Vista, Norco nab State Team of Year honors

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
10:02
PM ET
A 1-0 win by Vista in Monday’s CIF San Diego Section D1 final is just barely enough to give the Panthers the nod for baseball over Cathedral Catholic. Norco, meanwhile, makes it official for softball.

It was just a formality for the Norco softball team to be selected Tuesday as the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports 2012 State Team of the Year. The Cougars, after all, were No. 1 in last week’s overall top 20 and capped their season by winning the CIF Southern Section Division I title last Saturday in Irvine.

A formality couldn’t be further from the truth in baseball. Selecting a State Team of the Year was more like a case of peering into a microscope to study nearly identical particles.


In the end, Vista has come out on top of fellow CIF San Diego Section school Cathedral Catholic and joins the Norco girls as a mythical state overall champion.

Norco’s girls were near the top of the state and national rankings all season, particularly after they won the title at the prestigious Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Coach Rick Robinson’s squad becomes the second straight State Team of the Year from Riverside County’s Big VIII League following Santiago of Corona last season. It was that same team that the Cougars beat 6-4 in last Saturday’s championship.

Norco had a team just as good and perhaps even better three years ago at 32-2 that also won a CIFSS title. That team wasn’t No. 1 in the state, however, because Archbishop Mitty of San Jose was 32-0 that season and had NCAA phenom Keilani Ricketts in the circle.

Pitching was the key for Vista this baseball season as well. The Panthers got a one-hitter on Monday night from junior lefty Brett Seeburger in their 1-0 victory over Rancho Buena Vista of Vista on Monday night in the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship. Junior Billy Roth also was firing darts all season.

This year’s State Team of the Year selection had to be pushed back to accommodate the San Diego Section moving Vista’s last game to Monday night. This was to level the pitching availability for both teams.

It wouldn’t have been difficult if Vista had lost in that game. Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (30-5) had been waiting since it won the San Diego Section Division III title on Saturday 3-1 against El Capitan of Lakeside.

The two teams were evaluated as being just about equal in all criteria, including win-loss record, common opponents, strength of schedule, and key wins/losses. Members of the San Diego media also were asked to weigh in and it was almost a tie among them.

The final difference, and it’s admittedly a tiny one, is that Vista had a better record and was the Division I section champion while Cathedral Catholic was the Division III titlist.

The last school from the CIF San Diego Section to have a State Team of the Year was La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad, which went 32-1 in 2003. Before that, you have to go back to Mira Mesa of San Diego, which went 26-5 to finish No. 1 in the state in 1992.

Next year, we hear that there’s a chance Vista and Cathedral Catholic might play. For the sake of our sanity, please sign the contracts.

Now, as is our custom, we salute the 2012 State Teams of the Year in baseball and softball by presenting an updated version of the all-time lists from the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book.

STATE BASEBALL TEAMS OF THE YEAR
(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

