washington junior pitcher Dane Vande Guchte didn’t allow a hit in the next three innings to secure the win.

3. Football: Miles breaks out for over 300 yards in SHC’s runaway win over SI

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Valentino Miles breaks away from the St. Ignatius defense on Oct. 21 at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Luis)

Sacred Heart Cathedral running back Valentino Miles got the Irish started on the right foot in the first quarter against rival St. Ignatius and boy, did he finish.

The standout senior ran for 230 yards in the second half and finished with a staggering 310 yards on 26 carries in a resounding 38-14 Irish football win on Oct. 21 at Kezar Stadium, ending a five-game losing streak for Sacred Heart in the first leg of the Bruce-Mahoney series.

Miles also scored the first TD of the game on a 28-yard catch and scored on a 43-yard run in the third quarter.

4. Football: Mission ends 57-year championship drought with Turkey Day win over Washington

Mission players celebrate after the final play of their Turkey Day win over Washington on Nov. 24 at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Devin Chen)

It was only fitting that the unlikeliest of AAA champions would win in one of the most unlikely ways possible.

After a dizzying sequence of events in the fourth quarter, Mission clinched its first AAA football title since 1954 with a 12-7 win over defending champion Washington at Kezar Stadium on Nov. 24.

Down by a point in the fourth quarter, Mission quarterback Davon Hargraves handed the ball to running back Algeron Malbrough on an apparent sweep to the right, but Malbrough tossed the ball to speedy junior Antoine Porter on a reverse and Porter beat a surprised Washington defense to the pylon for the game-winning score.

5. Football: St. Ignatius shocks Valley Christian to advance to CCS title game

St. Ignatius not only won the CCS championship game against Sacred Heart Cathedral, but it had a charmed run through the playoffs.

The Wildcats started with a come-from-behind win over Aptos, then took down heavily favored Valley Christian in spectacular fashion Nov. 26.

After surrendering a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, the Wildcats came within a point of the Warriors on a touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Stinn to tight end Travis McDow with 30 seconds left. Then, instead of tying the game with an extra point, the Wildcats converted a two-point conversion on another pass from Stinn to McDow to punch their ticket to the title game.

6. Boys Basketball: SI clinches Bruce-Mahoney trophy with thrilling win over Sacred Heart

St. Ignatius senior guard Johnny Mrlik scoops a layup past Sacred Heart Cathedral junior forward Taylor Johns on Jan. 11 at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

St. Ignatius senior guard Johnny Mrlik had eight of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-40 win on Jan. 11 at USF, but the game will likely be remembered for the points Sacred Heart Cathedral left on the floor.

The Irish shot 3-of-11 from the free-throw line, including five key misses in the fourth quarter, and senior shooting guard Martin Folan’s 3-point attempt from the corner with 35 seconds remaining touched every part of the rim, swirling in and out on two full rotations.

7. Boys Basketball: Washington ends 29-year championship drought

Washington senior guard Brenden Glapion pushes the ball up court against Mission in the AAA championship game on March 4 at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Aaron Perez)

Washington guard Brendan Glapion and Mission guard Antoine Porter each had a game-high 27 points, but it was Porter’s last-second 3-pointer at the buzzer that fell short, securing a 75-72 boys’ basketball win for the Eagles on March 4.

Glapion, later named AAA Player of the Year, connected on 14-of-16 free throw attempts and had seven rebounds, leading the Eagles to their first AAA title since 1982.

8. Boys Soccer: St. Ignatius’ wild WCAL playoff run

St. Ignatius' Shane Slosar (left) and Sean Prior (right) celebrate after their only goal against Bellarmine, scored by Slosar, in the WCAL championship game on Feb. 17 at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Eric Soracco)

The St. Ignatius boys soccer team only scored one goal in both the West Catholic Athletic League semifinal against St. Francis and the championship game against Bellarmine, but that’s all it needed.

Against St. Francis, it was a wind-aided corner kick from senior Sean Prior that went directly into the net, then against Bellarmine, junior Shane Slosar headed in a crossing pass from Aaron Gallagher to upset the top-seeded Bells.

9. Cross Country: University girls win third-straight state championship

Led by senior Bridget Blum’s runner-up individual finish in Division V, University won its third-straight girls cross country state championship and ninth overall on Nov. 6 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

The Red Devils added to their record-breaking haul of state titles with a team time of 1 hour, 36 minutes and 39 seconds.

10. Girls Volleyball: Balboa wins first AAA title

Balboa players celebrate after a point against Lowell in the AAA girls volleyball championship on Nov. 10 at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Balboa finally put an end to its dreaded girls volleyball championship drought on Nov. 10, and did it against the AAA’s best team.

With a 25-23, 25-16, 15-25, 25-15 win over Lowell at Kezar Pavilion, the Buccaneers clinched their first AAA title in school history and ended what was an undefeated league season for the Cardinals.

The Bucs were led by a match-high 15 kills from Cynthia Ngan.

11. Boys Volleyball: SI wins first WCAL and CCS title

St. Ignatius boys volleyball players and fans celebrate after the final point of the Wildcats' upset win over Bellarmine on May 5 at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

In the three prior meetings against Bellarmine during the regular season, St. Ignatius couldn’t get a win — not a match, or even a single game.

But the Wildcats came through in the most important match of the year, upsetting the top-seeded Bells 31-29, 21-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-13 on May 5 to clinch their first West Catholic Athletic League championship in school history.

The Wildcats then rode that momentum in the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs, taking down top-seeded Mt. Madonna to clinch their first CCS title in school history on May 17.

