Servite gives Sierra Canyon third dose of big-time football in dominating victory


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WOODLAND HILLS – The third time wasn’t a charm for Sierra Canyon.

The Trailblazers set off on a quest to see where they stand among Southern California’s best high school football teams in the spring, and it’s three-leg test came to an end Friday night at Pierce College with a 44-22 loss to Servite.

After winning a CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship in the fall of 2019, Sierra Canyon (2-2) has been trying to break into the upper echelon of premier football by scheduling powerhouse programs St. John Bosco and Corona Centennial before its showdown with the Friars (4-0).

Sierra Canyon went 0-3 in those three tests, which now tells the team where it stands.

“These games show us that we need to work harder,” senior wideout Dominic Arango-Serna said. “We’re not where we need to be.”

Servite’s performance was surgical. Arizona commit Noah Fifita was 17 of 27 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Houston Thomas ran for 118 yards on 20 carries, and wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan had 11 catches for 163 yards and a score.

  • Sierra Canyon’s Aidan Bretthauer (50) carries the flag as they come onto the field for their game against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita laterals the ball during a run against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite comes onto the field for the second half against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • A referee backs away as Servite receiver Tetairoa McMillan runs for yardage against Sierra Canyon, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita runs for yardage against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas breaks a long run for a touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite’s Keyan Burnett (88) and Tetairoa McMillan (4) celebrate a touchdown by Burnett against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite head coach Troy Thomas watches video replay with his team Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Alonzo Contreras runs for a touchdown against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Jason Jones is tackled by Servite’s Josiah Laban Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas lifted up by Oskar Madrigal after Thomas’ touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon head coach Jon Ellinghouse talks to officials during their game against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita is sacked by Sierra Canyon for a safety Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite’s Keyan Burnett drags Sierra Canyon tacklers into the endzone for a touchdown Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon quarterback Daniel Duran passes against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite receiver Tetairoa McMillan is tackled by Sierra Canyon’s Carmel Crunk, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita, left, and Tetairoa McMillan shake hands after a touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas has his jersey stretched during a tackle by Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

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The performance included a near-perfect second half that saw Sierra Canyon have just two offensive possessions that totaled six plays for four total yards.

“We started this program from nothing,” Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse said. “To be on a field with teams like Servite is awesome.”

Sierra Canyon’s first two offensive possessions were quick. Servite’s first two possessions resulted in touchdowns. It was 14-0 in the blink of an eye. The Trailblazers responded with a 32-yard connection from Daniel Duran to Arango-Serna to cut the lead in half, but nothing came easy.

The brightest moment for Sierra Canyon came just before halftime when Terrell Cook broke for a 45-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 in favor of the Friars. Sierra Canyon stuffed Servite on the ensuing possession for a safety to make it 21-16, but Fifita found McMillan for a 64-yard bomb just before halftime.

BIG play from Terrell Cooks, a 45-yard TD run brings Sierra Canyon within 21-14 of Servite. pic.twitter.com/sUWXII0DF2

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) September 18, 2021

“That play was like a dagger,” Ellinghouse said. “That brought down some team morale.”

Instead of a five-point deficit at halftime, Servite took a 28-16 lead into the break.

Fifita ran for another touchdown, and Tyler McCown scored another. It was 44-16 with seconds left in the game. Cook showed what he’s capable one last time, returning a kick return for a touchdown with no time left. But it was moot.

“Sierra Canyon is doing the right things,” Servite coach Troy Thomas said. “What’s important is that they keep playing in these big games. You may not win them all, but if you can get your players used to play in game like this, competing in games like this, you’re moving in the right direction.”

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Whitecaps hand LAFC its 4th consecutive loss

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Ryan Gauld scored in the 89th minute and the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Los Angeles FC, 2-1, on Saturday night in their first game at B.C. Place in 539 days.

Brian White tied it in the 60th to help the Whitecaps (5-7-8, 23 points), who are led by former LAFC assistant Marc Dos Santos, tie a franchise record with their eight-game unbeaten streak.

Diego Rossi scored on a penalty shot in first-half stoppage time for LAFC (6-9-5, 23 points), which has lost four in a row and is mired in a seven-match winless rut.

The Whitecaps played their last home game in front of fans on Feb. 29, 2020 – a 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. They played the rest of their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, until Saturday.

