LCHS Baseball Picks Up 2 Wins to Open Season

Photos courtesy Nancy Kozakar
Cole Hammes scored a run in the Spartans home opener last Saturday. He is one of 11 seniors to be honored in La Cañada’s Rio Hondo League opener against San Marino this Friday.

After a one-year hiatus, the La Cañada High School varsity baseball team returned to action last week and picked up two victories over Sun Valley Village Christian.
First-year head coach Car Gschwender and longtime assistant coach Murph Proctor had the Spartans playing at a high level in the preseason and that success carried over into their season opener at Village Christian. Chris Nava collected a team-high three hits and drove in three runs to help La Cañada come away with a 14-4 victory last Tuesday.
Adam Geller and Ryan Kiessling also contributed to the offensive assault with two hits, two runs and two RBI apiece. Jakob Torres was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and one RBI, and Ethan Geller and Evan Umland each hit a single, scored and drove in a run. Timmy Park scored twice, Riley Kozakar singled and Brandon Cho, Keagan Serdar and Luke Woods each scored.
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Spartans Open Track Season By Defeating Burbank

Photo courtesy Pete Magill
The La Cañada High School track and field teams won their season opener against visiting Burbank last week. Arielle McKenzie (from left), Katelyn Matarese, Ellaney Matarese and Kaitlyn Creighton set a new school record in the 4×800 girls’ relay with a winning time of 10 minutes, 20.77 seconds.

The La Cañada High School track and field varsity boys and girls made a triumphant return to Spartan Stadium and defeated Burbank in a nonleague meet last Thursday.
Battling cold weather and gusty winds, the LCHS boys defeated Burbank 69-62, while the girls avenged last year’s defeat with an 85-46 victory.
“Burbank is a large Division 1 school that has won its league the past several years and is the favorite again this year,” said Spartan girls’ head coach Chris Matarese. “Beating a large team like Burbank for a small school like La Cañada is a real accomplishment.”
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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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Spartans’ Offense Unstoppable in 54-42 Win

Photo by Eric Danielson / Outlook Valley Sun
LCHS senior quarterback Ivan Ostry rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns and propelled La Cañada to a 54-42 victory over Santa Paula last Saturday. He also threw touchdown passes to Abraham Jhee and Dezin Delgatty.

By Nathan Cambridge
Outlook Valley Sun

La Cañada High’s second football game of the season almost didn’t happen.
In this era of the COVID pandemic, the originally scheduled opponent – Temple City – didn’t have enough time to prepare. The second choice, St. Monica High of Santa Monica, pulled out mid-week due to injuries. Santa Paula then came into the picture, with the final arrangements solidified barely 24 hours before kickoff.
The Spartans were sure glad everything worked out. La Cañada pulled ahead in the second quarter and maintained the advantage for a 54-42 nonleague victory over the visiting Cardinals in Saturday afternoon at LCHS.
“We enjoyed every moment of it,” said La Cañada coach Jason Sarceda, whose team evened its record at 1-1. “The anticipation of not playing, possibly playing, then being able to play, then not being able to play, and coming back to play the game is amazing.”
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LCHS Football to Open Season Friday; no Public Admitted

Cameron Carey (25)
Boys’ Football: La Canada vs. South Pasadena

It’s finally happening. La Cañada High School football is back this Friday with the Spartans hosting South Pasadena in a Rio Hondo League game at 7 p.m.
“It’s so exciting,” said Carrie Saks, who added it has been a “crazy first year” as LCHS athletic director.
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Morikawa Wins Golf Tourney, $1.8 Million

Photo courtesy Sam Greenwood / Getty Images
Former La Cañada High School star Collin Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida on Sunday. The former Spartan won $1.82 million and became only the second golfer (along with Tiger Woods) to win a WGC event and a major championship before turning 25 years old.

