News from around the Ojai Valley

Best of Ojai Valley contest voting starts next week

It is once again nearing the time when Ojai Valley residents get to vote for the businesses that were their favorites over the past year.
The Ojai Valley News will open voting in its 2014 Best of the Ojai Valley contest Aug. 1 at 12:01 a.m. Voting will end Sept. 15 at noon and the results will be published in the 2014 Best of the Ojai Valley supplement that will be included in the Oct. 17 edition of the Ojai Valley News.

Like last year, voting will be entirely electronic. Unlike years past, however, instead of going to a third party survey website, the survey will be hosted on www.ojaivalleynews.com, the Ojai Valley News and Ojai Valley Visitors Guide website.
“We work hard to find new and innovative ways to make the contest as fair as possible, but also keep the fun in it for our voters,” explained Ojai Valley News publisher Tim Dewar. “This year, everyone who wants to vote will register on our website first. Current subscribers will be able to vote without registering again as soon as the survey is posted. Non-subscribers will have to fill out a short form and verify their email address before voting. That way,” Dewar explained, “we can make sure people are only voting once and will be better able to administer the survey.”
Last year, according to Dewar, 41,307 votes were recorded from 1,413 voters answering 132 questions. This year, there are 134 questions and voters can skip any they wish. Each question will also allow voters to "write-in" an answer if their favorite is not included in the menu list.
“Businesses getting the highest percentage of votes are those that will be included in the following year's list,” Dewar added.  “So write-in votes are important not only in helping businesses win this year, but in having them included in that question’s list next year.”
To become a registered user, voters must go to www.ojaivalleynews.com and click on the “create an account” link inside the login box near the top left side of the page. After supplying a username and password that can be linked to a valid email address, voters will need to verify their registration by clicking the link contained in the email the system will send to them.  Dewar said this information will never be sold or given to a third party and will not be used for purposes other than the administration of the Best of the Ojai Valley survey.
To begin the survey, voters should log in to the site using the login box near the top of the home page and then follow the Best of Ojai Valley contest link in the menu bar at the top of the home page.
To help voters find the questions that most interest them, the survey is segregated into services, retail, food & drink, health & beauty and other sections. Voters can skip categories by scrolling to the bottom of each page and clicking the next button.

Click here to register to take the survey. It's free.

If you are a subscriber, simply log in to our site and then click the Best of Ojai Valley link in the main menu bar.
© Ojai Valley News, 2014

Latest sports

Nordhoff, Villanova players garner all-league honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Villanova’s Rebecca Saucedo prepares to take a cut at a pitch against Nordhoff. Saucedo earned a spot on the All-Frontier League second team.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The softball programs at Nordhoff High School (NHS) and Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) both enjoyed success on the diamond this spring and a number of players earned All-Frontier League honors for their efforts.
Headlining this year’s postseason honors was Norfhoff sophomore Sidney Wimpee who was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year. The young flame-throwing Lady Ranger was impressive in the circle for NHS. She posted a 10-9 record with a 2.27 ERA. She also added
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Doran continues his hot streak

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Sundowner Golf League reached the halfway point of the season June 13 at Soule Park Golf Course. The team of 5 Guys on Grass were able to put together another solid week and hang on to the top spot in the standings.
5 Guys scored 61 points on the week behind the play of Dustin Baxley, Ryan Wolf and Cade Carper.
Baxley has been on fire this season, and kept up the hot play by scoring a birdie on the final hole to shoot a gross-41 for 21 points. He has seen his handicap drop two strokes
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U12 All-Stars make another championship game

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Photo submitted
Ojai’s U12 girls’ all-star softball team had another great showing at the annual Ventura Breeze Softball Tournament. The local crew made it all the way to the championships before losing to Sylmar in the finals. The team is made up of coaches Ben Rodriguez, Mario Reyes, and Troy Rutherford and players Willow Williams, Mia Reyes, Emma Sobenes, Amber Watkins, Ale Lucchesi, Chelsea Trejo, Arianna Alonso, Hannah Ignacio, Skylar Rutherford, Amber Sage, Maggie Caputo, and Cassidy Pelkington.

Weil Academy bids farewell to graduates

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Photo by Benita La Plante
Ojai’s Weil Tennis Academy and College Preparatory School recently graduated its largest class in 20 years. Weil seniors include (from left) Julianna Johnson, Fidan Khalilzade, Suraj Mahtani, Emilio Monroy, Santiago Berron, Marc Hayashi, Julien Wolfe, Michael Chen, Chris Grasel, Eduardo Villalpando, Alexis Alvarez, Nima Movassaghi, Peter Huang, Connor Reardon, David Bogatin, Hazuki Ogino, Seira Shimizu, Mana Koitabashi, Nadine Del Carmen, Hana Granillo, Lola Gorbacheva, Kate McMahon, Madison Wolfe and Anastasiya Redkina.