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U.S. women’s water polo routs Spain for 3rd straight gold medal

By JAY COHEN AP Sports Writer

TOKYO — Ashleigh Johnson was terrific, Maddie Musselman dazzled once again and Maggie Steffens led a stellar defensive performance.

The U.S. dynasty in women’s water polo is alive and well.

Johnson made 11 saves, Musselman (Corona del Mar High, UCLA) scored three times and the U.S. won its third consecutive gold medal on Saturday (late Friday night PT), routing Spain, 14-5, in the final at the Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re having fun out there, and I think you could see that today,” Musselman said. “Everyone brought their best when their best was needed.”

Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach High, Stanford), Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Harbor High, USC) and Alys Williams (Edison High, UCLA) had two goals apiece as the U.S. improved to 134-4 since it won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. After falling, 10-9, to Hungary during a pool-play match in its first loss at the Olympics since the 2008 final, the U.S. ripped off four consecutive wins by a combined score of 63-26.

The U.S. joins the men’s teams from Britain (1908-1920) and Hungary (2000-2008) as the only countries to win at least three straight water polo titles at the Olympics. The U.S. is the only team to medal in each of the six editions of the women’s tournament at the Games.

“We’ve talked a lot about the fine line between confidence and complacency, but we’ve done just a fantastic job of just staying focused through this process,” Coach Adam Krikorian said, “and it’s amazing.”

Maica Garcia had two goals for Spain, which has lost 13 in a row against the U.S., including the finals of the 2017 and 2019 world championships. The silver medal matches the country’s best finish in the women’s competition.

Garcia, Anni Espar (USC), Roser Tarrago, Laura Ester, Pili Peña and Marta Bach also played for Spain when it lost to the United States in the final at the 2012 Olympics, and they looked primed for revenge in Tokyo. The reigning European champions had won five of six, outlasting Hungary in the semifinals.

Instead, Spain was pushed aside by the U.S. once again.

Steffens (Stanford) and company saved their best for last – as they so often do. The Americans were shaken by their loss to Hungary, but they regrouped with their depth and defense.

Six U.S. players scored on the way to a 7-4 halftime lead. Spain didn’t get its first goal until there was 2:15 left in the first quarter.

When the U.S. ripped off five straight goals in the third period, it was all over. Johnson took a seat on the bench with 2:35 left, and the party was on.

When it was over, Johnson and Krikorian embraced, and Krikorian eventually was dumped into the pool for a quick swim.

Hungary earned the country’s first medal in women’s water polo, beating the Russian team, 11-9, for bronze. Vanda Valyi scored three times on three shots for Hungary, which finished fourth in each of the past three Olympics.

More to come on this story.

THE THREE-PEAT IS COMPLETE! 🥇

The women of @USAWP go back-to-back-to-back! #OlympicHERStory x #TokyoOlympics x @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/ClRojxBwrB

— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 7, 2021

Maggie Steffens is scoring goals. @USAWP x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/Tex2gjNsxg

— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 7, 2021

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Obamacare survives SCOTUS, but can it survive mathematics?

For the third time, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that finds a way to allow the Affordable Care Act to survive.

Last Thursday the justices handed down their decision in California v. Texas, in which a number of states and some individual plaintiffs contended that the law known as Obamacare is unconstitutional. The court did not rule on the merits of the claim. Instead, the justices concluded that the states and the individual plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the lawsuit because they had not been harmed by the law. That opens the door for a future lawsuit by different plaintiffs.

This case had its origins in the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which lowered the penalty for failing to buy individual health insurance from $695 to zero. In 2012, a divided Supreme Court had upheld the ACA based on Chief Justice John Roberts’ characterization of the penalty as a tax, finding that Congress’ power to levy taxes gave it the constitutional authority to enact an unprecedented law that required Americans to buy health insurance.

Without the penalty, there was no tax, and that prompted Texas and other states to challenge the law again. A federal district judge agreed with Texas and found that the elements of the law were inextricably and financially intertwined: absent a penalty to enforce the individual mandate, the law was materially different than the law Congress had passed.

For example, the cost to businesses resulting from the mandate to buy employee health policies might be far higher than Congress anticipated when requiring it. The judge ruled that the entire law must fall along with the individual mandate.

