Sports Year in Review

water polo  Ballard Team_8 WEB

Championships, transfers, and an ongoing issue with a beloved stadium were all part of a memorable year for sports in the foothills.

By Brandon HENSLEY

Photos by Jason BALLARD, Leonard COUTIN, Ed HAMILTON, Brandon HENSLEY and Michael YEGHIAYAN

First Quarter
The Falcons boys’ basketball team opened the Pacific League portion of its season with an impressive road win at Muir in early January. The Falcons were led all year by senior Cole Currie and junior Nick Springer. They were also able to get contributions from sophomore Berj Krikorian, who played a key role in the team’s exciting home win vs. Pasadena. CV went 23-9 in the regular season, the fourth straight 20-win season for Coach Shawn Zargarian.

The 1971 Falcons boys’ basketball team was inducted into the Crescenta Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The ’71 squad went 29-1 and lost in the CIF Division 4A finals. Other inductees at the ceremony were football’s Jeff Beck and Al Staie, softball pitcher Heather Lindstrom, basketball and track star Tara Gregory, swimmer Mary Jenkins Miller, cross-country’s Jim Jordan and Chris Troffer and the school’s first principal Dr. Bill Thomas.

The Crescenta Valley girls water polo team captured its first ever CIF championship in February, beating Riverside Poly in Irvine 10-5. The Falcons were led by first-year Coach Brent Danna, and stormed through the Division V playoffs with relative ease, ending the season with a 31-2 record. Senior goalkeeper Gabriel Isacson was named All-CIF Southern Section Division V Player of the Year.

“Now those girls are going to be CIF champions for the rest of their lives and there’s going to be that plaque and a banner in the gym until that gym comes down,” said Danna. “That’s something special that the girls wanted and were able to get and I’m just glad to be a part of the ride.”

The Crescenta Valley boys’ basketball and soccer teams concluded another memorable year. The soccer team, one year removed from winning the CIF Division IV title, lost in the CIF Division III semi-finals against Century, 2-1. The basketball team made it back to the Division 1A semifinals for the second year in a row, this time falling to El Toro. The boys qualified for the state playoffs again as well, and lost to Crenshaw High School in the regionals.

Nearly 20 members of Rosemont Power Walking and Running Club lined up outside Dodger Stadium and took part in the L.A. Marathon. The man behind the club was Rosemont’s Terry Parker, who coached and mentored the students for months in preparation. “I just wanted the accomplishment of running 26.2 miles,” said JC Jaramillo. “I know it’s a tough goal, but I know I can finish it.”

The Glendale 14U boys won the regional level all-star championship by a score of 2-0 at Roosevelt Field in South Pasadena on March 3. The team was one of 10 Glendale teams between all divisions that won a championship out of the 18 that were played. “Our boys showed lots of poise, dedication, hard work and determination in reaching the championship game,” said Coach Walter Larreynaga.

Second Quarter
Ted Boeke’s three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning at Arcadia gave the Falcons’ baseball team a 5-4 win over the Coyotes on May 10. CV finished the regular season co-champions of the Pacific League along with Burbank High School.

The Crescenta Valley High School baseball and softball teams made the first round of the CIF playoffs. The baseball team received eight stellar innings from starting pitcher Brian Gadsby, but he couldn’t get any run support as CV fell to Yucaipa 1-0 at Stengel Field, ending a season where the Falcons claimed a share of their second straight Pacific League title. The softball team got a home run in the fourth inning from Taylor Hill in their playoff game against La Salle, but errors in the fifth ruined their chances to advance, and they lost 3-1.

Mark Samford resigned as coach of Falcon softball citing personal reasons. He led the girls to playoff appearances in his two seasons after taking over when legendary coach Dan Berry passed away in 2011. Samford continues to be the coach of the boys’ freshman basketball team.

The CV boys’ basketball team was dealt a blow when upcoming senior guard Nick Springer announced he would transfer to the Pasadena private school Maranatha for the 2013-14 school year. The lanky, sharp-shooting Springer most likely would have played the biggest role for the Falcons this season.

The Falcons’ swimming program missed out on a second straight CIF championship in May at the CIF Southern Section Division II meet at Riverside City College, losing out to Los Osos as the Grizzlies’ 285 points were enough to hold off the Falcons’ 234.  Senior Young Tae Seo, one of the best local area swimmers in recent memory, had an individual victory and meet record in the 200-yard individual medley and 200-medley relay victory and record, the only Falcons boys’ win of the day. For the CV girls, freshman Heather MacDougall captured the 100 freestyle.

