A Year That Was Anything but Normal & A Look Back at the 2010’s
With the 2010’s over, we look back on an impressive and historic decade in BMHS athletics. Perhaps the highlight of the decade was boys’ basketball capturing the 2016-17 CIF-SS and State Open Division titles. In arguably the toughest playoff bracket in the nation, the Knights knocked off some of the top teams in the state on their way to a #2 national ranking. Ethan Thompson ’17 became the first player in school history to be named California’s Mr. Basketball. Also in the decade, Thompson’s brother, Stephen, Jr. ’15, became the school’s career scoring leader with 2,246 points and led BMHS to a CIF-SS Open Division title in 2014-15. In 2013-14, Bishop captured the Division 4 state title in historic fashion. In their 85-44 win over Moreau Catholic, BMHS broke the state record for largest margin of victory in a state final (41), a record that still stands.
Another highlight of the 2010’s was the dominance of the boys’ & girls’ tennis teams. The boys rolled to nine league titles and ten playoff appearances. The standout player of the decade was Jinta Sasamori ’20, who won three league singles titles. The girls impressed even more, capturing the league title every year (they have actually won 14 straight league titles). In 2018, the girls’ captured the program’s 2nd CIF-SS title with a magical run through the playoffs. Several athletes won multiple individual league titles. Nnena Nadozie ’17 won two singles titles; Samara Guillory ’21 teamed up with Cameron Banks ’20 to win two doubles titles; and Banks captured a third doubles title with Adela Henry ’17.
Other programs also were impressive. Girls’ basketball won three CIF-SS titles in a four year span. The boys’ and girls’ volleyball programs continued their excellence by making the playoffs every year. The boys’ made three CIF-SS finals appearances and in 2018, Daniel Matheney ’18 was the first male volleyball player from BMHS to be named All-American. Boys’ golf and football also had great success. Both programs won five league titles and made the playoffs eight times. Golf had seven individual league champions; football had eleven league MVP’s.
There were also record-setting individual performances. Danielle Shanahan ’13 became the first runner in school history to win a CIF title in cross country (2012). On the track in the spring, she won the CIF-SS title in the 3200m in school record time (10:25.40 in 2013). She also set the school record in the 1600m (4:49.71 in 2013). Other individual school records were set, or tied; some stood for many years. Brendan Marafino ’16 broke the record for passing touchdowns in a game with five against Verbum Dei in 2015. In 2018, Matthew Origel ’19 tied the mark against Garey. In 2010, Nolan Plummer ’11 broke the single season rushing record with 2,241 yards. Khylee Pepe ’21 tied the girls’ basketball record for points in a game when she scored 41 against West Torrance in 2019-20. On the diamonds, baseball’s Elijah Tolsma ’20 set a record for lowest ERA (0.22 in 2019) and softball’s Andrea Guzman ’16 set the batting average mark for a season (.640 in 2016). In boys’ track, Bernard Amofa ’17, Daniel Kelly ’17, Mark Ogbunamiiri ’17 & Dhahran Woods ’16 broke the 4×100 relay record with a time of 42.57 in 2016. Three other female track athletes broke school records: Tessa Allen ’15 (high jump / 5’6″ in 2015); Jade Murray ’17 (triple jump / 36’0.75″ in 2017); and JaNarie Rhambo ’17 (Discus / 93’10” in 2017).
NEWS & NOTES
The BMHS Athletic Record Book & Almanac has information and stats for every sport; a list of student-athletes who went on to compete in college; alumni in professional sports; and much more. The document is a work-in-progress (and may always be) and we need your help filling in the blanks. View the document at www.bmhs-la.org/recordbook/. Have some information or statistics to provide? Email us at email@example.com
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring sports season was cut short in March. In some cases, the season never got underway; the boys’ and girls’ swim teams were practicing at the Torrance Plunge and were days away from their first meet when the season was cancelled. During March, April & May, we honored our senior spring sports student-athletes, like Cristyn Oliver ’20, on social media.
This year, eSports became an official CIF-sanctioned sport and Bishop’s League of Legends eSports team had an impressive first season, finishing 2nd in the Spring 2020 CIF eSports California Cup. The team, captained by Corey Mostero ’21 and coached by Brian Adams, finished the Spring 2020 season with an impressive 11-1 record.