12. Boys Basketball: Lincoln honors Gragnani in win over Jordan

Lincoln players gather together before their game against Jordan on Jan. 7 at Lincoln High School, the first for the Mustangs after the death of head coach Mike Gragnani. (Photo by Devin Chen)

After the tragic death of head coach Mike Gragnani earlier in the week, the result of Lincoln’s 64-30 win over Jordan on Jan. 7 didn’t seem all that important.

The familiar stomping and trademark scowl that led Gragnani to 287 wins in 15 years of coaching at Redwood of Larkspur, Berkeley and Lincoln, were visibly absent, and the way the Mustangs came out in their first game since his death showed the boys and new head coach Matt Jackson are not immune to emotions.

Lincoln spotted Jordan a 9-8 lead early in the game before pulling away for the victory.

“I almost broke out in tears when the kids ran out on the court,” said Jackson, who was the junior varsity coach before Gragnani’s death. “We weren’t ready to play and I wasn’t ready to coach. The moment of silence turned into a quarter of silence.”

13. Baseball: International wins BCL Central title in walkoff fashion

International players swarm senior Clay Bloszies after the game-winning run scored against Waldorf in the BCL Central championship game on May 21 at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Doug Ko)

International was down by two runs heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, and it felt eerily familiar.

For the second season in a row, International took an undefeated Bay Counties League Central record in the the league championship, and for the second year in a row they trailed 4-2 late in the title game.

But the Jaguars would not be denied this time, rallied to tie the game and senior Clay Bloszies reached on an error in the final at bat, scoring fellow senior Brian Benavides to win the game.

14. Boys Soccer: Lowell comes back to beat Lincoln for second-consecutive AAA title

The Lowell boys soccer team celebrates with the AAA championship trophy on Nov. 12 at Boxer Stadium. (Photo by Devin Chen)

So many of Lowell’s wins in the past two seasons have been blowouts, but the Cardinals were pushed to the brink in the AAA championship game on Nov. 12.

The Cardinals rallied back from an early 1-0 deficit, then withstood a frenetic push from Lincoln in the final minutes of a 2-1 win at Boxer Stadium.

The win not only gave the Cardinals their second-consecutive AAA title, but also extended their league win streak to 38 games.

15. Football: St. Ignatius storms back to shock Aptos in CCS playoffs

St. Ignatius senior running back Kerry Crowley stretches the ball just over the goal line for the Wildcats' first score against Aptos in the CCS Division III playoffs on Nov. 18 at Aptos High School. (Photo by Christian Chew)

The Wildcats rallied back from a 24-7 third-quarter deficit to beat Aptos 35-31 on the road in the first round of the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs on Nov. 19.

Senior fullback Dom Truoccolo put the Wildcats up for good on a 3-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds remaining and junior linebacker Noah Bull sealed the game with an interception on Aptos’ first play of the ensuing drive to cap the furious St. Ignatius comeback.

16. Softball: Roddy goes deep twice in Lowell’s AAA championship win

Lowell senior first baseman Chloe Roddy connects with her first of two home runs in the AAA championship game on May 19 at San Francisco State University. (Photo by Eric Soracco)

In AAA softball’s recent history, there is no rivalry quite like the battle between Lowell and Washington.

The teams have met in the last three championship games, but Lowell got a leg up on May 18 and did so with an exclamation point, routing the Eagles 11-1 in five innings on Wednesday at San Francisco State University.

Leading the way was Lowell senior first baseman Chloe Roddy, who went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and two two-run home runs.

17. Boys Volleyball: Galileo wins first AAA title

Galileo freshman outside hitter David Peng sends a ball past a Lincoln blocker in the AAA championship game on May 13 at O'Connell High School. (Photo by Christian Chew)

After winning the first game against Lincoln in the AAA championship on May 13, Galileo hit rock bottom.

The top-seeded Lions were dominated by Lincoln in the second game and allowed the Mustangs to even the match with a 25-12 win, but rallied back to win the final two games en route to a 25-21, 12-25, 25-23, 25-21 victory, clinching their first AAA championship in school history.

18. Football: Miles scores six touchdowns to send Sacred Heart to CCS final

Valentino Miles had another night to remember in the Central Coast Section Division III semifinals on Nov. 25 against Christopher in Gilroy.

Miles totaled 143 yards rushing on 26 carries, gained 133 yards on five receptions and scored every touchdown in Sacred Heart’s 42-23 win over the top-seeded Cougars at Gilroy High School.

While the final score seemed lopsided, Sacred Heart was trailing 17-14 at the half, but Miles only needed the first play from scrimmage in the second half to give the Irish the lead.

The play looked ordinary at most in development, as Sacred Heart quarterback Jack Harrington threw to Miles on the left wing behind the line of scrimmage.

With five defenders clustered in front of him and no blockers, Miles juked the first defender, broke a tackle, stepped over another, broke another tackle, then outran the rest of the Christopher defense down the left sideline for a 67-yard score.

19. Girls Basketball: Sacred Heart stuns SI in CCS title game

Sacred Heart Cathedral freshman guard GeAnna Summers-Luaulu goes up for a contested layup against St. Ignatius in the CCS Division III championship game on March 5 at Santa Clara University. (Photo by Doug Ko)

After trailing for most of the first half, St. Ignatius cut what was an 11-point deficit to 34-32 midway through the third quarter, but what happened next may have signaled the arrival of the City’s next big star in girls basketball.

The response came from Sacred Heart Cathedral freshman guard GeAnna Summers-Luaulu, who connected on her last five shots from the floor and had 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, as the Irish pulled away steadily in a 64-48 win over St. Ignatius in the CCS Division III finals on March 5 at Santa Clara University.

20. Girls Soccer: Lowell wins 14th consecutive AAA title

Lowell junior forward Alejandra Sanchez, blows by a Lincoln defender in the AAA championship game on May 7 at Boxer Stadium. (Photo by Stephanie Trapp)

Like it did for the entire season, Lowell left no doubt which team was superior in the AAA girls soccer championship against Lincoln on May 7 at Boxer Stadium.