Golfers competing at the World Golf Championship event at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, last Sunday paid tribute to Tiger Woods — who is recovering from injuries following a car accident — by wearing his signature red shirt and black pants.
La Cañada Flintridge native Collin Morikawa planned on doing the same but his threads didn’t arrive on time due to a shipping delay, forcing him to honor the legendary athlete a different way.
“My agent said even though the shirt wasn’t there, go out there and play like Tiger would with the lead,” he said. “I think I did.”
Morikawa, 24, held on to win the WGC-Workday Championship and claim his fourth PGA Tour title. He carried a 54-hole lead and finished 18-under par, edging out Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel, all of whom tied for second at 15-under.
“No matter what anyone says, sleeping on a lead has its pressure, has its nerves,” said Morikawa, who bagged $1.82 million with the victory. “But I was excited to get back in contention, to have a chance to win. It’s something that I miss. Obviously, I haven’t had it for a while, but this is what we love to do. We love to win.”
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FSHA, St. Francis Cross-Country Teams Are Running Again

Photo courtesy FSHA Athletics
The Flintridge Sacred Heart varsity girls’ cross-country team opened the fall sports season at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Feb. 13. Izzy Mozillo won the three-mile race with a time of 21 minutes, 51.5 seconds.

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and St. Francis High School cross-country teams participated in Mission League dual meets last Saturday, marking the official beginning to the much-delayed fall season.
Other schools will certainly follow suit after Los Angeles County gave the green light for schools to host inter-team competitions for cross-country, swimming, tennis, and track and field as long as students and coaches adhere to health and safety guidelines.
The Tologs traveled to Sherman Oaks to face Notre Dame High School and fell to the Knights, 24-31. Izzy Mozillo of FSHA led all runners in the three-mile course with a time of 21 minutes, 51.5 seconds. Teammate Annie Ramirez finished fifth with a time of 23:49.9 and Emily Wong wasn’t far behind to place sixth with a time of 24:47.1. Eva Lopez finished in 25:13.2 to place ninth, Morgan Birkett was 10th with a time of 25:23.3, Bridget Byrne crossed the finish line in 26:50.6 to place 11th, Josie Perkins was 12th with a time of 27:38.4, Abigail Blea finished in 27:44.1 for 13th place and Campbell Buffington placed 16th with a time of 29:36.8.
d off [during the winter surge of COVID-19 cases]. There’s always that nervousness in the first race, but once the girls ran, they just had a good time. It was really nice to see them run.”
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LCHS Athletes Back in Action After 11-Month Hiatus

Photos courtesy Eric Danielson
Jaden Milbrodt participated in La Cañada High School’s first sporting event in 11 months on Tuesday, when the school hosted a cross-country time trial for LCHS and South Pasadena runners at Hahamongna Park. More sporting events are expected to come soon after the recent decline in COVID-19 cases.

Local parents and students were at Hahamongna Park on Tuesday to witness the first La Cañada High School athletic event in 11 months, and more competitions are certainly to come.
The school hosted a Rio Hondo League time trial for cross-country runners from South Pasadena and La Cañada. San Marino, Pasadena Blair and Monrovia will participate in the 3-mile run Thursday afternoon. Each school was designated a time to avoid large groups of athletes running at the same time.
LCHS junior varsity cheerleaders created signs supporting all runners, and members of the varsity cheer squad cheered for the athletes crossing the finish line.
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Local Product Paton Saddles Up as Broncos’ GM

Photo by Gabe Christus / Denver Broncos
George Paton was hired recently as general manager of the Denver Broncos. The former La Cañada Flintridge resident signed a six-year deal with the historic franchise.

There’s been an edge to George Paton ever since he was growing up in La Cañada Flintridge, and for good reason. He always had to battle two older brothers at home.
“We competed every day,” he said. “They were five, six years older, so we competed in everything, and I lost a lot because they were older. That’s all we did, is compete.”
It’s also what the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League have done while Paton worked behind the scenes since 2007. In his time as director of player personnel and later assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel, the Vikings drafted 16 Pro Bowl performers, and the former La Cañada High School student hopes to carry that spirit and success into his new role as general manager of the Denver Broncos.

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Next in Line: COVID Vaccines for Residents 65 and Older

Californians aged 65 years and older have moved up in the long line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that they are now eligible for the scarce vaccine.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” he said in a statement. “To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccines into the state.”
Though many health-care workers and long-term care residents — who remain as the highest priority — have yet to be vaccinated due to a slow rollout, state officials said giving individuals 65 years and older — about 6.6 million residents — eligibility could relieve hospitals flooded with coronavirus patients.
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