Number 1: Corona del Mar

The Sea Kings finished 2012 as undefeated CIF Southern Section champions. Despite some important graduation losses, CdM returns a solid core and coaching staff that knows how to win big games. CdM remains #1 until someone proves otherwise.

Corona del Mar High School Sea Kings

League: Independent

Last Year: 24-0, OC Champs, CIF Southern Section Champs
Coach: GW Mix
College Commits:  A Jack Ortleib, Holy Cross (D1); A Casey Mix, UC Santa Barbara (MCLA)

MaxLaxOC.com Outlook: How do you top a perfect season? Not easily, that’s for sure. Just ask GW Mix, CdM’s outstanding coach who starts the season with a huge target on his team’s back as an Independent and defending CIF Southern Champs (defeating San Clemente in the OC finals and Palos Verdes in the Southern Section finals).

“We had won the PCL five times and were undefeated in the league every year. It was time,” said Mix of the decision to become an independent. “Our hope was, by staying in the league, we could set the standard for the rest to follow and, as a result, help grow the game. It just seemed like Beckman and CdM were the only ones with a plan. So, by remaining in the league, we were actually hurting it more than we were helping. At the end of the day, our secession means the other schools can effectively compete for the championship, which I hope provides added incentive for each of them to get better.”

While CdM lost several key players to graduation—most importantly Orange County Player of the Year Michael Keasey (Yale) along with All-County goalie Michael Ortleib (Holy Cross) —the Sea Kings will be just fine.

Mix has done a great job building the county’s top coaching staff—former Maryland star Jeremy Seiverts and former Hobart star defenseman Devin Arkison (a DIII All-American and Player of the Year)—who help make the Sea Kings a perennial threat to win it all.

Back for CdM are first-team All-Orange County attackmen Casey Mix (GW’s kid) and Jack Ortleib (who signed with Holy Cross where he’ll join his older brother…which is pretty cool). Mix and Ortleib know each other well, and form one of the county’s most lethal attack duos. Also returning for the Sea Kings are sophomore defenseman Hugh Crance and senior midfielder Brett Nelson, both players who Mix expects big things from in 2013.

Since the Sea Kings departed the PCL, Mix has loaded up their schedule this year. Among the key games are Santa Margarita, Newport Harbor, Los Al, San Clemente, St. Margaret’s, Huntington Beach and Thousand Oaks (LA). CdM will play two teams from Colorado as well: Mullen and Ft. Collins Unified, as well as a few teams from NorCal in Monte Vista, San Ramon Valley and Amador Valley.

“We expect to compete,” said Mix, whose older son, Ryan, plays lacrosse at Notre Dame. “We want to line up with the big boys, get after it, and have fun doing it.”

–MaxLaxOC.com staff