De La Salle's deepest year yet

Anthony Williams and Bart Houston are all smiles after 2011 CIF Open Division bowl game. Ronnie Flores/ESPNHS

All-boys school from Concord is named Cal-Hi Sports State School of the Year for overall athletic excellence for the fourth time.

There have been stronger showings at De La Salle of Concord in the major sports of football, basketball and baseball, but the 2011-12 school year may go down as its best ever for all-sports combined and that’s a primary reason why the Spartans have been selected as the 2011-12 Cal-Hi Sports State School of the Year.

De La Salle, which previously has been State School of the Year for 2003-04, 1999-2000 and 1995-96, won in a close choice over La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad and Mater Dei of Santa Ana.

Despite having no girls teams, the Spartans gobbled up seven CIF North Coast Section titles, blanked previously unbeaten Westlake of Westlake Village 35-0 to win their third straight CIF Open Division football title and were judged top 10 overall in the state in five sports.

Mater Dei, which does have girls, was the only other school in the state with five top 10 teams. And although the Monarchs were No. 1 in three of those sports – boys basketball, girls basketball and boys water polo – they didn’t have the depth of success of De La Salle. Plus, Mater Dei was not selected as the top school for overall success by the local Orange County Register.

In addition to football, which has not lost in an NCS final since 1991, De La Salle’s other section championships were claimed in cross country, soccer, wrestling, basketball, baseball and volleyball. The other top 10 overall teams were in basketball, soccer, wrestling and volleyball. In CIF state competition, the basketball team was denied in its attempt to repeat as the CIF Northern California champions due to an upset in the regional semifinals by Jesuit of Carmichael. The wrestling team, though, did very well at the CIF state meet once again with a fourth-place finish.

De La Salle’s depth is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that for the second straight year only one team from the entire athletic program was not at least top five overall in the NCS. This year’s seven section titles were complemented by a runner-up finish in lacrosse, a semifinal placing in water polo and finishes of fourth in the NCS swimming and diving meet, fourth in the NCS golf championships and fifth in the NCS Meet of Champions for track and field. Note that in the NCS in some sports, such as golf and swimming, there are no divisions.

La Costa Canyon was strongly considered for its haul of 11 CIF San Diego Section championships plus four second-place finishes. The Mavericks, who have been chosen as Division II State School of the Year, didn’t win a CIF state title nor were they No. 1 overall in the state in any sport. They also were counted with four top 10 overall teams, just behind De La Salle and Mater Dei.

All three of De La Salle’s previous State School of the Year honors came when Terry Eidson was the athletic director. This is the first time the Spartans have been chosen under athletic director Leo Lopoz.

Cal-Hi Sports State Schools of the Year

All-Time List

2011-12 – De La Salle (Concord)

2010-11 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

2009-10 - Junipero Serra (Gardena)

2008-09 - Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)

2007-08 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

2006-07 - Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)

2005-06 - Buchanan (Clovis)

2004-05 - Clovis West (Fresno)

2003-04 - De La Salle (Concord)

2002-03 - Torrey Pines (San Diego)

2001-02 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

2000-01 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1999-00 - De La Salle (Concord)

1998-99 - Clovis West (Fresno)

1997-98 - Santa Margarita (Rancho SM)

1996-97 - Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1995-96 - De La Salle (Concord)

1994-95 - Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1993-94 - Clovis West (Fresno)

1992-93 - Esperanza (Anaheim)

1991-92 - Mater Dei (Santa Ana)

1990-91 - Poway

1989-90 - Bakersfield

1988-89 - Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)

1987-88 - Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo)

1986-87 - Mission Viejo

1985-86 - Bellarmine (San Jose)

1984-85 - Bellarmine (San Jose)

1983-84 - Cordova (Rancho Cordova)

1982-83 - St. Francis (Mountain View)

1981-82 - Mission Viejo

1980-81 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1979-80 - Berkeley

1978-79 - Mt. Whitney (Visalia)

1977-78 - Andrew Hill (San Jose)

1976-77 - Pasadena

1975-76 - San Fernando

1974-75 - Clovis

1973-74 - Kearny (San Diego)

1972-73 - Monte Vista (Spring Valley)

1971-72 - Ygnacio Valley (Concord)

1970-71 - Lompoc

1969-70 - Blair (Pasadena)

1968-69 - Compton

1967-68 - Homestead (Cupertino)

1966-67 - El Rancho (Pico Rivera)

1965-66 - El Segundo

1964-65 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1963-64 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1962-63 - Santa Clara

1961-62 - McClymonds (Oakland)

1960-61 - Compton

1959-60 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1958-59 - Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)

1957-58 - Berkeley

1956-57 - Fresno

1955-56 - Jefferson (Los Angeles)

1954-55 - Centennial (Compton)

1953-54 - St. Ignatius (San Francisco)

1952-53 - Santa Monica

1951-52 - Compton

1950-51 - Compton

1949-50 - Jefferson (Los Angeles)

Note: All-time list extends back to 1890-91 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book and Almanac. All selections prior to 1980 made retroactively through research by the late Nelson Tennis, founder of Cal-Hi Sports.

Corrections or comments? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.