Four locals earn All-CIF nods

The Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball team, which took runner-up honors in CIF Southern Section Division 2 last month, placed two members from its squad — senior opposite Robbie McKnight and senior libero Troy Donenfeld — on the 2011 Volleyball All-CIF Southern Section team.

Nine players make up the team, headed by Player of the Year Spencer Haly, a senior middle blocker who helped guide Corona del Mar to the Division 2 championship. The Sea Kings' Steve Conti was named Coach of the Year. The Sea Kings defeated Laguna in the Division 2 title match May 21.

When the All-CIF teams were announced Monday, it began a memorable week for McKnight, who along with Donenfeld, was set to graduate from Laguna Beach on Thursday.

Next week, McKnight will be in Minneapolis playing for the Balboa Bay boys' 18s team at the Junior Olympics.

"It's a great honor and accomplishment to make All-CIF," said McKnight, who also was a first-team All-CIF selection last year and is this year's Most Valuable Player for the Orange Coast League.

Donenfeld, a first-team all-leaguer this year, was a third-team All-CIF pick a year ago.

"I'm kind of bummed that not everyone on our team made it, because volleyball's a team sport," McKnight continued. "I think Troy had a great season and is really deserving of this honor.

"This is a great way to end my high school career."

McKnight, who said he is nursing a swollen left knee, plans to play summer beach tournaments with former Breaker Travis Woloson. Last year, Woloson keyed Laguna's run to a CIF championship and was named the CIF Division 2 Player of the Year.

McKnight will attend USC in the fall and said he will play for the Trojans men's volleyball team.




Seniors Keaton Jones and Chris Paul took turns taking down opponents from the mound during the 2011 baseball season, and both were recognized Monday as members of the All-Southern Section second team.

The team was selected by the California Baseball Coaches Assn.

"I think it's an honor for both of them," Laguna Coach Jeff Sears said. "The hard work pays off in the long run.

"They are two great kids who deserve everything they get. Both will play huge roles at the next level."

Jones, the Pitcher of the Year in the Orange Coast League who went 7-0 with six saves, earned All-CIF recognition for the first time. Paul, the MVP of the OCL who batted .495 and had a 10-2 pitching record, made All-CIF for the third consecutive year.

Bishop Amat junior Rio Ruiz was named Player of the Year and Andy Nieto, who guided the Lancers to the Division 4 championship, was chosen Coach of the Year in the division.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World