Category Archives: private schools

The Little Philosopher

There she was, their leader, in the dark hallway adjacent to the gym as some girls cried, imparting mental strength to her team even after a semifinal defeat. The girls were listening to Coach. Then Allie Scribner took over talking.

“I know this sucks and you’re all thinking about your mistakes,” the team captain said. “But right now, you need to think about what we accomplished this season. We went really far. We’ve made people proud of us. This hasn’t happened in forever. We are literally making memories. We’ve been a team this whole season. We’ll stay a team. I love you all equally.”

The spry sophomore produced some jaw-dropping hits, sets and serves all season to befuddle opponents and lead the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica into semifinals. The Saints lost in Game 5 to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park Saturday.

Allie has cycled through a list of nicknames highlighting her prowess. She’s been called a gunslinger for her serves. She’s been said to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee (playing off the nearly homonymous Ali). Her performance continued to inspire Saturday: Rally Allie, Aerial Allie. She blocked AGBU three plays in a row.

There she was, their leader, in the dark hallway adjacent to the gym as some girls cried, imparting mental strength to her team even after a semifinal defeat. The girls were listening to Coach. Then Allie Scribner took over talking.

“I know this sucks and you’re all thinking about your mistakes,” the team captain said. “But right now, you need to think about what we accomplished this season. We went really far. We’ve made people proud of us. This hasn’t happened in forever. We are literally making memories. We’ve been a team this whole season. We’ll stay a team. I love you all equally.”

The spry sophomore produced some jaw-dropping hits, sets and serves all season to befuddle opponents and lead the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica into semifinals. The Saints lost in Game 5 to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park Saturday.

Allie has cycled through a list of nicknames highlighting her prowess. She’s been called a gunslinger for her serves. She’s been said to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee (playing off the nearly homonymous Ali). Her performance continued to inspire Saturday: Rally Allie, Aerial Allie. She blocked AGBU three plays in a row… Read the rest: Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica bounces out of playoffs in semifinals

Claramente

To keep from panicking in tense games, Clara Czer says a keyword to herself when she goes to hit or serve. Usually, the word derives from her personal faith.

“I was really nervous,” the junior says. “The only thing on my mind was Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Lighthouse Christian Academy fended off a public high school 73 times larger Wednesday to advance into semi-finals, but it drew down a cardiac Game 5 in which they were trailing 6-11.

Chaffey High School from Ontario, with 3,300 students, was within four points to win. Lighthouse, population 45, needed to surmount nine points.

“We had to really struggle in the last set,” says Roxy Photenhauer. “All of us agreed it was God. We came back from that time out, and we did not let a ball drop. We really, really, really fought hard because we owed it to ourselves and the rest of our teammates.”

At the end of the day, Game 5 went 18-16. (Game 5 goes to 15, but you have to win by two points.)

It was a scrappy win that saw the Saints lose some of the former fine form. LCA’s main hatchet-bearer Dahlia Gonzalez struggled with long hits. Squandering opportunities, serves went long. Players played through injury and sickness.

It was an agonizing game.

In Game 1, Lighthouse relapsed into a habitual poor form. Throughout the season, the Saints don’t seem to hit the ground running but take a full first game to find their form. Down for the whole game, they lost 17-25.

In Game 2, after both teams staying neck-and-neck, Lighthouse pulled away to seal off a 25-21 victory.

In Game 3, Lighthouse went down 5-11 receiving Chaffey’s strong serves like mortar shells.

But the girls kept their mental strength and rallied to level at 12-12. Elizabeth Foreman, LCA’s tall center, was slicing up the opposition with hits that cut like a warm knife through a cheesecake.

Having come from behind, Lighthouse finished off 25-18.

Momentum was on the Saints’ side.

But the Tigers pounced on their opportunities in Game 4 and pulled ahead in the middle of the game, while Lighthouse committed errors. The set ended 20-25.

Both teams were even with two wins, but Chaffey were riding high in confidence.

