After a Decade, Sarceda Out at LCHS Football

Photo by Eric Danielson
La Cañada High School has parted ways with head football coach Jason Sarceda, who finished 3-1 in the abbreviated COVID season and served as an assistant and head coach at LCHS for nearly a decade.

The one constant in the La Cañada High School football program is no longer, as the school announced this week that Jason Sarceda will not return as head coach of the varsity football team.

Sarceda has long been involved in the local football scene, coaching Gladiators youth football and serving as an LCHS assistant coach before being hired as head coach in June 2017.

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Positive COVID Tests Cancel Spartans’ Final Game

Photo by Eric Danielson / OUTLOOK VALLEY SUN
The La Cañada varsity football team’s final game of the season was canceled due to positive coronavirus tests last week. The Spartans finished with an overall record of 3-1.

One positive COVID-19 test can quickly alter a school’s plans as well as disrupt sports activities, as La Cañada High School administrators and coaches learned last week.
In accordance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines, the school canceled what was supposed to be the varsity football team’s final game of the season against Monrovia, after four people, including one student, tested positive for the coronavirus.
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Spartans Beat Glendale, Improve Record to 2-1

Photo by Eric Danielson / OUTLOOK
LCHS junior defensive end Ian Phillips brings down a Glendale player during the Spartans’ 40-19 victory last Friday. La Cañada will host Rio Hondo League rival San Marino this Friday, April 9, at 7 p.m.

There was no stopping La Cañada High School quarterback Ivan Ostry. The senior put on another show last Friday and led the Spartans to 40-13 nonleague victory over host Glendale at Moyse Field.
Ostry had touchdown runs of 13, 75, 43 and 69 yards to help the Spartans improve to 2-1 on the season. The senior transfer from Rosemead tallied 264 rushing yards and also caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Macky Plocher.
“It was a good game for us,” said LCHS head coach Jason Sarceda, whose team was successful on all five two-point conversions. “The last two games, we’ve been able to get the whole team in on the action. In a season like this, it’s good to spread the ball around. We did what we needed to do offensively.”
The Spartans wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Ostry weaved his way past defenders to score the first touchdown of the game in less than two minutes.
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Spartans Edged 36-30 by South Pas in Opener

Photo by Eric Danielson / Outlook Valley Sun
The La Cañada senior also contributed two receptions for 23 yards in a 36-30 loss to South Pasadena last Friday.

The La Cañada High School football team has been preparing for its season opener for more than a year and it showed.
The Spartan offense showed a versatility it hasn’t displayed in years and came out swinging against South Pasadena with quarterback Ivan Ostry behind center. However, the Tigers’ defense outlasted the talented senior signal-caller and handed La Cañada a 36-30 loss at home last Friday.
“I’m proud of our boys,” said LCHS head coach Jason Sarceda. “We’re extremely young up front starting freshmen and sophomores on the line. They’re gritty, though.”
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Being On the Field Is a Victory For Players, Coaches

Photo by Eric Danielson/Outlook Valley Sun
After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the La Cañada High School varsity football team played its first game since Nov. 1, 2019, last Friday. Despite falling to Rio Hondo League rival South Pasadena, 36-30, it was a win for LCHS players and coaches who have patiently waited for an opportunity to get back on the field.

The date and environment may have been different, but for the South Pasadena High School and La Cañada High School varsity football teams, the feeling of playing under the Friday night lights was the same.
Players, coaches and fans could disconnect from a COVID-19 world for nearly three hours to enjoy some high school football; the Spartans had not played an official game in more than 16 months.
“It’s been quite some time,” said SPHS quarterback Noah Aragon. “It’s been about a year and half since I got to play this game that I love so much, and it just felt amazing. Just getting out here, being with the guys, scoring touchdowns and doing our thing is awesome.”
The final score — which favored South Pasadena, 36-30 — was seemingly irrelevant to many players and coaches. Just being on the field was a victory, especially the seniors. The Tigers boast 11 on their roster and a young Spartan squad has seven.
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They’re Back Training Live on the Field, Court and Pool

Photo by Oscar Areliz / OUTLOOK VALLEY SUN
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team warms up by running around the outdoor basketball courts on Tuesday.

For the first time in nearly seven months to the day, La Cañada High School student-athletes greeted their coaches in person and trained with their fellow teammates on Monday.
Administrators and coaches’ detailed plan of reopening the stadium and facilities for outdoor practices in accordance to the county Department of Public Health’s Reopening Protocol for Youth Sports Leagues was approved by the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board during a virtual meeting on Sept. 29, and LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal said they “had a really great rollout.”
“First and foremost, it was great to see coaches and students we’ve missed for months,” Cartnal said over the phone on Tuesday. “We closed on March 13 [due to COVID-19] and today is Oct. 13. It’s almost kind of synchronicity to being away when we are back almost to the day.”

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Spartans Shut Down Knights, Snap 14-Game Losing Streak

Photo by Oscar Areliz / OUTLOOK
Matt Bromley, Jacob Hardy and Dezin Delgatty celebrate La Cañada’s first victory since the Spartans’ 28-13 win over San Marino on Nov. 4, 2016.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team was determined to end its losing streak, and its resolve showed on the opening kickoff against visiting New Design Watts of Los Angeles last Friday.
Dezin Delgatty returned a pooch kick 57 yards for a touchdown, giving the Spartans a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish in a 37-6 nonleague victory last Friday.
Jason Sarceda finally picked up his first win as LCHS head coach and snapped a 14-game losing streak that plagued the program.
“It feels really good,” Sarceda said. “I’m proud of our guys. We’ve been working a lot more on eliminating special teams errors. Our goal this game was to have zero turnovers.”
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LCHS Hires New Head Football Coach

Jason Sarceda
Jason Sarceda

Jason Sarceda, a local business owner and longtime La Cañada High School varsity football assistant, will take over as head coach of the Spartans’ football program following the resignation of Ryan Zerbel.
“When the opportunity came up, I accepted,” Sarceda said. “I love the sport, obviously, and this is a great community. I’d like to see this program take off and be successful on and off the field.” Continue reading “LCHS Hires New Head Football Coach”