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Looking Back: Flintridge Prep enjoys reservoir of success in 2018-19 campaign

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Flintridge Prep boys’ tennis coach Roger Hollomand holds the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship plaque after the Rebels won their first CIF title in program history in May.
(Raul Roa | Staff Photographer)

This is the latest in a series looking back on the sports accomplishments of the area high schools during the 2018-19 year. This installment is Flintridge Prep:

There proved to be quite a few impressive story lines that culminated in a memorable year for Flintridge Prep. The boys’ tennis team won its first CIF championship and the girls’ water polo program reached its first CIF title match. The boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams dominated the Prep League and beyond and the girls’ basketball team made yet another deep playoff run.

The boys’ tennis team , coached by Roger Hollomand, received the third seed in the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs and rolled throughout the postseason. Flintridge Prep enjoyed its finest moment by posting a 10-8 win against No. 1 Maranatha to win the title at the Claremont Club in May. Flintridge Prep (12-5; third in Liberty League) reached the championship match with wins against California Math and Science Academy, Jurupa Valley, Segerstrom and No. 2 Bishop Montgomery. Flintridge Prep became the first area team to win a boys’ tennis title since Hoover High won a Division I championship in 2002.

The fall season turned out to be successful for Flintridge Prep.

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The school’s boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams, along with the football and boys’ water polo squads all qualified for the postseason.

In cross-country, the boys’ squad captured their 21st league crown in the last 22 seasons and the girls won league after taking second the previous season. Carson Hasbrouck was named the finals most valuable runner for his first-place finish in 15 minutes 57.28 seconds.

At the CIF Southern Section Division V finals in Riverside, Flintridge Prep’s teams finished in second place. Both teams had four top-25 finishers.

Flintridge Prep’s rich tradition at the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno continued.

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Although Flintridge Prep wasn’t able to capture a fifth consecutive title in girls’ competition and snap a tie with San Francisco University -- which won four in a row from 2009-12 -- for the all-time division record, the Rebels still secured a spot on the podium for the sixth straight season by placing third with 166 points.

Only Flintridge Prep and Great Oak, which captured a seventh consecutive Division I title, have made the podium the past six years in any girls’ division. Flintridge Prep returned just three athletes -- Haley Allen, Hope Codiga and Sasha Codiga.

Flintridge Prep’s boys squad finished sixth with 211 points. Hasbrouck placed 16th in 16:26.6.

The football team went 4-5, 1-2 in the Prep League for third place and fell to host Sage Hill, 28-26, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section eight-man level Division I playoffs. Flintridge Prep’s John Lytle, Zach Kim and Ben Grable were named to the All-CIF squad.

The school’s water polo team went 10-15, 4-4 in the Prep League for third place and lost to Claremont, 12-6, in a CIF Southern Section Division IV first-round tilt.

There was plenty of success achieved throughout the winter season, led by the girls’ water polo team under the direction of coach Andrew Phillips.

Flintridge Prep, (19-9, 8-2 to tie for second in the Prep League, picked up the third seed before generating plenty of momentum in the Division VII playoffs. It topped Nogales, Heritage, Fontana and Carpinteria to reach the title contest in Irvine. Flintridge Prep suffered a hard-fought 5-4 loss to No. 1 Katella in the championship match. Sophomore Natalie Kaplayan dazzled throughout the postseason, finishing with 30 goals.

The girls’’ and boys’ soccer teams repeated as Prep League champions and were both coached by Esteban Chavez.

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The girls’ squad spent most of the season ranked as the top team in CIF Southern Section Division II after winning a Division III crown in 2018. The Rebels went undefeated in the regular season before seeing their season end in shocking fashion with a 2-1 loss to Moorpark in the second round.

Flintridge Prep finished 22-1-1, 10-0 in league, rolling up 168 goals and yielding just 17. Mckenna Dominguez and Mikaela Celeste were bestowed with All-CIF honors.

The boys’ team won league for the second straight season. The Rebels went 14-7-1, 5-1 in league before reaching the second round of the Division VI playoffs, falling to Pacific, 3-0. Silas Chavez and Spencer Harris received All-CIF nods.

The girls’ basketball team won the Prep League championship. Flintridge Prep (25-4, 12-0) advanced to the Division II-A semifinals, losing to No. 1 seed and eventual champion Lakeside, 60-51. The Rebels took part in the CIF State Division II playoffs, losing to No. 1 Mark Keppel, 73-58, in the second round and were led by All-CIF honoree Kaitlyn Chen.

For the boys’ basketball team, Flintridge Prep went 14-12, 5-3 for second place in league. Flintridge Prep lost, 49-36, to Temple City in a Division IV-AA first-round road contest.. Veteran coach Garrett Ohara resigned after taking over the program in 1999. He went 311-200 and 126-34 in the Prep League during his coaching tenure. Ohara, who also served as athletic director, registered a .608 overall winning percentage in 511 games. The Rebels won 14 league titles from 2002 to 2017 and advanced to title contests in 2004, 2011 and 2016, winning the program’s first crown in 2011.

The spring season proved to be a boon for the Rebels.

Led by Prep League Most Valuable Player AJ Nicassio, a senior, and coached by veteran Sean Beattie, the Rebels captured their seventh straight league title and reached the CIF Southern Section Division IV semifinals. Flintridge Prep lost in five sets to Windward, falling just short of reaching the program’s first itle match. The Rebels recorded postseason wins against Godinez, Laguna Blanca and No. 1 Cerritos Valley Christian. Nicassio was named to the All-CIF team.

The Rebels girls’ and boys’ swimming teams also enjoyed success in Prep League. The boys won their sixth straight league title and finished with 369 points, besting Buckley (309), and the girls claimed their second consecutive title after clinching their first championship last season in over a decade as they led with 332 points to finish ahead of Pasadena Poly (256).

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The school’s baseball team finished 17-9, 9-3 for second place in the Prep League and reached the second round of the Division V playoffs before falling, 2-0, to Xavier Prep. Grable picked up All-CIF recognition.

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