In Game 5, the Tigers continued to wreak havoc with its strong serves, pulling ahead 6-11 — a mere four points from victory. But in the time out, a flush Clara rallied the troops: “There were so many times that we were all so defeated. But I was like no, it’s not 15 yet.”

Suddenly, Dahlia, in the serving position, rediscovered her inner HIMARS. As 200 Saints fans shouted “Do it again, Dahlia!” the sophomore aimed and took fire. The Ukrainians take out Russian tanks, Dahlia hunted Tigers.

It became 13-11.

With hearts leaping out of chests on both sides, went 14-13 and then 16-16.

Either side needed two points.

With Chaffey serving, the girls played for 27 seconds back and forth, with both sides being cautious to not make a mistake, until Chaffey hit the ball into the night and Lighthouse got the point and the serve.

Roxie served a sinking ball that forced the Tigers into a dive on the floor. The return for the Saints was easy but instead of smashing the ball, sophomore Allie Scribner played it safe and lobbed the ball over.

When Chaffey returned it, Allie set… Read the rest: Santa Monica Christian school volleyball.

The Wrath of Dahlia in volleyball

One poor Packinghouse player wore the face of shell shock.

Dahlia Gonzalez sledge-hammered a ball down so hard and at such an acute angle that it landed in the first row.

Her opponent, who had no chance to return it, stood in astonishment for a moment as if the gods had decreed by oracle an evil future.

Welcome to Dolly’s woods.

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Let’s go!
There’s no other way to say it. Dahlia — called Dolly by her closest friends — LEVITATED.

She was on a totally other level Saturday evening at Memorial Park in Santa Monica when Lighthouse Christian Academy sent Packinghouse packing in three straight sets to advance to round 3 of playoffs.

“Dahlia hit her best and served her best ever today,” remarks Coach Jessica Young.

LCA, student population 45, who slinked into playoffs on a wildcard win, is now a victory march to (dare we dream?) the unthinkable.

With two losses in its regular season, how can this be happening?

The girls, mostly sophomores and juniors, have been to go; I was done. And God impressed on her heart: I’m not done with you yet. I love you and I’m not done with you… Read the rest: The Wrath of Dahlia in volleyball.

She flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee

But she’s not Ali, as in Mohammad. She’s Allie, as in Scribner. She just led LCA girls volleyball to first round playoff win in 10 years.

She’s from a different time and a different sport, but she’s a champion just like her fellow top fighter, nearly honomymously named Muhammad Ali.

Oh, she’s a heavyweight, for sure.

Allie Scribner believed in herself and believed in her team to play an almost perfect game against Eisenhauer High School Thursday evening in Rialto.

The sophomore team captain aced serves, chased balls, launched perfect sets from anywhere on the court. She hit with power and blocked with ferocity. She took flight like a butterfly and stung her opponents like a swarm.

And when it came down to the last set and all Lighthouse Christian Academy needed was three serves to win its first second round playoff game in a decade, Allie with ice in her veins didn’t waver.

She aced one, slammed another and crushed a third.

“Allie’s a beast,” said Coach Jessica Young. “I feel like she’s got a lot of testosterone. She never gives up. Allie just made one mistake. She touches the ball every play. She plays smart. She’s looking for holes constantly. She’s encouraging to the team. She gives great set after great set.”

Fellow heavywieght Dahlia Gonzalez made the last block of the game, and the tiny school from Santa Monica beat the high school with 2,200 students. Lighthouse with just 45 students has a talent pool 50 times smaller to draw from.

The girls burst into tears. They slumped over onto the court. They hugged each other in disbelief.

As if culminating a season of practice and games, Lighthouse played its best game ever in Game 4, edging the Eagles 27-25. In Game 5, they nearly lost it on the final stretch, falling a couple points behind until they sealed the victory 15-13.

But the Saints started weakly, losing 11-25.

Thir spikes went long. Their serves were poor. The girls didn’t click. Meanwhile, Eisenhauer played smartly with precious few mistakes.

“We started out really weak. We were missing our starter, Elizabeth (Foreman),” said Coach Jessica. “All the odds were against us today. Roxy’s wrist today, Allie’s wrist, Clara’s foot, now Dahlia did something to her thigh. But we just claim that with God all things are possible.”

