Close first win for the Centurions

Cypress High’s football team held off Fullerton High 26-21 to secure their first victory of the 2014 campaign on Friday, Sept. 5 at Western High’s stadium.The Centurions took the lead early in the game thanks to their powerful offense bolstered by the notable efforts of quarterback Nick Buras and receiver Quinten Pounds.Buras lead his team by example and hustled his way to a successful night that saw the Centurions put up a couple touchdowns in a row to start off the game.Buras’ willingness to go the extra mile for his team seemed to have rubbed off on the rest of the Cypress squad and influenced others to play the same way.Buras showcased his drive to succeed when left with no options in the pocket and a swarming Fullerton defensive line. Buras broke to the right and made a dash to the endzone. With only one defender between him and the goalline, Buras attempted to hurdle the player but was clipped on the way over, which caused the Centurion to flip into the endzone.The play was remarkable and caught the attention of the crowd in a heartbeat. It would’ve been Buras’ first rushing touchdown of the season but the officials over-ruled the play on the count that what he did was against the rules.The ability to make something out of nothing was also exemplified in Quinten Pounds’ performance on Friday night.The Centurion receiver gained the most yards for his side against Fullerton, and Pounds efforts led to a great start to the second half of the game.Fullerton came out of the locker room roaring and yelling at the top of their lungs, “what time is it?”, with the reply “game time.” The intensity displayed by Fullerton going into the second half made the 17-7 lead that Cypress had put up look it was about to change.It did change.Just not in Fullerton’s favor.Pounds received the second half kick off around the 10 yard-line and then it was off to the races. Pounds skipped by Fullerton defenders on the left side of the field then he cut in and dodged a few tackles before making a break to the right side of the field, and eventually ran into the endzone.Pounds’ touchdown put his team on top 23-7 with a half to go, and gave Cypress just enough momentum to go on and win the game.With the offense doing it’s job Cypress’ defense rallied and provided some great third down stops in the latter half of the match.Fullerton would not go away, however, and kept persistent in it’s attack until it could break down a fatigued Cypress defensive line. It’s persistence would come up short in the end as they could not convert a final touchdown to steal the game away from Cypress’ grasp.This first victory of the season will be a great boost for Cypress’ new head coach Rick Fellowman. With his team showcasing abilities that can break down the best of teams so early on, this year’s squad is surely going to go above and beyond last year’s run, which saw the Centurion finish with a 3-3 league record.Cypress plays its next game against Los Amigos on Friday September 12. The Centurions will feel confident going into this week’s game against the Lobos coming off this win. They will especially feel confident knowing that last year they blew out Los Amigos by a score of 30-3. Cypress needs to add to its momentum by getting a victory this Friday not only for their record, but also to display that they can put away teams like a championship program is supposed to do.Look for Cypress going far this season if Buras and Pounds can provide stellar performances week after week.

