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IOC Moves to Postpone 2020 Tokyo Olympics

| Sports | March 26, 2020

by Diego Marquez
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were officially postponed on Tuesday amidst heavy backlash and concern for holding the worldwide event amidst the global pandemic and fight against the coronavirus.

The opening ceremony that was scheduled to open in Japan on July 24 will be pushed back to a date no later than summer 2021.

“(The) IOC president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games… must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” said the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the IOC in a joint statement.

The games could possibly be held in the spring of 2021.

The IOC is now in charge of pin-pointing an exact date, rescheduling venues and renegotiating television rights for the almost 10,000 athletes that will be representing their countries. The move will be costly for Japan with an estimated cost of $13 million dollars into hosting the worldwide event and will more than likely have to add to that number.

Previous Olympic Games have been canceled during wars, but this unprecedented move to put the Olympics on hold is the first time the ceremonies have been postponed due to a health scare, like the global pandemic that the world is going through.

As a result of World War I, the 1916 Berlin Olympic Games were the first Olympics to be canceled. Between the years of 1936-44, the 40’ and 44’ games were canceled due to conflicts between China and Japan and the beginning of World War II, respectively.

We May Be Shut Down, But Not Shut Out There is Still a Win in the Wake of Covid-19

| Opinion, Sports | March 19, 2020

Having a day to reflect upon the current state of our country and the world, many thoughts have passed through my head as we witness the lockdown of swimming due to the rampant run of the Coronavirus. I began to think about my childhood, when I was a competing swimmer. The work put in to earn those Championship cuts– and how such a crisis would have impacted me. I believe I would have experienced a massive let-down while at the same time convinced myself I was ready to take on the world. I would not have been able to comprehend the complexity or the dynamics of the situation, nor taken the time to grasp its reality. I would just always be thinking… “Why is this stopping me now?!”

Today, I look back on swimming and uniquely enough what I recall most is the training. The day in, day out grind of it all and what it truly meant. The days of pain from putting in the work. The agony of the defeats at practice that left me broken and alone. The times I felt like “This is too much, I can’t go on” but pushed through it to come out the other side. The tears or laughter next to my teammates as we built lasting relationships through the sport. The practices filled with relay starts, talks of pacing or the days of endless turns.

I deeply remember the moments where my coach and I just spoke. Poolside with my feet dangling in the water, goggles wrapped around my head, leaving a temporary red impression across my forehead. Why are you afraid to race, Chris? What’s holding you back? What’s your reason why? I couldn’t answer those questions. I could only search for them. I knew I had to seek them, as it was my journey– not my coach’s.

There were times our conversations drifted to the personal. Topics like home, friends, break-ups, school grades, weight, acne issues and self-esteem. Subject matters that would actually make me cry. Real life discussions that might be impossible to raise at home because often times they involved mom or dad.

Finally, I remember confrontational talks with my coach. Asking him why he rides on me so much. Why he is constantly at me during practice? Why isn’t he making me faster? I felt like at times I was not one of his “favorites” or he just “didn’t like me” because of the way he treated me. What I didn’t know, was that his actions were a direct result of me and my behaviors at practice. A lesson I learned much later in life.

Upon graduation from high school I found out more, but not directly from my coach. Rather from a letter he wrote to my new coach. An insightful, inspiring letter from the coach I was convinced did not have my back. It wasn’t until I became a grown man that I realized the impact that coach had on my life. I have since thanked him for his dedication– and apologized for not living up to his beliefs in me.

“All of this is what I remember most about competitive swimming. I don’t really recall all the Championship Meets and certainly not any life lessons I might have learned along the way. What truly shaped my life moving forward was the daily training.”

Though we are shutdown from our Championship Meets, we are not shutout of the training that took place, where all of these “invisible and un-measurable” learning experiences occurred on our pool decks. Each and every athlete grew in their own way towards a better version of themselves. New and stronger relationships were built. Athletes faced new discoveries about themselves during the grind. They learned the agony of defeat and the power of picking themselves up. They have built more trust with their coach. Lastly, day in and day out they put the work in, which soon will pay dividends down the road.

All is not lost, in fact far from it. This growth will carry over to the next Championship Meet. Their quench for success will be even greater. The drive to bounce back will be stronger. When they get that chance to race again, they will have fun! I predict we see some amazing swims emerge from this. In the wake of Covid-19, there will be a WIN!

To all our swim communities, it’s important to stay positive at this time, stay bonded as a team and continue to support your local club. When this all turns– and it will– athletes will need their club, their teammates and a sense of routine and purpose more than ever.

Chris Dahowski, ASCA 4, is currently the head coach at Paseo Aquatics.

NFL Draft Still Scheduled Among Health Concerns; LA Rams Continue Business

| Sports | March 18, 2020

by Diego Marquez

Amidst health concerns concerning COVID-19 or “coronavirus” all US professional sports’ operations and practically all of their activities have come to standstill including the NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, etc. to name a few. Hopeful, the NFL is looking like the odd-man out with the 2020 NFL Draft right around the corner on April 23-25 in Las Vegas.

