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Laguna Beach

LBHS Boys Water Polo dominates the pool, finishes 2nd in League

Story submitted by LBHS Boosters

Photos by Dave Nash

LBHS Boys Water Polo defeated Huntington Beach Wednesday night in front of an energetic crowd at Corona del Mar High School. The win earned the team a solid 2nd place finish in the super competitive Surf League. Newport Harbor beat Corona del Mar to clinch the league title. 

LBHS Boys Water Polo one

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James Nolan looks to find the back of the net

Colton Gregory scored five goals and goalie Caden Capobianco had 10 saves in the cage. Will Clark and James Nolan each scored twice for the Breakers (18-10, 3-3 in league), who secured a spot in either the CIF Southern Section Division 1 or Division 2 playoffs. Laguna Beach is currently ranked No. 8 in Division 1 and 2; the top eight teams will make the Division 1 draw. 

LBHS Boys Water Polo two

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Colton Gregory looks to make a laser shot into the goal

“It’s been 13 years since we’ve played in Division 1 (Elite 8),” said first year coach Rob Grayeli. “I am excited for the boys to be back in D1 and I know the they are going to be ready for each game.”

LBHS Boys Water Polo three

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Coaches’ time out while the crowd looks on

The Breakers won’t know their final ranking until CIF releases brackets on Saturday morning.

The JV water polo team competed in the Gray Lunde tournament over the weekend. The team started off strong with a win over Los Alamitos, showcasing the strength of their defense and some amazing saves by freshman goalie, Frankie Laptin.

The last game of the tournament was against Santa Margarita. The entire team contributed and ended with a win against the Eagles in their final tournament of the season.

School Board Meeting’s agenda tonight includes presentation on the CA School Dashboard

The agenda for tonight’s (Tuesday, Oct 23) regular LBUSD Board meeting has been posted online here. Open session will begin at 6 p.m. The agenda includes a staff presentation on the California School Dashboard and local indicators.

School Board Meetings building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Tonight’s meeting includes a monthly financial update 

Also on the agenda is a staff proposal to the Board of Education to approve the Independent Contractor Agreement with Leaning On Visions and Education (L.O.V.E.) to provide parent workshops at our District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) meetings.

The staff will propose to the Board of Education to approve the list of change orders in the amount of $50,900 for the LBHS Stadium Restroom-Storage Building and Theater Upgrades project. The original contract amount awarded for the project was for $1,869,320. The total of all change orders is $50,900 or 2.7% of the project. The new total contract amount shall be $1,920,220.

LBHS Football takes down undefeated Ocean View on Senior Night, 38-21

LBHS Football added another emphatic win to its record-breaking 2018 season on Friday, taking down previously undefeated Ocean View High School 38-21 on Senior Night. With the victory, the Breakers improve to 7-2 overall on the season and are positioned calmly to advance to the CIF Playoffs with a win this week against underdog Godinez.

LBHS Football takes down team

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Photo by Luna Tarazi

LBHS Football wins big again

By all accounts, the Seniors dominated on Senior Night, as Sean Nolan, Kai Ball, Shane Lythgoe, and Noah Handel scored all 38 points in the Breakers’ must-win victory over previously undefeated Ocean View, with Caleb Mostajo contributing multiple QB sacks on defense.

Ball finished the game with 131 receiving yards and 48 yards on kickoff returns, while Nolan finished with 92 receiving yards and 87 yards on kickoff and punt returns.

LBHS Football takes down Nolan

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Photo by Luna Tarazi

Senior Sean Nolan leads the Breakers to an emphatic 17-point victory over previously undefeated Ocean View

Junior QB Andrew Johnson rewrote Laguna Beach’s record books, breaking the school’s single season record for touchdown passes with 27 (old record of 26 was set by Austin Paxson in 2009). Johnson is just 18 receptions shy of breaking the school’s single season reception record, and 103 yards short of breaking the school’s single season record for overall passing yards (both records currently held by Danny Lane, 1987). Sean Nolan is also just 11 receptions shy of breaking the school’s single season receptions record, currently held by Chris Paul (2009) and Jake Wheeler (2003).

The Breakers prepare for a Thursday night game against league rival Godinez (2-7). The game will be played at Valley High School in Santa Ana.

Love takes it all as LBHS Girls Tennis earns championship in new league

A challenging new league and some very determined varsity girls under the guidance of Coach Rick Conkey led the LHBS Girls Tennis team to clinch the league title against Edison last week. 

