Matuska Earns Champions for Character Award

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
LCHS senior Solenn Matuska is the fourth Spartan to be honored with the CIF Southern Section Champions for Character Award.

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.
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LCHS Parents Make a Game Effort to Bolster Football, Lacrosse

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson Tobias Humphrey (4) was a standout on the football team, whose 0-10 record last season isn’t helping attract new players, although team-building events sponsored by the LCHS Spartan Football Foundation could increase interest.
Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Tobias Humphrey (4) was a standout on the football team, whose 0-10 record last season isn’t helping attract new players, although team-building events sponsored by the LCHS Spartan Football Foundation could increase interest.

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”

Local Author Reveals His Real ‘Daditude’

Photo courtesy Chris Erskine Together, the Erskine family — (from left) Jessica, Chris, Cathy, Emily, Christopher and Jack — celebrated Emily’s high school graduation in 2009.
Photo courtesy Chris Erskine
Together, the Erskine family — (from left) Jessica, Chris, Cathy, Emily, Christopher and Jack — celebrated Emily’s high school graduation in 2009.

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’”

Cox’s Walk-Off Home Run Propels La Cañada into Quarterfinals

Photo courtesy Leigh Harris
Freshman Devyn Cox hit a walk-off home run to give La Cañada a 1-0 victory over Maranatha in a second-round playoff game on Tuesday.

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.”
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LCHS Announces Franey as Girls’ Basketball Coach

Photo by UCSB Athletics
Jordan Franey

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.”
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Local Athletes Earn All-CIF Accolades

Photos courtesy Eric Danielson
La Cañada’s Tess Oakley-Stilson (white jersey) was named the Rio Hondo League MVP and earned a spot on the All-CIF Division 2A second team.

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.
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Flintridge Prep Denied 2nd CIF Crown by Beverly Hills

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Kaitlyn Chen scored a team-high 19 points but was denied a CIF championship by Beverly Hills in a 50-46 loss.

The Flintridge Prep varsity girls’ basketball team witnessed firsthand the biggest reason for Beverly Hills’ success, and there wasn’t much the Rebels could do overcome it.
The reason was sophomore Chantal Moawad, a 6-foot, 2-inch center who was relentless under the rim and scored eight of the No. 2-seeded Normans’ final 10 points to lift her team over the Rebels, 50-46, in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A championship at Colony High School in Ontario last Saturday.
No. 4-seeded Flintridge Prep was denied a second crown in three years and its 19-game win streak was snapped by Beverly Hills.
“I think tonight they were the better team,” said Rebels’ co-coach Jayme Chan. “Kudos to those two monsters [Michelle Duchemin and Moawad] on the boards. They were relentless on the rebounds. I love that. Every team needs one. Unfortunately for us today, they were getting second and third chances and they were finishing them. That’s why they won the basketball game.”
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