Is Stanley Johnson the greatest player in Mater Dei history?
The CIF Southern Section final has been unkind to Stanley Johnson. If there is a blemish in what has been a stellar career for the Mater Dei senior, it’s that Johnson has only won one sectional crown.
A blemish, only because he’s been perfect in all other postseason championship games in his career.
He’s three-for-three in Southern California Regional Championships. He’s also three-for-three in CIF state championship games.
He’s one-for-two in CIF sectional games in his career. Mater Dei failed to reach the CIF finals in Johnson’s freshman season after being knocked off by Corona Centennial. In his last trip to the CIF sectional finals, Johnson and the Monarchs were upset by Etiwanda in the Division I-AA final.
Saturday, Johnson will lead the undefeated Monarchs (30-0) into the Open Division final against Chino Hills (26-4) in a game that can be seen on FOX Sports West.
"I’ve been short in CIF and that’s always bugged me as a player because I’m so competitive that I let these games slip from us as a team," Johnson said.
Already the winningest player in program history, Johnson is arguably the greatest player to wear a Mater Dei uniform. However, he’s not concerned with his legacy. Not at this moment, anyway.
"I think about it sometimes but at the end of the day you’re only as good as your last game," Johnson said. "I’m already on the wall here so I got nothing to worry about where my names going to be in the legacy. It’s going to be somewhere, but I want to give them a lasting impression of something really, really good.
"My legacy is going to be on winning," Johnson said.
The final pages of that legacy will be scripted Saturday at the Honda Center with what he hopes will be an Open Division championship and ending with a perfect record and a national championship.
If accomplished, does that solidify the "Best Mater Dei player ever" argument? Regardless, Johnson’s goals extend vastly beyond the Santa Ana campus.
"If you just want to be the best Mater Dei player, what does that equal?" is a question Johnson hears from his mother Karen Taylor.
"I want to be something better than that. I want to have three contracts in the league if I can. I have big dreams and big goals and being the best Mater Dei player is, obviously, something I came to do here but it’s not like if I don’t get it I’m going to be sad. I had a great four years here."