Archive | October, 2016

Coyotes bring Highlanders streak to halt with big second half

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Coyotes bring Highlanders streak to halt with big second half

Posted on 22 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Buena Park High School football team had been steadily climbing the ranks the past six seasons under Head Coach Anthony White, but one task had still bedeviled the Coyotes—unseating La Habra as the team to beat in the Freeway League, until Friday night.

By Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal La Habra's Senior Eli Anderson scores from 2 yards out with 3 min left in the first half. La Habra HS leads 13-0 at the half.

By Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal
La Habra’s Senior Eli Anderson scores from 2 yards out with 3 min left in the first half. La Habra HS leads 13-0 at the half.

Heading to the locker room down 13-0 at the half, it appeared the Coyotes were once again going to be disappointed. However, Buena Park exploded for four unanswered scores in the second half to end the Highlanders league winning streak at 47 with a 27-13 victory at home.

“I got them fired up [at halftime] and told them to believe in the program, believe in the system and do your job,” White said. “I think everyone was trying to do too much wanting to make us win, so I told them to be accountable and just do your 1-of-11.”

The tides began to turn early in the third quarter.

Much like the first half, La Habra stuffed the Coyotes opening drive.

On the ensuing punt, returner Madison Wheeler got caught in between a couple Coyotes and the ball grazed his leg, allowing the coverage team to pounce on it.

“We made a mistake that was costly, we were beating them around and we stopped them at the half, it was our best player, what are you going to do, sometimes your best player does something that is uncharacteristic,” said Highlander Head Coach Frank Mazzotta. “I don’t know that there is any such thing as momentum though, good teams make more plays than the ones that lose and they made more plays than we did.”

After Wheeler broke up three consecutive passes near the goal line, Buena Park quarterback James Rafkin finally connected with A.J. Allen on a crucial fourth-and-long play to put the ball inside the 5 yard line. A couple plays later sophomore running back Jamiel Henning punched it in from a yard out to cut the lead in half.

The Coyotes took their first lead on the next possession when Allen made a picture perfect over the shoulder grab in the back of the end zone just before the end of the quarter.

By Miguel Pola/ La Habra Journal La Habra's senior Derrick Corso's interception sets up La Habra's 2nd and of the first half. — at Buena Park High School Football.

By Miguel Pola/ La Habra Journal La Habra’s senior Derrick Corso’s interception sets up La Habra’s 2nd and of the first half. — at Buena Park High School Football.

The dagger came early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard catch-and-run by Henning, who caught the ball in the flat near the Highlander sideline, made a couple La Habra defenders miss, then accelerated and completely ran over the safety en route to his second score of the night.

Neither team moved the ball particularly well throughout most of the game.

La Habra got on the board in the second quarter on perhaps the catch of the night. Quarterback Zach Fogel lofted the ball to his favorite target, Prince Ross, who laid out to make the diving grab across the goal line for a 35-yard touchdown. Fogel’s only other completion to that point was a 36-yard pass to Eli Anderson, which set up the score

Anderson carried it in from the 1-yard-line to give the Highlanders a two score lead heading into the break. The touchdown was set up by cornerback Derrick Corso’s 42-yard interception return, that gave the Highlander offense the ball inside the 5.

Anderson showed off his hands late in the fourth, catching a pair of passes out of the backfield to set up a red zone opportunity for the Highlanders with about two minutes to play. However, Devon Cooley picked Fogel off in the end zone to dash any hopes of a late Highlander comeback.

The Coyote defense was stifling all night long. Their leading tackler, safety Niguy Simms was once again all over the field and came up with an interception in the fourth quarter that set up Buena Park’s final score.

“Defense is our motto, it’s what we live by,” White said. “I’m a defensive coach, the defensive coordinator and we have a great defensive staff, everyone takes accountability for their own positions, their own guys and everyone did their jobs tonight.”

Cedric Dashiell III entered the evening as one of the leading pass-rushers in Orange County with 11.5 sacks. Dashiell brought down Fogel five times on the night to add to his total.

Dashiell gave credit to his coaches and fellow defensive lineman for calling and executing stunts late in the game to free him up to closeout with three sacks on the Highlanders final drive.

The Highlanders (4-4, 2-1) will try to bounce back against Fullerton at home next Friday. The Coyotes (7-1, 3-0) will look to remain perfect in league when they take on Sunny Hills Friday at Spalding Stadium, although it will technically be an away game for them.

