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Registration Now Open for 2019 Howard Fisher’s Cougar Basketball Camp

| Sports | April 25, 2019

The College of the Canyons men’s basketball program invites boys and girls in third to eighth grade to participate in the 2019 Howard Fisher’s Cougar Basketball Camp, with two sessions running this summer.

Open to players of all skill levels, each four-day camp session will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to learn new techniques and strengthen current skills.

Camp meetings will be led by COC men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher, his staff of assistants and intercollegiate players from the eight-time Western State Conference champion men’s basketball program.

All major areas of basketball will be covered in detail, including: shooting, passing, ball handling, individual offense, defense, rebounding, and team play. Each camp session will be highlighted by fundamental instruction, skills contests, guest speakers and team competition.

Taking grade and age into account, each camper will be evaluated on the first day of camp and placed into groups that will allow them to maximize their opportunity to improve.

“This event is one of my most enjoyable responsibilities as a coach,” said Fisher, who just completed his 19th season at the helm of the COC men’s basketball program. “The Cougar Basketball Camp provides a fun, fast-paced environment for young people to learn the game, as well as meet new friends. Our staff strives to instill confidence in every camper, while making sure the sport of basketball is always fun.”

The 2019 Cougar Basketball Camp will run during the following dates and times:

July 8-11 — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (M/T/W/Th)
July 15-18 — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (M/T/W/Th)

All camp sessions will take place in the college’s East P.E. gymnasium, located on the COC Valencia campus. A $225 per-player registration fee applies to each session. Campers that register prior to the May 15 early registration date will save $25 per camper (registration must be received by 5 p.m. PST Wednesday, May 15, 2019).

Families with more than one camper can receive a discount of $20 for each additional child that registers by entering the promo code “Cougar2” at checkout.

All campers will receive a camp T-shirt. A written player evaluation and camp photo will also be provided at the end of the weekly session.

Campers are encouraged to bring their own lunch, but may also purchase a box lunch at an additional cost. A Jersey Mike’s box lunch option can be added for an additional $30 per camper per session (includes lunch for all four days of camp).

All proceeds directly support the COC men’s basketball program. To register for the 2019 Howard Fisher’s Cougar Basketball Camp, visit the COC Athletic website and complete the online registration form. Space for this year’s camp is limited.

For more information, contact COC men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher at (661) 362-3201 or howard.fisher@canyons.edu.

Athlete of the Week – D’Angelo Williams

| Sports | April 25, 2019

D’Angelo Williams is 22 years old and has been competing in Special Olympics (SO) for five years. He played softball (middle field position), floor hockey, flag football (line backer), and basketball.

D’Angelo’s brothers CJ and Laron have been instrumental in helping him play basketball. LeBron James of the Lakers is one of D’Angelo’s idols.

“Special Olympics has been good for me. I have autism and being in SO helps me meet a lot of new friends.”

D’Angelo attends College of the Canyons four days a week and has a job at a local SCV business.

Lakers Search for New Head Coach Begins in The Midst of Magic and Walton Controversy

| Sports | April 25, 2019

by Diego Marquez

It’s no doubt that the Lakers have been a hot topic for the NBA in the past couple weeks, but not in the way that most would expect. The President of Basketball Operations, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, stepped down from his position abruptly on Tuesday, Apr. 9 informing Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss, and the world through of his decision through Twitter.

Then the news broke on Monday about former head coach and now new head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Luke Walton, being accused of and sued for sexually assaulting a female sports reporter while he was part of the Golden State Warriors organization, according to TMZ.com. Even though Walton is not with the Lakers anymore, the recency of the split from the organization still intertwines the two. The Sacramento Kings have since released a statement saying they are aware of the situation.

All the while, the storied Los Angeles franchise is still searching for a replacement for Walton who complied a 98-148 record over the past three seasons. On Tuesday, the Lakers formally met with longtime NBA veteran and Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd, who most recently held a head coaching position for the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd was fired in Jan. 2018 after going 139-152 in his four years with the team.

