The sport of soccer has taken Mackenzie Dawes to scores of different locations and now, it’s going to take her to college. Dawes, a senior at San Marino High School, recently announced that she will continue playing the sport she dearly loves when she enrolls at at Connecticut College and play for the Camels this fall. A Titan team MVP and all-Rio Hondo League first-team forward, Dawes said that although the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the recruiting process, she is comfortable with her decision. “Coaches weren’t permitted to watch players in person, which really made things difficult,” she said. “I spent hours finding clips of film that I could use and I turned them into a highlight video. I sent the video and other information out to the colleges I was interested in with the hopes that their roster wasn’t full yet and that I could fill a position. When I came across Connecticut College, I knew almost immediately that it was the right fit for me. I got in touch with the coach and the rest is pretty much history. The more I learned about the college and soccer program, the more it felt like my home away from home. I think that a lot of people try to rush the process or simply settle for something that might not be the right fit. However, my experience was so easy and natural that I couldn’t have asked for a better college process.”

Calling it “the calm before the storm,” San Marino High School head football coach Justin Mesa welcomed his Titans on Monday afternoon for the first official practice of the season. “I think it went well,” said Mesa. “The kids have a ton of energy and they are excited. I overheard several of the players say that they had a lot of fun. I could see we were a little rusty, but it was great to get back in the huddle. They were energetic and did everything we asked of them.”

Chaz Davis is poised to make football history this Saturday for the second time in his life, though many in San Marino will not consider it nearly as significant as his first achievement. Davis, a member of San Marino High School’s record-setting 2015 football team, will be on the sidelines when Northern Arizona University kicks off its 2021 football season in Flagstaff when they host the Montana Grizzlies. Not surprisingly, it’s believed to be the first time the Lumberjacks have played a game in the month of February. Davis, who graduated from San Marino High School in 2016, recently came to NAU as a recruiting and operations assistant, where he has a hand in operations, recruiting and player personnel. Like many programs, NAU scrapped the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic in hopes for more favorable conditions this spring. But while workouts are typically slated to begin during the ideal, late-summer, high-altitude atmosphere, a much different climate greeted participants when they began training in December. “Cold, cold, cold,” Davis, a Southern California native, quipped. “We got something like 40-plus inches of snow in less than a month. In a span of a couple days, we got what is called the ‘Flagstaff Dump’ as the people here refer to it, around 30 inches. A fun fact is that Flagstaff is the second-snowiest city in the United States after Syracuse, New York.”

Baseball coach Adam Millan has been forced to endure an ignominy unlike few before him. On Friday, March 6, 2020 — exactly one week before the pandemic-induced lockdown, his Titans dropped a 4-2 decision to South Pasadena in the Rio Hondo League opener. It wasn’t the loss or the fact that it took place at the hands of the rival Tigers that was distinctive, rather the fact that Millan is one of the few coaches who has had to wait a full year to exact his revenge. “It’s all still fresh in our minds,” Millan said during a phone conversation Monday evening. “With baseball, it’s not necessarily how you start a season, it’s how you finish a season. I remember telling the boys after that game that the beauty of the game is that you have an opportunity to make up for your mistakes. But we are anxious to get back on the field. Regardless of who we play, we are going out there to win. I knew our boys will be up to the challenge, we just got cut short last year.” Hired in August 2019 to replace Mack Paciorek, Millan arrived in San Marino with over 25 years of experience as a teacher, instructor, coach and player. He played at Schurr High School in Montebello, Cerritos College and Cal State Fullerton. While at Cerritos, he was a two-time All-American, South Coast Conference Most Valuable Player and a two-time team MVP. At Cal State Fullerton, Millan played on the…

It’s among the most overused terms in a culture defined by overused terms, and San Marino High School graduate Olivia Ruiz is avoiding it like the proverbial plague. It’s an “influencer,” loosely defined as someone who uses his or her celebrity, authority or relationship with an audience to affect the purchasing decisions of others. Ruiz says she isn’t one, though it was originally her intent when she simultaneously launched a YouTube channel and Instagram page during her senior year at SMHS. “I did originally start my page in hopes of becoming an influencer, but as time passed I wasn’t too fond of that term since it seemed very restrictive,” said Ruiz, who graduated in 2019. “Now I just post my outfit ideas along with things that show who I am, such as healthy eating and working out.” Ruiz’s mother, Angie, helped her daughter come up with the name “Running Into Style,” a term that marries Olivia’s favorite pastimes of running and fashion. A record-setting member of the Titans’ cross-country and track squads while at SMHS, Ruiz was named most valuable runner in each sport following her junior and senior years. Ruiz also left SMHS as the school record-holder in the 800-meter run, traversing the two-lap race in 2 minutes, 17 seconds.

Last Wednesday, Feb. 3 marked the 35th acknowledgement of Girls and Women in Sports Day. San Marino High School director of athletics David Irie was quick to point out the significance of that anniversary as the school celebrated two of its student-athletes who were signing letters of intent to continue their careers at the next level. “It’s fitting that the two who are signing today are both girls,” Irie said. A gathering of about a dozen assembled in an otherwise empty quad at SMHS to celebrate Kenzie Tokuchi and Kinu Takasugi, who are both graduating in May. Tokuchi will continue her stellar soccer career at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and Takasugi will take her dynamic softball talents to UMass Dartmouth.

Sports fans are uniquely attuned to color, but their fascination is typically limited to the hues of uniforms and other accoutrements of the games. Most recently, four colors have emerged as holding primary importance for high school student-athletes, though the attraction has nothing to do with jersey tops or knee socks.

Deck officer Arthur WickeDeck officer Mark WickeLt. j.g. Charles “Chip” CrowleyDeck officer Patrick Crowley Four San Marino residents have graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and have received their deployments.Charles “Chip” Crowley graduated from San Marino High School in 2015 and the United States Coast Guard in 2019 and has advanced to the rank of lieutenant junior grade. An accomplished athlete at SMHS, Crowley continued his success at Coast Guard, where he was a four-year member of the Bears football program, earning several team, all-league and all-region honors as a wide receiver, punter and kick returner and was chosen to serve as team captain in 2018.Crowley graduated from the Coast Guard Academy with a degree in government and is currently stationed as a deck officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. In April, Crowley is headed to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, where he will serve as an executive officer for a 110-foot patrol boat conducting naval support activity based in Manama, Bahrain.Coast Guard football coach Bill George spent 21 years at the helm before retiring after the 2019 season. Crowley’s accomplishments are still fresh in his mind.

Though Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order on Monday has provided some optimism, local school officials are not yet clear about the immediate future of prep sports. While interpretations of its long-term impact will certainly vary, an announcement last week from an arm of the California Interscholastic Federation — the governing body for prep sports in the state — dealt yet another blow to the hopes of high school athletes for conducting any substantial competitions during the 2020-21 school year. “Today, I must regretfully announce that we are canceling our 2020-21 CIF Southern Section Fall Sports Championships due to the COVID pandemic,” said the statement from the section’s commissioner of athletics, Rob Wigod.