Spartans Holding Their Own in Open Division

Photo by Mitch Lehman / Outlook Valley Sun
Coach Will Moravec credited the spirited play of Maya Urata, above, for the Spartans’ CIF Open Division first-round win over Mira Costa High of Manhattan Beach.

Anyone who thought the La Cañada High School’s girls’ tennis team would be derailed after losing a tough Rio Hondo League title match to San Marino better think again. 

Not only have the Spartans survived, they have since thrived, to the point of defeating perennial powerhouse Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the first round of the CIF playoffs.  Continue reading “Spartans Holding Their Own in Open Division”

LCHS Wins 1st Boys’ League Tennis Title in 37 Years

Photos by Mitch Lehman / Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada High School’s players gather shortly after defeating Temple City to win their first Rio Hondo League boys’ team tennis championship since 1984. Pictured above are (kneeling, from left) Dylan Lu, Aaron Magtoto, Konan Sahara, Mihir Sukhatme, Derek Ahn, Luke Kim and William He. Standing: Coach Will Moravec, Luke Manion, Jack Kim, Jack Manion, Ben Lee, Aditya Desai and Aidan Robinson. Not pictured: Anthony Hanna, Lance Morgan and Ryan Morgan.

The 37-year wait ended this past Thursday shortly after 5:30 p.m., the celebration of the moment rather underwhelming, especially when compared to the magnitude of the accomplishment.
For it was then that the La Cañada High School boys’ varsity tennis team defeated Temple City, 11-7, to secure the school’s first Rio Hondo League championship in that sport since 1984. That was the year when Ronald Reagan was president, Americans were mildly obsessed with a board game called Trivial Pursuit, Apple released something known as a personal computer and the world was grooving to music by a young Madonna.
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La Cañada Closing In on League Tennis Title

Photo by Mitch Lehman/Outlook Valley Sun
Ben Lee and his doubles partner Jack Manion picked up a key win as the Spartans defeated San Marino last week.

Will Moravec has been the coach of the La Cañada High School boys’ varsity tennis team since 1991, so it’s safe to say he has gathered a fair amount of experience in the local racquet scene. If any doubts about his pedigree existed, they were erased recently while discussing the Spartans’ current circumstances.
“I subscribe to the theory of never counting your chickens until they hatch,” the effervescent Moravec said with an accompanying laugh.
To further the animal imagery, Moravec and his players currently find themselves in the catbird’s seat of the Rio Hondo League tennis race following a rare victory last Thursday over perennial champions San Marino. And due to the pandemic-abbreviated season, the Spartans and Titans will not face off again unless they meet in the CIF playoffs.
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Spartans’ Record-Setting Night in 35-0 Win Over San Marino

Photos courtesy Eric Danielson
La Cañada High School tailback Brian Staron heads downfield for a long gain as quarterback Ivan Ostry (left) looks on. The two seniors provided a solid 1-2 offensive punch, combining for 220 rushing yards to power the Spartans to a 35-0 win over San Marino.

Spartan Stadium hosted the 56th renewal of the Rio Hondo League football rivalry between La Cañada High School and San Marino last Friday evening. It proved to be a game that the visiting Titans will want to forget.
The Spartans dominated the contest en route to a 35-0 victory, which was the most lopsided La Cañada win in the history of the series. (It surpassed a 35-7 LCHS victory back on Oct. 24, 1980.)
While the game took nearly three hours to finish, all one really needed to know about the contest is it was determined in the first three series’ of downs. Starting at their own 40-yard line, the Spartans needed just four plays to find paydirt, courtesy of a highlight-reel, 35-yard run by quarterback Ivan Ostry. The senior entered the end zone untouched for the two-point conversion, to give La Cañada an 8-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
San Marino marched downfield on the ensuing drive but on fourth down, senior Abraham Jhee stepped in front of a pass thrown by Titan quarterback Niko Mavridis and returned the interception to La Cañada’s 48-yard line.
Ostry needed only three plays this time, breaking tackles attempted by nearly every white-clad Titan defender on the field before high-stepping into the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown run.
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Milbrodt, Mispagel Lead La Cañada in League Cross-Country Finals

La Cañada’s Jeremy Milbrodt (right) finished second in last Thursday’s Rio Hondo League boys’ varsity cross-country finals. South Pasadena swept the team and individual titles.

