Cypress wins Empire League crown

The Cypress High baseball team captured the Empire League title last week. On May 9, Cypress ended its regular season with a 5-2 victory against Valencia to split the two-game series and capture the crown at home.The victory, which snapped a two-game losing skid, allowed Cypress to edge Kennedy by a single game in the Empire League standings. Cypress finished the regular season with a 21-8 overall record and 8-4 mark in league play.The Centurions will now turn their attention to the CIF Division-II playoffs. They will face Irvine High in the first round of the tournament today, May 17 at home. That contest will start at 3:15 p.m.Irvine enters the contest with a 13-14 overall record. It ended in third place in the Pacific Coast League.This marks the first time the squads have faced each other this year. Last year, Cypress made it to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Glendora.Cypress had a chance to clinch the title against Valencia during the first matchup, which unfolded on May 7. However, it lost that contest by the score of 4-3.Kennedy opened its CIF campaign against Norwalk in a wildcard matchup on Tuesday, May 14. It lost that contest by the score of 5-4. Additionally,Pacifica, which took third place in the Empire League, fell to San Juan Hills in a 3-2 contest, which means Cypress is the only team from its league that still alive.

Fastest Wiener in the West is Finn

It rained cats and dogs in most of Southern California on Saturday, but at Los Alamitos Race Course is poured dogs and more dogs at the 20th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals. Eighty-six dachshunds competed in the annual races to raise funds for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and in the end Josh and Brittany Snook’s Finn sank his competition in the championship race to win the title of Fastest Wiener In the West in front of an estimated crowd of 7,000.Representing the city of Lawndale, located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles Area, Finn finished powerfully in the 50-yard final, rallying from way back to catch early leaders Katniss and Molly before holding off the fast closing Camilla Blu to win the final and the $1,000 cash prize that goes with first place. Finn also won a doghouse in the shape of a classic A-Frame Wienerschnitzel restaurant, championship trophy and blanket, and a berth in the national championship race at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.Only 2 ½ years old, Finn’s reason for running is his love for a multicolored beach-ball that awaits him at the finish line. The longhaired strawberry cream doxie was dominant in the third of 10 trials, running like a rocket after his beach ball.“The moment he sees that beach ball he goes crazy and wants to get it,” said Josh Snook. “We used to have a smaller ball that he would go crazy over. He loves to run and he loves balls. He is a slow starter when he runs, but he is a strong finisher. That’s why his name in Finn, as in finisher. We just enjoy supporting the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and we plan to donate some of our winnings to the Seal Beach Center. We’ll use some of the money to decorate Finn’s new doghouse.” Over the years, the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals at Los Alamitos Race Course has raised nearly $250,000 for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-killed shelter dedicated to finding new forever homes for lost and abandoned animals in the Orange County area.Owned by Sonia Reynoso of Baldwin Park, the female doxie Camilla Blu earned $500 for rallying to finish second. Camilla Blu also started slowly before her valiant late run. The rest of the field in the championship race featured Dana and Steve Knitz’s Katniss of Mission Viejo, Lori Ortiz’s Maximus of La Mirada, Denise Meisner’s Ezri of San Diego, Julia Janov’s Molly of Redondo Beach, Marc Govenor’s Nikita of Redondo Beach, Leanne McCaslin’s Sadie of Garden Grove, Rachel Schmid’s Jimmy of La Mirada, and Trina Taylor’s Mia of Buena Park.The event also feature a Big vs. Tiny dachshund race and for the second straight year the smaller of the two doxies won the race. Linda Camisaca’s 7 pound dynamo Wilma of Bellflower outwitted Kelly Lopez’s Beefy of Walnut. In a race featured three wiener dog racing legends, 2009 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals champion Presley defeated a pair of Long Beach doxies, last year’s Big vs. Tiny winner and former Wiener Nationals finalist Tootsie and 2013 champion Buddy Black.

Friday Night Lights

It’s still spring, not fall, but football players and cheerleaders still gathered in Los Alamitos to play under the hot white lights.The largest one-night, one-location youth spring football competition in the United States opened its spring season playoffs at Oak Middle School on Friday, April 19. That’s right, the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach league of Friday Night Lights Youth Flag Football League set record-breaking numbers as 1,200 players, from grades 1-8, comprised the 125 different teams that attempted to advance to the next round.In all, 84 games were played in a single night, with 81 teams being eliminated. The competition, which began at 4:30 p.m., finally wrapped at about 10:30 p.m. To accomplish this feat, the field was turned over for a new game every 50 minutes, with multiple games – as many as 14 – going on at the same time.The league also features cheerleading squads. The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach league's cheerleading branch is lead by Annette Morris.Friday Night Lights Youth Flag Football was started in 2006 by Mark Broersma and Chris Ketcham and now has over 12,000 players participating in seven leagues throughout Southern California.In all, 44 teams from four divisions advanced to the quarterfinal round.First/Second Grade Division teams that advanced include the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons.Third/Fourth Grade Division winners were the Kansas St. Wildcats, Purdue Boilermakers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, USC Trojans, TCU Horned Frogs, Kansas Jayhawks, and Oklahoma Sooners.Fifth/Sixth Grade Division teams advancing include the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Stanford Cardinals, Auburn Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Texas Longhorns, Kansas St. Wildcats, Colorado Buffaloes, Oregon Ducks, LSU Tigers, Wisconsin Badgers, Oregon St. Beavers, Iowa Hawkeyes, USC Trojans, Alabama Crimson Tide, Cal Bears, and Arizona St. Sun Devils.Seventh/Eight Grade Division winners include the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings.The second round will be held on Saturday, April 27.For more information, visit losalfnl.com.

