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(photo by Wendy Perl Perlphoto.com)

SAMOHI — With a great season comes great reward.

Days removed from winning its first California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section title in softball, Santa Monica High School has been named the state Division 3 team of the year by Cal Hi Sports. The announcement was made late Monday afternoon.

“This is really cool,” Samohi Head Coach Debbie Skaggs said of the honor. “I’ll take anything I can get.”

Skaggs, who is retiring from coaching after 24 seasons of leading Samohi, said that the award was proof that this season’s edition of Vikings softball was something special.

“I’m so proud of the kids, they are excited,” she said. “I also have to give a lot of credit to my coaches: Dan [Ramos] and John [Heavens].”

The entire coaching staff will not be returning next season, but before then Skaggs said that she’s simply taking it all in.

“It’s everything I thought it would be,” she said. “I don’t even know how to describe it.”

In addition to the Cal Hi Sports honor, All-Ocean League teams were also announced this week. The league-winning Vikings, who went 10-0, dominated the team.

Pitcher Celisha Walker and shortstop Kaile Nakao were named Co-Most Valuable Players. Skaggs was named Coach of the Year. The first team featured: center fielder Holly Elander, catcher Emma Woo, third baseman Hayley Condon, first baseman Hailey Sheridan and pitcher Natalie Abel.

The second team included: outfielder Meghan Bradley, right fielder Kelsey Hom and designated player Stephanie Ordaz.

Skaggs said that the team may be in line for additional honors from CIF-SS officials. She expects those honors to be released either late this week or next.

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