Get to Know...Oak Ridge High Lady Trojans
Apr 30, 2010 05:00PM
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Photo by Dante Fontana
On March 27, Oak Ridge High School’s girls’ basketball team delivered what was heralded as one of the biggest upsets in title history.
In the final chapter to their first year as a Division 1 team, the El Dorado Hills Trojans (32-3) beat out four-time defending state champ Long Beach Poly (33-2), by an impressive 55-42, to claim the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 1 state title.
The exciting win, televised from Bakersfield, gave the Lady Trojans distinction as the first large school team from the Sac-Joaquin Section to win a state basketball championship. And it was the perfect ending to a journey that made sportscasters around the nation take notice, and this foothill community bust with pride.
As the 20-person team celebrated at Disneyland, congratulatory signs and banners went up throughout El Dorado Hills. A reception for the Oak Ridge girls and autograph-signing event at Town Center on April 11 drew a large crowd despite stormy weather. “The whole community’s been great,” says Trojans Coach Steve White. “Even several weeks later, if you go to the grocery store wearing Oak Ridge basketball stuff, you still get stopped and congratulated.”
“Although El Dorado Hills has grown in size over the last five to seven years, it still gives you that great small-town feeling when everyone knows about the title and is really excited for us,” he says. White, who has coached the Oak Ridge ladies program for the past 15 years, describes the night of the championship game as “really cool.” “Our girls came out with such a calm demeanor,” he says. “They were excited to be there, but very composed.”
White believes being the underdogs worked to the Trojan’s advantage, recalling some belittling pre-game comments made by one of the Southern California teams to his players in the hotel lobby. “Our girls just didn’t feel like they had a lot of respect from people outside of our community, and so they went out there with something to prove. And they certainly did that,” boasts White.