By Zach Cavanagh

On local, county, state, national and international levels, Dana Point athletes made their mark in a wide variety of sports inside, outside and on the water. Dana Point added new hall-of-famers, champions and professionals to its ranks in a memorable year.

Here is a look back at some of the best Dana Point sports moments of 2018:

January

Dana Hills Wrestlers Win Seven League Silvers

Seven Dolphin grapplers earned their way to second-place finishes for Dana Hills at the Coast View Athletic Association Finals. Erick Carreno, Miguel Rodriguez, Gavin Walker, Colin Reider, Levi Jones, Kian Abedi and Josh Harkey all won silver.

February

Dolphins Girls Basketball Wins First Outright League Title

The Dana Hills girls basketball team went undefeated in the Sea View League (8-0) and won its first league title since 2013. It was the first time in school history that the Dolphins did not share the girls basketball league title.

March

Fred Taylor III Backstops Santa Margarita Hockey to National Title

Dana Point resident and Eagles goaltender Fred Taylor III earned all six wins at the national tournament and allowed only nine goals as Santa Margarita won the USA Hockey High School Division 1 national championship. The Eagles also won ADHSHL and State titles.

Natalie Bray Wins State Gymnastics Championship

Olympica Gymnastics’ Natalie Bray, 13, earned the state championship in floor exercises and took the all-around state title in the Level 8 division. Bray also contributed to a Southern California win at Regionals.

The all-female crew of the Tomol out of Dana Point Yacht Club won its class of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race in April. Photo Courtesy

April

Dana Hills Boys Track Wins County Championship

A school- and meet-record performance in the 4×400 relay put the Dolphins over the top to win the Orange County Championship, 68-60, over Mission Viejo. Max McKhann, Jack Landgraf and the girls 4×400 team won individual county titles.

All-Female DPYC Crew Wins Newport-Ensenada Race

The Tomol and its all-female crew from the Dana Point Yacht Club, including skipper Sue Griesbach, took first in the Cruz Non-Spin class in the annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. The winning time was 24 hours, 38 minutes and 58 seconds.

May

Mike Weed Inducted to Skateboarding Hall of Fame

Former Dana Point resident and skateboarding pioneer Mike Weed was inducted posthumously into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame as a 1970s Era One Skater. Weed was a member of the Hobie team in the 1970s and was known as a bank and bowl rider.

June

Three Dana Hills Alums Selected in MLB Draft

Jay Schuyler, 2015 graduate, was picked by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round out of the University of San Diego. Zach Wolf, 2015 graduate, was picked by the Miami Marlins in the 18th round out of Seattle University. David Clawson, 2016 graduate, was picked by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 37th round.

July

Liam O’Connor Plays for Ireland at Euro Baseball Championships

Dana Point resident and San Juan Hills senior Liam O’Connor played for the Irish junior national baseball team at the 2018 European 18U Junior Division Championship in Grosseto, Italy. Ireland went 2-2, and O’Connor scored four runs with three RBI and a triple.

August

Dana Outrigger Hosts 44th Whitey Harrison Classic

The Dana Outrigger Canoe Club hosted dozens of the region’s best canoe clubs for the 44th edition of the Whitey Harrison 9-Man Outrigger Classic. The race runs from Dana Point Harbor to Main Beach Laguna Beach and back.

September

Dana Hills Football Hosts Honor the Valor Game

The Dolphins football team honored 45 combat veterans from World War II to current conflicts in a series of events leading up to and including their seventh annual Honor the Valor game. Players wore special jerseys with the name of a veteran on the back nameplate and gifted the jerseys back to the corresponding veteran.

The Dana Hills girls tennis team won its 20th consecutive league title and advanced to the program’s 12th CIF-SS Final, where it earned runner-up honors. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

October

Dolphins Girls Tennis Wins 20th Straight League Title

The Dana Hills girls tennis team shared its fifth consecutive South Coast League title with rival San Clemente and won its 20th consecutive league title. The Dolphins made a run to their 12th CIF-SS Final and earned Division 1 runner-up honors.

November

Dana Hills Boys Cross Country Takes State Bronze

The Dolphins boys cross country team continued to add to its legacy of success with a third-place finish at the CIF State Championships in Fresno. Dana Hills also took a runner-up plaque at CIF-SS Finals and won a record fourth consecutive Orange County championship.

December

City Unveils Hobie Memorial Statue

Dana Point revealed the monument honoring Hobart “Hobie” Alter, the founder of the Hobie brand and the original Hobie Cat, at the Watermen’s Plaza on Pacific Coast Highway. The memorial is the first erected in the park that will pay tribute to local icons in the surf industry.

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