Olympian and Former La Mirada Softball Star Jersey to be Retired at LMHS.

Olympian and Former La Mirada Softball Star Jersey to be Retired at LMHS.

Former Athletic Star and USA Olympian will have her jersey retired at a ceremony at La Mirada High School. Photo

La Mirada~Eighteen years after she graduated from La Mirada High School , La Mirada native and softball great Jennie Finch will be returning to the Matador diamond to have her jersey retired.

Finch’s number 27 will be honored in a ceremony Tuesday, March 22nd at 3:00 p.m. After, she will throw out the first pitch before the Matadores key rival game vs. Mayfair High School.

An 80’s kid, she was born and grew up in La Mirada. She began pitching at age eight, trained by her father when he noticed she had “a cannon of an arm.”  She played on many traveling ball clubs before high school, winning two American Softball Association Titles, one at age 12 and the other at 14.

At La Mirada High she graduated in 1998 and lettered four times in softball and twice in basketball and volleyball. As a senior she was captain in all three sports.

She finished her career in softball at La Mirada with a 50-12 record, four Suburban league titles and an ERA of 0.15 including 784 strikeouts in 445 total innings pitched. She had six perfect games and 13 no-hitters.

She went on to play for the University of Arizona for four years where she left the program the career leader in strikeouts, shutouts, innings pitched and tied for no-hitters (8). Her jersey #27 was retired by the university in 2003.

For Team USA, Finch led the American team to a gold medal in the Olympic Games at Athens in 2004 and a silver medal at Beijing in 2008.

At the La Mirada ceremony, she is expected to attend with family and friends and be presented with a framed jersey, according to first-year head coach Brent Tuttle.

Tuttle also said Finch purchased a set of uniforms for the varsity team this year.

The event is open to the public.

Biola Wins GSAC Tournament Men’s Basketball Championship

Biola Wins GSAC Tournament Men’s Basketball Championship

Fullerton~The turnaround is complete. Biola Men’s Basketball once again reigns supreme in the Golden State Athletic Conference as Dr. Dave Holmquist’s boys clinched the conference tournament title with a 60-52 victory over No. 7 Hope International last Tuesday night.

“We just have one great thing after another happening for us,” said Holmquist. “To win on their court against a very good, well-coached team feels great.”

Eight points was the largest lead either team had the entire night in what will go down as another absolute GSAC Instant Classic. This Instant Classic just so happened to be seen live by a crowd of about 2,000 and delivered to living rooms all across Southern California courtesy FOX Sports Prime Ticket.

Shining bright in the biggest moment, a huge defensive performance from start-to-finish and team effort on the offensive end carried the Eagles, the regular season champions, to the tournament title as well. It is the team’s first tournament title since 2011-12 and clinches the team’s first berth at the NAIA National Tournament since that same year.

Throughout this journey Dr. Holmquist continues to remark on is just how close this team is, how much they care for one another and how much fun they have together. All three of those aspects were on full display for the audience throughout this evening’s battle.

Biola Men’s Basketball Wins GSAC Championship

Biola Men’s Basketball Wins GSAC Championship


La Mirada~Before the season began in October the coaches in the Golden State Athletic Conference voted and picked Biola Men’s Basketball to finish fifth in the conference standings.

After a 4-12 GSAC run in 2014-15, this Biola Eagles team smashed all preseason expectations and on Saturday became the 2015-16 GSAC Champions. It’s Biola’s first GSAC regular season title since 2001-02 and solidifies the Eagles’ place as the front-runner to win the conference tournament and earn a bid to the NAIA National Tournament.

On Saturday night, the Eagles completed its 27-3 run through the regular season with 65-59 win over No. 5 Hope International to clinch the conference title and finish with a regular season conference record of 14-2.

“I feel great,” said Head Coach Dr. Dave Holmquist. “I’ve coached here 36 years and I’ve never been more proud of a team than this one. I think this win tonight is just a reflection of the kind of effort and character these players showed all year long.”

The crowd inside Chase Gymnasium was shattering decibel levels throughout the night as the large contingent of Biola supporters and much smaller group of Hope International fans battled back and forth to support their respective sides.

A three-point make from Ryan Swain opened the scoring in the first minute of play. Those points gave Biola an instant lead, a lead that would carry throughout the entire 40 minutes of play as the Eagles never trailed.

Never losing the lead was not indicative of exactly how the night played out, as a well-coached HIU team kept tensions running high and the score close throughout.

Matadores Playing for First State Title

Matadores Playing for First State Title

La Mirada~Goodman Stadium will be the site once again as the La Mirada High Matadores football program attempts to capture its first-ever state title this Saturday night as they take on NoCal regional champ Campolindo in the Division III-AA championship game.

