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Los Angeles Kings Make Changes After Slow Start

| Sports | 9 mins ago

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Kings have started the 2018-2019 season 4-8-1 and have parted with head coach John Stevens. Along with assistant Don Nachbaur, Stevens will be departing Los Angeles, despite winning two of the last three games played of the 13 total games they spent on the bench to begin the season.

Los Angeles is tied with the Florida Panthers for the fewest points in the league (nine) despite signing Ilya Kovalchuk this past offseason in hopes of providing a boost for the offense. The Kings have been hit with the injury bug after goalie Jonathan Quick went down indefinitely with a knee injury that required surgery.

The former coach appears to be the scapegoat for the organization’s slow start and was already being criticized for having an aging core. Willie Desjardins will replace Stevens on the bench as the interim head coach for the rest of the regular season and have brought on former Kings forward Marco Sturm to replace Nachbaur on the Kings staff.

Steven will exit Los Angeles with a 51-39-9 record after being named the head coach in April 2017 replacing Darryl Sutter. Before then, he served as an assistant with the Kings since 2010. In his first year at the helm, Steven led the Kings to 98 points and a playoff appearance last season, but that was short-lived as the Las Vegas Golden Knights swept them out of the playoffs in the first round.

Interim coach, Desjardins, previously coached the Vancouver Canucks to a playoff appearance in 2015 and finished his three year stint (2014-2017) with an overall record of 109-110-27. He inherits the National Hockey League’s second-oldest roster that is in dire need of a jumpstart to salvaging what could turn out to be a nightmare year for Los Angeles.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | 6 hours ago

Sarah Seibt

Sarah has been in Special Olympics since she was in her twenties. Bocce ball, tennis, basketball, floor hockey (she is the goalie)
and softball have been the sports in which she has competed, but this is her first year in volleyball. Sarah loves volleyball because, “I like to play and I like the people.”

According to co-coaches Jay and Taylor Schubert, “She is new to volleyball and she is getting better as the season goes on.”

Sarah also bowls on another league, swims, and works in a local day program.

 

David Escobedo began competing in Special Olympics (SO) while attending Valencia High. He has competed in floor hockey, bowling, and
volleyball.

“I feel powerful when I spike the ball. Our team has at least 10 medals with Coach Jay’s volleyball team,” said David.

Coach Jay Schubert and his daughter, Coach Taylor, have this to say about David: “He has made great improvements in his volleyball playing. He was phenomenal in the fall games and helped in our win.”

The biggest reason David likes SO is because of the friends he has and continues to make. David is also in a local day work program.

Ethan Danforth, Canyon High School Cross-Country

Danforth won the Foothill League boys cross-country title finishing the 3-mile race in 15 minutes and 4.66 seconds to help Canyon High School to a third-place team finish overall at the Foothill League finals held at Central Park on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Hailey Kirsch, Valencia High School Cross-Country

Kirsh was the Foothill League’s first girls runner to cross the finish line in 18 minutes and 3.26 seconds. With the first-place finish, the Valencia girls team finished in third-place overall.

 

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | November 1, 2018

Brittany Buckingham competes in multiple sports for the Santa Clarita Special Olympics. She is a member of the all-women’s basketball team, the Divas, along with tennis, bowling, and swimming. She also currently plays on one of the volleyball teams.

According to Brittany’s current father-daughter coaches, Jay and Taylor Schubert, “Brittany has the best attitude and is always works hard.”

Brittany says she likes Special Olympics because she “likes to hang out with people and make
friends. It is good exercise too!”

Brittany works in a local day program during the week.

David Escobedo began competing in Special Olympics (SO) while attending Valencia High. He has competed in floor hockey, bowling, and
volleyball.

“I feel powerful when I spike the ball. Our team has at least 10 medals with Coach Jay’s volleyball team,” said David.

Coach Jay Schubert and his daughter, Coach Taylor, have this to say about David: “He has made great improvements in his volleyball playing. He was phenomenal in the fall games and helped in our win.”

The biggest reason David likes SO is because of the friends he has and continues to make. David is also in a local day work program.

Zach Johnson, Hart Football

The junior quarterback combined to score six total touchdowns in Hart’s 60-27 win over Golden Valley on Friday. Johnson completed 20-of-30 pass attempts for 313 yards and four touchdowns in through the air. He added another 80 yards and two touchdowns on four carries for the Indians.

Kelli Butler, Trinity Classical Academy Cross-Country

Repeating as the Heritage League Girls Cross Country champion, Butler finished in first place with a time of 22 minutes and 24 seconds at the Heritage League finals, which were held at the American Jewish University on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Butler led the Trinity girls’ team to a Heritage League title, beating Faith Baptist by one point.

Lakers’ Frustration Starting to Show

| Sports | November 1, 2018

by Diego Marquez

After Monday night’s 124-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minnesota, there was a clear sense of frustration coming from the Los Angeles Lakers locker room. The Lakers were supposed to have a breakout season with the acquisition of the NBA’s best player, LeBron James, with the addition of other key veterans to the relatively young core of players. But after a 2-5 start to begin the year, it’s hard to overlook that all five of the Lakers’ losses have come by 10 points or fewer.

