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Toads win first-ever CIF-SS title

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Photo submitted
Thacher’s cross-country team members (back row from left) coach Fred Coleman, Edison Chadwick, Rico Lopez, Nick Amano, Thomas Boneysteele, (front row from left) Ford Shaper, Colin Kirkpatrick and Winslow Atkeson show off their championship trophy.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
For the first time in the history of the Thacher School, a boys’ cross county team has won a CIF Southern Section Divisional Championship. The Toads traveled to Riverside Nov. 18 and competed in the Division 5 race and smoked the competition, winning by a whopping 35 points. 
Thacher took the same seven runners to the CIF state finals last season and took sixth overall and they will be looking to improve on that this season. “We are peaking right now and you have to hold a peak for three weeks. We only have to hold it for one,” said Thacher coach Fred Coleman.
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Dream season ends in playoff loss for Villanova gridders

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Despite its best effort, the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team lost to the Mojave Mustangs in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs Nov. 18. The Wildcats entered the semifinals with a perfect 11-0 record but the playoff-tested Mustangs proved to be too much and rolled to an 86-44 victory.
Going into the game, VPS head coach Ricardo Olivares mentioned being concerned about Mojave’s speed and missed tackles by his defensive unit and those concerns proved to be valid as the Mustangs scored a mind-blowing 86 points.
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Pounders defend Ojai Cup

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Photo by Mike Urbanek
The Soule Park Pounders gather around the Ojai Cup trophy.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
The Soule Park Pounders golf club defeated the Ojai Valley Inn Men’s Club, 15-9, to win the coveted Ojai Cup for a fourth consecutive year.
The Ryder Cup-style match was played over two days last week. The first day at the Inn featured eight four-ball matches. The teams met at Soule Park the next day for 16 singles matches.
Soule edged ahead to a slim 5-3 lead on day one before pulling away and winning 10 of the 16 matches on day two.
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Brewer, Nevarez claim Ojai Valley Inn titles

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Photo submitted
The Ojai Valley Inn 2017 Ladies Invitational Golf Tournament was held earlier this month and when the scorecards were tallied, the top four finishers in the low-net competition were (from left) Cookie Brewer, Mechas Grinnell, Sherry Loehr and Tracy Pouba (not pictured). In the low-gross portion of the event, the top four players on the leader board included Cheryl Nevarez, Terri Tarin, Peggy Melton and Carol Springgate.

Soule Park Seniors host Ventura County Senior Cup

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Photo submitted
The Soule Park Senior Men’s Club hosted the annual Ventura County Senior Cup Nov. 3. More than 88 senior players from clubs at River Ridge, Olivas Park, Sterling Hills, Los Robles, Buenaventura and Camarillo Springs golf courses, including locals Mark Grant (left) and Roy Rodriguez, played in the two-man scramble event. The tournament will continue with matches at Buenaventura and Elkins Ranch over the next several weeks. Additional Soule Seniors taking part in the event included Terry Starr, Pete Shedlosky, Larry Memel, Dave Sparks, Layton Griffith, Bill Nugent, Steve Thompson, Joe Garcia, Ken Meyers and Hank Oliver.

That’s wild! Villanova on to CIF semis

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Villanova Preparatory School quarterback Bobby Caron picks up yards on the ground in a first-round playoff victory. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
It has been years since the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team has played well into the month of November, but this year’s team hopes it can continue extending the season for a couple more weeks. 
With a Nov. 10 quarterfinal victory over Windward, the Wildcats have advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Next up for Villanova Prep will be a Nov. 17 road game against Mojave High School. 
The Mojave Mustangs have been one of the most dominant eight-man football teams in California over the last few seasons. In 2014, Mojave came to Ojai and narrowly defeated Thacher, 21-20, to claim the CIF-SS title.
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Nordhoff Lady Rangers cross-country runners make CIF finals

