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Area teams take part in Nordhoff tourney

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Mackenzie Hicks shoots a free throw in a recent non-league game. Hicks recorded 24 rebounds against Louisville in the 42nd Annual Nordhoff Tournament.
Nordhoff High School hosted its 42nd annual varsity girls' basketball tournament last week.
Before having to cancel the tournament due to the Thomas Fire a year ago, this was the longest continuously running varsity girls' tournament in Ventura County.
St. Bonaventure High School captured the title, going undefeated for the week, upending Thacher, Rio Mesa, Royal and Channel Islands.
Grace Brethren, Royal and Moorpark each won three games during the week.
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Nordhoff basketball hosts golf fundraiser

The 22nd annual Nordhoff High School Two-Man Scramble golf tournament returns to Soule Park Golf Course Sunday, January 27. This is a fundraiser for the high school's boys' and girls' basketball teams. The tournament features "real golf:" no mulligans, strings, etc. The top three teams win prizes, as do winners of longest drive, fewest putts and closest to the pin contests. Prizes include rounds of golf lessons, merchandise, gift certificates to local restaurants and a chance to win a new car from Bob Smith Toyota for the first hole-in-one.
The tournament utilizes a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start and costs $150 per player. Payment is due the day of the event. To reserve a spot for your team, contact head coach and tournament director Ted Cotti at 798-2008 or 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..

Stringer strikes gold

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Nordhoff junior Nick Stringer shows off his hardware after winning the Irvine Invitational wrestling tournament. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School wrestling team recently took part in the Irvine Invitational and despite only taking nine wrestlers, the Rangers placed 8th out of 30 teams. According to head coach Paul Clementi, Nordhoff’s top performer was junior Nick Stringer, who earned tournament MVP honors for the lower weight divisions. Stringer ended up winning the tournament in the 106-pound division. 
In other action, senior Nick Cansler took second place at 132 pounds. In the finals, Cansler took his opponent into overtime but narrowly lost 5-3. At 195 pounds, junior Michael Trejo took fourth after facing the tournament’s top seeded wrestler in the semifinals.
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Lady Rangers to collect food Dec. 15

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The Nordhoff High School softball team will be out collecting food for needy families in the Ojai Valley community. The Lady Rangers will team up with Help of Ojai to collect donations at Vons and Westridge Market Midtown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to head coach Don Rodarte, the team has a goal of collecting two tons of food on the day. For more information or to coordinate donations, contact Rodarte at 805-797-2147. 

Montag foursome spans four generations

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Long time Ojai resident, Chuck Montag, 88, recently teamed up with his son Ray, 59, a 1977 Nordhoff High School graduate; grandson Dan, 33; and great-grandson Mason, 10, to make up a four generation foursome at Soule Park golf course. Chuck is a retired Los Angeles City firefighter, Ray is a retired Fresno City firefighter and Dan is a current Fresno City firefighter to make three generations of firefighters. The foursome enjoyed their round on Ojai’s beautiful public course and created family memories that will never be forgotten.

Team Ojai finishes fall tennis season on a strong note

Team Ojai split a double-header Dec. 9, first losing to Hightower Tennis Academy of LA 31-39, but then they rallied in the second match to beat Northridge Tennis Academy 38-28. With a total of 69 games won over the two matches; the 18 and under boys’ team secured a spot in sectionals competition in January, which will feature teams from all over Southern California. Against some tough competition from the Hightower squad, Team Ojai’s Shawn Rothermel and Zach Anderson both won some hard-fought singles matches.
Rothermel defeated Aiden Fedoroff, formerly of Ojai, in a tense tiebreaker. Anderson beat his opponent 8-4 after being down 1-4 earlier in the set. Rothermel and Anderson then teamed up to win their doubles 8-4. In the second match Anderson defeated Northridge’s number 1 player 8-6, while Rothermel teamed up with Chris Boydston in doubles action to defeat Northridge 8-6. Ojai’s Tony Syverson, Arthur Becker and Zack Howe also contributed games to the total wins needed to advance to Sectionals. Team Ojai’s season-ending record stands at 5-2. “The team played very well today,” said head coach Dan Martin. “They stayed focused against a couple of strong teams and it paid off.” Team Ojai is part of the United States Tennis Association’s Junior Team Tennis League.

Villanova Prep basketball balling early on in 2018-19 season

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Villanova Prep senior Madison Fabbian (left) goes up for a lay-in against Channel Islands in the opening round of the Nordhoff High School Tournament.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School girls’ basketball team is off to a 4-1 start and head coach Dan Mercer likes what he sees from his squad. “We set up our schedule with the hope of getting some early victories and confidence and it has worked. The girls are playing well and gelling as a team,” he said.
VPS opened its season with blowout wins over Dunn (55-16), Carpinteria (63-21) and de Toledo (71-20). They then defeated Santa Clarita Christian, 54-40. In the first round of the Nordhoff High School Tournament, VPS faced Channel Islands and suffered its first loss of the season, 55-32.
“As I expected, we’re being led by our senior co-captains Madison Fabbian and Sunny Zhou. Early in the season our strength offensively seems to be our balance, something that resulted when we saw a box-in-one defense employed by Santa Clarita Christian,” said Mercer.
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Buena victorious at Nordhoff Tournament

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Nordhoff junior Korey Stevens drives the lane against Sanger High School in the 76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Tournament.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Buena Bulldogs powered past a tough field at the 76th Annual Nordhoff Varsity Basketball Tournament to win the coveted title. Buena had to defeat Sanger High School in the finals to claim first place. 
The host Rangers had a rough time against some much bigger schools, but head coach Scott Hannah and crew knew the tournament would be a growth opportunity going in. Nordhoff opened the tournament against Pacifica and lost a heartbreaker in overtime 73-66. NHS took a 6 point lead into the half but then Pacfica fought their way back and pulled away late in the overtime for the victory.
In game two, NHS lost to a talented Sanger team 79-49 and then followed that with a 72-52 loss to the Santa Clara Saints. So far this season, the Rangers are 0-6 and will be looking for their first win of the season when they take part in the Thacher Tournament. 

