Archive | January, 2016

Raiders sweep Highlanders

Raiders sweep Highlanders

Posted on 30 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boy’s basketball team’s high pressure defense was too much for La Habra to handle early, giving the Raiders a giant first half lead that the Highlanders couldn’t overcome, despite a much improved second half performance on Friday night at La Habra.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

The Raiders employed a full-court press to open the game and the plan worked to perfection, spurring a lopsided 40-11 lead at the half. The Highlanders half court offense found success in the second half, but the massive deficit proved to be insurmountable as the Raiders coasted to a 58-39 victory.

The Highlanders could not find an answer for the Raiders constant pressure and trapping early on. The Raiders intense on-ball pressure held La Habra without a field goal in the first quarter and spurred a 16-1 lead after one..

Guards Kevin Marlow and Bryce Rutledge set the tone defensively, coming up with three steals apiece before the break.

“We’re trying to play a little bit faster, we’re trying to create some offense with our defense– I think we are better that way,” said Sonora Head Coach Mike Murphy.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

Murphy’s game plan led to 15 Highlander turnovers in the first half.

The Raiders also dominated around the basket on both ends of the court. Center Steven Riley patrolled the paint and cleaned up the glass on the defensive end, while forward Austin Carter gave the Raiders second and third opportunities with his relentless approach on the offensive end.

Carter posted nine points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the first half. Riley went into the break with five points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Murphy called off the press after the Raiders added a couple baskets to start the second half.

Without the pressure, the Highlanders were finally able to get into a rhythm with their half-court offense, outscoring the Raiders 15-11 in the third quarter and 13-7 in the fourth.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

“We got up 35, so we stopped pressing, we stopped trapping,” Murphy said. “It was an impressive first half and a very, very average second half.”

Midway through the third quarter the Highlanders were able to get the ball to center Chris Breen, who scored all six of his points during a five-minute stretch.

Guard Ozzie Villanueva added six points in the second half as well. The Highlanders seemed to have found something with Breen down on the block and Villanueva hitting shots from the perimeter, but it took them over three quarters and the damage had already been done.

Breen said the game plan coming into the game was to attack from the perimeter because of the Raiders size advantage, but he thinks that they will focus on getting the ball into the paint more the final two weeks of the season.

Riley finished with a game high 11 points and seven rebounds for Sonora. Carter added nine points and seven rebounds. Both players had impressive games considering they sat out much of the fourth quarter.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

Still looking for their first Freeway League victory, the Highlanders (7-14, 0-5) will be on the road to take on Buena Park (18-5, 5-1) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

With the victory, the Raiders (14-9, 4-2) remain just one game back of first place Buena Park. They will be at home against Sunny Hills (11, 4-2) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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Lady Raiders leave no doubt

Lady Raiders leave no doubt

Posted on 30 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora girl’s basketball team played like they were in a hurry, ultimately deciding the game prematurely with a 41-point halftime lead en route to a blowout victory and season sweep over city rival La Habra  Friday evening.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

The Lady Raiders jumped out to an eye-popping 50-9 lead at halftime. Sonora utilized full-court defense and the intense on-ball pressure.

After falling to Sonora 45-23 just two weeks ago, the Lady Highlanders expected another difficult contest, but La Habra Head Coach Frank McCarroll felt his team could have played much better.

“When you get beat as bad as we got beat, there are not really any positives anywhere, but you have to learn from your mistakes, learn from that level of competition and just get better,” McCarroll said.

Guards Meghann Henderson and Marissa Dunn fueled the Lady Raiders on both ends of the court. Henderson had a game high 21 points and Dunn finished with 14. Their defensive pressure forced La Habra into 14 turnovers in the first half.

The Lady Highlanders were unable to take advantage of their size inside. Sonora trapped the ball handlers coming up the floor, which prevented La Habra from getting into their half court sets consistently.

Quick rotations and occasional double teams helped Sonora deny the ball to center Ashleigh Bessler and forward Amanda Cuervo in the paint. Cuervo finished with a team high seven points.Sonora at La Habra Basketball 2016

The Lady Highlanders (15-6, 3-2) have an opportunity to heal their wounds and get back on track next week when they matchup against the bottom two teams in the Freeway League. They will be at Buena Park (2-15, 0-4) on Wednesday at 6 p.m., and Friday they will be back at home to host Fullerton (7-14, 1-4).

Sonora (18-2, 3-1) remains one game in the loss column out of first place. Wednesday they have a home game against Sunny Hills (8-14, 2-4). The Lady Raiders will then have a chance to pull even with Troy (16-5, 6-0) for the Freeway League lead on Friday at 6 p.m. at Troy High School.

