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San Antonio students win Quickstart tennis event

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Willow Williams launches a forehand at “The Ojai” as part of the QuickStart Challenge last week. The event attracted 30 youth tennis players from local Ojai elementary schools. (photo by Holly Roberts)

The 114th Ojai Tennis Tournament was the perfect setting for the sixth annual Ojai Quickstart Tennis Challenge. The draw of 30 enthusiastic third-, fourth- and fifth-grade elementary school students participated in the 10-and-under match play.

Participants in last week’s event  represented several local schools, including San Antonio Elementary School, Ojai Valley School, Montessori School and Topa Topa Elementary  School.
Challenge participants played 10-point doubles matches. Winners advanced to the main draw, while runners-up moved into the consolation draw with single elimination thereafter. Every Challenge player left with a tennis bag, wrist band and a T-shirt, compliments of Gina Havelka and the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA). The Ojai Valley Tennis Club provided trophies and two new Wilson tennis racquets for the winners of the main draw.
• Main draw winners: Roman and Belladora Moga (San Antonio)
• Main draw finalists: Kadin Mouderres and Jayden Winbury (Montessori School)
• Consolation draw winners: Ryan Farrell and Hayden Houseman (Ojai Valley School)
• Consolation draw finalists: Kevin McDonald and Matthew Bertin (Topa Topa School)
Funded through a grant received from the 2009 United States Tennis Association’s “Best Tennis Town” award, the Ojai Recreation Department now offers a free QuickStart Tennis program at schools across the Ojai Valley during the academic year. With additional financial support from the Ojai Valley Tennis Club — and help from volunteer coaches — the QuickStart program continues to encourage a love of the game by creating early success using age- and size-appropriate racquets, low-density balls, smaller courts and lower nets.
 “I want to thank the wonderful team of volunteers who helped organize this challenge including Kathleen Rogers, Jakob Vos and Leslie Gache and all the other volunteers who donate their time year round,” said Philippe Gache, Ojai’s QuickStart coordinator.
 For more information about the QuickStart Tennis Program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (310) 651-0405.
© Ojai Valley News, 2014

Latest sports

Rangers torched by Trailblazers

By Mike Miller

The Nordhoff Rangers had another long night when they hosted the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers Friday night. Sierra Canyon outclassed the Rangers and rolled to an easy 55-12 victory.

Sierra Canyon scored early and often and built a 55-0 halftime lead before game officials enforced the running rule in the second half. The Rangers scored on a long pass from Daniel Williams to Ryan Mahler and then freshman defensive back Davis Flanders scored on an interception for a touchdown.

The Rangers drop to 1-6 on the season and will enjoy their bye next week.

Monster matchups: All three local teams facing tough opponents

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Senior lineman Spencer Bliss (No. 50) returned to action last Friday night against San Marcos and made an immediate impact. Friday, Bliss and the Rangers will host Sierra Canyon at 7 p.m.

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor

Nordhoff High School, Villanova Preparatory and Thacher School all face tough matchups on the gridiron this week.

Nordhoff, who is coming off its first win of the 2015 season, will play host to the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers in its final nonleague game of the season.

Osborne is driving force behind Ranger’s recent golf success

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ted Cotti

Nordhoff’s Bailey Osborne is averaging a round of 48 this fall for NHS. She is also a two-time, team MVP.

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor

Bailey Osborne and the Nordhoff girls’ golf team continue to impress this fall. 

The Lady Rangers have won three matches in a row and are currently 5-2 in Tri-Valley League action. 

Their current winning streak started Sept. 24 when they hosted Foothill at the Soule Park Golf Course. NHS won, 283-293, thanks to final scores of 46 by Osborne and a 52 by Kayci Jakab.

Team Cream rises to the top

In last week’ Junior Team Tennis (JTT) action, Team Maroon handed the Green team its first loss of the season with a come-from-behind, 16-14, victory. Elizabeth Russell and Veronica Palmer led with a 6-5 doubles win for Green, but Fabio Lauretta came right back with a 5-1 singles win. Palmer and Russell added singles wins to give Green an 11-10 lead. Lauretta teamed with Hina Suzuki for a 6-3 doubles win to clinch the match.