VPS athletes earn postseason honors

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Kyla Lenehan (No. 44), shown here in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, was recently named to the All-Frontier League first team. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
This fall the Villanova Preparatory School had a number of student-athletes earn post season honors for their stellar performances. In girls’ volleyball, senior Kyla Lenehan and sophomore Grace Wells both earned All-Frontier League first team honors. Teammates Eliana Denham and Elsa Tam both made the second team. 
The VPS squad finished its season 14-7 overall, and made it to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 tournament. From there, the Lady Wildcats were invited to take part in the CIF State Volleyball Championship Tournament. 
In boys’ water polo action, senior Bryant Hawks was named to the Frontier League’s first team list and senior Baylor Stotko earned a spot on the All-Frontier League second team. 
On the tennis courts, the doubles team of senior Grace Moses and Alzen Dekakibo claimed the Frontier League’s top prize for doubles as they were named the league’s Most Valuable Players. Villanova’s other top doubles team of Analiese Terrazas and Susy Munoz earned first team all-league honors. 

Ninth annual Holiday Tennis Challenge on tap

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
The 2017 Holiday Tennis Challenge winners show off their hardware. From left to right are: Craig Fugle, Dave Jones, Jakob Vos, Mikel Elizalde, Fabio Lauretta and Jeff Jenkins.
The 9th annual Ojai Holiday Adult/Child Tennis Tournament fundraiser will take place at the Libbey Park tennis courts on Dec. 29-30.
Tournament Co-Directors, Craig Fugle and Jakob Vos, along with Ojai Recreation Department Tennis Professional Scott Burton, will pair adult and junior players to compete in eight-game No-Add pro sets of doubles to raise funds for the Ojai Valley Tennis Club Youth Tennis Programs. Players register in either the "In to Win" division for more competitive tennis or the "In for Fun" division for recreational play. 
Toppers Pizza will once again donate a delicious pizza and salad lunch, while the OVTC offers prizes such as t-shirts and tennis gear to participants Everyone enjoys an exciting weekend of good family fun.
All proceeds directly benefit the Ojai Valley Junior Tennis programs.
To register, please contact the Youth Tennis Hotline 805-646-0052 or email Craig Fugle 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..

Nordhoff girls' basketball team starts 2018-19 season 1-3

Nordhoff High School's girls' varsity basketball team earned its first victory of the young season Dec. 1 at the Bird Cage Classic Tournament at Bishop Diego in Santa Barbara, defeating Coastal Christian 58-32.
After dropping its first three games in the tournament, head coach Ted Cotti's squad turned up its defensive pressure to get into the win column.
The Rangers jumped out to an 18-4 first quarter lead behind early steals on the press. They led 29-12 at half, but Coastal cut that to 10 early in the fourth quarter before NHS regrouped to pull away.
Sophomore Cameron Jones led all scorers in the win with 14 points. Haleigh Loomis had a career high 11. Stella Moore had 5 to go with her 5 assists and 5 steals.
Senior co-captain Courtney Abraham was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 6.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game for the weekend.
Nordhoff is hosting the 42nd annual varsity tournament this weekend with 12 teams coming to the Ojai Valley to compete in the event.
The Lady Rangers played Dec. 6 against Dos Pueblos and will take on Thacher at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. On Dec. 8 they will host Villanova Preparatory School at 10 a.m. 

Nordhoff High boys' hoopers drop home opener to Channel Islands

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Kaden Gard works his way down the court despite pressure from Channel Islands defender Malik Patton. Gard scored a team-high 22 points in the game.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Nordhoff High School’s boys’ basketball team played its first home game of the 2018-19 season Nov. 20, falling 69-54 to Channel Islands.
New head coach Scott Hannah’s Rangers jumped out to a 12-5 first quarter lead but struggled through the next period as the Raiders ramped up the pressure using a 2-2-1 full-court press, forcing a dozen turnovers during a 33-11 run.
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Kaiser performs well at NAIA Nationals

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Ojai Valley native Andy Kaiser enjoyed a successful fall, along with the Benedictine College cross-country team. Kaiser and his teammates won the Heart of America Athletic Conference title in Atchison, Kansas, which earned the team a berth to the NAIA National Championships that were held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Nov. 16.
According to Benedictine College head coach Henry Brun, every runner on the team turned in a lifetime best in what was their biggest meet of the season. Kaiser covered the 8,000-meter course in 26:45, averaging 5:18 per mile along the way.
Kaiser’s best work has been done in the classroom at Benedictine. Prior to the National Championships, he was named to the 2018 Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athlete team. In order to earn that honor, student athletes must hold a minimum grade point average of 3.5. Kaiser is a senior and is majoring in marketing and international business.

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