The Matadores are riding a 12-game winning streak since losing to San Clemente 42-26 on September 18th.

La Mirada reached the title game after beating Oceanside last week in a SoCal regional contest 36-14.

The rushing of star running back Sei-J Lauago and a staunch defense has allowed La Mirada to roll over their opponents.

In what seemed like the pinnacle of the season at the time, La Mirada beat La Serna 45-20 on December 5th to capture their third CIF Southern Section championship and first since 2009. Coach Mike Moschetti has had a hand in all three (one for each of the last three decades), including as a player in 1992.

Campolindo, a defending state champion, is riding an 11-game winning streak. The champions of the Diablo Foothill League, the Cougars (14-1) last loss was also on September 18th, a 20-14 setback against Napa.

The state bowl system was reconfigured this year. It was expanded from five to thirteen games, allowing for more opportunities for schools to get titles. Consequently, there are more schools than ever playing this late into the year.

The Matadores will take a state championship anyway they can get it, "This is something we have wanted for a long time," said Moschetti.

Game time Saturday at Goodman is 6:00 p.m.

Carter Scores 25 in Matador Debut; Reynoso-Avila Sidelined

Carter Scores 25 in Matador Debut; Reynoso-Avila Sidelined

Anaheim~The La Mirada High Boys Basketball team picked up where they left off last season by winning their first game of the 2015-16 campaign in a convincing 87-62 win over Paramount in pool play at the Canyon/Esperanza tip-off classic.

Serra transfer Ian Carter scored 12 points and Anthony Newman seven in the first quarter as the Matadores jumped out to a 27-15 lead.

Carter finished with 25 points total, Newman had 18 and Dylan Banks added 17 for the defending Suburban League and State Champions.

The Matadores (1-0) will take on Northwood tonight at 7:30 at Canyon High School.

Vittorio Reynoso-Avila, one of La Mirada's top seniors, and potential Princeton product, has been sidelined until January 6th with a broken metatarsal in his foot, his father told the La Mirada Blog.

120215 23:12 UPDATE: The Matadores beat Northwood 65-63 on a driving layup by Dirk Helaire as the game winded down.

120315 22:40 UPDATE: La Mirada improved to 3-0 by beating Servite 59-55.

120415 19:56 UPDATE: The Mats improved to 4-0 on the season by beating Canyon 70-54. Anthony Newman lead all scorers with with 26. Dirk Helaire at 14, Ian Carter 12 and freshman Bryce Craver had nine.They will play in the Canyon/Esperanza Tournament championship game after sweeping through the brackets, Saturday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Long Beach Jordan at Canyon High School.

120515 20:21 UPDATE: La Mirada improved to 5-0 on the season by beating Long Beach Jordan 85-76, capturing the Esperanza/Canyon Tip Off Classic title.

Matadores to Play La Serna at Home in CIF Finals

Matadores to Play La Serna at Home in CIF Finals

The La Mirada High Matadores celebrate in Los Angeles this past Friday night after their convincing victory over Cathedral. Photo (c) La Mirada Blog 2015-courtesy D. Barrett.

Los Angeles~The La Mirada High Football team will be heading to the CIF finals after beating Cathedral this past Friday night 38-7 in the southeast semifinal in Los Angeles.

Sei-J Lauago rushed for 188 yards on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Matadores return to the finals for the first time since 2012.

La Mirada (10-3) returns home to take on La Serna (11-2) for the Southern Section Southeast Division title this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Goodman Stadium.

UPDATE 120515 22:21: The Matadores beat La Serna 45-20 to capture their first CIF title since 2009. Sei-J Lauago rushed for 300 yards and scored three touchdowns.The Matadores earn a spot in a State Regional Bowl game, taking on Oceanside at home December 11th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Biola’s Holmquist Notches 900th Victory

Biola’s Holmquist Notches 900th Victory

La Mirada~This past Tuesday night, a journey that’s taken 1,255 games and 38-plus seasons hit another major meaningful milestone as Head Coach Dr. Dave Holmquist became the eighth collegiate men’s basketball coach to hit 900 career coaching victories.

A 79-60 victory over the Bethesda Flames at home got coach Holmquist to the big number as the 2015-16 Biola Eagles team improved to 9-1 to start the season.

“It feels great to have done this with so many people who have been here over the years,” said Holmquist. “I have so many good memories about so many former players and teams, and I feel very grateful that I was able to stay at one place for so long.”

Holmquist is in his 36th season at the helm of the Eagles and 39th season overall. He began his career in 1975-76 as he coached the first of his three years overseeing the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds.

The win even more firmly secures the coach’s place in history as he reaches a 900 win club that includes the likes of Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boheim, Don Meyer and Bobby Knight.

