San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review
Mary Star girls volleyball stars (l to r): Hope Marinkovich, Lexi Andrie, Ally Spillane and Angela Pisano. (photo: Jamaal K. Street)
The 2014 fall semester high school sports scene was a breeze. Many exciting moments occurred during the first half of the school year. Here are a few highlights:San Pedro High Football Claims Marine League Title – The Pirates were truly remarkable in 2014 and did what few would have predicted in Mike Walsh’s 24th year as coach: posting an 11-2 season and earning a three-way share of the Marine League championship with the two schools that ended up in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I final on December 6, champion Narbonne and runner-up Carson, who eliminated San Pedro, 33-30 in the semifinals.
However, San Pedro’s 17-15 victory over the Colts on November 7 in the season finale not only earned them a share of the league crown, but the overall top seed in Division I. Senior kicker Christian Mills’ dramatic 30-yard field goal with ten seconds left sent the Pirate Stadium crowd into a frenzy and set off a wild celebration as time expired.
“This season was great,” senior offensive lineman Dominic O’Brien said. “Everybody thought at the start of this season that we would be average but we all fought hard, and played with a chip on our shoulders.”
Senior running back Chris Alvidrez was named the Marine League Tri-Most Valuable Player after 1,196 yards and a school single-season record 22 touchdowns, while junior quarterback Jacob Miller kept opposing teams honest by throwing for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns to spearhead an offense that gained 4,779 yards and scored 63 touchdowns. Junior safety Antonio ‘A.J.’ Frazier was named the league’s Defensive MVP, and junior tight end Mike Spinosa was named one of three Linemen of the Year.
“I’m very proud of this team,” Alvidrez says. “We worked hard and we had a great season.”
Mary Star High Girls Volleyball Goes From Basement to Penthouse – Not much was expected out of the Stars. Fielding only 10 players and breaking in a new coach, coming off a year where they only won two out of 16 matches in 2013, but moving out of the Camino Real League to the Santa Fe League gave them hope for a new beginning, and they seized it.
Behind first-year coach Tyler Jaynes and boasting a team that had eight underclass players and only two seniors, Mary Star was able to go above and beyond their limits and youth, spiking their way to a Santa Fe League title and going 16-10 overall, also sweeping Santa Clara in the CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoffs before bowing out in the second round.
“Going into the season I knew we had a great opportunity to win league,” says Mary Star sophomore outside hitter Ally Spillane. “By remaining consistent, focused and supportive of each other, we were able to come out each match with the expectation of winning.”
Spillane was one of many valuable contributors on a team of Stars, including senior libero Hope Marinkovich, sophomore setter Angela Pisano, sophomore outside hitter Lexi Andrie, senior opposite hitter Evelyn Pronovost and sophomore middle blockers Kaitlyn Martinez and Gianna Fletcher.
All of that success was credited to the outstanding coaching of Jaynes.
“Coach Jaynes impacted our season so much,” says Pisano. “He always pushes us to become better players and always brought positivity to practices and games. Without him, we wouldn’t have achieved what we did.”
Marinkovich adds: “I can’t even begin to describe this feeling of excitement. It’s unparalleled.”
All of that excitement may translate into another great year for this team.
“We are striving to be even more successful in the years to come,” Andrie says.
Dual National Signing Day In San Pedro – Wednesday, November 12, was a banner day in San Pedro. At noon, Mary Star softball senior Marina Vitalich officially signed her national letter of intent to play collegiate softball at George Mason University. Two hours later, POLA softball senior pitcher Nicolle Miranda signed on to play at Eastern Michigan University.
In her three years, Vitalich has been named All CIF-Southern Section every year and has posted a record of 55-21 with a school record 785 strikeouts, going 15-7 with a 0.64 ERA and 321 strikeouts during her junior year, hurling seven no-hitters, including a pair of perfect games.
“I was just really excited that after 12 years of playing I could finally sign,” says Vitalich, who is a two-time Camino Real League MVP and led the Stars to the CIF-SS Division VI finals her sophomore season. “I have always dreamed of playing softball on the collegiate level and now my dream is finally coming true.”
Miranda, a three-time CIF-LACS Pitcher of the Year (Division III in 2012 and 2013, Division I in 2014) has won two City Section Division III championships and guided POLA to a 30-8 season and the Division I semifinals in 2014.
“I’m excited for next year and for what EMU has to offer to me,” says Miranda, who went 19-6 with a 1.63 ERA and 202 strikeouts last year, while also hitting .402 with four home runs, 25 RBIs, 35 hits and 19 runs. “I can’t wait to play with four amazing coaches and the girls that are soon to become my family.”