Behind four goals from standout junior forward Alejandra Sanchez, the Cardinals won 6-0 in dominating fashion, sealing an undefeated league season and their 14th-consecutive AAA title.

21. Boys Basketball: Sacred Heart Cathedral wins third-consecutive CCS title

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior forward Joshua Fox skies for a layup in the lane against Burlingame in the CCS Division III championship game on March 5 at Santa Clara University. (Photo by Doug Ko)

After Burlingame retook the lead with just over 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Panthers were primed to break Sacred Heart Cathedral’s stranglehold on the CCS Division III championship.

Instead, the Irish played near-perfect defense down the stretch, holding Burlingame scoreless for the rest of the game, and ended on a 10-0 run to clinch their third-consecutive CCS title with a 41-32 win on March 5 at Santa Clara University.

22. Boys Basketball: St. Ignatius stuns Mitty

The Monarchs, which went on to win a Division II state championship in 2011, only lost two games last season and one came at the hands of the Wildcats on Jan. 13.

Johnny Mrlik lead the Wildcats with 16 points, Stephen Domingo added 15 and SI held standout Mitty forward Aaron Gordon to just seven points in a physical, grinding game that saw bodies flying all night long.

23. Swimming: Lowell AAA dominance, Vu smashes records

Lowell's Kaitlin Leung celebrates after her win in the 100-yard butterfly on April 30 at City College of San Francisco. (Photo by Doug Ko)

They may have gone about it in completely different ways, but it was business as usual for the Lowell boys and girls swimming teams in the AAA finals on April 30 at City College of San Francisco.

The boys team won its 15th-consecutive title by edging second-place finisher Washington 111-104, while the girls trounced the competition en route to their 22nd-consecutive title, outscoring second-place finisher Lincoln 170-48.

While Lowell claimed the team titles, Lincoln’s Jared Vu stole the spotlight on the individual side.

The sophomore broke two of his own AAA records in the 100-yard butterfly (53.39 seconds) and the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.06). Vu’s time in the 200-yard individual medley marked the first time in AAA history that a swimmer has broken the 2-minute mark.

24. Boys Soccer: SFI dominates first varsity event

SFI junior Medhani Berih (left) breaks away from Marshall players on Aug. 25 at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields. (Photo by Eric Soracco)

As a first-year athletic program, so much about San Francisco International is unknown, but it would be difficult to envision a better beginning.

The Huskies’ boys soccer team, playing in the school’s first varsity event, routed Marshall 7-0 on Aug. 25 at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields.

SFI junior Osmar Zapotecas tallied three goals and Medhani Berih, a playmaking midfielder, added three assists.

25. Baseball: Stuart Hall wins first BCL West title

The Stuart Hall baseball team celebrates after the final out against Marin Academy in the BCL West championship game on May 21 at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Brian Long)

Stuart Hall got its first two batters of the game to score and would not put another run across for the rest of the game — fortunately for the Knights, that was enough to clinch their first Bay Counties League West baseball championship in school history.

Riding another standout performance from sophomore starting pitcher Ben Carrasco, the Knights held off Marin Academy the rest of the way to win 2-1 on May 21 at Skyline College.

Additional reporting by Bonta Hill, Joey Gulino, Harold Abend and Ryan Kuhn.

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102 Comments on "Year in Review: Top 25 moments of 2011"

  1. How do Lick’s win over Uni in the semis of BCL West boys’ soccer playoffs and University’s shocking win over MA in regular season not make this list?

  2. The threepeat by SHC deserves a higher ranking.

  3. Nothing To See Here | December 30, 2011 at 8:52 PM |

    No. 1 was a disaster.

    • This is a veryy good list. Nice job on the top 4. As for the rest, all fabulous events worthy of mention and all special in their own way. San Fran school kids should be proud of themselves.

    • Disaster? Whoa, easy boy. 9/11 was a disaster. Maybe a disapointment (for SH football team) is a better choice of words. However, in talking with alumni from both schools, it was a fun and memorable meeting for both schools – maybe in time you will see this.

      • Nothing To See Here | December 31, 2011 at 7:49 AM |

        If stupid mistakes didn’t cost the game I could see it. Defer the opening kickoff, run a botched, rogue fake punt, bad snap… Nah, that’s a disaster. The earlier game was how this one should have been played. Then it’s the greatest moment in the history of City prep sports. Now, the only thing worse was the fire in 1906.

  4. Austin Hedani | December 30, 2011 at 10:00 PM |

    WOW……… my 3 in the 2011 battle of the birds should have made it top 25…

  5. wash baseball number 2, i’ll take it

  6. Great job JB. I know you and your staff probabaly put a lot of time into comprising this list….especially since there was a lot to choose from.

  7. this is a solid list overall, but the accomplishments of certain track and field athletes. BCL West sent four athletes to the State Championships in 2011 whereas most years SF doesn’t even send one.

    Cole Williams of Urban especially deserves mention as he was far and away the best 800m (half mile) runner in all of northern california, and his time of 1:50 in the 800m ranks as the fastest time of any San Francisco athlete in history.

    Ben Rainero from IHS also made the state final with a 4:12 mile.

    • do u know what chris waschura from woodside ran? i feel like it was around there – but yea cole williams is amazing, do you know where he is running now?

  8. How about the SHCP 1-0 win over the Bells in soccer? Hasn’t it been since the 70’s the last SHCP victory over that factory in San Jose?

    • That win over the Bells was huge. The last time the varsity beat them was on January 31, 1975. Irish won 2-0.

