By Kyle Grozen
As the cold and cloud-covered days of February move towards the crisp spring air of March, the winter sports are winding down their seasons by competing for Division III CIF championships. Though only twice winners of San Diego’s greatest achievement in high school athletics (girls basketball in 2008 and boys tennis this past spring), Canyon Crest’s teams have shown tremendous improvement in recent years, and three winter squads marched into CIF play in search of a championship.
Boys’ soccer earned the 7-seed in Division III and started off the tournament with a bang, mauling 10-seed Monte Vista 5-0 last Wednesday behind junior Max Abramson’s hat trick. Spirits high and momentum peaking, the team traveled to St. Augustine on Saturday to take on the 2-seeded Saints. Canyon Crest battled the heavily favored all-boys school from Hillcrest throughout, but ultimately fell 1-0, ending their season in the quarterfinals. Though the team fell short of the finals, most of the players were pleased with the effort their team put forward, especially in the last game. “This was our best game of the year, and even though we fell short, I’m excited to see what next year’s team can do,” said senior and team captain Eric Schade.
Rewarded for their solid effort all season long, girls’ soccer was given the 5-seed in Division III and earned the right to host a home game in the first round. In that game last Tuesday, the girls cruised by Olympian High School 3-0 thanks to what Sarina Rogers called “a solid team-wide defensive effort.” That win earned them the right to travel to Del Norte on Friday to battle the 4-seeded Nighthawks, a young team anxious to prove itself in CIF competition. Though the Ravens played a spirited game, they ultimately fell 3-0, overmatched by the speed and strength of the Nighthawks. In spite of this loss, the girls have kept their heads up, and because the team had such a young core this year, coaches and players alike are excited to see what next year will bring.
Following a successful season, boys’ basketball had also qualified for CIF. After receiving the 6-seed, which junior David Twyman described as “disappointing but motivational,” the boys played what they thought would be their final home game last Wednesday night, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat 11-seed Crawford 51-48. Just moments after the game, the boys were thrilled to hear that the 14-seed, La Jolla, had upset 3-seed Montgomery High School, meaning CCA would get another opportunity to play in front of their home fans Saturday night. In a back-and-forth game on Saturday, the boys cruised away in the last few minutes to give themselves a 51-42 victory in the true final home game for seniors Scott Patterson and JP Chenevey. The team now enters the semifinals, where they will face a talented and heavily favored St. Augustine squad, but they are confident. “At this point, anyone can win it all,” said junior Aaron Schrock, a starting guard. “And we believe it’s going to be us.” Unfortunately the Ravens lost, but their strong season will only lead them to a better next season.
Though girls’ basketball and girls’ water polo failed to qualify for the CIF championships this season, both teams feature young cores and are sure to rebound next season. All of the CCA winter sports have put together excellent seasons, as shown in their success in league and CIF competition.