“The decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” said commissioner Roger Godell in a statement. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas, in the future, including the Super Bowl.”

Two former Rams: defensive lineman Dante Fowler and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman will not return to the team for the 2020-21 NFL season.

The Rams declined to exercise Robey-Coleman’s option and he will become a free agent. Robey-Coleman was entering the final year of a three-year $15.7 million deal and creates $5 million of cap space for the team. Fowler agreed to terms with the Atlantas Falcons on a three-year $48 million deal.

As a result, the Rams picked up former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Leonard Floyd on a one-year $10 million deal that can extend to $13 million with incentives and bonuses.

The Rams also bolstered their offensive line with the pick up of lineman Austin Blythe to a one-year deal.

The NFL is set to release the 2020 schedule sometime in April before the draft.

The NBA’s Morris Twins are Back Together in Los Angeles

| Sports | February 27, 2020

by Diego Marquez

Marcus and Markieff Morris have not played basketball on the same team since 2015 when they played for the Phoenix Suns for half of the NBA season. On Sunday, Markieff agreed to sign with the Lakers and joined his twin brother and Clippers forward Marcus in Los Angeles.
Markieff joins the Lakers after leaving $4.3 million on the table due to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons on Friday,

In 44 games played this season with the Pistons, Markieff averaged 11 points, almost four rebounds and 1.6 assist per outing. He hovered around his usual career average in field goal percentage with 45% and adds ruggedness and depth to the Lakers’ lineup.
Marcus got traded to the Clippers before the trade deadline from the Knicks and joins the Clippers for his 3-point shooting and defensive tenacity. Marcus is averaging 18.6 points per game, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in 48 games this season.

“We’re two competitive guys, that’s gonna be like really fun,” Marcus Morris said on Saturday in and interview with ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “It doesn’t bother us. We think at the end of the day, we’re both very competitive, we both spend a lot of time on the game. For us to be together, it’s just icing on the cake.”

The Lakers and Clippers square off at the Staples Center on Sunday, Mar. 8 at 12:30 pm.

Los Angeles Dodgers Respond to MLB Commissioner Manfred’s Comments

| Sports | February 20, 2020

By Diego Marquez

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is under some heat after most sports enthusiasts believe that the punishments that he handed down to the Houston Astros was too light. To add gas to the flames, Manfred used the term “piece of metal” when referring to the MLB Championship Trophy which is better known as the Commissioner’s Trophy.

“The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act,” Manfred said in a statement with ESPN. “People will always know that something was different about the 2017 season, and whether we made the decision right or wrong, we undertook a thorough investigation, and had the intestinal fortitude to share the results of that investigation, even when those results were not very pretty.”

Although the Houston Astros organization was suspected and found of cheating in 2017, Manfred gave the Houston players immunity and let the organization keep the “tainted” World Series trophy. All the while, enraging fans, supporters and furthermore, the Dodgers and fellow MLB players alike.

“The only thing devaluing it right now is the fact that it says ‘Commissioner’ on it,” said Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner. “It’s just unbelievable. Is he that out of touch with our game, that those are his comments?…Does he not know what we put into these seasons? Does he not know how much work we dedicate to winning that piece of metal? Does he not know what it means to fan bases and cities? Does he not know what it means to little kids in that city, trying to inspire those kids to want to be baseball players?”

Dodgers’ first baseman Max Muncy responded to Manfred’s comments, “If all we’re doing is playing for a piece of metal, why do we have this league?”

The fact still remains that the Astros were caught cheating red-handed, and the MLB has not taken the necessary actions needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again. After all, the Astros still have that “piece of metal” and still hold the title of “2017 World Series Champions.”

Saugus Girls Strong on the Court

| Sports | February 20, 2020

By Harry Parmenter 

The Saugus Centurions Girls Varsity basketball team is on a roll. Running the table undefeated in Valley League play with an overall record of 24-4, not to mention ranked 31st in the entire state of California, they earned a bye in the first round of CIF Southern Section Division 2AA championships before earning a hard fought Saturday night special win over gutsy St. Anthony of Long Beach, 70-65.

The Centurions are a TEAM; tough, resilient, selfless, determined. They compete; they know how to win. How far they go remains to be seen but they look like they’re on a mission.

Coach Jason Conn leans heavily on his starting five of point guard Monique Febles, who can take it to the rack and make things happen; Lulu Salloom, who bangs the boards and does the dirty work every winner needs; Riley Phipps, whose nickname should be “Bottom of the Net” from what I saw Saturday night; Eden MacKenzie, shooting guard and the glue of the team; and Libbie McMahan, a gifted all around player and shooter who made several running, off balance runners from distance that, no joke, reminded me of Dirk Nowitzki. Key reserves Madison Seyforth and Maliah Sourgose, along with sophomores in waiting Victoria Phan and Ruth Kempler, complement the effort and contribute in one way or another.

