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Players earn honors

Weston Barnes turned in an outstanding season on the volleyball court.

Jackson Rees and Steven Harrison both did the same on the baseball diamond.

On Tuesday, the three were rewarded for their play by being named All-CIF Southern Section in their respective sports.

Barnes was named to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 boys' volleyball team. Both Rees (first team) and Harrison (second team) were named All-CIF Southern Section Division 4 in baseball.

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All-CIF Boys Volleyball

Barnes encountered plenty of success at Laguna. During his three years playing on varsity, two as a starter, the Breakers never lost in 30 (90-0 in sets) Orange Coast League matches and repeated as league champions.

This spring, he led the Breakers in total points (336), while averaging 4.1 per set, led the team in kills (294) and averaged 3.6 per set, was second in aces (20) and digs (146), and was fourth, overall, in blocks (21.5).

Laguna Coach Scott Panaro considered Barnes, who will attend and play next year at George Mason University, as the Breakers' best passer.

"Weston is a one-of-a-kind student-athlete," Panaro said. "I am not sure I can properly put into words what he means to our program. The past two seasons he has been our go-to guy and lead our team on and off the court.

"Weston's tremendous work ethic and athletic ability combine to make him a dynamic athlete. His ability to control the ball is huge and makes the game much easier for his teammates. He plays at a level above most athletes his age, making reads and reactions most are unable to. His leaping ability is matched by few and his savvy attacking will be missed."

Barnes was one of seven outside hitters named to the team, which includes Jake Arnitz of Esperanza, who was named the division's Player of the Year.

"Off the court, Weston was our team leader," Panaro said. "He was always communicating with the team and coaches, organizing team events, planning game-day attire and much more. Weston could always be counted upon and was always there to pick up a teammate who was struggling.

"I hope the younger players paid close attention to the example Weston provided and learned from him. I know I did."

All-CIF SS Division 4 Team

Player of the Year: Jake Arnitz, Esperanza, OH, Jr.

Coach of the Year: Isaac Owens, Esperanza

Team: Weston Barnes, Laguna Beach, OH, Sr.; Jake Arnitz, Esperanza, OH, Jr; Ben Oxnard, Esperanza, OH, Jr.; Andrew Lancaster, Esperanza, L, Sr.; Carl Mendoza, Santa Barbara, Libero, Sr.; Ryan Worley, Santa Barbara, OPP, Sr.; Shane Hauschild, San Marcos, OH, Jr.; Jason Weedon, Foothill, OH, Sr.; Jackson Wopat, Dos Pueblos, MB, Sr.; Jennings Franciskovic, Oaks Christian, OH, Sr.; Brendan Parks, Oak Park, OH, Jr.; Stephen Zetterberg, Claremont, MB, Sr.; Daniel Jacobs, Burroughs/Burbank, OPP, Sr.

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At the Laguna boys' volleyball program banquet, the following Breakers received honors:

Varsity

Coach's Award: JP Wollam; Most Inspirational: Cole Kesler; Most Improved: Andrei Kvitsinsky; Offensive MVP: Grifan Fair; Most Valuable Player: Weston Barnes; Orange County All Stars Selection: Weston Barnes.

Junior Varsity

Coach's Award: Cameron dePfyffer; Most Inspirational: Troy Thomas; Most Improved: Liam Christiansen; Defensive MVP: Adam Lythgoe, Zach Bekken; Offensive MVP: Nick Reickhoff.

Frosh-Soph

Coach's Award: Isaac Wulff; Most Inspirational: Teague Vanderbeek, Matt McClements; Most Improved: Penn Nielsen; Defensive MVP: Dylan Davis; Offensive MVP: Alez Rounagh.

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Baseball

Rees pitched his way to an undefeated senior campaign on the mound and was one key reason Laguna was able to win the Orange Coast League championship.

Rees went 10-0 on the hill. He struck out 52 and possessed an earned-run average of 1.21. Offensively, he hit .377 with six doubles, a triple, a home run and 21 runs batted in.

Steven Harrison, a second team selection, hit .439. He had five home runs, 25 RBIs and set a school record for on base percentage (.602).

The OCL's Most Valuable Player tied former Breaker and all-league and All-CIF player Chris Paul for career pitching wins and set the program record for most wins (10-0) in a season for an undefeated pitcher.

"This is well deserved and I am proud of Jackson for all his hard work and dedication," Laguna Coach Mike Bair said.

All-CIF Division 4 First Team

Player of the Year: Phillip Bickford, Oaks Christian

Coach of the Year: Tim Penprase, Oaks Christian

Team: Jackson Rees, Laguna Beach, Sr.; Marco Briones, Alhambra; Ben Fonseca, Baldwin Park; Bernardo Flores, Baldwin Park; Frank Vargas, El Rancho; Julian Vizcarra, El Rancho; Lars Nootbaar, El Segundo; Chris Mathewson, Kaiser; Clayton Herrman, La Canada; Sean Sparling, La Habra; Mark Abbate, La Serna; Chris Burkholder, Monrovia; Jack Kruger, Oaks Christian; Nathaniel Palace, Oaks Christian; Jimmy Lambert, San Dimas; Elias Orona, San Dimas; Andrew Piraino, Sonora; Jon Paul Sarro, Sonora; Matt Mogollon, South Torrance; Kollbi Oriti, Northview.

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At the Laguna baseball program banquet, the following Breakers received honors:

Varsity (26-3)

Pitcher of the Year: Jackson Rees, Sr.; Offensive Player of the Year: Steven Harrison, Jr.; Defensive Player of the Year: Preston Grand Pre, Jr.; Coaches Award: Blake Hester, Sr.; MVP: Richie Nunis, Jr.

Junior Varsity (15-8)

Pitcher of the Year: Anthony Norelli, Soph.; Offensive Player of the Year: Callan Cochran, Soph.; Defensive Player of the Year: Jake Smith, Soph.; Coaches Award: Conner Basile, Fr.; MVP: Zak Kovacic, Fr.

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Rotary honors

The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach recently honored two athletes, Lexi Del Toro and Robert Clemons, as Laguna Beach High Students of the Month for May.

Del Toro played girls' water polo and was on the swim team. In water polo, she was first-team all-league and first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division 1. She is a four-year scholar athlete and is on the Superintendent's Honor Roll. Del Toro will attend Harvard in the fall.

Clemons had a record-setting senior season on the football team. He has earned all-league status in all four of his years playing on varsity, was named All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division this year, and is a four-year scholar athlete. Clemons will attend Yale in the fall.

Del Toro and Clemons, accompanied by Laguna Beach High Athletic Director Mike Churchill, were honored with certificates of recognition and received scholarships at the Honors Convocation held June 7.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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