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Photo by Dave Settem
The Nordhoff High School Lady Rangers cross-country team includes (from left) Lizette “Bibi” Estala, Jasmine Ramirez, Maria Ruvalcaba, Sarah Avdeeff, Yamilet Herrera, Carla Rodas, Delyia Hackworth and Grace McHale.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ cross-country team took part in the CIF Southern Section prelims Nov. 11 and placed sixth in its Division 4 race, good enough to advance to the Nov. 18 CIF finals in Riverside.
“These girls have been working extremely hard and deserve some recognition,” said NHS coach Fender Carnine. 
The Lady Rangers finished behind La Cañada, El Segundo, Mayfield, Laguna Beach and Big Bear, but had two runners place in the top six which helped them advance to the finals.
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Wiggins earns second Coach of the Year award

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Despite finishing third in the Tri Valley League behind high-powered Bishop Diego and Grace Brethren, Nordhoff High School (NHS) head football coach Lance Wiggins was named Tri-Valley League Coach of the Year by his peers. 
Wiggins, who just completed his second year as the Rangers’ head coach, led NHS to a 6-4 record overall. The team went 1-2 in league play.
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VPS’ Bailey signs with Pepperdine

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Photo submitted
Villanova Preparatory School volleyball star Maddy Bailey recently inked her name to a National Letter of Intent and will compete in beach volleyball at Pepperdine University. Bailey will join her older sister, Kaity, at Pepperdine. Pepperdine has one of the premier beach volleyball programs in the country with players from all over the United States filling their roster. Maddy took a two-month break from the beach to play indoor volleyball for the Lady Wildcats. She has since returned to sand as she prepares for her college career.

VPS football passes first-round test

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team remained perfect on the season with a lopsided, first-round, playoff win Nov. 4 against the Public Service Academy of San Bernardino Phoenix. With the 81-30 victory, the Wildcats will advance to the quarter-finals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Their next game will be on the road against Windward (7-3) Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. In their first-round game, VPS had seven different players find the end zone against the overmatched Phoenix who had only 15 players suited for the game. This week’s matchup should test the high-powered Wildcats and if they make it past Windward, they will face the winner of the Cate-Mojave game in the semifinals.

Official race results for the Oct. 28 October Classic announced

The following are the results for the October Classic 5K and 10K races held Oct. 28 in Ojai.
Name Place Gender Division Race Time
Fredrichson Thomas 1 M 18-29 5K 0:20:25
Baumgartner Cecil 2 M 60-69 5K 0:21:59
Diaz Paublo 3 M 13-17 5K 0:22:29
Fout Glenn 4 M 50-59 5K 0:22:53
Ramirez Vanesa 5 F 13-17 5K 0:23:31
Inouye Jason 6 M 40-49 5K 0:24:07
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Ranger golfers gain experience

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley Sports Editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ golf team recently finished its Tri-Valley League season with a 3-11 record, placing it sixth out of eight teams in the league.
According to head coach Dick Sebek, the Lady Rangers’ top player this season was sophomore Melissa Avila who also made the All-League Honorable Mention team. Avila’s season average was 55, with her best round being a 47 at Soule Park. The sophomore was also named Most Valuable Player by her teammates and coaches. 
The winners of the Jim Coultas Memorial Award (most improved player) were sophomores Ana Ketelsen and Valeria Lupercio.
“Both girls played on the golf team for the first time and ended the season by shooting rounds in the 50s,” said Sebek.
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Casitas Rowers show well in Sacramento

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Photo by Dan Holmes 
The Casitas Rowers masters men's four, Paul Lepiane (from left), Fabien Castel, Sailor Hawes, John McManus and Alex Laine, took gold for the second year in a row recently when they made the trek to Sacramento for the Head of the American River meet. The masters men's single took the gold for the second year in a row as well. The juniors also saw success with the lightweight men's double placing first, and both the varsity women's quad and the varsity men's single taking the silver. “As always our team displayed extraordinary sportsmanship as we placed in several events,” said coach Wendy Gillett.

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