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News from around the Ojai Valley

Upper Ojai crash injures three

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
A two-vehicle collision in Upper Ojai Oct. 7 sent three people to the hospital with major injuries.
The crash was reported at 10:13 a.m. on Highway 150, west of Old Walnut Road.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a 2005 Dodge, driven by a 47-year-old Oak View woman, was traveling east when it crossed into the westbound lane and struck a 2017 Hyundai head on.
The collision blocked both lanes of the highway.
The driver of the Dodge was extricated from her vehicle and flown by helicopter to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks with major injuries.
The driver of the Hyundai, an 89-year-old Oceanside man, and his passenger, an 81-year-old Santa Paula man, were both extricated and taken by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center with major injuries.
Highway 150 was shut down for approximately 90 minutes while emergency personnel worked to clear the crash, which is still under investigation by the CHP.
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Latest sports

Rangers to host West Ranch in opener Aug. 17

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff High School student Shaney Todd leads the Rangers onto the Ojai Valley Community Stadium field in a game last season.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The wait for the start of the high school football season is finally over in the Ojai Valley.
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) Rangers will host the West Ranch Wildcats Aug. 17 at the Ojai Valley Community Stadium starting at 7 p.m.
West Ranch is known for fielding athletic teams and this year is no different.
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Nordhoff tunes up in Simi Valley

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team traveled to Simi Valley Aug. 10 for its final tuneup before opening the season Aug. 17 at home against West Ranch.
According to head coach Lance Wiggins, the Rangers scored twice to Simi Valley’s one touchdown.
“Things went really good and I thought we had a good game plan going in. We both wanted to stay safe and run vanilla stuff so we didn’t show too much. It was nice to compete and go up against someone different,” he said.
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Casitas rower earns scholarship

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Photo submitted
Hannah Hassien (right) faces her crew and gives them directions in a recent competition.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Ojai’s Hannah Hassien started working with the Casitas Rowing team three years ago. Now she is on her way to compete for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Hassien is one of 14 new student-athletes the University of Oklahoma rowing team will welcome this fall.
Head coach Leeanne Crain calls this incoming class “one of the most talented classes we’ve recruited in the history of the program.”
Hassien, who was home-schooled, competed for the Casitas Rowing high school team before moving up to the master’s division.
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Sun setting on Sundowners: Regular-season champ crowned, playoffs next

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Sundowner regular season ended Aug. 14 at Soule Park Golf Course.
Gary's Foreplayers had another strong outing to take the season lead heading into the Aug. 18 playoffs.
The league combines regular-season point totals with the 18-hole scores to determine a cumulative winner of the 2018 Callender Cup.
Gary's scored 61 points on the week to take a one-point lead over the Characters.
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12th annual Family Shelter golf tournament set

Inspired to help a worthy cause, play on a scenic course and perhaps win the $25,000 hole-in-one grand prize, up to 148 golfers will take part in the major fundraiser for the Ojai Valley Family Shelter which offers food and shelter to those without homes.
The tournament will be held at the Soule Park Golf Course. Golfers will arrive at 7 a.m. Sept. 15 and will hit the course at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start.
The $125 entry fee per player includes golf and cart, a buffet and a chance at the numerous prizes including electronics, golf equipment, round-trip airfare for two and the hole-in-one grand prize.
For more information or to register for the event, call tournament director Rod Owen at (805) 649-1499.

NHS players shine in Blue and Gold scrimmage

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Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
Kaden Monson (right) makes the catch of the night, which led to a touchdown in this year’s Blue and Gold scrimmage.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Nordhoff High School football fans got a glimpse of the 2018 team in action during the team’s annual Blue and Gold scrimmage Aug. 3.
The Gold team narrowly defeated the Blue squad, 11-10, for bragging rights. The most important aspect of the scrimmage, according to coaches, was the team’s progress.
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Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
Junior Korey Stevens (No. 5) zips past the defense and into the end zone. 
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Sophomores to lead Nordhoff volleyball

