The Breitbard All-CIF team is the official team recognized by the CIF San Diego Section and is the highest honor for high school athletes in the county. Twenty talented coastal area student-athletes, from Point Loma through Mission Bay to University City and La Jolla, took home crowns.
"The All-CIF team is always a great class of athletes in San Diego," said Tom Shanahan, media coordinator for the Hall of Champions, of this year's fall group of inductees. "We've got a great history of turning out athletes in sports. We'll have plenty going on to sports success in college, junior and national teams, and professionally."
Honorees include those from The Bishop's School, La Jolla High, La Jolla Country Day, University City High, Mission Bay High and Point Loma High.
Senior Kevin May of The Bishop's School won this year's coveted Boys Water Polo Player of the Year award.
"I am very honored to receive the award, because there are a lot of great players in San Diego," May said. "At the same time, it's validation for all of my hard work, and the hard work of my teammates, for all of our efforts over the last four years. I'm really excited and really honored."
Eighteen-year-old May has been playing since the sixth grade and recalls his fondest memory of playing as his freshman year at Bishop's, when the Knights defeated the Coronado Islanders in the CIF final game, as an underdog.
He's not sure where water polo will take him, but he'd like to play collegially, possibly even in the Olympics one day. As far as a career, he may like to follow in his big sister Megan's footsteps. She's attending Stanford, studying pre-med.
"May was an obvious choice for "˜Player of the Year,'" said Shanahan, who was also one of this year's judges. "Anytime you're the best player at Bishop's, you're the best."
In addition to May, The Bishop's School touts Laura Wyatt for the All-CIF cross-country team and Kathryn Fieldler and Natalia Wrobel, All-CIF volleyball second team.
University City High boasted four All-CIF cross-country inductees: Mac Fleet, Sarah Vitug, Sheree Shea and Devin Cowick, while Mitch Beacom made the All-CIF water polo team.
La Jolla Country Day All-CIF honorees include Lauren Pischel for cross country and Sophia Bursalaya for tennis.
La Jolla High All-CIF standouts include Nihal Kayali for cross-country, Hannah Holladay for tennis, Bridget Kilgallon for golf and James Sefton, water polo second team.
Mission Bay High highlights include Daente Green for football defense and Dillon Baxter, football offense second team.
Last but not least, Point Loma High inductees include Lester Arnold for football offense, Christy Fogerty for golf and Alex Holmes, football defense second team.
The namesake award team was titled after the museum's originator Bob Breitbard, who founded the San Diego Hall of Champions in 1946. When the CIF formed its own section in San Diego in 1960, it marked the birth of the Breitbard All-CIF team.
Now in its 47th year, the Hall of Champions celebrates San Diego's best student athletes.
When the CIF was formed in San Diego, most highlights were limited to the "meat and potatoes sports," such as football, basketball and baseball. Over the years, other sports have been added.
Water polo was added in 1967, when it became a CIF-sanctioned sport.
The newest sports to join the celebrated ranks of the local All-CIF team are boys and girls lacrosse.
All teams were determined by the vote of a media panel "” comprising the North County Times, www.eastcountysports.com, COX Channel 4 and Shanahan "” with input from coaches. The All-CIF cross-country team was settled on by the top 20 fastest times in all divisions.
Even the legendary Dick Draz, former Crawford High School coach and a tournament director for water polo, lended his expert opinion.
Chargers Pro Bowl special teams player Kassim Osgood presented the 2006 All-CIF fall sports certificates to the student inductees on Jan. 28. Nearly 450 athletes and family members attended the event at the Hall of Champions.
"There are a lot of really good fall sport athletes," May said. "Water polo is such a small community that it was nice to see everyone together."
For more information on the San Diego Hall of Champions, visit www.sdhoc.com.