Archive | December, 2016

75th Anniversary_2_Web

La Habra couple celebrates 75 years of marriage

Posted on 19 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

When La Habra resident Burnice Riggin’s brother brought home his friend, Herbert Riggin, to stay with them in July 1941 she was extremely upset that she had to give up her room for him to sleep in. That anger towards him eventually turned into love, because five months later they got married on December 12, 1941 in East Los Angeles. 75th Anniversary_1_web

The married couple recently held their 75th anniversary celebration on Sunday, November 27 at the Rio Hondo Event Center with over 40 close friends and family members.

The festivities included live music, photos on display of them throughout the years, and speeches from family members including a special speech from daughter-in-law Linda Riggin explaining how Herbert and Burnice first met as well as other momentous occasions from their lives.

“We planned to have the party on our 75th anniversary, but everywhere we looked was already booked on that date,” said Burnice Riggin. “We had our party a little early, and everything turned out right.

When asked what the secret was to a long marriage, they said communication and remaining friends.

“You just say ‘yes dear’ and don’t talk back,” Herbert said with a laugh.

Herbert Riggin was born in Spokane, Washington in January 1921, and traveled throughout the United States as a child since his father worked as a railroad builder. Burnice Riggin’s father worked in oil fields building oil wells. She was born in East Los Angeles in June 1922.
On the day of their wedding Herbert received the unfortunate news that he was being laid off from the tire factory he worked at, because it was being converted into a factory that produced gas tanks for Boeing B-17 four-engine bomber planes.

They still decided to get married in spite of his job loss and the fact that his draft number was going to be drawn soon. 75th Anniversary_2_Web
Herbert decided that instead of being drafted into a position he wouldn’t prefer he’d rather have his choice, so he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Beginning in the summer of 1942 he was sent off to various states including Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah until he was sent overseas. Burnice followed her husband to every state he went along with their first son, Ronald Herbert Riggin.

Herbert went off to fight in World War II for three years until  his camp  was bombed and he was injured. He was flown to Fitzsimons’s Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado in November 1945. There he received his discharge papers and the honorary Purple Heart decoration for his valiant services.

Within the Riggin’s home is a room with two walls covered in frames containing documents, letters, medals, and photos collected from Herbert’s time in the military.
Post-war life for Herbert included becoming a beer delivery truck driver for Lucky Lager, and eventually became the brewing company’s top salesman in all western states. Their second son, Robert Larry Riggin, was born in 1948, and soon afterwards Burnice worked for 28 years at Washington Grammar School within the Montebello School District as a cafeteria worker.

They both retired in 1977, and moved to their current home in La Habra. According to their granddaughter Kristy McLendon, her grandparents have incredibly friendly and thoughtful neighbors that check up on them every day to make sure they’re okay and bring them food often.

McLendon shared some wise insight she received from her grandparents, “I remember they advised me when I got married that within a relationship you need to fix the problems you have, and you don’t just go out and get a new one.”

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LA Auto Show 2016

Raiders cold from downtown, drop championship to Matadores

Posted on 17 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Sonora had a knack for knocking down 3-pointers with the game on the line as they advanced through the first four rounds of the North Orange County Championships this week, but against La Mirada in Saturday night’s championship game they couldn’t find it from beyond the arc.LA Auto Show 2016

The Raiders made just three 3-pointers all night and scored just 8 points in the fourth quarter, opening the door for La Mirada to overcome an 8-point deficit and take the championship 62-58.

Despite the off shooting night, a scrappy defensive effort helped the Raiders hold onto the lead until sophomore Shemar Morrow slammed down the only dunk of the night to make it 54-53 Matadores with 3:43 remaining.

Up 2 points with under two minutes to play, La Mirada tightened up the perimeter defense. Sonora had several opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert their final seven shot attempts.

“When they switched to that zone [defense], we just weren’t really prepared for it,” senior Kevin Marlow said. “That’s on us, we were a little lethargic and we didn’t have a good plan to attack the zone.”

Daniel Cabrera nailed one of his four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to extend the lead. Brian Askew made a pair from downtown and hit two clutch free-throws in the final minute.

Cabrera led La Mirada with 20 points, while Askew had 14 and Morrow finished with 13.