The Rosemont Spartans flag football team (5-1) held off another valiant comeback attempt in a 13-12 victory over Toll Middle School on May 9, winning the league championship for the 2013 season. The team was led by Coach Jim Mustain and quarterback Tyler Hill, who went on to have success as a freshman defensive player for the CV High School varsity football team in the fall.

Falcons’ softball centerfielder Hannah Cookson was named to the All-Pacific League first team. She batted .435 with 34 runs batted in to go along with her seven home runs. Cookson’s teammate and starting pitcher Olivia Thayer was also named to the first team. Thayer posted a 1.75 earned-run average and struck out 81 batters.

Rosemont's QB Tyler Hill carries the ball for a few yards gain. Flag Football game CV Rosemont Middle School versus Glendale Wilson Middle School.(Photo by Ed Hamilton / April 25 2013)
Rosemont’s QB Tyler Hill carries the ball for a few yards gain. Flag Football game CV Rosemont Middle School versus Glendale Wilson Middle School.(Photo by Ed Hamilton / April 25 2013)

CV basketball player Cole Currie committed to Tulane University. Currie picked the Louisiana-based school after checking out the facilities in June. Playing both point and shooting guard, he averaged just under 20 points along with five rebounds in the Pacific League, leading CV to a second straight berth in the CIF Division 1A semifinals. Currie was co-MVP of the Pacific League, All-Area Player of the Year, first team All-CIF 1A as a senior Falcon. Tulane is currently 7-7 this season.

In baseball, Ted Boeke parlayed his success as a senior in 2013 to a spot with Loyola Marymount University. Boeke will join an LMU squad next year that went 24-27 in 2013, 12-12 in the West Coast Conference. As a pitcher for the Falcons last year, Boeke was 4-1 with a 0.98 ERA. At the plate, he hit five home runs. Boeke was given All-CIF honors as well as being named Pacific League MVP.

Third Quarter
John Pehar, a Crescenta Valley High School teacher and the school’s former golf coach, took over coaching duties of the softball program in July. Pehar coached the JV softball team to league championship in 2013, and with the varsity team will have talented sisters Hannah and Hailey Cookson in 2014.
Pehar Softball story WEB

St. Francis High School announced the hiring of Matt Luderer as the Golden Knights’ new athletic director. Luderer came from Crespi Carmelite High School where he was the AD for the past five years. He replaced Terry Terrazone at St. Francis, who was the AD for 18 years.
Matt Luderer WEB

Brian Gadsby was named the starting quarterback for the CV Falcons’ varsity football team for the upcoming season in the summer. Gadsby was bumped up to varsity for the final two games of the 2012 season, and coaches liked enough of what they saw after CV won both of those contests. Because of the change, Joe Torres became the backup to Gadsby, and 2012 quarterback Ben Rees moved to wide receiver.

Arizona State University student Chris Russo was the winner of the Glendale City Golf Championship, a two-day charity that raises money for the Glendale Parks and Open Spaces Foundation. Russo edged out previous champions and CV High School graduate Keith Kinsel by a single stroke. The tournament is sponsored by Trusted Choice, and the championship round is played at Oakmont Country Club.

Crescenta Valley High School cross-country hosted its third and final Community All Comers Meet for the summer. The meet, a 2K and 5K, is designed for parents, friends and CVHS alums, as well as runners from out of the area, such as Burbank. The cost to run was $5, and proceeds went to the CVHS cross-country program.

Young fans of “the beautiful game” came out in force at the Glendale Sports Complex in September to take part in a soccer clinic developed by the Los Angeles Galaxy organization. Members of Glendale’s AYSO Region 88 were in attendance at the Glendale Sports Complex for an evening of soccer instruction with the current major league soccer champions.

Brian Gadsby threw six touchdown passes in Crescenta Valley football’s season-opener at Verdugo Hills High School. The Falcons cruised to a 54-20 win. The next week Gadsby threw five TD passes as CV survived a wild 56-54 win over San Marino. The Falcons went undefeated in the opening month.

