XC State Titles Top 1st Semester Sport Achievements

Jack Bunzel-Hardie and Sarah Naughten

While the 2nd semester of the 2019-20 school year has just begun, the Cougar sports teams have had impressive runs thus far. Here is La Puma’s list of the top 5 athletic moments of the year.

5. Boys’ Basketball: HOLIDAY HOOPS CHAMPIONS The boys’ basketball team captured its 1st-ever Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops tournament on December 30. The Cougars soundly defeated Modesto Christian 60-52. Sophomore Aidan Mahaney was named tournament MVP. Junior Emmanuel Callas and sophomore Matt Radell were both named to the all-tournament team. In 2017 and 2018, the team fell in the semi-finals and finals, respectively. According to head coach Steven Dyer, this win bodes well for their upcoming games. “It is a good building block because it shows that we can beat really good teams,” said Dyer. 

4. Football: HONOR BOWL CHAMPIONS The Cougar football team beat the Amador Valley Dons 27-16 on September 7 to win the Honor Bowl. This invite-only bowl, created to honor military personnel, is extremely prestigious. At the 6-team tournament, the Cougars wore customized jerseys to show their support for the cause as they beat the Dons, a team twice their size. Even though 2 of their best players were sidelined with injuries, the Cougars came out on top. “We felt like even though we were depicted as the underdogs, we felt that they were a beatable team and that they thought they were better than they actually were. It was pretty sweet to put them in their place,” said senior Charlie Craig. Senior Jack Daughtery and senior quarterback Grant Harper were awarded the Character 1st award and Most Valuable Player award, respectively. 

3. Girls’ Volleyball: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONS The varsity girls’ volleyball team beat Menlo-Atherton to win the NorCal Championship Game on November 19. This was the 1st time Campo had won the title since 2012. The team credited its success to hard work and mental fortitude throughout the season. Led by UCLA bound senior Audrey Pak, the Cougars dominated the 1st 2 sets and won the 4th set. Junior outside hitter Molly Mitchell secured her team’s win, scoring the final point of the 4th match. “It was such an amazing feeling. It was so fun to watch all the videos afterward knowing that I scored the last point,” said Mitchell. 

2. Boys’ Water Polo: NCS & NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONS Throughout the varsity boys’ water polo season, their biggest rival, the Miramonte Matadors, seemed unbeatable. Complete with a historic class of Division 1 commits and bench full of budding juniors, the Matadors rolled over Campo in the regular season. As the NCS finals approached, the 3rd-seed Cougar team assumed the role of underdogs. Senior Tom Mcguire led his team to an upset victory over the Matadors, scoring 4 goals in the process. The Cougars won the NCS title 8-6, marking the 1st time Campolindo has won back-to-back water polo titles. Campo continued its dominance through the Northern California Championships where they beat San Ramon Valley 9-7 and captured the program’s 1st-ever NorCal championship.

1. Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country: CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPIONS The cross country squad made school history by becoming the 1st Campolindo team ever to win both girls’ and boys’ State Championships in the same season. Led by senior Paloma Hancock, the girls dominated their competition, placing all 5 scorers in the top 35 finishers overall. Their final team score of 74 was 80 points ahead of the 2nd-place team. After falling to Maria Carrillo at the previous week’s North Coast Section (NCS) Championship, the boys came into the State Championships as the underdogs. Led by junior Dylan Gunn, the boys managed to upset their NCS rivals, narrowly defeating Maria Carrillo by 17 points and winning their 1st State title in program history. Their final score of 47 was the 4th-lowest point total in Division 3 history.