With Bryce Rutledge dealing with an injury still and sharpshooter Sean Murphy having an off night from the field, Marlow and center Austin Carter carried the offense for Sonora.

Marlow was instrumental in extending the lead to 50-42 for the Raiders with 9 of his game-high 25 points coming in the third quarter. Carter finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds.

The Matadores held Murphy scoreless from the field and beyond the arc for the first time all year. His 2 points came on free-throws after being fouled while shooting a 3.

“They can get hot and they can score,” said La Mirada Head Coach Bryce Jones. “They’ve been down in a lot of their games and comeback to win, so we knew we had to stay on shooters.”

The Raiders will be back on the court after Christmas to play Mira Costa at the Torrey Pines tournament on December 27 at 11:30 a.m.

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Sonra Cheer_web

Local high schools prepare for the new sport of Competitive Cheerleading

Posted on 16 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

As the calendar moves to 2017, high schools are starting the groundwork to prepare for the newest interscholastic sport, competitive cheerleading.LHHS Varsity_Web

The sport becomes official with the 2017-18 school year, but athletic programs will start preparing this spring.

The California Interscholastic Federation, which is the governing body for high school sports, held a meeting with its regions and for high school athletic directors last month to give a timetable and outline the new sport.

Competition Cheer is defined as a sport which teams participate in direct head-to-head competition with one another using an objective scoring system.

CIF and the California Department of Education are developing guidelines for these competitions and will need to have guidelines in place by July 1, 2017. Sonra Cheer_web

The guidelines, procedures and safety standards will be in line with other interscholastic sports within the state.

CIF has been working with the Department of Education as well as the high school cheerleading community and the NCAA cheerleading leadership as they have previously established safety standards and policies.

They will also create the championship bracketing system for the sport as well.
The CIF Southern Section, which has 583 schools, requires that at least 117 schools, or 20 percent, play the sport before it becomes a section championship event.
According to CIF, in the 2015-16 school year, there were 9,401 students participating in competitive cheerleading (8,846 females and 561 males)
Competitive cheerleading is different than what CIF designates as Sideline cheerleading. What most people are familiar with is the Sideline cheerleading at most of the school’s sporting events. These are the cheerleaders that help inspire school spirit ad motivate the crowds during games.

CIF indicates that there are approximately 25,021 sideline cheerleaders in the state.  Further, CIF deems that this is not a sport and not designated as interscholastic competition. WCHS Cheer Team Picture

Competitve Cheerleading includes performance of a standard two to three minute athletic routine in a head-to-head scoring format.

Many high school cheer teams are looking forward to the new sport designation and have been preparing their competitive teams.

“I’m hoping this will put a new light on cheer, not just to other kids at La Habra High School, but to adults in our community as well,”said Allison Marisy, cheer coach at La Habra High School. “We already have a competition team set up and are practicing so we will be ready to take the mat in January.”

Cheer teams have been competing  in this type of competition for years.  The CIF regulation will now make it an officially sanctioned interscholastic sport.

“We have a group of 20 amazing girls who put in blood, sweat, tears, and endless hours to bring La Habra’s name back onto the competition mat,” Marisy said.

Sonora cheer has been competing for years at national competitions and the current cheerleaders  are looking forward to CIF recognizing what they are doing as an official sport.

Whittier Christian has also already had a competitive cheer team.

“We have had competitive cheer for many years at WCHS,” said Rolland Esslinger, athletic director at Whittier Christian. “We will pursue that with the new CIF oversight.”
This oversight will include certification for coaches, increased safety equipment, medical screenings and trainers on hand.  Further, the cheer athletes will be required to meet all academic standards set forth by CIF.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 949, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), to classify competition cheer as a CIF sport beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

This is one of the first times that the state legislature and governor acted to create a statewide interscholastic sport.

“The CIF is excited to add competitive cheer to our sports offerings,” stated Roger Blake, Executive Director of the CIF. “We look forward to working with the California Department of Education to develop policy and standards allowing the student-athletes involved in competitive cheer to enjoy greater opportunities to display their athletic talents in a safe environment.”

Blake added that one of the major goals in the process will be to “develop guidelines for competitive cheer programs that our member schools can implement, meet the standards and be compliant with Title IX as defined by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.”