“We go back to work tomorrow, that’s 100 percent, we have to finish what we started,” White said.

Mazzotta added, “Nothing goes on forever, streaks were meant to be broken.”

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A look at La Habra City Council Candidates

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A look at La Habra City Council Candidates

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

*Click on the candidate’s names to watch the interview with them*
After canceling the last two city council elections, residents of La Habra will be voting to fill three positions in November.
Six people, including the three incumbents, are vying for the three four-year positions.council-candidates
Tim Shaw, Tom Beamish and Rose Espinoza are the three current councilmembers who are running to retain their seats.  Jess Badillo, Ida MacMurray and Dawn Holthouser are three new candidates that are looking to become new council members.
We were able to chat with the candidates to get to know a little more about them.
Rose Espinoza was first elected to city council in 2000 after four tries to get elected to the council.  She said that after establishing Rosie’s Garage, an after school tutoring center for students, she felt like she could make a difference in the community and ran for city council.
“I’m running again because there are still things on my platform that I want to get done,” Espinoza said. She added that the revitalization of La Habra Boulevard is one of her interests.  “I think we are really turning a corner with it.”
Tom Beamish has been on the council since 2004.  He started out as a community service commissioner in 1997 and then the planning commission in 2000.
“I have a passion still and an eagerness to serve,” Beamish said.  “I feel like I have a lot to offer with my experience and background. “
Tim Shaw, the current mayor pro tem, has been on the council since 2008.  “I think we have come a long way in the last eight years,” he said. “I’d like to keep the momentum moving forward.”
Shaw is on the board of directors for the Orange County Transportation Authority. “I’m really proud of where La Habra is, and I believe we can continue to make it better,” Shaw said.
All three candidates were reappointed in 2012 when they ran unopposed in the election cycle.
The individuals challenging for the seats are Ida MacMurray, Dawn Hold Houser and Jess Badillo.
MacMurray is a current member of the La Habra City School District Board.  The former teacher has also been active in the community
“I love being a public servant,” MaMurry said. “ I enjoy it and I am passionate about it.”
Dawn Holthouser is a current planning commissioner and former member of the Beautification Committee.
“I’ve always been a volunteer in the community, whether it’s been through  the schools, Lions Club, or my church,: she said. “I’ve really gotten to know a lot of the residents and their needs.”
Jess Badillo is the final candidate running for city council.  Badillo has been in the community for 31 years.  He’s been serving as a community services commissioner and with the city for 10 years, and he was active in helping create the annual Tamale Festival.
“I’m heavily invested in the city of La Habra,” Badillo said. “I believe in La Habra and love the quality of life in La Habra. Running for council is the right thing to do. “
All six candidates spoke of La Habra’s future and that it is headed in a positive direction.  They cited the development of new homes and apartments in the city.  The three incumbents mentioned the completion of the general plan and in particular, the rezoning of areas in the city.  They explained that this can entice new growth.
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From Page 7
Espinoza noted that the mixed use zoning can help encourage growth and development along La Habra Boulevard.  In addition, she suggested her hope is for some al fresco dining on the corner of Harbor and La Habra Boulevard.
“This can keep the downtown vibrant,” Espinoza said. “I’m hoping that with the rezoning we can attract more people and businesses to the area.”
Espinoza and Shaw noted that the loss of Redevelopment Agencies within California cities a few years ago continues to hinder what cities can do when it comes to binging in new businesses, but the development of the general plan will continue to help.
In addition to the rezoning, some of the candidates noted that it is the growth of housing that will bring in more businesses and spark greater economic development
Beamish and Shaw noted that the new Black Bear Diner on Beach Boulevard is an example of this.  The restaurant came into the city specifically because of the new apartment project being built across the street.
The non-incumbent candidates spoke enthusiastically about the potential of the city.
Badillo, MacMurray and Holthouser all pointed out that La Habra could work harder to showcase the community to businesses, letting them know that it is a smart investment to open a business in the city.
MacMurry noted that the city should be active in retail industry conventions and letting them know about the community.
Badillo took it a step further.
“We have to go after businesses and not wait for them to come to us. That way we can be selective.” he said. “It’s important for the city to have a clear vision of what we want.”
Holthouser noted that “we want to make sure the right businesses come to La Habra.” She noted further that we might also have to rethink how we see businesses today. “Businesses function differently than they  did years ago,” she explained. “The brick and mortar stores are for customers to touch the products, but many buy online.”
On the topic of public safety, all six candidates complimented the hard work of the La Habra Police Department.
Shaw and Espinoza noted the decrease in overall crime in the city over the last few decades.  Shaw noted that the serious crimes in La Habra have gone way down over the years.
However, as noted there has been a slight increase in property crime.  Many of the candidates noted how Prop 47, which, when passed, reduced certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors and also made misdemeanor sentencing for petty theft, receiving stolen property and forgery.
All candidates commended the LHPD on its community outreach to raise awareness.  The Coffee with a Cop program and the annual open house were examples given of the outreach.
Almost all candidates noted that more active and engaged residents can help reduce crime.  Holthouser encouraged residents to take part in the LHPD’s Citizen’s Police Academy program.  Shaw and Beamish addressed officer staffing levels should be examined and where they could be increased if possible.  Badillo noted greater communication with police to the business community and greater outreach to community members in Spanish.  MacMurry added a continued and increased education effort by the police department to help residents become aware of  potential crime.
All candidates share their love and dedication to the La Habra community.  They all explained in various ways that is what makes them want to run.  They all have varying ideas of how to help La Habra continue to grow and prosper, but they all agreed that La Habra’s future looks bright.