Kidd is said to be the third head coaching candidate interviewed for the the Lakers position after speaking with Tyronn Lue, the former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, who was LeBron James’ most recent coach. Los Angeles has also reportedly met with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams, who was once at the helm for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Lakers last made the playoffs in 2013 and were bounced in the First Round of the Western Conference playoffs. And before the recent six years playoff drought had only missed the missed the playoffs four other times since moving to Los Angeles in 1961.

Ride the City Shuttle Directly to Dodger Stadium

| Sports | April 19, 2019

The City of Santa Clarita will be providing a bus service for SCV Dodger Day attendees this year. The SCV Dodger Day Shuttle will stop at two pick up locations on May 11. The first pick up location will be the Santa Clarita Metrolink Station, located at 22122 Soledad Canyon Road, with a bus departure time of 3:45 p.m. The Via Princessa Metrolink Station, located at 19201 Via Princessa, will be the second pickup location. The departure time for this stop is 4 p.m.

Depending on traffic, shuttle passengers can expect to arrive at Dodger Stadium at 5 p.m., enough time to collect your giveaway and find your seat before the 6:10 p.m. start time. After the game, passengers will have 45 minutes to make their way back to the bus before it departs for Santa Clarita.

The fare for the SCV Dodger Day Shuttle is $3 each way, and passengers can pay in cash, use a TAP card or pay through the Token Transit mobile app when they board the bus. To purchase tickets for the game, or for more information on SCV Dodger Day, visit SCVDodgerDay.com or contact Elizabeth Arambula at (661) 250-3734.

Athlete of the Week – Alfred Hernandez

| Sports | April 18, 2019

Alfred Hernandez is 58 and has been in Special Olympics (SO) for eight years. He has competed in soccer, basketball, and now flag football.

Alfred likes Special Olympics because, “I have made a lot of friends and I like to play sports.”

Alfred lives with his sister Annabelle Hernandez and she said, “SO gives him motivation and he does not forget a practice or game. SO puts me at ease that Alfred is happy. I am so grateful that the coaches and everyone involved are giving their time to volunteer.”

During the week, Alfred works at a local SCV day program.

Special Olympics (SO) Santa Clarita & Tri-Valley Regions enrich the lives of 1,400 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. For more information, visit www.sosc.org/sctv.

Magic Johnson Steps Down From Lakers Front Office

| Sports | April 12, 2019

by Diego Marquez

An NBA legend and revered businessman, Earvin “Magic” Johnson called a surprise news conference ahead of the Lakers regular season finale against the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday, announcing that he was stepping down as the President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson’s departure from the front office comes just two years after he agreed to come on and help the Lakers get back to their winning ways. Over the past couple years, Johnson has had a tumultuous time serving a role on the Lakers’ front office and has run into some problems with the league’s tampering policy – and has the fines to show for it.

“The fines and the tampering and the this and the that, I can’t help the young men who want me to help them, or I can’t tweet out,” Johnson said in an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “Like Russell Westbrook, that was a great feat the other day. I couldn’t even tweet it out to say, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ If I had did that, everyone would have said, ‘He’s tampering.’ I don’t like that. I like to be free.”

What was more shocking, other than the announcement itself, was that Magic did not inform his boss, nor Lakers owner Jeanie Buss of his decision to step down – noting that it would have been too hard to tell her face-to-face because of how close they are.

The move comes in the beginning of a very crucial offseason for Los Angeles, with the impending future of current Lakers head coach use Walton after going 98-148 over the past three seasons. What ever the case may be, LeBron and the Lakers will be looking for a bright spot in what seems likely to be a turbulent 2019 offseason the Los Angeles Lakers.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | April 11, 2019

Special Olympics (SO) Santa Clarita & Tri-Valley Regions enrich the lives of 1,400 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health.

