De La Salle’s State Team of the Year streak now extends to four years too

Posted on December 17, 2012 by

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Junior lineman Sumner Houston from De La Salle of Concord gets greeted by flag girls after one of the team's 15 wins during the 2012 season. Houston, younger brother of 2009, 2010 and 2011 starting quarterback Bart Houston, should be one of the team's top players next season.

Junior lineman Sumner Houston from De La Salle of Concord gets greeted by flag girls after one of the team’s 15 wins during the 2012 season. Houston, younger brother of 2009, 2010 and 2011 starting quarterback Bart Houston, should be one of the team’s top players next season.

With new regional bowl format, suspense for this selection has become obsolete. Still, we’ll continue to make it official since our list of honorees extends back to 1891.

By Mark Tennis
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In three of the first four years of the CIF state bowl games, it most certainly was not automatic which winning team was going to be chosen the following week as the overall Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year.

In 2006, it was Oaks Christian of Westlake Village edging Lutheran of Orange. Then in 2008 it was Centennial of Corona being tabbed just barely in front of Grant of Sacramento, followed by 2009 when De La Salle of Concord got the nod instead of Servite of Anaheim.

After the Spartans won CIF Open Division titles in 2010 and 2011 in romps of 48-8 and 35-0, however, there was no debate. And even if their 48-28 win last Saturday over Centennial in this year’s CIF Open Division bowl game had been closer, there would have been no debate, either.

That’s because starting this year the CIF instituted new regional bowl games that lead into the state bowl games. If the old format was being used, De La Salle probably would have played unbeaten Narbonne of Harbor City in the Open Division with Granite Bay and Corona Centennial matching up in D1 and Folsom and Gardena Serra in D2. What if, for example, had Folsom won that game and finished 16-0? There could have been least be some questions, even small, that the Spartans might not be the state’s No. 1 team.

Now, with teams like Folsom and Narbonne getting eliminated in the regional round, there’s no question whatsoever that the CIF Open Division champion is also going to be the Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year.

For De La Salle, this year’s top statewide finish is the program’s 16th in the last 21 seasons. The Spartans also have won five CIF state titles in the last six years and have won 54 of their last 55 games. They are taking a 26-game win streak into next season and have won 55 consecutive games against California opponents. Their last loss was in their third game of last season to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and their last loss to a California team was 21-16 to Corona Centennial in the 2008 CIF Division I state bowl game.

With 33 touchdowns and more than 2,100 yards, Tiapepe Vitale put his name among some of the best running backs in De La Salle history, including Maurice Jones-Drew, D.J. Williams, Patrick Walsh, Atari Callen, Lucas Dunne, Terron Ward and Saleem Muhammad.

With 33 touchdowns and more than 2,100 yards, Tiapepe Vitale put his name among some of the best running backs in De La Salle history, including Maurice Jones-Drew, D.J. Williams, Patrick Walsh, Atari Callen, Lucas Dunne, Terron Ward and Saleem Muhammad.

More Spartan Facts ‘N Stats

Head coach Bob Ladouceur, who just finished his 33rd season, has said that a decision will be announced after the Christmas break about next year, but it is fairly certain he’ll be coaching at the school in some role. During his career, Ladouceur has won more CIF North Coast Section championships (28) than losses (24). Obviously, with a career record of 399-24-3, he needs just one more to become the first coach in California with 400 career victories and join a select group of national coaches.

While this year’s Spartan team gave up more points than year, its defense still ranks as among the school’s best ever. Last year’s defense, led by linebacker Michael Barton, after all, didn’t have to face an offense quite as good as Corona Centennial, which had set a new state record for total offense yards even before the last game. This year’s defense also was led by a linebacker, senior USC commit Michael Hutchings, and features three others bound for major colleges, including defensive ends Austin Hooper and Victor Egu (Cal) along with linebacker D.J. Moffitt.

One of the reasons that the DLS offense ended up being as well-oiled as ever and scored 49, 52, 48 and 48 points in its last four games was the play of junior quarterback Chris Williams. Coaches will admit he had some inconsistent outings as the new starter earlier in the season, but when it was time to step up later in the season and in the playoffs he made clutch throws, clutch reads on the triple-option and didn’t make too many mistakes.

The team’s rushing leader, much like seniors Terron Ward (now at Oregon State) in 2009 and Lucas Dunne in 2010, was senior Tiapepe Vitale. He scored four times in the final win against Centennial and ended with 2,102 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns.

