May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Laguna Hills football team holds ‘Hail our Heroes’ night and tops Dana Hills 39-8 (video)

Laguna Hills players Gabe Hurley (No. 37) and Matt Der Torossian head out to the field for Friday’s game with Dana Hills.

It was a memorable Friday night for the Laguna Hills football program, which held its first ‘Hail our Heroes’ night during the game with Dana Hills.

The players and coaches honored veterans, military, police, fire personnel and the team’s non-profit partner Team Darkhorse that support the Marines/Sailors and their families of the USMC 3rd Batallion/5th Marines based out of Camp Pendleton.


“The event was a huge success,” said Coach Mike Maceranka. “We had veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War, Afghanistan and Iraq war. Police and fire were represented. Team Darkhorse is the Marine Battalion 35 the City of Laguna Hills supports and we recognized Friday.

“Boosters Nicole Cavaricci and Mike Switzer played a huge roll in setting up the event. Without them this could not have happened.”

The game was exciting too for the Hawks who improved their record to 2-4 overall with a 39-8 victory over Dana Hills in the Sea View League opener.

“We  have not been able to run the ball consistently this season,” Maceranka said. “Our goal was to be more physical and run the ball. We accomplished that goal. Mitch Leigber moved to running back this week and led the team in rushing (78 yards).

“Sophomore (quarterback) Hayden McKenna came in the second quarter and led the team to 32 consecutive points (115 yards, two touchdowns).

“Defensively Gabe Hurley had a huge interception from defensive end and it lead to a touchdown and got us on track. Cole Hemenez led the team in tackles and was named player of the game for defense.”

Other Hawks players stepped up too, the coach said.

“Nolan Hegeduis had another dominant performance at the offensive guard and Cole Lewis was great at the other guard all night,” he said.

Maceranka said the team went back to its plan from the first two seasons “and we ran for the most yards all season.”