In most high school sports scenes, dominant teams come and go. Sure, the West Catholic and East Bay leagues are always dominant – and De La Salle just seems to be good at everything. But usually league and section champions change by virtue of graduation or coaching.
Winter sports in the CCS, though, have seen a domination from one outlet in San Jose: Archbishop Mitty. If you look at all four winter team sports (sorry to the wrestlers out there – although, Mitty is pretty solid there too), Mitty has built a dynasty. Great coaches and great players seem to equal continued success for the Monarchs.
In boys basketball, the Monarchs are at the top of the heap in the CCS. Yes, it helps to have one of the nation's top recruits in Aaron Gordon for the past four seasons, but Mitty boasts a stellar supporting cast including feisty junior point guard Matt McAndrews. For four straight years, Tim Kennedy has built a successful squad around Gordon who will vie for their third straight state title this season. Currently, the boys are 16-4 on the season and 10-0 in league play, showing no signs of slowing.
In girls hoops, The Mitty mastery comes from the longevity of the coaching staff. When asking Robert Braunstein how long Sue Phillips has managed the Mitty squad, he simply said, “forever.” Phillips has led the Monarchs to four state titles in her tenure – three in the last six years. Each year, the team changes a bit, but the success barely wavers. Mitty had a slow start this season, but are now 16-5 and in a dogfight with Sacred Heart Cathedral for the West Catholic title.
Boys Soccer has seen a dramatic rise for the San Jose high school this year. The Monarchs are 13-1-4 so far and look to take their first title since they shared the banner with Bellarmine in 2006. Senior Connor Kurze is leading the charge for the team with 18 goals and 8 assists. Their lone loss comes to Mark Cisneros' Alisal team who is ranked 6th in the state.
The Girls Soccer squad, coached by the ever-helpful JT Hanley, has been dominant sine WCAL women's play began in 2003. The Monarchs have won or shared 6 of the 10 championship banners awarded by the West Catholic league. This year appears to be no different. Mitty is 14-0-4 and will compete for their third straight league title and 11th section title over all. A balanced scoring attack including junior Marquel Love, and seniors Hannah Vane and Gabrielle Vargas have been driving the Monarch squad this season.
So what does this all mean – Aaron Gordon, Sue Phillips and prominence on the pitch? The road to a winter championship seems to go through the kingdom of Mitty High school, and its Monarch Monarchy.