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Best of the Ojai Valley contest voting begins Aug. 7

The Ojai Valley News will open voting in its 2017 Best of the Ojai Valley contest Aug. 7 at 12:01 a.m. Voting will end Sept. 1 at noon and the results will be published in the 2017 Best of the Ojai Valley supplement in the Oct. 20 edition of the Ojai Valley News.
All ballots must be cast electronically at www.ojaivalleynews.com, no paper ballots will be accepted. 
Ojai Valley News subscribers and those who registered on the site to vote in previous year’s contests can log in with their existing log-in and password and click on the Best of Ojai Valley contest link in the main menu bar.
Those who are not registered will have to complete a very short registration process (it costs nothing and takes a lot longer to describe how to do it that it does to actually do it).
To register, go to www.ojaivalleynews.com and click on the subscription link in the main menu. When the subscription page appears, scroll down to the registered user only option and click the sign up button. 
After completing the short registration form, click the process subscription button. Users’ personal information will not be sold or used for any marketing purposes. The need to register is only to insure that only one vote per email address is counted.
The final step in the registration process is for the user to click the verification link in the email sent to them by the Ojai Valley News website. Voters can then return to the site, log in with their user name and password and click on the Best of Ojai Valley contest link in the menu bar and click the link for the 2017 best of survey.
To make the survey as easy to complete as possible, it is divided into five sections; Services, Retail, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty and Others. Voters do not have to answer every question. Those who wish to skip an entire section, can scroll to the bottom of the page and click the next button.
Each question will allow voters to “write in” an answer if their favorite is not included in the menu list. Businesses that receive enough write-in votes will automatically be listed under that question in next year’s survey.
2015/2016 Best of the Ojai Valley winners
1. Favorite “accounting/tax services” business
 1st - Jacobs & Jacobs
 2nd - Marie Estes-Pratt
 3rd - David Junod
2. Favorite “acupuncture” business
 1st - Laurie Edgcomb
 2nd - Ojai Herbs & Acupuncture
 3rd - Alan Chang
3. Favorite local “actor”
 1st - Jason Segal
 2nd - Bill Paxton
 3rd - Ted Danson
4. Favorite “annual event”
 1st - 4th of July parade & fireworks
 2nd - Ojai Day
 3rd - Ojai Wine Festival
5. Favorite “antique store”
 1st - Treasures of Ojai Antiques
 2nd - Sherlock’s Antiques
 3rd - Lynn Harding Antique Instruments
6. Favorite “architect”
 1st - Whitman Design
 2nd - Cornerstone Architects
 3rd - Nicholas Oatway
7. Favorite “arts & crafts” store
 1st - Ben Franklin
 2nd - Ojai Creates!
 3rd - Cattywampus Crafts
8. Favorite “art gallery”
 1st - Primavera
 2nd - Front Porch Gallery
 3rd - Gallery 525
9. Favorite Ojai-area “artist”
 1st - Carmen Abelleira
 2nd - Colleen McDougal
 3rd - Gayel Childress
10. Favorite “Asian” restaurant
 1st - Sakura Ojai
 2nd - Hakane Japanese Cuisine
 3rd - Exotic Thai Restaurant
11. Favorite “auto body repair” shop
 1st - Two Twelve Body and Restoration
 2nd - Brue’s Auto Body
12. Favorite “auto repair” business
 1st - Ojai Valley Imports
