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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 95  |  November 29, 2022


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Laguna Beach High School football reaches title game for the first time in 60 years!

TJ headshot AugLaguna Beach High School beat Norte Vista in football last Friday (Nov. 18) to move on to the CIF-SS Division 9 Title Game this Saturday night against Diamond Bar. It’s their first trip back in 60 years! That’s right, 60 YEARS!

But before we get there, let’s look back on a season that started in an opposite direction.

LBHS headed to Idaho in the middle of August last summer to play Homedale High School in Homedale, Idaho, a small town situated on the Snake River and got crushed, 46-14.

A week later, back in Orange County, the Breakers again lost, this time to Dana Hills, 28-24.

Sitting at 0-2, coaches and players had to figure that the team was better than that. They also knew that they had a sophomore quarterback with special skills sitting out their first five games of the season, after transferring back into town from a year over at Santa Margarita. His name is Jackson Kollock.

Still, LBHS plugged on, winning in weeks 3 and 4 with back-to-back victories over Northwood (35-31) and Capistrano Valley Christian (24-17), before then losing again to Crean Lutheran, 35-27.

Now, with a record of 2-3, Laguna Beach traveled to Lake Elsinore for a non-league battle with Lakeside, winning 27-14. Who knew, but the team would never look back!

As the end of September rolled around, young Kollock became eligible and faced his first action at home against Segerstrom. Jackson is a big kid at 6’4”, 215 lbs. and he’s loaded with talent and potential. In that first game back, Jackson completed 18 of 23 passes for 263 yards and five TDs while leading the team to a 41-22 win.

Fair Game Jackson Kollock photo 1 SNL 11.22

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Sophomore QB Jackson Kollock drops back to pass in last weekend’s win over Norte Vista. His game line included completing 13 of 20 passes for 196 yards, with 5 going for TDs.

And the streak was on!

Wins followed over Godinez Fundamental (48-0), Westminster (21-14), Ocean View (40-0) to finish the regular season and to secure the Pac 4 League Championship.

Then came the CIF-SS Division 9 Playoffs and a first-round home win over West, 24-21; a 41-16 rout on the road over La Quinta; before returning home last Friday (Nov. 18) to beat Norte Vista, 42-35, in the semi-finals.

And who led the charge? Why none other than Jackson Kollock, with five touchdown passes, two each to running back Nick Rogers and tight end Ryner Swanson, along with one to senior Sam Garwal, while running one in for himself for a sixth.

Oh, what a night! The crowd at Guyer Field loved it and the celebration was on, and why not? This Saturday (Nov. 26), Laguna Beach will play in a CIF title game for the first time since 1962. For those counting, my math skills tell me that’s 60 years! 

It’s about time, wouldn’t you say?

LBHS kicks off at 7 p.m. at Diamond Bar (12-1).

Fair Game Nick Rogers photo 2 SNL 11.22

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Junior running back Nick Rogers moves between blockers against Norte Vista. On the evening, Rogers carried the ball 17 times for 155 yards and caught 5 passes for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns.

What would a win mean? Okay, we said they played in a title game 60 years ago, but what we didn’t say is that they didn’t win that night. For their last overall title, you have to go all the way back to 1946.

My math’s not good enough to figure out even how long ago that was.

So, is this the year?

We’ll soon find out!

Fair Game scoreboard photo 3 SNL 11.22

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Fans celebrate on the field following the game, with the scoreboard telling the story

• • •

This Saturday, Nov. 26 is Small Business Saturday. It’s a day we’re urged to shop our local retailers who day-in and day-out prove to be the important backbone of the community. Make sure you remember and support them.

• • •

Also on the coming calendar: Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 4-5 p.m., Laguna Live! presents a free in person concert “featuring talented members of Chamber Music” at The Sanctuary of Neighborhood Congregational Church.

For reservations, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.715.9713.

• • •

The next Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting will hear from Council-elect Mark Orgill on Thursday, Dec. 1 via Zoom.

To join the meeting click here, or use the meeting ID 883 6968 2904 and passcode 084189. The meeting begins at 8 a.m.

• • •

Your newly elected Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley from the Fifth District is once again holding her Annual New Coat Drive for Kids, the 14th Annual. 

Now through December 15, drop off a new children’s coat at various locations in Orange County during normal business hours: the office of Supervisor Katrina Foley at the Hall of Administration (400 W. Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana), Costa Mesa City Hall or Costa Mesa Police Department (77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa) and The Foley Group, PLC (2755 Bristol St., Suite 110, Costa Mesa). 

Donations support local organizations like The Boys & Girls Club-Central Coast, Marshallese Youth OC, SOY (Save Our Youth), and families identified in need by local schools. NEW coats or jackets only, please. 

Join Supervisor Foley’s office in spreading holiday cheer and keeping kids in our community warm during winter.

 

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.

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Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

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