LB Water Polo 12U girls win 1st place in Southern Pacific Zone Jr Olympic Qualifying tournament

Last weekend, Laguna’s 12U girls won first place in the Southern Pacific Zone Junior Olympic Qualifying Tournament and will be rewarded with the overall #1 seed for the 12U girls’ division at the National Junior Olympics in July.

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Submitted photo

Back row: Lauren Schneider, Taylor Naughton, Sara Block, Myha Pinto, Cleo Washer, Charlotte Riches, Avery Montiel, Rebecca Storke, 

Sadie Riester and Coach Kelcie Ferreira

Front row: Nina Rogers, Lauren Short, Eleanor Ramsey, Claire Turner, Jordan Schneider & Ava Knepper.

The USA Water Polo Junior Olympic Championships is the largest age group water polo tournament in the nation. Athletes and teams come from across the country to compete on the national stage. The Junior Olympics Tournament consists of two divisions, the Championship Division and the Classic Division. Teams compete over a four-day period within their respective age category.

Recently appointed Laguna Beach High School boys’

tennis coach serves up a new vision for LBHS boys team

New to LBHS tennis, but not new to the Laguna Beach tennis scene, Coach Rick Conkey kicks off the boys’ tennis season by setting a vision for the team, the game and even the town. Rick has traveled the world teaching pros and has taught in Laguna Beach for more than 20 years. He recently won the 50 and over National Doubles title in Las Vegas and, at one time, was ranked number 1 in Mixed Doubles in Southern California.  

Conkey will coach 29 boys split between JV and Varsity. He replaces Coach Don Davis, who resigned this year after leading boys’ tennis to 9 straight years in the CIF playoffs. Rick brings an impressive level of skills and commitment. “My goal is simple. I want these boys to advance their tennis skills to whatever they want them to be. Whether they want to play in college or just play tennis as a lifelong sport. I love the game. I want them to love it too,” says Conkey.

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Photo by Shelley Detweiler

L-R: LBHS Athletic Director Lance Neal, Boys Tennis Coach Rick Conkey, Boys Tennis Booster Rep Carrie Reynolds.

Lifelong sport it is. Rick quoted an Oxford study to the boys and their parents in their first team meeting last week reminding them of the lifelong benefits of tennis. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports by an international team of researchers, states, “Scientists attempting to tease apart the benefits of different sports have found that regularly taking part in sports such as badminton or tennis reduces your risk of death at any given age by almost 50 percent, with swimming and aerobics also proving protective.” 

Rick’s broader vision is to bring tennis energy back to the town of Laguna. “Laguna Beach tennis courts used to be full, the town had a tennis tournament with over 300 players, some ranked internationally.”   

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Photo by Shelley Detweiler

The tennis team is young and ready to go places

“The team is young and ready for Rick’s level of energy and skills,” explains Carrie Reynolds, Team Booster Rep, and parent of a player. “We have two seniors, two juniors and 25 sophomores and freshmen, so they are eager and ready to learn.”

Rick feels Laguna Beach loses a lot of good players to tennis programs outside of town because we don’t have a country club.  In order to spark passion for the sport to reenergize in Laguna, Conkey will have feeder camps this summer for younger kids looking to build their early love of the game. Rick’s goal is to elevate the level of play in Laguna and ultimately build a strong, engaging and effective tennis program by creating the engines for long-term growth.

The boys’ first pre-season match will be Feb 16 against Beckman High School.

Dramatic 1-0 victory continues undefeated season for Girls Varsity Soccer team

CIF # 2 LBHS Girls Varsity Soccer battled CIF # 6 Estancia Thursday night at LBHS. In the end, the Breakers prevailed with a dramatic 1-0 victory and virtual lock on its third Orange Coast League Championship in six years. 

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The Varsity soccer team celebrates their great win

With a league record at 8-0-0 and overall record at 16-3-2, the Breakers hope to complete an undefeated season next week in their final two matches. Go Breakers soccer!

Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo is number one: they win the SoCal Championship for the fourth time

Laguna Girls’ water polo team has won every tournament this year by wide margins. They recently played number two team, Mater Dei in the SoCal Championship and beat them by seven points. That’s a huge margin for a finals game in a major tournament.  

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The winning team: Back row L-R: Audrey Duffy, Danielle Borelli, Sophia Lucas, Claire Sonne, Evan Tingler, Aria Fischer, Isabel Riches; front row L-R: Angelique Begay, Alex Peros, Thea Walsh, Alana Evans, Bella Baldridge

Laguna has now won that tournament four years in a row. The girls played so well and each one contributed massively to every game.  

This is the last of three major tournaments that Laguna has won before CIF. And Laguna’s JV managed to get into this Varsity tournament because Newport backed out at the last minute, and they played 16th place.

Then the girls all had to run home and get ready for Winter Formal… They were lucky to get their hair dry in time for a different kind of winning look.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie  Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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