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News from around the Ojai Valley

Nordhoff softball steps up to help Ojai community

120717 2017 nhs softball food drive
Photo submitted
For the last 10 years, the Nordhoff High School softball team has stepped up to assist with the Help of Ojai food drive. The food drive collects donations to help families throughout the Ojai Valley and the Lady Rangers remain one of the most active groups when it comes to collecting donations. “To this date, my team is the largest one-time contributor to the food bank,” head coach Don Rodarte said. “This year, it is estimated we collected over 2 tons of food. I am very proud of my girls. They participate not because I ask them to, but because they care and have a willingness to give back and volunteer to be a productive members of our community.”
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Latest sports

Rangers to host Hueneme Oct. 12

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
With playoff berths on the line, the Nordhoff High School football team will play host to the Hueneme Vikings Oct. 12 at 7 p.m at the Ojai Valley Community Stadium. The Vikings are a dangerous team with a number of athletic players, but, according to NHS head coach Lance Wiggins, the Vikings are not deep this season. “They have only been suiting up about 23 players this season, so if we can play at our normal speed and physicality, I am hoping we can wear them down late in the game,” he said. 
Hueneme has been a bit of a mystery team this season. They defeated a tough Malibu team, 41-17, and topped Carpinteria, 27-20, but then lost to Fillmore, 28-14. They also gave Santa Paula, the league’s top season, all they could handle in a 17-14 loss. 
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O-Line carries Rangers to victory

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Senior wide receiver Colby Stevens makes the catch of the night Oct. 5 against Santa Clara with this one-handed snag along the sideline.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
With nearly every Citrus Coast League football team jockeying for playoff position, the Nordhoff High School squad scored a much-needed 28-7 victory over the Santa Clara Saints Oct. 5 in Oxnard. Santa Clara entered the game winless, but they have not played like a winless team this season and put up a valiant fight against the Rangers.  
Nordhoff got on the scoreboard first thanks to a drive that was aided by a big third-down catch by senior Jesse Diaz and a fourth-down conversion run by quarterback Leeram Stoneman. The drive was capped by senior Brayden Rogers who scored from 1 yard out, giving NHS the early 7-0 advantage.
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Ojai boys' tennis defeats Camarillo in nail-biter

Lucy Martin,  Ojai Valley News contributor 
In Junior Team Tennis action Oct. 6 at Libbey Park, Team Ojai, playing in the boys 18-and-under division, battled it out against Camarillo in a very close match. Down 25 to 28 going into the last doubles set, Team Ojai players Shawn Rothermel and Zachary Anderson managed to turn things around by winning the set, 8 to 2, clinching the victory for Ojai with a final match score of 33-30.
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Lady Spuds too fast for league foes

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Photo courtesy of Ojai Valley School
Ojai Valley School runners Bella Slosberg (from left), Caspian Ellis, Jolene Fan, Angela Qu, Stephany Nostrant, Paige Muller and Avery Colborn took their league opener against Besant Hill.
Ojai Valley School (OVS) opened its Condor League cross-country season on a high note Oct. 3, with the girls’ team winning the league opener with a dominating performance at Besant Hill School.
OVS took seven of the top 10 spots on the fast three-mile course, led by juniors Caspian Ellis and Avery Colborn, who placed second and third, running 23:25 and 23:27, respectively. Sophomore Bella Slosberg placed fourth, junior Jolene Fan seventh, and freshman Paige Muller eighth.
The Spuds return home Oct. 17 to host the third league meet of the season on the tough “Pi Course.”

Ranger girls on winning streak

Mike Miller,  Ojai Valley News sports editor
The wins just keep coming for the Nordhoff High School girls’ volleyball team.
The Lady Rangers recently defeated Carpinteria, Providence and Malibu to improve to an impressive 17-3 overall and they remain undefeated at 8-0 in Citrus Coast League action.
With their continued success gaining attention, the Lady Rangers are now No. 4 in the most recent Division 7 CIF Southern Section pollsbehind Linfield Christian, San Dimas and Ocean View.
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Villanova tennis crew sees success this fall

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Photo by Holly Roberts
Villanova Preparatory School junior Alzen Depakakibo makes a nice play on the ball in recent tennis action. So far this season, Depakakibo and her fellow Wildcats are 3-4-1 and 2-1 in Frontier League action. The team will host a home match against Providence Oct. 11 with the action getting under way at 3 p.m.