The tax/penalty for not buying insurance was always the least popular part of the law, but Congress determined that without it, fewer young and healthy people would choose to buy insurance, resulting in a risk pool that was older, sicker and steadily more expensive to insure.

By ruling on the issue of standing, the Supreme Court has not guaranteed the survival of the law. Another challenge is possible, and the risk-pool problem remains, hiking costs to businesses and taxpayers.

But the Affordable Care Act has gotten by the Supreme Court again. Now it just has to get past the laws of mathematics.

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Northwood football coach Justin Utupo resigns weeks after being hired

Northwood High is again searching for a football coach.

Justin Utupo, recently hired to lead the Timberwolves’ program, has resigned, co-athletic director Brandon Emery said on Tuesday, May 25.

Northwood confirmed Utupo’s hire earlier this month.

Utupo spent this past season as an assistant at Orange Lutheran. Prior to that, he served as an assistant at Azusa Pacific University and was the coach at Long Beach Millikan for two successful seasons.

Utupo was a star defensive lineman at Lakewood and went to play at Notre Dame.

Lakewood is seeking a coach after the departure of Scott Meyer to his alma mater, Long Beach Wilson.

At Northwood, Utupo was set to replace Mike Stewart, who resigned after serving as the team’s interim coach during the coronavirus-shortened season this spring.

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UCLA women’s basketball feels well prepared for Wyoming

The UCLA women’s basketball team is used to dealing with the bare minimum this season, having a shortened bench of eight players, give or take. But bare minimum took on a whole new meaning after the Bruins saw the women’s designated weight room for the NCAA Tournament.

True to the images circulating on social media, the women’s teams were given a spartan arrangement, with a rack of dumbbells and sanitized yoga mats. Meanwhile, the men’s teams were given a large room filled with benches, squat racks — any equipment that might be required.

An effective work environment is essential in any occupation, but for teams like UCLA, which will play Wyoming in the first round of the tournament on Monday, the NCAA’s setup didn’t cut it.

“Different programs do different things for different weight programs,” said senior Michaela Onyenwere. “We might be different than the next team and how we’re going to use that room, but we didn’t really even have a choice because we didn’t have the resources because we were an afterthought.”

For the Bruins’ small roster, the weight room won’t affect the postseason regiment too much. They’re also trying not to be bothered by the differences in food quality, swag bag items and other external factors related to the tournament as they prepare for Wyoming.

UCLA earned the No. 3 seed in the Hemisfair Region on an at-large bid after finishing as runner-up behind Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Tournament. Wyoming, the No. 14-seed, won the Mountain West Tournament as a No. 7 seed and is riding a six-game win streak heading into the NCAA Tournament.

It will be the first meeting between the Bruins (16-5) and the Cowgirls (14-9), but Coach Cori Close feels well prepared for any situation after the Pac-12 season.

“When we started talking about their sort of spread offense and their motion offense, we were able to say OK, it’s sort of like Colorado in this way, it’s like Utah in this way,” she said. “We just have such vast styles of play in the Pac-12, but it’s at such a high level, so you’re already forced to be exposed to so many things.”

McKinley Bradshaw leads Wyoming in scoring with 11.5 points per game and is 33-for-79 from beyond the arc. Quinn Weidemann and Alba Sanchez Ramos each have double-digit scoring averages as well, with Weidemann clicking at 11 ppg and Sanchez Ramos at 10.1 ppg in addition to a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.

Onyenwere is UCLA’s top-scoring player. Her 18.7 ppg have helped move her to sixth in program history in career points with 1,842. In terms of scoring this season, she’s followed by Charisma Osborne (17 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Natalie Chou (10 ppg, 4.3 rpg).

Tipoff for the Bruins’ first-round game is set for Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin, Texas. No matter how small the weight room or how limited the food selection and quality, Close expects her team to remain focused.

“What I don’t want to have happen is any of the extraneous things on the outside to distract from this incredible experience that these student-athletes have worked so hard for,” Close said. “So, I’m excited to compete, to get better and to continue to enjoy with great gratitude.”

UCLA (16-5) vs. Wyoming (14-9)

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Frank Irwin Center, Austin, Texas

TV: ESPN

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UCLA alumnus Krys Barnes test positive for coronavirus, placed on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Green Bay Packers placed linebacker Krys Barnes and reserve quarterback Jordan Love on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The list is for a player who has tested positive or has been in close contact with an infected person.

