LC Girls Win Meet, Boys Edged by Monrovia

Photo courtesy Pete Magill
Catherine Mispagel and Jenna Milbrodt tied in the 3200 meters with a time of 13:30 during the league meet against Monrovia last week.

The heat was on as La Cañada High School’s boys and girls track teams welcomed Monrovia last Thursday in the first league meet of the season. Facing scorching temperatures and a Wildcats squad stacked with sprinters and hurdlers, the Spartans handily won varsity girls, 92-32, while getting edged out on boys varsity, 64-61.
At 3-0, the Spartan girls remained undefeated this season, while the LC boys fell to 1-1.
“This may be the strongest girls team the school has ever had,” said LCHS girls’ track head coach Chris Matarese. “We have competitive athletes in all events, and everyone is willing to do whatever it takes to win as a team.”
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Spartans Closing in on League Crown

Photo courtesy Razmik Ignation
The LCHS boys celebrate a late game-winning goal from Tyler Na-Nakornpanom during the Spartans’ 3-2 victory over South Pasadena.

The La Cañada High School varsity boys’ soccer team came away with a big victory at South Pasadena last Friday, scoring a goal with only two minutes remaining to edge the Tigers, 3-2, in a Rio Hondo League match.
In a back-and-forth affair, the Spartans scored the game-winner in the 78th minute on a counter attack. Ethan Godby received a long ball from the defense and connected with Tyler Na-Nakornpanom, who put a shot past the goalkeeper to lift the Spartans to victory.
The Tigers scored first in the seventh minute of the game and had the momentum for most of the first half, prompting LCHS head coach Bruno Costa to make several player and tactical adjustments during halftime.
Na-Nakornpanom scored the Spartans’ first goal off of a direct free kick from just outside the penalty area to start the second half.
The Tigers took the lead back with their second goal in the 51st minute but La Cañada answered back when Andrew Ignatian scored in the 60th minute for the equalizer.
The Spartans (4-1-2 overall) followed that with match with a big 3-0 victory over Monrovia on Tuesday.
La Cañada will play its final league contest of the year today against a winless Pasadena Blair team at 3 p.m. Should the Spartans come away with a win, they would claim the Rio Hondo League championship outright.

LCHS Splits Two Meets

The La Cañada High School wrestling team isn’t letting the pandemic diminish its CIF Southern Section aspirations. While many programs have opted to not participate due to COVID-19 concerns and lack of testing, the Spartans are doing what they can to get on the mat — even if it’s outside.
“It’s actually something the wrestlers had mentioned before COVID,” said LCHS head coach Justin Luthey.
The LCHS administration managed to schedule an outdoor dual meet for its athletes against Redondo Union High of Redondo Beach last week and Luthey walked away filled with gratitude despite his team having lost 37-36.
“It was just really cool,” Luthey said. “I just want to start by thanking our administration, particularly Carrie Saks and [Assistant Principal] Jason Ito. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for them to balance all the sports that are condensed into two seasons right now as well as joint use. I’m really grateful because Carrie bent over backwards for this and I totally respect her hard work.”
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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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LCHS Athletes Compete in First County-Permitted Invitationals of 2021

The La Cañada track team returned to action this past Saturday at the Pasadena Games, held at South Pasadena High School, and the Meet of Champions, contested at Arcadia High School. The meets were the first-allowed track and field invitationals in Los Angeles County this season, and both meets were held to strict COVID-related protocols — including pre-meet online screenings, mask-wearing and social distancing.

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La Cañada High Splits Rio Hondo League Matches

Photo courtesy Razmik Ignatian
Noah Truong scored the Spartans’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss against Temple City last week. The defeat was La Cañada’s first of the season.

The La Cañada High School varsity boys’ soccer team suffered its first Rio Hondo League loss of the season last week, falling to visiting Temple City, 4-1, on Friday.
The Spartans (2-1-2 overall record) started off flat and allowed two quick goals in the third and eighth minutes of the match. They regained their composure and got on the board in the 15th minute when Noah Truong scored off a header from a brilliant cross by Garrett Morikawa. The Spartans had several scoring opportunities in the second half but just couldn’t capitalize against a solid Temple City defense. The Rams added two more goals in the second half to put the game out of reach.
La Cañada opened the week with a 3-0 victory over Pasadena Blair. LC’s defense was stellar and did not allowing any threatening shots on goal. Possession was in favor of the Spartans for most of the game, but it wasn’t until the second half where LC’s offense was able to take advantage and score some goals, which came from Andrew Ignatian, Tyler Na-Nakornpanom and Alec Sodonis.

Spartans Earn First Victory

Photo courtesy Razmik Ignation
Ethan Godby celebrates his goal with teammate Andrew Ignatian during the Spartans’ 1-0 win over Monrovia last week.

The La Cañada High School varsity boys’ soccer team picked up its first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over visiting Monrovia last Friday.
After tying their first two games, the Spartans (1-0-2 overall record) were able to put together a solid 80 minutes on both sides of the ball.
The back line – consisting of Garrett Morikawa, Daniel Pinski, Liam Rea and Luke Hong – was able to keep Monrovia’s attack under control the entire game. Goalkeeper Nick Boghossian had a couple key saves for the shutout.
Midfielders Chris Boghossian, Ethan Godby and Noah Truong continue with their aggressive play, creating attacking opportunities. Connor Grogan and Kenneth Park also contributed key minutes in the midfield.
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Spartans Split Pair of League Games

Photos courtesy Nancy Kozakar
Riley Kozakar hit a double to drive in the Spartans’ first run in a 4-1 victory at Temple City last week.

The La Cañada High School baseball team continued its winning ways with a 4-1 victory over host Temple City in a Rio Hondo League game last week.
Adam Geller provided the big bat for the Spartans with two doubles and two clutch RBIs in this relatively low-scoring game. Riley Kozakar broke a scoreless tie with a double that drove in La Cañada’s first run. Alex Higa added a hit and scored a run. Geller, Timmy Park and Ethan Geller also scored for the Spartans.
The Spartan pitchers were impressive again, with Evan Umland and Nathan Mertens allowing no earned runs and only three hits between them. Umland picked up the win, striking out seven in five innings of work, and Mertens struck out four in the final two innings for the save.
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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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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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