Three La Jolla varsity football teams — La Jolla High School Vikings, The Bishop’s School Knights and La Jolla Country Day School Torreys — made it to the 2017 CIF quarterfinals, taking the field on Friday, Nov. 17. But all three ultimately fell to their competitors, dashing any CIF dreams for this season.
For the Vikings, it was a little bit of history repeating itself, as they made it to, but lost in, the CIF quarterfinals last year. But new this year was head coach Tyler Roach. The Vikings started their Division III CIF run strong, defeating Mar Vista 28-0 on Nov. 10 in the first round. But the Santa Fe Christian Eagles of Solana Beach proved to be too much for them, and they were defeated 63-14.
“It was a tough ending to a great first year for me, but hats off to Santa Fe Christian,” Roach told La Jolla Light following the loss. “In regard to the season overall, I couldn't be more proud of my guys. They battled adversity all season and kept giving it their all, week in and week out. We were 1-4 at one point this year, so to battle back and win five of our last seven games shows the true grit of my team — couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to coach as my first year being a head coach, especially my 17 seniors! I'll remember this season and this team for a long, long time!”
After making it all the way to the CIF State Championships in 2016, La Jolla Country Day entered into a self-described season on transition this year after losing several seniors from last year’s team. In this year’s series, the Torreys also had a strong CIF opening, defeating Clairemont High School 52-6. But in the quarterfinals, when they took on San Diego High School in Division IV, they narrowly lost 31-21.
“It was a great game and a tough loss (Friday) night,” said Country Day coach Tyler Hales. “The boys played their hearts out and left everything on the field. We turned the ball over twice on the goal line which killed us. We also lost six starters to injury during the game, two of which were hurt in the first quarter. Sophomore QB EJ Kreutzman threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns; fellow sophomore wide receiver Anthony Bland had eight receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. We had opportunities to win, but unfortunately we made a few too many mistakes and the ball just wasn’t bouncing our way.”
For The Bishop’s School Knights, the CIF effort was short-lived. The Knights had a first-week Bye, entering Division II CIF at the quarterfinals against Steele Canyon. Particularly crushing, the 61-52 loss was the only loss for Bishop’s this season.
Head football coach Joel Allen called the defeat “disappointing,” but added he was still proud of the program as it has developed over the last few years. With this being the only loss this season and one of only a few in the last couple of years, he said, “You get used to the feeling of winning, and are almost in shock when you don’t.
“We’ve had great CIF success in the last few years, we made it in 2015 and 2016, and again this year. It shows the (football) program has gotten to a level that we’re really proud of. But with that brings us to a new division with better competition earlier in the playoffs. We have so much respect for Steele Canyon, their staff and players. There was no lack of effort in the way they played.”
He added that the Knights reached the level they’re at thanks to players like senior Mozes Mooney, but he noted everyone had a role to play: “We have 32 guys, seven are freshmen, so we are going to lean on our juniors and seniors. We’re proud of where we got the program to.”
In other CIF news:
Lady Viking Field Hockey — In a rapid-fire series of CIF games, including a cross-town rivalry along the way, La Jolla High School made it all the way to Division I championship Nov. 18. Starting with a Bye week in the first round Nov. 11, the Lady Vikes entered the CIF series in the quarterfinals against the Bishop’s School on Nov. 14.
In defeating the Knights 1-0, they proceeded to take on Vista High School in semifinals, winning 3-1.
In an attempt to take it all, La Jolla High School took on Mission Vista High School at Serra High School on Nov. 18 and in a hard-fought battle, lost 1-0.
Boys Water Polo — The boys varsity water polo race to the CIF San Diego Section 2017 Boys Water Polo Championships ended up being a cross-town rivalry. In the quarterfinals, La Jolla defeated Cathedral Catholic 8-7 while Bishop’s defeated Valhalla 15-3. In the semis, the Vikings took on the Knights, with La Jolla High School coming out on top, 11-9. But when it came to the championship game Nov. 11, La Jolla lost to Coronado, 9-10.
Still, it was enough to advance the Vikings to 2017 CIF SoCal Boys Water Polo Championships in Newport Beach. However, the Vikings lost in the first round Nov. 11, 17-5 against host Newport Harbor.
Cross Country — La Jolla High School boys and girls cross country teams ran CIF San Diego Section Championship races last week, but details were not available on deadline. We do know la Jolla High School senior Max Ippolito will represent La Jolla in the California State Championship on Saturday, Nov. 25 in Fresno. — ljvikings.com