2016-12-30 / Sports
The quest for glory
YEAR IN REVIEW /// The Acorn’s Top Five Local athletes, teams capture imaginations, titles
Royal High’s boys’ soccer team continued to dominate on the pitch by capturing its fifth straight league title.
The Highlander girls’ cross country team came out of nowhere to reach the state meet this fall.
In the NFL, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Cassius Marsh, a Simi Valley native, is enjoying an impressive season with three sacks, 18 tackles and one forced fumble.
While those are honorable feats, they narrowly missed making our annual list.
Here’s our list of the top five sports moments of 2016:
Grace Brethren celebrated two CIF-Southern Section titles in girls’ sports.
In November, the school’s girls’ volleyball team, led by thirdyear head coach Victoria Yonkers, made quick work of Katella in a straight-set victory for the Division 8 crown. Seniors Jessica Press, Autumn Pifer, Nicole Martin, Casey Checketts and Emily Seeba contributed for the Lancers.
KINGS OF THE MAT
The Pioneers have emerged as the top wrestlers in Simi Valley.
Simi Valley pushed past tough foes at Royal and Camarillo to claim the Coastal Canyon League title in February. The league crown was the program’s first since 2012 and its second since 2001.
Royal’s girls’ golf team celebrated its first league title in program history in October.
It was a feat that seemed impossible just a couple of years ago for the Highlanders, who forfeited every match in 2013.
Stephanie Russo, Natalie Salas, Kylie Johnson, Alex Thompson, Jenna Stuck and Tara Scribner played crucial roles during Royal’s miraculous season.
No one could slow Simi Valley bats in softball or baseball.
The Pioneer softball team claimed its second straight Coastal Canyon title in the spring behind a talented senior class.
Graduated seniors Veronica Lynch, Taylor Ginther, Vanessa Almaraz, Patricia Tripp, Caitlin Berreitter, Autumn Cauthron, Alyssa Van Scoy, Danielle Chatman, Haley Park and Jessica Rodriguez all moved on to play college softball.
Simi Valley’s baseball team, which was 11-1 in league play, also snagged a league crown.
HIGHLANDERS REACH THE TOP
Something’s in the water at the Rancho Simi Community Park pool.
Royal’s girls’ and boys’ water polo teams snagged CIF-Southern Section titles in 2016.
The girls’ team cemented its status as one of the best lineups in Ventura County history by claiming its second straight Division 4 crown in March.
Matt Frazier, the boys’ water polo team’s second-year head coach, led the Highlanders to a Division 4 title in November.
The boys’ program, built up by legendary former coach Steve Snyder, celebrated its first section crown since 1995.
With two section titles in the same sport, Royal aquatics has reached the mountain top.