Tag Archive | "high school"

Taylor’s record night, lifts Highlanders over Titans

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Taylor’s record night, lifts Highlanders over Titans

Posted on 02 September 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Skyler Taylor’s school record seven touchdowns spurred La Habra to upend Tesoro with a decisive 45-14 victory in Friday night’s home opener.

La Habra’s Skyler Taylor runs for one of his record setting touchdowns against Tesoro Friday night. Photo by Miguel Pola

It was an impressive showing following their lopsided loss to Upland last week.

“It’s ironic,” head coach Frank Mazzotta said of his message to the team this week. “You’re never as bad as you think you are, and you’re never as good as you think you are either.”

“I was proud of the kids, they did a pretty good job,” Mazzotta added. “Instead of getting down [and dwelling on last week], they came out and played.”

Taylor got the Highlanders on the board early and they never slowed down.

Playing in his first home game since joining the team, Taylor scored on each of the first two Highlander possessions, from six and 40 yards.

La Habr’s defense held the Titans to only 14 points Friday as LHHS won 45-14. Photo by Miguel Pola

Tesoro showed signs of life late in the first, when quarterback Chase Petersen hit John Cody for a 72-yard touchdown.

The Highlander defense set the tone early as well, forcing three turnovers in the first quarter (two interceptions and a fumble).

After a Clark Phillips interception staved off the Titans drive deep into Highlander territory, Taylor burst through the line and ran 91 yards untouched to make it 19-7 with 1:15 left in the first quarter.

The Highlanders offensive line paved the way for Taylor to go into halftime with six scores and a 39-7 lead.

“We are counting on them to be something special this year,” Mazzotta said about his offensive line. “Now they have to live up to it.”

Taylor would only play one more series in the third quarter, adding a 67-yarder to his total and finished with 300 yards.

La Habra Quarterback Zach Fogel makes a pass past Tesoro defenders in the Highlander 45-14 victory. Photo by Miguel Pola.

“It feels great playing behind them, I love my team man,” Taylor said. “It was all offensive line tonight, couldn’t do it without them.  

For the Titans, Petersen and Cody would hookup one more time midway through the fourth for another long touchdown. The duo accounted for the Titans only two scores on the night.

Quarterback Zach Fogel connected on a pair of long pass plays down inside the 5-yard-line, one to Deavyn Woullard and one to Kelani Washington that set up two more Taylor scores.

“I saw a little improvement, but tonight was all about our o-line and Skyler, with seven touchdowns, that’s unreal,” Fogel said.

Tesoro (0-2) dropped a heartbreaker last week to No. 1 Edison 47-48, but came into the night still ranked ahead of La Habra in Division 2.

Next week will be another serious test for the Highlanders (1-1), when they host the No. 10 team in California, Mission Viejo (2-0) Friday night. The Diablos are averaging 40 points-per-game so far and just beat a tough Vista Murrietta team 41-7.

Fogel said the key is just getting back to work, you don’t get too low after a loss or too high after a win.

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Students get help, info about college

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Students get help, info about college

Posted on 07 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

Local education nonprofit held its annual college day to help local high school seniors prepare for college.

