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Laguna Beach

LB Riptide girls’ soccer team secures epic semi-finals win in monsoon weather

By Coaches Paul Parker & Sophia Parker

Photos by Sean Mulvaney

The Laguna Beach Riptide U12 girls’ soccer team, competing in the 2019 All Star Tournament, secured an extraordinary victory last weekend in the semi-finals against Mission Viejo.

“It turned out to be an epic encounter,” said coaches Paul and Sophia Parker. “Both teams holding nothing back in a see-saw game in what started out as a mild drizzle but soon turned into something resembling a monsoon.”

LB Riptide girls Gonzalez

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Elizabeth Gonzalez drives the ball down field contributing to one of two goals during regular time that led to the shootout

The Riptide team includes local superstars Cailin Mulvaney, Capri Henrichsen, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Ava Steris, Ava Guziak, Morgan Saunders, Payton Taylor, Anna Sandquist, Chiara Berman-Yumas, Aubrey Anderson, Karina Aleknavicuis, and Shaye Bruns.

LB Riptide girls goalie

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Cailin Mulvaney poised to block Mission Viejo’s final penalty shot that led to Laguna’s epic victory

“We went a goal behind in the first half due to a penalty decision against us, but came storming back in the second half equalizing from a strong run and finish from Capri,” said the coaches. “We then started to find our stride and soon took the lead through a long range effort from our central midfielder Elizabeth.”

LB Riptide girls Taylor

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A rain-soaked Payton Taylor clashes with Mission Viejo and clears the ball out of danger

“By now it was a game of endurance, with the field resembling a lake in parts, both teams fully committed to try and get through to the final. With just minutes to go, Mission Viejo equalized and when the final whistle blew it was all square at 2-2. This meant it would be decided by a dramatic penalty shootout.”

LB Riptide girls Karina

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Karina Aleknavicuis launches one of many counter attacks during the semi-final battle

“Each team had to nominate an initial five penalty takers, with the team scoring most winning. The first two players on each team converted and then we fell behind with our next two penalties being saved, so our fate was hanging in the balance. Mission had to convert just one of their next two penalties to win, but one went wide and the other hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal.”

LB Riptide girls Morgan

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A flooded field couldn’t stop Laguna’s Morgan Saunders from shutting down Mission Viejo’s offense

“Morgan had to score for our team or it was all over, but she held her nerve and duly found the corner of the net. It was now sudden death, one miss would decide the tie. The next two penalties were converted for both teams and then dramatically our keeper Cailin saved Mission’s final penalty to send us through to Thursday [last] night’s final against Ladera Ranch.”

LB Riptide girls Capri

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Capri Henrichsen fakes out Mission Viejo’s defender before scoring one of the two goals during regular time that led to the shootout

“There were jubilant scenes in the pouring rain as we had triumphed in the most testing conditions against excellent opponents. We are all excited for the next chapter and, hopefully, prevailing in the final, the winner of which then goes to compete in the Section All Star Champions Tournament in San Diego.”

Boys & Girls Club of LB presents Mindfulness Yoga for kids during Ski Week

On Wednesday, Feb 20, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Mindfulness Yoga Day featuring UCLArts & Healing©, Beat the Odds Drumming®, and kids yoga classes.

This special day is happening during Ski Week at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s Canyon Branch; members and kids in the community are invited to attend. 

Activities are designed to “Help children experience and celebrate their true power [through yoga]; a gift that brings peace, kindness, ease and joy to our global family,” according to Don Wenig, Co-Founder of YogaKids®, a nationally recognized program in which the event is modeled after and embraced every day at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Boys and Girls kids

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Kids are invited to Mindfulness Yoga to stay active during Ski Week in Laguna Beach

The activity schedule for the day is:

--1 p.m.: Guided mindfulness storytime – all kids join in!

--2 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Afternoon yoga classes for kids according to age

--3 p.m. & 4 p.m.: Drumming! Beat the Odds is a trauma-informed program that integrates activities from group drumming and counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude.

For added fun, each program area will be running mindfulness activities throughout the day to enhance the involvement for all members. Ed Tech will create healthy smoothies and perform a “watch the clouds outside and observe what you see” activity, group games will be held to support “Mind Body & Soul” enrichment on the playground and in the Games Room, while mindful art projects will take place in the Art Studio. 

This extraordinary day of activities is free for members. Non-members/drop-ins are welcomed and the rate is $40 per day. 