  9. One of the biggest problems with the SF preps scene in that SI is overhyped. Frankly I think they are the most over-rated athletic program in the State given the amount of attention they receive relative to their actual results. SI is typically very good in minor sports (Crew and Lacrosse) and some girls sports. In the big three (Boys’ Football, Basketball and Baseball) they typically have a losing to mediocre record (even this years Football team was 6-6-1 and won a watered down play-offs). One of the reasons I was excited about you starting SanFranPreps was I thought you would provide balanced and fair coverage. That being said I have been bothered by how much coverage SI has received this year. When I saw your “Top 25 Moments” list this morning, I was disgusted since 8 out the 25 events involved SI. You have become a mouthpiece for the SI hype machine.

    • I think only 7 included SI (unless you’re counting when they lost or got ran over), and which ones do you think are undeserving, beating mitty? the football team’s ccs run? those all seemed like pretty amazing achievements.

    • @Cats Pride

      The CCS Game should have been called the “Mediocrity Bowl”. By comparison If 6-7 UCLA beats 6-6 Illinois in the Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park will it be a special moment of the year?

      Clearly SI football rebounded from being blown-out numerous times during the regular season and finishing in 7th place in the WCAL and the list should combine all three listed wins into one entry on the list, perhaps even a top 3 moment, but to get 3 mentions for what in aggregate was not even a winning record is absurd. It is indicative of my point that SI’s atheletic program in general is highly over-rated and over covered by the media including (i mean in spite of very little track record of success in the big 3 boys sports.

      Look at their recent track record:


      2011 (6-6-1) – 7th place in WCAL – Medocrity Bowl Champion
      2010 (2-7-1) – last place
      2009 (4-6) – 6th place
      2008 (5-5) – 5th place
      2007 (4-5-1) – last place tie

      2011 (17-10) – 4th place tie
      2010 (12-15) – 7th place
      2009 (10-17) – 6th place

      2011 (13-17) – 5th place
      2010 (11-16) – 7th place
      2009 (16-15) – 6th place
      2008 (13-17) – last place
      2007 (7-20) – last place

      Yes the WCAL is a tough league but SI is competing against its peers and not doing so good. To call its track record mediocre is generous. The CCS is a weak section so they can have some success at that level, but even that has not happened much for them. Based on the coverage they receive you would think they had an athletic program like DeLaSalle.

      This all being said a lot of the athletic programs and athletes in the City who are successful deserve their fair share of coverage.

      • Kezar for Keeps | December 31, 2011 at 2:43 PM |

        What team do you play for, coach for or are a parent for?

        • Wow, this last post at least garners #23 on this list. If these team are all mediorce, what does that say for the team you support.

          Again, as events go – a football game at ATT Park was the biggest event of the year. All local stations even mentioned it on their nightly telecast. Everybody recognizes neither was best (or even close) to being best teams in the Bay Area, but it was worthy as an event.

          Yes, the SI teams get more than their fair share of coverage, but honestly, in the big picture what other events of City teams garner more attention. For instance has a AAA football team ever won (or played) a game against another WCAL team? And that is no distrespect to other individual teams and players. The fact is, as a whole these games covered are the best the City has to offer.

          Here’s another case, very few (if any) WCAL City varsity teams in the “major” sports win a WCAL title, but are frequent players when it comes to CCS titles. This proves how tough the WCAL is athletically. Quite honestly, I dont put too much into a CCS title – a WCAL title is much tougher to obtain. That is why the SHC 3-peat is where it should be.

          I do agree that good stories like Mission (football) and Washington (basketball) winning league titles garners heavy considerations. This despite neither able to compete outside of league. As City events covered by SFPreps go, they do need to be recognized. BCL just dont have the long range history that gets the attention of other schools, despite MANY individual and team accomplishments.

          Youre like the Republican Party, you have a lot of gripes, but what are your solutions. You had enough time to go to Max Prep to look up SI’s past history. I would (as well as others) would like to see your objective list.

          I indicated before, the list is all incompassing and recognizes a fun year of San Franciso Prep Sports. Good job SFP staff. Happy and blessed New Year to all.

    • @ Just Asking To call the Division III title the “Mediocrity Bowl” is absolutely preposterous. Aside from the Open Division, DIII was by far the most interesting and unpredictable of each CCS Division. it was the only division other than Open that included more than 1 WCAL team and everyone knows the WCAL is the toughest league in the CCS (or for that matter Nor Cal). To get to the title game, SH had to defeat an 11-0 Christopher team while SI had to defeat a 9-1 Aptos team, not to mention beating the same Valley Christian team that beat Sacred Heart 47-6 and beat SI earlier in the season. Each team had admirable playoff runs most deserving of the coverage it got and the place each game received in the final Sanfranpreps poll.

      To call CCS a weak section diminishes the point you are trying to make because the Open Division Champion has gone to state (Bellarmine twice and Paly once) each of the last three years and this trend will surely continue because of the fierce competition these CCS teams have provided.

      Even the Chronicle listed the SI vs. Valley Christian playoff game as one of its 3 top football games for the Bay Area this season and that included the powerhouse showdown between the Bells and the Spartans and the Bellarmine state title game. Placing that game 5th is more than justifiable.

      If SI (and for that matter SH and Riordan’s) athletic programs are so over-rated, please find San Francisco teams that can compete with each school on a consistent basis in the “Big 3” sports. When you can, I’m sure these teams will receive more than their fair share of coverage.

    • Let’s take the emotions out of all of this and just look at the facts.

      Yes, SI has had the most coverage, but they are the preeminent athletic department in the City and had a very successful year in 2011. They also offer the most sports.

      Interestingly enough, the team most covered in the calendar year was actually the University boys basketball team, with 13 stories. SI only led coverage by themselves in girls basketball (as they should have), girls lacrosse (we only covered one game), boys lacrosse (in which they are a state power), and Football (which they wouldn’t have, if not for an extended run in the playoffs).

