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Highlanders blank Raiders for 16th straight rivalry game

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Highlanders blank Raiders for 16th straight rivalry game

Posted on 21 October 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The La Habra high football team claimed another City Championship, shutting out Sonora 40-0 Friday night at The Pit in La Habra.

The Highlander defense, which held Sonora to 104 yards of total offense, has been dominant for five consecutive games now.

They have outscored opponents a combined 227-17 during that stretch and have yet to allow a touchdown in Freeway League play thus far.

“When you get stops and get them off the field, it gives our offense a chance to score,” said Frank Mazzotta, La Habra head coach. “Anytime you can shut your opponent out, they have no chance of winning.”

Quarterback Zach Fogel moved the ball methodically down the field with both his legs and his arm most of the night.

For the third consecutive week, Mazzotta found spots to weave sophomore quarterback Ryan Zanelli into the Highlanders offense.

Zanelli again took advantage of his opportunities on the field, looking accurate from the pocket and leading the offense down the field.

Mazzotta acknowledged Fogel has been playing better than ever the past five weeks, but said he enjoys getting to see what his young quarterback can do against the opponents first teamers.  

“To me it’s fun,” he said. “I really have fun with it.”

Anyone who has been around the La Habra football program knows how much he likes to give all of his players an opportunity to shine on Friday nights.

With his fourth quarter touchdown pass to senior Steven Saucedo, Zanelli has found the end zone in all three of his appearances.

The Raiders kept the game within striking distance for most of the first half.

It was 12-0 with under two minutes remaining in the first half. That’s when Fogel scrambled left and found Mitchell Anderson in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard score to widen the gap.

A Nate Ulloa interception late in the third quarter set up Skyler Taylor’s 70-yard touchdown run on the very next play.

Taylor finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns.

La Habra (6-2, 3-0) will host last season’s League Champs, Buena Park (1-7, 0-3), who have been scuffling next Friday.

Despite the score, Sonora (5-3, 1-2) has vastly improved from a season ago, in which they were winless. The Raiders will take on Sunny Hills (6-2, 1-2) in a pivotal game for both schools next week at Buena Park High School.

“The thing I love is that these kids now give themselves a chance to compete with a team of [La Habra’s] caliber,” said Daniel Morales, Sonora head coach. “I’m proud of the work they put in all year to get bigger and stronger.”

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LH Chamber encourages shopping small, shopping local

LH Chamber encourages shopping small, shopping local

Posted on 02 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

With all the rush for holiday shopping this time of year, one of the initiatives by the La Habra Chamber of Commerce is Shop La Habra. la-habra-chamber-map
The Shop La Habra and Win campaign, in its fourth season, has recorded over $1.5 million in La Habra sales receipts.
According to La Habra Chamber President Mark Sturdevant shopping  local helps the community as a whole.
A portion of the sales tax money from purchases goes back to the city.
While the effort of the Chamber is to encourage shopping at all business in La Habra, there is the annual national campaign that started last Saturday to forgo the larger retailers and shop the local mom-and-pop shops within the city.
Small Business, or “Shop Small”  Saturday is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The first Shop Small Saturday, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, was held in Roslindale Village, Massachusetts in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday.
Small Business Saturday was originally sponsored by American Express and the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation, but has grown to a larger national effort and has brought in other sponsors.
The initiative has been a boom for small business. Approximately $14.3 billion was spent at small businesses in 2014 according to a survey conducted by American Express.
In 2015, about 95 million shoppers supported their neighborhood businesses across the country.
One of the ideas of Shop Small Saturday is introduce, or re-introduce, consumers to local businesses that are often over shadowed by the larger and more visible big-box retailers.
The La Habra Chamber takes this concept and looks to build focus to La Habra businesses and entice consumers to look for the local retailers.
The Shop La Habra contest encourages residents to keep their receipts from any sales transaction in La Habra and turn them into the chamber for raffle tickets.
“Anyone shopping in La Habra can participate, even if you live somewhere else,” Sturdevant said knowing that outsiders can help stimulate the local economy.
Sturdevent explained that for every $25 that people spend in La Habra  they will receive one free raffle ticket. Winner receives $1,000.

