Behind a complete game shutout by pitcher Gabby Ortega, the JGHS Eagles Softball team defeated Magnolia High School 10-0 by 5-inning mercy rule to advance to the quarterfinals in the CIF-SS Division 7 playoffs.
It was a mismatch from the beginning, as Ortega set the Sentinels down in order in the top of the first, while the Eagle bats came to life with 4 runs in the bottom half. It would be more than enough run support.
The Eagles continued to pile on, however, as a big 3-run home run by Julia Cole to deep left-center field effectively put the game away in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Cole (#23) was the ultimate cleanup hitter, finishing the day 3-3 and just a single short of the cycle.
Magnolia’s defense didn’t help, as the Sentinels made 7 costly errors, including 4 in the first inning when the Eagles sent 10 batters to the plate.
JGHS also won in a 5-inning shutout in round 1 of the playoffs, traveling over 200 miles to beat Shandon High School 14-0 on June 3. So far, then, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 24-0 in these playoffs.
Up next: A home game on Tuesday, June 8 against Alverno Heights Academy who beat Bethel Christian Riverside by a score of 12-5 on Saturday.
The NBA playoffs are coming fast–the set date for them to start is Tuesday, May 18, however it is not the actual first round of the playoffs that start that day, it is the “play-in tournament” that starts on May 18. The play-in tournament is the new format that the NBA started this season where the numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 seeds play against each other to make it into the standard 8-team playoffs. The winner of the matchup between the 7 and 8 seeds is automatically in and secures the number 7 seed. The loser between the 7 and 8 seed still has a chance because whoever wins between the 9 and 10 seed plays against the loser between the 7 and 8 seed. The winner of that game then secures the 8 seed.
These “play-in” games will last from May 18-21. The traditional 8-team playoffs begin on May 22 and the Finals will start on July 8.
Here are the standings for both conferences (if the season ended today):
1. Philadelphia 76ers
1. Utah Jazz
2. Brooklyn Nets
2. Phoenix Suns
3. Milwaukee Bucks
3. LA Clippers
4. New York Knicks
4. Denver Nuggets
5. Atlanta Hawks
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Miami Heat
6. Portland Trailblazers
*Play-In Teams (7-10)
*Play-In Teams (7-10)
7. Boston Celtics
7. LA Lakers
8. Charlotte Hornets
8. Golden State Warriors
9. Washington Wizards
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. Indiana Pacers
10. San Antonio Spurs
Standings as of Monday, May 10, 2021
Many analysts and fans feel that the favorites and the team to beat this year is the Brooklyn Nets because of the fact that they have 3 superstar players (pictured). In the East, many people see the Bucks and the Sixers as the only teams that can compete with the Nets. And in the West, most people think that the Nuggets, Clippers, and Lakers are the teams who are most likely to make it out of the West, even though the Utah Jazz and surprisingly the Phoenix Suns are having great seasons and holding the 1 and 2 seed, respectively.
Many NBA fans, however, just don’t believe in Utah or Phoenix, simply because of the fact that they have never seen these two teams do some serious things in the playoffs. Fans see the Lakers as the favorites to win the West if they are fully healthy (LeBron James has been dealing with the worst injury of his career), and can also see them beating the Nets if they meet up in the Finals. The Lakers have four games remaining in the regular season (ending Sunday, May 16) to try and avoid the play-in tournament, as they are currently 1 game behind the #6 seed Trailblazers.
Our Eagle Athlete Spotlight is on Zoey Williams, an 18-year old senior at John Glenn High School who is in the unique position of being a girl on the boys’ baseball team.
Her thought process behind joining baseball is that she’s setting a good example for girls. She believes that women and girls can do as much equal hard work as men and boys.
Zoey was interested in playing baseball because she wanted to try something different. Growing up she played Little League baseball until she was 10 years old, and then she transferred to softball. In addition to baseball and softball, she also plays volleyball.
Transferring from Artesia to Glenn, it was time to meet Zoey and learn more about her, so I conducted an interview with her in early May, and this is what she had to say:
Question: What was your thought process when considering baseball at Glenn? Did the fact that the sport is led by men affect your decision at all? Does it make a difference for you?
