By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Palisades Charter High School has long been the gold standard for athletic excellence in the Los Angeles City Section—a fact was confirmed last week when it was announced that the campus on Bowdoin Street had retained the Commissioner’s Cup, awarded to the school with the most points in the 2022-23 sports calendar.
The award has been given out since the 2014-15 season (the competition was canceled in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years due to the coronavirus pandemic), and Palisades has come out the winner all seven times.
The Dolphins captured seven City titles in 2022-23 but it was their deep post-season runs in the sports they did not win that vaulted them into first place in the final standings. After the fall and winter seasons, Palisades was tied for second with Granada Hills, each having 210 points—19 behind frontrunner Birmingham.
Palisades won four titles in the fall (girls tennis and golf, boys water polo and cross country) but none in the winter. In the spring, though, Palisades took control of the race by accumulating 214 points and winning three more titles (boys and girls lacrosse and boys tennis) to finish with 424.
Granada Hills (six titles) got second with 386 and Birmingham (382) third despite nine titles. The top LAUSD schools were Eagle Rock and San Pedro with 283 points apiece.
Charter schools have swept the top three spots all seven times. In the inaugural competition in 2014-15, Palisades prevailed by 38 points over Granada Hills, while El Camino Real took third. The next year, Palisades finished 77 points ahead of ECR and 94 in front of Granada Hills. In 2016-17, Palisades won by a 74-point margin over Granada Hills, and Birmingham placed third.
The next year, Palisades bettered Granada Hills by 24 points, and ECR came in third. The fifth year produced the closest race yet, as Palisades beat Granada Hills by 17 points. Birmingham was third, 45 points behind the Dolphins.
Following a two-year hiatus the competition resumed in 2021-22, and Palisades won by 50 points versus Granada Hills and Birmingham, who tied for second. Palisades’ total of 424 points in 2022-23 is the most ever, matching its total in 2016-17.
Schools are awarded points for each round one of its teams advances in the playoffs. For the Dolphins, every playoff-eligible team qualified for the post-season, and of the 27 sports offered, Palisades was first or second in 15 of them (56%). In addition to its seven City crowns, Palisades also had eight runner-up teams (football, girls cross country, girls water polo, boys volleyball, boys golf, boys track, and boys and girls swimming).
Since opening in 1961, Palisades has won a record 245 City titles—well over 100 more than any other school.
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