NCAA Signing Day at LBHS: Your community is proud of you all

The community gathered on the quad at LBHS Wednesday morning to celebrate the signing of letters of intent by 12 LBHS senior student-athletes, marking the culmination of 10+ years of dedication and hard work by these extraordinary young women and men.

Parents and grandparents were on hand to celebrate – as well as hundreds of LBHS students, who could be heard hootin’ and hollerin’ as their friends’ names and final college choices were announced over the PA system.

Seven girls water polo players signed their letters of intent – including Thea Wash (Stanford), Sophia Lucas (USC), Evan Tingler (Harvard), Alana Evans (Princeton), Isabel Riches (Brown), Kyla Whitelock (Fresno State), and Danielle Borelli (McKendree University). Diver Liv Mitchell signed her letter of intent to Brown, while swimmer Kasey Karkoska signed hers to Columbia. Girls sand volleyball player Lexi McKeown signed to Florida State, boys volleyball player Sam Bergi signed to UCLA, and rowing coxswain Jessica Morrell signed to UCSD.


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Photos by Kristin Karkoska/

Blue Sky Studio

(L to R) Liv Mitchell, Evan Tingler, Isabel Riches, Alana Evans, and Kasey Mitchell were all smiles Wednesday after signing their NCAA letters of intent in front of the community

Water polo standout Thea Walsh, an All-County goalie, will join former LBHS teammates (and USA Gold Medal Olympians) Makenzie and Aria Fischer at Stanford, which ’09 LBHS grad and USA Gold Medal Olympian Annika Dries also attended. When asked about her choice, Walsh said: “It’s literally been my dream school since 8th grade.”


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Thea Walsh, pictured here with her parents, will join former LBHS teammates Makenzie and Aria Fischer at Stanford next year

Sand volleyball star Lexi McKeown said she chose Florida State because of the “bricks and trees.” She wanted something different than Laguna, but still wanted to feel at home. “Every building [at FSU] is brick, and the trees are just so beautiful too. The moment I stepped on campus, I knew it was right for me.”

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A Seminole and a Lion: Lexi McKeown and Kasey Mitchell

The event was one of three NCAA Signing Day events scheduled by LBHS this year, with other signings in other sports to be celebrated later in the school year.

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Sam Burgi, who will play volleyball at UCLA next year, with his mother Lori

LBHS Surf Team battles Dana Hills and comes up with a giant win, dominates Aliso Niguel

Written by coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns

The Laguna Beach High School Surf Team battled Dana Hills at Salt Creek last Thursday with classic conditions and surf in the five foot range. The event was a League event and the second meeting for the season. Many of the Laguna surfers found success and were key to the win, but you could say the MVP was Travis Booth with a runner up spot in Short Board and a crucial second in Bodyboard. 

Meanwhile our Girls team did their part with Kayla Coscino another MVP, taking the shortboard win and a second in Longboard, while Kalohe Danbara and Kelly Smith went 2, 3 in shortboard and Claire Kelly took third in Longboard. Laguna was out in front with numerous top results. 

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MVP Kayla Coscino

In Boys Shortboard Trey Lockhart, Sam Nelsen, Jeremy Shutts and Jake Levine all had wins and Kiko Nelsen had the wave of the day to take a very close second. Jett North did well to take a fourth. We have had a tough time in our Longboard and Bodyboard Divisions and the team has all rallied hard to fill the gaps with some of the surfers doing double duty. It came down to the last heat of the day with the Bodyboarders hitting the water. At the first meeting with Dana we had a chance to tie and just came up short and this time it looked like it might happen again. But as it turned out Travis Booth pulled through with a great Bodyboard performance and his second place finish was enough to give the Team an eight-point win 87/79 overall, the first time taking the win in a very long time.

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MVP Travis Booth

Day two, last Friday saw the team dominate Aliso Niguel in a non-league scrimmage. Several of the usual suspects had top performances, while some new younger kids also got in the mix and came in with some great results. 

Sam and Kiko Nelsen took wins as did Jake Levine, while Travis Booth took a couple of seconds in Boys Shortboard and Bodyboard once again. Jeremy Shutts displayed some nice surfing and took a second in shortboard while his brother Andrew took fourth in Bodyboard. Jameson Roller surfed nicely in Longboard to take a second.

Trey Lockhart took another win while his brother a Freshman took second and Jett North took a third. Several new surfers saw action led by Joseph Schenk who had some nice rides to take second in shortboard, while Lucas Jablon and Julian Williams-Goldberg took thirds and Zac Henderson had a fourth in Longboard. Our Girls did awesome once again with Kalohe Danbara taking the win, while Tess Booth was close behind finishing in second in Shortboard and third in Longboard and Kelly Smith took a third in Shortboard.

A big thank you goes out to all the parents and friends who showed up to support our Laguna kids.Our next event will be another League Event at T-Street on Friday, Nov 3 against San Clemente.

Boys Water Polo will be competing in the first round of the CIF playoffs on Thurs at 5 p.m.: cheer them on

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L-R, Marshall Eichenauer, James Nolan, Will Clark, Kai Cameron, Colton Gregory, Zach Cord, Peter Weiland, Larsen McCarroll, Caden Capobianco, Sebi Jacobs, Riley Baumgardner, Marcon Salib, Coach Trevor Lyle

Come out and support LBHS’s boys winning water polo team at home on Thursday Nov 2 at 5 p.m. for the first round of the CIF playoffs…GO BREAKERS!

The Boys & Girls Club is getting ready to hold its Annual Art and Nature show

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s Art Program will hold their annual Art & Nature Show on Thur, Nov 2, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Club’s new outdoor exhibition space at the Canyon Branch. 

“Sea the Light” is a direct response to the colors, shapes, lines and reflections of the sea.  It is also a body of work responding to the extensive artworks created in Laguna Beach inspired by the ocean; from impressionist paintings, to abstract sculptures and prints, to the most recent public art installation by Pablo Vargas Lugo and his lamppost in the sea.

Together the members of the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach explored the relationship between water and light through playful and collaborative art making processes. 

The Club works in partnership with the Laguna Art Museum who originated the idea of showcasing an Art & Nature exhibit and encourages local organizations in the surrounding areas to participate in having their own show. 

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Caitlin Reller, BGCLB Art Expression Director stand in front of one of the art pieces that will be featured  

This partnership is very exciting for Caitlin Reller, the new Art Director, whose art education philosophies are “rooted in making connections to contemporary artists, movements, and artworks as well as the community as a whole.”  She believes this show is “a good example of the uninhibited exploration of materials that children are able to do with ease.” And hopes to “elevate and respect the creations they make together.” For more information of the upcoming exhibit at the Club, contact Caitlin Reller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach occupies three sites in Laguna Beach; Canyon Branch, Bluebird Branch and Lang Branch. Together, they offer a nationally recognized and award winning year round Out-of-School enrichment program that focuses on the whole family. For more information about The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, visit: or call (949) 494-2535.

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