Local AYSO squad is runner-up

The Fountain Valley Under-19 girls' soccer team, Kiss My Grass of AYSO Region 5, took second place during Presidents Day weekend at the Colorado River Invitational Soccer Tournament. The tournament drew more than 110 teams from California, Arizona and Nevada and was held at Bullhead City, Ariz.

Fountain Valley reached the U19 title game, where it fell, 2-0, to the host team, Challenge of Bullhead City, on Monday.

In a semifinal game played earlier on Monday, Jenny Soliman slipped a shot just inside the left goal post with under a minute to play to give Kiss My Grass a 1-0 win over Moreno Valley Insanity.

Members of the Fountain Valley team include: Jenny Soliman, Ashley Greene, Kendra Martinez, Michelle Mendoza, Alex Capuano, Alyx Merickel, Kaitlyn Ramirez, Kalei Hauber, Desiree Fisher, Megan Molina and Taylor Merickel.

Kiss My Grass will participate in the Area E, K and Q spring season starting March 3.


Gane is a national award nominee

Edison High graduate Luke Gane, a student and member of the football team at UCLA, is one of four finalists for the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award. The other three finalists for the award, which first was awarded in 2009, are David Lerner of Florida, Rex Burkhead of Nebraska and Wayne Crawford of North Carolina St.

Gane, a survivor of Aplastic Anemia, is a redshirt sophomore tight end who saw action on special teams for the Bruins during the 2011 season. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

"I was approached by our (UCLA) media department at practice one day and asked if I wouldn't mind being submitted for consideration," Gane said. "I didn't have any hesitation about it and told them that I didn't mind. A couple of weeks later I did a phone interview and shortly after that, I learned that I was among the four finalists."

Gane, a sociology major, graduated from Edison in 2010 and walked onto the UCLA football team. In July, through the Make a Wish Foundation, the 20-year-old flew to Denver, Colo., to meet Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

The experience left a lasting impression on Gane.

"I knew he'd be a great guy but it was way better than I expected when I met him in person," Gane said. "He's just a nice, humble man and the way he talks to you, he makes you feel so at ease...it was like we were teammates. We talked about football, nutrition, different things. It was really a great experience."

The winner of the UARDC award will determined by online voting, which is open through Sunday. The award recipient will be honored Wednesday at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. Online voting can be found at http://www.upliftingathletes.org/vote.

— Mike Sciacca

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