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Top 10 sports stories

CdM football tops list that includes championship teams and individual milestones.

December 30, 2011|By Barry Faulkner
(Scott Smeltzer…)

As is often the case in sports, the Newport-Mesa landscape in 2011 offered championship celebrations and near-misses by handfuls of local teams.

Similarly diverse among the top 10 sports stories of the year, as selected by the Daily Pilot sports staff, was the opportunity to ponder both what was and what might have been.

Finally, the achievement of myriad milestones should forever make 2011 a year that will linger for a long time to come.

Upon reflection, here's a closer look:

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1 – Corona del Mar High football: The Sea Kings won the CIF Southern Section Southern Division championship and finished 12-2.

First-year coach Scott Meyer guided the team, which had been to the section semifinals two of the previous three years, to the program's third CIF title, culminating in a 14-13 win over Pacific Coast League rival Beckman at Orange Coast College. The title-game triumph, secured when the Sea Kings stuffed a two-point-conversion-run attempt with seven seconds remaining, avenged a 42-37 loss to the Patriots in a regular-season-ending showdown for the league title.

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CdM was led offensively by senior quarterback Brent Lawson (2,519 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes), senior tailback Erik Fisher (1,697 rushing yards and 18 TDs) and senior receiver Josh Giger (946 receiving yards and 10 TDs). Lawson, the PCL Offensive Player of the Year, set school records for single-season passing yards, TD passes and completions (153).

Defensively, the Sea Kings relied most heavily on the senior linebacking quartet of Aaron White (17 sacks among his 98 tackles), Frasier Anderson (a team-best 100 tackles), Grant Garrett and David Moore.

The 12 wins matched a school single-season record initially achieved by the 1989 CIF champions (12-0-2) and the 2011 squad's 476 points were tops in school single-season annals.

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2 – Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball: Coach Steve Conti's Sea Kings claimed the ESPN-RISE mythical national championship after winning CIF Southern Section Division II and Southern California Regional Division II crowns to finish 32-4.

Senior Spencer Haly, a 6-foot-7 middle blocker bound for Stanford, was the Southern Section Division II Player of the Year and he shared MVP honors in the Pacific Coast League.

Senior outside hitter Brennan Anderson (bound for Ohio State) and junior outside hitter Parker Brown were both All-CIF honorees and joined Haly, senior opposite Evan Dean (Pepperdine) and senior setter Nick Curci on the Newport-Mesa Dream Team.

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