A look back at an incredible school year for Loyola High School of Los Angeles athletics

Capping an amazing 2015-2016 school year for Loyola High School of Los Angeles athletics was the announcement by the CIF Southern Section that the Cubs had been awarded an unprecedented eighth CIF Commissioner’s Cup trophy, bestowed annually on the Southern Section school that garners the most points by winning CIF titles (5 points), earning championship runner-up plaques (three points), advancing to the playoff semifinals (two points) and finishing in the top four (1-5 points) in team-place sports such as track & field. Loyola ran away with the Cup, amassing 25 points in the competition. The second-place school out of 580 Southern Section competitors totaled 15 points.

 Here is a recap of the accomplishments of the Cubs in twelve varsity sports, all of which participated in CIF playoff/tournament competition.

 CROSS COUNTRY (Mission League champions, fourth place in CIF Southern Section Div. II finals, CIF State Div. II champions)

Longtime head coach LALO DIAZ saw his Mission League cross country squad win the California State Div. II title after finishing fourth in the CIF Southern Section Div. II finals. The state title was the sixth under Diaz’s guidance. 

 WATER POLO (second place Mission League, CIF Southern Section Div. I semifinalists)

Head coach ERIK HEALY’s water polo club finished the season 24-5 and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Div. I semifinals after securing second place in the Mission League. The biggest win of the year was over CIF Div. I champion Mater Dei in a non-league match.

 FOOTBALL (third place Mission League, CIF Pac-5 Division quarterfinals, ranked 17th in state)

Loyola had its best season on the gridiron since 2005, the last time it won a CIF Div. I championship. Led by team MVP MYLES BRYANT (University of Washington) and a cadre of exceptionally skilled athletes, including CIF State Scholar-Athlete of the Year KELLY BLAKE (Stanford) and All-CIF DB DAVID LONG (University of Michigan), head coach MARVIN SANDERS guided the Cubs to a third place finish in the ultra-competitive Mission League and an overall record of 9-3. Loyola advanced to the CIF Pac-5 Division quarterfinals and ended the season ranked 17th in the state. No less than ten players from the 2015 squad will continue playing football at the collegiate level.

 BASKETBALL (fifth place Mission League, CIF Southern Section Division 2AA semifinalists)

The Cubs had an up and down regular season on the hardwood, but when the playoffs got underway, head coach JAMAL ADAMS had his club in high gear as Loyola advanced all the way to the CIF Southern Section 2AA semifinals before falling to eventual champion Ayala. Senior All-CIF center HENRY WELSH (Harvard University) was the leader for the Cubs.

 SOCCER (Mission League champions, CIF State Southern California Regional champions, no. 1 in California, 5th in nation)

Loyola’s soccer team had a spectacular season. The Cubs won the CIF Southern Section Div. I championship, downing Santa Barbara, 3-1, in the title match and beating San Diego Cathedral Catholic in the State Southern Regional finals. Loyola was undefeated and untied in Mission League competition. Senior ELLIOT SMITH-HASTIE (Boston College) earned CIF Div. I Player-of-the-Year accolades, and Walter was named CIF Div. I Coach-of-the-Year. The Cubs (28-4-0) were ranked as the top team in California and fifth in the nation at the conclusion of the season. Loyola recorded an incredible 21 shutouts in 32 matches.

 TENNIS (second place Mission league, CIF Southern Section Div. I second round)

Loyola completed the 2016 season with an 8-2 Mission League record, good for second place. Head coach BRIAN HELD coached the Cubs to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs.

 GOLF (Mission League champions, CIF Southern Section Central Division champions)

The Cubs (16-3) had yet another exceptional year on the links, winning a fifth consecutive CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. Head coach ROBB GORR’s golfers were undefeated in Mission League matches.

 SWIMMING & DIVING (Mission League champions, CIF Southern Section Div. I champions)

Loyola’s best swimming & diving team of all time ran away with the CIF Southern Section Div. I title after going undefeated (7-0) in meet competition and winning every tournament it entered. Two swimmers off head coach KEVIN MANN’s club will be participating in the Olympic trials. The Cubs swim at a nationally elite level.

 TRACK & FIELD (second place Mission League, 13th place in CIF Southern section Div. I finals)

The Cub track & field team suffered only its fourth dual meet loss in over a quarter of a century, a testament to the strength of one of the strongest programs in California. Head coach MIKE PORTERFIELD and his staff got the absolute most out of a group of dedicated athletes who finished in 13th place in the CIF Southern Section Div. I finals. Senior football player KEVIN QUISUMBING (Tufts University) won the division I shot put.

 BASEBALL (second place Mission League, second round CIF Southern section Div. I playoffs)

The Cubs finished second in the rugged seven-team Mission League. Head coach MIKE CORDERO’s squad defeated both CIF Div. I runner-up Harvard-Westlake and Mission League champion Chaminade two out of three times. The highlights of the campaign were senior pitcher DANIEL CARUSO ‘s (Baylor University) no-hitter against Alemany and Loyola’s epic, 2-1,10-inning win against Notre Dame.

 LACROSSE (Mission League champions, U.S. Lacrosse Los Angeles Region champions, U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section champions)

For the first time since U.S. Lacrosse began sponsoring interscholastic competition in California, a Los Angeles Region champion defeated the Orange County champion for the Southern Section title, and the team that did it was Loyola, as the Cubs shocked Corona del Mar, 10-6, for all the marbles. Loyola defeated powerhouse Palos Verdes in a monster Los Angeles Region title match, 7-6. Senior SEAN SMITH (Connecticut College) was honored as the Southern Section Player-of-the-Year, and head coach SETH COHEN was named Coach-of-the-Year. The Mission League champion Cubs were undefeated in conference play and finished a brilliant 20-4 campaign ranked fifth in the state.

 VOLLEYBALL (Mission League champions, CIF Southern Section Division I champions)

Loyola won its twelfth CIF Southern Section volleyball title in an incredible heart-stopping five-set championship match against Corona del Mar. It was head coach MICHAEL BOEHLE’s sixth CIF championship, and he was named CIF Div. I Coach-of-the-Year for his efforts. Senior setter CASEY McGARRY was tabbed as the CIF Div. I Player-of-the-Year. The Cubs were once again 12-0 in Mission league matches and amassed a 30-3 overall record, good for a final ranking of number two in both the state and the nation. In addition to the CIF title, the victory over archrival Mira Costa in the Karch Kiraly Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions title match was a season highlight.

 So how is that for a year in sports? . . . Five Southern Section championships, six league titles, national top five ranking in two sports, State Div. II champions in cross country, state number one in soccer, state number two in volleyball, the best aquatics team in school history, the first ever Southern Section lacrosse title won by a Los Angeles region team and a record eighth consecutive CIF Southern Section Commissioner’s Cup won by ten points over the nearest competitor. Suffice to say, there is no school in California that combines excellence in academics with superlative athletic accomplishment as well as Loyola.