This weekend, Poly Athletics celebrated its last sports banquet, marking the end of the spring season and the finale of sports for the 2021-2022 school year. Poly Athletics found much success with its return to the traditional spring season this year. Many of the team sports advanced to the postseason, and there were individual athletes who were able to compete at the individual level representing the Panthers in their sports. The spring produced three league titles. Let’s take a look at Poly’s spring teams.
The badminton team had a strong group of seniors leading the way this season. They finished their season undefeated in the Montview League with a perfect record of 15-0 and with the title of Montview League Champions. This punched their ticket to the first round of the 2022 CIF-SS Division 1 Badminton playoffs where they hosted Redlands in the first round. The Panthers were narrowly defeated 10-11. Although the season was over for the team, six individuals earned the right to represent Poly for both the boys and girls doubles as well as two in the boys singles bracket of the 2022 CIF-SS Individual Badminton Championships. Senior William W. ’22 advanced to the second round where his season, and the 2022 Poly Badminton season concluded.
With a new coaching staff at hand, it took Poly’s baseball team a couple of games to find their footing. But once they did, they took off! The Panthers finished their season with a league record of 9-5, 10-7 overall, and placed second in the Prep League. They earned their spot in the 2022 CIF-SS Division 4 Baseball Playoffs. There they faced South Torrance in the first round where they fell to the Spartans 4-0. Although their playoff run was cut short, they finished the season with five Panthers earning All-Prep League Honors. The team will return 14 of their 20-man roster next year with hopes to earn another playoff run.
The spring is traditionally the boys' golf season, but this year, Poly’s golf team was a little untraditional. One girl joined the boys this spring because of the limited number of girls available to play in the fall. The team played all season competitively. At the conclusion of the season, three individuals qualified for the individual Prep League Finals. Of those three, freshman Jerry F. ’25 and junior Julian H. ’23 advanced to the finals. Freshman Jerry F. ’25 earned all Prep-League Honors.
After not having a season for the past two years, this spring served as a jumpstart to the program. The pandemic canceled their season after only having three games in 2020. In 2021, the seasons were consolidated into two seasons from three forcing many student athletes to have to choose between sports making it difficult to field a team. This year, the softball team made its return to Poly Athletics and was highlighted by its 15-5 win over Marshall High School.
Poly’s swimming team was in good hands this season with alum and coach Ryan Katsuyama ’90 and veteran coach Charlene Beerman at the helm this year. On the girls side, Poly faced powerhouse teams and still pulled a strong third place finish in league. The boys showed their strength early in the season and carried it throughout finishing with the Prep League title. Senior Maaso O. ’22 also earned Prep League Boys MVP. The team then sent individuals to compete in the 2022 CIF-SS Division 3 Individuals Championship. Poly was represented in the girls 50 free and 100 free, the boys 50 free and 100 free, the boys 100 free relay, and the boys 200 free relay. All of them advanced to the CIF-SS Division 3 finals. Freshman Julia P. ’25 podiumed with fifth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free. Poly’s 200m Free relay also podiumed, finishing in fifth place.
The 12-man team returned a lot of experience this season adding one freshman to their varsity roster. With new head coach Tim Pawley leading the way, the boys finished their season 6-5 playing some very tough teams along the way. They anticipate returning all 12 members next year, having not a single senior on their roster this season. The teamwork and experience that was built this year will surely have a seamless carry over to next year.
Track and Field
Although the numbers may have been a little bit lower this season, the Poly track and field team still served a bit of a punch to this 2022 season. The boys team earned the title of Prep League Champions. Senior Theo D. ’22 broke the school record in the long jump (21-8 by Haller Rice in 2018) with a distance of 22-00.25. Junior Jonah G. ’23 also had an outstanding season earning the Prep League MVP in field events. Theo, Jonah, along with Mikel R-C ’22, Colin M. ’22, and TJ M. ’25 all advanced to the 2022 CIF-SS Division 4 Track and Field Prelims. From there, Jonah and Mikel moved on to the finals where they concluded the season.
With the return to three seasons of sports, Poly’s boys volleyball team returned to full strength this season after having lost some of its members to other sports in last year’s consolidated seasons. The Panthers finished their regular season 12-8 overall, 5-4 in league, and placed third in the Prep League. This third-place finish put them in the 2022 CIF-SS Division 5 playoffs where they first faced West Covina High School in a wildcard game. After defeating WCHS on their home turf in three straight sets, the Panthers hit the road to Anaheim to face the eventual Division 5 semifinalist, Fairmont Prep Academy. The Panthers were able to take one game from the Huskies but finished with an 1-3 season-ending defeat. The team graduated three seniors but expects much talent to return next season, including three All-Prep League selections, Bardia V. ’23, Pierre V. ’24, and Scout H. ’24.