By Leonardo Romero
La Habra Journal

The local nonprofit organization Advance! held it’s 12th annual La Habra Goes To College event on Sunday at the La Habra Community Center. This year’s schedule began with a continental breakfast and a meet and greet with 18 different college representatives followed by a welcome address from Advance! co-founder Fred Lentz and La Habra councilwoman and Advance board member Rose Espinoza. advance_1
Those in attendance were able to sit through a presentation discussing college systems, financial aid information, and GPA significance. The event also held a parent/student panel and ended with an opportunity drawing where a few lucky students and parents went home with college related prizes such as a backpack filled with school supplies.
The community center was initially set up with 350 chairs for attendees, but according to Lentz an additional 105 chairs were added into the room because of the incredible turnout rate.
During Advance’s first year in operation the staff assisted 51 students with admission and FAFSA applications, and 13 years later Lentz proudly stated that last year they helped over 820 students.
According to UCI campus representative Daniel McInnis, the high number of middle school and freshman / sophomore high school students surprised him since he’s used to seeing mostly high school seniors at college fairs.
His approach to helping students learn more about UCI begins by asking them what major they’re most interested in pursuing and then providing them with information on that specific major along with general information about UCI and it’s applicant requirements.
The board of directors decided to not have any college representatives at last year’s La Habra Goes To College event, because they noticed that the attendees were congregating by the representatives most of the time and missing the important information from the presentations. This year they decided to have both features, but made sure to schedule time throughout the presentations for students to meet with the representatives.
La Habra resident and La Habra High School junior, Toni Rodriguez, attended this year’s event and was intrigued by Berkley and UCI’s law program after she made her round through each college booth.
“I learned a lot about FAFSA, because I didn’t really know anything about it,” said Rodriguez.
Advance volunteer and Cal State Fullerton senior, Luis Matos, came from a low-income family in Puerto Rico and decided to come to California in 2006 to attain a college degree in order to assist families that face similar situations he endured.
He volunteers his spare time with Advance because he understands just how confusing and frustrating college applications can be, and he wants to apply his experience to help lost students find their way.
“The purpose of this event is for students to explore their options, and to implement it in their head that there are steps that need to be taken to get to college and we can help you individually with those steps when you come into our office,” said Matos.
Since 2005, Advance has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to local students, and has always provided their services free of charge. Advance!’s office is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and located in La Habra at 501 S. Idaho St. in Suite 230.
According to Advance’s treasurer Habib Captan, the office is only open during the afternoon because it allows for students and parents to come in after school or work.
“A lot of people don’t know how much financial aid there is available out there or that the way to college is not as difficult as they think,” said Captan. “We make sure to make it simple for them.”

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Sonora students gain advantage in the Garage

Posted on 01 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Near the center of Sonora High School’s main building, a neon sign sits atop a stack of tires. It’s just outside a classroom toward the campus’ west side.

The Garage is open: Tutor and Sonora alumni Danny Silva (left) and faculty member Howard  Medrano stand at the door of Sonora High School’s newest tutoring center, the Garage.

The Garage is open: Tutor and Sonora alumni Danny Silva (left) and faculty member Howard
Medrano stand at the door of Sonora High School’s newest tutoring center, the Garage.