This past weekend, SCV Special Olympics held the city’s first flag football tournament at Central Park. Four teams competed on two fields including teams from the South Bay, SFV, and SCV. The two highlighted guest athletes are from the SFV and they are best friends.

Jacob O’Sullivan

Jacob O’Sullivan (#39) is 23 years old and has been competing SO for three years. He loves sports and has been on the bowling, softball and flag football teams. The Sea Hawks and the Dodgers are Jacob’s favorite teams.

Jacob’s parents, Michael and Tammy, said, “The best part of SO for our son is that he is making friends and playing on a team. The best part for us as parents is the networking we do with other parents.”

During the week Jacob is in a Career Transition Center (CTC) where he rides the bus to work to his job at a local SFV market. He will graduate from that program in a few months and will then be looking for a permanent job.

Noah Croy

Noah Croy (#23) is 22 years old and has been in SO for 12 years. He loves sports and has been competing in basketball, swimming, tennis, golf, and flag football.

Noah’s mother, Tammi, said, “Special Olympics is so special because it gives our athletes something “typical” to do. Be on a sports team! Noah’s brothers have been on sports teams and now they can talk about his teams and how they are doing. We are very thankful for the opportunity SO has given Noah and all of the athletes.”

Noah is a huge fan of the Rams, loaded nachos, and he enjoys playing sports videos. He also attends the CTC program in the SFV and makes the drive to SCV to attend Young Life activities.

Paseo Aquatics Relay Teams Break Santa Clarita Records At SoCal Junior Olympic Championships

| Sports | April 11, 2019

Two Paseo Aquatics relay teams broke Santa Clarita Valley records and several swimmers had notable performances at the recent Southern California Junior Olympic Championships at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.

Facing some of the nation’s toughest competition, the 13-14 girls’ 200 Free relay swam the second-fastest time in SoCal Swim history with a time of 1:35.70, also in the process they broke both a Paseo Aquatics and Santa Clarita Valley record. Team members included: Riley Botton, Teia Salvino, Sydney Zancanaro and Cameron Snowden. The previous record was held by Canyons Aquatics (1:37.86).

In addition, Salvino earned her winter Junior National time in the opening leg of the 50 free with a time of 23.45 in the 200 Free Relay.

Boys’ 200 Free Relay team from left to right: Bryant Lee, Michael Lee, Daniel Jo, and Luke Bezanilla.

In the same 13-14 200 Free Relay event on the boys’ side, the team made up of Michael Lee, Luke Bezanilla, Daniel Jo and Bryant Lee took fourth place, breaking a Santa Clarita Valley record with a time of 1:31.10.

Individually, all four of the girls made the finals in the 50 Free with Paseo placing three in the Top 10. Salvino led the way with her second-place finish with a time 20th (25.53). In prelims, Snowden went a 24.80 to earn her first Sectionals time, which is the first stepping stone to national level swim meets.

In the Boys’ 50 free, two Paseo swimmers made the Top 15 overall, with Lee placing second with a time of 21.88 and Bezanilla 14th at 23.17.

The Girls’ 13-14 400 Free Relay team was seeded fourth heading into the finals race but was able to improve on that with an outstanding second-place finish with a time of 3:33.86.

Botton was fourth overall in finals in the 13-14 200 free with a blistering time of 1:52.33. Botton finished sixth in the 13-14 girls’ 100 Free (51.92) while Salvino was just ahead of her in fifth at 51.75. Salvino turned in an impressive time of 2:07.15 in the 200 IM, good for fourth place.

In the boys’ 100 Fly final, Lee was also fourth overall with a time of 53.41 and fifth in the boys’ 100 free final with a time of 48.34 while Bezanilla was 16th (49.88).

Luke’s younger brother Bret Bezanilla finished third in the 10 and Under Free with a time of 1:04.10. The 7-10 boys’ 200 freestyle relay team placed in the top 16 with a time of 2:08.05. Joining Bret on that relay team were Ian Ma, Josiah Cerera, Chase Renno.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | April 4, 2019

Michael Goodman is 20 years old and has been competing in Special Olympics (SO) for six years. He has participated in softball, bowling, floor hockey and basketball. Now he is apart of the new sport offered through SO, flag football.

