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Latest sports

Ojai athletes head to CIF-SS track and field finals

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Photo by Carl Huffman
Thacher junior Caroline Delvecchio (right) flies over a hurdle in a recent race at Carpinteria High School.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Thacher School track and field team will send three athletes to the CIF Southern Section (CIF-SS) championship meet May 19 and May 20 at El Camino College.
To advance to the section finals, athletes needed to place in the top nine at the CIF-SS preliminaries held May 12 at Carpinteria High School.
Junior hurdler Caroline Delvecchio had a great day in the prelims after placing second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15:08 seconds. Delvecchio then came back and placed fifth in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 47.47 seconds.
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Playoff run plays out: Nordhoff tennis team makes its mark in May

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Photo submitted
The Nordhoff boys’ tennis team celebrates after its first-round playoff victory over Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) boys’ tennis team had an eventful month in May during which it won a Tri-Valley League title and made it to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
In the Tri-Valley League (TVL) Tournament, the doubles team of Victor Becker, and Dakota Martin won the TVL doubles championship, defeating Connor Callahan and Max Golbert from The Thacher School, 6-3, 6-4.
In singles play, sophomores Elias Simon and Shawn Rothermel finished in third and fourth place, respectively. The league doubles title means that NHS boys’ tennis players have won three individual league championships in the last four years; Mikel Elizalde and Thomas Jeffares won the Frontier League doubles title in 2015, and Max Prestwich won the Frontier League singles title in 2016.
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Errors do in Lady Rangers

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff freshman Marley Loza stretches to make a catch against the Lancaster Eagles.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) softball team lost its first-round playoff game to the Lancaster Eagles, 3-0,after committing five errors and stranding runners on base.  “It’s not how you win games, especially in the playoffs,” said head coach Don Rodarte. 
The Lady Rangers managed to get runners on first and third in the bottom half of the first inning, but could not come up with a clutch hit to bring their runners home. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when the Eagles were able to push two runners across home plate. They never looked back from there.
“We threatened early and then got some runners in scoring position again late in the game, but it just wasn’t our day. We weren’t sharp or focused like we needed to be,” added Rodarte. 
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Sundowners hit quarter mark

The Sundowner golf league finished the first quarter of its season May 15 at Soule Park Golf Course and basically all of the teams are still in the running for the 2018 Callender Cup.
Millie's Duffers were able to hang on to the top spot despite scoring a pedestrian total 55 points.
They were led by the play of Robin Williams,who owns the lowest handicap of all players in the league with only 0.75 strokes per nine holes. He shot an even-par round of 36 for 19 points. Williams' round tied with Ken Wiksell, of Chiefs IE, for lowest-gross total by any player on the day.
Williams was supported by Brad Weidlich, who remains on fire as part of his breakout season. He shot a gross-41 for 19 points and has the most points scored this season by any player in the league. Weidlich, a teacher at Ojai Valley School, is regularly posting stellar rounds.
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Casitas rowers hope to pull in national title

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Photo by Wendy Gillett
Casitas Rowing attended the U.S. Rowing Southwest Junior Regional Championships in Sacramento May 4 through May 6 and medaled in three big events, securing an invite to the national championships for the men’s lightweight double. In the freshmen women’s and men’s boats, the Casitas rowers earned silver medals and the men’s varsity boat got bronze medals that brought them one step closer to a national title. Joe Wells (from left), Alex Legaspi and head coach Eric Gillett have been training all year with one goal in mind and their placement at the regional event earned them an invitation to Lake Natoma June 8 through June 10.

Golf event for Mele family set for June

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Photo submitted
The Ojai Valley community is being encouraged to grab their golf clubs and take part in a June 2 fundraiser for the family of Anthony Mele who was fatally stabbed April 19 in Ventura. The proceeds from the tournament will go to support Mele’s 5-year-old daughter, Willow. The event will be held at the Soule Park Golf Course and will tee off at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $150 per golfer and several sponsorship options are available for individuals or businesses interested in doing more. For more information, contact Steven Garibay at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A GoFundMe account has also been set up for Willow and can be found at www.gofundme.com/anthony-mele.