 2nd - Adamson Automotive & Towing
 3rd - Fred’s Tire Man”
13. Favorite “bakery”
 1st - Ojai Café Emporium
 2nd - Knead Bakery
 3rd - Farmer and the Cook
14. Favorite “bank”
 1st - Ojai Community Bank
 2nd - Wells Fargo Bank
 3rd - Chase
15. Favorite “barber”
 1st - Brenton Butler
 2nd - Buddy Wilds
 3rd - Duane Montgomery
16. Favorite “beauty salon”
 1st - Contempo Hair Salon
 2nd - A Secret Beauty
 3rd - Delilah Salon
17. Favorite “bicycle shop”
 1st - MOB Shop
 2nd - Bicycles of Ojai
18. Favorite “bookstore”
 1st - Bart’s Books
 2nd - Bookends Bookstore & Other Curiosities
 3rd - Twice Sold Tales Bookstore
19. Favorite “breakfast”
 1st - Bonnie Lu’s
 2nd - Ojai Café Emporium
 3rd - Eggs N Potatoes
20. Favorite “burger”
 1st - Jim and Rob’s Fresh Grill
 2nd - Ojai Beverage Company
 3rd - Jolly Kone
21. Favorite “burrito”
 1st - Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill
 2nd - Ojai Tortilla House
 3rd - Casa De Lagos
22. Favorite “business services”
 1st - Ojai Business Center
 2nd - Attitude Adjustment
 3rd - Matilija Mailcall
23. Favorite “cabinetmaker”
 1st - Logan Gould’s Cabinetry
 2nd - Primarily Wood
 3rd - tie - Mahnken Cabinets & Aaron-James Furniture Makers
24. Favorite “camping supplies”
 1st - Ojai Surplus
 2nd - True Value
 3rd - Corner Market
25. Favorite “campgrounds”
 1st - Lake Casitas
 2nd - Wheeler Gorge
 3rd - Camp Comfort 
26. Favorite “casual dining”
 1st - Papa Lennon’s
 2nd - Boccali’s
 3rd – Sea Fresh Seafood
27. Favorite “chiropractor”
 1st - Caitlin Matthews
 2nd - Evergreen Wellness Center/Russell Kun
 3rd - Boshoff  Novak Chiropractic
28. Favorite “clothing store”
 1st - Rains Department Store
 2nd - Camouflage
 3rd - White Sparrow
29. Favorite “coffee shop”
 1st - Coffee Connection (M.O.)
 2nd - Ojai Coffee Roasting Company
 3rd - Java & Joe
30. Favorite “computer repair store”
 1st - Bit Vision
 2nd - Good Fix (formerly Ojai PC Pros)
 3rd - Moses Kravitz
31. Favorite “convenience store”
 1st - Joe’s Quick Stop
 2nd - Attitude Adjustment
 3rd - Ojai Chevron
32. Favorite “customer service”
 1st - Ace Hardware
 2nd - Bonnie Lu’s
 3rd - Ojai Community Bank
33. Favorite “daycare provider”
 1st - Noah’s Ark
 2nd - Montessori School of Ojai
 3rd - Holy Cross Preschool
34. Favorite “day spa”
 1st - The Day Spa of Ojai
 2nd - Bamboo Creek Spa
 3rd - Enhanced
35.  Favorite “deli”
 1st - Westridge Market
 2nd - Rainbow Bridge
 3rd - Marche Gourmet Delicatessen
36. Favorite “dentist”
 1st - Jan Komura
 2nd - Drew Eggebraten
 3rd - David L. Garber
37. Favorite “dessert/sweet shop”
 1st - Bliss Frozen Yogurt
 2nd - Ojai Ice Cream
 3rd - Knead Bakery
38. Favorite “designer/draftsman”
 1st - Kerry Miller Designer/Builder
 2nd - Pat Nolan Professional Drafting
 3rd - Chris Brandstrom
39. Favorite “dog groomer”
 1st - Four Paws Pet Grooming
 2nd - Ultimutt Pet Spa in Ojai
 3rd - Fluff & Puff
40. Favorite “donuts”
 1st - Oak View Donut Shop
 2nd - Donut Hole
 3rd - Ojai Donut Shoppe
41. Favorite place to have a “drink”
 1st - three-way tie - Deer Lodge - Azu -
Agave Maria’s
42. Favorite “electrical contractor”
 1st - Ojai Electric
 2nd - Max Reed Electrical
 3rd - Patrick Electric
43. Favorite local “elected official”
 1st - Steve Bennett
 2nd - Severo Lara
 3rd - Paul Blatz
44. Favorite “esthetician”
 1st - Summer McComas
 2nd - Mary Nelson
 3rd - Kelli Loughman
45. Favorite “facial”
 1st - Enhanced
 2nd - Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
 3rd - Body Essentials