On the defensive side of the ball, Los Angeles is giving up 122.3 point per game, and is 0-3 in games decided by fewer than three points or less. Against the Timberwolves, the Lakers were outscored 21-15 in fast break points, something that head coach Luke Walton has made an emphasis to try and play and up-tempo style of play with all the playmakers on the court.
Losing the rebound battle as well, Los Angeles gave up 20 offensive rebounds, being out-rebounded 51-48 on the night by Minnesota.

“Whatever role or whatever guys come in, we just have to be ready to go,” said Lakers guard Rajon Rondo via ESPN. “As a team, collectively, we’re not going things; we’re not on the same page. We’re messing up pick-and-roll coverage. We’re messing up box out assignments. So we got to do the intangibles and come in with a better mindset.”

Whatever the case may be, the Lakers’ front office and coaching staff did not go out and acquire intelligent and veteran role players, along with James, to begin the season lacking intensity and passion. With growing desperation around Los Angeles and the country, the Lakers need to show some signs of improvement before the season gets away from them.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | October 25, 2018

Rochelle Gindi is a longtime SCV Special Olympic (SO) athlete. Volleyball is currently her favorite sport, but when she plays bocce ball, that is her favorite sport. Wherever Rochelle is, she is ready to make new friends.

“I like volleyball because I am good at spiking,” Rachel said. “Special Olympics people are nice and they have good snacks.”

SO volleyball coaches Jay Schubert and his daughter, Taylor Schubert, agree that “Rochelle will always put a smile on your face.”

 

Ray Carrizosa is 74 years old and believes he is the oldest Santa Clarita Valley Special Olympics (SO) athlete. Ray began his long career with SO in basketball, eventually adding baseball (pitcher/outfielder), bowling, (high game of 151 and average of 132), bocce ball, and now, volleyball.

Ray has always been athletic and enjoys SO because, “There is always something to do and I have made life long friends. The coaches are very nice and helpful.”

“When Ray started volleyball, he had a difficult time getting the ball over the net,” Volleyball Coach Jay Schubert said. “He has worked hard and has made great improvement.”

 

Jordyn McBride – West Ranch Girls Tennis

The Wildcats’ No. 1 singles player, McBride, led West Ranch to their third-straight Foothill League title, defeating Valencia 15-3. McBride was stellar in the match against the Vikings, only dropping one game the whole day.

Wyatt Eget – College of the Canyons Football

Eget led the Cougars football team to a 31-9 victory over East Los Angeles College at Canyons’ on Saturday. He finished the game passing for 314 yards and three touchdowns and in interception on 22-of-36 pass attempts. Eget also added a 12-yard rushing touchdown.

Los Angeles and Boston Back in the World Series

| Sports | October 25, 2018

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox began the 2018 World Series with the Red Sox coming out with the 8-4 victory in Fenway Park on Tuesday.

The Dodgers come into the 2018 World Series reaching the postseason each and every year for six straight years, which is the longest current streak. What is more impressive is that Los Angeles had made the postseason by winning their division all six of the past years.

The Red Sox have been the most consistent team in baseball this season by marching to the tune of 108 regular-season victories, and have steamrolled a pair of formidable opponents in the Yankees and Astros. Boston was ruthless and efficient, winning 108 games in 2018 with their lineup outscoring every other team in the majors.

This World Series matchup is the first of its kind as the Red Sox and Dodgers will meet for the first time since 1916 when the Dodgers played back in Brooklyn. Repeat World Series matchups are hard to come by, as the last time it happened was back in the late 1970s, when the Dodgers met the New York Yankees for two straight years. The Red Sox have won three World Series titles since 2004, the Dodgers last title came back in 1988.

The depth and resourcefulness has allowed the Dodgers to maintain their relevance after starting the year off 16-26. Los Angeles has turned things around behind contributions from the whole team. Max Muncy, a lower-level player that was used to play for the Oakland Athletics, got called up and ended up with 35 home runs on the year. Third-baseman Justin Turner keeps up the stellar hitting and smart play on the field. Chris Taylor stepped in when Corey Seager went down with an elbow injury as a multi-faceted player that could be plugged into any position on any given day. Walker Buehler, not Clayton Kershaw, won the tiebreaker against the Colorado Rockies to win the NL West title.

The Red Sox are favored to win the World Series winning 108 regular-season games to Los Angeles’ 92 wins. The Dodgers winning depends stout pitching with some even niftier hitting. In any case, this World Series pits two of the most storied organizations in MLB history against each other, and fireworks are bound to happen.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Major League Baseball Playoffs So Far

| Sports | October 19, 2018

by Harry Parmenter

Good: Justin Turner, Mr. Dodger. A Mets’ castoff has become the heart and soul of the Dodgers, their best hitter and MVP, despite Manny Machado filling the big shoes of Corey Seager to help them save their season. Turner is a professional hitter, and his homerun in game two at Milwaukee kept the series from slipping away from L.A. Fear the beard indeed.

Bad: The Dodgers are on TV! That’s actually good, of course, but the fact it takes national playoff broadcasts to get seen by well over half their fandom continues to be a black eye for the team and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Ugly: David Price, game two at Fenway vs. the Yankees. Rumor has it that the Bronx Bombers actually sent a limo to pick Price up at his house, given that they have batted .1000 against him since Boston gave him $217 million dollars. True to form, Price couldn’t make it through the second inning with Aaron Judge hitting a blast off him that broke a window at the old North Church. The Fenway faithful were not amused. Despite a marginal 4 2/3 innings yielding four runs in game two vs. Houston, at $31M a year, The Price is Wrong.