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Coombs named Lowell District superintendent

Coombs named Lowell District superintendent

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

Jim Coombs has been hired as the new Superintendent of Schools of the Lowell Joint School District.
Coombs is currently the principal of Buena Park High School. The district’s board will approve the contract at the next meeting.
Coombs’ actual start date is yet to be determined, but will be soon as the contract with LJSD’s current interim superintendent  Giokaris will be ending.

Jim Coombs has been hired as the new Superintendent of Schools of the Lowell Joint School District.

Jim Coombs has been hired as the new Superintendent of Schools of the Lowell Joint School District.

“Mr. Coombs is an excellent match for our District,” said LJSD Board President Brandon Jones. “The Board of Trustees has great confidence that Mr. Coombs’ personal character and ethics, dedication, passion, skills and talents, professional experiences, and people skills will equip him to most effectively serve and provide the leadership needed to ensure that our district remains one of the best in the State of California in the years to come.”
Coombs began his professional career as a science teacher at Ramona Middle School in La Verne in 1988.
After three years teaching at the middle school,  Coombs spent the next five years teaching at the high school level, before returning to Ramona Middle School to serve as assistant principal in 1996 for three years.
Subsequently, he served as a high school assistant principal for two years.
Coombs served as the principal of two different high schools (West Covina and Buena Park) for a total of over 12 years.
Coombs has also served as an assistant superintendent for a total of six years in the West Covina, Monrovia, and Claremont Unified School Districts.
“I am honored to serve,” Coombs said. “It is a blessing and a privilege. My wife, our sons, and I are most thankful for the opportunity to join the Lowell Joint School District family and support all staff members, students, families, and the entire community as we work together to ensure the success of all students.”

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Hildenbrand named new LH Heights city manager

Hildenbrand named new LH Heights city manager

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Heights City Council approved the hiring of Jarad Hildenbrand as the city’s new manager at its October meeting.
Hildenbrand will take over as the city’s top administrator on December 16, subject to finalization of the terms and conditions of an official employment agreement, which should be finalized by the city council at its November meeting.

Jarad Hildenbrand was named the new city manager of La Habra Heights.

Jarad Hildenbrand was named the new city manager of La Habra Heights.

“I’m very excited to work in La Habra Heights,” Hildenbrand said. “I’m honored to be chosen as the next city manager and look forward to working with a dedicated City Council, staff and community that values a continued high quality of life.”
Hildenbrand has been serving as city manager of Villa Park since July 2012.
Prior to that he worked as assistant city manager from 2008, and started working at the city of Villa Park as an assistant in 2006.
He earned a masters of public administration degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2016 and received a bachelor’s degree in public administration from California State University, Fullerton in 2006.
“My experience compliments the city’s rural character,”  Hildenbrand said. “And I am confident that working together we can accomplish great things.”
Hildenbrand will be responsible for all city functions, including administration, city clerk, community development and planning, public works, finance and the fire department.
“We are pleased that Jarad Hildenbrand has agreed to serve as city manager in La Habra Heights,” said LHH Mayor Kyle Miller. “His experience and education are well suited to the needs of our community.”
The city manager position became vacant when Shauna Clark resigned in July after nine years.
Since then, former La Mirada City Manager Tom Robinson has served as interim city manager.