46. Favorite “family practitioner”
 1st - James Halverson
 2nd - tie - Mary Evans & Mary Dial
47. Favorite “Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market vendor”
 1st - Tie - Friend’s Ranch & B.D Dautch - Earthtrine Farm
 3rd - Farmer and the Cook
48. Favorite “fence installer”
 1st - Watkins Fence Co.
 2nd - Bob’s Fence
 3rd - Tom Blaine’s Wood N Fence Co.
49. Favorite “financial adviser”
 1st - Victoria Breen/Derby & Derby
 2nd - Olga Jones/Ameriprise Financial
 3rd - Jeff McComas/Edward Jones
50. Favorite “fine dining” experience
 1st - Suzanne’s Cuisine
 2nd - Osteria Monte Grappa
 3rd - The Ojai Ranch House
51. Favorite “fitness facility”
 1st - Ojai Valley Athletic Club
 2nd - Balance Health Center
 3rd - Bryant St. Health & Fitness Center
52. Favorite “florist”
 1st - Angela’s Flowers
 2nd - Digs
 3rd - Curly Willow
53. Favorite “furniture store”
 1st - Down Home Furnishings
 2nd - Human Arts Gallery
 3rd - Kava Home
54. Favorite “garden center”
 1st - Flora Gardens
 2nd - Meiners Oak Nursery
 3rd - Australian Native Plants Nursery
55. Favorite “gas station”
 1st - Ojai Chevron
 2nd - Shell - Oak View
 3rd - Valero
56. Favorite “general contractor”
 1st - Kerry Miller
 2nd - Chad Carper
 3rd - Tenpenny Construction
57. Favorite “gift shop”
 1st - Fig Living
 2nd - Tavitt’s Ojai Valley Card & Gift
 3rd - Serendipity Toys
58. Favorite “graphic designer”
 1st - Alex Mooney
 2nd - Colleen McDougal
 3rd - Amy Schneider
59. Favorite “grocery store”
 1st - Westridge Market Midtown
 2nd - Westridge Market
 3rd - Rainbow Bridge
60. Favorite “hair stylist”
 1st - Jen Keeler
 2nd - Diane Jaffe
 3rd - Amber Home
61. Favorite “handyman”
 1st - Max Reed
 2nd - Steve Fox
 3rd - Ron Duran
62. Favorite “happy hour drink menu”
 1st - Jimmy’s Pub
 2nd - Ojai Beverage Company
 3rd - Sea Fresh Seafood
63. Favorite “happy hour food menu”
 1st – Sea Fresh Seafood
 2nd - Ojai Beverage Company
 3rd - Azu
64. Favorite “hardware store”
 1st - Meiners Oaks Ace Hardware
 2nd - True Value Hardware
 3rd - Ojai Lumber Co.
65. Favorite “health food store”
 1st - Rainbow Bridge
 2nd - Westridge Market
 3rd - Farmer & the Cook
66. Favorite “HVAC” company?
 1st - Fairweather Heating & Air
 2nd - tie - Ojai Mountain Aire & Forced Air Heating and Air
67. Favorite “hiking trail”
 1st - Cozy Dell
 2nd - Shelf Road
 3rd - Ventura River Preserve
68. Favorite “holistic practitioner”
 1st - Leslie Bouché
 2nd - Laurie Edgcomb
 3rd - Nathan Kaehler
69. Favorite “home decor store”
 1st - Fig Living
 2nd - Tie - Kava Home & Down Home Furnishings
70. Favorite “horseback riding”
 1st - Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company
 2nd - Ojai Trail Riders
 3rd - Western Trail Rides
71. Favorite “hotel”
 1st - Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
 2nd - Rancho Inn
 3rd - Emerald Iguana
72. Favorite “insurance agency”
 1st - Doug Crawford Insurance
 2nd - Farmer’s Insurance (Tami Bright)
 3rd - State Farm (Bob Daddi)
73. Favorite “Italian restaurant”
 1st - Tie - Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria &
Osteria Monte Grappa
 3rd - Boccali’s (Ojai)
74. Favorite “jewelry store/maker”
 1st - David Whipple Goldsmith
 2nd - Human Arts Gallery
 3rd - Jes Maharry
75. Favorite “kid-friendly restaurant”
 1st - Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria
 2nd - Ojai Pizza
 3rd - Boccali’s (Ojai)
76. Favorite “landscape company”
 1st - Lisa Phelps Irrigation & Landscaping