“Special Olympics is a great community and all of the people are like a family,” Michael said.

Michael is on the Blue Sharks basketball team and is a point guard. He likes his basketball coaches, and says they have helped teach him how to dribble with his left hand. Michael practices at home so he is prepared for practicing with his teammates.

During the week, Michael works at a local SCV business.

Roberto Garza has been in Special Olympics (SO) since he was 9 years old. He competes in bowling, basketball and floor hockey.

This week, SCV Special Olympics is offering flag football for the first time, and Roberto will be on that team as well.

“I brought him to SO to be involved and to be sociable,” said Roberto’s mother, Alejandra. He has grown so much from SO and he has made great friends. I have met a lot of great people too, and SO is like another family.”

During the week, Roberto attends a local SCV school.

Dodgers Hit MLB Opening Day Record with 8 Home Runs

| Sports | April 4, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Dodgers 2019 MLB season started off with a bang on Thursday – literally.

Our boys in blue hit eight home runs on their way to a 12-5 dominating victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two home runs shy of the MLB record (10) hit by the Blue Jays in 1987, the Dodgers tied the franchise record in a single game and set a new club record for most home runs on Opening Day as well as the most number of home runs hit by players, also an MLB record.

“I think last year we spent a lot of time — not only with you guys [in the media], but within the clubhouse — talking about what happened in October,” said Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez in an interview with ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “This year we didn’t really do that much of that, if any at all. We were really focused from day one, and focused on this year, and taking care of the business that we have to take care of.”

Hernandez and Joc Pederson each hit two home runs. Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Max Muncy each hit one of their own in the Dodgers win. Their eight home runs matched the club record set back in 2002 and continue last year’s hot streak as the Dodgers led the National League with 235 home runs, setting a new franchise record in the process of making it to their second straight World Series.

“It’s probably not going to always be like that,” Bellinger said. “But it’s great to start off the season like that.”

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | March 28, 2019

Pierce Harlin is 17 years old and has been in Special Olympics since 2013. While he has competed in tennis and bowling, basketball is his specialty. Pierce is the youngest of five children and developed his athletic skills watching his big brother Brett play basketball.

Pierce’s position on the team is point guard. “Pierce has a good basketball IQ and we welcome him to our team,” said Coach Brad Bowers. Coach Dana Bowers said, “Pierce is eager to be a better player.”

“Special Olympics is where Pierce is allowed to participate and be fully engaged and not sit the bench,” said Pierce’s mom, Cheryl. “He is a part of a team.”

When there is a break in the action, Pierce can be seen on the sidelines dancing and doing his impersonation of Michael Jackson.

Pierce attends a local high school during the week.

Josh Cioffi has been in Special Olympics for 20 years. He has competed in basketball, bowling, track, soccer, swimming and floor hockey. Basketball is his favorite sport to compete in, although football is his favorite spectator sport – and the Chargers are “his team.”

Participating in Special Olympics is fun for Josh because he has made many friends and he likes his coaches. “I enjoy having Josh on the team. He is a good perimeter shooter,” said Basketball Coach Brad Bowers.

“He is very dedicated to his team,” Coach Dana Bowers said.

During the week, Josh is a member of a local day work program.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | March 21, 2019

Matheson (Mat) Walker began competing in Special Olympics during his junior high school years. Over the past 13 years, he has participated in track, bowling, and his favorite sport, basketball.

For the past four years, Mat had been out of SO, as he participated in Independent Living Skills (ILS) programs. The first program was UCLA Extension’s Pathway, where he lived in an apartment and attended ILS classes. The Pathpoint Community Independent Living Program was another program where Mat lived in an apartment, attended classes at Pierce, and received ILS services.