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There’s a lot more to the ballot this election

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there is an election coming up.  There has a lot that has been said regarding the presidential candidates. It has caused tension in our country. So much so that some have said that because of the presidential candidates, they don’t feel like voting.  This is a mistake.
One of the greatest privileges we have in this country is the right to vote.  As citizens, we should exercise that right as much as possible.  The great thing about elections is we have the ability to vote for whomever we want.
Don’t not vote (yes, I know that is a double negative) because you are disheartened with the presidential candidates.  There are so many other people and propositions that have a direct impact on us on this ballot. Those are the items you should be looking for and looking to vote on.
For the first time in two election cycles (also known as four years), we are voting on city council members for La Habra.  As opposed to presidential candidates, these candidates have a lot of impact on our day-to-day lives. Roads, water, trash pickup, parks, recreation, city codes, are some of the things that the city council is responsible for.
The League of Women Voters held a live debate with the candidates for city council (they are holding one for La Habra City School Board members tonight) and it had some residents in attendance.  Taking off of the League’s efforts to let people hear from the candidates, I interviewed the council candidates and posted the video interviews to the La Habra Journal YouTube channel and to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Further, the link to the videos was shared on community Facebook groups.
The interviews are simple and just a few minutes long.  They were meant to help residents put a face to the name on their ballot and to hear something about them in their own words.
Interestingly enough, posts about good local street taco vendors (of which I am excited about) and T&S Burgers received more comments and discussion than the video interviews of the city council candidates.
Again, I know this election cycle has really changed the way we look at politics in America.  However, that shouldn’t be something to deter you from researching and voting for who will help guide your city.  I encourage you to research the candidates so you can vote with knowledge and confidence in your picks for city council.
I will be posting my interviews with the candidates running for La Habra City School Board soon.  These candidates will have a direct impact in shaping the city’s school district as they will be tasked to hire the new superintendent.  So, yet another local race for us to pay attention to and learn about the candidates.
So, whether the presidential election has got you disheartened or motivated, be sure to get out and vote for our local elected positions. It really is a vote for you, your neighbor and your community.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get back to digging through the massive book with all this year’s propositions listed.

Check out the interviews at:
youtube.com/lahabrajournal

—The Editor

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LH cooking contest  raises funds for  Children’s Museum

LH cooking contest raises funds for Children’s Museum

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

The Children’s Museum at La Habra held its 24th annual Gourmet Guys Raise “Bread” For Kids fundraiser on Sunday at the La Habra Community Center. Planning for the event began in July by the non-profit organization Friends of The Children’s Museum at La Habra, and the museum staff and guild assisted with coordinating and working the event.

Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal   Local Gourmets: Whitney Sitter, Travis Russell, Brian Reed and his daughter Sydney Reed share their recipe at the La Habra Children's Museum's annual Gourmet Guys event at the La Habra Community Center last Sunday.

Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal
Local Gourmets: Whitney Sitter, Travis Russell, Brian Reed and his daughter Sydney Reed share their recipe at the La Habra Children’s Museum’s annual Gourmet Guys event at the La Habra Community Center last Sunday.

The fundraiser featured a silent auction and a cooking contest with 85 local chefs that entered their dishes into one of the 14 food categories.
Professional chefs judged their entries on preparation difficulty, originality, taste, and presentation.
The chefs that volunteered donated their time and own money into cooking their creations for those in attendance. They were asked to cook a meal that will serve 24 people, because each person willing to taste a chef’s dish was given a sample tablespoon serving.
Besides the best overall awards in each food category there were three special awards, which included most outstanding individual presentation, best group theme, and the people’s choice award.
The dishes were judged before the public was allowed to enter the event, and the medals were awarded once the attendees had a chance to taste the entries.
A few of this year’s winners included Chuck Morse who won first place in both the best bread category and best presentation for his monkey bread, and Sal Failla won first place for the people’s choice award and second place in the beef entrée category with his filet mignon tacos.
Morse is a chef currently writing a cookbook.
This was his tenth year entering the contest and third time winning first in best presentation for his entries. He discovered his monkey bread recipe after one of his granddaughter’s made it for Thanksgiving one year, and he expanded on it by adding walnuts, cashews, and Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal Winning recipes:  Sal Failla (left) won first place for the people’s choice award and second place in the beef entrée category with his fillet mignon tacos. Raymond Phan took second place for his "Wings of Fury" and third place winner Ron Chatman and his "Mr. C's Straight outta Compton dressing and turkey wings."