Saturday night’s game was exciting from the opening tip, which went to Saugus’ MacKenzie, who wheeled and whipped a line drive on the money pass to the streaking Febles for an easy lay-up, setting the tone from the start and grabbing a lead they never relinquished. The Centurions kept it up most of the first half, moving the ball, hitting the open woman, throwing a number of beautiful bounce passes. At one point they were up 17 and a blowout loomed, but St. Anthony, to their credit, never quit and fought back, fueled by a pair deadeye shooters hitting four straight 3s in the middle of the second quarter, closing the gap to six at halftime, a little too close for comfort to the restless home crowd and a boost of encouragement to visiting family and supporters who made the trek from Queen Mary-land.

As the second half unfolded offensive rebounds, particularly after long misses, were a St. Anthony strength. Their second and third chances kept coming but after Saugus opened another comfortable Q3 lead their foe battled back, kept it close and suddenly, clock winding down, it was nervous time at the Forum.

The Centurions kept their composure and the lead, albeit one that slimmed as the fourth quarter progressed. A flagrant foul by Saugus on a St. Anthony breakaway sent a banged-up player limping off the court to a warm ovation. Her replacement, one of the deadeye Long Beach shooters, knocked down two free throws and they maintained possession as a result of the infraction.

Momentum had swung and the game hung in the balance but Saugus gathered a defensive rebound before misfiring at the other end and St. Anthony attacked again, down only a couple of buckets. A pass to trigger a wide open three pointer was picked off by a leaping Eden MacKenzie, a pivotal steal which, after both teams exchanged misses, led to a Saugus hoop that appeared to cement the win.

Still, St. Anthony bounced back, cutting the lead to four. Only a Saugus defensive stand as the clock ticked down to ten seconds clinched the game, as Coach Dunn turned to the crowd with arms waving, exhorting the predominantly home bleacher crowd to a roar of victory. The game over, both teams walked the handshake line, which included the referees and respective coaches, a class youth practice. Sportsmanship and goodwill matter, especially at Saugus High in this most tumultuous of years.

The crowd filed out as I left the gym and walked past the campus quad which had been the scene of abject horror just months before, faraway, so close. Life goes on for those left behind, scarred or unscarred.

The Centurions host Fairmont Prep from The O.C. Wednesday at press time in their pursuit of the next brick in their wall. Either way, they are winners in my book.

Santa Clarita Dodger Day Ticket Sales to Benefit Saugus Strong Victim Fund

| Community, Sports | February 7, 2020

The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the taste of a world-famous Dodger Dog – it must be time for Santa Clarita Dodger Day. The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase tickets now for the 43rd Annual City of Santa Clarita Dodger Day, to see their hometown Los Angeles Dodgers take on their National League West foes, the Colorado Rockies, at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, June 7, at 1:10 p.m. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 18, at 8:00 a.m. and can be purchased online by visiting SCVDodgerDay.com.

A portion of each ticket purchased through the SCV Dodger Day website will be donated to the Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition to benefit those affected by the shooting at Saugus High School in November 2019.

Ticket prices range from $33 each for Preferred Reserve seats to $80 Loge Box MVP seats. Also available to fans this year are tickets at Field Level, which are $62 each.

A limited amount of tickets are available in each seating tier. Residents will be able to select their preferred seats prior to purchasing tickets. For more information, visit SCVDodgerDay.com or contact Ashley Gurrola at (661) 250-3708.

Dodgers Acquire Betts and Price from Red Sox; Trade Away Pederson

| Sports | February 6, 2020

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a deal three-team deal, that sends Mookie Betts and left-handed pitcher David Price to the Dodgers in exchange Boston would get Los Angeles outfielder Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol, a pitching prospect.

The Minnesota Twins, the third team in the deal, would be getting pitcher Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers.

The move could not have come at a more opportune time as Betts was becoming more of a hot commodity around the league. Betts is coming off a year where he hit .295 batting average/ .391 on-base percentage/ .524 slugging percentage.

Betts was the named the MVP is Boston’s 2018 Championships season.
However, the Dodgers give up Verdugo, a young player that averaged .294/ .342/ .475 last season.

The lefty pitcher, Price is coming off a mediocre year where he won seven decision and lost five other in 22 games played. He struck out 128 batters and walked 32 in 107.1 inning pitched.

Making it two-for-two, the Dodgers agreed to send Joc Pederson to the Angels and would get infielder Luis Rengifo in return. Pederson joins a talented Angels team that features newly acquired Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols.

Rengifo is coming off a season where he hit a batting average of .238, 33 RBIs and seven home runs in 108 appearances for the Angels last season.

The Angels and Dodgers face off in Spring Training on February 26 at 12:05 p.m.

Remembering Kobe

| Sports | January 30, 2020

by Diego Marquez

On the morning of Sunday, January 26, 2020, the entire sports community and world was changed forever with the tragic and sudden death of NBA legend and arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old-daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other people in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Bryant, 41, along with all the other passengers appeared to be headed to his sports academy in Thousand Oaks, the Mamba Sports Academy, to coach his daughters basketball team. Amidst very foggy conditions and poor visibility the helicopter hit a slope that took the lives of all nine of the passengers on board.

