1. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s hard to imagine a more compelling image (right) from 2010. The expression on St. Ignatius pitcher Collin Monsour’s face, and the utter despair of Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Christopher Miguel, face down in the dirt, tells you all you need to know about the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi. St. Ignatius’ baseball team took a 3-0 lead into the final inning, but the Irish rallied to cut the lead to 3-2 and then loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to third and the winning run to second.
But it wasn’t a storybook ending for the Fightin’ Irish, as Miguel grounded out to seal a 3-2 St. Ignatius victory, returning the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy to the Wildcats on April 17.
2. It’s almost fitting that the top two moments of 2010 came in one of The City’s best venues: AT&T Park.
In the Academic Athletic Association baseball championship game against Washington on
May 13, Galileo junior shortstop Erik Wilson had three singles, but his final hit ended a 32-year championship drought for the Lions.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wilson lined a walk-off single to left field over a drawn-in Washington infield to break a 4-4 tie and give Galileo the 5-4 win.
“I just wanted a base hit or [to] put the ball in play. That’s what I was thinking,” Wilson said. “The feeling is indescribable. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime feeling.”
3. With a goal in the final minutes from freshman Zoe Charter-Kuo, Lowell High School’s girls’ soccer team sent off legendary coach Ernie Feibusch with his 15th AAA/San Francisco Section title with a 1-0 victory over Washington on May 8 at Boxer Stadium.
The win was the Cardinals’ 13th consecutive AAA title. With Feibusch — who retired after coaching at Lowell for 44 years, at the helm — the Cardinals won
15-of-17 girls’ AAA titles since the San Francisco Section began a girls’ league in 1994.
“It was a very good send-off,” Feibusch said. “It is time. The girls here are the only reason I came back. They’re all fantastic.”
4. University High School junior forward Ned Tannenbaum was held scoreless for the first 31 minutes of the visiting Red Devils’ CIF Division V State boys’ basketball quarterfinal matchup against defending champion St. Joseph (Alameda) on March 13.
In the final minute of regulation, however, Tannenbaum hit what may have been the two biggest shots of his life.
The first came on a driving layup with 40 seconds remaining to put University up 50-49.
Then, after St. Joseph’s Kyle Collins put the Pilots up 52-50 with two free throws, Tannenbaum hit an almost identical left-handed layup with 2 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Red Devils jumped out to a 59-54 lead and withstood a late St. Joseph rally to win 60-58 and earn a trip to the Northern California championship game.
5. Urban senior pitcher Danica Lauden’s performance on April 13 can only accurately be described as perfect.
Lauden retired all 21 University batters she faced to complete a perfect game in the Blues’ 9-0 softball win over the Red Devils in Bay Counties League West play.
She was dominant for the Blues from start to finish, striking out the first five University hitters. She finished the game with 15 total strikeouts, throwing 66 strikes and just 19 balls.
6. Convent came to the North Coast Section Division V girls’ basketball playoffs with an undefeated league record and ran into league foe University in the second round.
The Red Devils had lost to Convent by double digits in each of their first two meetings, but on this day it was different, and it happened in spectacular fashion.
Down 47-46, University senior guard Lysi Gonzales banked in a turnaround 30-foot jump shot at the buzzer to upset the second-seeded Cubs 49-47.
“I’m not a long-range shooter,” Gonzales said. “It was really just a shot in the dark.”
7. It was a long time coming, but St. Ignatius took advantage of its first postseason berth by clinching the inaugural West Catholic Athletic League boys’ lacrosse championship with a 16-10 win over Bellarmine (San Jose) on May 14 at St. Ignatius.
The Wildcats, a perennial lacrosse power in Northern California, have played as an independent until the WCAL started its first league season in 2010.
“It’s one of those things where 10, 20, 30 years from now, these guys are going to look back on this and say, ‘You can’t take our name off that trophy, we won it,’” said St. Ignatius coach Chris Packard, who was dripping wet after a celebratory Gatorade bath. “It feels great and it’s bittersweet because it’s over, but this is what we’ve strived for, for 10 years. We now have a league championship.”
8. Balboa High School, fresh off its league-opening win over Marshall the week before, looked to be primed for an upset over Galileo in football on Oct. 8, but the Lions proved in the second half why they were still the team to beat in the AAA: They had Quincy Nelson.
Galileo held a 20-13 lead at the half, and after being relatively contained by the Balboa defense in the first half (98 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries), Nelson exploded for 251 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the second half and the Lions pulled away to win 56-33.
Nelson finished with a staggering 349 yards and six touchdowns on 28 carries.
9. Sacred Heart Cathedral came into the Central Coast Section Division III final seeking its fourth consecutive girls’ volleyball title, but rival St. Ignatius made it clear early in the match that it was the superior team on the court Nov. 20.
The Wildcats imposed their will early and clinched their first CCS title in school history with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-20 win over Sacred Heart at Independence High School, the third time St. Ignatius beat the Irish during the season.
10. The first considerable upset of the football season came from the most unlikely source — Archbishop Riordan High School.
Behind the play of standout senior wide receiver and defensive back A.J. Lewis, the Crusaders stunned rival St. Ignatius 21-14 on Oct. 9. Riordan’s struggles were well-documented this season and the win was the first and only for the Crusaders and first-year coach Bryan Blake, an S.I. graduate.
Lewis began the day by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for the touchdown and the Crusaders carried that 7-0 lead into the half, but St. Ignatius scored twice in the third quarter to take the 14-7 lead.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Lewis made his presence felt again when he intercepted a pass from St. Ignatius quarterback Jeff Farlow and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.