2012 — Vista (31-4)
2011 — Clovis Buchanan (30-2)
2010 — San Jose Archbishop Mitty (31-3)
2009 ญญ— Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley (26-6)
2008 — Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (27-4)
2007 — Long Beach Wilson (31-3)
2006 — San Jose Bellarmine (34-4)
2005 — Woodland Hills El Camino Real (28-4)
2004 — Chatsworth (35-0)
2003 — Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (32-1)
2002 — La Puente Bishop Amat (28-2)
2001 — La Puente Bishop Amat (27-2)
2000 — San Diego Rancho Bernardino (30-3)
1999 — Riverside Arlington (29-2)
1998 — Clovis (33-2)
1997 — Clovis (32-2) (plus one win by default)
1996 — Granada Hills Kennedy (31-3)
1995 — Fountain Valley (26-3-1)
1994 — Fountain Valley (27-3-1)
1993 — Fresno Bullard (26-3-1)
1992 — San Diego Mira Mesa (26-5)
1991 — Ontario (26-0)
1990 — Cupertino Monta Vista (27-3)
1989 — Fresno Bullard (28-2)
1988 — Fresno Bullard (29-1)
1987 — Lakewood (25-7)
1986 — Santee Santana (26-2)
1985 — Oxnard Rio Mesa (27-3)
1984 — Rancho Cordova (33-5-1)
1983 — El Cerrito (27-1)
1982 — San Diego Mt. Carmel (24-2)
1981 — Westminster (23-4)
1980 — Fresno Bullard (29-2)
1979 — Visalia Mt. Whitney (20-3)
1978 — Larkspur Redwood (30-5)
1977 — West Covina Edgewood (29-1)
1976 — Lakewood (22-4-1)
1975 — Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-3)
1974 — Torrance North (26-6-1)
1973 — El Segundo (30-5)
1972 — Venice (19-3)
1971 — El Segundo (33-2)
1970 — Lompoc (27-1)
1969 — Sacramento Grant (16-1)
1968 — Fresno Hoover (27-3)
1967 — Long Beach Millikan (20-4)
1966 — El Segundo (24-4-1)
1965 — San Diego Crawford (22-4)
1964 — Lynwood (23-2)
1963 — Long Beach Poly (21-4)
1962 — Sacramento Bishop Armstrong (22-2)
1961 — S.F. Sacred Heart (32-2-1)
1960 — Fresno Roosevelt (20-2)
1959 — S.F. St. Ignatius (28-3)
1958 — Fresno (25-1)
1957 — Fresno (22-2)
1956 — Ontario Chaffey (21-5)
1955 — South Gate (17-2)
1954 — L.A. Loyola (22-5)
1953 — Compton (23-2)
1952 — S.F. Sacred Heart (29-5)
1951 — Sacramento McClatchy (22-0-1)
1950 — Long Beach Wilson (24-3)
1949 — San Diego (29-3)
1948 — San Diego (26-3)
1947 — S.F. Mission (12-1)*
1946 — San Diego (24-7)
1945 — S.F. Mission (10-0, League)
1944 — S.F. Mission (9-0, League)
1943 — L.A. Fremont (13-1)
1942 — San Diego Hoover (13-0 vs. prep teams)
1941 — S.F. Galileo (12-1)*
1940 — S.F. Mission (11-1)*
1939 — San Diego (20-5)
1938 — Glendale (4-0, Playoffs)
1937 — S.F. Commerce (12-2, League)
1936 — Long Beach Poly (23-2)
1935 — Sacramento (20-1)
1934 — S.F. Mission (7-0, League)
1933 — Fresno Roosevelt (20 -2)
1932 — San Diego (11-4)
1931 — S.F. Mission (8-0, League)
1930 — San Diego (19-3)
1929 — San Diego (31-5)
1928 — San Diego (22-8-1)
1927 — Fullerton (29-5-1)
1926 — Alameda (21-1)
1925 — Los Angeles (6-0, League)
1924 — S.F. Sacred Heart (6-0)*
1923 — San Diego (15-4)
1922 — S.F. Mission (6-1)*
1921 — San Diego (18-5-2)
1920 — San Diego (13-1)
1919 — Oakland Technical (8-0)*
1918 — San Diego (12-6)
1917 — San Diego (12-1)
1916 — S.F. Poly (7-0, League)
1915 — S.F. Sacred Heart (5-0)*
1914 — S.F. Lowell (6-0)*
1913 — Long Beach Poly (19-3-1)
1912 — Long Beach Poly (17-5)
1911 — S.F. Sacred Heart (5-0)*
1910 — S.F. Sacred Heart (8-0)*
1909 — Alameda (5-0)*
1908 — Palo Alto (4-0)*
1907 — Alameda (5-1)*
1906 — S.F. Lick (1-0 League)**
1905 — S.F. Lick (9-1-1)*
1904 — Palo Alto
1903 — Berkeley
1902 — S.F. Lowell
1901 — Berkeley
1900 — S.F. Cogswell
1899 — Palo Alto (5-0)
*Record for league and playoff games only.
** Playoffs and remainder of league schedule were cancelled due to earthquake.
Lick’s 1906 team was regarded as being better than its 1905 team.

STATE SOFTBALL TEAMS OF THE YEAR
(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

2012 – Norco (30-2)
2011 – Corona Santiago (28-5)
2010 – Chino Hills Ayala (29-5)
2009 – San Jose Archbishop Mitty (32-0)
2008 – Sacramento Sheldon (32-2)
2007 – Valencia (32-1)
2006 – Oakley Freedom (25-0)
2005 – Simi Valley Royal (29-2)
2004 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-2)
2003 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-2)
2002 – San Diego Mira Mesa (31-1)
2001 – Fresno Bullard (36-1)
2000 – Tustin Foothill (33-2)
1999 – Fresno Bullard (38-1-1)
1998 – Clovis Buchanan (35-2)
1997 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-1-1)
1996 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (30-1)
1995 – Huntington Beach Marina (24-5)
1994 – Clovis (31-3) (plus 2 wins by default)
1993 – Covina Charter Oak (29-0-1)
1992 – Stockton Lincoln (35-3)
1991 – Stockton Lincoln (29-3)
1990 – Roseville (37-2)
1989 – Lakewood St. Joseph (26-1)
1988 – Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (21-6)
1987 – Stockton Lincoln (30-0)
1986 – Woodland Hills El Camino Real (19-0)
1985 – Huntington Beach Ocean View (32-0)
1984 – Stockton Lincoln (37-1)
1983 – Lodi (27-2)
1982 – San Diego Madison (20-0)
1981 – Santa Maria Righetti (25-1)
1980 – Santa Maria Righetti (29-0)
1979 – Santa Rosa Montgomery (26-1)
1978 – Fairfield Armijo (23-0)
1977 – Huntington Beach Marina (17-0)
1976 – Chula Vista Hilltop (17-0)
1975 – Downey Warren (18-1)
1974 – El Segundo (undefeated)

Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com

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