Team Pink also rallied to overcome team Blue, 17-11. Claire Quackenbush and Michaela Boydston gave blue the early lead with a 6-4 doubles win.

Thacher earns big win, Villanova Prep falls to the Owls

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor

Over the years, the Thacher Toads (2-2) and Faith Baptist Contenders have engaged in some epic football games.

Last Saturday, the two programs locked horns once again with Thacher prevailing, 36-30.

Thacher got on the board first when junior running back Jacques Robles scored on a fourth-down play from 8 yards out to give the Toads the early 6-0 advantage.

A Royal beating: Nordhoff earns first victory of the season

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Nordhoff wide receiver Regin Wilson (right) has evolved into one of the most electrifying players in recent years for the Rangers. Wilson had two catches for two touchdowns in a win over the San Marcos Royals. (Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown)

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor

The Nordhoff Rangers were looking for a win Friday night against the San Marcos Royals in hopes of turning their season around and they got one. With their 25-13 win over San Marcos, the Rangers improved to 1-5 on the season

Duque wins golf club’s toss two tournament

The first two tournaments of the Front Nine Golf Club’s pre-holiday session have been played under very warm conditions at Soule Park. Week one was played Sept. 17 with the tournament winner selected by least putts.

Jodi Martin and Debra Main tied with just 15 putts during their round. 

The longest drive for the white sheet went to Holly Mitchem at 187 yards and the blue sheet winner


Nordhoff tops San Marcos for first win of season

(Updated with 13 photos from the game)

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Nordhoff's Ryan Mahler stretches for additional yardage after a big play early in the first quarter. (Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar)

By Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor

The Nordhoff Rangers notched their first win of the season Friday night when they defeated the San Marcos Royals 25-13 in a non-league match up. NHS jumped out to a 25-0 lead but then the Royals closed the gap in the second quarter to make the score 25-13 at the half.

NHS netters off to fast start

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Kloe Keeter works on perfecting her digs as teammate Odessa Runyan looks on during a recent Nordhoff practice. (Ojai Valley News photo by Ted Cotti)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor
The Nordhoff girls’ volleyball program is poised to return to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The Lady Rangers have been one of the most successful high school sports programs in the Ojai Valley in recent years

Rangers ready: Team poised for win against San Marcos

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Jeff Beckham, also known as Ranger Jeff, has been patrolling the sidelines in an effort to fire up the NHS cheerleaders and fans at home football games. He hopes his cheers and fancy footwork will help motivate the Rangers to a win over San Marcos. Fans can cheer with Ranger Jeff Friday at 7 p.m. (Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor
Friday, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) varsity football team will return home after playing its last three games on the road.
NHS will welcome the San Marcos Royals (1-4) to the Ojai Valley Community Stadium and the Rangers are determined

Three teams perfect in Junior Tennis

Team Sapphire smoked team Ash, 17-7, in week two of the Junior Team Tennis (JTT) league. Sapphire, improving to 2-0, jumped into an early 11-4 lead with a doubles win from Shawn Rothermel and Robert Russell, and a singles win from Max Mendoza.
Pink dropped Gray, 20-8. Emma Russell, Danny Ortiz, and Avery Tallakson led 15-1 going into the last set. Elias Simon and

Wildcats shine bright under lights

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Villanova Prep defensive back Anthony Martinez (No. 28) leads a pack of VPS defenders to a Lone Pine ball carrier in last Friday night’s homecoming victory for the Wildcats. (Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar)
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
It was an electric atmosphere at Villanova Prep School Friday night. Literally.
The Wildcats played a night game at home for the first time in the program’s 91-year history. With the stands full, fans took to beach chairs and the hillside grass to take in the non-league, homecoming game against Lone Pine.
Villanova easily won, 60-25.

Oh no Ojai: NHS still winless

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Nordhoff senior Daniel Williams goes up for a catch against Oak Park earlier this season. Williams threw a 71-yard touchdown pass and caught a touchdown against the Paso Robles Friday. 
(Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown)
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley New sports editor
Friday, the Nordhoff Rangers made a long drive north to face the Paso Robles Bearcats in a non-league matchup. The game served as Paso Robles’ homecoming and the stands were packed.
Although the Rangers gave the Bearcats a scare early, the host team would eventually pull away for a 52-21 victory, dropping the Rangers to 0-5 on the season.

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