Fourth Quarter
The Rosemont Middle School basketball teams were once again dominant this season, as both the boys and girls finished undefeated in the four-team Glendale-area league. The girls had great all-around play from seventh-grader Caity Bouchard, while the boys were led by eighth graders Will Smiley and Grady Schilling.
Rachel Dayag WEB

Will Smiley WEB

It was an on-going saga all year, and in the fall it was announced Stengel Field, the site of Glendale College and CV High baseball, would be demolished and replaced with temporary bleachers that will cost the city $450,000. Development impact fees paid from multi-unit housing complexes will fund the project. The stadium’s questionable structural integrity forced CV High School to relocate its graduation ceremonies in 2012 and 2013. It was estimated the cost of a new stadium would be around $8 million, but many in the community do not want to see the stadium go, and talks of fundraising continue into the new year.
CV Weekly Stengel WEB

The Falcons lost their first game of the football season to Burroughs 24-17, after being up at one point 17-3. CV righted the ship the next week at its homecoming game to defeat Burbank in an overtime thriller. Injuries continued to pile up for the team, though, as Connor Van Ginkel, Weston Walker and Bostin Lakin all missed valuable time.

The CV boys’ cross-country team placed third in grueling heat and winds at the 46th Annual Staub/Barnes Invitational, held at Crescenta Valley Park. The girls placed fourth and were led by Megan Melnyk, who was fifth overall individually.

The Crescenta Valley High School football team crushed Arcadia 49-14 in its last game of the season to finish 8-2. Despite this, the Falcons were not selected by the CIF Southern Section to compete in the playoffs as the committee took West Covina as an at-large bid instead. It was a season to remember nonetheless as CV had its best year since 2008 with Brian Gadsby performing outstandingly as quarterback, throwing for 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Crescenta Valley athletes Hannah Cookson, Elissa Arnold, Ashely Taylor and Kayleigh Carillo all signed letters of intent to play in college. Softball’s Cookson signed with Long Beach State, water polo’s Arnold and Taylor will go to Michigan and Azusa Pacific University, track star Carillo is off to Cornell University next fall.

Flintridge Prep senior Alan Yoho set a Division V course record at the CIF cross-country state finals in Fresno with a time of 15:10.5. It is Prep’s first individual title, and Yoho was invited in December to run in the Nike Nationals in Oregon. As a team, Prep finished fourth at the finals while Crescenta Valley High School placed fifth.

Flintridge Preparatory School senior basketball standout Robert Cartwright signed to play for Division 1 Stanford University. In his junior season, Cartwright averaged 18.8 points, 4.3 assists and three steals, earning First Team All CIF honors and Prep League MVP.  “I’m looking forward to being there and having four great years athletically,” he said.

Local basketball teams battled in the annual Falcon Tip-off Classic at CVHS in December. The Falcons made it to the championship game, but fell to Hart High School. The Flintridge Prep team lost in the third place game to Verdugo Hills. Prep was playing that game without injured senior guard Robert Cartwright.

In December, the CV boys’ soccer team won the Eagle Cup tournament in Lancaster after defeating Valencia in penalty kicks. The win moved the team’s pre-league record to an impressive 6-1.

In football, quarterback Brian Gadsby, offensive lineman Davo Hakobyan, linebacker Austin Brines and defensive back Jordan LoBianco nabbed first-team honors for the Falcons. LoBianco, a two-way player, recorded 16 tackles and had three interceptions on defense. Brines led the Falcons in tackles with 89, while recording one interception and one fumble recovery. Receiver Chase Walker and running back Kevin Hello were named to the second team on offense, while Matt Erickson was named to the defensive second team. Receiver Ben Rees and defender Juho Kim were named to the league’s honorable mention team.

The Crescenta Valley Falcons, which had earned second place at the Pacific League finals and fifth at the CIF finals, were hoping to rally for a placement in the state CIF cross-country championship Division 1 race in Fresno. The annual event takes place on the Woodward Park course. Despite a strong start from Falcon senior Gabe Collison, Torrey Pines and Arcadia were too tough to beat.

Glendale-area fighter Ronda Rousey defeated rival Miesha Tate in Ultimate Fighting Champion 168 in Las Vegas on Dec. 28. Rousey played the role of villain all week, receiving boos at her weigh-in and walk to the cage. She did not shake Tate’s hand after her third-round arm-bar submission, further angering the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I wasn’t surprised, because I was aware of the role I was in,” she said of the fan reaction after the fight. “Batman played the bad guy and let (Two-Face) look like the good guy because that’s what Gotham City needed at the time. For every fight, I approach it as what’s needed at the time.” Rousey is 8-0 in mixed martial arts, and 2-0 in UFC.

CV Varsity Softball