In accordance with the bill, the CIF shall seek a United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights Title IX compliance designation for competition cheer.

Competition cheer will not be counted towards a school’s Title IX compliance unless the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights deems competition cheer compliant with its definition of a sport.

Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

In the November meeting CIF officials stated their objectives as pertaining to spirit and cheer programs: ensure coaches have best training and safety education available and that cheer programs have the opportunity for participation and recognition for their roles.
They want to create opportunities, competitive experience and keep event expense for schools minimal.

Marisy added that they are looking forward to the opportunity to have full mats and equipment for the cheerleaders.

“Our number one goal for this team is to keep them safe at all times,” she added.
Bylaws, policies and regulations  to fulfill obligations under AB949  will be established by CIF by the July 1, 2017 deadline.

Until then, the cheer teams will continue to compete as they have been doing, but for the last time as an unofficial sport.

“It’s really encouraging to see it become an official CIF sport,” said La Habra Senior Captain Madeline Arnold. “We’re really excited to start competing and can’t wait to see how cheer will improve in the years to come.”

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LA Auto Show 2016

Raiders overcome shaky start to down Wolverines

Posted on 15 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys basketball team struggled to find the basket early on, but erupted with a monster third quarter to come from behind and beat Aliso Niguel 70-59 Thursday night at home, advancing the Raiders to the semifinals of the North Orange County LA Auto Show 2016Championships tournament.

With guard Bryce Rutledge sitting nearly the entire game dealing with an injury, senior Jonathan Martinez stepped up to fill the void nicely.

Martinez knocked down a pair of clutch three-pointers and poured in 10 of his 14 points to help Sonora outscore Aliso 28-9 in the third quarter.

“I’ve always told him [Martinez] he’s like our sixth starter, he’s a terrific player” said Sonora Head Coach Mike Murphy. “It’s really nice to have a player like him to fall back on.”

The Raiders quickly found themselves down 10-0 midway through the first and opened the game an abysmal 1-11 from the field.

“It’s intensity, it’s becoming a problem, we’re always battling back and we don’t come out and play hard until we get down,” Murphy said. “We’ve had several games down 18, down 8, down 10 in the fourth quarter and we’ve been able to comeback and win, but at some point you’re not going to be able to do that.”

Lucas Everett scored Sonora’s first field goal with 2:40 left in the first quarter to make it 12-3. Everett, who led all scorers with 22 points, came back down the court and drained one of his four three-pointers on the night to breathe life into the home arena.

After chasing Aliso uphill for the better part of three quarters, the Raiders sank three consecutive from downtown to finally pull even with the Wolverines at 4:21 in the third quarter. The Raiders would go on to outscore 17-2 in the final four minutes of the frame.

Aliso made a push late in the fourth and were nearly successful trading two-for-one with intentional fouls the final 1:53. The Wolverines got as close as 6 points, but eventually Austin Carter made three-of-four from the line on consecutive possessions to shut the door for good.

Carter got into foul trouble on a couple loose-ball fouls and had to sit the final few minutes of the first half. He finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Dylan Dickerson got off to a hot start for Aliso (6-3), scoring 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first quarter.

Sonora (9-1) has now won three consecutive at the North Orange County Championships tournament. The Raiders will host undefeated Capistrano Valley (8-0) Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

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LH council approves more road repair

LH council approves more road repair

Posted on 02 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The La Habra City Council approved a Contract Change Order for additional work to rehabilitate La Habra Boulevard in the eastbound lanes from Beach Boulevard to just east of Dexford Drive. La-Habra-logo-low-rez
The approval came at the November 21 meeting and awarded Sully-Miller Contracting Company with the cost  of that extra work, which is about $336,000.
Sully-Miller has been doing roadwork in LH as part of the Residential Street Rehabilitation  and the annual citywide slurry seal program. So, according to Assistant to the city manager Rob Ferrier, “it made sense for the city engineering to change order to do the additional work on La Habra Boulevard.”
The increase, approved by the council, extended the existing purchase order with Sully–Miller Contracting Company and brought their total paid amount by the city to $2,256,665.26.
The city continues to work on the roads and finished a comprehensive citywide re-pavement plan.
Despite the investment and pavement plan, some residents have questioned the status of  Imperial Highway (east of Beach Blvd), Whittier Boulevard (west of Harbor Boulevard) and all of Beach Boulevard.
Ferrier explained that those roads are maintained by Caltrans. These roadways were overlayed with asphalt about five years ago.
He added that Harbor Boulevard between just south of Las Palmas Drive  to south of Imperial Highway will be resurfaced early next year.
The city of Fullerton is participating in the cost to repair Harbor Boulevard.
Major repairs of the roadway in this area have been delayed by Fullerton, and some extent La Habra, until the Beckman development has been completed due to the construction wear and tear as well as the utility cuts into both Harbor Boulevard and Lambert Road.