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Warriors roll past Raiders

Warriors roll past Raiders

Posted on 03 November 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The Troy offense proved too much for Sonora Friday, as Junior running back Cole Thomas rushed for three touchdowns in the Warriors  41-6 win over the Raiders at Fullerton Stadium.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Junior wide receiver Chigozie Anusieum seems to use "The Force" to stop Troy Mikale Hill as he runs past him at Fullerton Stadium Friday night. Anusieum scored the Raider's only touchdown of the game.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Junior wide receiver Chigozie Anusieum seems to use “The Force” to stop Troy Mikale Hill as he runs past him at Fullerton Stadium Friday night. Anusieum scored the Raider’s only touchdown of the game.

Sonora got on the board late in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Ryan Martinez connected with Chigozie Anusieum for a 9-yard touchdown.
The Raiders held Troy scoreless in the fourth quarter after Troy had scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters. Troy running back Skyler Taylor scored two touchdowns and quarterback Josiah Norwood picked up the other Warrior touchdown. Norwood was 11-12 for 216 yards for the Warriors.
Sonora will be on the road again for the last game of the season Friday against Fullerton at Fullerton

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Lady Raiders shut down La Habra

Lady Raiders shut down La Habra

Posted on 17 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

Defense was the point of emphasis, and one team’s superior defense was the difference between the La Habra Highlanders and the Sonora Raiders.La Habra at Sonora Basketball

The Sonora Raiders girls basketball team came in with their focus on defense and shut down the Highlanders for nearly two quarters en route to a 45-23 victory.

The Raiders finished the first quarter with a modest eight point lead, but the Highlanders stayed scoreless until three minutes left in the second quarter off of a layup from Ashleigh Bessler.

The Raiders experience has allowed them to build on their defensive schemes, which enabled them to apply intense pressure while maintaining flexibility.

However, for the Raiders, despite silencing their rival for first half of the game, they are still looking for ways to improve.

“In order for us to apply full court pressure, we got to score and we struggled on offense today. We didn’t move the ball very well, and we missed a lot of shots we have been making, so I think we were just nervous,” Sonora head coach Melissa Barajas said.

La Habra at Sonora Basketball

Meghann Henderson, one of the Raiders leaders and most athletic defender focused her attention on Highlander sharpshooter Emma Zener.

Zener struggled to find open looks and find a rhythm. The Highlanders poor ball control led to turnovers, minimizing La Habra’s opportunities to score.

Laine James started the game with a three pointer and was able to find a nice shooting stroke which led to a game high 18 points.

“We like her to be ready to catch the ball ready to shoot. She’s a threat every time she has the ball, she needs to look, to catch and shoot or attack,” Barajas said.

With the Raiders leading 16-2 through a half of basketball, the Highlanders had an uphill battle ahead of them.La Habra at Sonora Basketball

Amanda Cuervo was able to penetrate and attack the paint to help lead her team, but the Raiders steadily pulled away thanks to Marissa Dunn and James’ hot shooting in the third quarter.

The Highlanders offense began to break out, but at that point the Raiders had turned to the bench who also kept pace with the Highlanders.

“That’s what our strength has been all year. Our bench is great, we bring in some freshman, sophomores and juniors and they come in and they compete,” Barajas said.

The Raiders will play Sunny Hills on the road, and the Highlanders will welcome Buena Park on Friday.

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LH Art Association celebrates 60 years with new gallery show

LH Art Association celebrates 60 years with new gallery show

Posted on 04 September 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

In celebration of 60 years of serving the community of La Habra, The La Habra Art Association will showcase a new exhibit titled LHAA 60 Years and Beyond.  LHJ Buildings_0011
The exhibit includes a collection of photographs, memorabilia and articles  that chronicle the association’s 60 year history.
The show, curated by Timarie Santana and Luz Spanks, will run at the LH Habra Art Gallery from September 5-30.
The LHAA is a non-profit organization that is committed to promoting fine arts and providing a venue for artists to showcase their art and grow as artists.
Started in 1955, The LHAA holds year round exhibits, artist meet ups, art classes, demonstrations, drawing sessions, songwriting workshops and open mic sessions.
The La Habra Art Gallery is located at 215 N. Orange St. For more information call  (562) 691-9739 or email:

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Grupo del mariachi viene a La Habra

Posted on 01 March 2015 by La Habra Journal

Por Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Cerca de cuarenta niños se presentaron en el escenario de la Primaria Ladera Palma la semana pasada. Sonrieron con anticipación, nerviosos mientras alistaban sus instrumentos. Para muchos, esta fue la primera vez en la que presentaron hacia el público como parte del mariachi patrocinado por la escuela de La Habra.