Miguel Pola/La Habra Journal
Winning recipes: Sal Failla (left) won first place for the people’s choice award and second place in the beef entrée category with his fillet mignon tacos. Raymond Phan took second place for his “Wings of Fury” and third place winner Ron Chatman and his “Mr. C’s Straight outta Compton dressing and turkey wings.”

Failla is the Director of Community Services for the city of La Habra, and deserved winning the people’s choice award since he had the longest line of people waiting to get a taste of his dish.
“All of my brothers have won a gold medal before, so I had been getting nothing but grief. Now I won my gold medal, so they have to be quiet,” said Failla.
According to the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of the Friends of The Children’s Museum at La Habra, Roy Mueller, they raised around $45,000 at last year’s fundraiser. Starting last year the non-profit began targeting food blogs to garner a grander online presence.
“What we’d like to do in the future is gain more visibility via social media to increase the attendance from local La Habra residents, because I think there’s a lot of people in La Habra that don’t even know about this event that would really love to participate in it,” said Meuller.
This year was the first to feature a student chef category of high school students interested in pursuing a career in the culinary industry.
There were a total of nine students present and seven food entries on their behalf, and they collectively won the first place medal for best group theme.
All of the proceeds from the fundraiser are used to fund the Children’s Museum at La Habra’s current exhibits, upcoming exhibits, scholarships for Title I schools to visit the museum, and special programs, according to the museum’s director Lovely Qureshi.
“The whole purpose of the event is to bring the community together, but mainly so that we can continue operations and have new exhibits coming to the museum,” said Qureshi.

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Sonora readies for new gym

Sonora readies for new gym

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

Sonora released the architects’ renderings of the new Raider gymnasium.

A look at the proposed new gymnasium at Sonora High School. The gym will be located just northwest of the current gym where the racquetball courts are located.

A look at the proposed new gymnasium at Sonora High School. The gym will be located just northwest of the current gym where the racquetball courts are located.

The structure, which is to be built on the land behind the current gym and where the current racquetball courts are located, is part of the Measure I Bond that the Fullerton Joint Union High School District has been implementing and funding campus upgrades.
According  to the district, the designs for the gym are still on-going, and the plans of the gym have been submitted for approval to the Division of the State Architect.
The Division of the State Architect provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities.
The current gym will remain and be utilized for assemblies, as a practice gym and by athletics like wrestling.
Construction is set to begin next year.
Other upgrades for Sonora include roof replacement, science classrooms upgrades and theater modernization.

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COMMUNITY THEATER ROUNDUP: Holidays bring extra special show lineups

COMMUNITY THEATER ROUNDUP: Holidays bring extra special show lineups

Posted on 19 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By John Francis

Things are taking shape for the Christmas season in local theater’s as many productions are hitting the yuletide  theme.
La Habra’s Mysterium Theater is gearing up for the coming season with  the Leslie Bricusse musical “Scrooge, The Musical,” which will open Nov. 8 and play through Dec. 18 at the theater, 311 S. Euclid Ave.

La Habra's Mysterium Theater will be performing "Scrooge, The Musical" for this holiday season. The show will run at the Depot Theater on Euclid Street Nov. 8 through Dec. 18.

La Habra’s Mysterium Theater will be performing “Scrooge, The Musical” for this holiday season. The show will run at the Depot Theater on Euclid Street Nov. 8 through Dec. 18.

In addition to “Scrooge,” the Mysterium is finishing up its run of the hit children’s play, “Pinocchio” which will close Nov. 5.  Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday  and are at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For tickets contact the theater box office at (562) 697-3311.

Whittier Community Theater will be presenting the A.R. Gurney comedy “The Dining Room” directed by Candy Beck and produced by Richard DeVicarris, at the Whittier Center Theater, 7630 S. Washington Ave.
The play, continuing the theater’s 95th season, will open Nov. 4 and  play through Nov. 19 with 8 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday and one matinee on Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets and reservations to Whittier Community Theater can be made at (562) 696-0600.