Nordhoff to face Santa Clara High

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s run game has been fueled by blocking from players like, from left, Cade Sauer, Michael Trejo and Chandler Pullen. They will be called on again when the Rangers face Santa Clara.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School football program will travel to take on the Santa Clara Saints on Oct. 5 with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Santa Clara will enter the game 0-6 overall and 0-2 in Citrus Coast League action.
“We expect them to run, run and then run some more,” said NHS head coach Lance Wiggins. “They have big guys up front and like to lean on you all night long. They have been in some very close games this season and they are hungry to get that first win, so we are not taking them lightly.” 
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Rangers football coach Wiggins keeps promise

Mike Miller,  Ojai Valley News sports editor
When Lance Wiggins took over as head football coach at Nordhoff High School, the program needed a reboot. Fortunately, there was a blueprint for success since Nordhoff has a history of winning under the guidance of coaching legends Cliff Farrar and Tony Henney.
Facing declining participation and an unsportsmanlike finish to the 2015 season, the Nordhoff administration started its search for a new head football coach. After interviewing several coaches and hearing from supporters in the Ojai community, then NHS principal Greg Bayless offered the job to Wiggins, who immediately went to work revamping the program.
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Driven freshman lead Nordhoff golf success

Mike Miller,  Ojai Valley News sports editor
To say there is a youth movement happening with the Nordhoff High School girls’ golf team would be an understatement. This season, Nordhoff’s roster is made up entirely of freshmen, which is the first time that has ever happened at the school, noted longtime head coach Dick Sebek.
“I’ve been coaching the girls over 20 years and twice that long for the boys and I’ve never had a team where all of the top six players were freshmen,” he said. “All of the girls came in with some golf experience and they are all friends, which has made the season a lot of fun.”
Despite being so young, the Lady Rangers are 4-3 this fall and are tied for first place in the Citrus Coast League with Fillmore High School. “We have been going back and forth with them (Fillmore) and I think it’s going to come right down to the wire,” added Sebek.
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Nordhoff High sells old championship banners

Many of Nordhoff High School’s team championship banners, which were formerly displayed in the school gymnasium, are available to purchase for a minimum $25 donation starting Oct. 15.
These banners, which are duplicates since in recent years they were replaced by newer ones, reflect league championships won by many different athletic teams during the last few decades. 
Most of the banners are from the 1980s and 1990s. The banners include both boys’ and girls’ championship teams. 
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Nordhoff earns first-ever Citrus Coast League victory

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Brayden Rogers (center) powers his way through the San Marcos defense earlier this season. Rogers rushed for 248 yards and two touchdowns in Nordhoff’s recent win over Fillmore. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Memo to Citrus Coast League football programs: If you want to enjoy your homecoming celebrations, keep the Nordhoff High School Rangers off your invite list. For the second time this season, the Rangers spoiled homecoming festivities for opposing teams, their latest victim included the Fillmore Flashes.
Nordhoff traveled to Fillmore Sept. 21 and fought off the determined Flashes to earn its first-ever Citrus Coast League victory, 24-13. “These rivalry games are tough and they are a good team,” said NHS head coach Lance Wiggins. “The biggest thing for us tonight was that we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We only had five penalties, which is a big improvement over the last few weeks.” 
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Villanova Prep climbing the polls

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
The Villanova Preparatory School football team improved its record to 3-1 this season after defeating Valley Christian Academy, 40-26, Sept. 14 in what was Villanova’s homecoming game. They followed that up with a 37-35 thriller over Flintridge Prep Sept. 21 on the road. VPS is currently the fifth-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 polls and will travel to take on Maricopa (0-3) Sept. 28. Villanova Preparatory School returns home Oct. 5 when they host The Thacher School Toads in a crosstown rivalry game.

Rangers take second place in Carp

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff High School girls’ volleyball team continued its stellar play at the Carpinteria Tournament on Saturday. The Lady Rangers defeated Chaminade, Morro Bay, Azusa, Bishop Diego and Santa Ynez to claim second place in the competitive varsity tournament. Nordhoff fell in the finals to a talented Calabasas team. According to head coach Rene Nakao-Mauch, Holly Neville and Sasha Fraser (No. 24 above) both earned all-tournament honors for the Lady Rangers. Nordhoff sits at 12-3 overall and they are a perfect 5-0 in Citrus Coast League play, ahead of Hueneme (4-1), Carpinteria (2-3), Fillmore (2-3), Malibu (1-4), and Santa Paula (1-4). Nordhoff is ranked seventh in the latest CIF Southern Section Division 7 polls. Nordhoff played a Sept. 27 home match against Carpinteria.

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