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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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LH Rotary honors outstanding athletes

LH Rotary honors outstanding athletes

Posted on 02 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jane Williams
La Habra Journal

Fall sports teams have finished their season, except for those climbing the CIF tournament ladders, so it was time for La Habra Rotary to recognize the best female and male athlete from each local high school.

Photos Jane Williams Outstanding athletes: Sonora's Isabella Camacho, La Habra's Marina Pilkington and Whittier Christian's Christa Evans were recognized by the La Habra Rotary club for their hard work.

Photos Jane Williams
Outstanding athletes: Sonora’s Isabella Camacho, La Habra’s Marina Pilkington and Whittier Christian’s Christa Evans were recognized by the La Habra Rotary club for their hard work.

The smallest athlete in the room was  Sonora’s Isabella Camacho, a member of the dance team and the Raiders best golfer, two-year captain of the women’s golf team, and Number 1 on the Freeway All-League Women’s Golf team. She shot a three over par the first day and a 77 at Western Hills and ranks fourth in Orange County. Principal Adam Bailey pointed out she has no trouble hitting a golf ball 200 yards off the tee and straight down the fairway.
A captain of the dance team, Isabella is always willing to take new dancers under her wing and make sure they know the routine’s steps.  After taking 16 AP and Honors classes, she carries a 4.41 GPA.
La Habra sent Marina Pilkington, who has played volleyball since she was 11.  While a student at Rancho Starbuck she began playing So Cal United. At La Habra she was selected as a freshman to play on Varsity, which allowed her to play with her older sister, Korinna.
Marina also began an ASB career as the Freshman Class Senator. She enrolled in the Heritage Program and has caught her teacher’s enthusiasm for history. She continues working within ASB to put on conferences and dances such as Prom and Homecoming.
In her sophomore year, she was named to the Second Team All-Freeway League. In her junior year she sprained her ankle late in the season and spent much time on the bench. At the start of her senior year she worked hard to get back in the lineup after tweaking the same ankle.  She made it back and as a lefty gave other teams trouble in the front line. As one of her coaches wrote, “Marina embodies the tenacity and motivation a coach hopes to find in any of their athletes.”
Volleyball was also the sport that brought Whittier Christian’s Christa Evans recognition, although it could have just as well been basketball. Known as “Mama Bear” on either team, she tends to other players’ needs first. Then her fierce competitiveness on the court inspires her teammates..  Christa posted a 40% kill ratio and ended the season with 179 kills and 49 total blocks leading all league middle hitters.

Impressive achievement: Whittier Christian's Justin Osborn, Sonora's Ben Angulo and La Habra's Prince Ross received recognition for excelling both on and off the field (and pool).

Impressive achievement: Whittier Christian’s Justin Osborn, Sonora’s Ben Angulo and La Habra’s Prince Ross received recognition for excelling both on and off the field (and pool).

