Spartans’ 17-Match Winning Streak Snapped in San Diego

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team had a strong showing in the Southern California Invitational Tournament at Alliant University in San Diego on Friday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 9, finishing with a 5-2 record last weekend.
While the Spartans’ 17-match win streak came to a halt against San Diego’s Westview High — one shy of the school’s all-time volleyball win streak of 18 set by coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 team — the strong performance helped move LC’s record to 26-4 overall (6-0 in league).
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Local Sprinter Reflects on Tokyo Olympics Feat

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

It was quite the summer for local runner Hanna Barakat. Despite not participating in the past two track and field seasons at Brown University, the 22-year-old sprinter managed to compete alongside the world’s best athletes on the biggest stage in all of sports.
Barakat, who graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in 2017 and often trained at Glendale Community College, represented Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics during the summer, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a child.
“That was always a goal of mine,” Barakat said. “Growing up, the Olympics was always the bar in my household.”
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Spartans Can’t Contain Monrovia in Loss

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity football team lost its Rio Hondo League opener to visiting Monrovia, 60-15, last Friday evening.
The Spartans (4-2 overall record, 0-1 league) had a difficult time containing Monrovia’s explosive offense, as the undefeated Wildcats (6-0 overall record, 1-0 league) established themselves as the favorite to win the league.
LCHS senior Ian Phillips and junior Corey Cheung each scored a touchdown. Senior Brandon Shepherd’s two-point conversion and senior placekicker Shaina Clorfeine’s successful PAT accounted for the remainder of the Spartans’ scoring.
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In Memory of Late Coach, Golden Knights Win in OT, 32-25

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

There was seemingly no better way to honor the winningest coach in St. Francis history, Jim Bonds, who died from complications of multiple myeloma last year, than with a 32-25 overtime victory against visiting Steele Canyon of Spring Valley in a nonleague game last Friday.
St. Francis and its varsity football team honored the Bonds family with a video tribute and pregame prayer. Bonds was celebrated again at halftime, along with the 2021 St. Francis Hall of Fame inductees.
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Spartans Beat San Marino for 14th Straight Win

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ varsity volleyball team swept visiting San Marino in a Rio Hondo League match, 25-14, 25-22, 25-10, on Tuesday.
The league-leading Spartans (6-0 league record, 21-2 overall) extended their winning streak to 14, matching the length of Coach Brock Turner’s 2011 Spartans. The school’s all-time volleyball win streak is 18 set by Coach Kevin Boyke’s 1999 Spartans. That team was seeded No. 4 in the CIF playoffs and had an 18-0 record before losing to top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the CIF semifinals.
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Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School girls’ cross-country team swept the varsity and junior varsity races in the first Rio Hondo League meet of the season last week and improved to 5-0.
The varsity team was more than the Rio Hondo League could handle. Sophomore star Arielle McKenzie ran a relaxed first two miles and then outkicked South Pasadena’s Sydney Morrow, who is also one of the top runners in the CIF Southern Section, to take the victory in 18:25. Katelyn Matarese followed in third in 18:32 to be part of the top three pack that gapped fourth place by nearly 30 seconds. McKenzie and Matarese give the Spartans one of the most potent 1-2 combinations in the state. Cat Mispagel continued her breakout season with a time of 19:15 for a seventh-place finish and captain Jenna Milbrodt followed in ninth at 19:24. Caroline Gill ran a solid race to be the team’s final scorer in 19:50, which was good for 10th place. Continue reading “Spartan Girls, Boys Compete in League Meet”

Spartans Back On Winning Track After Beating Gladstone

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity football team (4-1 overall record) bounced back nicely from a previous week loss and dominated host Gladstone of Covina, 30-7, in a nonleague game last Saturday.
LCHS junior Corey Cheung turned in a solid all-around effort, which included a team-high six receptions for 66 yards as well as five carries for 21 yards. He also intercepted a pass and scored two touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Mack Plocher completed eight passes for 78 yards and had four carries, which included a touchdown.
Senior Caleb Carruthers scored the other Spartans’ touchdown.
Senior Brandon Shepherd had five carries for 19 yards while seniors Ian Phillips and Jack Stroben each had one reception for five yards.
The defensive line was led by Shepherd, Carruthers and junior Anthony Venneri, who recorded 10, nine and eight total tackles, respectively. Phillips, senior Sean Hartman and junior Andrew Gevorgian each added one sack.
Phillips (six total tackles), senior Cole Stratton (five), Cheung (four), Gevorgian (four), junior Jake Adkins (three), Hartman (two), senior Diego Reyes (two), Stroben (two), senior Marcus Fan (two), junior Mateo Gallegos (two), senior Luke Manion (one), sophomore Cayden Klein (one), junior Asher Salman (one) and sophomore Lorenz Bayug (one) tallied the rest of the Spartans’ 63 total tackles.

Toland’s Career-High 37 Kills Propels LCHS to League Lead

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The longtime rivalry league match between La Cañada High School and visiting South Pasadena’s varsity girls’ volleyball teams on Tuesday did not disappoint, as the two powerhouse programs lasted five sets.
And it was the Spartans who established themselves as the team to beat in the Rio Hondo League by narrowly claiming their 12th consecutive victory, 21-25, 30-28, 26-24, 21-25 and 15-10.
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Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada Flintridge native, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
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St. Francis Wins, 45-20

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

St. Francis High School’s varsity football team crushed visiting Los Altos of Hacienda Heights, 45-20, in a nonleague game last Friday, Sept. 24. The Golden Knights (3-1 overall record) earned their second straight win on the back of junior quarterback Jack Jacobs and senior Max Garrison.
Jacobs was outstanding, completing 13 of 15 for 165 yards. He also had six carries and one passing touchdown. Garrison also had a terrific game with three touchdowns and a team-high 13 carries for 150 yards in addition to one reception for four yards.
Senior Myles Shannon recorded a team-high 63 yards on three receptions while sophomore Preston Jernegan added 24 yards on three receptions. Seniors Daniel Hara and Mayze Bryant each had two receptions for 29 and five yards, respectively, while seniors Alejandro Ramirez (one touchdown) and Dylan Bell added one reception for 35 and five yards, respectively.
Sophomore John Calmette and had two carries for 27 yards and freshman John Sanders had one for 12 yards with a touchdown.