Editor's Note: The Independent looks back on the 2011-2012 high school season. Below is the first of three parts, focusing on the fall season.

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The Marina High girls' cross-country team highlighted the fall season, finishing third in Division 1 at the CIF State Cross-Country Championship at Woodward Park in Fresno in November.

The Vikings place behind division-champion San Clemente and Vista Murrieta. Senior Laura Hollander turned in an outstanding performance and was Marina's top finisher at the event. Hollander nearly won an individual title, finishing second with a time of 17 minutes, 32 seconds on the 3.1-mile course. She qualified for the 2011 Nike Cross Nationals at Portland, Ore.

Marina advanced to State after finishing fifth in the team standings at the CIF Southern Section Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. Also at the Mt. SAC meet, the Fountain Valley boys' team placed 16th in Division 1.

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The prep sports family lost a titan in late-October when Ocean View boys' basketball Coach Jim Harris died following a battle with cancer. Harris, 67, put Ocean View basketball on the map in a career that spanned 33 years and gathered 665 victories, 19 league and three CIF-SS championships. Most important, it gathered countless friends and admirers.

"Coach Harris is Ocean View basketball, even Ocean View High School, period," Seahawks Athletic Director and boys' basketball co-Coach Tim Walsh said. "He created the basketball program, which today is looked at by so many as one of the best around. There was so much love around in whatever he did, whether it be basketball or at this school."

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The 2011 football season was special on several fronts. Edison captured the Sunset League championship and, along with Huntington Beach, Ocean View and Brethren Christian, advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Chargers (8-3) were upended by Tesoro in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Huntington, which finished runner-up to the Sunset title, reached the quarterfinal round of the Pac-5 playoffs before being eliminated by second-ranked Mission Viejo. The Oilers went 9-3 and turned in the program's best finish since 1993.

"We had a very good season and this was a great group of kids who worked hard every day," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said. "It was an honor to coach this team."

As for Ocean View, the Seahawks (6-6) placed second in the Golden West League and hosted two Southern Division playoff games. The Seahawks' 26-21 victory against Santa Ana Valley was the school's first playoff win. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals by a top-ranked Beckman team that finished runner-up to the division title for a second straight year.

Quarterback/linebacker Timmy Robinson set school single-season records for rushing yards (1,678), touchdowns (25), points (158), solo tackles (104) and total tackles (147). Robinson holds career marks in rushing yards (3,810), points (346), touchdowns (50), solo tackles (198) and total tackles (432).

Brethren Christian, the No. 2 team from the Academy League, fell, 35-7, to Ontario Christian in a first-round East Valley Division game.

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In boys' water polo, Huntington Beach, Edison and Ocean View all made it to postseason play. Coach Brian Anderson's Oilers (25-6) went into the Division 1 playoffs as the Sunset League's second-place team and advanced to the quarterfinal round, where they were eliminated by Loyola. Edison was an at-large entry to the Division 1 playoffs and lost in a first-round game to eventual champion Mater Dei. The Chargers, who won a wild-card game to reach the first-round, had their best season under Coach Diggy Riley at 17-11. They also reached the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time.

The Seahawks won the Golden West League title and made the quarterfinals of the Division 7 playoffs, where they were defeated by Don Lugo, 14-12.

Senior Noah Harrison of Huntington Beach was named to the All-CIF Division 1 team and senior Steven Kornahrens of Ocean View was named to the All-CIF Division 7 team.

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In field hockey, Edison — a year removed from finishing in last place — took third place in the Sunset League and reached the postseason under first-year Coach Becca Antongiorgi. Senior co-captain Lexi Coco was named the league's top midfielder.

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In girls' volleyball, Edison spent time ranked No. 1 in Division 1AA. The Chargers, who shared the Sunset League title with Los Alamitos, advanced to the quarterfinals, where they were knocked off by Mater Dei. Huntington, an at-large playoff entry from the Sunset League, lost in the first round to South Coast League champ San Clemente. Golden West League winner Ocean View reached the second round of the Division 4AA tournament, where it was eliminated by Patriot.

Cassie Strickland of Edison (Division 1AA) and Madie Williams of Ocean View (Division 4AA) were named All-CIF.

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In girls' tennis, Edison, the No. 3 team from the Sunset League and at-large entry in the Division 2 playoffs, lost a wild-card match to St. Lucy's of Glendora.

michael.sciacca@latimes.com

Twitter: @MikeSciacca