The sign reads “open” and invites students to walk in to a personalized learning environment. Here visitors will find help with homework and assistance from a college-level tutor specializing on a wide range of educational topics.
Welcome to the Garage.
An idea formed by three Sonora faculty members, the Garage is Sonora’s newest tutoring center and it operates for all students between 3-5 p.m., four days per week.
Equipped with two sets of tables in a horseshoe shape, six lab computers and two extremely dedicated tutors, the Garage has been helping students at Sonora since its soft opening in November 2013.
“I’ve always had trouble with math, so being in there helps because they still know it,” said sophomore Arianna Castro, who frequents the room three times per week. “It’s really helpful because I don’t get a lot of help at home. When I get home, there isn’t usually anyone there to help me with any of my homework. Coming here and knowing that someone took time out of their day to help you is great.”
But what makes the Garage even more of an accomplishment is in how it came to be.
The idea, which was formed by faculty members Cory Witt, Howard Medrano and Joe D’Amelia, was to create a tutoring environment where students could get homework done and get the help they needed to understand concepts.
“We saw that many of these kids don’t have the resources at home, like a desk or a computer, or they’re dealing with other distractions and have no means by which to get their homework done,” Witt said. “We wanted to create an environment where students could come in and have the tools necessary to get their homework done.”
The opportunity opened up after last school year, when a teacher retirement vacated a classroom adjacent to Witt’s. Medrano immediately went to the school’s administration to pitch the idea.
Shortly after removing a few panes from the wall, the three discovered what looked like a garage door facing the adjacent quad area. It was at that moment that the room was given its name.
But even with the name and the vision, the room still needed the proper tools in order to operate. This was where D’Amelia came up with an idea inspired by his wife, an elementary school teacher.
At Sonora’s Back to School Night in September, the three posted numerous placards on the whiteboard, each containing an item needed for the Garage in hopes for donations. The Garage needed tables, chairs and other necessary equipment.
Within two hours of presenting their idea to parents, faculty and administration, $1,000 had been donated.
“We sold them the dream,” Witt said. “Every parent that came through, we had board members come through, our superintendent and our principal, they all donated. It gave me a renewed faith in our community.”
One of the more fitting pieces is a standing tool shed, donated by Mike and Veronica Norstrom, which holds writing utensils, paper and other various school items.
In November, the Garage opened for the first time, welcoming a small number of students. Two college students, Danny Silva and Juan Garcia, donated their time as tutors. Both have logged more than 50 hours tutoring on any and all subjects, and Witt said there hasn’t been a day since the opening that neither of them have been in the room.
In mid-March, more than 1,000 hours had been logged in the Garage by students.
“It’s nice to see we’ve created this for the Sonora family,” said Silva, an accounting major. “It’s fun coming in to help out because it’s a different challenge every day. It helps me because it keeps my mind going.”
In addition, Witt also opens up his classroom to create extra space in case other students need to come in and finish homework. On top, students from the Bridge program also come in and tutor when time permits.
“I usually tutor what I know, which is usually math and biology,” said Ricardo Esquivel, a junior. “I also get help with math, and while I’m in class I don’t really understand the notes. But here when they help me out, I understand it more and I get more homework done. It’s helped more than the other tutoring program. Here, I know everyone and it feels more comfortable.”
As word has spread about the Garage and its mission, more faculty members have become involved in supervising the two-hour period. As of now, eight faculty members split shifts supervising from Monday through Thursday.
The room has been especially helpful for student athletes as a way to keep up their grades and maintain their eligibility on their respective teams.
“We go in there for football to keep our GPA up during the season,” said Devonn Scott, a sophomore who visits four days per week. “Usually I go in there to get help with homework to keep my grades up. There’s never a shortage of tutors. I think it helps. Our coaches encourage us to go.”
What has separated the Garage from most other tutoring centers, aside from its decor, is the way Silva and Garcia interact with students and make them feel comfortable.
“This place does not operate without them,” Witt said. “They’re incredible young men. they’re so sacrificial in nature.”
D’Amelia added: “You don’t feel like you’re going to a teacher’s classroom. It feels different. It’s more approachable. For some of them, it feels like their home.”
And while the room has been a success to this point, Witt, Medrano and D’Amelia still have plans to try to make it even better. Next year, the plan is to open the Garage during 0 period, as well as during break so that students have the chance to print out essays before class. The three also hope to add to the decor, as well as make the room more systematic and organized. With the high demand by students – each day a line of students awaits the 3 p.m. opening – talks of expanding the room are sure to follow.
“We want to model it after a college environment,” Medrano said. “We’ve researched color schemes that stimulate learning. A year from now, this room will look a lot different.”
However, for now, the room stands as a way of showing the community’s strong support and value in education.
For Medrano, the Garage, which employs the motto “Everyone and Everything Works,” pays dividends for all involved. The students get the help they need, while Silva and Garcia get to practice their roles as leaders. The faculty get a chance to see a different side to their roles as teachers, while the community will see the benefits as the Garage is used as a tool to “mold students into great citizens,” as expressed by Witt.
“This is a whole community effort,” said Medrano. “The parents and administration put in the money for this and we put in the time to supervise it. Danny and Juan put in the time to tutor and the kids are coming and benefiting from that. All the ingredients are there.”

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LH Rotary honors local athletes

Posted on 19 December 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jane Williams
For the La Habra Journal

In November, the La Habra Rotary honored the best fall athletes in girls and boys sports.
Sonora High School selected a sophomore, Emily Sonny, as the best girl athlete. Sonny just began playing volleyball as a freshman, but plans on concentrating on it this spring when she joins a club team.

Photo courtesy La Habra Rotary Outstanding ladies: Sonora’s Emily Sonny, Whittier Christian’s Kylee Wolfe and La Habra’s Corey Luna were recognized by the La Habra Rotary for their achievements in sports and academics.

Photo courtesy La Habra Rotary
Outstanding ladies: Sonora’s Emily Sonny, Whittier Christian’s Kylee Wolfe and La Habra’s Corey Luna were recognized by the La Habra Rotary for their achievements in sports and academics.