  10. @ Jeremy: Did you consider Riordan wrestling? Having a city team place 4th at CCS is huge.

    Having an individual wrestler (Contreras) defeating the 1, 2, & 3 seeds is a huge upset.

  11. Anyone know where tino miles is going to college?

  12. was international’s girls volleyball championship in the BCL – C mean anything?

    they had an undefeated league season and beat 3-time defending champions, Bay, in the final.

  13. where’s gateway soccer at??

    • JB, you calling SI “the preeminent athletic department” makes my point that you are drinking the SI Kool-Aide. What have they won? As a simple benchmark, I looked at CIF State Website to see which teams from the City have won State Championships. It was a cursuory look, but what I saw was.

      Girls Basketball – 3 State Championships and 1 Runner-up (plus they were ranked #1 in the Country one of those years)
      Boys Basketball – 1 State Championship and 1 Runner-up
      Girls Volleyball – 4 Runner-ups

      Boys basketball – 1 State Championship

      Girls Volleyball – 1 State Championship and 1 Runner-Up
      Boys Basketball – 3 Runner-ups
      Girls Cross-Country – 9 State Championships

      Boys Basketball – 1 Runner-up in 1984

      Boys Basketball – 1 Runner-up in 1982

      I did not have the time to do it but I bet if we looked at the CCS and WCAL Websites, that both Riordan and SHCP would have more League and section championships than SI in the Big 3 sports.

      To say SI is preeminent is another example of SI being over-rated and over-hyped.

      • City Lights | January 1, 2012 at 1:02 AM |

        SI and Riordan have the most WCAL titles in basketball. Book it. More than Serra, the Bells, Mitty, Saint Francis, all of em. You sound sad and bitter in your posts. Just be happy your team (SHC) is dominant and might win both the Bruce and state this year.

        • Riordan has the most WCAL basketball championships and the most CCS Boys Basketball Championships.

          Mitty has the most girls CCS basketball championships with 22.

      • Let’s not forget that the purpose of this article was to review moments from this past year, which was 2011. As we should be able to clearly tell from the title, this article is not highlighting all athletic achievements and events from way back in the past. This list of state championships that you took all your time to find and research is irrelevant. It just happens that 2011 was a good year for SI.

      • Boys Basketball
        Riordan has won 14 WCAL Championships.
        St. Ignatius has won 13 WCAL Championships.
        Sacred Heart Cathedral has won 4 WCAL Championships.

        Riordan has won 2 WCAL Championships.
        Sacred Heart Cathedral has won 2 WCAL Championships.
        St. Ignatius has won 1 WCAL Championship.

        Riordan has won 3 WCAL Championships.
        St. Ignatius has won 2 WCAL Championships.

        Central Coast Section
        St. Ignatius has won 2 CCS Championships (2006 Medium Schools, 2011 Div 3).
        Riordan has won 1 CCS Championship (2007 Medium School). Runner’s Up in 1972 and 2000 Div 4.
        Sacred Heart Cathedral has won 1 CCS Championship (2008 Small Schools). Runner’s Up in 2011 Div 3.

        Sacred Heart Cathedral has won 1 CCS Championship (1998 Div 2). Runner’s Up in 1989 Div 2 and 2001 Div 2.
        Saint Ignatius was the CCS Runner Up in 1993 Div 1 and 2000 Div 1.

        Riordan has won 13 CCS Championships, 5 in the lower enrollment divisions, not Division 1.
        Sacred Heart Cathedral has won 8 CCS Championships, 7 in the last 21 years.
        St. Ignatius has won 5 CCS Championships, 2 in the last 21 years.

      • Shcp would not won all. Those girls championships without heavy recruiting by Harrington and SHCP what is the girls doing now just a regular team

        • Johnny Drama | January 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM |

          AND..the 2009 boys championship as well…besides JB,KG,DC and company they also had De’End, Teandre, Slocum before they left the school…they were stacked.

          Miles and Johns also transferred in as sophs, making this class very good also…….

          Give them credit…they do what they have to do!

        • Harrington Recruiting? All the schools recruit, SI doesn’t? Riordan doesn’t? SH doesn’t? Please…They all recruit, thats not even an answer…

        • That’s Harrigan, and they don’t recruit. Otherwise they’d reload every year.

      • Riordan has 3 Nor-Cal Championships.

        1990 Lost Division 1 State Championship to Mater Dei

        2001 Lost Division 3 State Championship to Bishop Montgomery

        2002 Won Division 3 State Championship, beat Centennial

        Riordan Lost in the Nor Cal Semi Finals in Division 1 in1985 and 1986.

        Riordan Lost in the Nor Cal Semi Finals in Division 3 in1998, 1999, and 2008.

        • arhs stats is a joke

        • Please let us be real. SI and SHC are known to be better academic schools. They have that going for them, rather than Riordan. Please think about this, SI has all the facilities for all sports so they naturally have a good pull of steady athletes. SHC does not even have a football field to practice in, anyone who plays football at SHC has to really have heart and want to play the game of football. If you take this to account, the football program is stellar.

          • Johnny Drama | January 2, 2012 at 10:07 AM |

            @Scott…I agree with SI being known as an academic school but SHC? I’ve heard just the opposite. Not sure why this was brought up in a post about athletics? Are you trying to say all of SHC’s athletes are scholars? Are you aware there is a “meditation” class at SHC where the athletes get some shut eye? When I was in HS a few of my classmates left SI due to gradeds and enrolled at SHC. They told me it was much easier to excel academically. I’ve also heard that Riordan offers the most AP courses in SF. I believe SHC people like to think they are on par with SI and better than Riordan but in reality……..they are better than Riordan athletically at the moment and will never be on par with SI.