Ladera Palma Get Fit and Move
El grupo inició en octubre del año pasado en la Secundaria Washington, dirigida por José Luis Rodríguez. En los tres meses de haber iniciado, el grupo creció y ahora cuenta con la participación de estudiantes de la Primaria Sierra Vista. Algo que Rodríguez espera que continúe.
“Me gustaría ver que sea algo en todo el distrito o incluso en toda la ciudad”, dijo con una sonrisa.
Rodríguez le presentó la idea del conjunto al director de la escuela Washington, Mario Carlos, a finales del año pasado. A Carlos le gustó la idea y trabajó con Rodríguez para unir el grupo.

Ladera Palma Get Fit and Move
Carlos explicó que uno de los retos al comenzar fue conseguir los instrumentos, pero gracias al apoyo de la comunidad y a la colaboración de la organización, ‘Boys and Girls Club’ se logró juntar lo necesario en donaciones.
“Me pregunté, ¿dónde vamos a conseguir todos estos instrumentos?”, dijo Carlos. “Me puse en contacto con Ofelia Hanson del ‘Boys and Girls Club’, ella nos apoyo y gracias a ella logramos conseguirlos.”
Los instrumentos que los estudiantes están aprendiendo son los siguientes: trompeta, violín, guitarra, vihuela, y guitarrón. Después de clases, Rodríguez le ayuda a los niños practicar sus instrumentos. Juntos practican el lunes y jueves, y los que tocan la trompeta practican días extras que son los martes y miércoles, ya que se tarda un poco más en aprender ese instrumento.
Para mejorar su practica, los jueves, Ernesto Molina de Mariachi Estrella de Jalisco se une con el grupo y les enseña aun más.
Iniciar un grupo mariachi juvenil no es algo nuevo para Rodríguez. El maestro de escuela jubilado comenzó un grupo similar en 1992, cuando trabajaba en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de El Rancho en Pico Rivera. Además, Rodríguez explicó que la realización de un mariachi también es algo que está en su sangre.
“Hay 120 músicos de mariachi en mi familia”, dijo Rodríguez. “Yo soy el único que se convirtió en un maestro de escuela.”
Crecer en una familia de músicos, Rodríguez aprendió a tocar los instrumentos. Y mientras él no siguió los pasos de mariachi de la familia, todavía estaba atraído por la música.
“Es parte de mi vida y de mi juventud”, explicó. “Está justo en mi corazón.”
Su pasión por la enseñanza es igual a su pasión por la comunidad.
“Mis hijos iban a la escuela aquí”, explicó. “La Habra nos ha ofrecido tanto a mí y a mi familia que siento la necesidad de ofrecerle algo a cambio.”Ladera Palma Get Fit and Move
Siendo maestro, Rodríguez comparte la importancia de la educación con sus estudiantes de música. Se les obliga a mantener buenas calificaciones para permanecer en el grupo.
Además, el idioma no es una barrera para los estudiantes que estén interesados. Explicó que siete de sus estudiantes no hablan español. Sin embargo, reconoce que a pesar del hecho de que no pueden hablar, ellos “lo pueden cantar bellamente.”
Rodríguez expresa que el aspecto más hermoso del grupo es que a través de la música ya no son personas divididas por idiomas y que puede esto puede lograr conectar las diferentes generaciones.
“Tenemos alrededor de 60 padres y abuelos en las reuniones y en las practicas”, explicó. “Los niños están jugando y los padres están cantando. Algo que nunca vemos en cualquier otro lugar “.
Pero para Rodríguez todo vuelve a los niños. Ayudándoles a descubrir, experimentar y crecer son las cosas que atesora. También ayuda a fomentar el trabajo en equipo.
“Les ayudamos a descubrir sus aptitudes porque todos tienen una”, dijo acerca de la formación. “Trabajan juntos y se siente seguros de si mismos. Les recuerdo que son un grupo y lo importante que es trabajar juntos, dependiendo de cada uno, porque al hacerlo se convierte la armonía”.

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LHHS students get ready to show off their ‘Pride’

Posted on 19 April 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal

LHHS_Theater_3At La Habra High School’s Pitlockry Hall a young female actress, part of the theater guild, releases soothing notes from her chest into the air, warming her voice to prepare for a long four-hour rehearsal.

The stage crew scurries on the set, dragging antique furniture around and placing stage props in a meticulous fashion, while other teenage students ramble on about normal high school gossip — awaiting instruction.

