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High School Sports: Santa Margarita Catholic Has Winningest Year Ever

The Catholic school clinched six CIF team championships and nine individual/relay CIF championships.

Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. Photo courtesy of SMCHS.
Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. Photo courtesy of SMCHS.

From a press release:

Santa Margarita Catholic High School made history over the course of the 2013-2014 school year, winning six CIF team championships and nine individual/relay CIF championships, both of which are the most in school history. Prior to this year, SMCHS had won five CIF team championships on three separate occasions (1996-1998), and in 2000 celebrated eight individual/relay CIF champions. The six CIF titles achieved this past school year marked championships numbers 48 through 53 in the school’s 27-year history, all under athletic director Rich Schaaf.

The stretch of championships got underway during the winter season with the school claiming four team championships and two individual champions. The SMCHS girls’ water polo successfully defended their title in a CIF-SS Division 2 rematch of last year’s championship game against Mater Dei High School by a score of 5-4. With that win, the Eagles clinched the program’s third CIF Championship in school history and marked the 48th CIF Championship for the athletic program, the first of the 2013-2014 school year.

The girls’ basketball team earned their way to a CIF-SS Division 3A Championship game against Inglewood High School. The Eagles were led by Zaire Williams’ 18 point game and freshman standout Tori Anderson’s 13 points to claim the Division 3A title in a final score of 53-41, the 49th CIF Championship for the athletic program and the second of the 2013-2014 school year. 

The SMCHS girls’ soccer team came off their 5th consecutive Trinity League Championship and clinched their first CIF Championship since 2002. The Eagles reached the CIF-SS Division 1 Championship game where they blanked the Chargers of Edison High School, 3-0. With that win, the Eagles clinched the soccer program’s third CIF Championship in school history and secured the historic 50th CIF Championship for the athletic program and the third of the 2013-2014 school year. 

The boys’ basketball team advanced to their second consecutive CIF-SS Division 3AA appearance where they took on Brea Olinda High School. The Eagles were led by senior point guard Devonte Klines’ 15 points and spread the wealth amongst the rest of the team with seven other Eagles getting in on the action, including Brett Oosdyke (6 points), Sjur Berg (9 points),Colin Ferrier (5 points), Joe Furstinger (9 points), Ray Shou (8 points), and Paul Schneider(1 point). The Eagles clinched the 51st CIF Championship for the athletic program and the fourth and final of the winter season. 

Our girls swim team claimed the fifth CIF Championship of the 2013-2014 school year and the second in the swim program’s history, while rewriting the record books in the process. In all, the Eagles accumulated 280 points to outdistance themselves from the runner up, JSerra, with 209 points. Katie McLaughlin headlined the day for the Eagles as the junior set a national record in the 100 Butterfly with her time of 51.78. Prior to that race, McLaughlin also claimed a CIF title in the 200 Freestyle. This championship marked the first of the spring season, the fifth for the school year, and the 52nd for the athletic program. 

The baseball team secured the Division 1 CIF Championship at Dodger Stadium with their victory over Foothill High School, 3-1. The Eagles rode the right arm of UCLA-bound Griffin Canning’s11 strikeouts and had sparks of offense from Jordan Steele and Nick Meyer to outlast the Knights. The Eagles had made it to the championship game on two other occasions back in 1994 and 2002 only to finish as the runner up both times. This win clinched the sixth and final CIF Championship of the school year and the 53rd overall for the SMCHS athletic program.

From an individual/relay standpoint, wrestlers Jeff Holsinger and Nathan Fier kicked it off in the winter on the wrestling mats. SMCHS crowned individual CIF Champions in Jeff Holsinger and Nathan Fier. Holsinger defended his CIF championship at the 220-pound weight class. He won all five of his matches by pin and was named the co-MVP of the upper weight division. At the opposite end of the weight spectrum, senior Nathan Fier was crowned CIF Champion at the 106-pound division to lock up the first two individual CIF Championships of the school year.