“Our team is from one of the smallest schools in the league and does not have the advantage of numerous tennis clubs in town,” says Coach Rick. “These girls were determined to win.”

Way to go Breakers!

Love takes it all

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Photo by Donna Gee

(L-R) Back row: Nessa Kiani, Hannah Metez, Ella Pachl, Megan Mindte, Jessa Chaney, Vanessa Gee, and Cosette Basto

Front row: Hannah Berry, Ainsley Beresford, Sarah MacCallum, and Camille Deckey (with Coach Conkey)

LBHS Boys Varsity Water Polo captured weekend tournament

Story by Will Clark

Photos by Stacie Capobianco

Over the weekend, the LBHS Boys Varsity Water Polo team captured the Steve Pal Memorial Tournament title for the second consecutive year. After victories against Malibu, Clovis North, Beckman, and Palos Verdes, the Breakers faced off against Northwood High School of Irvine in the finals.

LBHS Boys Varsity ball

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Will Clark sets up the play

Northwood jumped out to an early one-goal lead in the first quarter. Thanks to solid team defense and 13 saves from junior goalie Caden Capobianco, Northwood would only manage to find the back of the net three more times in the remainder of the match. Senior co-captains Colton Gregory and Will Clark paced the breakers with three goals apiece, followed by two goals from freshman Logan McCarroll.

LBHS Boys Varsity team

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The winning team

The Breakers (17-10) will look to follow up their tournament victory with a win against Huntington Beach (13-11) this Wednesday at the Corona del Mar Swimming Pool in their final regular season game of the year.

LBHS students light up the stage at LitLaguna LB Expression Spoken-Word and Hooping event

Photos by Jeff Rovner

LBHS students Chloe

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Chloe Bryan

LBHS students Luka

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Luka Salib

LBHS students Logan

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Logan Leeds

LBHS students Yuika

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Yuika Yoshida

LBHS students MJ

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MJ Walker

Students and staff rally around a new positive culture

By Will Clark 

On Monday, Sept 10, LBHS students signed the No Place for Hate pledge. This pledge signifies that our school values equality and safety and will work against bullying and discrimination of all types. Thanks to the hard work of LBHS staff members Kristin Cowles and Dawn Hunnicutt, our school received its No Place for Hate accreditation during a board meeting before the beginning of the school year. 

“Two years ago, discussions between teachers and administration began about racism and discrimination and prejudice,” said Cowles. “No Place for Hate was a way to deal with problems regarding racism that was systemic and preventative rather than reactionary.” 

No Place for Hate focuses on shifting our school culture to one of greater understanding and acceptance of all kinds of people. In the past, our school has struggled at times with issues of race, particularly in our athletic programs. 

“At times chanting from the stands, that I do not believe was racially motivated, has come off as such. So, we have had a lot of training with our students on how to be respectful fans,” said Athletic Director Lance Neal. 

Neal compared our school environment to a team – we must practice the way we interact with people just as an athletic team practices their sport every day. This practice will eventually lead to a more socially aware student body. 

“In schools today, we get so caught up in grade point averages and test scores that we forget to work on the human piece enough, so the fact that we now have that embedded in our school is a step in the right direction,” said Neal. 

Given the opportunity and the structure to improve as a school will, hopefully, allow for further growth in the future. Attending a No Place for Hate school, the student body will sign the pledge every year; in addition, the school will hold several activities regarding anti-bullying throughout the year. The goal of these activities is to create an environment in which every student feels secure. 

Students and group

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Submitted photo

Cowles introduces the No Place For Hate student representatives to the goals of the program during the club’s first meeting on Monday, Oct 1. Cowles has worked hard to help make LBHS a No Place For Hate School.

“I feel very safe in our school, and I truly believe everyone at this school is lucky to attend a school that values equality so highly,” said senior Dylan Brashier regarding the pledge. 

Cowles believes that, as a school, we can most easily improve our culture by simply being conscientious of what we say and how we joke.

In discussing the importance of minding our words, Cowles refers to the comedic methods of punching-up and punching-down. Punching-up refers to people in a position of less power taking verbal jabs at those in power, while punching-down refers to those groups in power joking or demeaning those groups that have less power. Punching-down most often targets minority groups, and as a result, perpetuates historic prejudice and racism. 