Barnes, who is asymptomatic, played in the Packers’ 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. Barnes left the game early with a calf injury. He has started seven of the eight games he has played in this season, totaling 49 tackles and a sack.

Love is not known to have tested positive but is a roommates with Barnes.

The Packers drafted Love in the first round out of Utah State while Barnes went undrafted before signing with the Packers after four years at UCLA. The rookies were also teammates Liberty High in Bakersfield.

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NLCS Game 7 live updates: Dodgers vs. Braves

The Dodgers have battled back into the NLCS and forced a Game 7 against the Braves.

Los Angeles has not named a starting pitcher but Clayton Kershaw is expected to be an strong option.

GAME 7

The Dodgers and Braves are tied at 3 in the best-of-seven NLCS

When: Sunday, 5:15 p.m. PST

Where: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas

TV: FOX

Can’t watch the game? Follow our live updates feed below.

A Twitter List by JHWreporter

 

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Lakers-Heat live updates: NBA Finals Game 6

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers can win the franchise’s 17th championship tonight, with a Game 6 victory over the Miami Heat.

Jimmy Butler is coming off a monster performance, finishing with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals and a block in the Heat’s 111-108 victory in Game 5 on Friday.

 

Lakers  (3-2) vs. Heat (2-3)

When: Sunday, 4:30 p.m. PST

Where: Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

TV: ABC

Can’t watch the game? Follow our live updates feed below.

A Twitter List by JHWreporter

 

 

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Proposition 16 will bring discrimination in the name of equality: Michelle Steel

Over two decades ago, California set a clear standard by passing a constitutional amendment that put the state on a path to towards true equality.

Proposition 209, passed by voters in 1996, adopted language from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit the state from discriminating against or giving preference to any individual or group on the basis race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the areas of public employment, public contracts and public education admissions.

The Californians who voted to pass Prop. 209 knew that discrimination, though long entrenched in our society, is against the fundamental values of American culture. Prop. 209 applied to California the essence of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a nation where individuals would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Both morality and data prove that this merit-based approach is working in its most controversial application – college admissions – and aiding minorities in the state. Hoping California voters ignore this, politicians in Sacramento recently approved Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5), a ballot initiative repealing Prop. 209 and ensuring a return to racial discrimination.

Prop. 209 allows college applicants to be judged by their accomplishments in high school or community college in the admissions process, not by the color of their skin, where they come from, or by their gender. Because of this, we have seen an increase in both enrollments and graduation rates in California’s public colleges and universities.

Since the passage of Prop. 209, University of California schools have seen higher graduation rates. In the first ten years of Prop. 209, Black graduation rates at UC Berkeley saw a 6.5 percent increase. At UC San Diego, graduation rates for Black students rose from 26 percent to 52 percent. At UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside, Black enrollment had a dramatic increase, and grades by Black students increased significantly as well.

Across the UC system, the four-year graduation rate for Black freshmen rose to 38 percent in the six years following Prop 209, from 22 percent in the six years prior to its passage.

Latino enrollment also increased in the UC system from 11.3 percent in 1998 to 20.7 percent in 2010. And while four-year graduation rates averaged 27 percent for Latino freshmen in the six years prior to Prop. 209, they rose to 40 percent in the six years after.

Asian American enrollment saw about a 5 percent increase from 36.1 to 41.3 percent over the ten-year period following passage of Prop. 209, with the percentage dropping to 39.8 percent in 2010.

In a press release announcing the UC Board of Regents support for ACA 5, Board Chair John A. Perez said –  without irony – “As we continue to explore all the University’s opportunities for action, I am proud UC endorsed giving California voters the chance to erase a stain, support opportunity and equality, and repeal Proposition 209.”

Proposition 209 did not eliminate discrimination altogether in California, and we still have much to do to fight racism. Yet the success of Prop. 209 toward race-neutral opportunity for all is anything but a “stain.”

The text of Prop. 209 reads: The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

And it works, even though there is still more to do.

What we cannot and should not do, in our ultimate quest for equality, is to reinstate racial discrimination. Particularly when we’ve seen that a policy of non-discrimination is actually lifting up Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans.

Eliminating Prop. 209 will divide us further along racial lines. It will reverse decades of merit-based advancement for all and promote unequal treatment based on race in California. This division is exactly what we seek to eliminate in the United States.

Michelle Steel is the chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. 

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