Snapshots of a Season: a look at TPHS sports

As the fall sports season at TPHS comes to an end, 11 new banners line the ceiling of the gym.  Seven league titles and four CIF championships later, TPHS athletes and coaches look back on their season. 

For Charlenne Falcis-Stevens, TPHS athletic director and head track and field coach, there are many factors that lead to this level of athletic success. 

“Team chemistry is a major factor in the success of a program,” Falcis-Stevens said. “[So is] a solid coaching staff and athletes willing to work hard for their team.” 

After losing the past two CIF San Diego Section Open Division finals, the TPHS varsity field hockey team — the Avocado League champion — brought home the title this season, defeating the La Costa Canyon High School Mavericks 1-0.

“For the seniors, it was our third CIF finals, and we needed that win. It was time for us,” midfielder Sophie Rosenblum (12) said. “For everyone else [on the team], I think [they fed off] our energy.”

Courtney Spleen, the varsity field hockey  head coach and English 9 teacher, agreed.

“The girls realized that we have to learn how to play together as a team and not rely on just one person,” she said. 

On the tennis courts, yet another open division champion was named. TPHS varsity girls tennis, the North County Conference Coastal League champions, emerged victorious in the CIF SDS Open Division championships, defeating the two-time reigning champions, Canyon Crest Academy, when tied at 9-9 sets, but triumphing in games 76-71.

Natalia Mochernak (12) and Rebecca Kong (12) also won doubles in the CIF SDS girls tennis individual championships [story on A22].

At the Division I level, TPHS varsity girls golf won the NCC Coastal League tournament and the CIF SDS championship. At the CIF state level, the team tied for first, with  Zoe Jiamanukoonkit (10) taking home the individual title.

The TPHS varsity flag football  team also scored a league title in its inaugural season, finishing with a record of 16-1, with 16 consecutive undefeated games.

“Because the sport was new, we had a lot of different groups of people trying out, so we worked on bonding as a team, in and outside of the sport,” defensive safety Mia Mosebrook (12) said.

The team advanced to the CIF SDS Division I finals, where they lost to Bonita Vista High School 0-19 to close out their season.

Also named league champions, both the TPHS boys and girls varsity cross country teams won their respective NCC Coastal League Championships and both teams finished third at their CIF SDS championships.

Bryce Conover (12) of the boys team and eight members of the girls team went on to race at the CIF state championships, where both Conover and the girls team placed sixteenth in their races [story on A21].

Varsity girls volleyball were also NCC Coastal League champions, but lost in the CIF Open Division championship for the third consecutive year. 

The varsity football team ended with an overall record of 7-3. Despite missing both a league and championship title this fall, varsity football team captain Jake Sweeney (12) said it was a “really good season.”

“We started off with a bunch of challenges … but after a couple of games, we really got together as a group and we became closer and started playing a lot better,” Sweeney said.

Off the field and in the pool, the TPHS varsity boys water polo team ended their season with a record of 16-12, losing 10-13 in the CIF Division I Semifinals against Coronado High School (12-15).

From the sidelines of games to a state competition, the TPHS competitive cheer team won the CIF SDS Division II championships for the small intermediate category. They will proceed to the CIF state championships in January.

As the winter season kicks off, TPHS teams hope to keep adding more banners to the Olive Garden’s collection with their team chemistry, energy and leadership.

Photo by Anna Opalsky/Falconer

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