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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Cerritos girls basketball player Kari Orr signs to play soccer at California Lutheran University

Cerritos High senior Kari Orr (center) is surrounded by coaches, family members and friends as she signed a letter of intent to play soccer at California Lutheran University. 

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

Since she was a little girl, Kari Orr had always loved soccer. The Cerritos High senior knew that she wanted to play collegiate soccer, and in fact said she was “dead set” on playing collegiate soccer since she was in the seventh grade.

The funny thing is Orr never played one minute of high school soccer but was a three-year varsity member of the basketball team. Orr’s dreams were made possible on Feb. 18 when she signed a letter of intent to play at California Lutheran University.

“It was a pretty easy decision for me,” Orr said. “It had the best of both worlds, both academically and athletically. I knew I wanted to play a collegiate sport. It just so happened that soccer was the one that got chosen, and then it had all the academic stuff I wanted. It’s perfect.”

Orr, who plays for Beach FC DPL 02, also looked at some of the University of California schools as well as a couple of schools in Nebraska and the University of Idaho. Orr plays center midfield, but also plays forward and sometimes you can find her on defense, depending on the game. 

Marcus Chinen, the head coach of the girls basketball team, remembered Orr coming up to him her freshman season and inquiring about playing another sport other than soccer so she could represent her high school. She spent one season on the frosh/soph team before Chinen promoted her to the varsity squad her sophomore season.

“Kari Orr is just an overall athlete,” Chinen said. “She can pick anything up. She brought a lot of excitement into the [basketball] program. She was very vocal on and off the court. She also stressed defense to the team.”

Orr recently wrapped up the 2019-2020 basketball season scoring 90 points, including a career-high 11 points at Oxford Academy on Feb. 4. She started the majority of games she played in. Last season, Orr scored 69 points and as a sophomore, she scored 68 points. Although her passion has always been soccer, she never thought about playing for the Lady Dons, but at the same time, loved the decision she made to play basketball.

“I watched my sister play and it looked like she had a great time and I love soccer,” Orr said. “But I also knew that I really loved other sports and I was like, ‘I’m in club, I’ve been playing club since I was eight, why not try something new?’ High school is that opportunity, it’s a blank slate, and I could learn anything.

“This past season has definitely been a whirlwind,” Orr later added. “We came in as kind of an underdog; no one really thought we were going to be [league champs].”

Orr wanted to thank her coaches, especially the basketball ones for supporting her and pushing her. She says they always knew soccer was going to be her number one thing, but they would still be there for her no matter what. 

BASEBALL

The final day of action in the Newport Elks Tournament for a quartet of area teams is today with the opponents to be determined after games played this past Wednesday. Artesia High went 1-2 in pool play action in the Orange County Division and faced Estancia High this past Wednesday. The Pioneers will also host Los Amigos High on Tuesday.

Also, in the O.C. Division, Valley Christian High went 1-2 in pool play action and visited Westminster High this past Wednesday. The Defenders will also host Rio Americano High on Saturday and Savanna High on Monday.

Cerritos went 2-1 in pool play action in the Costa Mesa Division and visited Segerstrom High this past Wednesday. The Dons also travel to Los Altos High on Wednesday.

Gahr High picked up its first win of the season this past Monday against Temecula Valley High to conclude pool play action in the Frank Lerner Division. The Gladiators hosted Mira Costa High this past Wednesday. 

John Glenn High has been outscored 36-3 in three losses this season and hosted Firebaugh High on Feb. 27. The Eagles will travel to Lynwood High on Tuesday while La Mirada High is participating in the Loara Tournament, having gone 3-0 thus far, yielding three runs. The tournament wraps up on Saturday and the Matadors will also host Lakewood High on Wednesday in a doubleheader.

Whitney High defeated Santa Ana Valley High 15-5 this past Tuesday in its season opener and travelled to Fairmont Prep on Feb. 27. The Wildcats will also host Firebaugh High on Monday and Tarbut V Torah High on Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

Artesia hosted Warren High on Feb. 27 and will be home to Norwalk High on Tuesday while Cerritos is winless through four games as it visited Kennedy High on Feb. 27.

Gahr hosted Chino Hills High this past Wednesday and went to Ocean View High the next day while La Mirada dropped to 3-2 following a 5-4 loss to Downey High this past Tuesday. The Lady Matadors visit Redlands High on Saturday for a doubleheader before hosting Bishop Amat High on Monday. After that, La Mirada goes to Bullhead, Arizona for the Tournament of Champions event.

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