Prep athletes earn CIF, Bay League honors
Members of Mira Costa’s boys water polo team led a list of local athletes who were selected to All-CIF teams honoring the top athletes in each division in the CIF Southern Section.
Top-seeded Mira Costa (27-6) held off second-seeded Santiago/Corona for a 6-5 victory to claim the CIF Southern Section Division 3, giving the Mustangs their fourth CIF title and first since 2006.
Mira Costa head coach Jon Reichardt was named the CIF Division 3 Coach of the Year while the Mustang’s Austin Norris shared Player of the Year honors with Tanner Shore of Santiago/Corona.
“Being named Coach of the Year is great but it only reflects the staff that I have around me,” said Reichardt, who also was named the Bay League Coach of the Year. “My other coaches, Dave Halushka and Damon Kern, work above and beyond what they get paid for. Dave especially has done more work than is required of him. He is a big reason that we won the title this year and needs to be recognized.”
Norris also shared the Bay League MVP award with teammate Drew Rogerson, who was named to the All-CIF first team along with fellow Mustangs Ed Jeon and Andrew Todd.
“It is an immense honor to be awarded co-player of the year,” Norris said. “I couldn’t have done it alone. It wasn’t only the starters that were in the game passing me the ball, but also the subs that scrimmaged against us in the games, and the teammates that cheered us all on.”
Also representing the Bay League on the All-CIF Division 3 first team were Palos Verdes standouts Zack Trotter and Duncan Mactavish. Trotter was named Most Outstanding Player in the Bay League.
Mira Costa’s Nick Dale and Cory Erickson were named to the All-CIF second team and Gabe Smith made the third team.
Andrew Todd, Erickson and Smith represented Mira Costa on the All-Bay League first team. Andrew Burdiak, Dale and Jeon made the second team.
“This group of kids was the definition of a team this year,” Norris added. “We were like brothers inside and outside of the water. We read a lot of literature as a team. We read Phil Jackson’s “Sacred Hoops” and one aspect of it stuck with us. We tried to follow the teachings and actions of the Lakota warriors, which emphasized selflessness and teamwork. You can even see us holding up our Lakota “L” in our CIF winning photos. Along with my other co-captains, Drew Rogerson and Gabe Smith, we had strong captains who gave their all to the sport and the team. Although the leadership was strong and needed in some ways, it was not needed in the motivational aspect. We all wanted the title very badly. I know my fellow seniors and I have been talking about winning CIF since our freshman year and we knew that of we put the work in, we could accomplish anything. “
Redondo Union seniors Jonathan Ortiz and Davy Thomas were All-Bay League first team selections. Lucas Duffy made the second team for the Sea Hawks.
Redondo Union setter Norene Iosia was selected to the All-CIF Division 1AA team for the second season after leading the Sea Hawks to a 31-6 record and No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The sophomore was also named MVP of the Bay League.
Senior outside hitter Briana Lanktree was voted Co-Most Outstanding Player in the Bay League. She was tournament MVP after leading the Sea Hawks to the championship of the Redondo Power Classic and was an all-tournament selection in the Dave Mohs Tournament.
The Sea Hawks were represented on the All-Bay League first team by junior middle blocker Abril Bustamante and junior outside hitter Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani. Redondo junior middle blocker Kristen Hamlin made the second team.
Mira Costa junior outside hitter Skylar Caputo earned All-CIF honors after leading the Mustangs to the Division 1AA quarterfinals where they pushed eventual champion Los Alamitos to the limit in a five-set loss.
Caputo was selected to the all-tournament team at the Asics California Challenge and was an All-Bay League first team pick.
Mira Costa senior setter Sammy Furlan was named the league’s Co-Most Outstanding Player and senior Brooke Feld was selected as Defensive Player of the Year.
Also selected to the first team was junior middle blocker Katie Rethmeyer. Senior outside hitter Lan Nguyen and junior middle blocker Erin Sagisi were named to the second team.
Other local players selected to All-CIF teams included North Torrance outside hitter Sabryn Roberts and South Torrance setter Kori Kutsch (Div. 2AA), who shared Bay League MVP honors; Chadwick middle blocker Clare Lenihan (Div. 2A) and Division 4A Vistamar outside hitter Natalie Stephanus (Div. 4A).
After leading Mira Costa to a second place finish in the Bay League and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the CIF Northern Division playoffs, Sebastian Franck-Love headed a list of eight Bay League players who earned All-CIF honors that included two of his Mustang teammates.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Franck-Love was also named the Bay League Offensive Player of the Year leading Mira Costa to second place in Bay League and quarterfinal appearance in Northern Division The senior was a workhorse for the Mustangs, gaining 1,958 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns. He rushed for 100 yards or more in nine of 12 games despite being held out most of the second halves of two blowout games.
Mira Costa senior linebacker Brandon Mills was named to the All-CIF first team and shared Bay League Defensive Player of the Year honors with West Torrance’s Raymond Lima, who also was selected at the CIF Northern Division Defensive Player of the Year.
Mira Costa defensive lineman Jahlani Tavai also represented the Bay league on the All-CIF first team along with Redondo offensive lineman Harry Whitson, Palos Verdes offensive back Tyler Moore and defensive back Lucas Cooper, and West Torrance defensive lineman Josh Allen.
Palos Verdes senior quarterback Dan DiRocco was named the Bay League MVP after leading the Sea Kings to their third consecutive league title.
Mira Costa had six players make the All-Bay League first team with offensive lineman Joe Anderson, wide receiver Harrison Morrow, Tavai, linebacker Jake Shapiro, defensive back Glen Mitchell and punter Casey Sublette being honored.
Mustangs selected to the second team were offensive linemen Jim Millea and Mike Roberts along with defensive lineman Khalil Sonko, linebacker Tre Searcy and defensive back PJ Onusconich.
Redondo placed quarterback Harrison Faecher, tight end Colin Hindle and Whitson on the All-Bay League first team.
Sea Hawks named to the second team included offensive lineman Dylan Garcia, defensive lineman Cedric Muzik, linebacker Jamaal Perkins, defensive back Salesi Fifita and kicker Dominik Eberle.
In the Pioneer League, El Segundo quarterback Lars Nootbar and his favorite target, wide receiver Jamie Stewart shared the league’s MVP award. North Torrance sophomore quarterback Mique Juarez was named Offensive Player of the Year.
All three players were named to the All-CIF Northwest Division team along with El Segundo Offensive lineman Gabriel Rocha, receiver Nick Karsseboom, defensive back Isaac Luna and Torrance utility player Andrew Irvine.
Mira Costa sophomore Andrea Lee was named the Bay League Player of the Year after winning the CIF State Individual Championship and leading the Mustangs to
Mira Costa’s Megan Kim and Marni Murez were All-Bay League first team picks while teammates Jennifer Johnson, Ashley Kim and Danielle Richman were named to the second team.
Redondo junior Robynn Ree was a first team selection.