Mat attended the Taft’s Transition to Independent Living for the past two years, staying in the dorms and then out in the community in a house, again receiving ILS services.

“While we were happy that Mat was exploring his options for the past four years, we are very excited to have him on our team again,” Basketball Coach Brad Bowers said. “It is really amazing to see the progress he has made in those years. He is a go-getter.”

 

Micah Molacek, now 24, joined Special Olympics (SO) when he was 8 years old. He started out competing in swimming and now competes in basketball, bowling, floor hockey, and golf. Golf is his favorite sport and his father, Mike Molacek, coaches him.

“Micah is easy to coach and he loves to participate,” said Mike. Micah had a unified partner in golf and they won the gold medal.

Special Olympics Unified Sports, according to their website, “is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) on teams for training and competition.”

Micah likes SO because he gets to meet new people and develop friendships. During the week, Micah belongs to a local day work program.

Freshman Rachel Bowers Gets Playing Time with Boise State

| Sports | March 21, 2019

by Tom Pedersen

Canyon High grad Rachel Bowers has been a key contributor to the success of the Mountain West Champion, Boise State women’s basketball team. The freshman forward has played off the bench for the Broncos in every game, with 104 rebounds and scoring 195 points while leading the team with a .559 shooting percentage.

As league and league tournament champions, Boise State earned an automatic bid to the “The Big Dance.”

Boise State, 28-4 overall, plays the first round of the national championship tournament this Saturday in Corvallis Oregon. Their opponent will be Oregon State, 24-7 overall.

Angels Sign Mike Trout to Richest Sports Contract in History

| Sports | March 21, 2019

by Diego Marquez

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.

The deal is set to make be the most expensive contact in not only Major League Baseball, but the biggest in sports history. Trout would make $36 million per year and comes on the heels of the Philadelphia Phillies signing Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal last month. Trout is entering the fifth year of a six-year, $144.5 million extension and if he stays for the duration of the supposed contract, Trout will be near 40 years of age.

Over the course of 1,065 games, since his debut in 2011, Trout a .307 batting average, .416 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage while accruing 1187 hits and 240 home runs.

The Angels are known more hefty contracts, signing Albert Pujols to a 10-year $240 million contract and Josh Hamilton to a five-year $125 million dollars contract. Hamilton is no longer with the team. Pujols on the other hand is, and showed his contentment with the signing in an interview with ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

“It’s well-deserved,” Pujols said. “I don’t think there’s anybody in baseball besides him that deserves that [contract]. Trout is the best and the number speak for itself.

“I got mine in my time, and [I’m] just really excited, really pumped up for him and his family, for his mom and dad… just real exciting. To sign and be here hopefully for the rest of his career is gonna be pretty special, too.”

For the third consecutive year, the Angels are set to begin the season visiting the Oakland A’s for a four-game series beginning on March 28-31. Their home opener will be on April 4 against the Texas Rangers.

Los Angeles Rams Pick Up Free Agents

| Sports | March 14, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Rams have picked up two key free agents, including safety Eric Weddle on Friday, Mar. 8 and re-signing outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. on Sunday.

Weddle signed a two-year deal worth $10.5 million on the heels of reports that Lamarcus Joyner will be relocating to Northern California and sign with the Oakland Raiders. The six-time Pro Bowl safety will likely join Rams cornerbacks Aquib Tali, Marcus Peters and John Johnson to form one of the most formiddibale secondary units in the National Football League.

The 13-year veteran finished the 2018 season in his third year with the Baltimore Ravens with 68 total tackles, three pass deflections and one sack in 16 games played.

Re-signing Dante Fowler Jr. will cost Los Angeles $12 million for a one-year contract with incentives worth up to $2 million. Fowler returns to LA after getting acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a mid-season trade, in exchange for third-round pick in this year’s draft and a fifth rounder in 2020.

In 15 games played last season, the linebacker combined to record 30 total tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles between the Jaguars and the Rams in 2018.

