La Cañada Downs Rival in League, Shines in Tournament

It took four years for the La Cañada High School varsity wrestling team to recapture Rio Hondo League crown and the Spartans intend to keep the crown for another season. La Cañada put that determination on display against visiting San Marino and came away with a 48-30 victory last week.
“I’m happy with our performance,” said LCHS head coach Justin Luthey. “[San Marino is] a program on the rise with solid young talent, and we had to raise the bar. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. We don’t want our guys to get complacent.”

Photo by Oscar Areliz / OUTLOOK
Will Henderson pinned his San Marino opponent and helped the Spartans defeat the Titans, 48-30, in a Rio Hondo League dual last week.

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La Cañada Ready for League

Photo courtesy Kristina Kalb
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ soccer team will open Rio Hondo League play at home against Temple City on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 3:30 p.m. The Spartans (7-3-1 overall record), guided by second-year head coach Kevin Neumeier, includes Carolina de Souza, Elizabeth Dick, Adena DiPaolo, Sophia Godinez, Sidney Hwang, Rucha Kadam, Minzie Kim, Chloe Kouyoumdjian, Hanna Kruglov, Mia LeClerc, Camille Lorenz, Cecily Lowe, Solenn Matuska, Samantha Mayer, Ashley Messier, Gianna Mor, Priya Patel, Kallie Rushing, Katharine Scoville and Charlotte Tapp.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ soccer team has been one of the most competitive programs in the area and known to compete in big local tournaments, including those scheduled during the winter break.
Kevin Neumeier made a few changes last year in his first season at the helm of the LCHS varsity girls’ soccer program, most notably giving his players two weeks off during the holidays.
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A Look Back at 2017’s Top Stories in LCF

It was a busy year in La Cañada Flintridge. Residents came together to mourn losses and celebrate victories, they made their voices heard at the polls and in public hearings, they made history in real estate and sports, and, at La Cañada High School, students were instructed to try to get a little more sleep.
Here are the 17 most important local stories of 2017:

1. LCF Loses Dave Spence
Dave Spence suffered a fatal heart attack at his home May 16. The devoted city councilman and six-time mayor was 80.
In March, he’d been re-elected for a seventh term as a member of the City Council, on which he’d served since 1992: “In my opinion, La Cañada Flintridge is one of the greatest cities in this state,” Spence said during his last campaign.

Photos by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Mayor Michael Davitt speaks at the funeral of longtime City Councilman Dave Spence in May at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.

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Spartans Open Holiday Tourney with Rout Over L.A. Marshall

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Patric Panoosi scored 22 points in the Spartans’ 63-38 win over L.A. Marshall.

The La Cañada High School overcame a slow start and downed visiting Los Angeles Marshall, 63-38, in the first round of games of the LCHS Holiday Classic on Tuesday.
The Spartans (4-2 overall record) struggled from the field and scored only 13 points in the first quarter, but the home squad bounced back in the second to extend their lead.
“I thought we did a good job,” said LCHS head coach Tom Hofman. “Patric had a good hand and we had to get him the ball. Defensively, there was a little bit of improvement, but we still have a long way to go.”
Patric Panoosi led the team with 22 points, and Ryan Graves returned from injury and chipped in 11 points.
“We haven’t had a full team yet,” said Hofman, whose players have been plagued with injuries early in the season. “We lost Brendan [Co], and Jivan [Shirvanian] is out too. That’s a big one. We got Graves back, which is huge, and he had a nice game tonight.
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La Cañada Wins First League Title Since 2012

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team captured the Rio Hondo League title for the first time since 2012. The championship-winning squad includes Chloe Kerstein (front row, from left), Sophia Bang, Prudence Sum, Elizabeth Gannon and Hailey Belcher. Middle: Maya White, Katherine Albano, Samantha Mayer, Erica Oh and Alexandra Gates. Back: Allison Budde, Emma Aitelli, Emily Weirick, Claire Kevorkian, Natalie Shamilian, Kimberly Callister and Claire Saydah.

Two years ago, Chris Sullivan accepted the position of La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball coach but inherited a team with only two returning players.
“I’ve been rebuilding the past couple of years,” he said. “It was tough, but now the program is in a good spot for this year and the future. A lot of that has to do with the seniors and the leadership they have displayed.”
That leadership made it a goal to bring back the Rio Hondo League championship back to La Cañada, and that mission was finally accomplished when the Spartans defeated host Pasadena Blair in three sets, 25-9, 25-14, 25-4, last week.
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LCF Golfer Makes History in Walker Cup Win

Photo courtesy USGA / Chris Keane
Collin Morikawa, a 2015 graduate of La Cañada High School, plays his second shot on the 14th hole during singles at the 2017 Walker Cup at the Los Angeles Country Club on Sunday.