And at the sound of the teacher’s command the young actors and stage crew scramble to their positions. The dull room lights turn off; the vivacious stage lights illuminate the set, and in a whim the theater students transform into Victorian era Britons.

In its final production of the school year, beginning this Friday, the LHHS Theater Guild presents to the community — after a month of preparation — J.R. Sullivan and Joseph Hanreddy’s adaption of Jane Austen’s nineteenth century novel “Pride and Prejudice.”
“It’s a complicated love story,” Brian Johnson, LHHS theater director and teacher, said. “Our kids have worked really hard, and I’m excited to see what it looks like on Friday night.”

In her debut performance LHHS junior Juliette Stryker, 16, takes on the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet, displaying the grace and charm of the prideful character Austen created during a period when the female’s voice was seldom heard.

Stryker’s subtle acting yields truthfulness and a believable character, Johnson said about why he chose the budding actress as the lead role in her first ever production.

“She’s really charming to watch,“ he said.

The young student actress touts Austen’s leading female personality as an admirable character, praising her strength.
“Elizabeth is my role model,” Stryker said. “If there is anyone who I would love to meet, like a character out of a book, it would be Elizabeth Bennett because she’s … way ahead of her time.”

Complimented with this female role is another prideful yet wealthy masculine character.

Cast as the male lead in the play, senior Bernie Hefner, 17, is in his third year as an actor for the theater guild and finds the role of Fitzwilliam Darcy difficult because of the complexity of the text.

“It’s a really literate text, and it takes a lot of talent,” Hefner said, although he appreciates this version. “I think this adaption … explains the text without dragging it on so much.”

Darcy professes to find Elizabeth intolerable throughout the story, while Elizabeth’s feeling is mutual. But throughout the novel both characters run into each other eventually developing a relationship.

In typical British fashion, class plays a role in how the two characters pertain to feel about each other. Darcy is in the wealthy upper class while Elizabeth dwells below in the social hierarchy.

“I’m known in this as the original bad-boy, I guess. And the girl falls for the bad-boy,” Hefner said about Darcy’s character.
“At first they hate each other because they see that they are equally matched,” Stryker said. “But there’s like this weird attraction that they don’t quite understand, and they end up being together.”

In his ninth year at the helm of the theater guild, Johnson feels the year has been successful, raking in close to $100,000 in ticket sales.

“The audiences have responded well to our productions this year,” Johnson said about the guild. “There’s been a lot of buzz about the work we’re doing here.”

And although young Hefner describes the hard work the theater guild offers as tedious, he feels the stress of learning from the guild offers satisfaction with the results it produces.
However, the weeks of preparation from the youthful theater students seem to be yielding an enjoyable production, able to propel theatergoers into the midst of the nineteenth century with intelligent English accents and witty humor.
The production opens on April 19 at Pitlockrey Hall in LHHS and proceeds to play on April 20, 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. with matinees available on April 20 and 27.

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Ashly Hernandez: leads the pack in the hurdles.

La Habra Track comes up short against Sunny Hills

Posted on 04 April 2013 by La Habra Journal

Corinne Bell: arches her back as she climbs higher to clear the bar in the high jump.

Corinne Bell: arches her back as she climbs higher to clear the bar in the high jump.

La Habra’s track team hosted Sunny Hills Thursday afternoon. While the throwers (shot put and discus) won and the sprinters took the individual victory for the Highlanders, La Habra came up short in the distance and the jumping events and hurt them in the overall score on varsity.

However, the Highlander freshman/sophomore team notched up another team victory.

Brennan Ojeda: starts off the Highlander relay team.

Brennan Ojeda: starts off the Highlander relay team.

Alex Bush: spins and throws the discus against Sunny Hills in the  home meet Thursday.

Alex Bush: spins and throws the discus against Sunny Hills in the home meet Thursday.

Ashly Hernandez: leads the pack in the hurdles.

Ashly Hernandez: leads the pack in the hurdles.

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Gary Center receives $10,000 grant to help community

Posted on 24 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

The Gary Center recently received a $10,000 grant from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund.
The Grant is to help support of the Center’s supplemental food distribution program for La Habra residents.

This funding will help with the purchasing of foods like canned soups, veggies, fruits and meats, dried rice, beans and boxed cereal.
The Gary Center’s Food Distribution Program has helped struggling families meet immediate needs for food for the last 21 years.

Today the program serves approximately 175 families a week.

