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Sports Briefs: Flintridge Prep boys’ squads earn state awards

Sports Briefs: Flintridge Prep boys’ squads earn state awards
The Rebels boys’ tennis team, coached by Art Cano, combined for a 3.93 GPA this past season, which was the best average of any boys' tennis team in the state as was announced by the CIF State office on Wednesday. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

Rebels merit pair of top honors

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No strangers to athletic success, the Flintridge Prep boys’ swimming and tennis teams were lauded Wednesday afternoon for their academic prowess as the CIF State office honored 33 academic state champions.

To win an award, a squad has to earn the top grade-point average in its respective sport in California.

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Both Flintridge Prep teams were the only programs from the area to merit the academic honors, though the Prep League was well-represented with archrival Pasadena Poly boasting four winning squads (boys’ basketball, girls’ golf and water polo and football).

The Rebels boys’ tennis team combined for a 3.93 GPA in a season in which the squad tied for second in the Prep League standings with Chadwick.

Flintridge Prep’s boys’ swimming squad turned in their sport’s premiere GPA of 3.88 in a season in which the Rebels clinched their sixth consecutive league crown, finished with six individual league champions and placed 10th at the CIF Southern Section Division III championships.

CIF State Academic champions will be presented a banner for their accomplishments.

Rebels get all-league nods

Throughout Prep League play, the Flintridge Prep softball team battled for a playoff spot, one it eventually received to set the stage for an impressive run to the CIF Southern Section Division VII second round after a pair of wins.

While the Rebels’ success in league was mixed, they had a quintet of individual standouts recognized on the All-Prep League team with all of them boasting some huge numbers.

Senior Natalie Dale, junior Melissa Grande and freshman Emma Stellar garnered first-team accolades, while second-team selections were had by junior Libby Penn and sophomore Olivia Stevens.

Flintridge Prep put together an 11-8 season in which it went 6-6 in league for fourth place ahead of advancing to the second round where it lost, 13-4, to San Gabriel Mission following wins over Coastal Christian (22-0 score) and Santa Clarita Valley International (23-6).

Stellar, a catcher, put up some flat out ridiculous numbers that rivaled anyone in the area and were all the more impressive considering she was just a freshman.

“Emma Stellar was an outstanding freshman who had a remarkable season,” Rebels coach Julie Mejia said. “She led our team in nearly every category, but more than that was just a fantastic leader and teammate with the humble but strong presence in every game.”

Stellar hit .548 (34 for 62) with 33 runs, 39 RBI, 11 doubles, three triples and eight home runs to go along with 11 walks and eight stolen bases. She had an on-base percentage of .600 and an excellent slugging percentage of 1.210 as she shared team most valuable player honors with Grande.

Grande, a reigning All-Area pick who played centerfield and shortstop, notched a .517 (31 for 60) average with 28 runs, 25 RBI, 11 doubles, 11 stolen bases and a .592 on-base percentage.

“Another strong leader for our team and had her best season at Prep,” Mejia said. “She played shortstop and centerfield where she made some great plays in every position covering so much ground for us. As a hitter, she had so many clutch hits for us this season and was a solid presence for us in the box.”

A former two-time All-Area selection, Dale returned to the team after missing her junior season. The shortstop, who wasn’t even a certainty to play until just before her senior campaign commenced, hit .481 with a .556 on-base percentage as the team’s lead-off hitter. She scored 32 runs, stole 13 bases and drove in 10 runs.

“Our only senior, she had a slow beginning of the season, but then turned it on and finished with a bang,” Mejia said. “She is a fantastic shortstop with incredible range, making some plays that you don’t see regularly on the high school softball field. She covers so much ground with her speed and natural reaction. As a hitter, she led the team in singles and stolen bases and is just a force to be reckon with on the base paths.”

An all-around great athlete, Penn hit .429 (24 for 56) with 25 runs, 18 RBI, nine doubles, 11 walks and 11 stolen bases, while Stevens also hit .429 (27 for 63) with 17 runs, 23 RBI, 10 walks and nine stolen bases.

Spartan Basketball Camp set

The annual Spartan Basketball Camp, conducted by La Cañada High boys’ basketball coach Tom Hofman, will be held.

The camp will take place at La Cañada High’s auxiliary gymnasium, 4463 Oak Grove Drive, La Cañada.

The session will occur from 1:15 to 5 p.m. Monday through June 22.

For more information, call (661) 252-1658 or visit the camp’s website at www.spartanbasketballcamp.com.

Youth football registration

The La Cañada Gladiators Youth Football program is accepting registration and payment online for the 2018 season.

Applications are available on the Gladiator webpage at www.lcgladiators.org. The program is open to girls and boys, ages 6-14. The Gladiators field one flag team and four tackle squads. Practice begins July 23 and the regular season starts in early September and ends the first weekend in November.

Early registration is encouraged, as spaces fill up quickly and team rosters are capped at 33 players for each tackle team and 20 players for the flag squad.

For more football information, contact Kevin Lacey at (818) 248-1800 or email at klacey@lcgladiators.org.

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