La Cañada Flintridge native Collin Morikawa capped a remarkable summer with a momentous victory, helping Team USA defeat Great Britain and Ireland, 19-7, to reclaim the prestigious Walker Cup this weekend at the Los Angeles Country Club.
“It’s the biggest honor to be on the USA team and represent my country the entire week,” said Morikawa, who was one of 10 American amateurs selected to take on their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. “We lost two years ago and the main goal was to win, no matter what it takes. I’m just really proud of this team.” Continue reading “LCF Golfer Makes History in Walker Cup Win”

La Cañada Forfeits After Canceling Game Against South Hills

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
The La Cañada High School football team had to forfeit against South Hills of West Covina after canceling last Friday’s game and being unable to postpone the contest. The matchup between the two teams was canceled because of the poor air quality and proximity to the fire in the Verdugo Mountains.

As a brush fire kept growing in the Verdugo Mountains last Friday afternoon, the La Cañada High School and West Covina South Hills varsity football players stood on the Spartans’ field as coaches and administrators from both sides discussed the cancellation of the nonleague game scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We, meaning the La Cañada administration and coaching staff and [head] referee, all agreed it was not in the best safety interests of the athletes to play on Friday because of the fire and our proximity and the air quality at the time,” said LCHS athletic director Kristina Kalb. “With that being said, South Hills was of the mindset that the game should be played, regardless of our concerns, and disagreed with us about cancelling the game at the time.”
South Hills coaches and officials proposed having the game played on their field on Saturday. After speaking to the coaching staff and administrators, Kalb said they decided as a group that a game on Saturday would not work for them.
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LCF Amateur Golf Star Takes Aim at International Glory

Photo courtesy UC Berkeley men’s golf
La Cañada High School graduate Collin Morikawa was selected to represent the United States at the Walker Cup, the most prestigious amateur event in golf, this weekend at Los Angeles Country Club.

Brent Kuszyk said he stopped Collin Morikawa when he spotted him at Brookside Golf Course this summer because he wanted to ask one of the world’s top amateur golfers for a tip or two that might benefit his own golf-obsessed son, Nolan.
Morikawa was in the midst of preparing for the U.S. Amateur Championship, but he gave Kuszyk a half hour, happy to share insight he’d gleaned about golfing life since he picked up a golf club for the first time as a 2-year-old, barely able to walk.
“What a great opportunity for a golf dad, to hear from someone who’s been in it,” said Kuszyk, who sits on La Cañada Unified School District’s Governing Board. “I kept saying, ‘I don’t want to keep you from practicing,’ but he just stood there, answering my questions. He’s just a really nice representation of La Cañada.”
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Perrantes Leads St. Francis to Victory in Season Opener

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson St. Francis junior quarterback Darius Perrantes threw for 322 yards, six touchdowns and an interception in his debut last week, leading St. Francis to a 48-21 win over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.

By Charlie Foy

During the second half, the St. Francis High School student section loudly sang “Sweet Caroline,” A fitting song because Golden Knights football never seemed so good as the varsity team cruised to a 48-21 victory over visiting Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach last week.
In the first half, new quarterback Darius Perrantes, a junior transfer from Encino Crespi, initially started off slow but everything started to click after his first touchdown. Near the end of the first quarter, senior Greg Dulcich broke away from the Mira Costa corner, and Perrantes completed a 38-yard touchdown pass, and there was no looking back for the St. Francis offense.
The Mustangs (0-1 overall) quickly responded with a touchdown pass of their own, and it seemed as if both teams were evenly matched.
On the ensuing drive, Perrantes completed another touchdown pass to Dulcich and later connected with Isaac Cordova for a 64-yard touchdown.
The Mustangs didn’t give up and kept the game within reach after a touchdown midway through the second quarter, cutting St. Francis lead to 21-14 at the half. Continue reading “Perrantes Leads St. Francis to Victory in Season Opener”

Talented Spartans Seek First League Championship Since 2012

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
La Cañada has a depth it has not had in years, making the Spartans one of the top contenders for the Rio Hondo League title.

In his third year at the helm of the La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball program, head coach Chris Sullivan has the kind of team any coach would envision.
“We returned 11 players from last year’s team, so that really helps,” said Sullivan. “The experience they gained last year was definitely valuable. We have a lot of depth, and I’m really excited about this season. We’ve had some great wins so far. We’re already leaps and bounds better than when we started in the summer.”
Sullivan returns nearly every player and has the perfect balance of experience and young talent with a roster that includes five seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen.
The best part of about this team is that players are interchangeable. Sullivan has never had this kind of depth before, and he said he was confident in playing anyone on the roster.
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