Santa Margarita finished it's ninth varsity season with a 14-0 record and captured the Sea View League Championship and the CIF-SS Division V Championship. The Eagles finished the regular season ranked 2nd in Orange County and ranked first in Division V. The No. 2 ranking in the County was the best ever. SM also finished as the California State Division II Champion and was ranked number 20 in the Nation in the AP National Prep Poll.
12 Eagles Commit
Congratulations to QB Carson Palmer (USC), WR John Minardi (Colorado), LB Jason Rowell (Sacramento State), DL Ryan Mannix (Dartmouth), WR/DB John Schweitzer (Saddleback JC), WR/DB Mike Curtis (Saddleback JC), DL Shaun Jackson (Hawaii), K Nick Sparks (Harvard), DB Matt Brooks (Navy), RB/DB Bryant Wolfsberger (Wheaton), LB Nick Cappelletti (Cal Lutheran), and LB Andrew Holstein (San Diego) from the class of 1998 who have committed to play football at the next level.
All College Athletes
3 Eagles play in the OC All-Star Game
Nick Cappelletti, Ryan Mannix, and Jason Rowell were all chosen to play for the South Team in the annual Orange County All-Star Game. The game annually features the top 72 graduated football players in Orange County.
John Minardi & Carson Palmer 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
2 Eagles named All-State
QB Carson Palmer was named to the Cal-Hi Sports - 1st Team All-State Offense team. DB John Minardi was named to the Cal-Hi Sports - 1st Team All-State Defense team. Carson was later added to the Cal-Hi Sports - All-Decade 1990s - 1st Team Offense team.
7 Eagles named All-County
John Minardi, Carson Palmer, Ryan Mannix, Nick Sparks, Matt Strickroth, and Bryant Wolfsberger were all named to the OC Register All-County Team. John Minardi, Carson Palmer, Nick Sparks, Matt Strickroth, and Nick Cappelletti also made the LA Times All-County Team.
11 Eagles named All-CIF. Palmer & Minardi named MVPs
Coach Hartigan was once again voted as CIF Division V Coach of the Year. Carson Palmer was named Offensive MVP. John Minardi was named Defensive MVP.
Nick Sparks, Nick Cappelletti, Ryan Mannix, Shaun Jackson, Bryant Wolfsberger, Matt Strickroth, Greg Orlando, Jason Rowell were named All-CIF Division V. In addition, Carson Palmer, John Minardi, Nick Sparks, and Nick Cappelletti were named to the CIF ALL-SS team comprised of the best players from all 12 divisions.
17 Eagles named All-Sea View League. Palmer, Minardi, and Sparks earn MVP honors
Coach Hartigan was once again named the Sea View League Coach of the Year. QB Carson Palmer was named Offensive MVP. DB John Minardi was named Defensive MVP. Kicker Nick Sparks was named Kicking MVP. Bryant Wolfsberger, Ryan Mannix, Greg Orlando, Jason Rowell, Matt Strickroth, Nick Cappelletti, and Andrew Holstein were named 1st Team All-Sea View League. Jordan Beckner, Shaun Jackson, Jarlath Curran, Andy Hopper, Matt Brooks, and Jesse Wyatt were named 2nd Team.
Game day as an Eagle
EaglesFootball.com highlights Senior Captain Nick Cappelletti as he prepared for SM's 45-6 victory against Newport Harbor in game 7. We followed Nick around from the morning to the game to experience just what happens on a game day.
Nick Cappelletti Featured
Senior Nick Cappelletti and his father John were highlighted in The Orange County Register. The article written by Ben Bolch is titled "His Own Man. John and Nick Cappelletti are father and son, but they are quite different as football players."
Eagles 55 - Tustin 42
Once again the Eagles have captured the CIF Div
V Title. On Friday the 12th, the Eagles beat the Tillers of Tustin High 55-42, despite the remarkable
performance of Tustin's all-everything running back Deshaun
Foster, who finished with 377 yards rushing. The Eagle's
Blue Chip All-American, Carson Palmer completed 19 of 29
passes for 419 yards and five touchdowns. Three receivers
were over the century mark in reception yardage, including
Colorado bound John Minardi who caught six passes for 123
yards and two touchdowns.
Eagles 27 - Newport Harbor 7
The Eagles defeated Sea View League rival Newport Harbor 27-7 at Davidson Field to post their 24th consecutive win and advance to their second consecutive CIF Division V Championship Game. It was the fourth time in 22 games and fifth time in 30 games that the Eagles and Sailors have squared off. The Eagles scored on their first possession as Bryant Wolfsberger scored on a 12-yard run on the Eagles’ first drive to post a 7-0 lead. On the Sailors’ first play from scrimmage, John Minardi intercepted a pass to set up Nick Sparks’ 39-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.
