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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.