Spartans Qualify for CIF Playoffs

Photo courtesy Toby Lewsadder
Cameron Fernando (left) helped the LCHS varsity wrestling team finish No. 5 in CIF-SS Division 4 and qualify for a playoff berth. The Spartans will host Indio in the first round on Tuesday.

Despite not having much of a Rio Hondo League season, the La Cañada High School varsity wrestling team earned a berth in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 Dual Meet Championships.

The Spartans finished 8-4 in the regular season and will host Indio in a first-round contest on Tuesday, May 25, at 6 p.m.

“This postseason is everything to us,” said LCHS head coach Justin Luthey, whose team finished ranked No. 5 in the CIF-SS Division 4 poll. “There are no individual championships this year, so we’re really excited to make a big push and see what we can do.”

La Cañada closed out the season with three consecutive victories, including a win over La Verne Bonita and La Puente Bishop Amat. Two of the Spartans’ losses were against competitive programs Long Beach Millikan and Redondo Union, ranked No. 2 and 4 in Division 4, respectively.

“It may not be the best year from a record standpoint, but this is the highest level of competition we’ve ever faced in a dual meet season,” Luthey said. “There’s been so much good wrestling this year, and some of the matches we lost were exciting and down to the last match.”

The adversity the team has faced all season, whether it be from other programs or the struggles that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, gives Luthey confidence of a good postseason run.

“Everyone has felt the pressure this year,” he said. “We treated every day like it was our last, and it has made every match [and] every detail important. We’ve had kids that lost taking pride in it, thinking that if they lose, they won’t [be pinned and give up six points] to the other team. It really has been an exciting season, and we are so grateful, especially to our athletic director [Carrie Saks] and coordinator Adam Monte.”