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Soccer ball on grass

Raiders beat Coyotes

Posted on 30 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

Raiders’ boys soccer team battled back to beat the Buena Park Coyotes 4-2 to remain unbeaten.

Soccer ball on grass

Soccer ball on grass

After falling down 2-0 on the road versus Buena Park, the Raiders chipped away at the Coyotes before sending the game into overtime.

“That’s where the leadership comes from, from a bunch of seniors. You have a lot of seniors who’ve been there, done that,” Witt said.

In overtime, the Raiders kicked the door down, scoring two to win 4-2

“They didn’t have a lot of fight left in them,” Witt said.

Trailing with 15 minutes to play, feelings of doubt began to creep in. However the Raiders were able to take advantage of a counterattack giving them numbers headed towards the goal.

The Raiders needed to work hard to possess the ball, due to the narrow field the Coyotes use.

“This field is a very hard field to play on, it’s very narrow, you’re right on top of each other,” Witt said.

They also dealt with a setback with Blake Tourville starting with Bronchitis. Tourville’s energy level was low, and the Coyotes took advantage of it.

“We were too nervous, we had to stay composed. When we freak out, that’s when the goals come,” Anton Cervantes said.

Cervantes, a captain moved to centerback in order to sure up their defense for Tourville.

“I think he played phenomenal for us in the middle,” Witt said.

However, as the Raiders adjusted to their circumstances, they began to be successful.

The Raiders first goal came off of a free kick by Kyle Huitt. Huitt’s ball sailed in front of the goal, but as the Coyote defender tried to clear it with his head, the ball continued towards the goal, into the net over the keeper.

The Raiders needed to rely on early crosses in order to handle the narrow field if they wanted to continue to score.

The Raiders tied it up with minutes to play in the second half on a goal from Frankie Alvarez. A Raider midfielder dummied a pass to Alvarez, who dribbled to the side of the goal, before slotting a shot which ricoched off a Buena Park defender into the goal.

“What a great individual effort by him,” Witt said praising his effort throughout the game. Witt was also proud of the attacking effort of Jose Valenzuela who tormented the Coyote defense.

The Raiders two overtime goals came in the first few minutes of overtime. Jessei Rodriguez scored on a header in front of the box, then Erik Estrada scored on a low shot that slipped through the hands of the Buena Park goalkeeper.

The Raiders win keeps them atop the standings in the freeway league as they prepare for the second round of league games.

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La Habra at Sonora Basketball

Raiders open league with win over Highlanders

Posted on 17 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

The Raiders and Highlanders kicked off the Freeway League season with a closely contested game on Wednesday night at Sonora.La Habra at Sonora Basketball

The Highlanders played the Raiders tough but Sonora pulled away during the third quarter to win 64-50.

Heading into the third quarter, the Raiders held a three point lead, with a spirited Highlander crowd behind their team.

The Raider bench led by Josh Saucy and Sean Murphy provided the spark Sonora needed to get the victory.

Saucy’s energy created easy opportunities and extra chances as the Raiders found their shooting stroke.

“(Saucy) gave us a lift, because neither one of our big guys were playing well,” Sonora head coach Mike Murphy said.

The Raiders outscored the Highlanders 18-7 in the third quarter to create some separation.

The Highlanders were able to respond in the fourth quarter, led by Devin Howlin. Howlin scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, but was unable to bring his team back.La Habra at Sonora Basketball

With many of the Raiders playing in their first league game Kevin Marlow’s leadership was important to keep the Raiders on track.

Marlow led the Raiders second half charge with five points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth, he finished with a team high 17 points.

“Kevin Marlow was, you know, Kevin Marlow, we’re going to get that pretty much every game. He’s by far our best scorer,” Murphy said.

The Raiders needed to rely on timeouts in order to communicate and make changes as a result of their youth.

“We’re so young and inexperienced. The players can’t (make adjustments) by themselves yet, they can’t organize an offense, they can’t make sure we’re in the correct defense,” Murphy said.

That inexperience made the Highlander crowd even more effective in disrupting the Raiders flow and communication.

The Highlanders played their best during the first half, where their defense was at its peak.La Habra at Sonora Basketball

“I thought we were doing a good job at being quick. We looked at the film, at what they like to do, so we responded well to that, and I thought we were able to control them for the most part,” La Habra head coach Dave Ploog said.

Every team in this league is familiar with the other teams’ play styles, which make games very even.

“Any win this year is a good win,” Murphy said.

The Highlanders finished 0-10 last season against the Freeway League but have shown improvement game by game.