By Game 2, Lighthouse started to find its form. The irony is that the winning streak of points was struck by senior Ireland Daniel. She serves underhanded. At times, it appears her lobs barely make it over the net. Opponents snickered and sneered.

Yet they struggled against Ireland, perhaps because they had no practice against the beginner’s method of serving. Ireland sparked the turnaround run to victory.

“Nobody is serving underhanded right now, and maybe… Read the rest: She flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee.

Miraculous volleyball in Santa Monica

It was a game the Lighthouse Christian Academy wanted desperately to win. Not only were they fighting for second place, they were avenging their wounds from last year when Beacon Hill executed a stinging shutdown of Saints prowess.

So when two key players got injured, everyone was biting their lip worriedly.

Allie “Everything” Scribner sprained her wrist, and Clara “Fireball” Czer sprained her ankle. Allie got injured when Dahlia Gonzalez smashed the ball too hard at her hand during practice, and Clara got injured when a boy crossed the lie during a pickup game and landed on foot.

A few voices on the sidelines fumed: What were you thinking?!? Shouldn’t you have taken care of yourself better??? Can’t the boys…

But then something weird — miraculous — happened. Pastor Charlie Foreman, who loves to pray for the sick and injured — prayed. It wasn’t illegal sports doping. But it was, people say, outside of the normal purview of natural events.

It was another kind of PT. Not Physical Therapy. It was Prayer Therapy.

Allie recovered. On Monday against Panorama High School she actually was flinging herself all over the court diving for balls as if she needed to prove her body with a thorough thrashing. She played unrestrainedly and unaffected.

Meanwhile, Clara was sidelined on Monday. But she got prayer on Tuesday just before the big game. The pain… Read the rest: Miracles in Santa Monica volleyball

War of the Battleships

Her older sister was quiet, studious and not too sporty. So who was the expect that the younger sister would be loud and make the game-winning hit as a freshman who was in her third game ever?

But Keziah Mendez won the wild cheers of the hometown fans, hitting a smartly-angled ball over the net that Gorman Learning Center couldn’t return for the last point of the game.

She’s 5’0″, and prior to joining Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica, she had never played volleyball, not even at church.

“That was really nice,” she said modestly, deflecting credit. “I missed multiple passes. I hit a few balls that were out. The one ball that was in, I let it go by. The girls on the team are very nice, and the coach is very encouraging.”

Oh, then there was the dive to the ground to rescue a team play. Keziah dove like Superwoman, popped up the ball just before Read the rest: Only third time playing volleyball? No problem. Just do heroics.

God save the Queen!

She actually signed her Shakespeare Sonnet quiz “Queen Elizabeth.”

Maybe she was being facetions, but later Thursday afternoon, she appropriated the title on the volleyball court by completing the reign of terror of Lighthouse Christian Academy’s strike force.

Dahlia Gonzalez and Clara Czer (also Frida Macias) provided the crossing spikes from opposite corners, creating havoc to the well-organized Gator team.

Then, senior Elizabeth Foreman provided the quick surprise shot from the middle that caught off guard forces deployed to deal with deadly corner attacks.

Accordingly, Lighthouse won 3 of 4 sets to extend its season winning streak to three.

After narrowly losing its first game 23-25, LCA won the second game 25-18, its third 25-19 and its fourth 25-20 in hard-fought, adrenaline-surging match.

After flaying the Gators, Lighthouse was feeling Gucci.

Lighthouse started sleepy. It seems like one of LCA’s problems is hitting its stride. In the first set, the Saints miffed spikes and serves go down 4-12. Eventually, they found their form and closed the gap, not enough to win though.

It was the last time… Read the rest: God save the Queen!

Happy Halloween: LCA’s volleyball serves struck fear

It wasn’t Friday the 13th. It was Tuesday the 13th.

And LCA’s sophomore Clara Czer was striking fear into the hearts of her opponents.

“I’ve played with Clara since the fifth grade, and Clara has always, always, always been a competitive person. Everyone ever has been scared of her. Everyone,” says junior Roxy Photenhauer. “Every coach, every player. Because she’s so fierce.”