In a heartfelt tribute to Bryant at the Staples Center televised on TNT, his former teammate and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal said a few words to commemorate just how much Bryant meant to himself and the world.

“I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” he said. “We, our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship, and I tell them it’s just like me and Charles (Barkley). You got two strong-minded people that are going to get it done that way… going to say certain things, but the respect will never be lost, but when it comes to being inside the lines and winning, that is what me and him, that is what we did.

“The fact that we are not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, the fact that we are not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, I got five. You got four (championships). The fact that we are not going to be able to say if we would have stayed together, we could have gotten 10… those are the things you can’t get back. With the loss of my father and my sister… that is the only thing I wish, I could just say something to them again.”

Bryant was not only a polarizing sports figure, but a perfect example of a true hero as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

“Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved,” he said. “He will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles, and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes.”

2017 MLB World Series Cheating Scandal

| Sports | January 23, 2020

by Diego Marquez

The 2017 MLB season will forever be in a category of its own.

On Monday, January 13th, the MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred discovered that the Los Angeles Dodgers were the victims of a vicious cheating scandal at the hands of the Houston Astros during the 2017 World Series.

En route to their 2017 title run, the Astros produced an elaborate sign-stealing system that tipped the batters of the pitch before the Dodgers’ pitchers threw the ball. The Houston franchise used a camera to steal the signs that were being relayed from Los Angeles’ catchers to the pitchers from the dugouts.

The subsequent actions led to the Astros’ general manager and coach, Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, to be fired on Monday after the MLB was able to conclude they had knowledge of the scheme.

Former bench coach, Alex Cora, who was the coach of the Boston Red Sox, has resigned, and Carlos Beltran, who was supposed to be the new coach of the New York Mets, has since stepped down from the position.

The MLB has also fined the franchise $5 million and they will have to forfeit the next two first and second-round draft picks.

After the punishments were handed down, the Dodgers released this statement, “All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today’s punishment of the Houston Astros as it’s inappropriate to comment on discipline imposed on another club. The Dodgers have been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.”

COC Football Players Earn All-American Honors

| Sports | January 17, 2020

Wide receiver Alonzell Henderson and center Jordan Palmer are representing College of the Canyons as selections to the California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) All-America Team, headlining a class of honorees that also includes four All-State Team selections.

COC sophomore middle linebacker Charles Ike and sophomore quarterback Armani Edden join sophomores Henderson and Palmer as members of the 2019 Region III All-California Community College Football Team.

The annual CCCFCA All-American and All-State selections are made in cooperation with the JC Athletic Bureau. A complete listing of the 2019 CCCFCA All-American and All-State teams is included here.

This is the second straight season that Canyons has had at least two players named to the All-American team. This year also marks the sixth straight season that the Cougars have had at least one player named to the All-State team.

Henderson finished the 2019 campaign with 57 receptions for 1,016 receiving yards and nine touchdowns to also earn a unanimous Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division, Northern League First-Team honors. Henderson topped the 100-yard mark in seven of 11 games and recorded a pair of multi-touchdown games along the way.

Likewise, Palmer was also a unanimous National Division, Northern League First-Team honoree in 2019. Ranked as the No. 2 JUCO center in the nation, Palmer recently signed with Middle Tennessee State University, an NCAA Division I program in Murfreesboro, TN.

Ike, another unanimous selection to the Northern League First-Team, recorded an impressive 107 total tackles, two sacks and 10 tackles for loss to lead the Cougars’ defense and rank fourth in the state. However, his 72 solo takedowns tied for the state’s top mark. He posted double-digit tackle totals in four of the final five games down the stretch including a season-high 20 stops during COC’s first round playoff victory over Saddleback College.

Edden was named the 2019 SCFA National Division, Northern League Offensive Player of the Year award after finishing the season with 33 total touchdowns (27 passing/six rushing), 3,044 passing yards and a 63.7 completion percentage. The young signal caller tossed at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 games, while also using his legs to rank third on the team in rushing with 270 yards on the ground.

Canyons (9-3, 4-1) shared the 2019 National Division, Northern League championship with Ventura College (8-3, 4-1) and Long Beach City College (7-3, 4-1) before moving on to host Saddleback College in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

The Cougars defeated Saddleback 58-53 in the opening round of the postseason before falling to eventual state champion Riverside City College in the Southern California Championship game.

Clippers’ Shaky Start To Season

| Sports | January 16, 2020

By Diego Marquez

After a mediocre start to the 2019-20 NBA season, the Clippers franchise is looking for answers after their 28-13 start that currently has them in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference standings on Wednesday.

Acquiring Leonard from the Toronto Raptors after winning the 2018-19 NBA Championship, the first in the franchise’s history, the Clippers seemed to be an automatic lock to make the playoffs.

Then on July 2, after a meeting between Leonard and Oklahoma City forward Paul George, George requested a trade to the Clippers. Which was an extreme shock to the Thunder’s general manager Sam Presti.

With George on board, the Clippers became the instant preseason favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship.

Things have not gone as planned with Leonard and George seeing action together only 18 times this season. Leonard has been attributing “load management”, while George is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that was operated on during the offseason. George missed the first 11 games because of the injury.