            So again, what was your point?

            • My point was that SI has the best facilities which is a natural draw. I believe their is a Meditation class at SI not SHC, but whatever. Are you trying to say all SI athletes are scholar athletes? They are definitely not!!SHC may not be as well known as SI in academics but they have a better reputation than Riordan. My point was that the draw for athletes to SI speaks for itself in the facilities, SHC does not even have a field, so the fact that they field a football team that can beat SI or Riordan says a lot or is a laugh to some.

              • Johnny Drama | January 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM |

                You brought up the academics not me Scott. After reading your response, it still isn’t clear why you brought them up. The meditation class is at SHC not SI. I never said anything about SI’s athletes being scholars, again, you mentioned academics for no apparent reason. BUT we do have several athletes year in and year out attending the most prestigious universities in the country. Not just as athletes but as academics as well.

                I will let thr Riordan folks defend their school but I stand by my statement that the folks who perceive SHC is a better school than Riordan are the SHC folks.

      • Feel The Pain | January 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM |

        Riordan has finished as State runner-ups on two other occasions.

        • Since we only appear to agree that your school is the best…My point is.. why else would kids choose SHC vs Riordan then? What is the draw for kids to go to SHC if we don’t have a football field? Why are some kids choosing one over the other then, because according to you, SI gets the best kids academically. Im sure all the respective kids think highly of their institutions but what is the draw then to SHC?

          • Johnny Drama | January 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM |

            The girls Scott…the girls…….

            Do you think Taylor Johns, Yanoj Jackson and Tino Miles transferred in as sophs because of the academics?

            As another poster stated, SHC is the popular choice now due to their athletic success. Johns went to SHC because of the SF Rebel connection. SHC makes it “affordable” for kids to attend SHC if they can play some ball. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, more power to them. If you take Tino Miles off of SHC, they are probably worse than Riordan.

            So to answer your question…GIRLS and ATHLETICS, in that order.

            If I’m not mistaken, Riordan and SHC have the same amount of boys so if you compare apples to apples, the numbers are similar. ARHS stats may be able to shed some light on this for us.

            • Feel The Pain | January 2, 2012 at 8:07 PM |

              Yanoj Jackson, D. Otis, D. Banks were/are SF rebels. Jackson started at Marshall as a Freshman then transferred to SH.

              • Isn’t it against the rules to play varsity if you transfer to a school in the same city if you played varsity at your old school? If that is the case, jackson at SHC shouldn’t have played last year.

            • Yes, how stupid of me, its the GIRLS. All I really wanted to say was SHC does not have a field which is lame. For SH to actually get some quality athletes for football is good. Riordan does have some athletes, but they so far have not translated to any wins. Yes, SI is the best, hail to SI.

              • Im sure you can ask those kids yourself who transferred in if they thought they could get a better education at their old school or at SHC.

            • I have no idea how many boys are at SHC,but Riordan has only about 530 boys.

              If half the students at SHC are boys then SHC should have over 600 boys.

              CCS enrollments for the Three Schools for basketball:
              SI: 1448
              SHC: 1249
              AR: 1060 (Enrollment Doubled for single gender schools, so 53o enrollment)

              • Cats Pride. Thanks for pointing out No. 9 on list. I know it didnt mention coach, but that is a nice news-worth story.

                As for Johnny Drama, your handle says it all and epitomizes all the negative impression that people have of SI – pure arrogance. As for ALL the fine qualities of SI (facilities, academic achievements), your blantant-blind loyalty, all the while spitting on other schools, is what make ALL WCAL schools look bad in the eyes on non-WCAL supporters. Some SHC (and to a lesser extent the Riordan) supporters are just as bad (ie ignorant) about the history of each the the City’s WCAL schools.

                Not everybody (ie “best students”) want to go to SI-that would seem to me to surprise you. As does not everybody wants to attend SHC and Riordan. All parents have their own reasons for investing in their kids education; some are personnel, financial, special attention, needs, etc. This doesnt make them any better than the parents who send their children to a AAA/BCL school. Decission are made for a variety of reasons. As for your comment that more kids, get accepted to high-teir east coast schools (not true). What does that say for every SI student who didnt go East Coast (or became a cop, fireman, civil servant), are they a failure? God-forbid an SI student takes the junior college route. You more than anybody should recognize the pressure kids from all schools (particularly SI) are feeling to succeed. It’s bordering on epidemic. God-forbid, adolescent is tough enough.

                Again, St. Ignatius has fantastic facilities for students to strive academically, spiritually and athletically. There is a reason why a lot of kids (or their parents) want to go there. The question should be with their enrollment and facilities, why dont they win more on the field?

                Look, loyalties run deep, San Francisco is a small town and EVERYBODY appreciates the parochialnist of the Unholy Trinity. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, you respond to some post that are provincial and ignorant in themselves. Just dont affirm SI arrogance when making your point. You make us all look bad.

  14. Track coverage? High jumper,runners, making it to the state meet? Pretty talented athletes. For the 2012 year you should try to cover girls sports equally as the boys.

    • I may be off a year, but the University Cross Country team continued success at State and their coach who continues to battle health issues should garner some respect and mention here.

      • I didn’t know University’s cross country coach is battling health issues. That says a lot about the coach’s determination and dedication to the team.

        • Yes, ESPN actually did a coverage on him and the team last year, very touching…

          • Thanks Anon. Luckily Cats Pride provided the link so I could watch it. One has to admire someone who is battling health issue, yet, continues to coach (and is successful to!)

      • it got the 9th spot, and yea Coach Jim Tracy has Lou Gehrig’s disease – yet still continues to coach. I’m pretty sure a documentary is set to come out soon, especially since it received so much coverage and support whenthe story was posted on espn, here’s the link to the espn video if anyone’s interested.