Happy Halloween.

Clara lashed five straight aces in the final set to ice off Westmark School. Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica shut down the Lions 25-11, 25-13, 25-11 on Tuesday — Sept. 13 — at the Chatsworth’s 1st Place Sports Complex.

“I’d be scared to pass her serves,” admits teammate Dahlia Gonzalez, a sophomore. “She’s a light on our team, but darkness for the other side.” Read the rest: Varsity volleyball terrors in Santa Monica

Church and state? Once again, gov denies rights of Church, this time in Somerville, Massachusetts

A Hispanic congregation’s attempt to launch a Christian private school has been blocked by a Boston-area school board, but the Vida Real Church is fighting for its constitutional rights through two lawyers’ groups, Fox News reported.

First Liberty Institute and the Massachusetts Family Institute say the Somerville Superintendent and the Somerville Public School Committee is violating the U.S. Constitution by denying religious freedom. At issue is the Vida Real’s biblical stance on creationism and homosexuality, which the board contends is “unscientific” and out of line with its values.

“It is illegal and unconstitutional for city officials to question the religious beliefs of Vida Real, let alone use those beliefs to stop the church from opening a school,” Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said in a statement first provided to Fox News Digital. “This is blatant religious discrimination. It’s time for Somerville officials to stop treating Vida Real unfairly and allow it to pursue the opening of a school.”

The skirmish between secular politicians and church leaders shows where the cultural war is being fought currently: on school boards. As secular humanists attempt to impose their version of utopia on America, Christians are trying to stick to the bible.

Vida Real turned in a lengthy application to open “Real Life Learning Center,” but the school board has not granted authorization. Instead, Somerville’s school board committee responded with 35 “hostile” questions about what is intended to be taught, the lawyer’s group says.

“The school’s position on homosexuality and creationism make it difficult to see how a thorough science and health curriculum is possible,” the school board says, according to documents. “The school’s approach to student services and counseling appears to devalue evidence-based psychology and its emphasis on approaches rooted in the belief that mental illness is caused by sin and demons is unscientific and harmful. … Overall, the school was entirely contrary to the values of SPS and the idea of educating the whole child as being inclusive.”

Creationism is the term for looking for scientific evidence to support the Bible’s account of the world’s beginnings, as opposed to evolution. The discussions of “being inclusive” refers to affirming students with gender dysphoria and same-sex attractions. Christians can affirm individuals while helping them with their harmful thoughts and confusions.

As a first attempt to resolve the conflict, the lawyers’ group has sent a letter to the school board alleging violation of the Constitution, which bans government from interfering with questions of faith. If they are unable to resolve the disagreement through the letter by April 8, a full-fledged lawsuit may be necessary, the lawyers’ group says.

“The hostility displayed by the Somerville Public School Committee is outrageous,” Justin Butterfield, deputy general counsel at First Liberty, said in the statement. “The government cannot ban a religious school because they disagree with its religious beliefs. Doing so violates federal constitutional and statutory law.”

The letter charges the school board with evident “overt hostility” and accuses a public official saying that denying the school application was the “morally right thing to do” even to the point of defending against a lawsuit, whose expenses would be “well worth it.” Read the rest: School board denies Somerville Vida Real Church’s application for a Christian school

Unhappy feet

They are happy girls. But they needed happy feet.

Frida Macias is emblematic. She likes art and architecture. At least once a day, she laughs until she cries. She’s happy-go-lucky.

But Frida and her teammates, facing the toughest team in the league, didn’t have happy feet. On Thursday in Camarillo, Beacon Hill Academy delivered hits that feel like lightning bolts from Zeus, and a lot of their serves landed like attacks.

Lighthouse Christian Academy, if it was going to put a fight, had to move quickly on the court.

They didn’t. LCA lost in three straight sets: 10-25, 14-25, 11-25.

“We shouldn’t let so many balls drop,” Coach Jessica Young said. “When they decide to work hard and sacrifice their bodies, then we’ll be better.”

So happy feet that move fast.