With the two signings, Los Angeles fills key defensive positions and assures that Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will have the proper tools to once again have a problematic 3-4 defense in 2019.

Former Paseo Aquatics Standout Julia Wolf Helps Lead Indiana Hoosiers to Big Ten Conference Swimming Title

| Sports | March 14, 2019

Former Valencia High School and Paseo Aquatics standout, Julia Wolf, left California for the state of Indiana with a few goals in mind: most importantly, helping the Indiana Hoosiers win the Big Ten Conference Championship and a national team title.

Wolf is halfway to realizing that dream, as Indiana toppled conference foe and No. 2 nationally ranked Michigan to claim the Hoosiers first Big Ten Conference Championship since 2011. Wolf, a freshman, did her part by finishing fifth overall in the 50 Freestyle, 10th in the 100 freestyle and led off the 200 freestyle relay that won a Bronze Medal and set a new Indiana University team record.

Wolf began her swim career with Paseo Aquatics, coached by Head Coach and team co-owner, Chris Dahowski. She was also a High School All-American for three years at Valencia High School, before leaving to spend her senior year of high school in Bloomington, Ind., to get a jump-start on her college training. Wolf set several school and area records, and is the current Foothill League record-holder in the 50 Freestyle.

Wolf and the Hoosiers next move on to the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships, which run March 20-23 in Austin, Texas.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | March 14, 2019

Aaron Fox-Hanson and Jordon Hanson are brothers who compete in Special Olympics (SO). Aaron has been competing since he was 8 years old, but it took Jordon a little longer to get the competition bug.

Christine Fox, single mom to both young men, said of SO, “This program has given them encouragement, self esteem, and taught them how to interact with other athletes. They both love it.”

According to Christine, Aaron slowly but surely became interested in competing.

“It took a couple of years, but then Jordon tried track and field,” Christine said. “When Coach John Parks was coaching the younger basketball team, the Sharkies, Jordon decided to give basketball a try. Now Jordon wants to try every sport. I just had to be patient and let him get involved when he was ready.”

Brad Bowers, Aaron and Jordon’s current basketball coach, said, “Both of those young men enjoy basketball, and you can tell it when they play.”

Aaron is a huge Lakers fan and Jordon is a huge Kobe Bryant fan.

During the week, Aaron is in a local day work program and Jordon attends a local SCV high school.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | March 7, 2019

Charlie Kayne is 16 years old and has been in Special Olympics (SO) for eight years. He competed in basketball, bowling, track and swimming.

Charlie’s mom, Faye, said, “We appreciate SO because Charlie gets to participate in sports. SO offers a social opportunity for children and parents where they are not judged.”

“Charlie is a fun kid who is always smiling and is willing to work,” Coach Scott Schaefer said.

Charlie also participates in horseback riding at Carousel Ranch and attends a local SCV school.

 

Vanessa Planas has been in Special Olympics (SO) for nine years. She competes in bowling and basketball. Vanessa feels that SO helps her make friends.

“She is a very talented basketball player and has good skills,” Coach Scott Schaefer said.

Vanessa also competes in VIP soccer and is an animator. She attends a local SCV high school.

Lakers’ and LeBron’s Playoff Chances Fading

| Sports | March 7, 2019

by Diego Marquez

After Monday night’s 113-105 loss to the Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of getting into the playoffs are slim to none. The Lakers sit in the No. 10 seed in the West 5.5 games in back of the eight and final playoff spot, with 18 games left to play in the regular season – and the road doesn’t get any easier.

Los Angeles has the seventh-toughest remaining schedule, facing just five teams that have a sub.-500 winning percentage, and since the Lakers lost to the Clippers for a second time in a year, they cannot own the tiebreaker or the better division record and sneak into the playoffs.

