Knights’ Tale: Bonds Marks 2 Decades as Head Coach

Jim Bonds
Photo courtesy UCLA Athletics
After winning a CIF title with Newhall Hart, Jim Bonds went on to play quarterback at UCLA.

Much has changed in the area since 2000, with local football programs having their ups and downs and coaches on the move. The sport of football and its players have certainly evolved in the past two decades, but there remains one constant in St. Francis High School football.
The Golden Knights are a consistent power in the football world, with 18 CIF Southern Section playoff appearances in the last 19 years — a remarkable feat for Jim Bonds, who is entering his 20th season as St. Francis’ head coach.
“A few people had asked me about how many years, and I had to go back and do the math,” he said. “I saw that it’s going to be 20. I can’t believe it.”
That kind of loyalty to one school is rare nowadays, and Principal Tom Moran is glad Bonds chose St. Francis in 2000.
“It’s remarkable,” Moran said. “I’m sure he has had opportunities and will continue to have them. We’re very blessed he’s decided to make St. Francis his home.” Continue reading “Knights’ Tale: Bonds Marks 2 Decades as Head Coach”

New Fall Playoff Divisions Affect Local Programs

La Cañada High School varsity football team
Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
The La Cañada High School varsity football team was placed in Division 14, the lowest in CIF.

The CIF Southern Section recently released its new playoff divisions for football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ water polo and girls’ tennis, affecting several local programs.
CIF uses a formula to develop a ranking that is based on regular season record, strength of schedule and playoff performances the past two seasons. The La Cañada High School varsity football program has struggled to win games the last few seasons, placing the team in Division 14, which includes 70 squads. St. Francis was moved down to Division 3 this year. Continue reading “New Fall Playoff Divisions Affect Local Programs”

Local Tennis Standout to Play for Prestigious College Program

Ian Freer
Ian Freer

Ian Freer concluded his final year at St. Francis the best way he possibly could. The Golden Knight defeated Tyler Pham of Newport Beach Corona del Mar, 6-2, 6-3, to win the CIF Southern Section Individual Singles Championship, and he looks to gain more accolades over the next four years as he begins playing tennis for Claremont McKenna College in the fall.
“It was definitely special for me,” said Freer. “It was big because tennis is such an individual sport. I’ve played tournaments my whole life, but what made this special was having the support of all my friends, family and St. Francis community.”
Members of the St. Francis community reached out to Freer prior to his accomplishment, including alumni and SFHS President Father Tony Marti, who traveled to Seal Beach to watch the tennis standout play. Continue reading “Local Tennis Standout to Play for Prestigious College Program”

St. Francis Concludes Memorable Regular Season, Ready for League Tourney

Photo courtesy John Petersen The St. Francis varsity boys’ lacrosse team recently concluded its most historic regular season with a 7-7 record. The Golden Knights, guided by third-year head coach Jared Little, will compete in the Mission League tournament this Saturday.
Photo courtesy John Petersen
The St. Francis varsity boys’ lacrosse team recently concluded its most historic regular season with a 7-7 record. The Golden Knights, guided by third-year head coach Jared Little, will compete in the Mission League tournament this Saturday.

The St. Francis High School varsity boys’ lacrosse team suffered two consecutive Mission League losses since last Saturday, including a 15-4 defeat to first-place Los Angeles Loyola. However, head coach Jared Little is entering the league tournament with plenty of optimism.
“In the past, we would just fold against Loyola,” said Little, who is in his third season with the Golden Knights. “We lost to them 18-2 in years past, and this is a team that has won the regional title three years in a row. We still ended up losing, which is disappointing, but we had opportunities. We were just not finishing, and that’s a sign of a young team. They will learn eventually.” Continue reading “St. Francis Concludes Memorable Regular Season, Ready for League Tourney”

Spartans Win 10th Straight Game

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson Jason McCubbin Jr. drove in a run in the Spartans’ 3-1 victory at Monrovia.
Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Jason McCubbin Jr. drove in a run in the Spartans’ 3-1 victory at Monrovia.

The La Cañada High School varsity baseball team extended its winning streak to 10 games by picking up a 3-1 victory at Monrovia on Tuesday.
Pitchers Luke Forgarty and Connor Buchanan held the Wildcats at bay and led the Spartans to their sixth Rio Hondo League win of the season. La Cañada improved to 12-2 on the season with a 6-0 record in league.
Fogarty earned the win on the mound, allowing one run on four hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings of work. Buchanan pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief and struck out five to get the save. Continue reading “Spartans Win 10th Straight Game”

LCHS, Flintridge Prep, FSHA, St. Francis Earn All-CIF Honors

Photo courtesy David Thomas Ryan Graves made the Division 2A first team after averaging 18 points per game during his senior season.
Photo courtesy David Thomas
Ryan Graves made the Division 2A first team after averaging 18 points per game during his senior season.

The CIF Southern Section released its All-CIF honors list on Monday and it included athletes from La Cañada High School, Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart and St. Francis.
Two members of the LCHS boys’ basketball team and a girls’ water polo athlete earned places on the All-CIF teams. Ryan Graves was one of the best players in Division 2A, averaging 17 points and 5.11 rebounds per game. He shot 45% from beyond the arc and led the Spartans to a CIF-SS championship berth, earning him a spot on the All-CIF Division 2A first team. La Cañada fell short of winning the title, falling to Ontario Colony, 50-47.

Outlook Photo LCHS standout goalie Carolyne Stern, who committed to USC, made the Division 2 first team.
Outlook Photo
LCHS standout goalie Carolyne Stern, who committed to USC, made the Division 2 first team.

“His three-year varsity career is one of the best at La Cañada,” said LCHS head coach Tom Hofman. “He’d be a starter if we had an all-star team. There’s nothing flashy or out of the ordinary with him. He just scores well and is a good defender. He’s very talented and doesn’t have any real weaknesses. He’s the type of player who could have stepped onto any team and made it better.”
His teammate, Zack Feehan, made the Division 2A second team after an impressive season under the rim. The forward averaged 10 points and 12.35 rebounds per game in 34 contests. Feehan smashed the program’s single-season rebounding record of 311 set by Matt Faber in 2011. Feehan finished the year with 420 rebounds. Continue reading “LCHS, Flintridge Prep, FSHA, St. Francis Earn All-CIF Honors”