Eagles 59 - Servite 18
Santa Margarita beat Servite by 41 points for the second time in 9 weeks as they posted a 59-18 win in the CIF Quarterfinals. The win was their 23rd consecutive and put them within one victory of a return trip to the finals.
Eagles 45 - Katella 7
Santa Margarita posted their 22nd consecutive win with a commanding 45-7 win over the Katella Knights in front of 4,500 at Saddleback College.
Eagles 44 - El Toro 14
Bryant Wolfsberger rushed for 221 yards on 13 carries and scored four touchdowns - all in the first half - to lead the Eagles to a 44-14 win over rival El Toro at Saddleback College. It was the Eagles’ 21st consecutive win. Playing in steady rain didn’t seem to bother the Eagles as they built a 21-0 first quarter lead thanks to a 10-yard Td pass from Carson Palmer to Jordan Beckner, and 62- and 60-yard runs by Wolfsberger.
Eagles 40 - Woodbridge 7
Bryant Wolfsberger rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 40-7 win over the Woodbridge Warriors at Irvine High. The win was the 20th in a row for the Eagles and clinched their second straight Sea View League Championship. Wolfsberger’s total was his highest since his days at Capistrano Valley Christian and moved him past former Eagle Josh Ireland into 11th place on the county’s all-time rushing list with 4,297 career yards.
Eagles 56 - Irvine 3
Adding to their arsenal of trick plays, the Eagles used a cross-field lateral on the opening kickoff to score the second quickest Td in their history to start a commanding 56-3 win over league rival Irvine at Saddleback College. The win was the Eagles fourth consecutive over the Vaqueros and their 19th consecutive overall.
Eagles 45 - Newport Harbor 6
In front of an enthusiastic Homecoming crowd of 6,000 Carson Palmer and John Minardi led the Eagles to an important 45-6 win over Sea View League rival Newport Harbor at Saddleback College. The win allowed the Eagles to improve to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in league play. Palmer passed for school record 356 yards and accounted for a record 385 yards of total offense, while Minardi tied a school record with four touchdowns as the Eagles scored on seven of their first eight possessions to post their fourth consecutive win over the Sailors.
Eagles 63 - Corona del Mar 0
Records fell as the Eagles opened the defense of their Sea View League crown with a 63-0 victory over the Corona del Mar Sea Kings at Newport Harbor’s Davidson Field. The 63 points were the most scored by the Eagles in a single game, but it was Carson Palmer’s night as the senior set school records with five touchdown passes and in doing so eclipsed Sean O’Brien’s previous school record of 35.
Eagles 27 - Fountain Valley 21
The Eagles overcame two costly turnovers and came back to post a 27-21 win over the seventh-ranked Fountain Valley Barons before a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Huntington Beach High School. The win was the Eagles’ 16th in a row and their 10th in 13 games against CIF Division I opponents.
Eagles 49 - El Modena 15
Bryant Wolfsberger rushed for 161 yards on nine carries, and Greg Orlando rushed and passed for two touchdowns each as Santa Margarita ran its school record winning streak to 15 with a 49-15 win over El Modena. The Eagles continued their dominance over the Vanguards as they raced to a 49-0 lead before clearing the bench early in the third quarter.
Eagles 55 - Servite 14
Bryant Wolfsberger rushed for 171 of Santa Margarita's school record 415 rushing yards as the Eagles won their 14th consecutive game with a 55-14 win over Servite at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. The Eagles picked up where they left off the last time they played there, a 38-0 win over Newport Harbor in the 1996 CIF Division V Championship Game, by scoring on their first two offensive plays, five of their first 11 and seven of their first 18 to build a 48-7 halftime lead.
Eagles 52 - Durango 0
Bryant Wolfsberger rushed 16 times for 191 yards and scored two touchdowns, and Carson Palmer completed six of nine passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 52-0 win over Durango of Las Vegas. The win was the Eagles 13th consecutive and broke the record of 12 set by the 1990 team.
Eagles 34 - Trabuco Hills 14
The Eagles soared even without pre-season All-American QB Carson Palmer and posted their school record-tying 12th consecutive win with a 34-14 victory over crosstown rival Trabuco Hills. The Eagles forced four turnovers and used an efficient offensive attack to post their third consecutive win over the Mustangs.