CIF clash! Cypress against Buena Park

Buena Park High football team faces Cypress High in its first game of the CIF southwest division playoffs on Friday, Nov. 14 at the Coyotes’ stadium.This first round playoff match will pin two strong offenses against each other and will have close match-ups at the quarterback and wide receiver positions.The first key matchup of the game is at the receiver role.Coyotes’ Jaylinn Hawkins has tore it up this season for Buena Park as he’s scored 14 touchdowns so far this season and he’s averaged just under 200 receiving yards per game. Hawkins never stops working throughout any game he plays in, and he’s constantly an offensive threat no matter what the scoreboard says.Hawkins will need to be in near-perfect form on Friday as he and the Coyotes will be going up an elusive and relentless Cypress receiver.Cypress’ Quintin Pounds has been at the head of the scoring department for the Centurions all season. His quickness when on the ball has led to many of Cypress’ touchdowns and has helped Cypress finish league with a 4-1 record.Both Hawkins and Pounds stand at 6-foot-1 and both will be looked to by their respective teams to put points on the scoreboard.What both of these stand out receivers will need to have a good night is for their quarterbacks to perform to their highest potential.Buena Park’s Zach Taylor is currently averaging over 300 yards and has been pivotal for Coach Anthony White’s program this year. Taylor is durable enough to rush the ball in pressure situations and has the talent to throw a 40-plus yard pass into the endzone for a touchdown. Taylor has been that good for the Coyotes so far this season and his connection with Hawkins out on the football field has been highly successful.Between the two, they’ve contributed to over 40 of Buena Park’s touchdowns this season by either being involved in the play or assisting.Versatility will be the name of the game in the quarterback duel this Friday, as Cypress has one versatile quarterback by the name of Nick Buras.Buras has shown so far that he can not only throw a football but he can also run the ball as hard as any running back. Buras is a gritty quarterback that isn’t afraid to go into a tackle. Buras can even brush off a few tackles if he’s allowed to let his feet going. Not only is he versatile enough to rush but Buras also he takes the extra point kicks and even occasionally can tackle when needed on kickoffs.These two quarterbacks are both tough as nails and both will need to come up with something brilliant to come away with a win this weekend.Buena Park is a highly well-organized squad backed by its huge amount of supporters that fill the stadium every game day. Coach White’s program encourages his players to ‘stay hungry’ and never lose focus on the task at hand. White and his squad will need outrally Cypress, which also has its own huge supporting fan base.The Coyotes are coming off a 39-0 win over Fullerton High, which will give them a huge boost of confidence going into this week’s match up.The Centurions head coach Rick Feldman led his team to second place in the Empire league in his first season in charge. Cypress will need to buckle down and secure itself defensively in this first round game as the Coyotes have the potential to put up a lot of points. The Centurions defense will need to deliver another solid performance like it did last week against Western when they won 39-15.

Cypress baseball alumni re-visit championship season

On Saturday Jan. 24, Cypress alumni took to the field to face the current baseball team. The current team, led by five D1 commits, shut down the alum, but the afternoon was more about celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Cypress's 2005 CIF championship and retiring Adam Wilk's jersey. Wilk, whose name is all over the Cypress record books, made his major league debut in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers and is currently a part of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. Coach John Weber and the Cypress team proudly presented Adam with his #17 jersey as fellow alumni and fans looked on.

Empire League Preview: Cypress, Kennedy attempt to move up in standings

Two teams seem to win the Empire League crown every single year: Yorba Linda, which captured the crown last year, and Tustin, which won the year before. In fact, the two schools seem to rotate from the top of the heap.Last year, Cypress High and rival Kennedy, which rarely enters discussion to win the league crown, finished in a two-way tie for third place with 3-3 records.Cypress, which played under second-year head coach and the aging Bob Burt, will once again feature a new head coach – the third since the dismissal of Ray Fenton, who led the program to a successful run a few years ago.Indeed, Cypress has not won a share of the Empire League title since Fenton, who did the deed for the last time in 2011, when it tied with Tustin and Yorba Linda at the top of the standings with a 5-1 mark. That year Tustin bested the squad, handing it a lone loss in league play.It did go 5-0 under Ray Fenton during the 2009 season and defeated La Habra for the CIF title.Feldman, a teacher at Cypress High, landed the position in February. He previously served as an offensive coordinator under Mike Cobleigh, who replaced Fenton.Despite minimal head coaching experience Feldman might provide the Centurions with the stability they need in order to climb back on top of the mountain.This year the squad will return standout Quintin Pounds, who has been on the squad since his freshman season. Pounds, a top wide receiver and defensive back, will provide firepower on offense and help eliminate the opposition’s passing game on defense. He will also likely win accolades at the end of the season.Wide receiver and defensive back Bobby Brito, as well as quarterback Nick Buras will also return to anchor the offense. Sean Roberts, who also played quarterback, will return as well.As for Kennedy, it won the CIF title in 2006, but has not dominated since that season. The program won that title under head coach Mitch Olson, who led the squad to a 29-10 victory against Anaheim in the championship game. Brit Johnson, who currently serves as the team’s head coach took over the following season, and has coached the Irish since.The team will return a slew of returners, though. This includes running back T.J. Williams, who had strong performances last year as a junior.Western High, on the other hand, finished last season with a 4-4 overall record and 2-4 mark in league to occupy the lower half of the standings. It finished ahead of Pacifica (1-5) and Tustin (1-5), the latter which endured a rebuilding year, but never stays down for too long.