The next illustrious head coach that Holmquist will pass on the all-time wins list is the legendary former Indiana Hoosier head coach, Knight. Three more victories this year would move Holmquist past Knight’s 902 and into seventh place all-time. Holmquist is already the winningest active coach in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I, and he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2002.

“This is such a good place to work,” said Holmquist. “It’s a place where people want to help you. I’ve been blessed to work here at my school. I feel so fortunate to have the job I’ve had and coach the people I have. I just feel very blessed.”

La Mirada Rotary and Walmart Team to Help Local Families

La Mirada Rotary and Walmart Team to Help Local Families

ROTARY ASSISTS GOOD SAM PANTRY – Members of the Rotary Club of La Mirada donated $1,100 worth of Thanksgiving turkeys, canned goods and other items to the Good Sam Pantry at Beatitudes Church in La Mirada.  Pictured are (l to r) Chris Robinson, Rick Jones, John Lewis, Tom Polley, Jose Lombera, President Russell Hall, Hal Malkin and Sean Bracey. The donation, which was made possible by a grant from the Walmart Community Foundation, is one of several Rotary projects to assist needy families.

La Mirada~The Rotary Club of La Mirada marked the Thanksgiving holiday by donating $1,100 in turkeys, canned goods and other food items to the Good Sam Pantry at Beatitudes Church in La Mirada.

The donation, which was funded in part by a grant from the Walmart Community Foundation, purchased complete holiday meals for 40 families.

Rotarians purchased the food at the Walmart Neighborhood Market, located at Imperial Highway and La Mirada Boulevard, on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19. The food was then distributed to needy families that afternoon by volunteers at the Good Sam Pantry.

Rotary plans to donate a similar amount of meals for local families prior to the Christmas and Easter holidays.

The Rotary Club of La Mirada performs a variety of community service projects throughout the year.  The group meets on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. at the Elephant Bar Restaurant on Firestone Boulevard North in La Mirada.  Visitors are welcome to attend.

La Mirada Headed Back to Semifinal

La Mirada Headed Back to Semifinal

Matadores lose coin flip; southeast semi-final to be hosted by Cathedral

Compton~La Mirada beat Dominguez last Friday night 55-13 in the CIF-SS Southeast Quarterfinal  and will advance to a semifinal for the first time since 2012.

The Matadores will travel to Cathedral High School in Los Angeles for the Friday contest after losing the coin flip conducted by CIF officials this past Saturday morning.

The game never seemed to be close after Sei-J Lauago ran back the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.

After taking a 31-7 at halftime, the Matadores held Dominguez at bay in the second half with a defense that continues to surge.

Tristan Meyer, the starting junior home-grown quarterback for the Mats completed 9 of 15 passes for 205 yards in his first taste of post-season football as the starter.

Dominguez had 250 rushing yards compared to La Mirada’s 136, but had only 31 total yards passing.

La Mirada had only 80 more total yards than Dominguez, 341 to 261 and the Dons actually possessed the ball more; with the Matadores holding the ball for a little over 28 minutes and the Dons having the ball a little over 19.

La Mirada Head Coach Mike Moschetti downplayed the significance of playing on the road this Friday, “We don’t care where we play.”

Including his first two seasons as co-coach with Ollie Lynch, Moschetti has reached the CIF playoffs all eight seasons as head coach of the Matadores and has captured the Suburban League title in six of those eight years including a CIF title in 2009 with Lynch.

Before Moschetti came aboard, La Mirada hadn’t won a league title in eight years.

Also, La Mirada now owns the state record for consecutive section playoff appearances at 36 after Long Beach Poly was declared ineligible following the forfeiture of games this season. The two teams had been tied since 1980.

Trujillo “Taking a Break” at La Mirada High

Trujillo “Taking a Break” at La Mirada High

Coach retires from La Mirada High after over 40 years of coaching locally; interviews for new coach begin next week

La Mirada~After 17 years as head coach of La Mirada High School Softball, Rich Trujillo has decided to “take a break,“ and will not return next season.

“It’s been a lot of fun and I’m glad to have been part of it. I appreciate the opportunity,” Trujillo told us via telephone,” whoever takes over I wish nothing but success and good luck and if there is anything I can do to help out I will.”

Co-Athletic Director at the school Jimmy Zurn told us the job for new head coach will be posted this week and interviews are scheduled to begin the week of August 3rd.

The school still lists Trujillo as the head coach on their website.

Trujillo said his phone has been busy, “I’m getting lots of calls from (former) players and their families.”

Trujillo’s Lady Mats appeared in three CIF Southern Section Finals, unfortunately falling short each time.

La Mirada won the Suburban League championship 13 of the 17 years with Trujillo at the helm.

Before coaching at La Mirada, Trujillo coached four years at Cypress College garnering a state championship.