Los Alamitos cruise to victory over Paramount

Los Alamitos scored 21 first quarter points and never let Paramount High get into the game, as the Griffins cruised to a 49-12 victory in their season opener of the prep football season.Quarterback Jack Telenko threw for 266 yards and rushed for 52 more to lead the Griffin offense to a big first game. Telenko rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more, connecting with Drew Platt and Holden Edmondson. The Griffins rushed for nearly 200 yards, using several backs in addition to the running of Telenko.Schuyler Whitehead had 66 yards rushing and Keynin Charbonnet added 64. The Griffins’ early 21-point lead developed with Telenko’s two touchdown runs, including a 37-yarder that pushed the score to 21-0 with 2:54 left in the first quarter. Prior to that,Telenko connected on a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Gasser, about midway through the quarter that had given the Griffins a 14-0 lead.Paramount was finally able to put together a scoring drive early in the second quarter, that was capped with six-yard touchdown run by Al Gene Fisher that cut the Griffin lead to 21-6. But the Griffins responded on the ensuing possession with a scoring drive of their own that ended with a 13-yard touchdown run by Whitehead. Will Armstrong added to the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.The Griffins were pleased to get the win but will continue to look for ways to improve. Defensively, despite the solid effort, Armstrong said there were mistakes they will want to work on not repeating in future games.“We could have had a few interceptions and turnovers but we didn’t … we just need to work on our metal mistakes, but I think our guys tried really hard tonight and all you can really ask for I think,” Armstrong said.

Cypress holds off Western in water polo

Cypress held off a game Western squad to close the Empire League boys water polo season with a 15-12 win over the Pioneers last week at Western High. The win clinched third place for the Centurions, who opened the CIF-SS playoffs on Tuesday at Ocean View High. Cypress was led by Ripken Saldana who had five goals and Sooho Choi, who added three. Marko Ilincic, Garrett Potter and Alberto Cortez each had two goals for Cypress. The Pioneers were led by Raul Gonzlaez, who had four goals and Parker Stephenson and Nick Dergel, who each chipped in three goals. Cypress led the match 12-10 heading into the fourth quarter but went on a 3-0 run to stretch the lead to 15-10. Saldana scored the first goal to start the run. Western tried to respond when Gonzalez got off a solid shot from an angle, but Cypress goalie Weston Spoon was able to make the save. Cortes scored about a minute later to extend the lead to 14-10. He fired a quick shot off a crossing pass from Nolen Verdun, that gave Cortes an open shot. Western finally broke the run with a goal by Dargel, who fired a shot from the left side after a Cypress exclusion. The goal cut the lead to 15-11. Brandon Heaston scored the final goal for Western with 12 seconds left in the match. Despite the loss, the season was a huge turnaround for the Pioneers, who had not won a league match since 2012, but went 2-3 this year to finish fourth in league. The Pioneers also went 24-5 overall, which was a school record for wins in a season in boys water polo. “I am very proud of the effort my team put in this year,” Head Coach Don Luethke said. For most of the year, the Pioneers had just one reserve player to bring off the bench in varsity games. Cypress was the No. 3 team out of the Empire League and opened the CIF-SS Division 6 Playoffs on Tuesday (after press time) at Ocean View High. Ocean View was the No. 2 team out of the Golden West League. Kennedy was the No. 2 team out of the Empire League, they opened the CIF-SS Division 6 Playoffs on Thursday at San Bernadino High, at 5 p.m.

Cypress Junior All-American Football and Cheer 2016!

In case you didn’t know, the city of Cypress has its own football league and cheer team. Cypress Junior All-American is going into their third year as part of Orange County All-American Football and Cheer.The Cypress league is comprised of 5 divisions: Flag (ages 5-6), Jr. Clinic (ages 7-8), Clinic (ages 8-10), Jr. Pee Wee (ages 10-11), and Pee Wee (ages 11-13).The Cypress Junior All-American Jr. Pee Wee team was league champions in their division last season. The cheerleading team attends cheer camp, football games and cheer competition. The age range is 7 – 12. All participants receive the newest equipment in the area, uniforms and excellent coaches that are committed to positive coaching strategies at every level.The entire coaching staff is certified. All home games are played at Cypress High School on the freshman/junior varsity fields. You can register on line at www.leaguelineup.com/cjaaf, for any question contact us at cjaaf@yahoo.com or call 714-745-4148. Flag football registration is $165; all other divisions $350. Cheerleading registration is $295 (including uniform).

