The initial CIF-Southern Section polls of the spring sports season show Catholic schools appearing in baseball, softball and boys’ volleyball, the sports in which the CIF-SS compiles weekly rankings.


The “teams to watch” pre-season poll released Feb. 4 finds several Catholic teams in the top ten, including J.Serra (fifth in Division 1), Damien (fourth in D-2) and Paraclete (eighth in D-3). Also mentioned are St. Paul (fifth in D-4), St. Anthony (fifth in D-6) and St,. Monica Academy (ninth in D-7). Last season: La Salle reached the D-3 final; no Catholic school has won a baseball title since Santa Margarita (D-1) and Bishop Amat  (D-3) in 2013..


The pre-season “watch list,” which lists teams alphabetically, includes Mater Dei and Santa Margarita (D-1), Chaminade and St. Lucy’s (D-2), J.Serra (D-3), La Reina and St. Anthony (D-4), Santa Clara (D-6), and Mayfield and St Mary’s Academy (D-7).
Last season: Chaminade (D-5) and Serra (D-7) won titles; Mary Star reached the D-6 final.

Boys’ volleyball

Like softball, the pre-season “watch list” lists teams alphabetically. The combined Divisions 1 & 2 poll (with teams separated at playoff time in late April) includes Alemany, Loyola, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita and Servite. Other teams listed are Crespi and Damien (D-3), St. Anthony (D-4) and St. Paul (D-6). Last season: No Catholic schools reached the final round. In 2017, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks won the D-2 title; Loyola (D-1) and Bishop Montgomery (D-3) reached the finals.

Play in each sport has started, as it has in boys’ and girls’ swimming, boys’ and girls’ track and field, and boys’ golf and tennis. Regular season play continues through late April, followed by playoff action which concludes by early June.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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