  15. Hey JB, this year, why don’t you do a “Top 50” moments of 2012? That way everything will be covered and you won’t receive complaints about why certain events were left off of the list. It will probably save you the headache of reading the complaints!

    • Even if you have a top 50 moments in 2012, someone will complain about their son or school not being acknowledged for getting 1st in the shot put.

      • JJ: Sadly, you are absolutely correct. I think some parents do come on here and complain about their child not getting the recognition they THINK he/she deserves. That’s a very sad thing.

  16. City Lights | January 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM |

    That reminds me. Thank you SF Preps! With all the whining and complaining I thought it would be right to wish your staff a Happy New Year and a wholehearted thanks for filling the massive void that existed for SF prep sports even before the Chron downsized. Keep the scores and stories comin…

    • I totally agree with City Lights comment and this site provides terrific coverage and valuable discussion forum. Since the title of this article is “Top 25 moments of 2011”, one glaring ommission to me is:

      No X? – SFHS Sports: SanFranPreps saved!

      At the 11th hour of the self-imposed but financially necessary deadline, in August 2011 raises enough funds (thanks in major part to an anonymous donor who contributed $30k in matching funds) to continue for the 2011-2012 school year! Founder and sportswriter Jeremy Balan is able to stay in SF and continues to fill a previously long-lasting massive void in covering high school sports in the City by the Bay.

      • To Mr J Balan , Sir I salute your resolve and efforts to continue to bring coverage of high sch events here in the Bay . With the state of today’s economy , it shows that you have the interests of our leaders of tomorrow at heart , you , in my books deserve our local ‘ Nobel Prize ‘ . Good Luck in your future endeavors and may the new year bring lots of prosperity to you and your loved ones . – Cheers !

    • I agree with all who have posted regarding this comment. Thanks JB and staff. I said it before, but SF hasn’t had this type of coverage (or anything close to it) since the days of the SF Youth Sports and Loco Sports television shows. I wish all of you a Blessed New Year.

  17. Kezar for Keeps | January 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM |

    All of this whining is so typical from the non-SI folks. It’s really sad how jealous so many are. I’m a public school grad and as much as it pains me to acknowledge, SI had a pretty incredible year and AT THIS TIME is the best athletic program in the city. I wish the public schools or even Riordan would challenge SI and SH in that respect, but it’s just not gonna happen in the current climate of HS sports.

    • Riordan has been off for 3 or 4 years now, they will be back. SHC will go back to becoming the laughing stock of mens athletics in the wcal, like they always have.

      • Feel The Pain | January 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM |

        Don’t know if they will go back to being the laughing stock of mens atheltics in the WCAL but they will definitely fall back to the pack. Not putting down SH athletic teams, but in general, power on athletic teams (in the CITY) is cyclical and every school will have their moments of glory. Unless the school is say, a DeLaSalle who is competitive on the state/national scene annually, there is always going to be parity.

        Like I said, I am not knocking any of the City WCAL schools, but there will never be a run of dominance by any school in any single sport, especially Football or Basketball, since the Riordan Basketball teams of the 80’s and early 90’s, when they dominated all of the WCAL at that time. I have to say that SI’s facilitiies are a major drawing point for student/athletes to go there, so they may or may not have an advantage.

        When all is said and done, I think we will all root for ANY city school, whether they are a AAA, BCAL, or WCAL school when they reach the post season. I am not for any school in particular but enjoy commenting since I’ve been watching games/matches since the 70’s in both the AAA and WCAL. Must say, with the changes going over at Riordan, I can see them making nice progress and a team to watch in the next few years.

      • Keep dreamin’, Anon. Riordan won 3 games for their whole football program while their frosh went scoreless and gave-up 390 points on the year. Their hoops program is barely a shell of what it once was. They haven’t played decent baseball since the late 70’s (although that will change with Matt Gallegos at the helm) and their soccer team has been winless in their past 105 games. Now that’s a laughingstock.

        • I agree with IC Stars on this one. It will take at least 5 years for Riordan to be relevant again.

  18. SHC Defense was way better than Riordan’s and for that matter, even in some respects better than SI’s defense in 2011. In the CCS game, SI could have scored way more than 21 points if the defense didn’t stop them. Yes, Tino Miles was a large part of the offense that is true. Next year, they will not have him. Anyway, my point, Mr. Drama is that SI has the best facilities, no one can argue or dispute that so SI naturally has a draw to the most athletes. SHC has no field, but we have girls according to you. SHC has had a few athletes attend some prestigious universities too. Anyhow, you are the one saying SHC and Riordan are under SI. Im pretty sure at this point in time, SHC does have a better academic program than Riordan, will this always be the case, Feel the Pain is right, all things are cyclical, SI will get its chance too.

    • Scott, how many times are you going to state SHC had better academics than Riordan. Just because you repeat it numerous times does not make it true. You sound silly saying it. IC Stars, my only response is to look at who our AD has been. He led us into the abyss but now he is goooooooooooone.

  19. City Lights | January 2, 2012 at 11:39 PM |

    SHC has struck gold in the shady realm of AAU. Great move to hire so many Rebels coaches and start the yearly pipeline to the Irish. I’m happy for all the kids getting free rides for their athletic skills. Why not? I wonder who the next Kevin Greene/Taylor Johns superstud sophomore transfer will be.

    “I gotta get mine. You gotta get yours.” – MC Breed, 1993

    • There are no “free rides”.

    • Well said City Lights!

    • how many rebel coaches are at SHC

      • The frosh A coach also coaches the Rebels 13 or 14U team. The former SHC varsity assistant Otis coached the rebels high school team. He coached the Rebels when Herm, jack, Yanoj jackson and his son played and now all 4 play varsity for SHC. There is definitley a connection. Taylor Johns played on the same Rebels team as Stephen Domingo also and him and Josh Fox played with the rebels over the summer. Gione Edwards and Porter from Mission also played rebels and went to SHC. they both left and are now playing for Mission.

