Rio Mesa High School

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Rio Mesa High School
Rio Mesa High School.jpeg

545 Central Avenue

Oxnard, California
United States
Coordinates 34°15′10″N 119°08′40″W / 34.252784°N 119.144541°W / 34.252784; -119.144541Coordinates: 34°15′10″N 119°08′40″W / 34.252784°N 119.144541°W / 34.252784; -119.144541
Type Public
Motto Once a Spartan, always a Spartan
Established 1965
Principal Mark Contreras[1]
Faculty 106
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,300
Campus rural
Color(s) Red and Black         [2]
Athletics conference CIF-SS Pacific View League
Mascot Spartan
Team name Spartans
Rival Adolfo Camarillo High School
Yearbook yes

Rio Mesa High School is located northeast of Oxnard, California in the unincorporated community of Strickland. This campus of the Oxnard Union High School District serves the communities of northern Oxnard including nearby River Park and El Rio. Students also come from the western portion of the city of Camarillo and unincorporated Nyeland Acres. The school is surrounded by strawberry fields and other crops growing on the Oxnard Plain. Rio Mesa's school cross town rival is Adolfo Camarillo High School Scorpions and past school rival was Oxnard High School yellow jackets. The school is one of two International Baccalaureate schools in Ventura County, the other being Newbury Park High School.[3] The name "Rio Mesa" was conceived by then trustee board member Bob Matthews derived from the two original school districts that fed the school in 1965—Rio School District and Mesa Union—though it also takes students from the Pleasant Valley School District and Oxnard Elementary School District.


Rio Mesa High School

The Spartan Marching Band[edit]

The Rio Mesa Spartan Band holds the record for winning the most consecutive sweepstakes awards in a marching season in the County. It was back in 1975–1976 under the direction of William (Bill) Course that the Rio Mesa Spartan Marching Band with its over 100 members had won Sweepstakes at every parade they participated in that season—a feat that had never before been accomplished in the history of the Rio Mesa Spartan Marching Band. Director William Course was left with the option for the following year to seek tougher competition outside of the Tri Counties (Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties) for his undefeated Spartan Marching Band or be stuck attending the same exact parades the following year as non competitors participating as each parade's prior "Sweepstakes" Honor Band. Mr. Course petitioned the Oxnard Unified school board for permission for the following years Spartan Band to travel outside the Tri Counties for tougher competitions (Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties). Because of the distance the Oxnard Board of Directors denied his request, Mr. Course resigned from Rio Mesa and took the music director position at the newly built Calabasas High School. Never since has the Rio Mesa Spartan Band or any other High School band in the county won sweepstakes at every parade they have entered for the entire season. The next time-frame for success of this marching program came during the years of 2001-2006, under the direction of Analese Alvarez. During this span, the marching band won 1st place or sweepstakes in 10 straight regional field show competitions, the drumline were gold medal winners in ADLA (2004), and the group qualified for SCSBOA Field Championships two years in a row with the percussion winning the High Percussion award both times. Awards at the Royal HS competition in 2004 also marked the band program's first sweepstakes awards in over 12 years. During this time, a winterguard team was formed for the first time in over 2 years. [citation needed] In the school year of 2007-2008, Lisa Fleming was Director. The Rio Mesa Percussion Sweepstakes in the Competition held in Simi Valley High School and was the only band in the County in their division to attend SCSBOA Field Championships and to win 3rd Place in all Southern California in many, many years. The Members and Boosters hope to do as great as last year.

Rio Mesa Championships[edit]

CIF Football - 1971 Rio Mesa (Div A) John Reardon 28-20 Paso Robles PVL Wrestling- 2010 5-1

Track and Field - Coach Brian Fitzgerald has an outstanding record coaching sprinters. Angela Burnham, Marion Jones, Valexsia Droughn and Zaria Francis each won the prestigious 100 meters at the CIF California State Meet, with Burnham adding the 100 and 200 meters titles while leading the team to the girls' team in 1991.[4] Jones also won multiple titles, including both sprints 4 years in a row, completed after transferring out of the program for her junior year. Jones went on to future worldwide fame and disrepute. Both Burnham and Jones were named the national Girls' "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News twice.[5] Both were also named Gatorade Player of the Year.[6] In 2000, Porchea Carroll, came within a few thousandths of a second of also winning the state 100 meters title.[7] In 2012, Rio Mesa came within 3 thousandths of a second of sweeping both boys' relay events at the CIF California State Meet, winning the 4x400 metres relay and losing the 4x100 metres relay in the last step of the race. Blake Selig, Darion Zimmerman and Cameron Roach ran on both teams, Anthony Teart ran the 4x400, while Roderick White led off the 4x100.[8] In addition to Francis winning the 100 and 200, Greg Vann Jr. won the 2015 CIF State Championship for long jump with a leap of 24'6".[9]

Swimming & Water Polo - Coach Keith McKnett arrived at Rio Mesa High School in the year 2001 and has had an outstanding record. Under his coaching, Rio Mesa has won 12 Water Polo Pacific View League Titles and 17 Swimming League Titles. Coach Derrick Timmons has lead Rio Mesa to 3 Water Polo CIF Finals appearances; winning the 2015 Boys' CIF Water Polo Championship and taking runner-up in 2 water polo championships (2009 and 2010). In swimming, Rio Mesa is now on a 100-0 league meet record and are continuous contenders for the Pacific View League title and won CIF in 2015 for Boys' Swimming. [10]

Soccer - In 2009, Rio Mesa's Boys' Soccer team, under Coach Brandon Fuchs, won the only Boys' Soccer CIF title in Pacific View League history.[11]

Athletic Director[edit]

Brian Fitzgerald is the third athletic director that Rio Mesa High School has had. He started in 1987, and has held the position for 29 years which is the longest out of anyone in Ventura county.In his 29 years as the school's track coach, Brian's boys' and girls' teams have won 44 league titles, 5 CIF Southern Section divisional runner-up awards, 3 CIF-SS Championships, and the girls' State Championship in 1988. Brian was honored as the CIF Southern Section ‘s Coach of the Year in 1994, and is currently a member of the CIF-SS and California State Advisory Committees for Track & Field. In 2005, he was honored with the Outstanding Service to High School Track & Field award at the Arcadia Invitational, and in 2008 he was inducted into the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]