She has already proven herself as an athlete by playing baseball with the boys, soccer and water polo. She attributes competing with her brother to developing her love of challenges.  She also is a promising photographer, guitarist and artist.
At Sonora, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA with her favorite subjects being Spanish, geometry and agriculture. She is also a member of Future Farmers of America and Best Buds.
Whittier Christian’s only problem was deciding which member of the CIF Division II Championship volleyball team to pick.  Reviewing Kylee Wolfe’s accomplishments made the decision easier. After all, she was the All-Area Most Valuable Player for 2012 and captain of the 2012 and 2013 championship teams, as well as First Team All-CIF for 2011 and 2012.  The 2013 selections in those categories have not yet been announced.
Wolfe has played volleyball since seventh grade and has been captain for the SoCal Juniors for the past three years. A senior, Wolfe carries a 3.95 GPA and plans to attend the University of Rhode Island where she will play Division I volleyball and major in kinesiology with plans to become a physical therapist.
One of her volunteer efforts involves finding people to adopt abandoned cats and to care for the animals awaiting adoption. She has also volunteered with her uncle’s ministry, Baja Christian Ministries, building homes in Baja. She also played with the children and spread God’s word while doing so.
La Habra High’s Cory Luna was the smallest among the girl athletes present. As captain of the girls cross country team, her best time is 18:43 for the three-mile run. Last year she was named the most valuable runner. As a sophomore, she won the Freeway League championship in the mile (5:26) and the 800-meter race.
Luna has a weighted GPA of 5.0 and is ranked fourth in the senior class. She has taken the most rigorous courses possible, which included 10 honors classes and seven AP classes. As president of her 4H Club, she led the club to the National Junior Horticulture Convention in Virginia where she earned an individual first place award and the team won fourth place overall.

Outstanding gentlemen: Sonora’s Richard Atnip, La Habra’s Michael Weir and Whittier Christian’s Ryan Esslinger were recognized by the La Habra Rotary for their achievements in sports and academics.

Outstanding gentlemen: Sonora’s Richard Atnip, La Habra’s Michael Weir and Whittier Christian’s Ryan Esslinger were recognized by the La Habra Rotary for their achievements in sports and academics.

Luna plans to attend University of Colorado majoring in biology and animal behavior while also running. She hopes to become a veterinarian.
Richard Atnip, a two year member of the Sonora varsity water polo team, was named captain this year and its Most Valuable Player. He was named to the Freeway All-League first team for the second year in a row.
In the spring, he pulls out his golf clubs and leads the Sonora  golf team on which he has played since freshman year. He has been named to the Freeway All-League golf team since freshman year. In 2011 and 2013 he was named MVP of the golf team and qualified to play in the CIF individual golf championships for the Southern Section.
This fall, Atnip received an AP Scholar Award, which reflects the three AP courses he took and passed last year. His GPA of 4.5 places him in the top three percent of his class. He plans to maintain this GPA while taking AP calculus, AP literature and AP government, as well as marine biology and biochemistry – not to mention history of motion pictures. Atnip hopes to attend a four-year college.
La Habra High also selected a water polo player as its outstanding male athlete. Michael Weir plays the set position for the past three years and been named the MVP his sophomore and junior years. He has been co-captain the past two years. He ended the seasons with 41 goals, four of them coming in the upset of Troy, ending that school’s 53 straight league game win streak. He also compiled 26 assists and 35 steals.
Weir also competes in swimming and has won the scholar-athlete award for both sports.  He is also a three-year member of La Habra’s Top 100. He earned a five on the AP calculus AB exam last year and will take the AP calculus BC exam this year. He has earned a 4.6 weighted GPA while taking nine AP classes.
In addition, he is a link crew leader, treasurer of NHS and on the principal’s advisory panel. He plans on attending a four-year university.
For the past two years, Ryan Esslinger was the quarterback of the Heralds’ football team. During that time he passed for 4,440 yards and 46 touchdowns and rushed for 1,366 yards and another 12 touchdowns. He has been on the varsity team for three years. He has been named to the first team All-League, All-CIF team and All-Area first team, as well as MVP of the team. He has also been captain for the past two years.
When football season ends, it’s on to basketball where he also was named to the first team All-League and second team All-Area as well as MVP of the team last year. He led the team in assists, rebounds and steals and was the second-leading scorer. This year he is the captain of the hoop team.
But Esslinger is more than an athlete. He has twice traveled with his family and the Containers of Hope group to Liberia, He went in eighth grade and again as a sophomore. There they visited the orphanage run by John Payan and distributed backpacks filled with health and school items as well as a Bible to the children there and to those in outlying villages. Esslinger is also a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes team at the school for the past two years as well as a member Whittier Christian chapel team.
Esslinger has applied to Harvey Mudd, Stanford, a number of California universities and Penn.

