Culver City High Athletics Year in Review
Interview with Tom Salter, Culver City Athletic Director
July 3, 2014
By Fred Altieri
Observer Sports Reporter
Part 1 of 2. Part 2 will appear in next week's edition of the Culver City Observer
Tom Salter is entering for his third year as athletic director for Culver City High School. He and the 22 head coaches of the school's sports programs and their staffs are already hard at work as they prepare for another challenging year in the Ocean League beginning this September.
He took time out of his demanding schedule to review the past 2013-14 school year and gave a preview of what the students, parents and fans can expect for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Salter also spoke about the impact last year's newly installed synthetic athletic field had on the school's programs, his coaching background and the realigned Ocean League which welcomes two new members: El Segundo High and Lawndale High.
"In the fall season, we were Ocean League Champions in girls volleyball and football. In girls volleyball we haven't been league champions in a long time and we went all the way to the CIF semifinals. It was a terrific year for girls volleyball and we have a lot of athletes coming back next year so we're really excited about the progress in that program.
Coach Manzo has really done a great job with the girls and the boys programs. He also led the boys to a league championship in the spring. The girls' team was co-team of the year with girls basketball at Culver City for the girls' programs and boys volleyball won team of the year for the boys' programs.
I'm very happy to have Jahmal Wright in the position as the head football coach. We're lucky at Culver City because it is a perfect fit. Not only is he the head football coach but he's the head track coach. He does a terrific job and I'm happy for him. I miss coaching but I keep busy as the athletic director. I'm excited to see the growth in all of our sports programs.
We also had both cross country teams make the playoffs and so did girls tennis. So out of the six fall sports programs five of them made it to the playoffs.
For the winter season, the girls basketball team won the CIF Championship. That's super and unbelievable. Coach Julian Anderson has one of the best programs in the South Bay and to go back-to-back to the finals and win it this year was truly remarkable. We're so proud of him, his coaching staff and the girls. They have won the league championship for three consecutive years with a 30-league game unbeaten streak.
They were honored by Culver City's City Hall and that was a great night. They made it all the way to the semifinals of the Southern California state championships. . So there are a lot of positive and great things going on in that program.
Boys basketball improved off of last season under Adam Eskridge's second year as head coach. They won their first playoff game on the road against Westminster High. So that was a great way to end the season for them.
Girls water polo had a great year for them. They finished in second place in league and made it to the playoffs and they have over 40 wins in the last two years.
For the winter sports boys soccer made it to the playoffs. They came in third place in league. They lost one game by one goal against Hawthorne High and that cost them the league championship but I thought it was one of their best seasons ever. They won the first round in playoffs wildcard game and then they lost the next game against the number two seed, Mira Vista. I thought they had a terrific season under head coach Louie Espeleta and assistant coach Bryan Sullivan. And they have a lot of boys coming back for next season.
Coach Scott Mair did a great job in girls soccer. His team came in second place in league this year. They made it to the playoffs and lost to the champions South Torrance in the first round. The last three years the girls soccer team have lost in the playoffs to the team that has won it all.
I think playing on our new synthetic field has really helped our soccer program. We're playing at a much faster pace and we are now prepared when we're playing schools that also have synthetic fields. So for the winter sports programs all five made the playoffs.
The football program went undefeated in league and we dedicated the field to Jerry Chabola. We had a great dedication for the first game. We had all the athletic teams represented there with the city in a parade. It was well attended and probably the biggest crowd that I can remember being at a Culver City High game. Later in the year retired Michael Bumpus' jersey.
The football team really turned it around to go undefeated in league and won a great game against Santa Monica High to win the Ocean League Championship. They played a tough team, St. Francis High, in the first-round playoff game and were ahead at halftime. They beat us in the second half and went on to the semifinals. So for the fall and winter 10 of the 11 Culver High athletic programs made it to the playoffs.
For the spring programs boys lacrosse won their first league championship, the first time in the school's history. They lost to Loyola High in the first round of the playoffs. The girls lacrosse team made it to the playoffs for the first time ever and lost in the first round.
The boys and girls track and field teams did well and came in second in league. They advanced kids to the CIF and Kevin Beacham went to the CIF State Finals in the long jump.
The baseball team came in second place in league and lost a tough game to Quartz Hill High near Palmdale in the first round of the playoffs. The softball team came in third place in league. They won the playoff wildcard game and then lost to Buena High School in the next round.
Boys and girls swimming both had a decent year. Girls swimming came in third in league and we had about 10 boys and girls make CIF. Boys tennis did not make the playoffs. Boys volleyball won league, won their first round playoff game and lost in the second round. It was a great year for Culver City High athletics."