Bell -- who hit .337 with six home runs and 24 runs batted in, in
addition to posting an 8-2 record with a 1.02 earned-run average --
was the Pacific League's co-most valuable player and also earned
All-CIF Division II first-team honors.
He capped off his incredible campaign by being recognized as the
State Freshman of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
9 Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's long-awaited return: The year
1997 doesn't seem that long ago, but for Nancy Tinkham it probably
felt like an eternity.
After winning the CIF Southern Section Division IVAA girls'
volleyball championship twice in her first three seasons as a Tolog
coach, Tinkham had to wait five years before returning to the final.
But the Tologs finally erased the memories of losing in the
semifinals three times between 1998 and 2001 by sweeping L.A.
Marlborough on Nov. 19 to advance to the title match for the seventh
time since 1983.
Unfortunately for Flintridge Sacred Heart, which went 21-6 and
established a new school record for wins, it fell in the Nov. 22
final to nemesis L.A. Marymount in four games.
8 Bidding farewell to Louie Bilowitz and Greg Switzer: After 17
years of coaching cross-country and track at Hoover, Switzer decided
to step away from the position in mid-May, just three months removed
from the end of Bilowitz's 15-year tenure as head of the boys'
soccer program at La Canada.
Switzer led the Tornadoes to 11 Pacific League boys' cross-country
titles and mentored All-Americans Eliazar Herrera, Margarito
Casillas, David Lopez and Anita Siraki, who won six CIF Southern
Section titles, three state crowns and a national two-mile
But as impressive as Switzer's legacy was, it might have slightly
surpassed by Bilowitz, who posted a career mark of 268-35-37 (.788),
including 12 Rio Hondo League titles, three CIF Southern Section
championships in 1989, 1995 and 1996, and two national titles.
Bilowitz was responsible for elevating La Canada into a state and
national power between 1994 and 1997, and mentored a total of 20
league most valuable players, 54 All-CIF selections, four CIF Players
of the Year and four All-Americans.