Irvine sports roundup (October 2023)

Football team eyes playoffs

University High School

After winning three of its first five games, University High’s football team hopes to lock up a CIF playoff berth this month. The Trojans are led by quarterback Koa Saito and receiver Blaine Anderson. “If we pull out two of the three wins in league, we’re making CIF this year,” Anderson says. Uni’s three league games are Oct. 13 vs. Beckman, Oct. 20 vs. Woodbridge and Oct. 27 vs. Irvine. Two teams from the league advance to the playoffs.

Koa Saito, Blaine Anderson

Water polo team wins tournament

Northwood High School

The Northwood High boys water polo team won the Chino Hills Thrills in the Hills Tournament and hopes to finish strong after winning eight of its first 10 games this season. Senior co-captain Michael Abshier was named tournament MVP, while junior Dean Witt and sophomore Alex Chin earned all-tournament honors. Northwood, which has been ranked in the top 10 of the CIF Division 2 poll, is led by Abshier, who was named a third-team NISCA All-American.

Michael Abshier

Palacio leads Bulldogs

Portola High School

Portola High’s football team hopes to grab the league title this season behind quarterback and captain Rocky Palacio. In the first six games, he passed for 891 yards and seven touchdowns. “He possesses everything a team could ask for in a leader,” coach Peter Abe says. Portola finishes the season with three league games, against Northwood, Dana Hills and Laguna Hills.

Golf team looks for big season

Northwood High School

The Northwood High girls golf team is looking for a big season behind team leader Bridget Chantharath, who had an “amazing summer,” says coach Zach Halop. She qualified for the U.S. Amateur; she played at Bel Air Country Club; she reached the round of 32 at the California Amateur; and she’s placed in the top five at some national American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events. “She’s become an extraordinary leader on the team and is a joy to be around,” Halop says.

Bridget Chantharath