The local sports scene for the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area was full of surprises. The professional teams from Orange County didn’t do that well – the Angels failed to reach .500 and the Ducks were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs – but the prep teams won considerable glory. Here’s a look at that for 2017.
- Panthers make history: Orange High School (which serves an eastern slice of Garden Grove) won its last CIF-SS football title in 1929, but captured the Division 13 crown this year. Not only did the Panthers win that honor, but advanced to the state playoffs, losing in the championship game.
- Mariners really can swim: The Pacifica High boys’ water polo team won the CIF-SS Division 6 title with a 9-8 win over Buena Park.
- Argonauts up and out: The Garden Grove High School football team won its sixth – and final – consecutive Garden Grove League football title. The Argonauts are moving to the Golden West League/Conference for 2018-19.
- Oilers best in state, sort of: The Huntington Beach High School baseball team won the Sunset League title, but was upset in the CIF playoffs. However, it did capture an “unofficial” state title by winning the Boras Classic. HBHS finished the year with a 29-5 mark and was ranked 13th in the nation by Maxpreps.
- Aztecs on a roll: La Quinta High didn’t win the GGL football title, but did have a great season, posting an overall 11-2 record and advancing to the CIF-SS Division 13 semifinal round. Not bad for a program which was 1-9 as recently as 2014. The LQHS tied for the GGL baseball pennant as well, defeating Garden Grove High in the final contest of league play.
- Best in class: If any one athlete stood head-and-shoulders (metaphorically) above all others in 2017, it was Frankie Wade Sanchez of the Huntington Beach High girls’ basketball team. She was co-player of the year in CIF-SS 1A.