Ojai youth compete in QuickStart event

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Photo by Paul Del Signore
Logan Kirchner (left) and Degan Morris participate in the QuickStart Tennis Challenge.
The 11th annual QuickStart Tennis Challenge brought 45 students from Topa Topa Elementary School, Sunset School, Oak Grove School, Ojai Valley School, Mira Monte Elementary School and Montessori School of Ojai together to participate in competitive play on the courts of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club during the 118th Ojai Tennis Tournament. All participating students played at least two matches on the smaller-sized courts using low-density balls and student-sized rackets. The final match consisted of two teams from Ojai Valley School; after a long battle, Andrew Little and Jeremy Danino triumphed over Jack Pointner and Austin Haase. After the award ceremony, the students were treated to a free barbecue provided by Ojai Rotary Club at Libbey Park to catch some of the Pac-12 tennis action.

Rangers suffer hard loss in softball season finale

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Sidney Wimpee, a Nordhoff High School junior, hurls a ball to the plate in a game earlier this season.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) softball team faced Grace Brethren in a huge game May 8. With a win, the Lady Rangers would have claimed a share of the Frontier League title along with Grace Brethren, but a loss would cement a spot in second place heading into the playoffs.
Despite playing and practicing well leading up to the game, NHS came out flat and the Lancers rolled to a 10-0 win.
“We just didn’t execute and we suffered from a lack of effort overall,” said head coach Don Rodarte. “We didn't make adjustments and they got us. It’s as simple as that.”
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Nordhoff volleyball recognized for classroom performance

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Photo submitted
Nordhoff High School volleyball team members pose with their CIF academic banner. The team includes (back row from left) coach Rene Mauch, Devin Clawson, Julian Hankins, Leslie Perez, Salma Hernandez, Lauren Raymond, Grace Bergmann, Roni Kern, Stella Moore, Ava Drury, Sasha Frazier, Lauren Dingman, Cher Glass, (front row from left) Kolbe Fink and Sadee Broida. Not pictured is Abigail Bossart.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ volleyball team wasn’t just hitting volleyballs this season, they were also hitting the books. Team members posted a 3.91 grade point average (GPA) during the first semester of the academic year. 
Nordhoff’s 3.91 team GPA was good enough to earn the CIF Southern Section’s Team Academic Champion award and the team was honored at an Anaheim Angels game.
Back in 1989-1990 the NHS girls’ track team won the same honor with a 3.54 GPA. “Ken Reeves had some really big rosters back then, so that was a significant accomplishment as well,” said head volleyball coach and athletic director Rene Nakao-Mauch.
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Two local students tee it up at CIF-SS Northern regionals

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ted Cotti
Villanova’s Sixten Sahle hammers a drive at the CIF Southern Section Northern Regional Tournament.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
A pair of seniors from local high schools teed it up at Soule Park May 7 in the CIF-Southern Section Individual Golf Northern Regional Championships.
Jesse Brooks, from Nordhoff High School, fired a career-best 79 while Sixten Sahle, from Villanova Preparatory School, posted an 82.
Each qualified as the top individual players from their team during Tri-Valley League play.
Monday’s competition — which featured 92 elite players from 14 schools — was won by San Luis Obispo’s Casey Leebrick, who fired a five-under 67.
Austin Liu, of Oak Park, and Owen Avrit, of Arroyo Grande, tied for second with 68s.
Neither Brooks nor Sahle made the cut.
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Deason has a huge week

Former Nordhoff High School baseball star Cody Deason — current University of Arizona ace — earned national attention recently. Deason faced the No. 9-ranked UCLA Bruins and pitched a complete game while only giving up five hits. He also struck out a career-high 11 batters in the game.
For his efforts, Deason was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and the College Baseball National Player of the Week.
Deason is 5-4 on the season and has an impressive 2.36 ERA, which is among the national leaders for starting pitchers.

Nordhoff teams shine at league championships

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Photo by Carl Huffman
Thanks to efforts by student-athletes including Emerson McNeil (above) the Nordhoff High School girls’ track and field team narrowly won the Frontier League championship this year. NHS defeated the Fillmore Flashes, 132-131, to claim first-place honors. On the boys’ side, Fillmore managed to out-point the Rangers, winning, 132-110. The Thacher School and Villanova Preparatory School also competed in the league finals.

Buck’s big day: Massive round helps move Scramblers up the board

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor 
Millie's Duffers made a big jump in the standings to take over the lead after three weeks of play in the Sundowner Golf League.
Millie's was formed by team captain Adrian Frape two seasons ago, and it appears this may be the year that they make a run at the Callender Cup.
Millie's was led May 8 by Mike Montano, who fired a gross-41 for 21 points to lead his team.
He was supported by Frape, who had three birdies in a row and finished with a gross-38 for 20 points.
Brad Weidlich also continued his good play with 20 points to lead the team to a 61-point total and help them take the early season lead.
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