“I feel like I could have done better by moving my feet,” Frida said. “But overall I think I did really good for this good team. At sometimes I was a little frustrated with myself because I wasn’t really moving my feet.”

LCA also needed to dive to return lightning bolts.

With an 8-2 season, the Saints will likely get into playoffs. Read the rest: Unhappy feet in volleyball

Wacky Wednesday, Whacky Tuesday

For WACKY Wednesday, Clara Czer wore impossible hair to school. For WHACKING Tuesday, the sophomore was whacking balls down upon her adversaries.

Lighthouse Christian Academy made full use of her hits (13) and kills (5) to beat San Fernando Valley Academy 3 sets to 1 in an intense girls volleyball competition Tuesday in Northridge.

“Clara was pretty consistent the whole game. She was almost flawless,” Coach Jessica Young said. “She has come a long way from junior high. She is able to control her emotions. She’s probably our best hitter right now. She has pushed herself harder and harder, and she can spike it almost straight down.”

In the last, hard-fought set that drew out to 30-28, Coach Jessica instructed the team to “play smart” in the last back-and-forth trading “just one point to win” moments. Just get the ball over and don’t try to be too aggressive.

Clara still did — successfully — back row spikes.

“I thought inside, ‘Oh she didn’t listen to me,” Coach said. “For her ‘playing smart’ is that aggressive. But she got it in.”

Nobody complains if you don’t mess up.

Lighthouse is now 8-1 and almost virtually guaranteed a playoff spot. Its last season game is Thursday against league-leaders Beacon Hill Classical.

“We had a lot of great team energy. I’m just really proud of us,” Clara said. “I think all of us are really improving. I’m so proud.”

Lighthouse struggled in the first set to adapt. SFVA hosted the game in its Northridge gym, a court covered with carpet. This took LCA off guard because the Saints usually dive for balls.

“At least two of our girls have rug burns,” Coach Jessica said. “They’re bleeding.”

The SFVA gym also had an unusually low roof, and the Saints lost more than one volley just because they hit with their accustomed strength. When the ball hits the roof or a fixture before going over, it’s the other team’s point. They lost the first set 20-25.

By set 2, LCA had recalibrated and won 25-23. “We came back really well,” Clara said. Read the rest: Wacky Wednesday at Santa Monica private school

Once he let go of bridge rail, he regretted it

kevin hines suicide christianBy Hannah Hughes —

Wrenched by depression, John Kevin Hines, 19, followed through on his plans to plunge from the Golden Gate Bridge to snuff out his life.

“In the millisecond after my hands left the rail, I said to myself, ‘What have I just done? I don’t want to die. God, please save me!’” he remembers. “I felt instant regret for my actions.”

Unlike 57 other bodies fished out by a Coast Guard crew in recent years, Kevin survived.

After falling 25 stories in four seconds, he broke the frigid San Francisco Bay waters in the perfect feat first, the optimal position to cheat death. Only some vertebrae were shattered. An eyewitness phoned the Coast Guard, who rescued him, bobbing in the water, minutes later.

kevin hines golden gate bridge suicide attempt

Kevin, with his father, today

For Kevin, the makings of bipolar disorder started early. Born to poor, troubled parents, Kevin was left abandoned in a flophouse as a baby and taken by Child Protective Services, according to SFGate news

When his parents got their act together, he returned home at nine months. His father, Pat, started work as a banker and thrived. His mother adopted two other kids, and they had a home in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco. Everything was turning ideal.

Then at age 10, Kevin experience an epileptic seizure and was prescribed Tegretol.

Overcoming these early difficulties, Kevin progresssed through his education and got into acting and athletics. Despite having asthma, he played on Riordan High School’s wrestling team and its football team.

At age 16, his parents initiated a divorce.

Since Kevin hadn’t experienced a seizure in so many years, he was taken off Tegretol, which no one knew at the time had a secondary benefit of suppressing the violent mood swings typical of bipolar disorder.

13274916_web1_L1-Julcol-Survived-180831After going off the meds, immediately “Kevin went down Alice’s hole,” Pat recalls.