 2nd - Green Goddess Gardens
 3rd - Daley Landscape Inc.
77. Favorite local “law firm”
 1st - Waite, Jacobs & Atkinson
 2nd - Blatz Law Firm (Paul)
 3rd - Dave Neville Law
78. Favorite “laundromat”
 1st - Royal Cleaners
 2nd - Mira Monte Quick Clean
 3rd - Route 33 Laundry
79. Favorite “liquor store”
 1st - Ojai Beverage Company
 2nd - Attitude Adjustment Shoppe
 3rd - Pat’s Liquor
80. Favorite “live entertainment venue”
 1st - Libbey Bowl
 2nd - Deer Lodge
 3rd - Ojai Art Center Theater
81. Favorite “locksmith”
 1st - Martin’s Ojai Locksmith
 2nd - Norm’s Locksmith
82. Favorite place for “lunch”
 1st - Ojai Cafe Emporium
 2nd - Jim and Rob’s Fresh Grill
 3rd - Hip Vegan
83. Favorite “manicure/pedicure”
 1st - Kristy’s Nails
 2nd - A Secret Beauty
 3rd - Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
84. Favorite “margarita”
 1st - Agave Maria’s
 2nd - Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill
 3rd - Casa De Lagos
85. Favorite “martial arts studio”
 1st - Ojai Valley Taekwondo Academy
 2nd - Living Aikido
86. Favorite “massage”
 1st - AA Relaxing Station
 2nd - Bamboo Creek Spa
 3rd - Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
87. Favorite “martini”
 1st - Azu
 2nd - Jimmy’s Pub
 3rd - The Vine
88. Favorite “Mexican restaurant”
 1st - Agave Maria’s
 2nd - Casa De Lago Ojai
 3rd - Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill
89. Favorite home “mortgage” provider
 1st - Ojai Community Bank
 2nd - Heritage Financial
 3rd - Wells Fargo
90. Favorite “motel/bed & breakfast”
 1st - Ojai Rancho Inn
 2nd - Lavender Inn
 3rd - Ojai Retreat
91. Favorite local “musician”
 1st - Alan Thornhill
 2nd - Jimmy Calire
 3rd - Todd Hannigan
92. Favorite local “musical group”
 1st - Nordhoff Band and Choir
 2nd - Smitty West and Julija Zonic
 3rd - Household Gods
93. Favorite “nonprofit/citizens’ organization”
 1st - HELP of Ojai
 2nd - Humane Society of Ventura County
 3rd - Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
94. Favorite “nurse”
 1st - Mary Evans
 2nd - Mary Nelson
 3rd - Peggy Brown
95. Favorite “olive oil tasting room”
 1st - Ojai Olive Oil
 2nd - Ojai Tasting Room
 3rd - Carolina Gramm
96. Favorite “one-of-a-kind business”
 1st - Nan Tolbert Birthing Center
 2nd - Cardinelli Bros Music
 3rd - Shangri La Care Collective/Cooperative
97. Favorite “optometrist”
 1st - Bruce Brockman
 2nd - Robert J. Graham
 3rd - Roger H. Phelps / Ojai Eyes Optometry
98. Favorite “outdoor dining”
 1st - Papa Lennon’s
 2nd - Boccali’s (Ojai)
 3rd - The Ojai Ranch House
99. Favorite “park”
 1st - Libbey Park
 2nd - Soule Park
 3rd - Sarzotti Park
100. Favorite “painting company”
 1st - Ojai Custom Paint
 2nd - DeMoor’s Painting Inc.
 3rd - Riggs Custom Coating
101. Favorite “pet food/supply” store”
 1st - Wachters
 2nd - Rainbow Bridge Warehouse
 3rd - American Hay & Mercantile Co.
102. Favorite “pharmacy”
 1st - Ojai Rexall Drug
 2nd - Medical Arts Pharmacy
 3rd - The Medicine Shoppe
103. Favorite local commercial “photographer”
 1st - Logan Hall Photography
 2nd - Whitney Hartmann
 3rd - Kristine Ellison Photography
104. Favorite “physical therapist”
 1st - Ojai Valley Community Hospital
 2nd - Swanner Physical Therapy
 3rd - Balance Health Center
105. Favorite “pizza”
 1st - Ojai Pizza
 2nd - Papa Lennon’s
 3rd -  Boccali’s Pizza and Pasta
106. Favorite “place of worship”
 1st - Nature
 2nd - Ojai Presbyterian Church
 3rd - Meditation Mount
107. Favorite “plumbing/rooter company”