“The biggest place for improvement is what we consider jokes. Paying attention to the impact our words have, especially when we’re joking, is extremely important,” said Cowles.

As for the future, Cowles has the utmost confidence in the LBHS community’s ability to continue to grow.

“My colleagues are some of the best people I have had the pleasure of knowing. These people want to help kids. I am supremely confident in the willingness and energetic nature of the other staff here in their efforts to help change our school for the better,” said Cowles.

Cowles holds high expectations as to what our school can become under this new culture. 

“We are at a point where we will start to become a model that other schools look to. To borrow from US History, we will become like a city on the hill: something that people can look up to and emulate because of who we are, and that will be our reputation,” said Cowles.

LB Boys Cross Country once again proves it belongs with the best teams in the nation

Laguna Beach Boys Cross Country traveled north to race at The Roughrider Invitational held at Woodward Park in Clovis (home of the State Meet) over the weekend. The coaching staff opted out of the small school race to challenge the squad to compete with the larger D1 and D2 schools. 

Laguna Beach Boys race

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Submitted photo

Breakers team races to the finish to maintain #1 ranking in the state

The record-breaking team did not disappoint as they beat highly state-ranked Granada by more than 30 points to take first place. The Breakers recorded a team time of 79:32 to notch the fastest D4 time in Woodward Park history. The Varsity team consisted of Sebastian Fisher 15:46, Ryan Smithers 15:47, Logan Brooks 15:53, Zach Falkowski 16:01, Mateo Bianchi 16:01, Cal Neilson 16:16, Will Compton 17:00, and Daniel Kimball 17:17.

The Breakers are currenty ranked 1st in CIF and 1st in State.

The lower levels also ran well as the Frosh/Soph team took 2nd place and the JV team, which ran the Varsity small school race, placed 10th out of 32 teams. 

LBHS Football loses heartbreaker on Saturday against top-ranked Western

LBHS Football was on the losing end of a heartbreaker on Saturday against top-ranked Western High School, a school three times its size. The final score was 47 to 35.

The game was originally scheduled to be played on Friday but was rescheduled due to rain and lightning.

All the players were on the field warming up [on Friday] when it started raining and we could see lightning in the distance around 6:45 p.m.,” said a fan by email. “They postponed for half an hour but the rain just kept getting heavier, and lightning moving closer. So they moved us to the gym. Finally around 8 p.m. they let us know it would be moved to Saturday afternoon.”

LHBS muddy

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Photo by Luna Tarazi

LBHS Football put up a good fight against a very tough Western High School team Saturday on the road

“We looked awesome in the first half driving down the field at will,” continued the fan. “We also scored 2 TDs that were called back. Such a bummer, especially against a team like that!

“Despite the loss, the game built the boys’ confidence seeing how easy it was for us to score on such a top-ranked team. They realized just how far they’ve come competing at higher levels. The coaches have done an amazing job bringing this team together pulling the best out of our players. They truly care about these guys both on and off the field.” 

Shane Lythgoe had another outstanding game, scoring 2 TDs. QB Andrew Johnson also connected with Sean Nolan, Kai Ball and Noah Diver on TD passes, finishing the game with 292 yards passing and 4 TDs. Johnson is now second in LBHS history in season TD passes with 25 (the record is 26).

LHBS Johnson

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Photo by Luna Tarazi

Junior QB Andrew Johnson is 2 TDs away from breaking the school record for most TD passes in a season

Laguna looks to rebound on Friday night against Ocean View (8-0), a must-win for the team to remain in playoff contention. It is Senior Night, with festivities kicking off at 6:30 p.m.

Bring the family out and come give our boys a cheer!

PTA Coffee Talk presents ways families can laugh more and avoid rebellion on Oct 17

On Wednesday, Oct 17 from 8:30 - 10 a.m., PTA Coffee talk will discuss four things to deepen respect, avoid rebellion and enjoy more laughter amongst families. The talk will be hosted by Tyler Durman and held at Seven 7 Seven.

PTA Coffee Talk school

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The PTA Coffee Talk series is intended solely to help parents in the community

The theme resides around helping families live better stories. Being a parent can be challenging and the talk gives families a new framework to help them better understand their role and kids with greater clarity. 

Helping parents is the only thing the PTA Coffee Talk thinks about doing. This talk is directed to give solutions and guide interactions as parents walk through the teenage years. 

PTA Coffee Talk is free to members or a 10-dollar donation. 

To RSVP, visit

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