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Mira Costa Teams Make Coaches Polls

As their seasons come to a close, some Mira Costa sports teams gear up for possible playoff runs. Here is a look at coaches polls released Monday, Feb. 6.

Three in-season Mira Costa sports teams have been named top teams in polls by high school coaches released today, but barely.

Girls soccer (4-1-0 in league) tied for the 10th spot in Division 2, girls water polo tied for 10th in Division 1, and boys basketball (16-8-0; league, 3-5-0) made it into the 14th spot in Division 2A. MCHS teams that did not make it into today's polls include boys soccer and girls basketball (11-14-0; league, 2-6-0).

Bay League competitors in boys basketball, Leuzinger and Peninsula high schools, came in fourth and 13th, respectively, in the poll.

Interestingly, the boys soccer team, which beat Leuzinger 5-4 in overtime on Friday, Feb. 3, did not make the poll and Leuzinger did, tying for 10th, while another league competitor, Palos Verdes High, ranking fourth.

In girls basketball, a sport Mira Costa has excelled in, league competitor West Torrance sits at No. 1 in the coaches poll for Division 3AAA. South Torrance, which the team lost to 50-47 in pre-season play, was voted into the 12th spot.

Season and league records are from Max Preps and may not be accurate. Manhattan Beach Patch has only posted the Max Preps team records that appear plausible.