Good: The aforementioned Judge has replaced Derek Jeter in Pinstripe Nation and will someday have his own plaque in Monument Park. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Bond villain “Jaws,” Judge hit .421 with three dingers and four RBIs, which would have been a lot more if anybody ever reached base before he hit (we’re looking at you, Andrew McCutcheon and Gleyber Torres).

Bad: The Chicago Cubs were quickly eliminated after losing back to back games beneath the friendly skies at Wrigley Field, first against Milwaukee, then Colorado. With their aging starters it’s a good thing they won in 2016. Letting Wade Davis go was a mistake.

Ugly: The Oakland A’s, who, after a lot of big talk about going to the World Series, had their “bullpen game” strategy blow up in their face in the do-or-die wild card game against New York. The Yankees put two runs on the board in the first with a Judge bomb and never looked back. The bullpen thing is working for Milwaukee but as a purist, I hate it. Give me a starter going deep anytime. Satchel Paige is rolling over in his grave.

Good: Rookie manager Alex Cora has been pressing all the right buttons, like bringing ace Rick Porcello into game one of the ALDS to bridge a mediocre bullpen performance and take command of the series. He employed Porcello with similar success in game two of the ALCS vs. Houston. Cora, bench coach on last year’s champion Astros, also plugged Brock Holt, Christian Vasquez and Rafael Devers into game three, all of whom contributed to the 16-1 smackdown. Holt did something no one has done in the history of the postseason: hit for the cycle.

Bad: The Colorado Rockies choked at home the last weekend of the season, losing a game to the pathetic Nationals, necessitating a divisional one-off at Chavez Ravine, which they lost. They then flew to Chicago and outlasted the Cubs in the dullest 13 inning game I have ever seen, then got swept by the Brewers, scoring two runs in three games. Despite big names like Arenado, Blackmon, Story and Gonzalez, the Rockies simply couldn’t hit the ball.

Ugly: Brian Cashman fired Joe Girardi, one of the best skippers in the league, replacing him with Aaron Boone, who had never managed or coached, because Boone would “relate better” to the younger generation. After no doubt tucking him in at night, Boone watched starter Luis Severino implode in pivotal game three while his high-powered bullpen sat spitting sunflower seeds (whatever happened to tobacco?). A position player, Austin Romine, pitched the ninth inning in front of 38 people and a pair of janitors as the Red Sox finished a historic drubbing, the worst loss in the Yankees’ storied franchise. If George Steinbrenner was alive, he would have fired Boone before breakfast.

Good: The Brewers are for real. Manager Craig Counsell is expertly deploying the weapons GM David Stearns got him, from soon to be MVP Christian Yelich to Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakeas, key members of the great Royals teams that went to two consecutive World Series, winning it all in 2015, to a lights out bullpen led by Josh “Wild Thing II” Hader. At press time they are giving the Dodgers all they can handle, with the series tied at two wins apiece. And when’s the last time Milwaukee had something to cheer about?

Bad: As great a regular season pitcher as he’s been, Clayton Kershaw has disappointed in the post. After a strong outing against the baby Braves he lasted just three innings against the Brewers, his playoff ERA about $4.25. His twin meltdowns against the Astros last year spelled doom for the Dodgers. Madison Bumgarner he is not but there’s still time for redemption—and a ring.

Ugly: I don’t know about anyone else, but haven’t we had enough of exit velocity, launch angle and every other tedious analytic sabermetric the TV announcers and analysts spew incessantly? Is this what fans want? Does it “relate better” to young fans? It’s BASEBALL, for God’s sake. It’s a game with interesting storylines, colorful personalities and inherent drama, not a nerd fantasy camp field trip. Where have you gone, Vin Scully?

Bad: Mike Trout not in the playoffs, again. The Angels stink and it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon. The Dodgers should do whatever they have to do to get him. They have no stars in the outfield. Period.

Ugly: The Cleveland Indians. All that talent, and they get beaten by Houston, badly. Hart High great Trevor Bauer had a tough time in the clincher with a couple of fielding gaffes as the game slipped away. It was almost as bad as when he couldn’t pitch a couple years ago after cutting his hand on his drone. The Indians, whom many considered a dark horse in the A.L., are on the up escalator going down.

And finally…The Inane: One broadcast featured a mic’d third base coach so we could hear him yelling, “Yeah! Yeah!! Yes, sir!!!” Cutting-edge insight at its finest.

UCLA Football Picks Up First Win Under Chip Kelly

| Sports | October 18, 2018

by Diego Marquez

The UCLA Bruins picked up their first win of the season, and more importantly, first win under first-year head coach, Chip Kelly, in a 37-7 blitz against the California Bears on Saturday, Oct. 14.

After beginning the season with five straight losses, the Bruins snapped the streak with a much needed win on a night where Joshua Kelly ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns. The defense was stout finishing the night, forcing five total turnovers against the Bears. This was Kelly’s third-straight 100-yard game after some weeks of uncertainty in the offensive line.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was extremely efficient and patient in the passing game, completing 13-of-15 passes for 141 yards. Thompson-Robinson also carried the ball nine times for 27 yards in the contest. In the span of the last couple weeks, Thompson-Robinson has shown a strong connection with tight end Caleb Wilson. Wilson picked up five catches for 92 yards and looks to be the Bruins most formidable passing threat.

