There were so many sports highlights for 2016 for our local teams, it’s difficult to list them all without leaving some off. High school squads from the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area won titles on the league, section and state level, and filled the list of all-CIF/SS honors.
For sports fans in the OC, the biggest and best news was that Mike Trout, despite playing for a very underachieving Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team, was named the American League Most Valuable player for 2016.
The Halos put up some poor numbers this year – a 74-88 mark good for fourth place in the five-team AL West Division – but Trout’s statistics were glowing across nearly every category of play.
He batted .315, slammed 29 home runs and drove in 100 runs. His on-based percentage was .441 and he led the league in runs scored, walks and stolen bases. It was his second MVP honor in three years and he is widely regarded – or at least argued – as the best player in Major League Baseball.
The Anaheim Ducks survived a horrible start – 1-7-2 – to rally to another NHL Pacific Division crown, but were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in seven games by Nashville in the first round.
It was such a letdown that coach Bruce Boudreau was let go, despite posting a 46-win season. Corey Perry led the team with 34 goals; Ryan Getzlaf had 50 assists and 63 points. John Gibson had a solid 2.07 goals-against average for Anaheim.
The Ducks are starting off the new season contending for first again in the NHL Pacific under new-old coach Randy Carlyle.
On the local college front, Golden West College of Huntington Beach made news at its football team played its first real home game in the school’s 50-year history. As a special event in the school’s golden anniversary, the college brought in temporary bleachers to surround the new synthetic football field for the Oct. 22 game against Palomar. The Rustlers won 35-23, but ended a slightly disappointing season with two losses and a 4-6 record.
Before the Oct. 22 game, GWC had played all its “home” games at LeBard Stadium on the campus of district rival Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
Other GWC athletic teams fared a bit better. The baseball team finished second in the state and the men’s water polo team won its 24th state water polo crown.
The prep spotlight shone brightest on teams from Edison and Huntington Beach high schools. Edison’s football team won the CIF/SS Division 3 title in the fall and advanced to the state title game, losing a close one to San Clemente. In the spring the Chargers made it to the CIF-SS 2AA boys’ basketball finals, losing to Chino 63-49.
In girls’ volleyball, Edison won the state Division 1 title, sweeping Menlo-Atherton.
Huntington’s boys’ water polo team reached the CIF Section 1 finals and lost 9-7 to Orange Lutheran. The baseball team won the National High School Invitational tournament in North Carolina, but struggled to a second place finish in the Sunset League behind a surprising Marina team.
Garden Grove High’s boys’ soccer team grabbed the CIF/SS Division 5 title with a 3-2 penalty kicks win over district rival Santiago High School. The Argonauts continued their dominance in the Garden Grove League in football, winning their fifth straight GGL title and seventh in eight years.
In basketball, Bolsa Grande won the GGL title for boys and Garden Grove the girls’ crown. In the Golden West League, Ocean View was first for boys and Westminster took the girls’ crown.
In baseball, Rancho Alamitos and La Quinta tied for the GGL championship, while Garden Grove won the softball honors. Pacifica was the Empire League softball champ.