For more information about the Mindfulness Yoga Day, contact Jennifer McDonell, M.A., AMFT, Director of Social Emotional Development at the Club at (949) 715-7424. 

To become a member, or inquire about how the Boys & Girls Club can benefit your child, call (949) 494-2535 or go to

Laguna Beach Football Skills Camp kicks off on Saturday

On Saturday, Feb 9 from 2 - 4 p.m., middle school students that are interested in playing high school football are invited to the free Football Skills Camp presented by LBHS coaches and staff. 

“Our hope is to start a football feeder program for the high school. The idea is for the middle school kids to learn how to execute what the high school football program is doing, so that way they are better prepared when entering high school,” states Ryan Kollock. 

Laguna Beach team

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Photo by Sammer and Luna Tarazi

LBHS football team with Coach John Shanahan 

Students will learn offensive and defensive skills, have individual position instruction, and train in speed and agility. 

The camp will be held at the Guyer Field at LBHS. Bring your cleats and wear athletic clothes. 

To sign up, visit

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.

LBHS Girls Water Polo defeats Los Osos, finishes regular season 26-1 and advances to CIF Playoffs

Photos by Scott Brashier

LBHS Girls Water Polo continued to dominate the pool on Friday, defeating Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 16-3 on “Senior Day,” in the final match of the 2018-19 regular season. The team finishes the regular season 26-1, including 6-0 in Sunset Surf League play, where the Breakers captured first place honors.

LBHS Girls team

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Coaches and team excited after a great match on Friday

The team takes on Mater Dei (17-8) on Thursday at LBHS in the CIF-Southern Section First Round. The Breakers defeated the Monarchs earlier this year, on December 21, 14-6.

LBHS Girls splash

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Goalie Quinn Winter stops a shot from Los Osos

LBHS Girls Cici

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Senior Cici Stewart making a play during Friday’s game

LBHS Girls fans

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Fans cheer on the team from the side with signs held proudly 

LBHS Girls group

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LBHS defeats Los Osos, finishing 26-1 in regular season play and advancing to CIF Playoffs

LBHS Girls robe

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Seniors with coach Ethan Damato 

All five of the team’s graduating seniors will go on to play at the college-level in the fall. Claire Kelly will attend UCSB; Quinn Winter will play at UCLA; Evie Laptin at UCSB; Bryn Giofreddi at Brown; and Cici Stewart at Princeton.

PTA Coffee Talk presents “Cyberwise: No Grownup Left Behind”

Save the date for the next PTA Coffee talk on Wednesday, March 20, where Diana Graber will discuss the important topic of cyber safety with parents. Coffee Talk will take place at Seven7Seven from 8:30 - 10 a.m.

PTA Coffee sunset

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Students are constantly using social media; learn how to keep them safe

Snapchat, Instagram, and Fortnite are just a few social media channels students are using on a daily basis. In this lively presentation, Diana Graber, author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, will offer actionable strategies to help parents of kids at all ages and stages build a healthy and safe relationship with technology. 

To RSVP, visit The event is free to PTA members or a $10 donation for non-members.

Seven 7 Seven is located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Spring registration for Girls Basketball now open at Boys & Girls Club

Registration is now open for the Girls Spring Basketball League at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach-Main Branch. Boys & Girls Club Athletic Coordinator Erik Vasquez has an outstanding reputation among both Club kids and parents for making this league a great experience for everyone involved.

The cost for Club members to participate is $125 per player, which includes a new team uniform. Non-club members who wish to participate for the spring season will be required to pay $125, plus the yearly Club membership of $100. Scholarships are available for qualifying families.

Spring registration team

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Girls Basketball at the Boys & Girls Club is an enriching experience

Player evaluations are mandatory and will be held the week of March 4 - 8. Thereafter, teams are formed. Preseason Camp begins March 11 - 22, practices begin April 1, and games will start on April 15. 

From Kindergarten through the ninth grade, all participants learn basketball skills, enhance their self-esteem, and have a great time being part of a team. Volunteer opportunities are also available for parents interested in coaching teams. 

Annual sponsorship opportunities that support Boys & Girls Club Athletic programs are available, including a family or business name that can be displayed on a colorful banner hung in the Club’s gym for one year. Over 600 Laguna families see these banners each year. 

For more information or to become a member, call (949) 494-2535 or visit

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach seeking donations for Annual Awards Night Ceremony

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is proud to announce its Annual Awards Night Ceremony will be held on Friday, Feb 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canyon Branch. 