The Clippers seem to be figuring out just how to utilize the two superstars alongside the rest of the Western Conference’s fourth-place Clippers, winning four of the last six games.

Los Angeles Lakers Trade Rumors

| Sports | January 9, 2020

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings with a 30-7 record and have the second best league record behind the Milwaukee Bucks (32-6). But that doesn’t mean that the Lakers aren’t looking to improve their current standings and chances in what seems like a near certainty by enhancing their roster for the playoffs.

The Lakers last made a playoff appearance in 2013 when they finished with a 45-37 record for the seventh seed in the playoffs and were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in four games in the first round.

While retired NBA veteran point guard Darren Collison mulls over the decision to make a return to the league by hopping on the Lakers’ cruise liner, the organization and Los Angeles’ general manager Rob Pelinka are actively trying to find suitors for forward Kyle Kuzma.

The third-year Flint, Michigan native and former Utah Ute has been linked with a direct trade-swap with Sacramento Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic.

In a year that the Lakers have seen immense growth from the previous years, Kuzma, who was figured to be a staple in the rotation, is averaging 12 points and a meager 3.6 rebounds per game this season. Bogdanovic, on the other hand, is averaging 14.5 points and 3.6 assists per game.

Although, Bogdanovic trails Kuzma in rebounds per game (3), he makes up for it with his shooting ability averaging 42.6% from the field and 38.3% from 3-point range.

New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris and Washington Wizards forward Davis Betrans have also been mentioned in trade talks, but Morris is less likely to end up with the Lakers due to Morris’ $15 million contract opposed to Betrans’ $7 million contract.

The Lakers officially have less than a month to enhance their roster as the trade deadline is set for Thursday, February 6 at 3 p.m. EST.

Sports: A Year in Review

| Sports | January 2, 2020

Articles By Diego Marquez

The year 2019 was never boring in the world of sports. Here is a look at 2019’s most interesting stories that really … hit it out of the park.

Angels Sign Mike Trout to Richest Sports Contract in History

 

The Los Angeles Angels are wasting no time in reassuring the stability and future of the organization. On Tuesday, the Angels and the superstar center fielder Mike Trout agreed to a 12-year extension that is said to be worth more than $430 million and will probably be the place where he will finish his career.

 

LA Rams Eliminated from the Playoffs

 

The defending NFC Champions Los Angeles Rams were eliminated from the 2019-20 NFL playoffs after suffering a 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers on the Hunt For New Additions

 

Since the New York Yankees acquired pitcher Gerrit Cole, signing him to a nine-year $324 million contract on Tuesday, the Dodgers effectively turned their attention to other stars in the league.

 

USC Men’s Basketball Freshman Making Early Impact

 

The 2019-20 USC Men’s Basketball roster features six true freshmen players, but none have been more impressive in their total body of work through their first nine regular-season games than forward Onyeka Okongwu.

 

USC’s Quarterback Kedon Slovis Does Something No Freshman Has Done Before

 

At the start of the 2019-20 NCAA football season, the University of Southern California’s was still deciding who they would name at starting quarterback to begin the year. Incoming true-freshman Kedon Slovis along with four other quarterbacks battled it out with sophomore JT Daniels winning the starting job.

 

Los Angeles Is Baseball’s Biggest Winner

 

The Baseball Writers Association cast their ballots last Thursday, Nov. 14th and awarded Angel’s outfielder Mike Trout his third American League MVP Award, while Dodger’s outfielder Cody Bellinger won his first.

 

Two Dodgers in Hunt for Postseason Awards

 

After New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso was named the National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, and St Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt was named the NL Manager of the Year on Tuesday, two more postseason awards have yet to be awarded: Cy Young Award and the NL MVP.

 

Chargers Staying Put in Los Angeles, For Now

 

After picking up and leaving San Diego for Los Angeles ahead of the 2017 NFL season, the Chargers have shot down all notions of the team moving after reports surfaced that the team would listen to the possibility of moving to London due to low fan attendance earlier this week.

 

UCLA Men’s Basketball Freshmen Gear Up for Debut

 

The UCLA Men’s Basketball team kicks off the season in less than a week with a non-conference home game at Pauley Pavilion against Long Beach State at 8pm on Wednesday.

 

But there remain some questions yet to be answered.

 

Clippers Send Lakers a Message on Opening Night

 

In front of a star-studded crowd at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers faced off in what has the makings of an intense rivalry given the All-Star firepower on both rosters.

 

Lakers Debut Less Than a Week Away

 

The Los Angeles Lakers open up the 2019-20 NBA Season in less than a week as they play host to in-town rivals, the Clippers on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Staples Center and there is already a buzz about what the franchise can do with the roster they built this offseason.

 

Dodgers Let Opportunity Slip Away, Look to Close Out Series in Five

 

After leading the Washington Nationals 2-1 heading into the fourth game of the National League Division Series, the Dodgers’ chances of advancing looked good as Los Angeles’ third baseman Justin Turner launched a solo home run in the top of the first inning to give the Dodgers the lead.

