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News from around the Ojai Valley

Ranger soccer team makes history

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Nordhoff won its first-ever CIF-Southern Section championship in boys’ soccer last week. They have also claimed three consecutive Frontier League titles. (photo by Ashley Wilson)

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After winning Nordhoff’s first-ever CIF-Southern Section title in boys’ soccer last Saturday, the Rangers were selected to take part in the CIF Southern California Division III tournament. In their first-round game, NHS faced a tough Sun Valley team and lost on penalty kicks.

The Rangers trailed 3-1 late in the game, but fought back to tie the game at 3-3. Head coach Robert Garcia said, “We thought we were the better team, but we had to play shorthanded after Conor Daly got his second yellow card. Our boys really played hard and fought back, but we lost a lot of steam late in the game because we were down a player.”
According to Garcia, the second call on Daly was a questionable one based on the physical style of play by both teams. “I have to stand up for my player and say that I thought the second call was not a good one. I felt bad for him and really think we would have pulled it off with him in the game.”
Despite the loss against Sun Valley, Garcia and company are not losing sight of the fact they had an amazing season. He added, “I woke up this morning and just thanked God for allowing me to finally win a CIF title. I am so happy for the boys and the school and the boys did not want this to end. When we were getting off the bus after our last game, they asked if we could still practice the next day. I think that says a lot about those kids.”
This season got off to a rocky start for the Rangers, who lost two key starters during the season due to academic issues. Without them, it took NHS some time to find its groove. “Losing those early games was hard but we just kept our heads up and then once league rolled around, we started playing well,” added Garcia.
This season, Nordhoff faced the following schools during the regular season: Buena (loss), Carpinteria (loss), Ventura (loss), Oxnard (loss), Rio Mesa (loss), Pacifica (loss), Camarillo (loss), Fillmore (loss), Oaks Christian (loss), Rio Mesa (loss), Palmdale (loss), Cabrillo (loss), Santa Clara (win), Grace Brethren (win), Villanova Prep (win), St. Bonaventure (win), Bishop Diego (loss), Santa Clara (win), Grace Brethren (win), Villanova Prep (win), St. Bonaventure (win), and Bishop Diego (win). In the postseason, the Rangers caught fire and faced: AGBU (10-0 win), Saint Monica (5-1 win), Southlands Christian (9-1 win), Sierra Canyon (3-0 win), and Vistamar (3-0 win).
Nordhoff was so dominant during their championship run that they outscored their opponents 30-2 en route to their CIF-SS crown.

 The Rangers outscored their opponents 30-2 en route to their first-ever CIF-SS title.
The final scores were: AGBU (10-0), Saint Monica (5-1), Southlands Christian (9-1), Sierra Canyon
(3-0), and Vistamar (3-0).

When asked what he wanted the Ojai community to know about this year’s championship team, Garcia said, “I want the Ojai Valley to remember this team and to realize how they went through ups-and-downs to get to the title. This team knew they could be good and they went out and earned the school’s first ever title. In my heart, I know this is one of the best, if not the best, soccer team to ever come out of the Ojai Valley and I want people to know that.“
The postseason accolades are sure pile up for the Rangers in the days to come, but Garcia noted that Oscar Ortiz was named the Frontier League’s Goalkeeper of the Year while Augie Andrade was the Frontier League Defensive MVP and Daly was the Frontier League Offensive Player of the Year.

Nordhoff High School soccer team roster

Augie Andrade
Conor Daly
Alex Torres
Dustin Boynton
Roberto Robles
Beto Carbajal
Oscar Ortiz
Diego Vasquez
Marcos Diaz
Ra'ad Abasi
Max BieLicki
Jules Pasco
Mike Robles
Finn Matte
Hudson Handel
Jay Inman
Garrett Woll
Coaches: Robert Garcia, Juan Maya and Cesar Gonzalez 

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Latest sports

Henney now a Bonny lad: Former Nordhoff football coach on the move again

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Tony Henney (center) coached Nordhoff High School to two CIF Southern Section titles and will now take over the football program at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Just weeks after being dismissed as head football coach at Westlake High School, former Nordhoff High School head coach Tony Henney has landed on his feet at St. Bonaventure High School.
According to Henney, he will be head of the storied football program and will teach at the school. “I am just trying to take it all
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Ojai newcomer going to the mat to bring about changes

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News posts editor
The youth of the Ojai Valley now have another sports option thanks to newcomer Carl Fronhofer who is kicking off a youth wrestling program. The new offering is designed to expose interested wrestlers to the sport and will be directed at youth from kindergarten to sixth grade.
“When I arrived in Ojai this summer, my oldest son, who is 5, started asking to wrestle. When I looked around, I could not find anything available for him, so I decided to start a program myself and see where it goes,” said Fronhofer.
The new Ojai resident is no stranger to the sport. He has 13 years of NCAA Division 1 coaching
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Lady Ranger wrestlers setting themselves up to pin down a state berth

