ESPNHS takes a look back at the top storylines from last week, which included title matches in California, Louisiana and Mississippi and the debut of spring soccer.
10. Private School Dominance: In what is becoming commonplace around the country, Louisiana’s three state finals were won by private schools. The last public school state champion in Louisiana was Caddo Magnet (Shreveport, La.) in 2008. So far this winter, there have been 15 state tournaments that featured a mix of public and private school entries, and in those matches there have been eight private school champs and six runners-up.
9. No Surprises Here: The four semifinalists in this year’s CIF Southern Section Division I tournament are all league champions: Marina (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Ventura (Calif.), Loyola (Los Angeles) and Millikan (Long Beach, Calif.). Generally, this 32-team playoff grouping featuring several of the top programs in California is as full of surprises as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
8. Near Perfection: St. Louis Catholic (Lake Charles, La.) has made 10 state final appearances since 1997 and has come away winners nine times. The most recent occurred Saturday during a 1-0 victory over Ben Franklin (New Orleans), a match in which St. Louis Catholic played a man down for the last 28 minutes but also scored the game-winner during that time.
7. Bouncing Back: Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) was pretty much a preseason afterthought following the graduation of 10 starters from last year’s team. Now, the Bears will be heading back to the Southern Regional Championships following a perfect run through the CIF Central Section Division I tournament, capped by a 2-0 final win over Liberty (Bakersfield, Calif.).
6. Early Shocker: Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) was poised to be a preseason POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 spring candidate. However, the defending state champions were upset by Lexington (S.C.) on the opening weekend of the spring season, some 72 hours before the preseason rankings were set to be released.
5. Double Duty: Michael Egenti had a goal and two assists to pace Nolan Catholic (Ft. Worth, Texas) to a 3-1 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Division I state title. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound dual sport athlete was a starting defensive end for Nolan Catholic’s TAPPS state title-winning football team this past fall.
4. Finishing Strong: De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) capped an 18-0-1 season-ending run with a 2-0 victory over San Ramon Valley (Danville, Calif.) to capture its fourth straight CIF North Coast Section Division I title, extending what was already a section record.
3. Winning Bounce: Cooper Simmons’ defensive clearing pass traveled 80 yards, which included a hop over the goalkeeper before finding the net to give Jackson Prep (Jackson, Miss.) its second straight state title with a 1-0 win over Jackson Academy (Jackson, Miss.).
2. Man Of The Match: Charles Mansour scored twice in the final 10 minutes to rally Jesuit (New Orleans) to a 3-2 victory over St. Paul’s (Covington, La.) in the second straight state final classic between these Louisiana private school powers.
1. Going The Distance, And Then Some: The Bishop’s School (San Diego) and Crawford (San Diego) needed two days and 50 penalty kicks to settle their CIF San Diego Division IV playoff match last week. ESPNHS offers a quick look at all 50 kicks.