Martin February 07, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Liz, I think you chastised me for my predictions of how bad the Mira Costa Girls Basketball team was going to fare this season. However, my predictions have been extremely accurate thus far. The only team they have been able to beat this season is Leuzinger who is the perennial cellar dwellar in the Bay league. No matter how Mira Costa does in its last 2 games of the season, they will finish no better than 2nd to last place with no chance at a playoff spot. This year's team is by far the worst in Mira Costa history and a complete embarrassment to the once proud and respected girls basketball program. They have become the laughing stock of the Bay League.
Riley P. February 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Prior to this season, the Mira Costa girls basketball team had a 53-7 win/loss record in the Bay League over the past 6 years. It's astounding that the current Mira Costa team has managed to lose more games in one season than the total number of losses in the past 6 years.
Liz Spear (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Hi Martin, I doublechecked my comments and I didn't see where I chastised you but I apologize if you took anything that way. Predictions are pretty much a 50-50 deal, right? There are two choices: The team has a great season or the team does not. Those odds hardly make pre-season predictions too worthwhile, although in the land of sports, where everything is competitive, people thrive on predictions and weighing in. My approach to the situation, if I was so invested in it, would be to raise my concerns with the Mira Costa administration, school district personnel, the school board, and the like. Making effective changes usually takes place by going through official channels and working with others. True, the press can play a role, however, much can be accomplished without the press in certain instances. The girls basketball team itself does not lack talent, as you perhaps suggest. And some years are building years... Sure, Costa has tended to be a powerhouse in the past 6 years as stated in another comment on this story but there's a time, season and place for everything. When I played girls basketball at Redondo Union, we sucked. Now, look at that program. I had a great four-year varsity run, was league MVP my senior year and team MVP all four. Oh, well. Yes, high school sports are more competitive these days as girls have become accepted in and encouraged to play sports.
Liz Spear (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
In my high school years, Costa was a powerhouse under coach Sylvia Holly, whose legacy lives on even after her passing. And sure, Costa has had some phenomenal players during their nice winning seasons of the past 6 years. I just don't see how that translates to bagging on the team... without providing constructive suggestions and/or informing those who can take action and make changes, I fail to see how bellyaching makes any sort of realistic or substantial impact. If something needs changing, be proactive to change it. I feel for the girls on this year's team given comments such as yours. They are high school kids making their way in the world and giving their team their all. I can understand that some players on the team may feel demoralized and some may feel they've given everything a great effort and just haven't been able to come up with a winning season. I'd hope the administration considers their comments, opinions and suggestions for next year and who will coach the team. Personally, I think the administration blew it when they let Coach Craig Takahashi resign. But I don't know the full backstory, so my point is only conjecture and opinion. For players who hope to earn college basketball scholarships, playing on a team that does poorly is more than likely disheartening. And CIF rules make transferring a bit complicated, depending on the individual player's situation.
Liz Spear (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 05:55 PM
(My comments are appearing in reverse order here so please read in their intended order) Coach Craig had a relationship with many of these players and had obviously been successful in his past seasons as assistant and head coach. Trenton Jackson might have been a good choice, given his background, but he, too, resigned. At that point, the admin asked the current coach to move from assistant to head coach, a somewhat logical move. I'll say it right here: If Coach Craig resigned due to his sue of the "N" word, I think the admin could have handled the situation in a different manner and reprimanded him. Yes, I HATE the word and on the face of it, found its use deplorable and despicable and totally inappropriate. But, after talking with the girls on the team and learning more about how the word was and is used among some individuals, I came to understand why it was being used. Sure, a coach should be above his players.
Liz Spear (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 06:01 PM
But, if indeed some parents whose daughters did not make the team or the level team they wanted to be on, promoted Coach Craig's dismissal, then shame on them! Did anyone consider the use of the word and its reported use by the coach to be a "teachable moment" with lots of room for ongoing expansion that could have benefitted more students than it hurt? Yup. My statements her have not been corroborated as being factual; but if both coaches Craig Takahashi and Trenton Jackson did willingly resign without any pressure to do so, then the administration had to make quick decisions. And who knows how many of the girls have enjoyed this season and how many have been distressed by it. That's for the admin to sort out and I hope they do.
Liz Spear (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 06:06 PM
And if parents whose kids are at Costa on out-of-district permits are not given as much consideration as parents whose kids live within district boundaries, shame on all who do so! The district office has let these kids attend Costa; should they be treated any differently than a "local" kid? No! I know some parents who think that students who live within district boundaries should have a greater opportunity to play sports than an out-of-district kid and are mad when their kid is passed over and an out-of-district kid makes the team. If that's the case, make your case to the school district, which allows these students in. Don't take it out on the coaches and players!
Coach K February 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Here’s a question for thought: Can this disastrous season be completely blamed on Mira Costa’s new coach? After watching several games this season, I question whether the coach may be under some kind of mandate to give playing time to every player on the team. It begins with the weird starting lineup. Even a lay person can tell that there are 2-3 players who should receive minimal, if any playing time, let alone be in the starting lineup. Next comes the weird pattern of substitutions. In a close game, it just doesn’t make sense to ever put your weakest bench players into the game. Even though her coaching experience may be limited, Biteler played in college, and every college player knows or quickly learns that in order to win, their coach is only going to give time to the players who are going to win the game for him/her. Takahashi and Jackson, being “competitive” coaches, would never have given playing time to every player on the team, especially in close games. Could that be the reason why they were let go? If it is true that Biteler is being handcuffed by the administration’s and parents’ demands for playing time for all, then she has my sympathy because she is being made the scapegoat for the results of this terrible season.
Delene February 08, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Well said Liz and Coach K. Being a parent of a daughter on this team, it's frustrating as all hell to hear from others who have no clue of what's going on in girls basketball at Costa that this is the worst team in Costa history. But let's get something straight here.... this by far has been the worst coach in Costa history. And all the blame lays on the administration and on Coach Miranda. We hear constantly that this is the least talented team, and I don't agree. The girls don't control who gets minutes, the coach does. Mr. Dale said himself that Miranda wasn't ready to be a head coach for another 6-7 years and here we are with her at the helm of a very disastrous season and will be here next year also. My daughter #21 is both out-of-district and a freshman on this team. Both factors that seem to weigh heavily on why, in my opinion, she doesn't start. But as its been said, "It's not who starts, it's who finishes." We've had glimpses of what this team can do, but for some reason she doesn't see it because she doesn't stick to it. The only thing that has been consistent in her coaching era so far has been her starting line-up. I love these girls, but at the end of the day, this is Varsity basketball. In my opinion, her best 5 players have never started a game together this whole season. We will never win if things continue this way. I'm sure I'll be getting some flack for my comments, but at this point, how much worse can it get.
Coach K February 08, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Again, you lay much of the blame on the coach. But, what are her options if the administration has told her that she must start certain players and she must give every player a certain amount of playing time in every game? I am proposing this as a possible scenario because that's one of the only things that makes sense from watching the games and hearing that parents who were disgruntled with their daughters' playing time and team placements were behind the ousting of both Takahashi and Jackson. Heck, for the same reasons, parents were also behind the ousting of Coach Braunecker who was the most successful girls basketball coach at Mira Costa and who was responsible for putting the program on the map. It is getting pretty clear that the administration is intent on keeping certain parents happy, and without the backing of the administration, you can't expect any coach, experienced or not, to produce a successful team. Believe me, this situation is very common at schools where wealthy parents are the norm and schools must depend on donations in the face of state funding cutbacks.
Coach K February 08, 2012 at 08:24 PM
You are lucky your daughter is a freshman. She can transfer between her freshman and sophomore years without having to move from her current residence and without having to sit out a year. She gets a "free" transfer, so to speak. Older players on the team are stuck and must sit out a year if they transfer unless their family physically moves to another residence. Just remember, if you do go the transfer route, make sure you do it before the first day of school of your daughter's sophomore year, because on the first day of school, the "free" transfer becomes void.
Costa Parent February 08, 2012 at 10:36 PM
To Delene - If you don’t like it here at Costa then by all means LEAVE! We are sick of you and your husband sitting in the stands and bad mouthing the coaches and especially the players. How classless and hypocritical of you to say such things during a game and loud enough for everyone to hear. You don’t think every parent on the team knows about the derogatory things you and your husband have said about their daughters? Well we all know either from hearing it ourselves or from someone who has heard it. Even some of the players have heard about the things you’ve said about them. Your daughter is not all that and she has made more than her fair share of bonehead mistakes. You came with Craig, so you can leave with him too. We won’t miss you. GOODBYE and GOOD RIDDANCE!
Liz Spear (Editor) February 08, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Hey, let's keep it civil here folks! Patch rules are that you should use your real name and not launch personal attacks. Please refrain from name calling and other demeaning actions/words.
Delene February 09, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Coach K... I agree that Coach Miranda was put in a tough situation as I have said that much to her. But these classless people come on here and bash girls that have worked their butts off for Costa. Your comments about what's played out is what we think also. So hats off to those parents who are complaining, this is what they wanted and this is the result..... a losing season! As for you Costa Parent... you obviously know who I am so why hide behind a pseudonym. You did the same thing in a previous post to Ann. Stop being chicken and say your real name. I'd love to meet you. I've not once said anything about the girls but have questioned rotations and line-ups from game to game. And let's get something straight here, I've not once said anything negative about Mira Costa as a school but have questioned the "politics" in girls basketball. I've not hidden my frustration and I don't plan on it. Get used to it or bring ear-plugs! I've heard this is what I'll be getting by bringing my daughter here so I'm not suprised. Don't be pissed because your daughter didn't make Varsity. Get over it.. it would bode well for your daughter to learn that when life deals you lemons, make lemonade! I never said my daughter was all that. Not sure where you got that from my previous post. Bu it is what it is. Sorry LIz... just defending myself and I've followed your rules.:)

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