Zoey: My thought process for considering baseball at Glenn was how I would be treated coming onto the team by the other players and parents. But I kept telling myself at the end of the day I’m setting an example that women can do as much equal hard work as men. The fact that the sport is all men didn’t change my decision on still joining. Being the only female on varsity baseball for Glenn has been different for me because I have to work ten times harder than the rest of my teammates–the throw is longer compared to playing softball and the uniforms are bigger than usual so I have to get special uniforms (laughing), but everything else isn’t really different only because I’m treated equally like how the boys who are my teammates get treated.
Question: What made you want to join baseball instead of softball?
Zoey: I chose to do baseball over softball because I wanted to try something new for my senior year and show others to not be afraid to join something they want to do. But I was on the softball team and ended up leaving the team to join baseball full time with the boys.
Question: What position do you play?
Zoey: I play anywhere in the infield except for pitcher, but my main position is catcher. When I’m not catching, shortstop is my secondary position.
Question: How have the games been going so far?
Zoey: I thought the games were really good, in my opinion, being that I started both games as catcher.
Question:As a kid did you ever play sports? Did you play Little League or softball?
Zoey: As a kid I played T-ball and Little League baseball until I was 10, which then I transferred to softball for 12u all the way up to now which will be 18u going into college level playing for a college. Growing up since I was a kid I also raced dirt bikes and quads (4-wheelers) and I played volleyball which I still do and enjoy very much.
We had the MLS start again in the U.S., and in Europe the Champions League had an exciting week. However, during all this, the news broke of a so-called “European Super League” that was in the works and ready to take part in the next two years. Multiple big teams in Europe from across the top 5 leagues came together and agreed to start their own league apart from UEFA and FIFA: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, all of which are very prestigious clubs in Europe.
Just hours after receiving all the criticism and rants, two teams decided to pull out of the “Super League” competition immediately. Days later more teams were pulling out of the league due to the backlash. Only two teams were left–Real and Atletico de Madrid, who are both from Spain. The Super League, which would have rivaled the pan-European Champions League organized by the European football body UEFA, waspresented as a way to “provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football.”
Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez was the man behind all this when he came up with the idea to make a new league. Even though he said the move was designed “to make football better,” this clearly would have made it worse. He even said in an interview that, “When money does not flow from the rich clubs to the poor clubs, everyone suffers… It’s impossible to make signings like Mbappe and Haaland, in general, not just for Real Madrid, without the Super League… If we don’t sign Mbappe this summer, I don’t think any fan will shoot himself in the head. They know we’re doing our best, and if things don’t happen, it’s because they’re impossible.”
A key problem was the proposal for all founding members of the 20-team league to keep their place regardless of their performance. Soccer teams across Europe have to perform well in their domestic leagues in order to qualify for the lucrative Champions League. And, unlike in most American league sports, teams who aren’t performing well face the possibility of being sent to the league below in the structure.
“The dream in football is that the smallest team can rise from the bottom to the top,” Michael Brunskill, a spokesman for the Football Supporters’ Association, said.
There’s a saying going on that states, “Created by the poor; stolen by the riches.” That is exactly what has happened here–it’s not about the passion of the fans or the players, it is all about the money for the owners who just want more and more. It is pathetic that all the rich soccer history just wanted to be thrown away for money. Every fan had the right to voice their opinion on this and not one fan said anything good that supported this decision made solely by the owners.
Fans can all agree that this Super League would have ruined football forever. As profitable as it may have been for owners, with fans, football would not be the same and it’s good that they realized it before it was too late.
23-year-old welterweight boxer and rising star Vergil Ortiz, Jr. now has a perfect record of 17-0 with 17 knockouts, to go with his WBO International welterweight title, after his most recent victory on March 20 against Maurice Hooker in Fort Worth, Texas.
