Verdugo Hills Moves On While Still in Mourning

A week after teammate Julius Riofrir was struck in the head by a batted ball and five days after he was taken off life support systems and died, the Verdugo Hills American Legion team returned to the field Sunday.

Verdugo Hills lost its first game to North Hollywood West, 12-0, but recovered to defeat Studio City South, 7-4.

“It’s getting to be the time where the kids need to play,” Verdugo Hills Coach Fred Lingad said. “They went through a lot this week and they’re still in shock a little bit. It showed the first game but by the second they were getting back into it.”


Gaucho gain: Cal State Northridge men’s volleyball recruit Andy Rivera has enrolled at UC Santa Barbara.

The City Section 3-A Division player of the year, Rivera originally committed to Northridge, but has decided to attend UCSB after the Northridge volleyball program was eliminated on June 11.


Rivera, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, helped lead Eagle Rock High to its first 3-A title.


Goal-oriented: Kristin Kiley-Boynton, a goalkeeper who backstopped the Grant High girls’ soccer team to City Section titles in 1993 and 1994, said she probably will return to the sport this season as a walk-on at Cal State Northridge.

Kiley-Boynton has attended Valley College for two years and played women’s basketball. She anticipates being in goal for the Matadors by August.

“I got sick of soccer and went to basketball but the offers I had to go on, they just didn’t work out,” Kiley-Boynton said. “I need to finish up my [Associate in Arts] degree this summer and then I can go to Northridge.”

As a senior at Grant, Kiley-Boynton posted 16 shutouts and a 0.80 goals-against average, earning second-team all-region honors from The Times. She has not played competitive soccer in two years.


SLO walk: Brian Thoma, 1997 Southern Section Division III champion in the boys’ 300-meter intermediate hurdles for Chaminade High, will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and walk on to the Mustangs’ track and field team.

Thoma, an all-region selection in the intermediates the last two years, has bests of 39.04 in the intermediates, 15.08 in the 110 high hurdles and 49.7 in the 400.

Final five: The 14-and-under Pumas of Newbury Park qualified for the national softball tournament by winning five games on the final day of a qualifying tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Pumas will play in the national tournament in Rockford, Ill., Aug. 5-10.