Remember the finest moments YEAR IN REVIEW The best stories of 2013

STATE CHAMP—Thousand Oaks’ Luigi Colella won the pole vault event at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis. 
RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers STATE CHAMP—Thousand Oaks’ Luigi Colella won the pole vault event at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn NewspapersConejo Valley teams, stars and clutch role players made 2013 memorable in the world of sports.

Oaks Christian High’s baseball team won a CIF-Southern Section championship, and Luigi Colella of Thousand Oaks catapulted to a state pole vault title, but many others had their moments in the sun.

Here are the top 10 sports stories of 2013, as judged by the committee of one:


The Westlake-Oaks Christian football rivalry skyrocketed into an entirely different stratosphere this fall.

Westlake’s Chase Jasmine blocked an Oaks Christian punt and WHS teammate Lexi Isham returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with 22 seconds remaining in a thrilling and improbable 39-36 Warriors’ victory for the Marmonte League championship.

IN THE AIR—Josh Brooks, right, and the Westlake High boys’ basketball team reached the CIF-SS Division 2A championship game. 
MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers IN THE AIR—Josh Brooks, right, and the Westlake High boys’ basketball team reached the CIF-SS Division 2A championship game. MICHAEL COONS/Acorn NewspapersThe teams might not play each other again for a while. The Marmonte will split into two leagues, and Oaks Christian is expected to move into a separate parochial division.



Traditional Westlake powers continued to dominate the local scene.

The Westlake boys’ volleyball team, under the direction of head coach Doug Magorien, won its fifth straight Marmonte League title this spring.

Head coach Frank Marino has guided the Westlake girls’ soccer squad to five straight league crowns. The Warriors are going for title No. 6 this winter.



FISH IN WATER—Sara Christiansen helped the Newbury Park girls’ swim team capture itsfirst Marmonte League title in the spring. 
RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers FISH IN WATER—Sara Christiansen helped the Newbury Park girls’ swim team capture itsfirst Marmonte League title in the spring.RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn NewspapersNewbury Park’s girls’ swim team won its first Marmonte title this spring.

The Panthers tied Royal with 383 points at the league finals, but a nine-point NPHS victory against the Highlanders earlier in the season secured the Black Cat Attack victory. Elise Begg, Sara Christiansen, Tori Coleman and Grace O’Toole picked up big wins for Newbury Park.

7. FORE!

Oaks Christian’s boys’ golf team made it all the way to the state tournament.

The Lions, who finished third overall at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, became the fourth Ventura County team to earn a top-three finish at state, joining Westlake (third in 2009), Royal (second in 2007) and Thousand Oaks (first in 1978).

Matt Walling, Peter Griffith, Tom Weaver, Sam Orue and Dominic Rector led the Lions on the links.


Jordan Cameron, a Newbury Park High graduate, is enjoying a breakout NFL season with the Cleveland Browns.

Cameron has established himself as one of the best tight ends in the league. The third-year pro has 75 catches for 848 yards and seven touchdowns this season.


The Oaks Christian girls’ volleyball squad reached the CIF-SS Division 2AA championship match against undefeated Santiago.

The Lions fell in the finals, but not before taking a set away from the Orange County power.

Seniors Shelby Livingstone (bound for Rice University), Jessi Bierling, Jackie Berens, Grace Napolitano, Drew Howard and Katherine Pastewka led Oaks Christian on the court.



Westlake’s boys’ cross country team won a state championship in 2012.

For an encore, the Warriors took second place at the state meet this fall.

Senior Mikey Giguere, who verbally committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo earlier this month, established himself as one of the finest long-distance runners in Westlake history. He finished third overall in the Division 2 boys’ state race in 15 minutes, 21 seconds at Fresno’s Woodward Park. Warrior teammates Sean O’Bryan, Chris Costa, Graham Rigby, Jon Cantle, Matt Soules and Jimmy De Mello bolstered Westlake at Woodward Park.


Westlake’s boys’ basketball team was a high-flying, entertaining bunch that scored with flair and pressed with fury. And the Warriors knew how to win.

The Warriors won their first Marmonte League title since 1996 en route to an appearance in the CIF-SS Division 2A championship. WHS lost in the section finale to Redondo Union.

Grant Lozoya, Larry Bush, Josh Brooks, Isaiah Brooks, Marcos Soto, Alex Egurbide, Jason Blumhardt and Johnny Schneider propelled the Warriors.



Luigi “Gino” Colella of Thousand Oaks is the best pole vaulter in California.

The Lancer cleared 16 feet, 4 inches during the CIF State Track and Field Championships in the boys’ pole vault finals in June.

Colella, a senior this year, will try to defend his title this spring.

“To be great you need to be pushed,” Colella told the Acorn in June. “It’s good to see my hard work paying off.”


Oaks Christian’s baseball team has been on the cusp of greatness for years.

This season, the Lions eliminated almost all drama on the path to their coronation.

Oaks Christian secured its first CIF-SS championship in school history by overwhelming El Rancho 4-0 in the Division 4 final in Riverside.

Phillip Bickford, one of the best amateur pitchers in the United States, struck out 18 El Rancho batters. Bickford turned down a multimillion dollar deal by the Toronto Blue Jays, who drafted him 10th overall this spring, to pitch for Cal State Fullerton.

Jack Kruger, Brandon Evans, Austin Sreden, Cody Phillips, Nate Palace, Cole Taylor, Blake Groff, R.J. Rudzitis, Jon Adler, Bryce Battle, Armon Battle, Jordan Siditsky, Chris Davis Jr., Riley Helland, Chris Pann, Tyson Quolas, Spencer Vogelbach, Kyle Ohanian, Jackson Fine, Christian Stoutland, Brent Schatz, Harrison Hoff, Zane Dark and Noah Prewett aided the Lions. Tim Penprase was the head coach.




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