Eleven student-athletes in the Class of 2020 made commitments to compete at the collegiate level beginning this fall. They join over 50 alumni who are currently competing at colleges across the United States. Signing in November were (l to r): Isaiah Johnson ’20 with Oregon State (basketball), Nicole Hayase ’20 with Claremont McKenna College (basketball), and Elijah Tolsma ’20 with the University of San Francisco (baseball). Those signing in the Spring were: Christian Bood ’20 with Azusa Pacific (basketball); Cyan Dyke ’20 with Furman University (basketball); Chace Johnson ’20 with El Camino College (football); Autumn Kirby ’20 with CSU Bakersfield (volleyball): Cristyn Oliver ’20 with Lawrence University (cross country/track); Reynaldo Rivera ’20 with Grand Canyon University (track); Jinta Sasamori ’20 with the United States Air Force Academy (tennis); and Patrick Stofila ’20 with El Camino College (football).
Congratulations to our short flags team, who placed 1st in the two flag and 1st runner-up in the one flag categories at the CHEERpros 2020 California State Cheer and Dance Championships at the Pasadena Convention Center in January. The team, coached by Glenn Alicaya, is: Ynez Garalde ’20, Jessica Gonzales ’20, Jenna Pamintuan ’21, Samantha Perez ’20, Connie Rodriguez ’20, Natalie Tran ’21 and Clarisse Vivar ’22.
Congratulations to the newest members of the Bishop Montgomery Athletic Hall of Fame, who will be inducted in 2021 (date TBD).
Alumni parents Bob Blackburn, Al Egnatuk, George Graham, and Don Ramstead (not pictured) will be inducted, posthumously, as a group. They were instrumental in establishing the Athletic Booster Club when the school opened and volunteered in many roles, including raising funds for the teams and serving as the chain crew for football games. Bob Blackburn is the father of Tom Blackburn ’61, Hall of Famer Dennis Blackburn ’64, and Bob Blackburn ’67; Al Egnatuk is the father of Jim Egnatuk ’66, Vicki Egnatuk ’68, and Susan Egnatuk ’69; George Graham is the father of Hall of Famer Dan Graham ’67; Don Ramstead is the father of Diane Ramstead ’61, Kim Ramstead ’64, and Kathie Ramstead ’67.
Coach Carlos Cooper (bottom, right) taught and coached at BMHS for many years. He served two stints as the boys’ soccer head coach (1981-1989 & 1990-1994) and led the Knights to the CIF Title in 1982-83. In his 12 years as head coach, the Knights won 6 league titles and reached the playoffs 10 times. From 1983-85 his teams won 26 consecutive league games (3rd in CIF-SS history).
Lisa Lewis ’79 (bottom, left) is truly a pioneer in BMHS history. She was the first African American female to play on the varsity basketball team and was a standout player. She was a 3-year varsity letterwinner and 3-time all league selection. In 1977, she was a member of the South Bay team of the Olympic Development Summer League. She went on the play at CSU Dominguez Hills. She has been a teacher, academic counselor and administrator in LAUSD for almost 35 years.
Mollie Meehan-Baumer ’86 (top, left) was a 3-sport athlete at BMHS (cross country, soccer and track). In cross country, she was a 3-year letterwinner and was a member of the 1984 team that reached the CIF finals. On the track, she was a member of two league championships teams. Her greatest accomplishments were on the soccer field. In the 1985-86 season, she was named 1st Team All-League and 1st Team All-CIF and helped lead the team to the CIF title, the first girls’ soccer title in school history. She went on to be a 4-year letterwinner in soccer at St. Mary’s College in Indiana.
Niu Sale ’88 (top, right) is one of the best football players in BMHS history and is the 1988 Male Athlete-of-the-Year. He was a 3-time all league selections and was outstanding on both sides of the ball and his name is all over the BMHS record books. He is 5th in single game rushing yards (277); tied for 2nd in single game rushing TD’s (4); tied for 4th in single season rushing TD’s (14); and 9th in single season passing yards (1,228). He is the only player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards (1,011) and pass for over 1,000 yards (1,228) in the same season (1986). He went on to become an All-American at El Camino College and was inducted into ECC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He played one year at the University of Missouri and played for multiple teams in the Arena Football League.