 

Dodgers Gear Up to Face Nationals in NLDS

 

After the Washington Nationals come-from-behind 4-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers in the Nationals League Wild Card Game on Tuesday the Nationals League Division Series is set to begin on Thursday at 5:37 p.m.

 

It Was Quite a Weekend for College Football in Los Angeles

 

It began with USC football rebounding from last week’s road loss at BYU to defeat Pac-12 opponent Utah, and UCLA football completed the wild weekend with a come-from-behind road win against Washington State.

 

Trojan Football in the Hot Seat After BYU Upset

 

Coming off a big program win over then No. 23 ranked Stanford a week ago on Saturday, Sept. 7, freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis proved the majority of critics wrong winning his first career start.

 

Dodgers Clinch 7th Straight NL West Title

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have punched their ticket to the postseason with a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles that clinched their seventh consecutive National League West title on Tuesday.

 

‘El Traffico’ Soccer Match Ends in a Deadlock

 

One of Major League Soccer, and possibly one of Los Angeles’ biggest rivalry games between the LA Galaxy men’s soccer team and LAFC, did not disappoint with fireworks and dramatics as the bitter rivals finished in a 3-3 draw at the Bank of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday.

 

USC Names JT Daniels Starting Quarterback

 

The University of Southern California football team has named a starting quarterback, sophomore JT Daniels.

 

Head coach Clay Helton named Daniels the starting quarterback after the Mater Dei alumnus lead the offense to a 5-6 overall record in his freshman season with the Trojans. In 11 games, Daniels threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

 

LA Dodgers and NY Yankees First MLB Teams to Reach 80 wins on Same Day

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees are in familiar company after both teams got their 80th win of the 2019 MLB season on Tuesday.

 

Earning a 15-1 win over the Miami Marlins in Miami, the Dodgers become the first National League team to complete the feat. The Yankees accomplished the goal earlier in the day in a 8-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

LA Rams Eliminated from the Playoffs

| Sports | December 26, 2019

by Diego Marquez
The defending NFC Champions Los Angeles Rams were eliminated from the 2019-20 NFL playoffs after suffering a 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Losing on the road on a last-second field goal, the Rams miss out on their third consecutive trip to the postseason sitting at 8-7 overall heading into the final game of the regular season.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Rams quarterback Jared Goff in an interview with ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry after the game. “You never envision something like this when you start the year. It’s not even close to the standard that we want to hold. It’s sickening.”

Goff finished the game 27-of-46 for 323 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the loss.

Late in the game, the 49ers drove down the field and converted a third and long to set up the game-winning field goal by kicker Robbie Gould.

As a result, the Rams are the fifth team to not qualify for the postseason after making it to the Super Bowl the previous year.

The Rams began the season with three wins against Carolina, New Orleans and Cleveland before stumbling against Tampa Bay, Seattle and San Francisco. In those three loses, Los Angeles just didn’t look the same as in previous years an finished just above .500 the rest of the way, going 5-4.

The Rams final game of the season comes against the Arizona Cardinals in Los Angeles at 1:25 p.m. on Sunday.

Los Angeles Dodgers on the Hunt For New Additions

| Sports | December 12, 2019

by Diego Marquez

Since the New York Yankees acquired pitcher Gerrit Cole, signing him to a nine-year $324 million contract on Tuesday, the Dodgers effectively turned their attention to other stars in the league.

Still in the market to bulk up their pitching rotation, the Dodgers look north to their rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Free-agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner rejected the Giants qualifying offer in November and reportedly wants north of $100 million contract in the neighborhood of five years.

This past season, the lefty went 9-for-9 with an ERA of 3.90 and a 1.13 WHIP and had an MLB-high 34 starts. Since his addition to the San Francisco lineup in 2009, the Giants have won three World Series and he was named the World Series MVP in 2014.
The Washington Nationals All-Star third baseman, Anthony Rendon is also a possible addition to the Dodgers franchise. On his way to winning his first World Series title of his career in 2019, Rendon finished with career-highs in batting average (.319), on-base percentage (.412), slugging (.598), RBIs (126), home runs (34), and runs scored (117).

Another key pickup for the Los Angeles Dodgers would be Cleveland Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. Although, it may be a stretch, but recent reports says that the LA franchise is trying to put together a package deal that would included some young players like Gavin Lux, Alex Verdugo and Dustin May.

The four-year All-Star shortstop recorded 170 hits, 32 home runs and 74 RBIs last season, while being awarded the American League’s Golden Glove at shortstop.

USC Men’s Basketball Freshman Making Early Impact

| Sports | December 5, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The 2019-20 USC Men’s Basketball roster features six true freshmen players, but none have been more impressive in their total body of work through their first nine regular-season games than forward Onyeka Okongwu.

The Chino Hills High School alumnus and four-year varsity player leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks and field-goal percentage. He is averaging 17.9 points, nine rebounds, 2.9 blocks and a field-goal percentage of 61.6%.