The performance sparked rumors that LeBron James will “shut it down” or be on a minutes restrictions the rest of the season, with the possibility of making the playoffs in the rear-view mirror. Following Monday night’s loss James had this to say in a post-game interview with ESPN:

“That would take a lot of convincing from Luke [Walton] on up,” James told ESPN, referring to the Lakers coach, as well as (most likely) everyone from general manager Rob Pelinka, to president Magic Johnson, to governor Jeanie Buss. “Unless I’m hurt, I’m not sitting games.”

It is still unclear whether or not the Lakers will seriously look at shutting down James or pulling back his minutes the rest of the way, but with James averaging 40-plus minutes in five out of the eight past games, it looks likely that the king will be sitting on his throne a lot more as the season winds down. The Lakers host the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and then host the Boston Celtics at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Local Team Wins State Cup

| Sports | March 7, 2019

A local club soccer team won the prestigious Cal South State Cup tournament over the weekend. It’s the first such title for the club, the coach said.

The girls 2007 team from Fútbol Foundation Santa Clarita outscored its opponents 31-5 in eight games to capture the Governors Division. Sixty teams started the tournament, and FFSC was left standing after beating the Apple Valley Soccer Club Storm 3-2.

Kayla Lugo led all team members in goals, and goalie Sierra Cordola amassed five shutouts and even scored a goal in the final.

Other top players include twins Gianna and Bella Costello. Gianna assisted on Bella Bruno’s goal in the final, and Bella Costello helped anchor the defense. Ava Magana scored the first goal in the final.

At this age, the teams field only nine players at a side and play on smaller fields. Coach Adam Waddell said FFSC will move up to 11-on-11.

Athletes of the Week

| Sports | February 28, 2019

Jenny Barlog is 14 years old and has been in Special Olympics (SO) for five years. Not only does she compete in SO bowling and basketball, she is also involved in VIP soccer and rides horses at Carousel Ranch.

Jenny’s grandmother was a college basketball player and taught Jenny how to play the game.

“Special Olympics made Jenny a better basketball player. We love the coaching and Jenny loves them too,” said Jenny’s mom, Jo Ann. “Special Olympics helps with Jenny’s social interactions and the program gets her out of the house and keeps her active.”

During the week, Jenny attends a local private school.

 

Derek Schaefer began his involvement with Special Olympics at the age of 8. Now, at 13 years old, he competes in basketball, golf, softball and bowling. Derek loves golf and the Dodgers.

“Special Olympics helped Derek come out of his shell,” said Derek’s mom, Cindy. “He was a bit shy.”

Derek’s dad, Scott, not only coaches Derek’s basketball team, but his golf team, as well.

“I am really impressed with his interaction with the other athletes,” said Scott. “He has really blossomed.”

Derek attends a local SCV school.

Free Agency Talks: Harper and Dodgers

| Sports | February 28, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Dodgers and free agent Bryce Harper contract negotiations continue to build steam after news that the Colorado Rockies and Nolan Arenado agreed to an eight-year $260 million contract that would dish out $32.5 million annually to the third basemen. The deal would surpass Miguel Cabrera’s record deal that paid him $31 million average per year and is only second to pitcher Zack Greinke. The signing of Arenado is precarious because that gives the Dodgers more wiggle room and a bigger offer now that Arenado is out of the picture.

Los Angeles is in a serious standoff with the Philadelphia Phillies, but rumors have spread that Harper and the Dodgers were able to meet in Las Vegas over the weekend with the hopes that Harper would come to a decision by the end of the week. The outfielder is currently batting .279 for his career, has hit 184 home runs, 521 RBI and was named the MVP in 2015. Harper’s agent Scot Boras has not only praised Harpers work on the field, but also highlighted some of his off the field contributions to an organization in a statement earlier during free agency.

“Harper’s bazaar has begun and it’s fashionable, it’s historical, it’s elite and global,” Boras said in a statement earlier during free agency. “You’re in a category of talent that is rare, a generational player, an iconic player. For his past franchise in Washington, the attendance went up over 600,00 fans and remained there. There TV ratings have nearly tripled. Their franchise value went from $480 million to over $2 billion. You’ve seen an owner’s dream happen before you. For an owner to know the rocket ship of economic opportunity is just blasting off because the player is just entering the prime of his career — you’re talking about just a unique and rare opportunity for an owner.”

