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Latest sports

Springing back: Wiggins happy with results, optimistic of a strong season

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Nordhoff High School head football coach Lance Wiggins (center) talks to his team during a recent spring training session.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) football program recently wrapped up its spring activities with the annual Blue and Gold spring scrimmage.
NHS head coach Lance Wiggins was beyond thrilled with his team’s effort on the field.
“It was by far the best spring game I’ve ever had. I thought our kids played well and the fans really got into it,” he said.
The Rangers scrimmaged without pads for four 15-minute quarters and showed off what they have been working on this spring.

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Sundowners hit halfway point

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Characters were able to hang on to the top spot after June 12 play and win the first half of the Sundowner Golf League season. They sprinted to the finish line with a 60-point output that allowed them to win the first half by a 13-point margin.
League veteran Steve Rapholz led the way with 42 strokes for 22 points. Rapholz has the highest average of any player on the team with 19.1 points per round.
He was supported by the play of Victor Logan and Craig Oswald.
Logan has returned to his old form and has seen two shots drop off his handicap this season.
Oswald switched teams over the off-season and has quickly adjusted to his new surroundings. Both players scored 19 points on the day.

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Weil Tennis graduates 14

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Photo by Jill Cox

The Weil Tennis Academy graduated 14 seniors in May including (from left) Joseph Schwarcz (Occidental College), Odissey Kavak (Philadelphia University), Adrian Zhang (University of Rochester), Nicholas Potter (Colgate University), Bass Lin (Emerson College), Alexander Fedor (Washington & Lee University), Rafael Premisleaner (Babson College), Henry McNeal (University of Redlands), Shotaro Iida (University of San Francisco) Noah Williamson (Skidmore College), Nicole Li (Fordham University), Aranza Alvarez (Seattle University), Lauren Anderson (San Diego State University) and Sydney Byrnes (Bates College). According to school officials, all will go on to play college tennis at four-year universities.

van Houten sweeps youth tennis events

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Photo submitted

Sweden van Houten follows through on a shot in recent competition.
Ojai’s Sweden van Houten recently competed in two Ventura County tennis tournaments. She played in the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association's Pierpont Racquet Club Girls’ 12 and Under Open June 2. After sweeping her matches in the initial round robin, she defeated Kira Branson, 6-0, in the final to win the title.

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Several Nordhoff student-athletes rack up spring all-league honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Honorable mention honoree Will Wiggins (center) blocks a ball at the plate earlier this season.

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports reporter
A number of Nordhoff High School (NHS) student-athletes recently learned they had earned all-league honors this spring.
On the baseball diamond, the Rangers had a rough season after going 1-21, but three players earned postseason honorable-mention honors from the Tri-Valley League.
Freshman Philip Heldwein and sophomores Will Wiggins and Matt Rosen were recognized for their play this season.
NHS fans hope the young players — who gained valuable experience this spring — will help turn around the program’s fortunes in the future.

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New team sits atop Sundowner golf standings

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Characters rode the strong play of Chris Williams to the top spot in the Sundowner Golf League June 5.
There is only one week remaining until the first half of the season concludes and teams are starting to round into form with payouts to the top three teams looming after next week's round.
Williams fired a personal-best round of a gross 38 for a 25-point week. The 25-point performance was the best score by any player this week and was only one point off the season high.
Williams birdied two of his final three holes to finish with a bang. "My short game was on fire and my approach shots were hitting the green,” said Williams.

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NHS wrestling hosting dinner event

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

The Nordhoff High School (NHS) wrestling program has produced great results on the mat and as the program continues to grow, so does its financial commitment. NHS wrestling will host its first Italian dinner fundraiser June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the First Baptist Church of Ojai at 930 Grand Ave. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for those 10 and younger. The event also caters to those who would prefer the take-out option. There will also be a silent auction as part of the fundraising efforts. For more information, contact NHS wrestling coach Paul Clementi at (805) 340-9563.

Nine Rangers earn honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Frontier League Pitcher of the Year Sidney Wimpee fires a pitch to the plate in this year’s playoff game.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After a season that saw them finish second in the Frontier League, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) softball team had nine players earn all-league honors.
The Lady Rangers finished their season with a 10-12-1 record and qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs but were eliminated in the first round.

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Nordhoff junior Angela Zirpolo, who was recently named to the All-Frontier League, makes a play at first base earlier this season.

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Deason hopes for call during next week’s draft

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Photo courtesy of University of Arizona Athletics

Nordhoff alumnus Cody Deason pitches in a recent game for the University of Arizona Wildcats.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Major League Baseball (MLB) draft is scheduled for June 4 through June 6 in Secaucus, N.J., and Ojai resident and former Nordhoff High School baseball player Cody Deason will be waiting to hear his name called.
Deason, who just finished his junior season at the University of Arizona, has been projected to be taken in the top five rounds of this year’s draft.

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Firestorm ends on a strong note

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Photo submitted

Ojai Firestorm competitors include (from left) Alexis Schmidt, Justice Martin, Veronica Palmer, Mary O’Reilly and Sofia Moreno-Boyd-Barrett. Not pictured are Miranda Inman, Maria Schey and Liz Spiller.
The Ojai Firestorm girls' tennis team toppled Santa Paula High School, 38-32, May 20 to finish its spring season on a strong note. The final score was a big improvement over the Firestorm's last match against Santa Paula in April, when the team lost, 48-23.
"The girls have all really improved over the course of the season,” commented Firestorm coach Lucy Martin. “It showed Sunday as they all played really hard and never gave up. Every game counts in Junior Team Tennis (JTT).”

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Distance runners roll through Ojai

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Photo by Carl Huffman

The Mountains 2 Beach Marathon and Half-Marathon rolled through Ojai May 27 and close to 2,000 runners ran the 26.2-mile course which took runners to Ventura Beach before they crossed the finish line. Runners from all over California and a handful of runners from across the country took part in this year’s event. The runners (above) stretched their legs out as they raced down Rice Road before heading towards the ocean. The event continues to grow in popularity and sells out every year.

Mataisz Memorial slated for June 3

The 28th annual George Mataisz Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for the Soule Park Golf Course June 3 at 9 a.m. The Mataisz Memorial benefits the Nordhoff High School golf program.
This year’s entry fee is $90 and the tournament includes several competitions. Interested golfers should contact NHS head coach Dick Sebek for more details. Sebek can be reach at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (805) 646-7503.

Thacher’s Kirkpatrick narrowly misses CIF-SS Masters

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Photo submitted
Thacher School junior Colin Kirkpatrick won the CIF Southern Section  Boys’ 1,600-meter run in a time of 4:17.25 but will not advance to the CIF Southern Section Master's Meet. Joseph Domingues, of St. Joseph High School, came in second with a time of 4:17.90, while Thacher's Ford Sharper was fourth in 4:21.83. Kirkpatrick came within 2 seconds of qualifying for the Masters.

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2018 Ojai Tennis Tournament magazine

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2018 spring Ojai Valley Visitors Guide

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2018 Mind, Body & Spirit
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2017 Best of the Ojai Valley
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October 2017 Student Union

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