She will need to do the same for the basketball team this year as it will be a young team. She was on the first All-League team and last year on the All-Area team,  and she was MVP of the La Habra Classic Team tournament, She hopes to major in sports psychology.
Justin Osborne, Whittier Christian’s top male athlete, was a two-way player on the football team. As a running back, he finished the season with 1,142 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing, and 921 yards and 9 touchdowns receiving, not to mention completing 2 passes for another 2 TDs.
Justin has tremendous speed which helped him make 161 tackles. He had no trouble being named to the First Team All-League. He is also a three-year starter on the basketball, and volleyball teams, and was selected a Homecoming Prince.
Sonora chose  Ben Angulo, the MVP of its water polo team two years in a row, as its male athlete of the season. Ben is a member of the Under 18 Olympic Development Team. Sonora finished second in league behind Troy. They were the only Freeway League team to take Troy to 5 games in a match.
He was captain of the team and is always reliable.
To prepare for college Ben is currently taking Honors Economics, AP US government, AP Physics, and AP Calculus. He hopes to attend UC Davis and major in Sports Journalism and have a career in sports broadcasting or reporting.
Prince Ross transferred to La Habra High when he was a freshman to play football with two friends  and for its drama program As a freshman he played wide receiver and was named Offensive Player of the Year.
As a sophomore he made varsity, again at wide receiver. When a player in the lineup injured his back, Prince’s playing time increased. He did so well he was named Rookie of the Year.
It was in the CIF Championship game against San Clemente that he caught the Hail Mary pass from Eric Barriere  with no time left on the clock and his feet in the end zone. It had worked against Los Alamitos and it worked once again for the Championship. The play made the ABC TV Highlight Reel and was named the the Play of the Year for high school.
He finished the league season with 10 touchdowns.
In addition to football, Prince has a passion for acting, something he has been doing since he was with Malibu Casting.  Last year he had a role in Pajama Game and right now he reads the boards of Plummer Auditorium in “Guys and Dolls.”

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LH Tamale Festival brings hungry crowds

LH Tamale Festival brings hungry crowds

Posted on 02 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

La Habra’s Recreation Division held its third annual Tamale Festival on Sunday at a different and much big4c_1_img_9073-_webger location from last year. The festival’s committee led by the city’s recreation manager, David DeLeon, decided to move the event from the La Habra Community Center and it’s parking lot to the street Euclid between La Habra Boulevard and Lambert. The street was shut down for the day and was filled with over 10,000 people that came to buy tamales from the 16 different tamale vendors present.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better situation, and even though we had some inclement weather we still had a great crowd,” said DeLeon.
This year’s live entertainment came from two different stages, which included the community stage and the main stage. The community stage located in Brio Park featured various dance alh-tamale_2_webnd choir performances, and once the performances finished attendees were able to take a hands on tamale making course sponsored by Northgate Gonzalez Market for free. The main stage located in Portola Park presented performances from artists including Grammy award winning Mariachi Divas, and also hosted churro eating contests and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
This year La Habra resident, Sharon Webster, attended the festival, and when she went around asking people which tamales were the best she was told to look for the longest line.
“I’ve made tamales before and it’s a long process that could take all day,” said Webster. “I’d rather just come out and buy a couple dozen.”
The festival held contests for best salsa, best dessert tamale, best tamale, and judge’s favorite. San Fernalh-tamale_3_webndo Valley resident, Veronica Reyes, took this year’s best dessert tamale trophy with her vanilla and Nutella tamale. Anthony Navarro’s green salsa won him the best salsa category, and Brianna Sanabria took home the judge’s favorite trophy with her red salsa tamale.
The owners of The Two Tamales catering company, Gabe and Gail Garcia, won the best tamale category with their green chile tamale and cheese, potato, and chorizo tamale.
The couple has been married for 44 years, and Gabe Garcia has been making tamales for over 35 years. Their tamale company offers traditional, vegetarian, and gluten free tamales with dough that contains no lard.
“This festival is family oriented, fun, well organized, and I’m definitely coming back next year,” said Gail Garcia.
Children were able to enjoy the Play Matters Kids Zone, which featured various carnival games, trLA Auto Show 2016ain rides, a rock wall, and jumpers. Wristbands were sold for $10 that allowed the owner unlimited access to every game and attraction.
The La Habra Art Walk Association had their own section at the festival with over 25 artists showcasing and selling their artwork. Their section also featured artwork from local students.  According to the association’s executive director, Michelle Bernier, she asked the artists to demonstrate their art to those in attendance by actually working on a piece throughout the event.
“We try to create neat and unique things that you haven’t seen in La Habra,” said Bernier. “We’re trying to create a culture that will help younger ones grow creatively.”
The city’s Recreation Division received a $96,000 seven-year grant from Orange County Transportation Authority that allowed for the use of a shuttle system at this year’s festival.
People had the choice of parking at the La Habra Marketplace, Sonora High School, or La Habra High School and were picked up by an OCTA shuttle that took them to the festival. DeLeon expects to use this shuttle service for events such as the Citrus Fair, Corn Festival, La Fiesta, and next year’s Tamale Festival.

