Mario Morales, athletic director at Laguna Beach High School, said
he was pleased with where the teams had gone this year and the
direction in which the entire program is heading.
“I am really proud of all of our teams,” he said. “We won a CIF
championship and had teams playing at new levels of CIF competition.
“This past year was one of growth for our entire athletic
Here’s a look back at some of the more outstanding moments that
took place this past year in Laguna Beach sports:
The big news to hit the Laguna Beach High campus came last
February, when the boys’ soccer team laid claim to the CIF Southern
Section Division V championship.
Laguna, the No. 3 entry out of the Pacific Coast League, rose to
the postseason challenge and went on to edge Fillmore, 2-1, in the
division title game.
Senior Ryan Wolfe was named the division’s offensive player of the
Austen Ezzell and Patrick Bell were picked for All-CIF. Ezzell was
picked for the first team, and Patrick Bell was picked for the second
Laguna’s girls’ water polo team also advanced to CIF play and
reached the quarterfinal round.
Tracy Herdman and Lina Moore received All-CIF Division IV first
team honors, and Annie Preble was named to the second team in girls’
Laguna’s boys’ volleyball team, the PCL runner-up, advanced to the
quarterfinal round of the Division IV playoffs.
Junior Matt Anderson and senior Ben Dwyer were picked for All-CIF,
Anderson to the first team and Dwyer to the second team..
Laguna had four of its athletes -- Ryan Simpson, Brendan Bowler,
Anil Adams and Addison Dowd -- qualify for the CIF track and field
Laguna’s baseball team was continually in the hunt for a
postseason playoff berth, but its bid fell just short.
Martina Speare and Jason Boyd were named Laguna Beach High’s
female and male athletes of the 2001-02 school year.
Laguna sophomore-to-be Shawn Pfendler, holder of two school swim
records, competed at the 2002 Long Course Junior Olympics.
What’s in a name?
A the start of this school year, the Laguna Beach High student
body voted to discontinue using the nickname, “Artists,” in favor of
the “Breakers,” the school’s original nickname.
Laguna’s football team earned the school’s first playoff berth
since 1987. The Breakers played top-seed La Habra tough in a first
round loss, and the Highlanders went on to win the Division IX
championship earlier this month.
Senior running back Donnelle Darling set numerous school records
during the football season.
Laguna’s boys’ water polo and girls’ tennis teams moved up a few
divisions and played their first year at the Division I level.
The water polo team reached the quarterfinal round before being
eliminated by eventual champion Long Beach Poly, and the tennis team
advanced to the semifinal round.
“It was really nice to see those two teams make the move up to
Division I, and not skip a beat,” Morales said. “We are the smallest
public school in Orange County, and our kids took the move in stride.
They have plenty to be proud of.”
Laguna’s boys’ cross-country team won the Division IV race at the
prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational and went on to qualify for the CIF
Finals. Senior runner Brendan Bowler won the boys’ PCL individual
Laguna’s girls’ water polo team, which hit the pool in November,
jumped up two divisions and competed in Division II.
* MIKE SCIACCA covers sports for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. He can be reached at 494-4321 or by e-mail at