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Latest sports

Villanova Prep athletes enjoy the fruits of their labor

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts

Villanova Prep star Luke Peterson explodes off the starting blocks in a swim meet earlier this year.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) athletics had plenty to celebrate this spring as several were recognized for their standout performances.
In baseball, the Wildcats went 4-10 on the season but senior Raegan Mang wrapped up his stellar athletic career by earning first-team All-Frontier League honors. Mang will look to continue his football career next fall when he enrolls at Moorpark College.

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown

Raegan Mang, avoids a defender during action last fall.

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Hoop crews raise money to fight cancer

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Photo submitted

Team Two and Half Men, comprised of (from left) Finn Matte, Robert Stratton and Spencer Yates, celebrate their second-place finish in the first Hoops for Hope basketball tournament.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Sixteen three-on-three basketball teams took part in the Hoops for Hope tournament June 16 to help Ojai residents battling cancer. The event was organized by Robert Stratton and sponsored by Ojai CARES.
The tournament raised $3,300 this year and Stratton hopes to make it an annual event.
“At 18 years old, I can’t change the world, but I do hope that I can help change somebody’s world,” Stratton explained. “We will be back and

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NHS alums return for golf

In early June, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) golf team hosted the 28th annual George Mataisz Memorial Golf Tournament at the Soule Park Golf Course.
The Mataisz Memorial serves as the school’s main fundraiser for the golf program and brings several NHS alumni together to support Ranger golf.
This year’s winning team was a group of 1990’s alumni comprised of Jacob Lusk (72), Shawn Andrews (74), Ryan Blatz (74), Mark Sebek (77) and Troy York (78). The best foursome gross score was turned in by the team of Kenny Wiksell, Blatz, York and James Casey. The foursome finished their day at 8 under par.

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Defending champions making a move in Sundowner

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The second half of the Sundowner season kicked off June 19 with defending champs Weapons of Grass Destruction posting a league-high 63 points on the day.
The Weapons had a rough start to their season and had fallen to 15th place out of the 16 teams in the league.
Nate Cooper led their charge back to the top with a gross-40 for 22 points. Cooper scored the most points of any player in the league last year but has struggled mightily this season. The Weapons are hopeful that he has found his form once again.
Alfonso Pacheco and Ryan Blatz rounded out the scoring for the team with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Blatz birdied his final hole to help his team take the early lead in the second-half standings.

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Brooks earns golf MVP honors

After a competitive spring season, the Nordhoff High School boys’ golf team announced its 2018 team awards.
This year’s Most Valuable Player Award went to Jesse Brooks. Brooks also earned All-Frontier League first-team honors this spring.
Harrison Price was awarded the Dick Coburn Memorial Award.
The Jim Coultas Memorial Award, for the team’s most improved player, went to Mason Moen.
Also earning All-Frontier League honors for the Rangers was Cade Sauer, who was named to the second team.

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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2017 Best of the Ojai Valley
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