In the pool, the Eagles claimed a total of five CIF individual/relay titles. On the girls, Katie McLaughlin staked claim in four separate titles, including the 100-yard butterfly (51.78, a national record) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.66), as well as the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays (Camryn Barry, Raquel Remick, Lizzie Devitt, Katie McLaughlin; Lizzie Devitt, Sydney Franzen, Emily Boggess, Katie McLaughlin). On the boys’ side, Grant Shoults won a CIF Championship in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:35.99, which now ranks as the fourth fastest swim in the U.S. this year and is the fastest time in Orange County.

In track and field, last year’s Orange County Register Female Athlete of the Year Kaitlyn Merrittsuccessfully defended her 2012 and 2013 CIF titles in the pole vault, as she was crowned the 2014 pole vault CIF Champion with her clearance of 13’03”, her third consecutive title. On the boys’ side, senior Austin Tinsley was crowned the 2014 CIF Champion in the 300 hurdles with his time of 37.75 in just his second year competing in track. Tinsley would go on to win the CIF-SS Masters Meet the following week, the first boy to do so in SMCHS history, with his time of 37.25 which now ranks as the sixth fastest time in Orange County history.

Haley Wan, a member of the girls’ water polo and swim teams, became the first SMCHS student-athlete, male or female, to earn the title of Orange County Athlete of the Year which is voted upon the Orange County Athletic Directors Association. Wan will be attending Princeton University in the fall and will be a member of the Water Polo team and is a four-year varsity letterman for the SMCHS girls’ water polo and swim teams. As a freshman water polo player, Haley was named to the 1st team All-Trinity League, 2nd Team All-CIF, was named a Scholar Athlete and Rookie of the year. Her sophomore year, she was named the team captain, 1st team All-Trinity League, 1st team All-CIF and a Scholar Athlete. As a junior, she was named the team captain, 1st team All-Trinity League, 1st team All-CIF, Scholar Athlete, CIF Division 2 Player of the Year, Orange County Player of the Year, NISCA All-American 2nd Team, HI-Cali All-American 1st Team, set the school records for season steals and season field blocks while headlining the CIF Division 2 Championship team. With a banner senior season, Haley was again named team captain, SMCHS MVP, Trinity League MVP, CIF Division 2 Player of the Year, Orange County Player of the Year, and set new school records for career goals, career steals, and career field blocks.

A year removed from Kaitlyn Merritt being named the OC Register’s Female Athlete of the Year after being crowned the California State Champion in the Pole Vault, another underclassman took home the same top honors in junior Katie McLaughlin earning the OC Register’s Female Athlete of the Year. McLaughlin, a four-time CIF Champion as an Eagle, also set a National Record in one of those races, the 100-yard butterfly in an impressive time of 51.78. Going down as potentially one of the most decorated swimmers in Orange County history, which is rich in talent year after year, McLaughlin is now an 11-time CIF Champion dating back to her freshman and sophomore years at JSerra before transferring to Santa Margarita this past school year.

First year head coach Brian Weathersby earned the Orange County Register’s girls’ water polo coach of the year honors. Weathersby helped guide the Eagles to their second consecutive Trinity League Championship and successfully defended the division 2 CIF Championship crown as the Eagles defeated Mater Dei for the second consecutive year.

Joining Weathersby on the coach’s podium was Chuck Morales after being named the Orange County Register’s girls’ soccer coach of the year. Morales helped guide the soccer team to a division 1 CIF Championship with their victory of Edison High School, 3-0, their first CIF Championship since 2002. The girls’ also clinched their fifth consecutive Trinity League championship.

To view the comprehensive list of All-County Athletes from the 2013-2014 school year, please Click Here

Brainwashed_In_Church June 19, 2014 at 09:32 PM
Does this school offer "scholarships" to athletes?
Nicole June 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM
no, but thanks for your concern
Brainwashed_In_Church June 19, 2014 at 11:39 PM
"Santa Margarita Catholic High School offers awards in the form of tuition assistance and scholarships" from http://www.smhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=25261&type=d
Brainwashed_In_Church June 19, 2014 at 11:42 PM
SMCHS Average SAT Score = 1640 Tesoro Average SAT Score = 1671

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