After a busy holiday-season schedule, the Nordhoff girls’ wrestling team started the second half of the 2016-2017 season by traveling to Baldwin Park. With more than 250 girls competing and 57 teams represented, the Lady Rangers placed 18th overall against some of the state’s stiffest competition.  
Nordhoff freshman Michaela Howe competed in her third tournament of the season in the 137-pound weight class, along with senior Mikayla Miles who was on the other side of the bracket.
Howe went 2-2 on the day. The freshman pinned her first opponent in 1:20 in the first period, lost her second
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Lady Rangers on three-game win streak

Nordhoff High School’s (NHS) girls’ basketball team went from being winless and in last place to being .500 and in fourth place in the eight-team Frontier League, winning three games in a row last week.
The Rangers started the streak at home against Thacher, prevailing 24-15 in a defensive battle in which
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Annual Heart & Sole race set for Feb. 4

Several hundred people from Ojai and nearby cities are expected to participate in the 27th annual Ojai Heart & Sole Feb. 4 at San Antonio Elementary School. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the 5K and 10K runs start at 8 a.m.
The races encourage healthy habits while raising funds to support the AHA’s research and education efforts to fight heart disease and stroke — the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are the leading killers in the United
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Ojai Rotary selects Seery for January award

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Photo submitted
Kate Seery (above) was recently named the Rotary Club of Ojai’s Physical Education Project Student of the Month for January. Seery was presented with a certificate and a $200 check at a Rotary Club meeting. Rotarian Ren Adam had the honor of recognizing Seery for her efforts on the field of competition as well as in the classroom.

Ojai’s Kenton skates with legends of the sport

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Photo submitted
Local skateboarder Cash Kenton (above) was recently invited to take part in the 2017 El Gato Classic in Palm Springs. The event, named after two-time world champion and early skateboarding guru, Eddie “El Gato” Elguera, featured the legends of the sport as well as up-and-coming stars like Kenton. The Ojai native got the unique opportunity to skate in front of the most popular boarder of all time, Tony Hawk. Kenton continues to be one of the top-ranked skateboarders in the world.

Two local youth baseball leagues finally agree to merge

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sport editor
After years of discussion and negotiations, the Ojai Valley now has only one youth baseball program. In years past, local youth had the option of playing in the Ojai Valley Little League (OVLL) or the PONY league, but due to declining numbers the leagues have merged and families will no longer have to choose between the two programs.
“We are excited about combining the two leagues,” OVLL President Kim Maxwell said. “It makes a lot
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Nordhoff basketball teams off to slow start in league play

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Luc Emmord (left) wrestles away a rebound from Santa Paula’s Jose Lizarraga in a recent Tri-Valley League rivalry game.
Nordhoff’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are both winless three games into league action.
The Nordhoff boys’ team opened Tri-Valley League play at home against St. Bonaventure, who came in carrying a 20-game TVL win streak. The Seraphs made it 21-in-a-row, downing the Rangers, 62-44. Jake Williams came out firing for the hosts
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Tourney participants play up a storm, and around one too

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Rick and Jules Thompson hug after winning the sixth annual Ojai Holiday Tennis Challenge.
A rare and spectacular thunder and lightning storm in Ojai Jan. 7 postponed — but did not stop — the sixth annual Ojai Holiday Tennis Challenge.
Organizers of the adult-youth-doubles tennis tournament fundraising event managed to fit all the matches into one day. With the help and support of many volunteers who rolled and squeegeed the steaming courts the morning of Jan. 8, the tournament kicked off play at Ojai’s Libbey Park by 10:30 a.m.
Twenty-one doubles teams of adult and youth players, somewhat fewer than previous years, participated. The sun broke free of the clouds in time to highlight the players in both the “In for Fun” (eight teams) and “In to Win” (13 teams) divisions.
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Local volleyball players earn all Tri-Valley League honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Villanova Prep’s Brenna Norris (left) goes for a block against Nordhoff’s Stella Moore in a match this fall.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Despite difficult seasons in 2016, the volleyball programs at Nordhoff High School (NHS) and Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) still had some postseason awards to celebrate recently. 
Nordhoff’s Lady Rangers went 8-15 overall and 3-9 in Tri-Valley League (TVL) play, a step back from the success the team has had in recent years. After getting hit hard by graduation, the Lady Rangers relied on a core group of younger players
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Lady Rangers basketball team earns its first win of the season

Nordhoff High School's girls' basketball team put its first notch in the win column, defeating Providence, 43-29, in a consolation game on the final day of the Carpinteria Tournament Dec. 30.
"It felt good to finally win," said head coach Ted Cotti, whose Rangers start Frontier League play this week at 1-8 overall. "We really struggled in tournament play in December, partly because we played some tough opponents but primarily
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Nordhoff hoopsters enter league play

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown 
The Nordhoff High School boys’ basketball team and guard Trevor Solano (above) are in the midst of their Tri-Valley League schedule. Upcoming games include a Jan. 6 home game against Santa Paula, a Jan. 9 road game against Santa Clara and then NHS returns home Jan. 11 to face Malibu. All three games tip off at 7 p.m.

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