Buchanan High Athletics Named Among Top 5 California Schools of the Century

Buchanan High School’s athletics lands Top 5 on Cal-Hi Sports’ State Schools of the Century list tying with Long Beach Poly. (Courtesy of Ron Webb/CUSD)

Buchanan High School’s athletic prowess landed it on Cal-Hi Sports’ State Schools of the Century list, tying for fifth place with fellow public high school Long Beach Poly.

The rankings were determined through a points system established by Cal-Hi Sports, with three points awarded for winning overall State School of the Year, two points for winning boys or girls sports state School of the Year, and one point for a divisional title or honorable mention.

Buchanan accumulated 22 points, the same as Long Beach Poly, and behind state powerhouses Archbishop Mitty (29), Mater Dei (27), De La Salle (26), and Torrey Pines (23).

As Mark Tennis wrote, it was a late find of an honorable mention for Torrey Pines in the 2003-04 school year that slightly nudged the Falcons past the Bears for the number four spot.

Since 2000, Buchanan won overall State School of the Year honors three times, for the 2005-06, 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

“For Buchanan High to be recognized as a Top 5 State School of the Century is absolutely incredible. This is the biggest recognition that any school can receive for athletics,” said Steve France, Clovis Unified’s Assistant Superintendent who oversees district athletics. “In the times of so many issues, it is nice to get some good news. And this is not only great news for our district, but great news for our entire community.”

Buchanan’s athletic achievements this century include two baseball teams in 2011 and 2016 that finished not only as best in the state, but in the entire country as voted by ESPN in 2011 and MaxPreps and USA Today in 2016.

That’s not to mention a string of five straight CIF state titles in boys wrestling for the Bears, a CIF NorCal Division-II title in boys water polo in 2018, and girls’ CIF state titles in cross country and track & field in 2019.

“We are very proud to have our Athletic Department mentioned with the likes of Archbishop Mitty, Mater Dei, De La Salle and Torrey Pines. These schools historically are the top Athletic Departments not only in California, but in the U.S.,” said Buchanan Principal Joe Aiello. “This recognition validates the dedication our coaches have made to build true articulated programs and the commitment from our community to give our students the best possible athletic experience.”

Another Clovis Unified high school came one point shy of cracking the Top 10: Clovis West, who won overall State School of the Year honors for the 2004-05 school year, was named the 11th Best State School of the Century with eight points.

Gabriel Camarillo has written for the Clovis Roundup since August 2019 and follows high school athletics, Fresno State football and former Clovis Unified student-athletes. Gabe also writes for The Collegian as a staff sports writer and works at One Putt Broadcasting as a board op for 940 ESPN radio.