The club will be honoring over 200 young people at the event, announce the Youth of the Year, and recognize outstanding volunteers. This is a very special night for all and one that the community looks forward to every year. 

In an effort to relieve Boys and Girls Club families the stress of coordinating dinner before the ceremony and as part of the celebration, the club would like to provide dinner for everyone attending. They are asking for locals’ help in donating any of the food items listed below or by donating funds they can use to purchase the food needed:

--Large green salads

--Garlic bread

--Fruit platters

--Cookie trays 

--Donations to purchase food

All food donations need to be dropped off at the Canyon Branch on the day of the event, February 1, between the hours of noon and 5 p.m.

“Many of you donated last year and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much for all you do for our kids,” said Michelle Fortezzo, chief development officer at Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. 

Email Michelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call (949) 715-7584 and let her know what you would like to donate. 

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Canyon Branch is located at 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, visit

LBHS student seeking 250 new or gently used shoes to help fight global poverty

One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities for someone else in need in a developing country, which is why LBHS sophomore Jessie Rose has launched a shoe drive to collect 250 pairs of new or gently used shoes.

The shoes that Jessie collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls – a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries. 

LBHS student seeking shoes

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Donate shoes to Jessie Rose’s fundraiser for Soles4Souls, the deadline is Feb 3

To schedule a pick-up in the Laguna area, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline to schedule a pick-up is February 3.

Breakers Girls Basketball Club signups open for girls in third to eighth grades

LBHS Girls Basketball Coach Mike Tietz reports that the Breakers Girls Basketball Club has opened up signups for the spring season. He says, “We believe this club program is dramatically improving the development of our youth players and better preparing them for competing at high school level. The teams will be coached by the high school coaching staff (along with my daughter Brianna and me). We run most of the same drills, plays, offenses and defenses that high school team runs. We are focused on developing complete basketball players ready to compete physically, fundamentally and mentally at the high school level and to have the girls enjoying the process.”

Breakers Girls Mike and Brianna

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coach Mike Tietz and his daughter Brianna

These teams involve girls in third through eighth grades. Tietz says, “We will be fielding three teams: a 7th/8th grade team, 5th/6th grade team and a 3rd/4th grade team. This is an inclusive club open for anyone who wants to participate. Players do not have to ‘make the team,’ however, space is limited as we will cut off the signups at 10 players per team unless we have enough for two teams at an age group. Spots are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. We already have 20 players signed up, so those interested should let us know asap if they intend to play this spring. Spread the word so that everyone knows!”

The Breakers Girls Basketball Club will once again be hosting tournaments at Laguna Beach High School that will be run by the girls high school team. Each Breaker team will play from two to five games on the following weekends: April 13-14, April 27-28, May 11-12, and May 25-26.

Breakers Girls practice

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Breakers practicing

Practices (probably at Thurston Middle School) will start March 19 and run through May 26. Practices will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Each team will have one and a half hour practices twice per week. Which teams will practice on what days and times hasn’t been finalized yet.

For returning players who already own a Breakers uniform, the cost is $150. For new players who wish to borrow a team provided Breakers uniform, the cost is $200, and the uniform will need to be returned at the end of the season. For new players wishing to purchase a Breakers uniform to keep and use for future seasons, the cost is $250. (This can also be used as your high school practice jersey.)

To sign up and reserve a spot or for questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

School Board meeting agenda for tonight includes Board recognition of PTA Reflections winners

The agenda for tonight’s (Tuesday, Jan 15) regular LBUSD Board meeting has been posted online here. The agenda includes the oath of office for new Board Member James Kelly at 4:55 p.m. The Board will adjourn to closed session from 5 to 6 p.m. with open session beginning at 6 p.m.

The agenda includes a Board recognition of PTA Reflections winners, as well as an informational presentation about the District’s journey to a K-12 social-emotional learning system. 

School Board track

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Tonight’s LBUSD meeting will provide the community with important schoolwide updates

On August 21, staff presented information regarding the Social Emotional Supports implemented at LBUSD schools during the 2017-2018 school year and ongoing services in 2018-2019. Staff also presented at the Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health regarding LBUSD implementation and more recently presented at the California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference. 

This presentation will include an overview of the information presented at both conferences, and also provide an update to include fall Universal Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screening Data and aligned strategies to support student social and emotional well being.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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