Kelley scored on a 5-yard run to cap a 59-yard drive set up by a fumble to begin the scoring for the Bruins. Then, after Cal finally got on the board with Laird’s 1-yard run on the opening drive of the second half, Kelley and the Bruins answered with two straight scoring drives capped by Kelley’s 1-yard run that made it 27-7.

On defense, the Bruins held the Berkeley quarterback, Brandon McIlwain, to just 168 yards passing on 20-of-40 pass attempts. On the night the Bruins forced five Cal turnovers. Linebacker Keisean Lucier-South recorded his first interception and later recovered a fumble for a score. UCLA held Cal to just 3-of-14 on third down and 1-of-5 on fourth down a major accomplishment that would doom the Bears.

Overall, this was a though first road win of the season for the Bruins. The offensive line is starting to take shape and the running success of the Bruins’ ground game is taking pressure off the defense, which was getting key stops at opportunistic times. If the Bruins want to continue winning, they will need all facets of the game plan clicking.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | October 18, 2018

Ana Goldbach has been on the top Special Olympics volleyball team for 10 years. She also plays floor hockey, bocce ball, and basketball on the all-women’s team, the Sharkettes.

“The volleyball coaches work on our skills like serving, bumping, and setting, Ana said. “I think I am getting better every year.”

 

Ben Kawasawa is a Valencia High School graduate who just started Special Olympics this year. He is currently competing in volleyball and is being coached by Taylor Schubert.

“He is a great athlete with a positive attitude and wants to learn,” said Schubert.

Ben likes Special Olympics because he is making friends and is enjoying being with his team and practicing. Ben works in food services and also bowls on a league team.

 

Noelle Song- West Ranch High School Golf

In her final Foothill League meet of her career, the West Ranch senior won the individual league title with a final score of 194, shooting a 4-over 40 in Foothill League meet No. 6 on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The Wildcats finished second overall as team with 1,109 points.

Jake Erazo-College of the Canyons Men’s Soccer

A Hart High alumnus, Erazo scored the first goal of his collegiate career in Canyons’ conference-opening win, the first in the program’s history, in a 2-0 triumph against Citrus College at College of the Canyons on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers Set to Clash in NLCS

| Sports | October 11, 2018

by Diego Marquez

With both teams wrapping up their series victories over the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers are set for a collision course to meet in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) which is set to begin Friday in Milwaukee. The Dodgers head to their third straight NLCS after dispatching the Braves with their starting pitching, who posted two shutouts win and a 2.06 ERA for the series, and clutch hitting situations. The Brewers took care of the Rockies with their bullpen as the starters only pitched a combined 12 2/3 innings, and as a whole, the rotation was able to hold the Rockies scoreless in 27-of-28 innings.

The Dodgers and Brewers met seven times during the regular season, with Los Angeles taking four of the seven matchups. The two franchises have never met in the postseason and will look to make the NLCS series one for the books. Finishing the season strong, both teams ended the season on a positive note, as both team trailed their respective divisions entering the final two months of the season. Milwaukee climbed back and posted the National League’s best mark of 20-7 while Los Angeles grabbed the second spot in the league posting a 19-9 record to round out the season.

The proposed starter for the Brewers will be Jhoulys Chacin, after making a league high of 35 starts this past season averaging just 5.5 inning per outing. Using an elite bullpen, the Brewers managed to finish with a 3.47 ERA and a 18.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Joakim Soria and Corey Knebel all contributed to these eye-popping stats for the opposing team.

If the Dodgers want to win, they need to hit early and often against Milwaukee’s starting rotation before the bullpen gets going. Los Angeles led the league in walk percentage, walking 10.2 out of 100 percent of the time. The Dodgers need to take advantage of all they can because this series looks to be the toughest matchup, as the Brewers won the most games in the National League this season, they have a potential NL MVP candidate in Christian Yelich and not to mention the stud bullpen rotation that has carried them to many of the victories in the 2018 season.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | October 11, 2018

Daniel Waters has competed in the Special Olympics for 16 years. He has played basketball, floor hockey, bocce ball, and golf. Daniel favors bowling (tournament high of 189), as well as track and field, but basketball is his favorite sport.

Special Olympics means great friends and choice coaches. His best memory of Special Olympics is receiving the gold medal at the Spirit Games that are held every May in SCV. Daniel is a super team supporter. “We can beat these guys!” said Waters. “Go Sharks!”

 

Karissa Ganih is an energetic and enthusiastic Special Olympics athlete who has enjoyed her years in the program. She competes in bocce ball and volleyball, but tennis is dearest to her heart. “I have fun with friends. People are so nice to me and I learn a lot from the coaches,” Karissa stated.

When Karissa is not in the Special Olympics, she works full time locally.

 

Alondra Solis – College of the Canyons Women’s Soccer

The sophomore midfielder played an integral role in College of the Canyons’ 8-0 win against Allan Hancock on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Scoring the final two goals of the game for the Cougars, Solis assisted on two other scoring opportunities in the shut-out win.