He experienced a breakdown on stage during a school play. He fought with his mom and moved in with dad only to butt heads. He was irritable and spiraled cyclically in despair, usually bottoming out on Thursdays and Fridays.

When his drama teacher commited suicide, he was deeply affected, marked by the memory of the harrowing event.

He was struggling emotionally. But Kevin was in denial about his own need to seek help. He shored up his facade reminding himself of his triumphs in sports.

Other people were failures, needy, unstable — not him, he kept saying to himself.

“I was so much denial and that denial ruled the day until I crashed hard,” he says in a YouTube video.

12347833_10153769129882008_3364030419052064986_nOn Sept. 22, 2000, his girlfriend broke up with him.

That weekend, he experienced hallucinations and heard voices.

“I don’t want to be here anymore,” he told his dad.

“You have an obligation to be here,” Pat responded. “We love you.”

Despite the exchange of words, his dad didn’t really know the full extent of Kevin’s inner anguish. And Kevin didn’t really feel loved.

“I thought I was my family’s burden,” he explains.

After six attempts at writing a suicide note, he left the seventh version in his room.

“I sat at my desk and I penned that note mom: Dad,brother, sister, girlfriend, best friend, love you but I gotta go,” he says.

On Sunday morning Sept 24, he went to Walgreens of a “breakfast” of skittles and starburst. Then Kevin boarded a bus bound for the iconic bridge that links San Francisco with the northern peninsula that’s the inlet to the San Francisco Bay.

It is a postcard picturesque place — and a notorious choice for suicide.

As the bus drove, he mulled his determination. There were conflicting emotions. He actually felt relief that all the pain would be over. The voices kept telling him: “You must die! You can’t go back! You are a burden to those who love you!”

When he got off the Golden Gate Bridge, he was crying.

If anyone stopped to ask him what was wrong, he thought, he wouldn’t jump. He walked down the bridge. Joggers passed without apparently noticing the tears on his face. A German tourist came up to him. He thought this was his chance. But no, she ignored his tears and only asked for him to take her picture.

Police officers on a bike, whose job it is to stop suicide attempts, also passed by him and ignored him.

So he jumped.

He plummeted the 200 feet. The voices telling him he had to die stopped talking, and his rationale returned. He cried out to God, as reported by Lifezette.

Kevin broke the surface of the water feet first. This gave him the best chance to survive. The impact shattered vertebrae and very nearly severed his spinal cord completely. But it didn’t kill him.

The momentum of the fall carried him into the depths of the bay. As he speed wore off with the friction and pressure of the waters, he slowed, stopped and began to rise. A survival instinct took over and he struggled to swim to the surface, through which he popped shortly.

The felt excruciating pain in his back. He tried to tread water, but he began to sink.

He felt something underneath him seem to push him again. He thought it was some sea creature, maybe even a shark or a sea lion.

He heard a boat motor and seconds later hands were pulling him out before he went into shock from hypothermia.

The Coast Guard crew put a neck brace on him. One member leaned over him and addressed him.

“Kid, do you know how many people we pull out of this water who are already gone?” he recalls on a Power 106 YouTube video. “This unit has pulled out 57 dead bodies out of this water — and one live one.”

At the hospital, Kevin’s dad was the first to arrive.

“I looked up at my dad, and I said, ‘Dad, I’m sorry,’” he says. “And he looked at me and said with great conviction, ‘No, Kevin, I’M sorry.’ And waterfalls flew from his eyes. He put his hand on my forehead and said words I have never forgotten: ‘Kevin, you are going to be ok, I promise.’”

His recovery from suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder has not been seamless. Kevin has been admitted to psych wards seven times in the 10 years after his suicide attempt. The first three admittances were against his will.

It eventually became beneficial for Kevin to acknowledge his struggles as mental illness and to attack it with the help of medical professionals as a sickness. God has helped him make it through.

“Every night that I spent in psych wards — and I’ve been an inpatient seven times for suicidal crisis — I prayed,” Kevin says. “Every night I spent in a halfway home for the mentally ill, I have prayed. I have prayed through dangerous and scary situations.”

