Lion girls’ soccer action heats up on pitch

HEAD IN THE GAME—Oaks Christian High’s Nicole Zake, front, battles for the ball during a 1-0 win against Moorpark earlier this season. The Lions play Westlake at 6:15 p.m. Jan. 13 at home.

Celebrate the kids

Football stars rule the All-Acorn Team, including star QB Ben Gulbranson

All-league teams have afflicted this great nation like scurvy whelming, but not quite overwhelming, Judge Smails’ Flying Wasp. Anybody with a pulse these days gets named to a first team, second team, third team, honorable mention, auxiliary team, the Faber double secret probation second team or postmodern galactic funk of the moon Europa supernova team. Naturally, I decided to assemble […]


Take a stroll down memory lane for the Acorn’s top sports moments of 2019

In 1978, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson crooned “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.” Nineteen years later, Paula Cole wondered “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” In 2002, mclusky answered with the song of the century, “Alan Is A Cowboy Killer.” As we reflect on 2019, we know that Alan killed the Dallas Cowboys but not […]

By the bolt of Zeus! Smith stars behind scenes

From growing up in Acorn country to celebrating 30 years with NFL’s Chargers

Chris Smith always thought he’d be a teacher. He planned to develop the minds of high school students while sharing his love of sports as a prep football coach. That was the plan, at least. But plans change. The 53-year-old’s career path was forever altered more than three decades ago when he accepted a part-time gig as student equipment manager […]

Agoura’s DeMattia bound for Cal

GOLDEN BEAR—Agoura High girls’ water polo star Maddie DeMattia signed a National Letter of Intent to continue playing the sport for Cal. The Chargers have started strong this season, winning the Villa Park Classic and clobbering Royal 20-3 in their Coastal Canyon League opener last week.

Case closed

Acorn legend is the greatest QB in Northern Arizona football history

Make space for Case Cookus on NFL draft boards. Yahoo Sports NFL draft analyst Eric Edholm called Cookus, a Northern Arizona University quarterback, an “NFL Draft QB sleeper worth tracking.” Cookus, a Thousand Oaks High graduate, is being hailed by many as the next great passer to come out of the Football Championship Subdivision, which was home to Steve McNair, […]

Claiborne out at Calabasas

FOOTBALL /// Calabasas Coyotes

Chris Claiborne rode out of town on a Trojan horse. Claiborne, a USC graduate who spent eight seasons toiling in the NFL as a player, resigned as head coach of Calabasas High’s football team on Dec. 6. In his two seasons at the helm, the Coyotes went 17-6 overall. Calabasas lost in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division […]

Party of five: Everyone’s in the hunt

All five teams expect to contend for Marmonte title

All five Marmonte League high school girls’ soccer teams expect to contend for league and CIF-Southern Section postseason glory. Newbury Park, the reigning Marmonte champion, will try to continue winning with first-year head coach Salvador “Chava” Orozco. Westlake and Oaks Christian, each of which has claimed a league title within the past three seasons, have struggled early. Thousand Oaks and […]

On the comeback trail

Warriors seek Marmonte League title with MacLean back in the lineup

The Kyle MacLean Revenge Tour is rampaging in a gym near you. MacLean, a senior shooting guard for the Westlake High boys’ basketball team, played only six games last season while nursing an injury. He’s healthy and lighting up scoreboards for the Warriors, who won five of their first six games entering Simi Valley’s Bob Hawking Tip-Off Classic. “I’m happy […]

Monarchs spread their wings and fly

ACROBATIC MOVES—A trio of Monarchs gymnasts from Acorn high schools signed scholarships to compete in acro tumbling in college. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Alexis Byrne (Oaks Christian/Azusa Pacific University), Grace Hanley (Oak Park/Hawaii Pacific) and Payton Springer (Thousand Oaks/Azusa Pacific). Back row: head coach Yelena Urusova and coaches Vadym Krasnenko and Masha Livchikova. The Monarchs gym […]

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