Westminster Community Playhouse will be presenting “Greetings” starting Dec. 2 and playing through Dec., 18.
“Greetings,” by Tom Dudzick, is a fascinating Christmas comedy about a family that comes together  during this special time of year.  John Francis (yes, that’s me) is directing the play, assisted by Mike Crumley.
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and  Sunday at 2 p.m. and the theater is located at 7272 Maple Ave. in Westminster.  For tickets and reservations call (714) 893-8626.

Long Beach Playhouse, in its 85th season, will be presenting  the comedy “Don’t Dress For Dinner,” on the MainStage Nov. 5 through Dec. 3 with 8 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. performances on Sunday.
The theater’s current studio theater production, “Sweeney Todd,” continues through Nov. 12,
Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E./ Anaheim St., and for tickets and reservations, contact the box office at (562) 494-1014.

Auditions for Stages Theater’s  production of Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” will be held Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the theater, 400 E.Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton.
The play will be directed by former Fullerton College Theater Professor Gary Krinke. He will be seeking two men and four women from ages late 20s to middle age.
The play will open Jan 13 through the 29th and Krinke said that rehearsals will be moderate during the holidays.
For further information, contact the theater at (714) 525-4484.

The 60th La Habra Theater Guild Production will be” Guys and Dolls.”
Performed in Plummer Auditorium, November 10 – 20
She show, directed by Brian Johnson and choreographed by Annie Lavin, is set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City.
“Guys And Dolls” is an oddball romantic comedy for the whole family.
Gambler Nathan Detroit tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years.
Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown.
“Guys And Dolls” takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.
The Plummer Auditorium is located at: 201 East Chapman Avenue in Fullerton.
Show times are Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinées at 1:30 p.m.
For more information about “Guys and Dolls”, including ticket prices and other upcoming shows go to: lhhsguild.com

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Highlanders roll Sonora, extend both streaks

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Highlanders roll Sonora, extend both streaks

Posted on 15 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The La Habra High School football team continues to reach uncharted territory with every win, and this week against Sonora the Highlanders extended their county record league winning streak to 47 with a 56-0 blowout over the rival Raiders.

La Habra once again took the Mayor's Trophy for the city championship with a 56-0 win over Sonora Friday.

La Habra once again took the Mayor’s Trophy for the city championship with a 56-0 win over Sonora Friday.

The Highlanders put up 50 points before the halftime gun sounded, with a eye-popping 36 in the first quarter alone.

With a big lead early, Head Coach Frank Mazzotta used the opportunity to get a lot of the younger players reps, which he has been talking about needing to do all season long.

“It means everything, there are so many kids who show up to practice everyday and work their butts off, to give them a chance to play under the lights, I love that, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Mazzotta said.

Sonora couldn’t get anything going offensively all night and had a handful of miscues in the first 10 minutes, which gave the heavily favored Highlanders easy scoring opportunities.

Before the seats got warm La Habra had a commanding 22-0 lead.

Pervis Henderson had a 1-yard touchdown grab and Eli Anderson carried the ball in from 3 yards out on the Highlanders’ first two possessions, with 10:41 remaining in the opening frame.

 On the Raiders next possession, Cameron Rivas held up Ethan Cook at the line of scrimmage and Madison Wheeler ripped the ball away for a 9-yard touchdown return on the fumble.

“On any given day, they are a good team, regardless of what their record might say, they’re a good team and on any given day you can get beat,” Rivas said. “So you just have to go out there and bring your A game.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Chigozie Anusiem looked to be attempting to deploy a reverse, but wound up backtracking a couple feet into the end zone, where he was downed for a safety.

The Highlanders added a couple additional scores when quarterback Zach Fogel hit both Prince Ross and Derrick Corso for touchdowns of 22 and 23 yards respectively.

By the time the second quarter rolled around, the game was already out of hand for Sonora. However, despite the lopsided loss, Head Coach Daniel Morales was proud of his team for continuing to battle until the final whistle.

“I applaud them for that, it’s not easy to do, [La Habra’s] a really great team, they’ve been great for a long time and they’ll continue to be great,” Morales said. “Where we are at right now, we were just not ready for a test like that, but these guys I’m so proud of them for giving everything they got until the very end.”

Morales was a former Highlander player and coach prior to taking over at Sonora.

Afterwards, Rivas shared a moment with his former coach, Morales.

