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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LCUSD Mulls Closing Campus Activities Amid Virus Spike

Outlook Valley Sun file photo
The LCUSD governing board discussed the suspension of on-campus athletic activities at the high school for the remainder of January due to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Los Angeles County.

In its first official meeting of the year, the La Canada Unified School District governing board had much to discuss since it last convened on Dec. 15.
In the past month, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked throughout Los Angeles County at an alarming rate, and the board deliberated over the possible suspension of the few on-campus activities currently underway, most notably those at La Cañada High School, on Tuesday.
Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County Department of Public Health director, strongly recommended to district leaders in a conference call last week that they shut down schools for the remainder of the month due to the holiday surge.
The Los Angeles Unified School District shut down all of its campuses last month, and other districts have followed its lead, especially after last week’s call with public health officials.
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CIF Delays Prep Sports’ Return, Awaits State Guidance

With reopening plans for schools and businesses hitting a snag due to a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the California Interscholastic Federation announced Tuesday that state health officials will likely not release updated youth sports guidelines until after Jan. 1, postponing any education-based practices and competition scheduled for December.
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They’re Back Training Live on the Field, Court and Pool

Photo by Oscar Areliz / OUTLOOK VALLEY SUN
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball team warms up by running around the outdoor basketball courts on Tuesday.

For the first time in nearly seven months to the day, La Cañada High School student-athletes greeted their coaches in person and trained with their fellow teammates on Monday.
Administrators and coaches’ detailed plan of reopening the stadium and facilities for outdoor practices in accordance to the county Department of Public Health’s Reopening Protocol for Youth Sports Leagues was approved by the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board during a virtual meeting on Sept. 29, and LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal said they “had a really great rollout.”
“First and foremost, it was great to see coaches and students we’ve missed for months,” Cartnal said over the phone on Tuesday. “We closed on March 13 [due to COVID-19] and today is Oct. 13. It’s almost kind of synchronicity to being away when we are back almost to the day.”

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Former Spartan Wins Golf Title and $1.98 Million

Photo courtesy PGA Championship
Collin Morikawa, a 2015 La Cañada High School graduate, scored the biggest victory of his young career by claiming the PGA Championship last Sunday. It marked his third tour win since turning pro in July 2019.

Collin Morikawa officially cemented himself as one of the top professional golfers in the world last Sunday by claiming the PGA Championship, the first major title of his career.
The La Cañada Flintridge native finished 13-under par to earn his third PGA Tour victory since turning pro in July 2019. Benefits from a PGA Championship include total prize money of $1.98 million, lifetime exemption into the tournament and five-year exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open, The Open and PGA Tour.
“It’s amazing. It’s been a life goal, obviously, as a little kid to kind of watch everyone grow up, all these professionals,” Morikawa told CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz after the win. “And this is what I always wanted to do.”
Morikawa, who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2015, shot up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and is currently fifth in the official world golf ranking behind Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. At 23 years, six months and three days, he became the third-youngest player since World War II to win the tournament behind legend Jack Nicklaus and McIlroy.

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Local Basketball Star Wins Player of the Year Award

Andre Henry was one of 14 basketball players to earn the prestigious John R. Wooden award.

The legend of La Cañada Flintridge resident Andre Henry continues to grow as the recent St. Francis High School graduate earned one of the most prestigious high school basketball awards.
The UC Irvine-bound standout is now associated with an honor named for another legend after being selected as the John R. Wooden CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year last Friday. Other notable winners include Chatsworth Sierra Canyon’s Ziaire Williams, who committed to play at Stanford, and Lakewood Mayfair’s Josh Christopher, who will continue his career at Arizona State. Both were considered five-star recruits.
“I feel like I was recognized with future pros,” he said. “Those guys are future NBA players. I would say it is one of the biggest highlights of my high school career.
“Honestly, this is huge for me. I just feel like all the hard work I put in finally paid off and I got the recognition. It’s a huge honor to have my name in the same sentence as [John Wooden]. Some would argue he’s the greatest coach ever in any sport. It’s a dream come true. I’m truly speechless.
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High School Sports Delayed Until December in CIF’s New Calendar

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
The CIF State office’s revised calendar has a two-season format — fall and spring — that would give each sport at least 90% of a normal season. There will not be any athletic competition until December at the earliest. The first week of football is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8.

The California Interscholastic Federation released its much-anticipated revised high school athletics calendar for the 2020-21 year, announcing a two-season format scheduled to begin in December.
CIF State, the governing body for prep sports in California, announced its schedule for section playoffs and state tournaments on Monday morning. Soon after, the Southern Section, the largest section in the state with 566 member schools, released a calendar that gives student-athletes an opportunity to play “90% to 100%” of a normal season, according to CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod.
“The reason for [the two-season format] was to help with the overlap of sports and trying to have some separation between two seasons to allow for dual-sport athletes, for coaches that coach more than one sport and for maximizing the utilization of school facilities,” Wigod said in a press conference on Monday.
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Swimmer Nogueira Keeps His Olympic Dream Alive

Photos courtesy UCSB Athletics
Former St. Francis standout Douglas Nogueira missed out on the Olympic Trials last month but plans to train over the next year to accomplish his dream of swimming in the Tokyo Summer Games.

Swimmer Douglas Nogueira is no stranger to adversity, in or out of the pool.
The former UC Santa Barbara competitor dealt with fires and mudslides when he lived near campus and, most recently, joined others in enduring a pandemic that forced schools throughout the state to cancel in-person commencement ceremonies — including his, which was held virtually.
“It was definitely bittersweet,” Nogueira, a St. Francis High School alumnus who graduated from UCSB as one of the best in the swimming program, said of the shutdown. “I remember that weekend in March when it all went down. I wasn’t really sure how it would go. Some people were cool and many were upset. I was indifferent. I go with the flow.”
Those challenges prepared Nogueira for his biggest one yet — the postponement of the Olympic Team Trials. The event, expected to feature more than 1,200 swimmers, was supposed to take place in Omaha, Nebraska, last month but was rescheduled for June 13-20, 2021.
The former Gaucho had qualified in the 100-meter backstroke and 200 individual medley and really hoped to accomplish his dream of competing in the Tokyo Summer Games, which will now take place in 2021 instead of this year.
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