Fans in the stands, smiles on faces, a full postseason, sports were back in a big way in 2022!
In a year that saw a return to normalcy, the performances displayed by Servite student-athletes were anything but ordinary. Looking back on the success, the extraordinary almost became routine. Teams advanced to the CIF Finals, records were broken, Trinity League, CIF and State Championships were won, national rankings awarded. In a year where celebrating a return to competition might have been enough, the Friars made it one for the history books.
Fall kicked off action as football made their return to the CIF-SS D1 Championship game led by Trinity League MVPs Tetairoa McMillan (Overall), Noah Fifita (Offensive), Jacob Manu (Defensive) and Mason Graham (Lineman). The Friars spent all season ranked in the top 10 nationally and their 10-3 overall record landed them no. 3 in the composite rankings at season’s end. At quarterback and wide receiver, Fifita and McMillan put on a show breaking nearly every offensive career record as McMillan went on to be named Player of the Year by nine different organizations including becoming Servite’s first ever Gatorade State Player of the Year and a national finalist. The gridiron wasn’t the only place to be in fall, water polo advanced to the CIF semifinals for the third time in the last five years while Jared Steins finished as CIF Runner-Up in cross country and placed at the state meet for the Friars.
Soccer kept the momentum going in winter putting together the best season in school history winning their 9th consecutive Trinity League Championship, 3rd CIF-SS D1 Championship and first ever CIF State Regional Championship. The Friars, who went 24-2-2 overall, finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. Eddie Villeda (Overall) and Merrick Cook (Defensive) were both recognized as Trinity League MVPs while Villeda went on to be named CIF and OC Player of the Year. Servite wrestlers brought home some hardware of their own as Elijah Poe (106), Anthony Lucio (113) and Marcus Medina (138) each won CIF Individual Championships with Medina earning MVP honors and the team finishing as CIF Runner-Ups.
Spring brought an incredible conclusion to the school year as Tennis won their second consecutive Trinity League Championship and golf, volleyball and track and field all finished as CIF-SS Runner-Ups. For volleyball, it was the first trip to the CIF Championship game in school history after two previous trips to the semifinals. In Coach Gibbs’ final season with team, track and field athletes shined setting five new school records, winning six Trinity League individual titles and tallying three CIF Individual Championships. After winning his fourth CIF title and placing at state for the second year in a row, Max Thomas, who holds school records in the 100, 200 and 400, was named OC Track Athlete of the Year. Fellow senior Jared Steins earned Trinity League MVP accolades after winning the 800, 1600 and 3200 in the same meet for the first time in league history. Jack Cantlay won the Trinity League Individual Championship in golf while Roman Martin was the third spring athlete to earn League MVP honors after hitting .511 in league play.
After performances like these, it’s no surprise that 35 senior student-athletes representing nine sports are moving on to compete collegiately. Football led all sports with 10 signees followed by soccer with 9 and baseball with 7.
The 2021-2022 year was truly one for the record books!