They led their divisional rankings most of the season, so it was only fitting that J.Serra and Crespi won CIF-SS boys’ water polo championships on Nov. 16 – though neither victory came easily.
In a battle of San Juan Capistrano schools, J.Serra defeated No. 2 San Juan Hills 13-10 at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine, capturing the Division 4 crown in its first-ever finals appearance. Coached by Brett Ormsby, the Lions (27-5) got three goals apiece from Lachlan Treister, Conor Brough and Johan Thrall.
Later that same day, Crespi edged second-seeded Redlands 9-8 to earn the Division 6 championship, as Milo Joseph scored five goals and Brandon Guran scored the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining. It was the second CIF-SS title for the Stephan Phililian-coached Celts (21-11) who previously won the 1981 CIF 2A championship.
This was the fifth straight year that at least one Catholic school won a CIF-SS boys’ water polo title. Recent champions included Mater Dei (D-1 in 2015 and 2017), Santa Margarita (D-2 in 2016), Servite (D-3 in 2018) and Cathedral (D-7 in 2018).