Although Mary Star Of The Sea High School is still pursuing its first-ever CIF-Southern Section sports team championship in its 64-year history, they were given the next best thing by the section last week.
Mary Star was one of four schools, and the only South Bay school, that was honored by the CIF-SS with a Jim Staunton Champions For Character award for the 2018 year and were given a banner and plaque on Monday at the CIF-SS Jim Staunton Champions For Character dinner at The Grand Hotel in Long Beach,
All student athlete winners were awarded $1,000 scholarships plus an added bonus, a card for free Raising Canes chicken for an entire year.
The 2017-2018 school year was one of the best Mary Star had for sports, with the softball team reaching the CIF-SS Division 6 championship game on June 1 as the biggest achievement. Boys basketball, softball and girls volleyball were all league champions, while the boys and girls basketball teams both made long playoff runs (boys Division 4-A quarterfinals and girls Division 5-AA semifinals).
Boys basketball senior Joseph Octave and softball junior pitcher Alessandra Samperio, two of the school sports representatives, were both Cal-Hi Sports All-State selections in 2017-2018, while those two, the recently graduated girls basketball guard Hanalei Emnace and softball junior shortstop Ashley Rico were also All-CIF selections along with Octave and Samperio.
Also present at the dinner representing the school included the likes of Rico, principal Rita Dever, football-baseball junior Marco Ibarra, girls volleyball sophomores Lily Ruggerio and Sammie Sabra and football senior quarterback Kevin Costa among others.
(Note: Picture courtesy of Mary Star Of The Sea High School)