The Top 10 Stories of 2012 as chosen by the La Canada Valley Sun
La Canada softball team rose to the occassion in repeating as CIF Southern Section Division V champions.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: La Canada's Lauren Cox, left, and Catherin Homer embrace each other after winning the CIF Southern Section Division V Championship against Beumont on June 2, 2012. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Several squads managed to add to the impressive resumes they carried into the year, while others came painfully close to adding to their legacies or experienced dramatic turnarounds or setbacks in 2012.
Here are the La Cañada Valley Sun’s top 10 stories of 2012.
1.) La Cañada High softball repeats as CIF Southern Section Division V champion.
All eyes were on the La Cañada High softball team coming into 2012 after its previous campaign ended with a championship.
Despite losing two key pieces after capturing their first crown since 1995, it seemed the Spartans had a good shot at repeating in Division V. When all was said and done, it came back down to La Cañada and Beaumont — the same team the Spartans knocked off for the title, 1-0, in 2011.
Hopes were the Spartans' returning senior leaders — pitcher Lauren Cox and catcher Catherine Horner — would lead them to a second-straight championship. While they did exactly that, La Cañada's entire lineup came through in the clutch for a 7-3 win over Beaumont in the championship bout on June 2.
Cox struck out 10 in notching a complete-game win and Horner scored three times and set the table for the offense with a two-for-three day at the plate. But the seniors received plenty of support from a lineup that racked up 11 hits with six players producing a base hit and four logging multi-hit games.
La Cañada’s Kelsey Drange continued her hot postseason at the dish, as she went three for four and drove in three runs in the Spartans’ win over the Cougars after she drove in the only run in their, 1-0, semifinal victory over Nipomo. Jessica Ogden (two for three, two runs batted in) and Annie Monroe (two for four, RBI) also came through in the clutch for La Cañada, which won its fourth straight Rio Hondo League title and went 26-4-1, 10-1-1 in league.
Prospects for 2013 remain bright for a team that returns a potent lineup which includes Drange, Ogden, Monroe, Selina Mohr, Aubri Thompson and Katy Lee.
2.) La Cañada High boys’ water polo reaches Division III title match after multiple coaching changes.
The Spartans players were not shy about what was important for the 2012 season — a championship or bust.
While La Cañada advanced deep into the postseason for the third year in a row, it ultimately had its title hopes dashed in a 14-9 loss to Martin Luther King in the CIF Southern Section Division III championship on Nov. 17.
The Spartans put together the championship run after going through three coaches in a matter of months. Steve Neville, who coached the team in 2011, resigned in late May and his replacement, Todd Sprague, stepped down in September before Devon Borisoff took over at the helm.
Despite all the changes, the Spartans sat atop the Division III rankings most of the season, controlled the No. 1 seed and walked away with the Rio Hondo League title with a regular-season record of 18-8 (8-0 in league). They steam rolled their way into the title match with wins over San Juan Hills (17-7), Corona Santiago (19-7) and Palos Verdes (11-8) before finishing the year at 23-9 overall.
It appears the 2013 season could be a rebuilding year for the Spartans, who lost some key All-CIF players that included Chase Borisoff, Symeon Stefan, Bryce Hopkins, Alden Geller and Johnny Louk. But there's no doubt La Cañada will look to quickly be in contention for its first CIF title since 2007.
3.) Katy Campbell adds her fourth CIF Southern Section title in 500-yard freestyle.
Ever since her freshman year, Campbell had been at the top of her class in the pool.
La Cañada High's standout swimmer continued her CIF Southern Section dominance in the 500-yard freestyle when she won her fourth crown in the event at the Division I Swimming and Diving championships on May 12. She became only the fifth swimmer in Southern Section history to win four titles in an event, with her first two coming in Division II.