“We’re not the same team, but we have a lot of the same guys. We’ve really matured, we’ve grown up, still we got  a long ways to go with some of the small things, but I’m happy with our strides, and I think we’re going to keep getting better,” Ploog said.

The Highlanders host Buena Park in their next game, while Sonora will travel to Sunny Hills.

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Sonora at La Habra girls soccer

Lady Raiders give up late goals to Lancers

Posted on 17 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

Untimely defensive miscues doom the Raiders against Sunny Hills, as the Raiders dropped a home game 2-0 against the Lancers.Sonora at La Habra girls soccer

The Raiders (0-2) and Lancers (1-0-1) were neck and neck through 65 minutes of soccer, with the Raiders quieting a persistent attack from the Lancers.

“It was an evenly matched game and both teams showed strong desire to win,” head coach Jeff Gordon said.

But in the 66th minute, the Lancers were able to use a corner kick to create a scoring chance.

“We knew what they were going to do,” Jorge Montalvo said.

“It’s  kind of a percentage thing, we had like 30 of them, we believe that eventually something is going to go in,” Gordon said.

The Raiders were able to block the initial cross, from Emily Miramontes, but Miramontes collected the ball again. With her left foot, she sent a ball in front of the box near the back post.

The coaches warned their team about back post runs, and sure enough it was a back post run that beat them.

The cross found feet as Jewels Zuniga was able to tap in the Lancer’s first goal.

“It was a great left footed cross, and a left footed finish,” Gordon said.Sonora at La Habra girls soccer

With the Lancers up a goal, the morale of the Raiders dropped and their energy level dipped.

“We have to look to the captains to keep everybody focused,” Montalvo said.

With the Lancers riding the confidence from their first goal, they quickly put the pressure back on the Raiders.

Sierra Chhoeung dribbled through defenders in front of the Raider goal, where she chipped a shot into the top left corner of the goal, out of reach of keeper Aerin Herrera.

The two goals were only separated by a minute and a half, but it was enough time for a tied game to quickly stretch to a seemingly untouchable two goal lead.

The Raiders would ultimately fall 2-0 against a stout, rejuvenated Lancer defense.

“We were patient today, sometimes you’re chasing a win so badly that you know you can never catch it,” Gordon said.

At 0-2, the Raiders will be faced with another tough challenge, facing Troy on the road.

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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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Raiders too much for Highlanders

Raiders too much for Highlanders

Posted on 17 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

La Habra soccer appears to be on the rise as the Raiders and Highlanders met in a tightly contested battle. However, Sonora proved too much for the Highlanders winning 2-1 in boys soccer.

“It’s a little scary coming right out of the gates against your cross town rival, I think it took us a little while to settle in,” Sonora Head Cach Corey Witt said.

After both teams were held scoreless in the first half, the Raiders opened it up with two goals.

Frankie Alvarez scored in the 42nd minute, then Erik Estrada scored in the 54th minute.

 Witt sighted a little bit of rust and nerves from his team as they settled in, but was overall please by the way his team handled the pressure.

La Habra got in on the action, scoring their only goal in the 50th minute off of a shot by Cesar Coronado.

Coronado and Christian Bribesca’s performances were praised by their coach.

“He’s more than just a role player for us. I think when he’s on, we play much better as a team. Both of those guys, they both play in the middle, they both kind of dictate how well we’re going to do,” La Habra Head Coach Joe Lurker said.

As the Highlanders captains they are looked upon to be the team’s engine.

The Highlanders were able to keep the pressure on the Raiders the entire match, but were unable to come up with an equalizer to extend the game.

“If you add up all the chances for both teams, it could have gone either way,” Lurker said, “it was exciting to watch, at the end I think it should have been a six to seven game.”

The Raider defense held strong despite the strong effort from the Highlanders.

“They wanted to make sure they won, by getting a little scared at the end,” Lurker said.

The Highlanders have been working on improving the team culture and developing more mature players, but they look to be headed in the right direction.

“We started last year and struggled with (the culture change), and this year we’re on the cusp of breaking through. I think this year and the future of La Habra is looking very exciting,” Lurker said.

The Raiders and Highlanders won’t have a chance to rest, Sonora faces Sunny Hills on the road, and La Habra will host Buena Park.

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LHHS gets some good news

LHHS gets some good news

Posted on 14 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

School officials were notified that they reached academic progress goals and off program improvement status.