Cypress softball team takes third at nationals

The Cypress 10-U Blue (Gold) all-star team recently battled at the ASA National Tournament, where it took third place.To reach that point Cypress entered several tournaments in preparation for the qualifying district tournament. The team landed in second place at Orange Canyon's Memorial Day Tournament and won the Laguna Niguel's Sea Country Classic.Cypress also reached the semifinal round of three other tournaments before arriving at Fountain Valley for the Central "B" Districts. In a come from behind win in the last inning, Cypress defeated nemesis Los Alamitos with a 5-4 triumph while going undefeated to become the Central "B" District champion.Cypress then made its way to the State Tournament in Lancaster on July 6. After a tough weekend of battling teams, as well as the heat, it finished in fourth after a tough loss to Corona. However, as one of the remaining 12 teams, it qualified for the Nationals Championship in Spokane, Wash., which unfolded Aug. 1-5.After some driving and some flying, Cypress traveled the 1,200-mile trek and battled its way to another matchup against Los Alamitos, which came from behind to tie the score in the seventh inning, forcing extra innings. After nine long innings, Cypress was again victorious. This time it won 7-4.In an exciting semifinal contest against Thousand Oaks, Cypress took an early lead, but Thousand Oaks then came charging back to claim the victory. Cypress then settled for third place.The team was coached by Jennifer Smith, Anthony Hinojos, Kevin Reisler and Kevin O'Toole.

Oxford Academy has strong showing at Hawk Holiday Classic

The Oxford Academy Lady Patriots Girls Basketball competed in the Ocean View Hawk Holiday Classic Tournament this past week.This tournament featured some of Orange County’s best basketball programs and was set to be a good test for the Lady Patriots who were riding momentum after finishing in second place in the Oxford tournament the prior week. Oxford was paired up to compete versus Dana Hills, El Toro, Irvine, and El Modena, large high schools that average having over 2,300 students, which is more than three times the size of Oxford Academy in Cypress. In the four games played in the Hawk Holiday Classic, Oxford finished 2-2 and placed 4thout of 10 teams in their division.The Lady Patriots had a strong showing proving they can compete against these larger schools.In fact, even in the two games Oxford lost, the team held a lead going into the 4thquarter. In the first game, Oxford stumbled versus Dana Hills as Oxford couldn’t hold onto a nine-point 3rdquarter lead and eventually fell to the Dolphins by a score of 62-56.Maddie Bloom from Dana Hills scored 33 points to lead the Dolphins to victory.Dana Hills would go undefeated in the tournament and win their division. Oxford bounced back in the second game with a victory over a strong El Toro team, which ended up being the Chargers only loss in the Ocean View tournament.The game was tight the whole way through and Oxford maintained a 39-38 lead at the end of the third quarter, before taking control of the game in the fourth quarter and finishing off the Chargers 61-55. Austyn Masuno had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the team and the Patriots also got nice scoring contributions from Jocelyn Lopez (10), Sophia Chan (8), Angie Gagnon (8), and Nicia De Santos (7). The 3rdgame on Friday night was against a tough Irvine High squad who possessed a big front court featuring two 6’0” forwards. After being tied at halftime, Oxford was able to pull away with solid defense, consistent free throw shooting, and controlling the boards.The Lady Patriots were 12 of 15 on free throws, and Masuno and Jocelyn Lopez dominated the boards and collected 14 second-half rebounds between them. Lopez was a catalyst in the 4th quarter scoring 7 of Oxford’s final 13 points to clinch the game for the Lady Patriots, 49-42. Guard Mylee Madrazo scored 12 points, Angie Gagnon chipped in 6 points, and Sophia Chan contributed a balanced stat line of 9 points, 3 rebounds 3 assists and 5 steals. The final game was a matchup between Oxford and El Modena. The first three quarters were dominated by Oxford as the Lady Patriots led 50-37. But the patriots got into foul trouble.In the 4thquarter, El Modena turned the game around and took a 64-60 lead with 10 seconds left in the game. Oxford miraculously managed to comeback and actually tied the score at 64-64. But that was short lived as El Modena was fouled with three seconds and was able to convert one of two free throws to seal a 65-64 victory for the Vanguards. “We are a young team and we showed in this tournament that Oxford can successfully compete against these larger schools.I am proud of the team’s progress so far and we will just continue to work hard andget better throughout the season,” Patriot Coach David Clifton said. Oxford Tournament Top Performers Over the four game tournament, Oxford averaged scoring over 59 points a game.Austyn Masuno was named the team’s MVP, while Sophia Chan earned honorable mention.Masuno averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals per game while Chan averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.Additional scoring came from Forward Jocelyn Lopez (10) who also averaged 6 rebounds per game, Angie Gagnon (8), Mylee Madrazo (6), Nicea De Santos (6), and Ashleigh Perez (3). Oxford Academy is now 5-3 on the season and will be competing in the Liberty Christian Tournament this week.The tournament will be the Lady Patriots final tune up before entering Academy League play Jan. 4.