Weston Eget – West Ranch Football

The senior quarterback broke West Ranch’s single-game passing yards record, throwing for 431 yards and five touchdowns on 14-of-32 pass attempts in Friday’s 46-14 win over Canyon. The previous record (412 yards) was set by Jackson Clark in 2014.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | October 4, 2018

Timothy Delifus remembers joining Special Olympics (SO) basketball when he was 17, and he still plays on the team to this day.

“Timothy is very fast and has endless energy,” said Timothy’s basketball coach, Brad Bowers.

Delifus also plays SO volleyball and floor hockey. He likes SO because, “It is fun and there are medals to win. I like to help my team by being a positive team player.”

In addition to Timothy’s SO athletics, he skateboards, dances, rides BMX and is a part-time custodian at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

 

Neda Rasmi has been a Special Olympic athlete since she was a teenager. According to Rasmi, she doesn’t care too much for swimming. “Swimming is too cold and wet,” Rasmi said. However, bowling and floor hockey are her favorite sports because she “can keep up with the boys.”

Rasmi is proud of her 10 gold medals, and she encourages those who qualify for Special Olympics to “Try it out, and it will energize you.” Rasmi is also in a local weekday work program.

 

 

Shelby Grubbs – Hart Volleyball

Pfeiffer set the pace for the third Heritage League meet held at Griffith Park last Thursday. Finishing in first place, Pfeiffer led the Knights boy’s cross-country team to a first place finish to begin the year 3-0.

Andrew Pfeiffer – Trinity Classical Academy Cross Country

Grubbs led the Hart girls volleyball team (15-2 overall, 7-0 in Foothill League) to a 25-15, 25-15, 25-7 three set win against Valencia last week. Grubbs finished with a team-high 13 kills and eight blocks.

Los Angeles Lakers Taking Shape in Preseason

| Sports | October 4, 2018

by Diego Marquez

LeBron James officially hit the court as a Laker this past weekend, losing to the Denver Nuggets in his debut with the purple and gold. Putting on a show in the 124-107 loss at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, James finished the preseason game with nine points and three assists for Los Angeles. The main takeaway from the debut is that with James on the court, the Denver Nuggets were outscored by one point, and without him on the court, they were plus-18.

Defensively, the Lakers gave up 66 points to the Nuggets in the first half, as JaVale McGee is the primary center with valuable experience serving as the shot-blocking threat. With McGee on the court, the Lakers jumped out to a five-point lead, and McGee finished as the team’s leading scorer with 17 points in 20 minutes of action.

Rajon Rondo also participated in the preseason game, and playing 23 minutes, Rondo was able to dish out 11 assists. With Rondo on the court, Los Angeles has a proven and tested ball-handler who can teach and help Lonzo Ball improve in every facet of the game. Brandon Ingram will look to benefit from the pass happy point guards as he will most likely be the second scoring option for the Lakers and first when James is not on the floor.

As a team, the Lakers finished the game shooting 32 percent from three-point on 8-of-25 shooting. Retaining Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and adding three-point specialist rookie Svi Mykhailiuk for Kansa, the Lakers figure the duo to improve their shooting percentage ahead of the regular season start.

Slowly, the Lakers are picking up head coach Luke Walton’s desired style of play, but it will take more than just one preseason game and a couple more headaches for the Lakers to look like the potential candidates to knock off the defending Western Conference and NBA Champions Golden State Warriors.

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani to Undergo Tommy John Surgery

| Sports | September 27, 2018

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right arm at the end of the season.

The team announced on Tuesday that the star will have the required surgery to mend the badly damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right pitching elbow. Renowned surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache is scheduled to perform the procedure in L.A.

Ohtani has played through the pain and injury, continuing to hit for the Angels as the “designated hitter” or “DH” after he found out about the injury in early September. During this span, Ohtani’s production has not slumped as he has hit five home runs since was diagnosed. On the year, he is batting .280 with 57 RBIs and 21 home runs.

On the mound, Ohtani has gone 4-2 with an ERA of 3.31 and 63 strikeouts in 10 starts this season for the Angels. The Japanese star’s bad luck couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, after both he and the team agreed that receiving platelet-rich plasma injections and stem cell injections wouldn’t hold up. Ohtani has been the Angel’s most effective starter up until the month of June, registering a .202 average and striking out almost a third of the batters he faced.

Even though Ohtani won’t be able to pitch competitively again until 2020, he is expected to return as the DH next season. With these types of injuries, the timetable for a return is unknown and varies from person to person.

Ohtani is the first player in MLB history to hit at least 15 home runs and strike out a total of 50 batters who he faced in a single season. The Japanese sensation joins Babe Ruth as the only two players to ever hit 15 home runs and pitch 50 innings. With the type of hitting performance that Ohtani has put on this year, as well as some quality starts on the mound, the Japanese wonder-boy is slated to with the American League Rookie of the Year award and should be on everybody’s radar by now, if he wasn’t already.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | September 27, 2018

Caroline Gibbs

Caroline Gibbs doesn’t know what she would do without Special Olympics sports.

“(Special Olympics) is fun and keeps me busy,” says Gibbs.

Caroline has been involved with the organization since she was a teenager, and the first sport she tried was swimming. Now Caroline’s favorite sport is bowling, but she also plays volleyball. She also attends a local day work program in Santa Clarita Valley five days a week.