 1st - Frank’s Rooter & Plumbing Service Inc.
 2nd - Max Reed
 3rd - Silver Sewer & Drain Service
108. Favorite “pool service”
 1st - Ojai Pool Store
 2nd - tie - Matilija Pool & Flying Carp Pool Service
109. Favorite “private school”
 1st - Oak Grove School
 2nd - The Thacher School
 3rd - Ojai Valley School
110. Favorite “produce”
 1st - The Farmers Market
 2nd - Baldwin Road produce stand
 3rd - Westridge Market Midtown
111. Favorite “public school”
 1st - Nordhoff High School
 2nd - Meiners Oaks Elementary School
 3rd - Topa Topa Elementary School
112. Favorite “real estate agent”
 1st - Tonya Peralta
 2nd - Erik Wilde
 3rd - Donna Sallen
113. Favorite “real estate office”
 1st - Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe
 2nd - Keller Williams
 3rd - Ojai Valley Real Estate
114. Favorite “resort spa”
 1st - Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
 2nd - The Oaks at Ojai Spa
 3rd - Lavender Inn
115. Favorite “restaurant overall”
 1st - Suzanne’s Cuisine
 2nd - Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria
 3rd - Sea Fresh Seafood
116. Favorite “retirement community”
 1st - The Gables of Ojai
 2nd - The Manor of Ojai
 3rd - At Home in Ojai
117. Favorite “roofer”
 1st - Ventura Roofing Co.
 2nd - Aztec Roofing
 3rd - Awning Pro
118. Favorite “sandwich”
 1st - Jersey mikes
 2nd - Bonnie Lu’s
 3rd - Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria
119. Favorite place for “seafood”
 1st - Sea Fresh Seafood
 2nd - Sakura Ojai
 3rd - Ideal Seafood
120. Favorite “septic pumping service”
 1st - “Franks Rooter and Pumping
 2nd - Layne’s Sanitation
 3rd - Roto-Rooter Plumbing Drain Sewer & Septic Tank
121. Favorite “service organization”
 1st - Rotary Club of Ojai
 2nd - Ojai Lion’s Club
 3rd - Rotary Club of Ojai West
122. Favorite “sports bar”
 1st - JJ’s Sports Zone
 2nd - Jimmy’s Pub
 3rd - Ojai Pizza
123. Favorite local “sports coach”
 1st - Lance Wiggins
 2nd - Rick Goeden
 3rd - Justin Morris
124. Favorite “storage facility”
 1st - Bryant Circle Mini Storage
 2nd - Condor Self Storage of Ojai
 3rd - Ojai Self Storage & U-Haul
125. Favorite place for “sushi”
 1st - Sakura Ojai
 2nd - Hakane Sushi
 3rd - Sea Fresh Seafood
126. Favorite “transportation service”
 1st - Dutch’s Downtown Shuttle/Kool Buzz
 2nd - Ojai Trolley
 3rd - Topa Topa Taxi
127. Favorite “travel agency”
 1st - Topa Topa Travel
 2nd - Santa Barbara Travel’s Ojai Branch
128. Favorite “teacher”
 1st - Jim Bailey
 2nd - Greg Lepine
 3rd - Aimee Mendoza
129. Favorite “thrift/consignment” store
 1st - Treasures of Ojai
 2nd - The Lennon Closet
 3rd - New to You
130. Favorite “tree service”
 1st - Call Oscar Tree Service
 2nd - Sky High Tree Service
 3rd - Mark Crane’s Tree and Arborist Services
131. Favorite “upholsterer”
 1st - Plush Surroundings
 2nd - Topa’s Custom Upholstery
 3rd - Ray’s Upholstery
132. Favorite “vegetarian menu”
 1st - Hip Vegan
 2nd - The Farmer & the Cook
 3rd - Rainbow Bridge
133. Favorite “veterinary clinic”
 1st - Matilija Veterinary Hospital
 2nd - Ojai Village Veterinary
 3rd - Animal Clinic of Oak View
134. Favorite “volunteer”
 1st - David Mason
 2nd - Nancy Hill
 3rd - Tobi Jo Greene
135. Favorite “wine list”
 1st - Ojai Beverage Company
 2nd - Suzanne’s Cuisine
 3rd - The Ojai Ranch House
136. Favorite “wine tasting room”
 1st - Topa Mountain Winery
 2nd - Majestic Oak
 3rd - The Ojai Vineyard
137. Favorite “yoga studio/instructor”
 1st - Suza Francina
 2nd - Ingrid Bolting
 3rd - Kira Ryder