  20. I also just wanted to remind JB that the increasing level of discourse (mostly argumentative) on sfpreps simply means that you are relevant, and providing us fans with a great tool to do what we love (talk and follow sf hs sports), and gives the athletes the recognition they deserve and need. Don’t ever let the constant critique and argument posts get you down, it only means your doing exactly the right thing. Don’t stop and have a great new year!

  21. the amount of discussion about SI and SHCP on this top list article is sickening. CIty Sports in general are very weak in comparison to the rest of the united states and even california. What about Marin Academy losing to Branson in the NCS finals 1-0. What about International High School traveling 5 hours to Ft. Brag (two time runner up in NCS boys soccer D II) and winning 1-0. i am slightly favored by these smaller private schools for their ability to preform at very high level (often higher than Si or SHCP). football aside.

    • Kezar for Keeps | January 3, 2012 at 1:20 AM |

      What part of the city are Branson and Marin Academy in? If you want coverage on those schools read the Marin newspaper. I believe it says “SAN FRANCISCO High School Sports News” at the top of the page.

      • International High School is in SAN FRANCISCO…I agree, who cares about Marin schools…

      • Arguments aside , let the ball season begin . Let the results speak for themselves , get behind your team and support them and root for them with every ounce of energy one has . Be fair to all , everyone deserves props for even being a part of a team , remember it takes time , effort and a great deal of hard work . I salute you all , no matter what school or sport . You are all ‘Champions’ in my books . So , we the support system , I recommend we channel our energies in a positive direction whilst encouraging our teams to strive for success .

        Good luck to all and stay safe , Go Irish .

      • Kezar for Keeps: Good one! Some people, obviously, can’t read!!!!!

    • But they don’t preform at higher level than SI or SHC.

      Now, Branson, in Marin County, did preform at a higher level when the previous coach was coaching (Jonas Honick in 2006 to 2008)

    • There is much discussion about SHC and SI because they have the top consistant sports programs in the City. Myself, I’m not a fan of either school, so I understand where you’re coming from. HOWEVER, no one can deny that they play in one of the toughest leagues in Northern California and are extremely successful in almost every sport that is played.

      The AAA isn’t as strong as it was in the past, but Lincoln, Washington, and Lowell, for the most part, puts out competitive teams every year. All of the City teams may not be up to par, but they are, by no means, weak as a whole. SHC, Riordan, and SI can match up with ANYONE (and it has been proven this year time and time again). Lowell, Lincoln, Wash, University, Stuart Hart, Lick-Wilmerding will almost always be competitive.

      The problem with your mindset is the fact that a lot of people outside of the City have your misguided mindset and think that City sports are weak. However, that’s fine with us. When you underestimate your opponent, that’s when you get beat! Please read the articles, City teams just went to Southern California and beat teams from SoCal and teams from abroad. We are not as weak as you think we are!

    • Geez Jagz, you’re enough to make me back-up SI.

  22. SI Soccer Dad | January 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM |

    Thanks for posting the list. I was glad to see SI’s championship win over a much-more talented Bellarmine team make the top 25. Whereas I appreciated the mention of the goal scorers in those 1-0 wins, it was the defense, particularly the work of defensive player of the year Cullen Roche and the goal keeping by Reuben Young in the Bellarmine game (whose performance SF Preps aptly called “transcendent”) that got them there.

    Thanks again for providing coverage of San Francisco high school sports.

    • It’s a big deal anytime the Bells lose a soccer game. SHC had a 2-1 lead on them last month until Bellarmine scored late. Game of the week is today’s SHC-SI match.

  23. it will take a few years for riordan to get back on track as far as athletics. president daly has a firm plan in place for the school to be successful moving forward. new academic facilities are in place for the past few years with additional improvements to come. the opening of the boarding school brings in significant $$$ and the plans for the renovation of the gym, new student health facilities and new field / facilities are also all planned. if you don’t believe me – go to the next open house or see the website!
    let’s not even go there when it comes to academics. all the schools offer an excellent college prep curriculum…i don’t think the boarding school would be filling up so fast if academics were below standard…also, who is last sf student athlete to go to stanford after already being accepted at harvard – tyrone mcgraw and the next year issac johnson from riordan. there are many that go on to jc that are not only from riordan, but si and shc, too. as many posters are blasting riordan, you can’t blast their support their teams win or lose. how can burlingame have more fans show up for a game vs. si AT si?!? the best ambassador for the City is the Riordan Band – Giants Parade, Chinese New Years, Rose Parade, Macy’s Parade, etc…almost all of the kids never picked up an instrument! good luck to the all the teams this year!

  24. sports time | January 3, 2012 at 4:36 PM |

    Their is only 1 Rebel coach at SHC coaching and thats the frosh A team coach Feraji. Josh Fox is a St.Marys sf kid along with Zack Tapel, they played with the rebels last year only. St.Marys sf aau program also had Yonaz Jackson at SHC and Antonio Aguilar from SI and Mike Loginoff. SHC is loaded this year and lost Jackson and Tapel for the season due to injuries. The WCAL will be tough this year with the top 3 should be 1) Mitty 2)SHC 3)Serra…Good luck kids and stay healthy!!

  25. Learn how to spell “Yonaj Jackson” never was a St.Marys kid always been a SF Rebel but anyways he just play for St.Mary’s time to time to stay active along with his little bro Josh


    • Two Real….you need to stop screaming here with all your caps and poor grammar..Double check on your comment regarding the University coach and his association with the Rebels.

  27. SHC has great soccer thanks to SHC Head Coach Jeff Wilson

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