LAGSL All Stars shiningbright in all-star play

The Los Alamitos Girls Softball All-Stars have been hard at work in tournament play to get ready for this weekend’s ASA B District Championship in Aliso Viejo. Early in the warmup tournament play, the Los Alamitos teams had five teams reach the semifinals at the Memorial Day Classic at Penasquitos Tournament in San Diego.Three teams won championships at the event. The 10 and under Blue team clinched a tournament title with a 7-6 win over Mission Viejo. The 10 and under Red team followed with a 4-3 win against Penasquitos. The 8 and under Red team capped the event for Los Alamitos with a 9-4 win in their championship game.The 8U Red team went undefeated in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 52-9. The Los Alamitos Girls Softball Red teams will compete in the ASA B District Championship in Aliso Viejo starting Friday.Qualifiers will advance to the State Championships in Lancaster from July 8-10.

Griffins survive Oiler pressure to maintain league lead

Leads were hard to come by in the Sunset League basketball showdown between Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach. The Oilers were able to erase a six point lead in the final four minutes, but their last second shot fell short and the Griffins held on for a 64-63 win on Friday at Huntington Beach High. The win kept the Griffins (4-0 in league) atop the league, ahead of Edison and Newport Harbor, both 3-1. The Griffins struggled to get things going and Head Coach Eddie Courtemarche said the Oiler defense forced them to make some adjustments. “They did a good job of taking the right angle on the press,” Courtemarche said. The game went back-and-forth most of the night. Huntington Beach’s SheaSueda make a steal and layup on the Griffins defensive end to give the Oilers a 50-48 lead late in the third. But Griffin guard Connor Laines drove the length of the court and was fouled on his layup attempt in the final seconds. Hit both free throws to tie the game 50-50 at the end of the third. In the fourth the Griffins began to stretch out a small lead. Laines grabbed an offensive rebound, scored and was fouled. He hit the free throw to give the Griffins a 55-53 lead. Guard Cary Makiyama followed with two free throws to push the lead to 57-53. EyassuWorku made a steal and coast-to-coast driving layup to give Los Alamitos a 59-53 lead. After an Oiler three-pointer, Los Al guard Pepe Garcia made a baseline drive for a layup and foul. He converted the free throw to give the Griffins a 62-56 lead. When Jacob Eyman hit a baseline jumper, the Griffins led 64-58, but the Oilers went on run from there. They hit two free throws to cut the lead to 64-63, with 8.2 seconds left. The Oilers fouled with 6.9 seconds left, and when the Griffins missed the free throw, Huntington Beach had one last chance. However, the Oilers’ baseline jump shot fell short at the buzzer. The Griffins are back home on Wednesday (Jan. 27) against Marina at 7 p.m. They will be at Edison on Friday at 7 p.m. in a key game.