The fight went on until the 7th round. Throughout the fight, Ortiz landed more punches than Hooker did, and both fighters showed off their speed and endurance. Ortiz very much wanted to go the 12-round distance with Maurice Hooker. However, in the 7th round, Hooker took a knee as a result of an injury. Hooker said he twisted his hand as he was trying to get a punch in. The fight came to an abrupt end on a TKO on account of Hooker’s injury, and Ortiz kept his undefeated streak going.
After losing the boxing match against Ortiz, Hooker commented on his opponent’s skills and power inside the ring by saying that he believed Ortiz, Jr. is soon to become a champion in the boxing world.
It’s been a lifelong journey for Vergil Ortiz, Jr. At the age of 5, Ortiz began training with his father to become a boxer. Raised in Grand Prairie, Texas by his Mexican parents, he started boxing competitively at 8 years old and quickly surpassed his competitors in the ring.
As an amateur boxer, Ortiz had an impressive record, and his talent was quickly recognized by the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De la Hoya. In 2016, Vergil Ortiz signed with Golden Boy. Ortiz made his professional debut on July 30, 2016. Since his professional career took off, Ortiz has beaten every single one of his opponents by way of knockout.
Ortiz never even boxed beyond the 6th round until during a fight against Samuel Vargas on July 24, 2020. During the first few rounds, Ortiz used jabs with impressive accuracy. Throughout the fight, Ortiz was keeping Vargas at bay with his jabs. In the first round, Ortiz showed how effective he could be at finding new angles in the ring. He was able to get Vargas into a vulnerable position that left him exposed to Ortiz’s body shots. The fight came to a stop after Vargas received several hits to the body and head.
Vergil Ortiz, Jr.’s record speaks for itself in and out of the ring. He is an intelligent and effective boxer. His level of discipline and determination is inspiring and proves that he is deserving of better opponents.
At the beginning of the NBA season, many people and also players were really convinced that this year’s NBA season was not going to have an All-Star Game due to Covid-19 and the restrictions. The NBA had even mentioned at the beginning of the season that there was no interest in having an All-Star Game. A lot of players felt that the whole point of the All-Star Weekend is for it to be a very entertaining weekend with a sold out arena and fans seeing the best players in the world go at it. However, with Covid-19 there would be only a very limited number of fans that would be able to attend the event, which kind of defeats the purpose of All-Star Weekend.
Furthermore, teams like the Lakers and Heat–who were the last two teams standing in the bubble–felt that they deserved that little break and should not have to play in an extra game. Even after all that, the NBA decided to have an All-Star Game anyways. Players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and De’Aaron Fox shared their thoughts on the NBA deciding after all to have one, and they did not like the idea of it.
LeBron James claimed that the All-Star Game being confirmed was, “A slap in the face.” Giannis also had something to say, which was, “I don’t care about the All-Star Game.” And De’Aaron Fox also shared his thoughts saying, “To be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid.”
Still, all that passed by, and NBA All-Star Weekend was finally happening. This year’s All-Star Weekend was very entertaining as it mostly always is, however it wasn’t the usual weekend that fans were used to. There were some big changes into how the schedule would be. This time it wasn’t an actual whole weekend where each day had different events, like the celebrity game, the rising stars game, the dunk contest, the 3-point contest, the skills competition, and then the actual All-Star Game. This year they did not do the celebrity game or the rising stars game, but they did do the 3-point contest, dunk contest, and skills competition.
They decided to do it all in one day though this time, with the skills competition and the 3-point contest being before the game, and the dunk contest being held during halftime. The winners for each event were, Domantas Sabonis for the skills competition, Steph Curry for the 3-point contest, and Anfernee Simons for the dunk contest.
Lastly was the All-Star Game itself. It was Team LeBron vs Team Durant. Team LeBron’s players were Giannis, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic for the starting five. Team Lebron’s reserves were Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, and Ben Simmons. Team Durant’s starting lineup did not include himself due to injury, but his starting lineup was Bradley Beal, Joel Embid, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. His reserves were Devin Booker, James Harden, Zach Lavine, Donovan Mitchell, Julias Randle, Nikola Vucevic, and Zion Williamson.
