Longtime La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis coach Will Moravec finally had his wish granted this season, and it has certainly benefitted his program.
“The last couple of years, I’ve been hoping we’d be in Division 2,” Moravec said. “A lot of times, CIF puts us in Division 1 and that’s super tough for us. The timing was right, and we’re in Division 2 with two hotshot freshman girls who really gave us depth this year.”
The added depth and placement in Division 2 allowed the Spartans to make an impressive postseason run, reaching the CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinals following a 10-8 victory over Claremont on Monday.
La Cañada traveled to Long Beach on Wednesday to take on Poly in a semifinal match. Should the Spartans come away with a victory, they would advance to the final match against the winner of the other semifinal match between Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Chino Hills Ayala.
The Spartans have not played a CIF-SS championship match in 40 years. They finished as runners-up against Corona del Mar in 1978 and won the Division 3A crown in 1977 by defeating San Marino.
“The margins are getting smaller,” Moravec said. “The matches are going to be a lot closer and it’s going to be tight. There were a ton of 9-9 and 10-8 matches in first few rounds. That shows that CIF is doing a good job of making parity. You have to be on the top of your game. There’s no time for a bad day. Hopefully our girls will be ready and play great. They played great on Monday.”
The Spartans opened the playoff tournament with a 14-4 victory over Los Angeles Brentwood and followed that with an upset win over No. 2-seeded Redlands, which finished the regular season unbeaten.
The Division 2 championship match will be played at the Claremont Club this Friday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m.
It was a long game between the La Cañada High School varsity football team and New Design Watts of Los Angeles last Friday. Penalties and injuries often stopped the clock, making the first half last 1 hour, 34 minutes.
But the Spartan players and coaches relished every single minute of it. For the first time in nearly two years, they knew the feeling of building a lead and maintaining it for a victory.
“It feels so good,” said senior quarterback Matt Bromley, who was part of last year’s winless squad. “It’s been 14 games since we last won. We put in so much work in the offseason with everyone showing up since the beginning of spring. It’s such a relief to get a win and actually earn it.”
Not only did the Spartans earn it, but they deserved it with their attitude the past year despite being on the wrong side of the history of the program. La Cañada lost a record 14 consecutive games before defeating New Design Watts, 37-6, but the players always kept their heads up and battled, regardless of the score. Continue reading “LCHS Hopes to Build Off First Victory in Nearly Two Years”
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.” Continue reading “Spartans Shut Down Knights, Snap 14-Game Losing Streak”
For the fourth consecutive year, a La Cañada High School student-athlete is among those given the CIF Southern Section Champions for Character Award.
Solenn Matuska joins fellow Spartans Seve Rodriguez, Alexi Nazarian and Genevieve Fraipont in receiving the prestigious award.
Athletes, coaches administrators, officials, athletic trainers and media members who demonstrate the Six Pillars of Character — trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship — will be honored at a dinner at The Grand in Long Beach on Monday, Sept. 24.
“It’s not just about excelling in your sport,” said LCHS Assistant Principal of Athletics and Discipline Kristina Kalb, who is 4-for-4 in nominating local athletes for the award. “It’s about being the best person you can be and demonstrating that to others in all that you do. Students involved in Champions for Character are performing well in the classroom, in athletic competition and doing more. Continue reading “Matuska Earns Champions for Character Award”
A national sports trend has touched down on La Cañada High School’s home turf, where two groups of parents have dedicated themselves to promoting participation in their kids’ sport of choice — one an American tradition whose safety is being questioned, the other an upstart fighting for a foothold in a crowded athletic landscape. Continue reading “LCHS Parents Make a Game Effort to Bolster Football, Lacrosse”
As a humor columnist who’s made a bountiful career mining the rich terrain of marriage, fatherhood and life in La Cañada Flintridge, Chris Erskine has always had a darn good “daditude.” Even now, in the most trying of times, the local writer keeps smiling, and keeps giving others reason to do the same.
For nearly two decades, his self-deprecating, wisecracking weekly chronicle of family life has resonated with L.A. Times readers, including Prospect Park Books publisher Colleen Dunn Bates. Continue reading “Local Author Reveals His Real ‘Daditude’”
After six scoreless innings against visiting Pasadena Maranatha in a CIF Southern Section Division 5 second-round game, a calm, collected Chuck Gunter told his La Cañada High School softball team to not change its approach at the plate.
“We were hitting line drives and they just made their plays,” Gunter said. “Eventually, you hope one of those go through.”
Freshman Devyn Cox got one past everyone in the bottom of the seventh inning, belting it over the left field fence to give the Spartans a 1-0 victory over the Minutemen in a pitcher’s duel on Tuesday.
“Our coach kept telling us to keep hitting the ball hard and eventually you’ll make a run scored,” Cox said. “I honestly was looking for a ground ball to just get on and let my teammates score me, but that’s what happened.” Continue reading “Cox’s Walk-Off Home Run Propels La Cañada into Quarterfinals”
The Flintridge Prep varsity boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams had a historic day at Polytechnic last Saturday, taking home both Prep League championships.
Despite not winning any individual crowns, the Flintridge Prep girls posted 12 top-three finishes to record 315 points and win their first league crown in 15 years. Continue reading “Flintridge Prep Boys, Girls Claim League Titles”
La Cañada High School has officially found the coach to take over its varsity girls’ basketball program after the La Cañada Unified School District approved the hiring of Jordan Franey on Tuesday.
Franey succeeds Sarah Beattie, who resigned as varsity girls’ basketball coach last month after three successful seasons.
Dean of Athletics Kristina Kalb said Franey’s knowledge of the school and community gave her an edge over the other candidates.
“It amazes me what people don’t know going into an interview,” Kalb said. “She was smart and had seen us in tournaments. She knew who we were and what makes us special and different. That’s important because not all schools are the same. What she shared with us matches our own vision of where we see the program going.” Continue reading “LCHS Announces Franey as Girls’ Basketball Coach”
The CIF Southern Section released its remaining All-CIF winter selections on Monday, recognizing the best basketball and soccer players in each division. Athletes from La Cañada High School, Flintridge Prep and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy were among those listed.
The lone Spartan to be honored was senior Tess Oakley-Stilson, who made the All-CIF Division 2A second team in girls’ basketball. Oakley-Stilson, who was also named the Rio Hondo League’s Most Valuable Player, was a consistent performer for La Cañada and averaged 14 points, five rebounds, 2.1 assists and 3.1 steals per contest. The senior guard stepped up in the postseason, scoring 25 points in the Spartans’ win over La Verne Bonita and 19 points in a second-round loss at Newbury Park.
Oakley-Stilson helped La Cañada finish its season with a 23-5 record, including a perfect 10-0 record in Rio Hondo League play to bring home the program’s third straight league crown. Continue reading “Local Athletes Earn All-CIF Accolades”