Today he is happily married and lives in Atlanta. He’s a motivational speaker and an advocate for suicide prevention.

christian school los angeles“I pray every day. I feel human beings take so many little things for granted,” Kevin says. “But after what happened to me, I tend not to. I do my very best in life to not take every person I get the privilege of meeting — every place I get the honor of going to, and everything I get the grace of doing — for granted. I walk into a hotel, for example, and I’m appreciative of the people who came before me who made that hotel. I appreciate the people who set up the coffee machine.”

Hannah Hughes is my student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.

Apparently being good at chemistry helps you in basketball

Lighthouse Christian Academy Santa Monica basketball team.pngAfter winning its third straight basketball game, Lighthouse Christian Academy credits for its breakout success its science program, specifically, chemistry class.

“A young team playing their third game together is going to have to go through some growing pains every time a game starts, so the first quarter is going to be a little rough,” says David Horowitz. “But as we play, the team chemistry, the cohesiveness, begins to show up on the court and in the second, third and fourth quarter, the team bonds and does nothing but get better and stronger.”

Pilgrim School just west of Downtown Los Angeles of was fired-up. With a couple of towering players (one was 6’4″, another was 6’1″), the Patriots looked to notch their first victory against the inexperienced Saints, who debuted this year.

But Lighthouse tightened up its game by the end of the first quarter, down 13-17. In the second quarter, LCA took the lead with Pilgrim close behind 26-22. In the critical third quarter the Saints pulled away 45-35. Read the rest: the importance of team chemistry for basketball.

One kid didn’t cry

dejection football loss lighthouse christian academy santa monicaPretty much everybody of the Lighthouse Saints was crying, or fighting back tears, after their football loss Saturday — everybody except David Hutchinson.

The 14-20 heartbreak loss against La Verne Calvary Chapel, a similarly small school, left Lighthouse Christian Academy dejected.

But David remained buoyant, perhaps because he has experienced worse losses, namely that of his parents, who went MIA. He’s now adopted by his grandparents. He wasn’t doing well in a previous school before coming to Lighthouse.

“Even when we lose, football is fun because it brings us all together like brothers,” the sophomore said after the game. “We played our hardest. It’s made me stronger and closer with all the boys. We know we’ve got each other’s backs no matter what. We have a love for each other.

“At this school, the teachers actually care. In other schools, the teachers don’t care. They’re just doing it for the money. And the students are the best. They’re like a family. It really touches you when the teachers actually care.”

Cue the warm fuzzies.

So not everybody went home dejected. It’s important to keep perspective: the battles won off the field or more important than those lost on the field. Read the rest of winning souls, not football games.

Bad blood among brothers — a football rivalry between Christian schools in LA

bad blood among brothersThere hasn’t been so much bad blood between Christian brothers since the Baptists accused the Pentecostals of being of the devil about 100 years ago.

The last time Lighthouse Christian Academy beat their perennial archrivals Hillcrest Christian in 8-man football was 2014.

That year, Ricky Rand cheekily snatched the ball out of the cocked arm of the quarterback, who was ready to throw, and ran for a touchdown. That snarky steal typified a game of gleeful humiliation.

Hillcrest never forgave Lighthouse and each year since then has exacted new revenge. Both teams are called “the Saints” but appear to think each other “the Satanists.”

On Saturday, Lighthouse lost 25-56, and at the final whistle Hillcrest ran into its corner and gloated and howled while Lighthouse glowered and hurled insults. Coaches stood midfield to make sure words didn’t come to blows.

“Let’s go! Let’s play one more game right now!” Hosea Ashcraft yelled across the field.

They weren’t just hollow words.

Lighthouse tends to compensate its inexperience and lack of execution with pure stamina and hard hits that bring results in the third and fourth quarter. They wear teams down. Even if they don’t win, they send opponents home with some real stingers — and a measure of respect.

In what amounted to the last significant play of the game, Josie Bowen rocked Hillcrest quarterback from his blind side, foiling a conversion attempt.

