MBHS Academic League makes big gain to make playoffs
by Keith Antigiovanni
May 08, 2013 | 2143 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Mission Bay High School Academic League team are, from left, Tiarra Gonzalez, Thomas Schoettle, Brett Linley, Daniel Fennel and Yewande Maraiyesa. Courtesy photo
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The Mission Bay High School (MBHS) Academic League team finished the 2013 season with a playoff appearance, advancing to the semi-final round before falling to the Coronado Islanders on television on Time-Warner Cable. Coach Barry Dancher said he was pleased with the overall performance of the MBHS Academic League squad after a disappointing finish to the 2012 season, when the Bucs dropped their last regular season match and narrowly missed qualifying for the playoffs.

“We did really well this year. If I knew at the beginning of the year that we would make the playoffs, considering our competition, I would be very happy. We had a very good year,” Dancher said.

The Academic League is a 5-on-5 countywide competition among 60 public, private and charter schools at three levels: varsity (juniors and seniors), junior varsity (sophomores and juniors) and novices (freshman and sophomores). The county is broken up into three divisions: central, southeast and northern, with MBHS in the central division.

MBHS finished the 2013 regular season with a 7-1 record and qualified as a wild-card team, despite tying Madison for the division title. The Bucs lost the division on a tie-breaker because of a last-second, one-point loss to the Warhawks.

Despite the success the past few years, Dancher will be looking toward the 2014 season as a rebuilding year, with five of the seven varsity level players graduating. The graduating MBHS academic players will be team captain Brett Linley and fellow seniors Brett Ambrose, Daniel Fennell, Yewande Maraiyesa and Thomas Schoettle. The other varsity players who participated in the semifinals are juniors Jerrilyn Goldberg and Tierra Gonzales.

In preparation for next year, Dancher said he decided to get his younger players some experience in the regular season.

“Several of our juniors and underclassmen got some playing time with the varsity while the ninth- and tenth-graders were able to participate with the junior varsity. We’ll have some new kids next year and you never know who will turn up,” Dancher said.

In five years under Dancher, the MBHS Academic League team has grown from seven players to around 25 today, and has been able to draw students from all over the city thanks in part to the schools’ international baccalaureate satatus.
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