The 25-year-old All-Star is in the prime of his career and looks to continue his legacy with a strong franchise for a long time. Will Harper end up being a Dodgers, we will just have to wait and see.

UCLA Baseball Begins 2019 Season with Sweep of St. John’s

| Sports | February 21, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Bruins baseball team got off to a fast start, beginning the 2019 season with three consecutive victories against St. John’s to sweep the three-game-series between Feb. 15-17. The No. 4 ranked UCLA team allowed just three runs over the three-game span, while bringing in 23 runs to cross the plate. Two of those three runs came in the season opener where the Bruins came away with a 3-2 victory. Down 2-0, the Bruins battled back in the sixth and seventh innings thanks to First Team All-American Chase Strumpf and Jake Pries, who each brought in a run in the come from behind victory.

In the second game of the series and the series clincher, UCLA’s hitting woke up scoring nine in the shutout victory for the Bruins. Matt McLain, Pries, Kreidler and Noah Cardenas all finished with RBIs in the second inning to extend the Bruin lead to 4-0. In the sixth inning, Jeremy Ydens singled allowing Kreidler to score to extend the lead to five runs. With the lead, Hart High grad and Bruin pitcher Jack Ralston pitched a brilliant game throwing six shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out seven and walking one. UCLA would score four more runs in the seventh to add insult to injury to secure the series win with one game left.

Missing their season total by one run, the Bruins had 11 batters cross the plate in the final game of the the three-game series with St. Johns in an 11-1 victory. Kyle Cuellar, Chase Strumpf and Garrett Mitchell all finished the game with two RBIs apiece, while Ydens, Toglia, McLain and Will McInery all had one UCLA batter cross the plate. Pitcher Jesse Bergin pitched a six-inning beauty, allowing just two hits while striking out nine batters over the course of facing 21 batters and allowed the bullpen to do the rest of the work.

Just three games into the season, the Bruins are proving to the rest of the NCAA why they should be mentioned among the league’s best programs, scoring 23-3 runs over 27 innings while not allowing any earned runs to cross the plate.

Los Angeles Lakers Busy During Trade Dealdine

| Sports | February 14, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The 2018-19’ NBA trade deadline came and went and still the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves without one of their most prized targets, New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis. Instead the Lakers turned their attention towards other key role players. The Lakers got the ok when Davis intentionally made a trade demand 10 days before Thursday’s trade deadline. All indications pointed to a clear and cut decision that Davis wanted to join the Lakers and play alongside fellow superstar, LeBron James.

Things didn’t go as planned.

The Lakers’ initial lowball offer stunned the Pelicans organization and Los Angeles raised their offer to multiple first-round picks along with much of their young core like: Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Still New Orleans wanted to get more out of the trade for their superstar. It is reported that they wanted a couple of first-round draft picks, something that the Lakers were not willing to give up. The Lakers wound up turning their attention to acquiring established role players to try and fit around James and the rest of the young Lakers core by trading for guard Reggie Bullock and center/forward Mike Muscala.

Bullock was acquired on Feb. 6th from the Detroit Pistons for Svi Mykhailiuk and a future second-round pick. With Bullock, the Lakers add some depth at guard while he is avergaing 12.1 points, 2.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in his sixth year in the NBA. On Feb. 7th, the Clippers and Lakers made a in-city trade, the Clippers traded away center Mike Muscala and received Lakers forward Michael Beasley and center Ivan Zubac. Muscala is an interesting add because he can stretch the floor for the Lakers shooting 34.2 percent from 3-point range and attempts 6.9 3-point shots per game. Muscala also has an expiring contract meaning that the Lakers could go after another prized free-agent this off season if things did not work out after this year.

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