 

Colbert Williams

Colbert Williams has been with Special Olympics longer than he can remember. He has been on the volleyball, basketball, softball, floor hockey, track, swimming, speed skating, skiing, and bocce ball teams. Colbert’s favorite sport is basketball, and his favorite moment was when he got the rebound and went back up to make the basket for 2 points. He feels tennis and golf may be the next two sports he will play.

Not only is he a participating athlete Colbert also coaches bowling. “I like Special Olympics because I can be with my friends and I like all of the coaches,” says Williams. Colbert also works at a Santa Clarita Valley grocery store.

 

Ethan Danforth
Canyon High School Cross-Country

Taking first-place in the 2018 Ojai Invitational at Lake Casitas Park, Danforth set a new course record finishing with the top time of 15 minutes, 54.7 seconds and a 5:18 mile pace. The Canyon boys team finished first overall out of the 33 team invitational.

 

 

 

Hailey Gomillion

The Master’s University Women’s Soccer

Scoring in the waning minutes of a game against Marymount California University, Gomillion’s game-winner gave the No. 24-ranked Mustangs the 1-0 win over the Mariners.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | September 20, 2018

Jorel Mills

Jorel Mills is 5 years old and a three-year veteran of the Special Olympics Young Athlete program. When he began the program, he was not yet walking and the Special Olympic coaches helped him motor through the obstacle course. Today, he is a lean athlete and is extremely active.

Jorel loves jumping exercises, kicking balls, and running through the obstacle course like a pro. Jorel is now an inspiration and a fine example to other beginning athletes in the Young Athlete program.

To find out about the Young Athlete sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities ages 2 to 7 years old, contact Wendy Ellet, Senior Manager Sports & Programs, Special Olympics Santa Clarita & Tri-Valley Regions at 661-253- 2121 or visit www.sosc.org/scvtv.

 

Christina Re

Christina Re is 6 years old and has been participating in the Special Olympics Young Athlete program since she was 3 years old. When she first started the program, she was resistant to participate, but as she slowly gained strength and confidence she willingly joined the activities. Christina now looks forward to her YA program and her physical and social skills have improved remarkably. Her favorite exercises are running and jumping.

 

 

 

 

 

Allison Hwang and Noelle Song West Ranch Golf

The Wildcat teammates tied for first place in the Foothill League girls golf meet No. 3 at El Caruso Golf Course on Monday. Finishing the day with a score of 4-over 41, the duo helped West Ranch finish third with a total team score of 214.

Ryan Camacho West Ranch Football

The senior running back broke school records by rushing for 330 yards and five touchdowns in this past weekend’s 56-0 win over Oak Park. Camacho broke the previous record set in 2016 by Jake Rice (289 yards and four touchdowns) by 41 yards.

Los Angeles Gets Spark from the Chargers

| Sports | September 20, 2018

by Diego Marquez

Taking care of business, the Los Angeles Chargers got their first win of the season this past Sunday in a 31-20 win against the Buffalo Bills.

Quarterback Rhilip Rivers was almost perfect in the first half, with only one pass attempt going incomplete. Going into halftime we completed 15-of-16 throws for 178 yards and three touchdowns.

Reading the right reads and calling the right plays and audibles, Rivers looked to be that gun-slinging cowboy he’s made out to be. Rivers finished the game, completing 23-of-27 pass attempts for 256 yards and three touchdowns.

His lead running back, Melvin Gordon, stole the show as the game plan called to dominate. Finding open space and big hole, Gordon was able to match his career high with the three scores. Scoring on a 20-yard run, Gordon added two receiving touchdowns to add to the day’s accolades in the win. He finished with 28 yards on the ground and caught six passes for 38 yards.

Austin Ekeler, Virgil Green and Mike also got involved in the game. Williams was able to haul down a touchdown, the first of his career. Williams seemed to be a receiver who Rivers is creating some chemistry with through his route-running and his big-catch abilities.

This year’s Chargers look skilled at multiple positions, and by taking advantage of favorable matchups, the skill positioned players like Gordon, Ekeler, Williams, Green and Keenan Allan to pull of the big plays. Whatever Ken Whisenhunt and his offense does, it will be exciting to see what type of performance they follow up with in the game against their next-door neighbors, the Los Angeles Rams.

Rams Debut New Look Offense, Defense

| Sports | September 13, 2018

by Diego Marquez

After finishing the season atop the NFC West with an 11-5 record in 2017, the Los Angeles Rams were surprise contenders for the Super Bowl title. Now, after the 33-13 demolition of the Oakland Raiders this past Monday, the Los Angeles Rams are making true of everyone’s predictions – or at least looking the part.

Let’s begin with the Ram’s defense. Allowing Oakland’s running back, Marshawn Lynch, to plow through the defense early in the game for an impressive touchdown run that featured him carrying numerous Los Angeles defenders into the end zone for the score.

But that was it. Other than the Lynch score and Jared Cook, the Raiders’ tight end, finished the game with 180 yards receiving on 9-of-12 targets and was a bright spot for the Raiders on a day that seemed to have a gloomy result. Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson finished with one reception for 9 yards and three catches for a total of 23 yards, respectively.

