The previous coach fell short of taking the Sea Kings to the Southern Division final. Twice during Hitchens' three years in charge, CdM reached the semifinals, losing each time.
In his first year at the helm, Meyer has led CdM to its first section final appearance in 22 years. Quite a feat considering when Meyer met his team in March, he couldn't name more than a couple of players.
"I didn't know much about the kids or what we had coming back," Meyer said.
"Once we got going we just believed if we worked hard every day that good things could happen."
The one thing Meyer set out for Sea Kings to win before the season can be theirs Friday. They just have to get through a rival to earn it.
Second-seeded CdM faces top-seeded Beckman for the Southern Division crown at Orange Coast College at 7:30 p.m. The two programs meet for the second time this year.
Beckman stood in the way of CdM claiming an unbeaten Pacific Coast League title for the second straight year.
The Patriots and Sea Kings will now play for a much bigger prize.
Both teams enter with identical 11-2 records and coaches in their first years at their schools. That is where the similarities end.
Meyer's Sea Kings and Ken Mushinskie's Patriots play different brands of football.
While CdM runs a no-huddle spread offense, Beckman is all smash-mouth. The styles make for an interesting matchup.
The first contest between these two teams resulted in 79 points. In a regular-season finale, Beckman edged CdM, 42-37, at Newport Harbor High on Nov. 11.
The Patriots owned the first three quarters, building 32-point lead by pounding the ball and pounding CdM's offense, holding the Sea Kings to 10 points.
Tailbacks Jeff Kim and Brian Brooks were on their way to running over CdM to give Beckman its first league title in the program's history. The duo combined for 263 yards and two touchdowns on the ground,