Teams of the Year: Bay Area
Editor's note: ESPN RISE Magazine honors the top teams in each of the magazine's 25 regions. Disagree with our choices? Vote for your favorite athletes here. And check out the honorees from other regions here.
Boys' Team of the Year
MIRAMONTE WATER POLO
The Matadors sported one of the most talented rosters in the entire country, and the results of the 2008 season proved it. Led by All-American seniors Stephen Siri, Tommy Briskey and James Perry, Miramonte went 26-1 (against a brutal schedule) and won the North Coast championship for the fourth consecutive season. Siri, the captain, led the team in scoring and played stifling defense. In addition to the USC-bound Siri, the Mats featured six other Division I scholarship players in their starting lineup.
DE LA SALLE FOOTBALL
The Spartans came up just short of their ultimate goal, losing to Centennial, 21-16, in the Division I state title game, but it was another dominant season for the Bay Area's gridiron powerhouse.
The Mack made it to the Division I championship game for the third consecutive season, but a repeat title wasn't in the cards. Seniors Will Cherry (13.9 ppg) and Damon Powell (12.9) gave the team a dynamic combo.
MONTE VISTA BASEBALL
No Bay Area team is as stacked as the Monarchs, who feature a quartet of Division I scholarship pitchers -- seniors Mark Appel, Joey Wagman, Drew Bradshaw and Christian Jones.
GIRLS' TEAM OF THE YEAR
ST. MARY'S (STOCKTON) BASKETBALL
The Rams opened the season ranked No. 1 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50, and they didn't disappoint. Led by junior guards Afure Jemerigbe and Chelsea Gray, the Rams went 33-3 and won the Division III state championship. Jemerigbe had 23 points and six rebounds in the title game, while Gray added 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. The Rams also avenged a loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral in last year's regional title game, as Gray hit a buzzer-beater to dethrone the defending state champ, 62-60.
With six East Bay championships in the past seven years, it's hard to pick against Freedom on the diamond. Senior pitcher Hannah Williams is one of the best hurlers in the state.
LIVERMORE CROSS COUNTRY
Livermore was able to win the NCS Division II team title by placing three runners in the top 10 at the championship meet. Senior Diana George (third place), senior Abigail Gregg (sixth) and freshman Natalie Dimits (10th) led the way.
SAN RAMON VALLEY SOCCER
It seemed like Foothill was unbeatable this season, but San Ramon Valley emerged victorious when the teams met in the NCS title match. Sophomore Allie Begin scored the game-winner in overtime.
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