For the second consecutive Fall Sports season, the Garces Athletics programs came away with multiple Central Section championships and numerous other accolades throughout the season.
Let’s take a look
In arguably the greatest season in program history, the Garces Memorial girls tennis season came to an end on a sunny Friday in November at the CIF Southern California Regional Championships.
At The Claremont Club in Southern California, the Rams lost to Palos Verdes 4-3 in the opening match. It was the best showing for a Central Section team at the SoCal regionals since 2015.
That ending doesn’t fully express how dominating the Rams were in section play.
Garces defeated Clovis North 6-0 in the section Division I finals, the second consecutive D-I title and the fourth consecutive D-I title appearance after beating San Luis Obispo last fall at home and losing to Clovis North the previous two seasons on the road.
Kelsey Abraham won the Central Section singles title and Jocie Sala and Kylee Limpas won their third consecutive section doubles title.
The Rams also sent all nine players that advanced out of the River League tournament to the South Area tournament and Taylor Crider also advanced, and won her opening match in singles play at the section tournament.
Garces was 28-3 and went 28-0 against Central Section opponents. The only losses were twice to Palos Verdes and to Santa Margarita at the Cal Classic in September.
Girls Water Polo
For the second time in their four-year varsity careers for the Garces Memorial girls water polo team, Abby Schechter and Gianna Garcia became Central Section champions. The top-seeded Rams defeated No. 2 Morro Bay 14-10 for the D-II title.
The Rams went undefeated in league play and had a 10-game win streak end in the CIF Northern California Division II regional playoff opener at No. 1 Concord-Carondelet.
The title was the first for the program since 2019.
This year the Rams were coached by former Garces standout, Spencer Kerwin.
Schechter signed a National Letter of Intent to play women’s water polo at UC San Diego.
Boys Water Polo
Under first-year head coach Greg Enloe, the Garces Memorial boys water polo team won the River League title, played one of the toughest non-league tournament schedules around and hosted the section D-II finals after upsetting No. 2 Kingsburg on the road in the semifinals.
After trailing by three goals most of the finals against Clovis West, the Rams tied it at 9-9 on a goal by Johnny Starr with just under three minutes remaining, but the Golden Eagles scored the game winner with a minute left, ending the incredible season for the Rams in the section finals, the first appearance for Garces since 2018.
For the second consecutive season, the Garces Memorial girls golf team was the top team in Kern County after being the only team to advance out of the league championships. Led by senior Hailey Shaw, the Rams went undefeated in league tournaments and finished sixth overall at the section championships.
Shaw recently signed a National Letter of Intent to the women’s golf team at Mount Mercy University in Iowa.
For the second consecutive season - and just the second in program history - the Garces Memorial football team advanced to the section D-I playoffs in a heartbreaking 21-20 loss at No. 8 Clovis.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Rams after playing one of the toughest non-league schedules of any football program north of the Grapevine in California.
In fact, all six losses for the Rams (4-7) in the regular season came to teams playing in their respective section semifinals or championships. The first seven weeks of the season, the Rams played five teams ranked in the top-35 in the state, according to CalPreps.com under fourth-year head coach Paul Golla.
Under second-year head coach Rachel Wulff, the Rams found themselves as the 15-seed in the D-III section playoffs and opened up with an upset over. No 2 Arvin before falling in four sets to Santa Ynez, who advanced to the CIF SoCal regional playoffs.