La Habra Head Coach Frank Mazzota shakes hands with Sonora Head Coach Daniel Morales after the Highlander's city championship win. Morales once played for Mazzota at LHHS.

La Habra Head Coach Frank Mazzota shakes hands with Sonora Head Coach Daniel Morales after the Highlander’s city championship win. Morales once played for Mazzota at LHHS.

“I just told him they got a hell of a coaching staff and to just keep their heads up and keep fighting because it’s a process,” Rivas said.

“The kids from this city have a lot of fight, I love coaching the kids from this city,” Morales said. “I am from here and I am proud of all of my guys.”

The Highlander defense held Sonora to three first downs in the first half, with a pair of them coming on penalties.

Fogel threw for 122 yards and three touchdowns, while Anderson gained 59 and two scores on the ground, with just four carries on the night.

Romeo Mergerson made his backfield debut for the Highlanders in the third quarter, carrying the ball down the field on just one series and totaled 51 yards with a touchdown.

The Highlanders (4-3, 2-0) stiffest test in league awaits, as they will travel the Buena Park (6-1, 2-0) next Friday.

Sonora (0-7, 0-2) will look to get into the win column when they host Sunny Hills (5-2, 1-1) at La Habra High School next Friday.

“I think we are getting better every week, that’s what I like,” Mazzotta said.

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Lady Highlanders sweep rivalry series with four-set win

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Lady Highlanders sweep rivalry series with four-set win

Posted on 14 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

La Habra traveled across town to Sonora High School to conclude the season series in volleyball and walked away with a

La Habra's Marina Pilkington tries to his a shot past Sonora's Sophia Kane and Kyra Sims Thursday at Sonora.

La Habra’s Marina Pilkington tries to hit a shot past Sonora’s Sophia Kane and Kyra Sims Thursday at Sonora.

nearly identical performance as the previous meeting, taking three-of-four sets in convincing fashion Thursday night.

 

 

Senior Marina Pilkington wasn’t available a couple weeks ago when the two teams met at La Habra, but she certainly made her presence felt with 10 kills and a host of blocks, including an emphatic spike for match point and the 25-16 victory.

La Habra Head Coach Adrianne Spear said she was really pleased with the way the girls responded after a tough five-set loss to Troy.

“We came off a tough loss to Troy, we took them to five and I was hoping that wouldn’t affect us, but take all that energy from the previous game and carry it over to tonight,” Spear said. “I think the girls saw their capability from that game, came out and said we can do this.”

La Habra's Carly Richter helps lead the Lady Highlanders on the court during their 3-1 win over Sonora Thursday.

La Habra setter Carly Richter helps lead the Lady Highlanders on the court during their 3-1 win over Sonora Thursday.

Spear had high-praise for Pilkington and freshman Carly Richter, who she said are the catalysts for the team.

“Marina for sure gets us going when she is out there, and so does Carly Richter,” Spear said. “With those two paired together, it’s what keeps us going.”

Richter’s maturity and understanding of the game at such a young age has impressed her coach this season.

“Carly sees the game really well, and she has a really high volleyball IQ, she sees things that a lot of people don’t see, so we coach her up, but we also let her do her own thing out there,” Spear said. “It was funny, even the referee said, ‘wow, she really runs the show out there doesn’t she.’”

Carly Richter finished with 17 digs on the night.

Junior Taylor Richter lead the Lady Highlanders with 11 kills.

The Lady Highlanders (10-11, 4-3) took the first set 25-14 and looked to be cruising along in the second set with a 16-12 lead midway through.

However, Sonora (13-10, 3-4) roared back to tie it at 18, and then took their first lead on the next serve. La Habra fought back to tie it 22-22, but the Raiders closed out the set with three straight winners to bring the sets even.

Lad Highlander Kimberely Gamez fires one at Sonora's Sophia Kane and Arianna Gonzalez.

Lady Highlander Kimberely Gamez fires one at Sonora’s Sophia Kane and Arianna Gonzalez.

“Sometimes we let teams sneak back up and take us,” Spear said. “We still need to learn how to overcome that.”

The third set was a total back-and-forth battle. Neither team could extend more than a three-point lead until La Habra closed out the set exactly like Sonora did in the second, scoring the sets final three points for the 25-19 win.

Both teams next game will be on Tuesday. Sonora will be at Sunny Hills (14-14, 5-2) while La Habra will be back home to take on Buena Park (2-10, 0-7).

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