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The CIF recently released a list of girls’ volleyball teams to keep an eye on this fall and the Nordhoff High School (NHS) Lady Rangers were among those top teams. After making it the third round of the playoffs in 2017, losing to eventual champion Buckley High School, NHS is hoping for a successful season again in 2018.
“We are a young team, but I think we’ll be better than last year. We have a very strong sophomore class returning and all of our girls have been playing in the off-season, which really helps,” said head coach Rene Nakao-Mauch.
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Gibbs shares wisdom with top tennis players

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Ojai played host to the 2018 New Balance High School Tennis Championships July 21 through July 24. Players from all over the country came to compete for a national title and as part of the event, tennis pro Nicole Gibbs played in an exhibition match against Ojai’s Lester Cook. Gibbs also spent time talking to the players about her tennis journey and what it is like playing on the professional tour. Ojai residents Mikel Elizalde, Ridley Potter and Sweden van Houten took part in the event.

Foreplayers take over lead in Sundowner League cup race

Gary's Foreplayers took over the top spot in the Sundowner Golf League with only one week remaining in the regular season.
The Foreplayers scored a massive 64 points on the day to lead all teams and allow them to rocket into the lead.
Chris Van Son led the way for his team with a season-best round of a gross-38, for 24 points. Van Son had two birdies and scored the most points of any player on the day. 
Team captain Mike Doran returned from a one-week absence and picked up right where he left off by shooting a gross-41, for 21 points. He currently has the highest average of any player, with 19.6 points scored per round.
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Rangers expect to run all over opposition this season

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

In a game last year, Michael Trejo (No. 50) leads the way for running back Brayden Rogers.

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team will open its regular season schedule at home against West Ranch High School Aug. 17.
In preparation for what they hope will be a successful season, the Rangers are busy putting in their final weeks of work before hitting the field against the Wildcats.
According to head coach Lance Wiggins, this year’s offensive unit is going to take advantage of a veteran offensive line and talented running backs.
“Our entire line is returning with the exception of our right tackle and we have a very good competition going for that position so we are excited about that unit,” he said.

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Korey Stevens goes up for an over-the-shoulder catch versus Santa Paula in 2017.

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Wildcats looking for another title

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Villanova’s Anthony Martinez carries an opponent on his back last season.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Last year, the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team had a historic season, going 11-1 and making it to the CIF Southern Section Eight-Man Division I semifinals.
Despite losing a core group of players to graduation, the Wildcats should be a force in the Mount Piños League once again this season after winning the league title in 2017.

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Scramblers’ late run is making things interesting in Sundowner title race

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Scramblers moved into first place in the second-half standings of the Sundowner golf league after scoring a league-high 63 points in Week 14 play. 
The Scramblers have been steadily climbing the leader board the past few weeks and finally made the leap to the top spot.
They were led by Dave Brown who shot a gross-39, for 22 points. Brown is a first-year player, but hasn't let that stop him from being a regular contributor to the team.
Rob Graham had one of his better rounds of the season in firing a gross-38, for 21 points. He has had a slow start to the year but is turning it on now that the season is coming to a close.

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Rangers getting defensive about playoff hopes

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

In 2017, Brayden Rogers forces a Beverly Hills ball carrier to fumble while teammates Nate Rhodes (No. 81) and Korey Stevens (No. 5) move in for the recovery.

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley news sports editor
As the saying goes, “Defense wins championships.” If that is the case, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team has to like its chances of winning the inaugural Citrus Coast League championship this season.
“Our offense is going to be good this season, but the strength of our team is definitely going to be our defense,” explained Nordhoff head coach Lance Wiggins. “We are solid at all 11 positions and have multiple players who can step in at a number of positions, so we have depth for the first time in a while.”
This year’s defense will be headed by NHS alumnus and defensive coordinator Tony Leckie. He inherits a unit that returns 14 players who saw significant action at the varsity level in 2017.

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown   

Nate Rhodes has impressed this off-season and is primed for a big year.    

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 Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown    

After being injured as a junior, Daniel McGrew is back and looking to make an impact.    

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