Santa Margarita finished it's eighth varsity season with a 13-1 record and captured the Sea View League Championship and the CIF-SS Division V Championship. The Eagles finished the regular season as the third ranked school in Orange County and ranked second in Division V. The No. 3 ranking in the County was the best ever. SM also finished ranked 16th in the state by Cal-Hi sports. The Eagles set plenty of team records during the season including wins (13), points scored (486), touchdowns (65), total yards (5,570), and All-League First Teamers (9). The Eagles also tied the school record with five shutouts and have managed to keep the opponents from scoring a touchdown for a record 32 consecutive series.
10 Eagles Commit
Congratulations to RB/DB Billy Newman (Washington State), DL Bryce Jackson (Fresno State), OL Stan Bennett (Villanova), LB Damien Minna (Fresno State), WR/SS Brett Crowder (Georgetown), SS Chris Long (USD), DE Austin Jayred (UC Davis), WR Brian Prenevost (Saddleback JC), RB/DB Brett Zinn (Saddleback, and OL Ryan Thigpen (Saddleback JC) from the class of 1997 who have committed to play football at the next level.
All College Athletes
4 Eagles play in the OC All-Star Game
Brett Crowder (DB), Stan Bennett (OL), Billy Newman (RB) and Damien Minna (LB) were all chosen to play for the South Team in the annual Orange County All-Star Game. The Eagle Coaching staff were the South coaches. Congratulations to Jim Hartigan (Head Coach), Tim O'Hara (Offensive Coordinator), Matt Rink (Defensive Coordinator), Sergio Muniz (Running Backs), Shane Mielke (Offensive Line), Andy Sulick (Defensive Line), John Rodriguez (Tight Ends), Chris King (Defensive Backs), Joe Silvey (Defensive Line), Pat Hegarty (Quarterbacks), and Tommy Inglima (Linebackers). The South team won 17-14 with a game winning kick in the final seconds of the game.
Billy Newman & Damien Minna jerseys retired
In order to have your jersey retired in the Santa Margarita Football Program, an athlete must be named the CIF Defensive or Offensive MVP of the division on a CIF Championship Team.
All Retired Jerseys
4 Eagles named All-County
Billy Newman, Stan Bennett, Damien Minna, and John Minardi were all named to the OC Register All-County 2nd Team. Billy Newman, and Stan Bennett also made the LA Times All-County 2nd Team.
7 Eagles named All-CIF
Head Coach Jim Hartigan, Billy Newman, Damien Minna, Stan Bennett, John Minardi, Austin Jayred, and Brett Crowder were named All-CIF Division V. In addition, Damien Minna and Stan Bennett were named to the CIF ALL-SS team comprised of the best players from all 12 divisions.
16 Eagles earn All-Sea View League. Newman & Minna named MVPS
Coach Hartigan was named the Sea View League Coach of the Year. Billy Newman was named Offensive MVP. Damien Minna was named Defensive MVP. Carson Palmer, Stan Bennett, Shaun Jackson, John Minardi, Matt Strickroth, Brett Crowder, and Andrew Holstein were named 1st Team All-Sea View League. Bryce Jackson, Austin Jayred, Andy Hopper, Jason Rowell, Matt Brooks, and Nick Sparks were named 2nd Team.
Eagles 38 - Newport Harbor 0
The Eagles opened the CIF Final game the same way they opened the season. The Flea-flicker from Newman to Palmer to Minardi. The result, a 7-0 lead for the Eagles. While the defense was stifling the Sailor offensive unit, the Eagles kept piling up the points and the Eagles win their first CIF Championship.
Game Summary - Photos
Eagles 31 - Tustin 0
Going into the Division V semi-final, the Tustin Tillers had set the Orange county scoring record and were coming off a 60 point performance. The Eagles came in with some pretty impressive games defensively during the season, but this game meant everything. When it was all over, SM had shut out the Tillers while racing to a 31-0 victory to put them in the CIF Final.
Eagles 38 - Valencia 0
The Eagles went into the second round game without its number one player, Billy Newman, but that mattered little as the defense and other players on offense took up the slack. Newman, who was nursing a sore hamstring, was able to play, but the risk of losing him for the entire playoffs held him out.
Eagles 51 - El Modena 6
The CIF Division V playoffs opened under rainy skies, and as the game went on, it got wetter and wetter for the Vanguards. Billy Newman scored 3 TDs while rushing for 176 yards on only 11 carries. Carson Palmer added 2 scores of his own on quarterback draws near the goaline.
Eagles 55 - Corona del Mar 27
The Eagles capped a perfect league season with a rout of Corona del Mar at Saddleback College. SM scored on a 3 of their first 4 plays, and Jesse Wyatt’s interception return gave the Eagles a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Eagles 42 - El Toro 21
It was a night in which a league title was on the line. A night where champions step to the forefront. Carson Palmer showed his championship form, leading the Eagles to a 42-21 win over defending league and CIF champion El Toro.
Eagles 23 - Woodbridge 6
The Eagles captured their 5th consecutive win and remained in 1st place in league with a 23-6 homecoming win over Woodbridge. SM seemed to go through the motions against the Warriors, especially after two grueling road games to open league.
Eagles 17 - Irvine 0
he Eagles took sole possession of the Sea View League lead with a 17-0 shutout over rival Irvine. The defense led the team as they limited Irvine’s high-powered offense to 18 yards rushing and 68 yards passing.
Eagles 36 - Newport Harbor 22
The Sea View League opener turned out to be the deciding game for the league title as the Eagles battled the undefeated Sailors. It was a war until the final gun as Billy Newman and Ray Ohrel each rushed for more than 250 yards to lead their teams.
Eagles 31 - Fountain Valley 0
he Eagles defense flexed its muscles on this night, shutting out the eventual Sunset League champions, 31-0. SM forced three fumbles and held the Barson to 67 yards rushing. They also sacked the Fountain Valley quarterback 4 times.
Eagles 32 - El Modena 3
The Eagles again went to their bag of tricks early and cruised to a 32-3 victory over El Modena. Carson Palmer threw to backup quarterback Mike Thompson, who lined up as a wide receiver. Thompson caught the ball, dropped back and threw across the field to Palmer who went 45 yards for the score.
Servite 38 - Eagles 27
Game three matched the #3 and #8 ranked teams in Orange County as well as two competitive Catholic schools. The Friars took a 12-0 lead right off the bat, and the deficit seemed to affect the Eagles throughout the first half.
Eagles 27 - St. Augustine 7
The Eagles scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, while the defense kept the Saints highly-touted running back in check. Newman had another good night as he rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown in 21 carries.
Eagles 38 - Trabuco Hills 24
The Eagles opened the 1996 season with a bit of tricker which would carry on throughout the season. On their first play from scrimmage, Carson Palmer handed to Billy Newman. Newman ran at the line and pitched the ball back to Palmer, who then threw to John Minardi for a 75-yard score.