Middle School Concludes Fall Sports Season on High Notes

In a season where players battled several days of high temperatures and challenging air quality, the Middle School sports teams showed their Tartan pride to finish the fall season strong. Team numbers were once again robust as St. Margaret’s fielded seven flag football teams, eight girls volleyball teams and a healthy group of hard-working cross country runners.

Our cross country program took another step in building the program as the team hosted several dual-friendly meets with league affiliates St. John's, St. Mary's, St. Anne's and AVCS while also continuing their participation in the Stanley Middle School Meet in San Diego. The coaches were proud of the hard-working group as they "bought in" to the training and philosophy, which showed in their impressive time improvement throughout the season.

The annual Salt Creek Red vs. Blue Meet was a hit as the two teams battled it on the sand of the trail along the shore with Red coming away with the victory this season. In the 10-year history of the event, the tally stands at 5-5. Last Friday the group ended the season with the team favorite 4.5-mile Harbor Smoothie Run. All the training miles throughout the season paid off with the majority of runners able to make the entire run with ease down for the reward of a smoothie at their finish.

On the gridiron, the flag football teams were a deep and formidable opponent in each of the leagues they participated. With three grade 7 and grade 8 teams in the more competitive Mountain and Canyon leagues, each had their share of battles and exciting victories. The games between St. Margaret’s teams in both the Canyon and Valley leagues featured entertaining games and a competitive spirit as they matched up against their classmates. The all grade 8 Mountain "A" Team opened up the season with a tough loss to St. Mary’s but then ran the table and came away with a league championship. Our grade 6 teams stepped on the field in late August with little experience but their growth throughout the season was evident as their close game scores and improved execution made for several exciting games.

The gyms were busy this fall hosting eight volleyball teams for practices and more than 80 games on the schedule. The grade 6 teams walked into the gym their very first day eager to learn, improve and have fun with the game many had never played before.

"I can say with certainty they learned so much and with that came the improvement, self-confidence and for many a spark for the love of the game," said Middle School Athletic Coordinator Lori Fava.

The Valley "B" team rode the wave of excellent team serving and aggressive play to come away with the league championship trophy. Their only loss came at the hands of the other St. Margaret's Valley team in a game that was all smiles between the two squads as they complimented each other point after point and hugs all round when it was over. The grade 6 season concluded with a parent/player party.

There was much more parity in the Mountain League this year with several matches going to three games and the league title coming down to the last week of the season. The match-ups with SVCS was middle school volleyball at its best, and the quality of play was outstanding as each team made a run at the county championship in the playoffs. Coach Karlsen was very proud of his team after losing a tough match to SVCS in the semi-finals coming back the next day to play a formidable St. Simon and Jude team from Huntington Beach in the third-place game. After losing the first set convincingly, the girls turned it around to win it in a close and exciting third set.

The players now turn in their cleats, knee pads and running shoes for their golf clubs, lacrosse sticks and basketball shoes as the winter season begins this week. If they show the same Tartan pride and spirit that was evident throughout this past fall season the winter season is looking good!

Go Tartans!
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California