Rangers hold annual spring scrimmage

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Tanner Garnsey (left) hauls in a pass despite tight coverage from teammate Ethan Sunder in the team’s spring scrimmage.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team capped its spring practice session with a non-contact scrimmage June 2. According to NHS head coach Lance Wiggins, the Rangers showed marked improvement.
“We had an outstanding spring session. We saw a lot of really good play by everybody and I was just very pleased with the effort and hard work we saw out there,” he said.
According to Wiggins, the Rangers have adopted the motto, “One team, one heartbeat,” this season
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Miles signs with Brewton Parker College

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Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
Joining Nordhoff High School senior Mikayla Miles (from left) as she signs her letter of intent June 1 are her coach Robert Hastie and mom Brenda Miles. Mikayla established herself as one of the best high school female wrestlers in Ventura County history during her career at Nordhoff High School. For her efforts on the mat, Miles earned a scholarship to wrestle at Brewton Parker College in Georgia. "I am very excited to work with Mikayla for the next four years,” explained Brewton Parker head coach Brittney Gadd. “I believe she is another great addition to our team."

Williams comes through for Ojai All-Stars

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Photo submitted
With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh inning, Willow Williams hit a game-winning base hit to score Hannah Ignacio from second base to help the Ojai 12U girls earn the championship of the annual Nipomo Girls’ All Star Softball Tournament. Big hits from Ale Lucchesi, Amber Watkins, Cassidy Pelkington and Chelsea Trejo, combined with keen fielding from the rest of the team made the first championship in over 10 years possible. The Ojai All-Star squad is comprised of (back row, from left) coach Ben Rodriguez, Williams, Mia Reyes, Emma Sobenes, Watkins, Lucchesi, coach Troy Rutherford, Trejo, coach Mario Reyes, Arianna Alonso (front row, from left) Hannah Ignacio, Skylar Rutherford, Amber Sage, Maggie Caputo and Cassidy Pelkington.

Mataisz Memorial golf event benefits Nordhoff

The 27th annual George Mataisz Memorial Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Nordhoff High School golf program, recently took place at the Soule Park Course and a healthy contingent of golfers came out to support the local program.
The 2017 George Mataisz Memorial Trophy went to the 1990s’ alumni team comprised of Jacob Lusk (72), Mark Sebek (76), Ryan Blatz (77), Tim Sebek (80), Troy York (80) and James Casey (80).
In the best-foursome competition (gross), Kenny Wiksell teamed with Blatz, York and Casey
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Teams shift positions in golf standings

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The Sundowner golf league completed week seven June 6 and the field is bunching as they round the turn towards the end of the first half of the season.
5 Guys on Grass still have a hold on the top spot, but four teams have made a move to get within striking distance with only one week to go in the first half.
5 Guys came back down to earth with a modest 53-point total on the week, more than five points below their season average. Ryan Howatt kept the team in the mix with a gross-39 for 19 points
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Mercer hopes to rebound Villanova basketball program

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After winning just two games in the last two years, the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) girls’ basketball team will have a new head coach. VPS recently announced the hiring of Dan Mercer, who spent 19 years leading the Carpinteria Warriors.
In 19 seasons, Mercer racked up a record of 247-232 (.520 winning percentage) and led the Warriors to the postseason in 16 of those 19 seasons. He also has 12 CIF-playoff victories
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Nordhoff High School football squad hosting spring game June 2

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff High School football team performs agility drills as assistant coach Gerald Deason (center) walks the line looking for correct technique. The Rangers are working to turn the program around in 2017 after winning just four games over the last two seasons. Nordhoff’s head coach Lance Wiggins said he has been happy with the team’s spring practice so far. The Rangers will conclude their spring work with a scrimmage June 2 at the Ojai Valley Community Stadium. The junior varsity will hit the field at 4:30 p.m. before giving way to the varsity at 6 p.m. Nordhoff will open its 2017 regular season schedule Aug. 25 at Hueneme High School.

5 Guys on Grass are weeding out competitors in Sundowner Golf League

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor 
The team of 5 Guys on Grass continued their dominance in the Sundowner Golf League May 30 when they managed to put up a team score of 64 during week-six league play. They hold a 14-point lead over the field with only two weeks remaining in the first half of the season.
5 Guys were led by the play of newcomer Ryan Howatt, who shot his season-best round of a gross-37 for 22 points. Teammate Dustin Baxley also continued his memorable season
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Ojai hosts more than 2,600 marathoners

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Photo by Ray Smith 
More than 2,600 runners hit the streets of Ojai May 28 to take part in the Mountains-2-Beach Marathon. The race started in downtown Ojai and took runners to the Ventura Promenade via the Ventura River Bike Path. In addition to the 26.2-mile race, the event also featured a half marathon and kids’ run. This year’s male winner was Kosuke Amano, who covered the 26.2 miles in 2:31.55. On the women’s side, Jill Deering of Santa Barbara won in a time of 2:50.12. The half marathon was won by Steven Youngbloos (1:13.31) and Shelby Buckley (1:18.10).

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