By Jane Williams
La Habra Journal

It was Monday, January 4, and all the doors at La Habra High’s office wing were locked up tight. It was an in-service day for teachers and no students were expected on the campus, but the teachers were supposed to be working.  Suddenly boisterous clapping and unrestrained cheering could be heard coming from the theater.  Zener Twists like a Churro-1
Principal Karl Zener had just announced the school had for the second year met all its Adequate Yearly Progress goals.
“You did it. First you made this a great place for kids, and this is the result. We are the only school in Orange County to do that two years in a row,” Zener explained to the faculty and staff.
Adequate Yearly Progress is the measure by which schools, districts, and states are held accountable for student performance under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
All Title I funded schools that do not make AYP are identified for Program Improvement under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  Schools that are in PI must develop an improvement plan to achieve the AYP goals.  They must also continue to notify the parents of the school’s status.
Zener explained that in terms of NCLB and federal law it means LHHS is no longer in Program Improvement Status and can “shed this negative label” and that they are free from PI requirements and oversight.
“For our school and community, it means we have demonstrated we are a great academic school and join only Sunny Hills and Troy in our district that are not PI schools,” Zener added.
Zener described to the staff how it pained him each year he had to sign and send out a letter to parents saying that while La Habra was a great high school, it had not made adequate yearly progress.
The goals are set for top students, average students, English learners and those with learning disabilities. All groups have to meet their particular goals. Since La Habra was still in program improvement, parents of students in the school’s attendance area were free to transfer to a school, which is not in PI.  He explained that they hasdlost a few families because parents chose to send their student elsewhere.LHJ LHHS vs WCHS Basketball 2016
Zener had given every member of the staff a copy of the letter he had needed to send out each year to parents notifying them of their status.  He held his paper up and began instructing the staff to roll it like a hot dog, followed by instructions to twist it like a churro and then to mash it like a lunch bag. At that point he instructed them all to throw it out since the school no longer needed them.
“I’m incredibly proud of and also in awe of your accomplishments,” Zener added to the staff. “It is a unique time to be at La Habra High. I feel so proud. It just proves if you do good things for kids great things happen.”
Zener explained that he was informed the week before winter break that they did not make AYP. He said they told him that they were close, but missed meeting one requirement.
However, right before school ended he was told they did indeed make AYP again, but to wait on an announcement to make sure the data did not change. He said for the next week he checked and double-checked the numbers with the state department of education to make sure the data was correct.  Then they confirmed in late December.
“I was both surprised and not surprised at the same time,” Zener explained. “Surprised because making AYP is incredibly difficult and not many schools make it but not surprised because we have amazing students and staff who did it last year.”
He added that while they were in PI, it was never a setback to the staff. “We never set meeting AYP as a specific goal,” Zener explained. “Our goals have been to have high academic standards for our students while providing support and interventions. We believe that with great instruction, hard work, and perseverance, the accolades and recognition will come on their own.”

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Heights prepares for El Nino

Heights prepares for El Nino

Posted on 14 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

The city of La Habra Heights is looking to inform residents about road repair.

By Daniel Hernandez
La Habra Journal

The long awaited weather phenomena known as El Niño introduced itself again to the area during the first weeks of January, sputtering rain while blasting thunderous bolts of lightning.Seal_La Habra Heights
While much of California welcomes the wet conditions after nearly a decade of drought, the city of La Habra Heights, nestled on dirt hills and acres of open space, finds itself preparing with caution for what some weather forecasters believe to be a powerful El Niño, or a strong storm caused by the warming of waters across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.
“Southern California needs the rain and the snow to replenish our supply of water,” LH Heights Mayor Michael Higgins said. “My hope is that we will receive many small doses of rain that will allow the earth to absorb the water without excessive runoff.”
City officials prepared for the storm by clearing infrastructure, but the mayor hopes residents find the time to analyze their own property and decide what needs to be done to prevent property damage from possible mudslides and flooding.
Several months ago the city completed a survey of the storm and street drainage systems in preparation for a long wet winter, Higgins said. Potential problems, like drain blockage and overgrown waterways were pinpointed.
“The city has since removed drain blockages, cleared waterways, and repaired certain street paving with drainage problems,” Higgins said. The city has done a great job of preparing for El Niño with the limited financial resources and public works personnel.”
Although the city has done what it can in preparation for the worst, residents remain responsible for their own property.
Sandbags remain available for free at the fire department and city hall while a pile of sand is kept at The Park to fill the sandbags. Residents are advised to bring their own shovel. And sandbags could also be found at some big box stores, the mayor said, at little cost.
The county of Los Angeles also recommends residents stay alerted by downloading its free app for smartphones. The app can be found at:
“Ultimately residents need to make proactive preparations, including clearing drainage and water ways, diverting water that might enter their dwellings,” Higgins said.
The mayor also recommends residents attend one of the many meetings held by the county Sheriff’s Department or Fire Department.
The city’s weed abatement program, while important for the upkeep against fire hazards, might have an effect on how the hills are able to drain water runoff, being much of the vegetation, which might make dirt hills more stable, is cleared in the process.