Spectators spent a great deal of time looking for a warm place last Thursday, on an unseasonably chilly spring afternoon in nearby Hahamongna Watershed Park at the Rio Hondo League cross-country finals.
But La Cañada High School coach Andy DiConti was understandably fired up over the performances turned in by his Spartans. Senior Jaden Milbrodt withstood the significant challenge posed by eventual champion South Pasadena on his way to a solid second-place finish in the boys’ varsity race, clocking 16:15 on the three-mile course. Sophomore teammate Robert Lee finished sixth with a time of 17:24 to provide hope for the Spartans’ future.
But uncharacteristically, Milbrodt and Lee were the only two competitors in the race wearing the cardinal and gold, meaning that La Cañada was unable to record an official team score for the first time in recent memory, if ever. Temple City finished in second place in the boys’ competition, followed by San Marino and Monrovia, respectively.
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Fin Is On the Other Foot for Driffill

Photo by Mitch Lehman / News-Press
Even after more than 40 years, Carol Driffill’s passion for Glendale High School’s swimming and water polo programs burns as brightly as ever. Driffill is looking forward to the grand opening of the school’s new swimming facility.

Though she dearly loved the sport of softball, Carol Driffill acknowledges that it wasn’t a sport she excelled at as a youngster.
She has mostly fond memories of growing up in Glendale as Carol Passon, though one brings small pangs of anxiety.
“I loved softball, but I wasn’t very good,” Driffill said with a chuckle. “My coach made me bunt every time I came up to bat. The sign to bunt was he would touch his beard, belt and the bill of his cap. I would think, ‘Here come the three B’s!’”
This revelation was followed by a hearty guffaw.

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JBHS Beats San Marino In Opener

Photos courtesy Scott Daves
Burroughs senior defensive back John Alajijian (white jersey) chases down San Marino’s Ryan Singhal during the Indians’ season opening 30-14 victory eight days ago.

Jesse Craven, Burroughs High School’s first-year head football coach, had waited well over a year for the Indians’ debut, but it took less than half a game to get a read on the character of his ball club.
After falling behind host San Marino 14-3 in the first 14 minutes of last week’s season opener, Craven got a taste of what he hopes he hopes will be regular fare as Burroughs dominated the remainder of the contest, controlling the line of scrimmage, ball, scoreboard and clock on the way to a 30-14 non-league win.
“I have been placing an emphasis on toughness, discipline and conditioning, so I am very happy in those regards,” said Craven after the contest. “We have a young team and there is lot to build on.”
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Glendale Filmmakers Honored At L.A. Festival

A film created by two Glendale residents has been selected as one of seven best films in “A Quiet Scene: L.A.,” a film competition and screening initiative that was launched in January.
Created and entered by Julia Lee and Tyler Lorita of Glendale, “Manganese” captures the solitude of a single day in a Los Angeles girdled by the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a central theme to the contest.
“‘Manganese’ is serenity,” said Lee, who graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a degree in cinema and television arts. “When Tyler and I began the project, we had a vastly different approach than what ended up as the end product. We began shooting quiet moments within the bustling city, whether it be an elderly couple sharing a lunch or catching a peaceful moment in an empty park. Toward the end of the day, we ended up at a bridge that is quintessential to L.A. It showed the whole view of downtown and the highway leading toward the city.”

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CEO Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Huntington Hospital

Photo courtesy Huntington Hospital
Dr. Lori Morgan (center), president and CEO of Huntington Hospital who is pictured above in 2018 with hospital senior executive Jane Haderlein, led San Marino Rotary Club members on an informative journey of the institution recently via Zoom.

Normally, the Rotary Club of San Marino earmarks a hard 30-minute time allotment for its guest speakers, but a recent presentation by Huntington Hospital president and CEO Dr. Lori Morgan made many meeting attendees actually thankful that the Zoom format allowed for more than twice that duration.
Morgan has been in her position since 2017, and her more than three decades of experience in health care and health care management were on display as she handled questions that were submitted by club members on a wide variety of topics and presented to her by San Marinan Barbara Bice, who has worked at Huntington Hospital and has been a patient and visited others there.
Though she has known Morgan since her arrival at the hospital, Bice acknowledged that she actually learned something knew about the keynote speaker while researching her bio, which stated Morgan is an “intensivist.”
“I know she has an intensive schedule, but I didn’t know until recently that an intensivist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of patients in intensive care,” Bice said.
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Theft of Catalytic Converters ‘Skyrocketing’

It’s an unfortunate staple of the Glendale Police Department’s weekly crime report, and so far this year, the offense has been occurring on a daily basis.
Detective Abe Chung of the GPD’s burglary auto theft unit, said that there have been 41 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles in the city as of Friday, Feb. 5, which represents a marked increase in that specific crime.
The part is a relatively innocuous component of an automobile’s exhaust system, but a valuable target of thieves looking to make quick buck. Or $50. Or $100. In some cases, as much as $150.
That’s the going rate for the precious metals — rhodium, platinum and palladium — that are found in each device, which are relatively easy to access due to their location on the vehicle.

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