baseball, Chavez Ravine, CIF, Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, Dodgers, football, high school football, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball, Mater Dei High School, Mater Dei Monarchs, MLB, National League, NFL, Orange County, Rams, Santa Ana, Super Bowl, World Series
Our Team of The Year, celebrating the National League pennant that they won over the defending champion Cubs in their Friendly Confines. Photo courtesy of truebluela.com
OUR ANNUAL RECOGNITION OF THE MOST NOTEWORTHY SPORTS TEAM IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOR 2017
SoCal Sports Annals’ choice for team of the year was a pretty easy one.
After reaching the World Series for the first time in nearly three decades, how could I not pick the…
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Of course I don’t have to state that the Dodgers’ loss in seven games to the Houston Astros in that Fall Classic when they should have won it in five was most disappointing if not devastating; two months later, fans are still talking about it.
I know I have whenever I’ve been out and about in my Dodger cap and ran into someone wearing Dodger gear.
But that doesn’t change the fact that their outstanding season, a season in which they won a franchise record 104 games and blasted through the playoffs, galvanized Los Angeles and SoCal (except for Angels fans, perhaps), bringing them together in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Laker dynasties of the 80s and the turn of this century.
Although they didn’t get to sign 59 home runs/National League MVP and local guy from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High School Giancarlo Stanton as he’s now wearing New York Yankee pinstripes – he would have fit perfectly in left field, plus he stated that he wanted to come home and play for L.A. – Dodger fans are optimistic that their blue-clad major leaguers from Chavez Ravine will settle that unfinished business and have that 7th championship at this time next year.
The moment the Dodgers clinched the National League title at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Courtesy of YouTube.
As part of our Team of the Year article, two teams are chosen as Runner-Ups that get recognized.
Here they are…
A group of Rams during one of their many celebrations this season. Photo courtesy of turfshowtimes.com
LOS ANGELES RAMS
This was another obvious choice;
Any team that goes from 4-12 one year to a division champion with a playoff berth, who’s on the verge of completely flipping their record as a win over the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday will leave them with a final regular season mark of 12-4,
More than deserves a mention from me.
One can definitely say that with all the improvements made – their offense, led by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley II, ranks second in the NFL while their defense, led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald and linebacker Alec Ogletree, ranks 8th in points given up per game – the Rams have truly returned to L.A.
As for any chances that they will be in Minneapolis on February 4th to play for an NFL championship, I don’t think they’ll make it that far, at least not this year in the grand tradition of “Not Ready For Prime Time Yet”, because the two teams ahead of them in the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles, have shown that they are just a little bit better, having already beaten the Rams this season.
But that doesn’t change the fact that they were great this year, and with their key players being young will be contenders for a while.
PUT IT LIKE THIS: Don’t be surprised if those Rams do play in a Super Bowl within the next two or three years.
Highlights from the Rams’ NFC West Division-clinching win over the Tennessee Titans. Courtesy of YouTube.
This choice for the second runner-up is a bit of a surprise, I know…
The 2017 California Open Division State Champions in football, Mater Dei High School’s Monarchs from Santa Ana, with the trophy they won a couple of weeks ago. Photo courtesy of blogs.usafootball.com
(SANTA ANA) MATER DEI HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL MONARCHS
“What?!” you might be saying right now.
“Choosing a high school football team over someone like USC, who went 11-2, won the Pac-12 championship for the first time in nine years, and will be playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game, the Cotton Bowl, against Ohio State?!”
“Or a Los Angeles Sparks team that played for the WNBA crown for the second straight year?!”
Well, considering that this group of 15-to-18 year old football players from the premier Catholic high school in Orange County and one of the premier private high schools in this state,
Not only had a perfect record of 15-0 in winning the state title – in the highest division to boot – and, according to quite a few polls, a national high school championship, but never even trailed in any of their games.
And they played some very tough opponents like Bellflower St. John Bosco and Concord De la Salle, not some Little Sisters of the Poor.
Plus this was a high school team that was led by a receiving corps that’s better than some college receiving corps, which includes senior Amon-Ra St. Brown, the top receiver in the state who had over 1,300 receiving yards, caught 20 touchdown passes, and as of now hasn’t committed to a college (he’ll probably end up at USC),
As well as a junior quarterback who because he threw for over 4,000 yards and 52 scores against only four interceptions, not only won this year’s Los Angeles Times‘ Player of the Year award but also Gatorade’s State (two years running!) and National Player of the Year awards,
Who has announced that he’s skipping his senior year and going to suit up as a Trojan next fall,
I think it’s safe to state this answer…
Highlights from Mater Dei’s convincing and dominating 52-21 win over Concord De La Salle to take the Open Division State title and finish their perfect season. Courtesy of YouTube.
SOCAL SPORTS ANNALS WISHES EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY, SAFE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
ONE LAST PIC OF SOCAL SPORTS ANNALS’ TEAM OF THE YEAR FOR 2017: Yasiel Puig (#66), accompanied by Logan Forsythe (#11), Austin Barnes (#15), Enrique Hernandez (#14), and other Dodgers after one of their 104 regular seasons wins this year. Photo courtesy of fanragsports.com