Griffins put away Edison early

The Los Alamitos High girls tennis team opened defense of its Sunset League title with a 13-5 win over Edison on Thursday at Edison High.The Griffins were up 10-1 after the first two rounds, which allowed the Griffins to get some playing time for their reserves.“I was impressed with our doubles play in this match, every team had great energy and worked well together,” new head coach Hannah Holladay said.The Griffins won the league title last year, ahead of Newport Harbor and Fountain Valley, respectively. The Griffins have won the past three league titles and are looking to make it four in a row.The Griffins hosted Fountain Valley on Tuesday and played a non-league match at Corona del Mar (Wed. Sept. 30). The Griffins also play at Newport Harbor on Thursday, Oct. 1. They will then host Huntington Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. at Los Alamitos High.Holladay took over leadership of the team this year, and is a former All-Big West Conference player for UC Irvine. She helped the Anteaters to their first ever Big West Conference Championship. Now she is confident the Griffins can make waves in league and CIF play.“I'm excited to see the team compete the rest of the season,” Holladay said.

Los Al falls in state title game

The Los Alamitos High girls’ volleyball team came up one game short of adding a fourth state title. On Saturday, Dec. 7, the squad battled with undefeated Granite Bay in the CIF Division-I State Championship, which unfolded at Santiago Canyon College.In the end, the Griffins secured only a single game, falling 25-22, 14-25, 25-19, 25-17 to their foe from Northern California.Granite Bay ended the season with a staggering 45-0 overall record. Los Alamitos, on the other hand, finished with an impressive 35-5 mark.Senior Crissy Jones, an outside hitter and the primary offensive weapon, posted a team-high 18 kills. Her teammate Sydney Beyma recorded the second-highest total for the Griffins at eight.The Grizzles have been so dominate this year that the Griffins handed them their first game, or set, loss since Nov. 5. The Griffins did that by capturing the second game. They leapt to an 11-4 lead, and though the Grizzles rallied to erase the deficit at 14-13, they went on an 11-1 run to dent the board and tie the score at 1-1.Los Alamitos captured state titles in 2003, 2005, and 2006. This year it topped Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section championship as well as the CIF Southern Regional championship.

Trout wins ‘Rookie of the Year’ award

On Nov. 12, Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout was named the 2012 Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year in an announcement made Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. According to ELIAS, at 21 years and 58 days old at the end of the season, he becomes the youngest A.L. player ever to win the award.He also finished second in the American League MVP voting to triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.Trout finished with a perfect score of 140 points in the balloting process, including all 28 first place first place votes. He finished 77 points ahead of second place finisher Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland (63 points). Trout becomes the 18th unanimous winner in the history of the prestigious award, just the eighth in the A.L.The 21-year-old is the second player in Angels’ history to earn the honor, joining Tim Salmon in 1993. In the 1993 campaign, Salmon hit .283 (146/515) and led all A.L. rookies in doubles (35), home runs (31) and RBI (95)."I would like to congratulate Mike on what I believe has been a foregone conclusion, winning Rookie of the Year honors,” Salmon said. “While there might have been a few Angel players in the past that were deserving, it’s nice to see the organization finally add another name to the list.

Los Alamitos boys soccer opens season with win

Los Alamitos boys soccer coach Donovan Martinez knows that the season is long and tough. But at least the Griffins got off to a good start with a 2-0 win over Warren High in their first game of the Aliso Cup Tournament, on Monday at Los Alamitos High. The Griffins had goals by senior Kevin Herring and freshman Louie Arellano in the first half and the defense kept Warren out of the net to hold on for the lead. Ryan Ayale had assists on both goals. Warren was a solid test for the Griffins to start the season. The Bears won 21 games last year and were the San Gabriel Valley League champions. They are a program that consistently fields solid teams that play a physical style of soccer. “We were able to match that physicality,” Martinez said. But the game could have easily been a different story. Both teams had opportunities that they failed to capitalize on and the Bears had some strong attacks that just missed the mark. Griffin goalie Alec Lazar made several big saves to help preserve the shutout. The Griffins certainly have potential, but with five freshmen on varsity, they are a young team and Martinez is expecting a long learning curve as the young players learn to play varsity level soccer. “We have a long way to go,” Martinez said. Martinez said there is plenty of talent on the team and they have a core of experienced players who should provide some stability to the younger players. Herring has a lot of speed and will give the Griffins a scoring threat against most defenses. Another senior, Julian Guerrero, will help shore up the midfield and defensive line. His presence on the back line against Warren was pivotal in holding off the Warren offense. Guerrero could also see a lot of time at midfield, where he can have more of an impact on both ends of the field. The Griffins finished third in the Sunset League last year, two wins behind Huntington Beach and Edison and just one win ahead of Fountain Valley. The Sunset League is traditionally a tough and balanced league and if the Griffins are to compete for a league title down the stretch, it will depend on how they develop through the first half of the season. For Martinez and his staff, that will require them to make sure the players are ready to play. “We just have to be physically and mentally prepared,” Martinez said. The Griffins will play at Santa Margarita High on Friday in another Aliso Cup game and again on Saturday against teams to be determined.