“Weed abatement and the severe drought we have experienced over the last few years have contributed to bare hillsides. This can make the hills vulnerable to excessive rain and possible landslides. The City is prepared to clear city streets that would prevent residents from ingress and egress,” Higgins said.
El Nino was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America during the 1600’s, with unusually warm water appearing in the Pacific Ocean, according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.
Wetter-than-average conditions can be expected in the Pacific Northwest, the website explains.
And while the mountainous regions in California pack in heavy snow falls, and rain downpours on much of the state, relieving a bit of the drought conditions the area has suffered through for much of the new millennium, cities throughout the state should welcome the rainfall with caution and be prepared.
“Talking with many of our residents, I have the impression they are taking the potential threat of El Niño to their property very seriously,” Higgins said,  “and [residents are] making appropriate preparations,”

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Rotary acknowledges local shining artists

Rotary acknowledges local shining artists

Posted on 14 January 2016 by La Habra Journal

Rotary kids Dec Color

Jane Williams/La Habra Journal Shining stars: Sonora’s Ellese Castro, La Habra High School’s Zoya Martin and Whittier Christian’s Carolina Reynoso were recognized as top performing arts students by the La Habra Rotary.

The La Habra group recognizes top high school students
who excelled in theater and
performing arts.

By Jane Williams
La Habra Journal

At its last meeting of 2015, La Habra Rotary met the stars who will shine brightly in the coming years.
This is the month where those who have distinguished themselves in performing arts at their high school received all the attention.
Whittier Christian praised its three arts performer, Carolina Reynoso, who has won rave reviews whether acting, singing or dancing.
In addition, she is the school’s media director, a member of the Choir Council and acknowledged as the best in choreography.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, and has also started her own business. She will bring a Neverland Princess Party to any aspiring princess’s home.
Reynoso wants to study musical theater and has applied to Boston University, NYU, and Carnegie Mellon.
One of her teachers described her as a natural leader who sparkles on stage and in the classroom.
Sonora’s Ellese Castro was described as an amazingly gifted student as well as a true giver with a heart for those in need and acted upon her desire to help them by volunteering regularly at the Union Rescue Mission.
But what pleased her principal Adam Bailey the most is the fact she has perfect attendance.
Castro is also the top performer in the theater program and plans to apply to Carnegie Mellon University when she is ready.
She hopes to become a screenwriter in the future.
La Habra High’s Zoya Faith Martin is the daughter of Vetta Martin, an accomplished pianist of Russian descent and Craig Martin. Vetta taught piano while Zoya was still in her womb and she continued to do so throughout Zoya’s childhood.
At the early age of four, people began commenting on Zoya’s singing voice. She loved singing for anyone who would listen.
It was early on when Zoya heard about a musical at Hope International University and decided to audition. She was selected to play a Who in “Suessical,” and she was hooked.
At Rolling Hills elementary School she heard about Fullerton Children’s Repertory Theater, but it wasn’t until seventh grade that she decided to audition for a role in a Rep production.
She got the lead in their production of “Peter Pan,” after playing Maria in the Sound of Music at the end of eighth grade, she admitted that she wasn’t quite prepared to leave her friends at the Rep and its director, Brian Johnson. So she decided to follow them all to La Habra High.
By her sophomore year, she was off to New York City for the Macy Awards Ceremony for her performance as Maria in the La Habra High Theater Guild’s production of  “West Side Story.”
At the end of her junior year, Zoya applied and won a generous Musical Theatre West scholarship in Long Beach.
This year she was Belle in the Guild’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” and will be Babe in the upcoming production of “Pajama Game.”
She has applied to colleges renown for their musical theater programs such as Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, NYU , UCSD and Southern Oregon located in Ashland, home of the famous Shakespeare Festival each Spring.
Johnson, LHHS theater instructor, said, “Zoya will have gone wire-to-wire obtaining every lead in all our Plummer mainstage musicals. I liken it to the Mater Dei quarterback who takes every snap from entering his eighth grade year through the final down of his senior season.”
Johnson went on, “She is without a doubt the best student I have taught in 12 years, and I’ve had some great ones. We’ve had some incredible students of great moral character and academic prowess in my program and she exceeds them by a lot.”

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