Latest sports

Ranger gridders earn 17 All-Tri Valley League honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
First team All-Tri-Valley League player Brayden Rogers picks up yards against Santa Paula.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports reporter
After a brief rebuilding period, Nordhoff high School (NHS) football head coach Lance Wiggins has the Rangers on track to be one of the best small-school football programs in Ventura County.
This fall, the Rangers missed the playoffs but finished their season with a winning record (6-4), placing third in the competitive Tri-Valley League.
For their efforts this fall, the Rangers earned a number of all-league honors. Headlining the postseason awards was Wiggins who was named the 2017 Tri-Valley League Coach of the Year. 
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Ojai water polo stars shine in tri-county all-star game

120717 senior all star 2017 11 hi res
Photo by Ben Edwards
Finnegan Edwards (center) catches the ball on a counter attack before one of his five goals at the 2017 Ian McPherson Tri-County Senior All-Star Water Polo game.
Two Ojai Valley water polo players took part in the Tri-County All-Star game Dec. 3 at Dos Pueblos High School and helped lead the South Team to a 14-11 victory.
The Ian McPherson Tri-County Senior All-Star features the best senior water polo players from high schools across the tri-counties. 
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Team Ojai hopes to qualify for sectional championships

Photo submitted
Team Ojai is comprised of (from left) Shawn Rothermel, Victor Becker, Mikel Elizalde, coach Dan Martin, Daniel Ortiz, Dakota Martin and Elias Simon.
Lucy Martin,Ojai Valley News contributor
Team Ojai, of the United States Tennis Association’s Junior Team Tennis (JTT) League, continued its winning ways by defeating Dark Horse, of Oak Park, 45-17 Dec. 3. The victory brings Team Ojai’s fall season record to 5-1.
The team is part of the boys' 18 and under advanced division and is currently in second place in the Ventura County League.
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Nordhoff softball steps up to help Ojai community

120717 2017 nhs softball food drive
Photo submitted
For the last 10 years, the Nordhoff High School softball team has stepped up to assist with the Help of Ojai food drive. The food drive collects donations to help families throughout the Ojai Valley and the Lady Rangers remain one of the most active groups when it comes to collecting donations. “To this date, my team is the largest one-time contributor to the food bank,” head coach Don Rodarte said. “This year, it is estimated we collected over 2 tons of food. I am very proud of my girls. They participate not because I ask them to, but because they care and have a willingness to give back and volunteer to be a productive members of our community.”