The game went pretty well, and it was very entertaining watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard drain threes from all over the place. Team LeBron ended up dominating and winning by a score of 170-150. Giannis Antetokounmpo won All-Star game MVP, finishing with 35 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, and shooting a perfect 16 for 16.
Friday, March 13, 2020. Does that date sound familiar to you, California? That was the date everything changed: the whole state, and most of the country, shut down.
We didn’t know it then, but that would be the last day any of us students–any of us athletes– would step on campus that year.
This shutdown is tough on everyone, but it is especially tough on the athletes like me who have been anxiously waiting to get back together with our team, back to our second families.
An athlete all throughout high school, I played both volleyball and basketball. And like most student athletes, I dreamt of senior year. I looked forward to being a senior and playing ball with my teammates.
Early on, I made a promise to myself that in my senior year, one of my teams–or hopefully both– would go to CIF.
We almost achieved that dream last year during my junior year. Both my volleyball team and my basketball team came close. We were one volleyball game and one basketball game away from going to CIF. But we didn’t make it. My teammates and I were devastated, but we told ourselves 2021 was going to be our year.
But COVID shattered that dream too.
Flashforward a year later to March of 2021, and we are FINALLY getting a chance to be back on campus and back with our teams!
Personally, I am so happy! But I am not the only one.
“How do you feel to be back with your team and to be playing football again?” I asked Senior football player Anthony Lira.
“It’s an amazing feeling just simply because I’m able to come back and be reunited with my teammates after a long year of being under quarantine in the whole pandemic. It’s just uplifting and brings back so much spirit to each player.”
-JGHS Football Captain Anthony Lira
Sports bring so much passion to high school campuses and allow students to build lasting relationships.
We know our teammates are there for us during the blood, sweat, and tears of everyday practice and the wins or losses of every game too.
I am excited to be back, and I am anxious to see how the season goes for all of the sports teams this year.
We are in the fourth quarter; we are down 3 out of 4; but the game is not over. We are in this ‘til the end!
So, in what are sure to be guesses that look completely foolish in six months, it’s prediction time!
2021 Standings Prediction
1. Los Angeles Dodgers 2. San Diego Padres 3. San Francisco Giants 4. Arizona Diamondbacks 5. Colorado Rockies
1. St. Louis Cardinals 2. Milwaukee Brewers 3. Chicago Cubs 4. Cincinnati Reds 5. Pittsburgh Pirates
1. Atlanta Braves 2. New York Mets 3. Washington Nationals 4. Philadelphia Phillies 5. Miami Marlins
1. Houston Astros 2. Los Angeles Angels 3. Oakland Athletics 4. Seattle Mariners 5. Texas Rangers
1. Chicago White Sox 2. Minnesota Twins 3. Cleveland Indians 4. Kansas City Royals 5. Detroit Tigers
1. New York Yankees 2. Toronto Blue Jays 3. Tampa Bay Rays 4. Boston Red Sox 5. Baltimore Orioles
NL MVP: Mookie Betts (Dodgers)
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom (Mets)
NL ROY: Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates)
AL MVP: Mike Trout (Angels)
AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole (Yankees)
AL ROY: Casey Mize (Tigers)
NL Wild Card Teams: Padres and Mets
NL Pennant Winner: L.A. Dodgers
AL Wild Card Teams: Twins and Blue Jays
AL Pennant Winner: Yankees
World Champion: Dodgers
The Dodgers and Yankees will meet in the World Series for the 12th time overall, and for the first time since 1981. Throughout their storied rivalry, the Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in 8 of 11 contests between 1941 and 1981, with the only Dodger victories coming in 1955 (Brooklyn’s only championship), a Koufaxian sweep in 1963, and a 1981 title led by Fernandomania. This time, exactly 40 years since they last met in October, the Dodgers will prevail again, becoming the first MLB champs to repeat since the Yankees did it from 1998-2000.
There are my fearless predictions. I’ll be sure to check back in with you in October to let you know how wrong I was; but, in the meantime, enjoy the return of baseball!