Okongwu began his Trojan career with back-to-back double-doubles in a 20 point and 13 rebounds debut against Florida A&M and followed it up with a 20 point and 10 rebounds outing against Portland. The most impressive stat was that he just missed out on a triple-double with eight blocks against Florida A&M.

In a 91-84 road-win against Pepperdine Okongwu was almost automatic at the line sinking 17-of-21 free-throws for a season-high 33 points.

The most recent game in the Orlando Invitational on Sunday, the first-year Trojan recorded his fourth career double-double pouring in 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds in a 15-point, 77-62 win against Harvard to win third place. He averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in the three-game Orlando Invitational.

The Trojans are currently 7-2 overall and will face TCU in Forth Worth at 6 p.m. on Friday.

USC’s Quarterback Kedon Slovis Does Something No Freshman Has Done Before

| Sports | November 27, 2019

by Diego Marquez

At the start of the 2019-20 NCAA football season, the University of Southern California’s was still deciding who they would name at starting quarterback to begin the year. Incoming true-freshman Kedon Slovis along with four other quarterbacks battled it out with sophomore JT Daniels winning the starting job.

In a sudden turn of circumstances, in the first game of the year just before halftime, JT Daniels went down with an apparent right leg injury and Slovis was thrust into the starting job, just a half into his collegiate career with the Trojans’ program to lead the team to a 31-24 victory.

Since then, Slovis has made appearances in 10 games, guiding the Trojans to an 8-3 record overall. But it’s what Slovis did this past weekend against the UCLA Bruins that has some people flabbergasted how impressive his future can be.

In a 52-35 victory over the Bruins on Sunday, Slovis broke the freshman quarterback single-game passing record completing 37-of-47 passes and throwing for 515 yards. Slovis also threw four touchdown passes.

Former Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley set the record of 493 yards back in 2012.

A Trojans’ win was hardly ever in doubt on Saturday as they scored the most points all year long (52) and finished with a season-high in total yards (643).

Through 11 games, Slovisas has thrown for 3,242 yards, eclipsing the 400-yard passing mark three times this year. Over the past three games, Slovis has a 12:1 touchdown to interception ratio.

Los Angeles Is Baseball’s Biggest Winner

| Sports | November 21, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Baseball Writers Association cast their ballots last Thursday, Nov. 14th and awarded Angel’s outfielder Mike Trout his third American League MVP Award, while Dodger’s outfielder Cody Bellinger won his first.

Bellinger’s first MVP award comes in the same year that he wins the Gold Glove Award in right field after he cycled through multiple positions throughout the year in the outfield.

The Dodgers’ outfielder finished the season batting an average of .305 and had career-highs in hits (170), home runs (47), RBIs(115), runs (121) and stolen bases (15).

Finishing fourth in the final home runs totals, Bellinger set the franchise season record for home runs and becomes the 24th Major League Baseball Player to win the Rookie of the Year Award (2017) and the MVP.

Trout wins his third MVP award after missing the final 19 games of the season with an injury that required surgery on his right foot, but the writers thought his body of work over the previous 143 games of the season was enough to push him through.

The nine-year veteran tied a career-high in home runs (45) on his way to leading the American League in slugging (.645) and the entire league in on-base percentage.

Taking home his third MVP award, the 28-year-old Angels all-star becomes the 11th player in MLB history to win three MVP awards. Barry Bonds, who won seven, is the only player with more than three MVP Awards.

Two Dodgers in Hunt for Postseason Awards

| Sports | November 14, 2019

by Diego Marquez

After New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso was named the National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, and St Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt was named the NL Manager of the Year on Tuesday, two more postseason awards have yet to be awarded: Cy Young Award and the NL MVP.

With the National League’s Cy Young still up for contention, there remains one Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher still in the hunt as Hyu-Jin Ryu is battling Washington Nationals pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, New York Mets Jacob deGrom and St. Louis’ Jack Flaherty for the pitching award.

Throughout the 2019 MLB season, Ryu started in 29 games going 14-5 in that stretch and finished the season with a 2.32 ERA, 163 strikeouts and 24 walked batters. In 182.6 innings of work, the South Korean native recorded a 1.007 WHIP, striking out almost seven batters to every batter he walked, while still being mostly considered as the Dodgers No. 2 starting pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw, even with the year he had.

Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger seems to be the favorite to win the NL MVP race after a stellar campaign that saw is post a .305 batting average, .406 on-base percentage, .629 slugging average on his way to hitting 47 home runs, 115 RBIs and a 15 stolen bases.

The NL MVP is assumed to go to either Bellinger or Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich, but Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, Arizona’s second baseman/outfielder Ketel Marte and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. are the other candidates.

The Cy Young award will be handed out later today 3 p.m. while the MVP will be named on Thursday at 3 p.m.

Chargers Staying Put in Los Angeles, For Now

| Sports | November 7, 2019

by Diego Marquez

After picking up and leaving San Diego for Los Angeles ahead of the 2017 NFL season, the Chargers have shot down all notions of the team moving after reports surfaced that the team would listen to the possibility of moving to London due to low fan attendance earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Chargers owner Dean Spanos addressed the media and shot those rumors down.