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LHHS Guild wows crowds along the yellow brick road

Posted on 21 November 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jennifer Nguyen
La Habra Journal

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!
The La Habra High School Theater Guild worked tirelessly putting on their fall production, “The Wizard of Oz,” at Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton.

Off to see the wizard: Patrick Gray, Zoya Martin, Austin Tebay and Shane Satterfield perform in La Habra Theater Guild’s  “Wizard of Oz”

Off to see the wizard: Patrick Gray, Zoya Martin, Austin Tebay and Shane Satterfield perform in La Habra Theater Guild’s “Wizard of Oz”

With the last showing on Nov. 16, the production garnered plenty of publicity and positive reviews from the community, said Brian Johnson, the head of the LHHS theater program.
Johnson, who teaches English and theater at LHHS, started the Theater’s Guild 10 years ago when he first came to La Habra. Originally, it was just an idea to have a name to go along with the program he wanted to build. With many major performing arts schools throughout the county, like the Orange County School of Arts and the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, Johnson wanted something that would attract students towards La Habra to come do theater there.
Students do not have to be enrolled in theater courses or have any experience in acting to join the Theater Guild. And they don’t have to audition to be in the program either, but they do have to audition for the shows.
There are roughly 220 students in the Theater Guild, and everybody is involved in some way with each show scheduled throughout the year, such as production and backstage work.
At LHHS, instead of having just one activity to focus on, students have the choice to expand their interests.
“I’ve got a lot of different types of kids involved. I have athletes, cheerleaders and honors students,” Johnson said.
For each production, there is one day of auditions. For plays and musicals, there are dance auditions as well as singing and reading auditions. A cast list is posted within the next few days, and rehearsals begin the following day. Each school year has about seven shows, with a new show every four weeks. Everyone involved must work quickly.
“You’re constantly working on something else while you’re doing something else,” Johnson said.
Due to her packed schedule, Kymberlin Martin, 16, a junior, spends most of her time at school, fitting in cheer practice, theater rehearsals and homework time into her daily routine.
“What I love most about our guild is that we all remain busy and exhausted but still manage to get the job done,” Martin said.
Austin Tebay, who plays the Tin Man in the Guild’s “Wizard of Oz” show, said this show has kept him very busy, especially when tech rehearsals conflicted with major homework assignments. In the end, even with the craziness of being so busy, he “wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said.
“Theater – more specifically, musical theater – is what I do and I enjoy every moment of it,” he said.
“The Wizard of Oz” is the most expensive production the program has ever done. The guild rented the Madison Square Garden sets and costumes, and worked with a company that helped provide flying effects for the show. They also contracted with a local pyro technician (who has also done work at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm) to make flame effects possible, which Johnson describes as “unusual and different” for a high school to do.
“We wanted to do something that was a spectacle that would be impressive for kids and adults, something that people would be talking about for a while,” said Johnson.
Other musicals and plays the guild has done in the past include “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Pride & Prejudice,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Johnson said he hopes that students who come to his program find that they learn more life skills than just theatrical skills. He wants them to learn self-confidence, responsibility and, most importantly, time management.
He said most of his students find that by dealing with the stress of what they’re doing in the program, they’re also dealing with their academic stress more efficiently because they are learning to multitask.
Johnson said that throughout the 10 years the LHHS Theater Guild has existed, he is proud of how far they have come.
“I’m always telling people to just come see our shows. Take the time to come out and spend a few hours with us and see it,” he said.
The next productions the Theater Guild have up their sleeves for this upcoming spring are “Macbeth” and “West Side Story.”

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La Habra High School Graduation 2013

Posted on 19 June 2013 by La Habra Journal

For more than 100 photos from graduation….Click here!4C_LHHS Grad_14

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Sonora High School Graduation

Posted on 19 June 2013 by La Habra Journal

SHS Grad_FrontPageHere are some photos from the Sonora High School Graduation 2013…click here!

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Lady Highlanders edge Sonora in crosstown match

Posted on 19 April 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Senior Nicole Demille connects for the Lady Highlanders in their win over Sonora Thursday.

Senior Nicole Demille connects for the Lady Highlanders in their win over Sonora Thursday.

In a game that featured six home runs, the La Habra softball team outmuscled city rival Sonora to a 6-4 victory at La Habra High, Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Highlanders pounded four home runs and never trailed as they remained a game back of Sunny Hills in the Freeway League standings. Sonora dropped to 1-3 in league play.