Hosea hit a kid so hard that he knocked the ball free late in the third quarter for a turnover that the blood-sniffing Saints thought marked their turnaround point.

The crash and kill strategy wore down mighty Milken Community School on Sept 20 and earned the praise of opposing coach of Downy Calvary Chapel Christian School on Sept. 8. He called tiny Lighthouse, with enrollment 45, to the military last stand of the 300.

Read the rest of football rivalry among Christian schools.

Administration 101: A+ Volleybal: meh

Lighthouse Christian Academy Santa Monica volleyball team 2019For administration class, A+. Actual volleyball, a C, at best.

Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica won four out of nine games this season in varsity volleyball. Girls from all different levels banded together and put forth their best effort. On Wednesday, the Saints limped out of its season against Westmark School of Encino.

“We all got in our heads,” says Sarah Montez, sophomore. Our emotions got to us. When somebody wouldn’t do good, we would think, Oh, well, she’s not going to get anymore. We got frustrated with each other. That was our worst game we’ve ever done.”

But while LCA’s volleyball has fallen off from the years when the slashed their way into playoffs, other skills associated with participating on team soared.

Namely, Sarah Montez became an entrepreneur.

When she found out that LCA wasn’t going to even have a team due to lack of interest among the girls, she spearheaded a move to assemble a team.

“Sarah and her parents were a major driving force in wanting to make sure there was a team this year,” says LCA Principal Josh Young.

Sarah, with the help of her parents and her close friend Laken Wilson, communicated with all the school’s girls and encouraged, cajoled, persuaded, spammed by text until enough players relented from the low self confidence and agreed to integrate on the squad.

Then, having mastered the business strategies of forming “a staff” and motivating them to their optimal performance, Sarah forayed into a search for a CEO. (There was no coach, which is a volunteer position.)

She held brainstorming session with interested parties. She formed a search committee to identify and recruit a ideal candidate. (She got her parents involved.)

They used software to scoure LinkedIn. Just kidding. They thought of who might pitch in from the Lighthouse Church, LCA’s oversight organization.

They zeroed in on Felipe Rodriguez for all his merits: He had time. He liked working with the youth. He was an expert at sports and teams.

There was only one drawback: Felipe didn’t know a thing about volleyball.

But options were few, and Felipe had the will to serve — even if he didn’t know how to serve (a volleyball).

Felipe contacted his good friend and fellow youth worker, Xiovana Moraida, who assists her husband, Lucas Moraida, as youth leaders in the Lighthouse Church of Santa Monica.

X — as she prefers to be called — agreed immediately to be head coach while Felipe was assistant. X had played volleyball in high school and played soccer in college, so she knew about competition and team dynamics. Read the rest: Learning business schools at a small school in Santa Monica.

A water roller coaster

no-bullies-christian-high-schoolMost people think of camping as something they would never want to experience: Sleeping on the dank ground, eating only unsavory camp food, days without showering and nothing to do. But going on a trip at Lighthouse Christian Academy will change that.

I came to the Lighthouse when I was in seventh grade. They also offer the rafting trip to the students who attend our gradeschool counterpart the Lighthouse Church School, but it wasn’t until my freshman year that I decided to go on the rafting trip. What shocked me was the lack of people that wanted to go. With the urging of Mrs. Lisa Clancy, I decided to go and had a great time.

rafting-tripNow during my sophomore year, the trip rolled around and no one seemed like they wanted to go. Granted some people had other engagements but the group of people that went was small.

Even though the group was small, it was a fun time. The drive to the campsite seemed short because you bonded with the people in the car — or slept. When we arrived at the campsite, all of us from the Santa Monica Christian school were all taken aback by the breathtaking nature around us.

The campsite that the school goes to every year was better than any campsite I had been to before. There was indoor plumbing, a pool, and a small shop if you wanted to buy snacks. This made the camping part of the trip so much easier.

The rafting part of the trip was both frightening and entertaining. We rafted one of the more harder rivers, and though some people had a better time than others, the scared feeling before you rafted is worth it. There is an adrenaline rush you feel when you’re riding a literal water roller coaster. Read the rest of the rafting trip story.