Beacon Day School holds Summer Olympics at La Palma Park

Beacon Day School showcased it students in athletic competition at The Beacon Day School Summer Olympics on Friday, Aug. 17 at La Palma Central Park in La Palma.The event featured an Opening Ceremony to start the day and a Closing Ceremonies, which served as a medal presentation to end the day’s festivities.Competitions included running, walking, hurdles and relay races, as well as the long jump, high jump, and throwing events.Beacon Day School in La Palma was founded by Dr. Mary Joan Lang in 2004.The school has an exceptional program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders. The program utilizes an integrative approach, combining therapies with academic and behavioral interventions.The school serves grades K-12, with transition programs for individuals up to 22 years of age. School districts and families in a wide radius send children to Beacon Day School.Through educational care and behavioral support students are able to maximize their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical abilitiesBeacon Day School is located at 24 Centerpointe Drive in La Palma. C714-288-4200 or visit www.beacondayschool.com and www.facebook.com/beacondayschool.

Griffins roll into break with scrappy win over Cypress

After a grueling early tournament schedule, the Los Alamitos had one last tough challenge before heading into a spring break and needed rest before the Carew Classic Tournament in April. The Griffins hosted Cypress, in a matchup of two top 10 teams in the CIF-SS Division 1 rankings. Los Alamitos was ranked No. 2 in the division, with Cypress at No. 6, the two highest ranked Orange County teams. As expected, defense was the anchor for both team, but it was the Griffins who were able to plate single runs in the late innings to take a 3-1 win over the Centurions. Earlier in the week, the Griffins had held off Gahr High, the No. 3 ranked team in Division 3, so Griffin coach Rob Weil was certainly pleased his team was able to grab two more quality wins, as they head into a break. “We came out this week against two quality teams and took care of business,” Weil said. Weil admitted that pitcher Ryan Denhart didn’t quite have her A-Game, but she was pretty good. She pitched six innings, with just four hits allowed, one run and seven strikeouts. She improved her record to 10-0 with the win. After the Griffins took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Centurions were able to cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the sixth. Senior outfielder Marissa Wightman drew a walk and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, when she beat out a throw to second on a bunt by senior shortstop Paige Hallam. Denhart was able to get a pop up and a strikeout to get two outs, but Maddy Byrd was able to single up the middle to drive in Wightman for Cypress’ run. Los Alamitos threatened in the bottom of the sixth, but the Centurion defense held. In the fourth inning, the Griffins had the bases loaded but Hallam made a lunging grab of a liner towards left, that ended the threat. Paige Austin came on to pitch for the Griffins in the top of the seventh and set the side down in order to end the game. The Griffins were led by senior shortstop Mary Iakopo, who was 2 for 3 with a double, triple and RBI. Andrea Gonzalez had a hit and RBI. Ariana Belarde, Caitlin Ladd and Jade Loe each scored a run for the Griffins. For the Centurions, Byrd was 2 for 2 with the RBI and Wightman had a single and a run scored. Pitcher Olivia McWhorter was steady, as was the defense behind her. She went six innings, scattering six hits with three strikeouts. While disappointed with the loss, Cypress coach Kevin Dull was also encouraged by the team’s effort, given the quality of team and pitcher they were facing. “The fact that our girls hung in there and were able to keep in competitive, I’m real proud of them,” Dull said. The Griffins improved to 12-1 with the win. Cypress opened the season 6-0 before hitting some bumps. They were 8-4 after the Los Alamitos game, but are looking like they will be a tough team to beat in the division. The Griffins won the Sunset League last year, while the Centurions took second in the Empire League, behind Pacifica, which was the No. 2 team in the rankings at the end of last year. Both Cypress and Los Alamitos will participate in the Carew Classic. Los Alamitos will open against El Toro on April 6, while Cypress will open against Lakewood, also on April 6.