By Zach Cavanagh
It was a golden year for athletics in San Juan Capistrano with numerous championship trophies in a wide multitude of sports added to the display case.
Here is a look back at some of the memorable San Juan Capistrano sports moments of 2022:
San Juan Hills Boys Basketball Wins First CIF-SS Championship
The Stallions set a program record for wins on their way to their second league championship, first quarterfinal, first semifinal, first CIF-SS Final and first CIF-SS Championship. San Juan Hills dominated the final three quarters to defeat host La Mirada, 59-49.
Capistrano Valley Christian Girls Basketball Wins First CIF-SS Championship
The Eagles obliterated the CIF-SS Division 5AA playoff field to capture the program’s first CIF-SS title. CVC averaged 71 points per game and allowed just 28 points per game over its playoff run, including a 70-24 win in the title game.
San Juan Hills, CVC Basketball Earn Coach, Player of the Year
On the back of those historic CIF-SS championships, San Juan Hills boys coach Jason Efstathiou and Capistrano Valley Christian girls coach Dominic Freeman were named their divisions’ coach of the year. John McFadden and Mark Reichner were named Division 2A co-players of the year, and Halle Sii was named Division 5AA player of the year.
Sean Rhyan Drafted by Green Bay Packers
Former UCLA Bruin and San Juan Hills alumnus Sean Rhyan was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. The offensive lineman made the official roster for the Packers in the fall.
Royce Lewis Makes MLB Debut
JSerra alumnus and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins on May 6. Lewis handled the first out of the game at shortstop and collected his first big-league hit in the eighth inning.
JSerra Baseball Wins First CIF-SS Championship
After grabbing a lead in the sixth inning, the JSerra baseball team finally captured its first CIF-SS championship with a 3-1 win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in the Division 1 Final at Cal State Fullerton. The Lions won 17 of 18 games after a 1-6 Trinity League start to take the title.
St. Margaret’s Boys Volleyball Beats CVC for CIF-SS Championship
In an all-San Juan Capistrano Final, the St. Margaret’s boys volleyball team swept league rival Capistrano Valley Christian, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18, to win the CIF-SS Division 4 title. CVC advanced to the Division III Regional Final before losing.
CVC Softball Wins First CIF-SS Championship
The offensive juggernaut that was the Capistrano Valley Christian softball team captured the program’s first CIF-SS championship with a 5-1 win over Linfield Christian in the Division 7 Final. The Eagles allowed just one run in each of their five playoff games and scored 42 runs over their title run.
San Juan Hills Football Rebounds for League Title
Against an incredibly tough schedule, the San Juan Hills football team opened with an 0-7 record entering Sea View League play, but the battle-tested Stallions made progress out of their lumps. San Juan Hills won its three league games by a combined score of 112-34 to advance to the playoffs.
JSerra, St. Margaret’s Football Clinch Playoffs in Season Finales
JSerra won back-to-back Trinity League games for the first time since 2018 to squeeze its way into the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs with a victory over Orange Lutheran. St. Margaret’s overcame an 0-6 start to the season to clinch third place and a playoff spot in its first season in the Orange Coast League.
San Juan Hills Girls Volleyball Wins League Title
The Stallions fought and scrapped their way to a share of the South Coast League championship. In the final week, San Juan Hills upset San Clemente and Aliso Niguel—and got help from San Clemente over Aliso Niguel—to earn its share of the title.
JSerra Boys Water Polo Loses Open Division, Wins Regional
The No. 1 seed Lions made their way to the program’s first-ever CIF-SS Open Division Final, but JSerra was edged in an absolute thriller by Newport Harbor, 10-9. The Lions got their revenge in the Division I State Regionals with a title win at Newport Harbor, 11-8.
JSerra Girls Cross Country Wins Back-to-Back CIF-SS, State Titles
The Lions placed all five scoring runners in the top 20 of the CIF-SS Division 4 Final to win the program’s seventh CIF-SS championship. In the State Division IV Final, JSerra placed three runners in the top 15 and all five scorers in the top 25 to win the program’s fifth state title. The Lions went on to run in the Nike Cross Nationals.