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WCHS student remembered after being killed by object on 57

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WCHS student remembered after being killed by object on 57

Posted on 02 December 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

He was dedicated and someone who was always cracking jokes.
That’s how friends and coaches described Ethan Hawks, a junior at Whittier Christian who died Thursday morning after a unique accident.varsity-75_web
Hawks, 17, and his mother, Kat, were traveling south on the 57 Freeway south of Katella Avenue on the afternoon of  Nov. 19 when a metal object crashed through their windshield and struck Ethan on the right side of his face.
The piece of metal was roughly 7 to 10 pounds and severed his carotid artery. He also suffered extensive damage to his jaw and cheekbone.
His mother, who was driving and had picked him up from an event where he was volunteering, attempted to stop the bleeding as she drove to St. Joseph’s Hospital.  He was then transported to UCI Medical Center.
After being treated, he was placed into an induced coma to help him heal.  He had a bad reaction to medication he was given Wednesday night and was stabilized after going into septic shock.
However, Ethan died Thursday morning just after 5 a.m.
The Yorba Linda teen was known as a character and a fun kid to his friends at Whittier Christian.
The school established a GoFundMe page after the accident. More than $29,000 has been raised through donations by people who were touched by Ethan’s accident.
The Hawks family has shared they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love they have received for Ethan.
“The overwhelming response of support for the Hawks family over the last few days is a testament to just how much Ethan was loved by his family and friends and how his story touched so many lives,” said Whittier Christian’s Head of School Carl Martinez.
“The Whittier Christian High School community is heavy-hearted today after losing Ethan Hawks to complications from the terrible accident that happened to him this past Saturday,” said WCHS Athletic Direcctor Rolland Essinger   “The Heralds stand in support of the Hawks family and will be there with them in the tough days, weeks and months ahead.”
Hawks was known as a fighter on the Heralds football team.
Last season, the junior suffered what many thought was a season ending leg fracture against Maranatha. However, after a rehabilitation, Hawks was back on the team practicing in spring.
Regarding Hawks tenacity and determination to rejoin his team, WCHS Head Football coach  Sergio Gradilla  described Hawks as a “tough young man.”
“His determination was amazing to watch,” Essinger said. “Most people thought he would never play again, but Ethan never wavered from his goal to come back.”
Gradilla shared that Hawks was loved by his teammates  and enjoyed making them laugh.
Nicknamed “Boom Stick” by his Herald teammates, Hawks had his whole team supporting him after the accident.
Whittier Christian Quarterback Quinn Commans wrote in a Twitter post, “Ethan, you were the craziest and happiest kid I’ve ever met and yet still couldn’t catch a break. It’s way too soon to see you go, but I wouldn’t want anyone else creating all the crazy memories, always asking about my day, reminding me how bad I was at football and most importantly telling me that you love me every single day. You wouldn’t stop hugging me until I said it back because you knew how much I hated being touched. I promise I will make you so proud.”
Essinger added that Hawks fought hard and he was supported by an amazing family.
“Ethan’s mom, dad, sister and uncle came alongside Ethan in such an incredible way,” Essinger said.  “The doctors and nurses at the UCI Medical Center fought with Ethan every step of the way as well and are certainly appreciated for all they did for him.”
The WCHS community held a gathering in honor of Hawks Friday at Herald Hall. Grief counselors and pastors were on campus Monday.
“Ethan will always be remembered as a free-spirited young man who would not let anything stand in the way of him achieving his goals,” Essinger said.  “We will certainly miss Ethan, and we are thankful for the time we had with him. God blessed us with Ethan Hawks.”
A “Celebration of Ethan’s Life” will be held Saturday, December 3, at 10 a.m. at Whittier Christian.

Click here to help support the Hawks family: https://www.gofundme.com/ethan-hawks-recovery-expenses

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