If you have a food need or would like to donate please contact us at For more information visit

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New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on 04 January 2013 by La Habra Journal
It’s that time of year again, time to make some resolutions for the new year. Here is a look at what resolutions some in our community are planning on keeping in 2013.

My major goal for 2013 is connecting with the folks in La Habra through my Mayor’s Community Hour. These hours will be held throughout the city at some of our local businesses such as banks, grocery stores, movie theatre, etc.
Rose Espinoza
Mayor, La Habra

1. To clean up my office so I have no more stacks on the floor and I can see my desk.

2. To finish the two quilts I started months ago, one of which HAS to be finished in January so it can be quilted in time to be auctioned off in June for a librarian scholarship fund.

3. To spend more time with friends and family.

4. To go to the Galapagos in the spring.

Jill Patterson
Branch Manager, La Habra Branch Library

My goal is to get re- elected and work with our new Council Members in the common goal of keeping our City in good financial health.
Brian Bergman
La Habra Heights Councilman

In 2012, I became a Cub Scout Den Leader when no one else volunteered. I quickly realized what a blessing this commitment would be to my soul. My New Year’s resolution is to help enrich the lives of these young boys and make their scouting experience as meaningful as possible.
Monika Koos
Former La Habra Housing/Redevelopment Manager

Enjoy the gift that is each day.
Stephen Blagden
La Habra Heights

We will continue to help improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities, and at the same time, make more of an effort to support our fellow La Habra non-profits.
Jason Cecil
Director of Development, HBIC

I would like to see in 2013 a promotion for a city-wide awareness with respect to childhood obesity. This is obviously a huge problem. I am working on developing the La Habra Obesity Prevention Task Force. The goal of this task force is to implement sustainable policies and programs that will reduce and prevent childhood diseases.
Rebecca French
Owner, Elite Fitness
La Habra

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to work each day to provide the kids of La Habra a safe and enriched learning environment.
John Dobson
La Habra City School District Board member

Hoping to keep my boxing gym door open and develop another world champion. Also, finish a documentary on my life experiences with my military and boxing background.
David Martinez
Director, La Habra Boxing Club

I resolve to send at least one e-mail or make at least one phone call per day to either a state or federal elected official to let them know that we need our school district revenues restored to at least 2007 levels in order to meet the needs of our children in La Habra and all across the state of California. That means a combination of 365 e-mails, letters, and phone calls for 2013! I think all these folks need to hear the same thing over and over again so that they will begin to prioritize education for our young people, who will be the key to a healthy and robust economy in future years.
Sharon H. Brown
President, La Habra City School District Board

To help get another couple of hundred students from La Habra and Sonora High Schools into college
Fred Lentz
Director, Advance!

1. Work for peace and social justice. Also happens to be my birthday wish. Although there will be no peace with the little critters that destroy my front lawn!
2. Get more involved in my community
3. Avoid making left turns from La Habra Blvd.
4. Petition King Taco to open a restaurant in La Habra, driving to East LA is too far!
George Edwards
Candidate for La Habra Heights City Council

My resolution is to play catch with my boys more often.
Tim Shaw
La Habra City Councilman

My New Year’s resolution is to use the District Website and social networking services more effectively to communicate positive District messages with parents and the community.
Susan Belanardo
La Habra City School District

To be more helpful and grateful to others.
Mark Sturdevant
President, La Habra Chamber of Commerce

Early to rise, saddle up and ride hard and meet the challenges each day presents. Inspired through the words of my Father-in-Law Tom Steves “ Just Get to Gettin’!” (get it done that is).
Liz Steves
La Habra City School District Board member

My New Years resolution is to bring greater awareness about the FRC so that all people in the community know that we are here to help and are available. We want all men, women, and teens to understand that they no longer have to feel alone or ashamed to seek help. We provide a family friendly environment and this is the one place they can come to where staff will listen and guide them. And it is my hope that this New Years resolution will provide many families and children with a brighter and prosperous New Year.
Helen Aceves
Manager, La Habra Family Resource Center

New Year’s Resolution is to strengthen the evaluation methods of our programs at The Gary Center.
Martha Lester
Executive Director at The Gary Center

My new year’s resolution is to make healthier meals for my family.
Peg Kelly
La Habra

my resolution is to do everything I can to help La Habra continue to be united as a community dedicated to helping each other improve their lives on a spiritual, financial, educational and physical health level.
Sandi Baltes
La Habra City School District Board member

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