Adding defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and trading for Aquib Talib and Marcus Peters, the Rams bolstered their already stout defense that includes defensive backs Lamarcus Joyner and Nickell Robey-Coleman, along with defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, the Rams looked as formidable as any defense.

With defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in control of the reigns, there was no telling the lengths that this defense could go to be heralded as one of the all-time great defenses in the National Football League and it showed against the Oakland Raiders.

Third-year quarterback, Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes in the season-opening win for the Rams, one to running back Todd Gurley on a 19-yard shovel pass and the other on an 8-yard reception to wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Outscoring Oakland 23-0 in the second half the Rams showed why the team is considered one of the favorites in the NFC to make it to this year’s Super Bowl. The receiving corps of Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks adds another dimension of unpredictability for the Los Angeles offense. Combined with a defense that looks to already be a lot more improved than a year ago, it’s scary to think that this is only Week 1 and the Rams have just yet begun this year’s conquest of being the No. 1 team in the National Football League.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | September 13, 2018

Andrew Brito

College of the Canyons sophomore quarterback Andrew Brito guided the Cougars to their second win of the season with a 47-14 road victory over Grossmont College on Saturday.

Brito finished the game 19-of-28 for 368 yards and three touchdowns while connecting with six different receivers. He also rushed for 17 yards. Those numbers helped the Cougar offense amass more than 500 yards of total offense in the game. Canyons will return to Cougar Stadium for its 2018 home opener vs. Santa Barbara City College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept.15.

Kayla Tait

After dropping the first game of the match, Saugus Girls’ Volleyball player Kayla Tait willed Saugus to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Canyon on Thursday. Leading the Cents in kills (20) and in digs (21), Tait did a little bit of everything in the Cents’ win finishing the match with three aces.

“Kayla Tait is a tenacious athlete,” Saugus Volleyball Coach Zachary Ambrose said. “She wants to excel at everything she does on the court and in the classroom. Kayla currently leads the team in kills and digs.”

 

 

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | September 6, 2018

Tim Burch joined Special Olympics (SO) 13 years ago at age 12. Tim first started out with SO bowling and then decided to also join SO basketball. Burch does not have a particular favorite sport, as he likes both sports equally. Burch states, “In bowling, you play on a team and you score your own points.”

Tim’s bowling average is 125, and his best game high was 188, which he bowled in a tournament and won a gold medal.

Tim also enjoys playing basketball. Burch sums it all up saying, “Basketball is more like a team sport. I really like going to the different tournaments and playing against different SO teams. SO has made me better, it’s taught me to have good sportsmanship, I’ve made longtime friends, I have wonderful coaches who help me, and most of all, I have a lot of fun.”

Zach Johnson
Hart Football Quarterback

Johnson was electric guiding Hart to their first win of the season in the 31-27 win over Arcadia High School at College of the Canyons on Friday. Johnson accounted for 260 of the 373 total yards on the night for the Indians completing 18-of-31 passes, throwing for three touchdowns and running one in.

Hailey Gomillion
The Master’s University Women’s Soccer

Gomillion delivered twice over the past week. She opened up her scoring on the year with the game winner in the 85th minute of the home opening 1-0 win against Southern Oregon on August 31. She then followed up scoring her second goal of the year in the 3-1 Labor Day win against Benedictine Mesa on Monday. Gomillion is currently tied for the team lead with two goals five games into the season.

Chip Kelly’s UCLA Football Debut an Offensive Blunder

| Sports | September 6, 2018

by Diego Marquez

Opening up the season with a 26-17 loss to the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, UCLA first-year head coach Chip Kelly’s debut as an offensive mastermind didn’t go as planned. Jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter things looked good for the Bruins and Kelly. The lead was squandered after the Bearcats stormed back, scoring 17-unanswered points to lead at the half 17-10.

Wilton Speight, the Michigan Wolverine transfer, got the start ahead of highly recruited freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but Speight was knocked out after just throwing 8-of-12 completions. In his first action of his collegiate career, Thompson-Robinson looked shaky and like a true freshman. The offensive line did not help anything not allowing the quarterback to be comfortable in the pocket long enough to make some decent throws. He had trouble with ball security and even gave up a fumble that resulted in a Bearcat safety.

Combining for 100 yards of offense, the Bruins’ running backs, Kazemeir Allen, Joshua Kelly and Bolu Olorunfunmi, did what they could to help out the first-year quarterback, but they also ran into some trouble. Allen carried the ball five times for 74 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.25 yards-per-carry. Kelly was equally impressive, showing some flashes of brilliance finding the holes and gaps to run through and showing the ability to catch and use his hands out of the back field. Olorunfunmi ran the ball nine times out of the 21 total for the running backs, but managed to gain on 13 yards on those carries. He faired the worst out of the three running backs by missing gaps and running lanes to run through and hesitating allowing the defense to disrupt things in the backfield.

The receiver corps made up of Theo Howard and Caleb Wilson looked to be in mid-season form as Howard caught 5-of-6 pass attempts to finish the game with 52 yards receiving. Wilson equally looked good making adjustments time-after-time to make some unbelievable catches in the air by contorting his body. True freshmen Chase Cota and Kyle Philips looked the part of true freshmen not being relied on to heavily because of their inconsistency.

All in all, the UCLA Bruins need to work on multiple things ahead of the tough road game against perennial powerhouse Oklahoma, who just beat Florida Atlantic University 64-14.

