It began with some record-setting performances and league championships, and ended with more league titles and a CIF Southern California Regionals crown. Such were some of the key accolades garnered by the Laguna Beach Breakers during the 2013-14 prep sports year.
The sports competition began in late August and ended in early June. Below are some of the highlights turned in by Laguna Beach teams in the first half of the school year.
September through December
Football: Laguna Beach entered its 79th season of football under a new head coach, Corey Brown. The Breakers won their first three games of the season and were ranked in the Top 10 of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll, and finished nonleague play 3-2. They then began defense of their Orange Coast League title and won their first two league games, but losses in their final three games prevented a return trip to the CIF playoffs.
The Breakers scored 30 or more points in seven games, opened league play with three games scoring 50 or more points, and ended the year 5-5.
Jack Simon, in his first varsity season, set two new school records for a sophomore quarterback: most passing yards (996), and passing rating (117.3). Another varsity rookie, freshman kicker Bruce Knill, hit 25 point-after kicks to move into the eighth spot for conversion kicks in a season. He had 31 kick scoring points which tied him for No. 11 in a single season and 14th on the all-time career list.
Varsity veteran Nathan Lancaster ended his career in November as the program's career rushing leader in several categories. On a special Oct. 24 night at Estancia High's Jim Scott Stadium, Lancaster rambled into the Orange County football record books.
Lancaster shattered the Orange County record for single-game rushing yards when he ripped, roared and fought his way for 547 yards in a 62-56 overtime loss to Calvary Chapel. He also reached the end zone seven times on 30 carries. Lancaster broke the county record when he scored on a 68-yard run with 2:41 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Amazing," and, "unbelievable," were the same two words both Brown, and former Laguna Coach, Mike Churchill, used when describing the speedy running back's performance against Calvary Chapel.
Lancaster said he had no idea that he had set the record. He found out after the game that he had, by 20 yards, eclipsed the county record of 527 rushing yards set by Skyler Champion of Foothill in a 1999 game against Orange.
"I went online, and saw on the L.A. Times website, what I had done," Lancaster said. "To be honest, I was shocked. I didn't expect that many yards. I thought I had, maybe, 300 yards. I definitely was surprised."
Not only is the 547 yards a county mark, it also ranks second in CIF Southern Section history, behind the 619 yards Ronney Jenkins of Hueneme ran for against Channel Islands during the 1995 season.
Also in that amazing performance, he set three other Laguna Beach single-game records: first-half rushing yards (291 on only 11 carries), touchdowns (seven) and points scored (44).
"Our [offensive] line was doing a great job, and so was (running back) Andres [DeLaRosa] who was kicking it out at fullback," Lancaster said.
"They were opening up holes, and I just found them and took off. It was all clicking. Our entire team gave it their all out there, on every play, to the very last play. The only thing I take away from the game, is that we left everything on the field."
For the season, the Breakers produced 370 points in 10 games, the third-most points for a season in program history. Their five wins tie at No. 24 for most wins in a season.
Girls' Golf: The Breakers turned in a memorable season. They won a league championship, the fourth girls' golf title in school history and first for head Coach Scott Finn, as well as their first title in the Orange Coast League.
Laguna won its first league championship in 2007 by taking the Golden West League title with a 10-0 record. The Breakers were co-champs in the GWL in 2008 and 2010. All three titles came under then-head Coach Valorie Quigley.