“It doesn’t matter the sport, Sonora and La Habra is always a good game,” said Frank McCarroll, La Habra coach. “Offensively, we’re struggling a little bit and a part of it is the young team, but we got timely hitting today, which we really haven’t had over the course of the season.”

Racquel and Camille Manzo, Nikki Butler and Amanda Akles all homered for La Habra, as all of its runs were scored by home run.

Kianna Scott and Madison Gimpl went deep for Sonora. Scott led the Lady Raiders offense with two hits and three RBI.

All six home runs were hit between left and center field, a sign that strong winds blowing from behind home plate may have proved beneficial.

Racquel Manzo put the Lady Highlanders up with her solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. In the second inning, Nikki Butler’s two-run shot to left field made it 3-0.

After the Lady Raiders scored in the fourth inning, Sonora starter Sarah Hauke gave up a solo home run to Camille Manzo, which put La Habra back up by three runs in the fifth inning.

Hauke came into the matchup having thrown 141 pitches just two days prior in an 11-inning battle with Sunny Hills.

“She had one day off to come back from that, so she was a little fatigued and she left the ball up a bit,” said Michelle Rodriguez, Sonora coach. “It’s not an excuse because we still need her to do what she does, but unfortunately the two balls that were up were big.”

La Habra threatened to stretch the lead further in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Sonora center fielder Leandra Jew’s strong throw home beat Akles as she was tagged by catcher Audrey Castro.

Sensing that time was running out, the Lady Raiders began to figure out Lady Highlander’s starter Vanessa Ciocatto.

With runners on first and second in the fourth inning, Scott recorded a third consecutive base hit for Sonora, which scored Katie Amaral.

“Leandra’s play was huge, it was a momentum changer,” Rodriguez said. “For us to come right back and get a run after shutting them down, was a huge key to staying in the game. We also got a bit more aggressive at the plate, sometimes we come out too timid and take too many strikes, I thought they adjusted well today.”

In the sixth inning, Sonora (6-10, 1-3) collected three more hits off Ciocatto, including Scott’s two-run homer to center, which cut La Habra’s lead down to one run at 4-3.

However, Sonora’s momentum was halted when Butler, La Habra’s freshman catcher, caught Castro trying to steal second base to end the inning.

“I thought that play helped us out the most,” McCarroll said. “Not knocking any of the other catchers we’ve had recently, but Nikki’s the best one we’ve had in a while.”

The Lady Highlanders then had a response. After a leadoff single by Racquel Manzo, Akles launched her two-run homer to deep left field, putting La Habra back up 6-3.

Gimpl made it 6-4 with a one-out solo home run in the seventh inning, but Ciocatto induced two fly ball outs, one on a sharp liner to right field, to preserve the victory.

The Lady Highlanders (14-9, 3-1), who maintain their second-place standing in the Freeway League, will head out to face Troy on the road, Tuesday.

“We’re still trying to figure out an approach at the plate with our team,” McCarroll said. “Once they figure out that what we’re telling them isn’t that bad and with their abilities, we should be okay.”

Sonora, which has lost three league games by a combined five runs, will host Buena Park, Tuesday.

“This is one of the first games in a long time that we’ve played clean defensively,” Rodriguez said. “Now we just have to put it all together.”

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Sparling pitches no hitter in La Habra victory over Troy

Posted on 11 April 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

LHHS_SHS_Baseball__SperlingCWith the season series tied, Sean Sparling threw a no-hitter against Troy on the road in a 7-0 win as La Habra pushed itself into a second-place tie with Fullerton in the Freeway League.

The senior right-hander allowed a walk and hit two batters, but did not allow a runner past first base as he struck out seven to earn his third win of the season. A fourth batter reached on a fielder’s choice.

After allowing two to reach first base in the second inning, Sparling retired the next 13 batters before hitting Turner Acosta to lead off the seventh inning.

“I think the key for Sean today was his secondary pitches and his ability to throw them for strikes,” said John Sothern, La Habra head coach. “The few times he shook off my sign, he went with the pitch I was going to call next anyway, it was a great performance.”

The Highlanders spotted Sparling a run in the top of the first inning after Austin Saad drove in Zach Ferreira with two outs.

Troy starting pitcher Joe Richardson got help from his defense in the second with an inning-ending double play and cruised through the following two innings.