Das Tautalatasi, who also rushed for more than 100 yards against Centennial, figures to be that senior leader at running back next season. The junior, however, could be just as good as a safety on defense. Other underclass standouts who look like they’ll be senior leaders for De La Salle in 2013 include Williams at quarterback, Sumner Houston (6-3, 245) at defensive tackle, Larry Allen Jr. (6-2, 250) at offensive guard and Marquis Morris (6-0, 165) at receiver.

Congratulations to the De La Salle Spartans, the 2012 State Team of the Year.

CAL-HI SPORTS STATE
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
ALL-TIME HONOR ROLL

(Last 103 years listed, but it goes back further than that to 1891 in our files, as compiled from 1891 to 2003 by the late Nelson Tennis)

2012 — Concord De La Salle (15-0)
2011 — Concord De La Salle (13-1)
2010 — Concord De La Salle (14-0)
2009 — Concord De La Salle (13-2)
2008 — Corona Centennial (15-0)
2007 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2006 — Westlake Village Oaks Christian (15-0)
2005 — Ventura St. Bonaventure (14-0)
2004 — Mission Viejo (14-0)
2003 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2002 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2001 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
2000 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1999 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1998 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1997 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1996 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1995 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1994 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1993 — Rialto Eisenhower (14-0)
1992 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1991 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (13-1)
1990 — Merced (14-0)
1989 — Fontana (14-0)
1988 — Carson (12-1)
1987 — Fontana (14-0)
1986 — El Toro (14-0)
1985 — Vista (13-0)
1984 — Riverside Poly (13-1)
1983 — Mountain View St. Francis (13-0)
1982 — Anaheim Servite (11-1)
1981 — San Jose Bellarmine (12-0)
1980 — Wilmington Banning (12-0)
1979 — Huntington Beach Edison (12-2)
1978 — Visalia Mt. Whitney (13-0)
1977 — Rancho Cordova (12-0)
1976 — Wilmington Banning (12-1)
1975 — Rancho Cordova (11-0)
1974 — Vista (13-0)
1973 — Hacienda Heights Los Altos (12-1)
1972 — Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (13-0)
1971 — Carson (12-0)
1970 — La Puente Bishop Amat (12-1)
1969 — Pasadena Blair (13-0)
1968 — Alameda (9-0)
1967 — Anaheim (12-1)
1966 — Pico Rivera El Rancho (13-0)
1965 — San Jose Bellarmine (9-0)
1964 — Stockton Stagg (10-0)
1963 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1962 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1961 — Monterey (8-0)
1960 — Redwood City Sequoia (9-0)
1959 — Long Beach Poly (11-0)
1958 — Long Beach Poly (11-0-1)
1957 — Berkeley (8-0)
1956 — Downey (12-0-1)
1955 — San Diego (11-0-1)
1954 — Vallejo (9-0)
1953 — Santa Monica (10-0-1)
1952 — Santa Monica (11-0-1)
1951 — Pomona (12-0)
1950 — Compton (11-1)
1949 — Compton (10-1)
1948 — Long Beach St. Anthony (11-1-1)
1947 — L.A. Washington (8-0)
1946 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1945 — Santa Ana (11-1)
1944 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1943 — Redondo Beach Redondo (6-0)
1942 — La Verne Bonita (11-0)
1941 — Piedmont (9-0)
1940 — Piedmont (8-0)
1939 — Alhambra (10-0)
1938 — Stockton (8-0)
1937 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0)
1936 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0-1)
1935 — Long Beach Poly (9-0)
1934 — Piedmont (8-0)
1933 — S.F. Galileo (8-2-1)
1932 — Inglewood (10-2)
1931 — Santa Ana (13-0)
1930 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1929 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1928 — Lodi (9-0)
1927 — Bakersfield (12-0)
1926 — San Mateo (9-1-1)
1925 — Los Angeles (10-0)
1924 — Berkeley (11-0)
1923 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1922 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1921 — Bakersfield (9-0-1)
1920 — Bakersfield (9-1)
1919 — Long Beach Poly (12-0)
1918 — L.A. Manual Arts (9-0)
1917 — L.A. Manual Arts (11-1)
1916 — San Diego (12-0)
1915 — Pasadena (7-1)
1914 — Pomona Rugby (12-0)
1913 — Pomona Rugby (11-0)
1912 — Berkeley Rugby (7-2-1)
1911 — Los Angeles Rugby (9-0)
1910 — Alameda (5-0)

Corrections or comments? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.