USC Basketball Touts the No. 1 Recruiting Class in 2019

| Sports | September 1, 2018

After a disappointing 2017-18 season, going 24-12 overall and barely missing out on the NCAA Tournament, the USC men’s basketball team received a much-needed boost this summer with a very highly-talented and explosive 2019 incoming freshman class. Touting an already prized recruiting class with four top-10 players in the state of California, the Trojans’ head coach, Andy Enfield, is still hot on the recruiting trail for another top recruit in the state.

Boasting the 15th-highest ranked recruiting class heading into this season, the Trojans’ recruiting triumphs have improved with each passing year, ranking 31st in 2017, 34th in 2016 and 45th in 2015. Focusing on attracting local and top California players, Enfield has put forth a vision that rivals recruiting juggernauts with the likes of Arizona, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky.

The first commit to headline the 2019 incoming freshmen class is 5-star prospect Onyeka Okongwu from Chino Hills, California. The 6-foot-8-inch center is the No. 18 player overall in the country and the No. 1 player from the state. Okongwu is described as a stretch 4 who can bring up the ball and stretch the floor for his teammates. He is still developing his shot and post moves, but the ceiling is as high on the Chino Hills star. Leading the Huskies to a CIF-Division I state title, Okongwu averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks a game.

Committing shortly after Okongwu, the No. 2 player in the state, Isaiah Mobley from Rancho Christian followed suit. The 4-star power forward matched with Okongwu give the Trojans an already formidable back-court. His commitment comes on the heels of his father, Eric Mobley, being added to the USC coaching staff by replacing assistant coach Tony Bland. Mobley averaged 20 points, 11 and two blocks per game last season at Rancho Christian.

Adding to the already stacked, the Trojans secured commitments from two 4-star recruits after signing shooting guard Drake London from Moorpark High School and Max Agbonkpolo from Santa Margarita Catholic in Rancho Santa Margarita. London is the No. 76 player in the nation and No. 8 in the state, and a dual-athlete who plans on playing football for the Trojans as well as stepping out on the hardwood. During his junior season at Moorpark, London averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists per game last season. Signing shortly after London, Agbonkpolo a 6-foot-8-inch small-forward brings more depth and scoring to the already loaded class. He averaged 14 points, six rebounds and dished out five assists per game during his junior year at Santa Margarita.

Vying for a fifth 2019 in-state recruit, Enfield has set his sights on Sierra Canyon’s Cassius Stanley. The 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard is the No. 27 player in the country and No. 3 player in the state and led the Trailblazers to an open division and state championship this past season. In his junior campaign, Stanley averaged 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks per game among his notable stats.

Playing the waiting game, Enfield will look to end the year adding Stanley to a roster that features Okongwu, Mobley, London and Agbonkpolo, and the 2019 No. 1 incoming recruiting class.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | August 30, 2018

Casey Gilruth

Casey Gilruth is an athlete who likes to try new sports. He has been a four-year AYSO soccer player, a Special Olympics athlete in softball for one year, basketball for four years, floor hockey for one year, swimming for one year, bowling for 10 years, and golf for four years. Casey’s best game in bowling was a 203, and this year at the Vista Valencia golf course, he made a hole-in-one.

According to Casey’s coach, “Casey is a competitive athlete, a good sport, and fun to have on a team.”

Sophie Bobal

In last week’s 3-1 loss to Louisville, Sophie Bobal had a breakout game where she led the Wildcats in kills with 15, second in serves received (24) and digs (14). She was also third on the team in blocks (3) and aces, with one. Bobal is top-5 on the West Ranch girls’ volleyball team in all five categories.

Ryan Camacho

For the second week in a row, Ryan Camacho finished the game with multiple touchdowns in the home opener, a 54-0 shut-out win against John Burroughs. Carrying the ball six times in the contest, Camacho finished the game with 99 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Camacho later added an 80-yard interception return for touchdown to end the night with three total touchdowns.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | August 23, 2018

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Sean Coskran

Sean currently participates in Special Olympics golf, Strike Force bowling and SNAP (Special Needs and Peers) Sports ice skating. He juggles these activities with his work schedule at Carousel Ranch, along with a private ranch in Sand Canyon, but always loves to get out of his ranch attire and suit up for whatever sport is on his schedule.

Recently, Sean received a note from the Dave Chase, the Executive Director of SNAP Sports: “What a pleasure it has been lately to have you chipping in, and lending a hand at our Monday Night Skating class. Sean, you are a shining example of everything we try to teach at SNAP Sports!” Dave wrote. “We can’t take credit for it, but we are glad to have your wonderful smile and glowing attitude with us every week.”

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Charles

Megan has been participating in Special Olympics for 15 years. She started in 2003 at the age of 8. Over the years, Megan has competed in the bowling, swimming, gymnastics, field hockey, and basketball programs. Bowling is one of Megan’s favorite sports, and this year she has raised her average by 15 pins. “You can always count on Meg to give it her very best shot,” said coach Ken Charles, who is also Megan’s father. “She has a lot of enthusiasm.”

Not only is Megan a S.O. athlete, she is also a dancer. She has been participating in the special needs dance class for six years at Studio 84. She enjoys the challenge and rehearsing for the two recitals the class performs yearly.

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