Fall Sports Wrap-Up: Cougars Dominate

Steven Wetterholm, Staff Writer

A dream season came true for Campo’s 2011 fall athletes.  From the gridiron to the water, the Cougars dazzled their community with record-breaking achievements in football, cross country, water polo, golf, tennis, and volleyball.

The varsity football team accomplished what no other Cougar football team had done before by competing in their first state championship game.  “Kicker of the Year ,” junior Christian Antezana said, “No one thought we could go this far, but I had a feeling our team could do it.”  With an undefeated season record, the Cougars earned the NCS title by defeating top-seeded Marin Catholic 20-18 in the last play of the game at the Oakland Coliseum on December 10th.

After this thrilling victory, they were off to the state championship game at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.  Competing against Fresno’s undefeated Washington Union, the Cougars battled in front of a crowd of fans, but were edged 21-16.  Coach Kevin Macy was voted “East Bay Coach of the Year” by The San Francisco Chronicle, and several players were named to the All East Bay Team for their exceptional contributions.

Another record-setting season was accomplished by the cross country teams, coached by Chuck Woolridge, who was named “East Bay Girls’ Cross Country Coach of the Year” by The Bay Area News Group.  The girls were NCS champions, with senior Carrie Verdon winning the individual section title in a time of 16:57.  Her mark broke the previous course record for Division III.  The girls’ team went on to place fourth at the state championships, with Verdon winning her second straight state title, making her the first repeat winner in the division’s history.

The cross country boys also earned an NCS championship, with senior Thomas Joyce winning the individual section title, establishing a new school record for the course with his time of 14:58. At the state meet, the boys placed fourth, with Joyce earning “East Bay Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year” honors for his third place finish.

The boys’ and girls’ water polo teams both advanced to post-season play after riding a wave of strong performances through the regular season.  The boys began in Round I of the NCS tournament, defeating Irvington 13-6, and then proceeded to play defending NCS Division I champion Acalanes, where they lost 20 -10.

Seniors Kimi Klein and Gracie Fowler led girls’ water polo to NCS play, where they competed to defend their 2010 NCS Division II title.  The girls were undefeated through the NCS semi-final game, but finished second in the tournament when Las Lomas defeated them 10-5 in the championship game on November 12th.

Girls’ golf celebrated a winning season, teeing off into NCS competition with a season record of 9 wins and 3 losses.  Senior Tatiana Gessling felt proud of all six varsity golfers, noting that “making it to NCS and beating Miramonte at home were the highlights of the season.”  Despite losing in the second round of NCS play, the golfers were proud of their overall season, feeling confident that juniors Sammy Chan, Marissa Chan, and Megan Chen will continue the team’s winning record next year.

Girls’ tennis claimed an undefeated DFAL season.  Swinging into Round I of the NCS championships, the girls defeated Northgate 4-3, advancing into Round II where they lost to Monte Vista 6-1.  Senior Natalie Korich and junior Miranda Hill triumphed in doubles play, earning fourth place in the NCS Doubles Championships on November 16th.  Korich reflected, “Miranda and I are really proud of how far we came in championship play, especially against the number one seed.  The 2011 season made my last tennis season the most memorable.”

All three girls’ volleyball teams achieved undefeated league seasons, with the freshman, JV, and varsity teams each going 12-0.  The varsity team proceeded to the NCS quarterfinal match where they swept Petaluma 3-0.  On November 16th, Albany defeated the Cougars 3-1 in the NCS semi-final match.  Senior Brooke Standring said, “We are proud that we continued our tradition of winning the league championship and realizing the potential of our team.”