But the sophomore right-hander struggled with his command in the fifth inning, allowing a lead-off single. Ferreira was intentionally walked after Richardson fell behind in the count.

After a sacrifice bunt, Brett Mays was issued an intentional walk to get to Saad for the second consecutive game.

Again, Saad made Troy pay with a RBI-single to left field. Garrett Molnar followed with a RBI-single and Andrew Gallegos drove home a third run on a groundout as La Habra stretched the lead to 4-0.

“He’s got the perfect attitude for that situation, it genuinely makes him mad when pitchers intentionally walk to get to him,” Sothern said. “I wish more of our guys had that approach at the plate.”

The Highlanders tacked on some insurance runs in the seventh as Troy’s bullpen struggled to throw strikes, walking the first four Highlanders in the inning. Three more runs crossed despite no hits by the Highlanders.

But the day belonged to Sparling, who struck out two of three in the bottom of the seventh and perhaps breathed a sigh of relief after Gallegos almost misplayed the final out in right field.

Sparling only seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, making Luke Fuller swing well ahead of a nasty changeup for the first out of the seventh inning in what was perhaps his best pitch of the afternoon.

The celebration was rather mild as the team gave him a simple round of applause in the team meeting afterward.

Saad and Gallegos both went 2-for-3, driving in two runs each. La Habra drew 10 walks on the afternoon.

Troy left two runners aboard, one each in the first and seventh innings. In the second inning, one runner was retired at second base on a fielder’s choice by Sparling during a sacrifice bunt attempt.

Sparling ended the inning by picking off the runner at first base.

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Sonora blows out Santa Maria in first round

Posted on 13 February 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
The Sonora Raiders basketball team opened up the CIF playoffs with an impressive 82-62 victory over the Santa Maria Saints. The Raiders will take on Servite, Friday Night, at Servite.

Sonora dominated early, and jumped out to a 33-17 lead after one quarter. Sophomore point guard Josh Rodriguez lead the early charge with 12 first-quarter points.

He got the crowd into the game early, with a crazy sequence of possessions. Rodriguez stole the ball from a Santa Maria and threw a no-look dish to Andrew Talley right under the basket, and finished with the easy layup. Then, on the next possession, Rodriguez got another steal, and sank a pull-up three.

“It was definitely fun out there,” said Rodriguez. “We didn’t play our best game, but we got the win and are moving on to the next round.”

Talley and Jimmy Golden both added seven first quarter points, and Travis Ryal had six.

In the second quarter, another sophomore took over. Ben Rico came off the bench with Golden in foul trouble and made some big shots. Ben had ten of his 17 points in the second, including two three-point shots.

“It felt really good tonight,” said Rico. “The team played well, and my teammates got me some good looks.”

The Raiders took a 47-31 lead into the half, and never looked back. Both teams seemed to slow down in the third, only scoring a combined 21 points. The bright spot of the third was Ryal.

Ryal had six of his 18 points in the quarter. He really seemed to benefit from game plan in this one, and the Saints were giving him a back door cut and easy layups all game

“My teammates have been giving me the ball really well,” said Ryal. “It was mostly on easy layups, so I got to thank my teammates for that.

The fourth quarter was more of the same. Santa Maria picked up their offense a little bit, but it was too little too late. Santa Maria’s J.T. Simpkins had 12 of his game-high 26, in the quarter.

Along with Ryal’s 18 and Rico’s 17, Rodrigues also added 17. Golden had 12 points, and Talley finished with 11.
“We got the win. That is all that matters,” said Golden. “But we got to step up our defense before Friday. It was terrible tonight.”

“I don’t think we executed very well tonight, but they were a really scrappy team,” added Coach Mike Murphy. “We only ran one offense tonight, and tried to keep it simple, and it got us a lot of good looks.”

The Raiders will go into Servite on Friday and look to get the same result as tonight. That game will be one of the most highly-anticipated games of the entire playoffs.

“It is going to be crazy,” said Golden. “They have a huge student section, but we are playing against the team, not their fans.”
“I expect the atmosphere to be similar to the Sunny Hills game, but in their favor,” added Ryal.

Murphy thought the team played a little sloppy tonight, but it is hard to argue with the result.
“If we are going to win a CIF Championship we need to tighten up our game, and play better defense,” said Murphy.
The game will be Friday night, at 7 p.m., at Servite High School.

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