Toads second fastest in state

113017 ps thacher cif
Photo submitted
Thacher’s Colin Kirkpatrick (right) and teammate Ford Sharper compete in the CIF State Cross Country Championships.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Thacher School boys’ cross-country team made school history by placing second in the CIF State Cross Country Championships Nov. 25 in Fresno. The second place finish was the best by any Thacher boys’ team and the Toads nearly came away with the team title, but in the end University High School (San Francisco) took the title and the Toads brought home the second-place trophy.
“Our guys ran tough and have a lot to be proud of,” said Thacher head coach Fred Coleman. “Our overall team time was actually 18 seconds faster than University, but they managed to win based on cross-country scoring. University finished with 100 points while Thacher was 20 points behind with 120 once all of the runners crossed the finish line.
After mile one, Thacher was sitting in second place as a team while University sat well back in the pack at 14th overall.
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Lady Wildcats kick off season with a win

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) girls’ basketball team is off to a 1-1 start this season. In their opening game of the season, the Lady Wildcats dominated DeToledo, 56-17.
“It was a good opener for us, it is always nice to get off to a good start and our girls are working hard,” said head coach Dan Mercer.
Leading the charge for VPS was junior Madison Fabbian who scored a game-high 17 points. Freshman Grace Wells added 11 points and nine rebounds while fellow freshman Mackenzie Hicks had a monster game on the boards as she collected 20 rebounds on the night.
In their second game of the season, the Lady Wildcats lost a close game to Coastal Christian of Arroyo Grande, 39-34. “We outscored them 26-23 in the second half after being down 16-8 at half,” noted Mercer. 
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Rowers have heavy medal weekend

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Photo by Wendy Gillett
The Casitas Rowing Team competed in the San Diego Fall Classic  Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 and took the competition by storm. The Casitas team picked up four golds, three silvers and a bronze. Finishing in the medals were (from left) Siena Hager, Lauren Combs, Kristi Shinn, Carly Froelich, Greta Griffen, Audrey Taylor, Mia Monsour, Caroline Dickenson, Hailey Malinovsky, Leah Lechman, Lulu Hottinger, Vivian Gaggia and Sydney Hahn.

Nordhoff hoop crew tops Fillmore

113017 kb nhs fillmore bb 11 29 2017 13
Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff High School boys’ basketball team tipped off its season with a commanding 72-41 win over the Fillmore Flashes in the opening round of the 75th annual Nordhoff Varsity Tournament. Thanks to aggressive play from players including Jake Williams (center), the Rangers are off to a 1-0 start. Trevor Solano led the Rangers with 16 points while Jon Achee had 14 and Wyatt Simms added 13. NHS will face a tough Rio Mesa team Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. That game will be played at Nordhoff High School.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After a rough 2016-2017 basketball season, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) boys’ basketball team is hoping to fare better this year. According to Nordhoff head coach Matt Murphy, the Rangers will lean on a strong senior class this winter.
“We have six seniors on the team this year and they put in a lot of work this summer. They will be our leaders on the court,” said Murphy.
Last season, the Rangers went 6-18 overall and 2-10 in Tri-Valley League play.
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All-League award announcements coming soon

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Local high school athletes, like Jesse Kuehn (No. 3) from Nordhoff High School, have transitioned from fall sports to winter competition, but are still awaiting the announcement of fall all-league and all-CIF teams. See next week’s Ojai Valley News for a summary of local athletes and coaches who received postseason recognition.

Youth swimmers host home meet

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
The Ojai Heat Waves hosted a swimming competition at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club pool Nov. 18 and turned in a number of spectacular performances. Isabella Stogo (from left) Zoe Penot and Dahlia Bates power to the finish in a close race. Ojai hosted youth swim teams from Camarillo, Montecito, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. 

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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