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Top 10 Sports Stories of the Year: Sea Kings dominate 2010

It was a banner year for Corona del Mar, which had its boys' soccer and boys' water polo teams win CIF championships.

December 31, 2010|Barry Faulkner, barry.faulkner@latimes.com
(Daily Pilot File…)

The athletic success over the years at Corona del Mar High has been nothing short of dynastic. The gym walls are strewn with CIF Southern Section championship banners in all but a handful of sports.

The remaining checklist of sports without a CIF title was reduced in 2010, when the Sea Kings' boys soccer team claimed the program's first section crown. The team didn't stop there, either, adding a Southern California Regional title and finishing No. 2 in one national poll.

Sea Kings' success in football and boys water polo also helped the school dominate the top 10 Newport-Mesa sports stories of the year.

UC Irvine checked in with three items in the top 10, joining annual staples such as the Toshiba Senior Classic and the Daily Pilot Cup.

A closer look at the top 10:

1 CdM boys soccer: The Sea Kings finished No. 2 in the final ESPN RISE national poll after claiming the program's first CIF Southern Section Division IV and Southern California Regional Division II titles with a 27-1-1 record.

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First-year coach George Larsen's squad won its last 15 games. Its only loss (to Pacific Coast League rival University) and its lone tie (to PCL rival Laguna Hills) came during a five-game stretch in which senior UCLA-bound forward Reed Williams was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Williams, who amassed 32 goals and 12 assists to finish his prep career with 69 goals and 27 assists, was named Gatorade state Player of the Year. He was also the Southern Section Division IV Offensive Player of the Year.

Junior defender Brian Ford was the Division IV Defensive Player of the Year and Larsen was named Division IV Coach of the Year.

Sophomore goalie Connor Gaal, who helped the team produce 17 shutouts, including a 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Santa Barbara (ranked No. 2 nationally at the time) in the regional final, was a first-team All-CIF honoree.

Sophomore fullback Jack Gorab and freshman striker Jack McBean were second-team All-CIF picks.

2 CdM football: The Sea Kings went 10-2-1 and reached the CIF Southern Section Southern Division semifinal for the second time in three seasons, after claiming the program's first outright league crown since 1988.

Coach Jason Hitchens' team went 4-0-1 in the Pacific Coast League after failing to win a league game in 2009. Their only regular-season loss was a 35-15 setback to Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay.

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