“We’re playing in LA,” Spanos said. “This is our home, and this where we planning to be for a long (expletive) time. Period. OK? If you want me to say it again, I’ll say it again. (Expletive) (expletive) that story. OK? Thank you.“

The rumors are certainly true, the Chargers have a non-existent fan base in Los Angeles and have been out numbered in their temporary home at 30,000-seat Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, that they share with the MLS soccer franchise L.A. Galaxy, almost 3 to 1 by the visiting teams’ fan base.

The Chargers spent 56 years in San Diego before picking up and moving north and have struggled to gain a healthy fan base, some think it’s because the fact that there are two teams in LA, the Chargers and the Rams, in a crowded sports town that isn’t particularly found of the NFL.

With both the Chargers and Rams set to move into the brand-new $4.5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood next season in 2020, the NFL along with the other 31 teams should be concerned with the franchise’s future in Los Angeles.

UCLA Men’s Basketball Freshmen Gear Up for Debut

| Sports | October 31, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The UCLA Men’s Basketball team kicks off the season in less than a week with a non-conference home game at Pauley Pavilion against Long Beach State at 8pm on Wednesday.

But there remain some questions yet to be answered.

With the departures of guard Jaylen Hands and forward Kris Wilkes, along with center Moses Brown to the NBA, a new set of determined, but young student athletes step up into their roles with just as much talent and possibilities.

Redshirt freshman point guard Tiger Campbell has created a buzz with his ability to exert the opposing team’s players into submission with his suffocating defense. Campbell’s relatively small frame (5-feet, 11 inches) may catch some off guard, but make no mistake — the guard can distribute the ball to his teammates and score at will.
Shareef O’Neal, another redshirt freshman and son of NBA Hall of Fame player, Shaquille O’Neal, also prepares to make his debut. O’Neal is the length like his father, standing at 6’9, but his game is far from similar to his father’s. Shareef is well-rounded and can handle the ball in any situation with the ability to step back and hit a perimeter shot, something that his father was not known for. He is a mismatch for any guards because of his size and is a nightmare against opposing big men because of his lateral quickness and ball-handling abilities.

Throw in two true freshmen in 6’7 forward Jaime Jaquez from Camarillo High School and 6’6 forward/guard Jake Kyman from Santa Margarita High School, who can both handle the ball with elite versatility and have both proven that they can score.

City Announces Inaugural Santa Clarita Day With the L.A. Kings

| Community, Sports | October 31, 2019

Pull on your sweater and get out of the penalty box because the Santa Clarita City Council is inviting residents to participate in the inaugural Santa Clarita Day with the Los Angeles Kings. Tickets are on sale now to watch the Kings take on the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m. at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Tickets start as low as $30 per person, and can be purchased online at lakings.com/santaclarita.

A portion of each ticket sold to the game through this designated website will be donated to the SCV Youth Project, a local nonprofit organization serving the Santa Clarita community. The SCV Youth Project works to provide a safe, nurturing environment where teens and their families are strengthened, empowered and equipped with the tools they need to live successful and healthy lives.

The game against the Coyotes will also be one of three Kings Kids’ Days, which are new for the 2019-20 season. In addition to the game, fans will also enjoy a variety of fun, kids-themed elements throughout the afternoon. All Santa Clarita residents in attendance are invited to stay after the game for a group photo.

Tickets range in price from $30 per person in the upper sections of STAPLES Center to $145 per person in the lower bowl. Limited quantities of tickets are being sold at each price point and are available while supplies last.

Clippers Send Lakers a Message on Opening Night

| Sports | October 24, 2019

by Diego Marquez

In front of a star-studded crowd at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers faced off in what has the makings of an intense rivalry given the All-Star firepower on both rosters.

Even without the newly signed Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, along with returning players, Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, showed up to hand the Lakers their first loss of the season in a 112-102 Clippers’ victory.
Leonard, a two-time NBA Champion, didn’t take long to get accustomed to the new system in Los Angeles, scoring a game-high 30 points, five rebounds, six assists and two blocks.

But Leonard didn’t do it alone. Williams chipped in with 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists and Harrell added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The defensive-minded Beverly made his impact felt throughout the game with his tenacious defense and high-energy staple of play to finish with two points, 10 rebounds, six assists and a block in 31 minutes of action.

The Lakers two biggest stars, LeBron James and newly-acquired power-forward and former New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis, both had below average shooting performances from the field as Davis made 8-of-21 shots for 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and James was 7-of-19 for 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Danny Green, a former teammate of Leonard was the highest scoring Laker hitting 7-of-9 3’s and finishing with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He added seven rebound and two steals in 32 minutes of play.

While this was just one game, the tide is starting to turn more and more in the Clippers’ favor that Los Angeles is becoming a Clippers’ town. Dating back to the 2016-17 NBA season, the Clippers have won nine of the last 14 games played. Although, the Lakers still hold the advantage in the head-to-head series (143- 73) it’s hard to say that most won’t have the Christmas Day matchup circled on their calendars.

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