By Dan Arritt     7/12/2016

Another successful academic year is in the books for the Trinity League, and the student athletes who represented the league’s six Orange County schools left an imprint that might be visible from outer space.

Many of these same athletes have already returned to their school’s athletic facilities, where they’ve begun preparation toward making an even larger impression. Others are taking aim at making a varsity team in hopes of eventually filling the shoes of those graduated.

Probably no Trinity League team has more potential to make noise during the upcoming school year than the Mater Dei football team.

The Monarchs will feature one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the state behind sophomore quarterback J.T. Daniels, who already has scholarship offers from prestigious schools such as USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and Stanford.

Daniels will be surrounded by an incredibly talented group of wide receivers, led by senior Osiris St. Brown, who has been offered by nearly two dozen colleges, including nine from the Pac-12 Conference. Brown, who transferred from Servite following his sophomore year, was one of two non-seniors on the Orange County Register All-Orange County first-team offense.

St. Brown will likely line up alongside his younger brother, Amon-Ra, who has been offered by many of the same schools, as well as sophomore Bru McCoy, who has yet to play a varsity game, but has been offered by schools such as USC, Alabama and Oregon.

Up front, Daniels will be protected by 6’7”, 320-pound junior lineman Tommy Brown, who received a scholarship offer from UCLA in late June after impressing at its Big Man Camp.

Mater Dei will be strong defensively as well, with outside linebacker Fa’avae Fa’avae earning second-team all-county honors as a junior last season. Xavier Bell is set to return at safety after committing to the University of Arizona at the start of summer, and the Monarchs bolstered their defense with the transfer of defensive lineman Austin Faoliu from JSerra.

The Monarchs will have just as much talent to build around on the basketball court, starting with junior point guard Spencer Freedman, one of five first-team All-County selections last season. The league race figures to be tighter than ever, however. Santa Margarita returns its two leading scorers in Kaden Rasheed and Adrease Jackson, as well Jordan Guest and Jake Kyman, who also appeared in all 30 games.

On the girls’ side, look for the Mater Dei volleyball team to make a run at defending its CIF-SS Division I title behind senior outside hitter Shannon Scully, a first-team All-County selection who has committed to Utah.

The Monarchs figure to face stiff competition from Santa Margarita, led by Stanford-bound outside hitter Meghan McClure, who joined Scully on the All-County first team last season. The Eagles might even have a better supporting cast with junior setter Devon Chang and middle blocker Haley Carmo.

The Orange Lutheran girls’ water polo team will also try to defend its Division I title, but the Lancers will need to replace two All-County first-teamers in Emma Skelly and Kelsey Tyler. Much of that responsibility will fall on sisters Myna and Mollie Simmons.

Mater Dei also hopes to be in the mix for a girls’ water polo league title, as junior left-hander Grace Hawley led the Monarchs in goals (75), assists (42) and steals (44) last season.