Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Antioch Paintball Park now offers low impact paintball

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017


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Dozier Libbey Medical High School says farewell to Class of 2017

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Antioch School Board Vice President Debra Vinson addresses the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School graduating Class of 2017 on Friday, June 9, 2017.

By Allen Payton

The 149 graduates in the Class of 2017 at Antioch’s Dozier-Libbey Medical High School and their families, friends, faculty and staff celebrated their achievement during commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 9. They heard humorous, inspiring and encouraging messages from top classmates, their principal, and a representative of the Board of Trustees

Antioch School Board Vice President Debra Vinson representing the trustees, shared her thoughts and offered encouragement to the graduates.

“Many of you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. I’m on my fourth career. So’ there is hope,” she said to laughter.

Vinson reminded the graduates of the Six Pillars of Character, from the Character Counts program, which is promoted in all Antioch district schools: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

She also referred to The Four Agreements, from the book by author Don Miguel Ruiz. The first is “Be impeccable with your word.”

“Only speak bright, positive things about your future,” Vinson said. “Don’t Take Things Personally” and “always give your best.”

“You are now the creator of your life,” she continued.

“Keep a list of loyal friends. Make sure your pastor is on that list. It’s OK to ask for prayer,” Vinson shared. “Learn to listen to your heart. It’s now your life. You’re responsible for it.”

She finished by reading the poem, “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” to some laughter from both the graduates and the audience and ended with “Congratulations graduates.”

Dozier-Libbey graduates receive their diplomas, displaying special messages on their caps.

Valedictorian Angela Geronimo, wearing “UCSD” on her cap, where she is college bound, spoke to her classmates about their shared experience.

“The fears, anxieties and mood swings have ceased for now,” she stated. “We all started out…in baggy scrubs.”

Geronimo spoke about the various teachers and what they taught the students and of “juggling AP (Advanced Placement) work with projects after project after project.”

She spoke of Raul Martinez a fellow classmate who had passed away, then lightened the mood by joking about “anxiety attacks and melt downs.”

“We struggled to gain extra credit points,” Geronimo shared, and “Mr. Libby’s depressing documentaries,” eliciting laughter from the grads.

She then thanked “our amazing staff, faculty, family and friends. We appreciate you more than we can think of.”

“We conquered the most difficult school in Antioch, California,” Geronimo declared.

Next to address the graduates was a fellow student, Erron Williams who had a different, interrupted experience at Dozier-Libbey.

“I left Dozier-Libbey in my junior year for a real campus experience,” he shared. “I realized the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

“I’m grateful and proud to be a graduate of Dozier-Libbey,” Williams stated. “The school has taught us to never give up. Never lose hope in who you want to become.”

He thanked the teachers, saying “you’ve made an impact deeply on my life. I see now you are our biggest ally.”

To his fellow grads Williams concluded by saying, “I want you to know you’re absolutely amazing.”

The final speaker was Principal Scott Bergerhouse, sharing his pride in the class.

“Tomorrow is the beginning of a brand, new future,” he stated. “I’m proud to stand before excellence.”

He spoke of the achievements of the students.

“We have three valedictorians and two salutatorians…55 students out of a class of 149 with a 3.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) and above. 26 with a 3.85 and above. And 14 of those 55 with an above 4.0 GPA” and “19 unbelievable students of mastering two languages.”

“You will be leaders of our future,” Bergerhouse continued. “All of you have touched the hearts of the teachers and myself.”

He mentioned a variety of students by name and the memorable things they did.

“Those valuable memories will never be forgotten,” the principal said.

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go to the wilderness of your intuition,” Bergerhouse shared, quoting actor Alan Alda.

“The teachers and staff are proud of each and every one of you,” he concluded.

The graduates were then presented their diplomas as each of their names was read aloud to the cheers from the crowd.

Congratulations to the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Class of 2017!


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Antioch Eagle Scout graduates from Coast Guard Academy

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

McNell is congratulated by President Donald Trump at the Coast Guard Academy graduation, May 17, 2017.

Bradley McNell accepted his commission from his Commander in Chief, President Donald Trump during the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017.

After completing four years at the Academy in New London, CT and    receiving a Bachelor of Science degree McNell’s first tour of duty will be as an Officer on the 418 foot National Security Cutter, USCGC Waesche – whose homeport is Alameda, CA.

He is an Eagle Scout from Troop 450 and a 2012 graduate of De La Salle High School.

To watch the speech by given to the graduates by General John Kelly, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, click here and to see highlights of the graduation, click here.

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Deer Valley High graduates one of its smartest classes

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Valedictorian Henry Rausch, left and other Deer Valley High Class of 2017 grads celebrate and get hyped during the ceremony on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Photos by Luke Johnson

DVHS alum and Vice Principal Blair Wilkins addresses the graduates.

By Luke Johnson

An unlikely dream came true for a Deer Valley High School alumnus.

Blair Wilkins – who ranked No. 317 out of 400 students in DVHS’s first graduating class in 1999 – spoke during the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2017 as the school’s vice principal.

“For me graduating 18 years ago – half my life ago – it’s been very surreal for me to come back and it’s been a great pleasure to serve as a vice principal,” Wilkins said.

Approximately 475 diploma recipients filed in on the campus’s football field Thursday, June 8, on an unusually cloudy evening for this time of year with an estimated 3,000 loved ones in the stands.

A grad cheers on one of his peers.

Wilkins said this was one of the school’s most successful years academically with nearly one-fourth of graduates finishing with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

“We have had a lot of growth with our students – most recently being recognized as a California Honor Roll School,” Wilkins said. “Which to me is a great honor and really shows how great of a school community we have.”

Every year students and administrators agree that DVHS has an unfair negative reputation. However, Valedictorian Henry Rausch believes the school took a step forward this year in progressing public opinion.

A grad celebrates as she receives her diploma.

“From the inside, we don’t have a bad reputation. We all like the school,” Rausch said. “It’s just a small fraction of the school that’s making trouble and giving us bad press, and from the inside we don’t see any of that.”

Before the event began, everyone in attendance had a moment of silence to pay tribute to Reggina Jefferies, who was on pace to graduate that day but tragically passed away in a mass shooting in Oakland last summer.


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Contra Costa Supervisors Consider Banning Flavored Tobacco Sales to Youth

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

By Daniel Borsuk

Expect Contra Costa County Supervisors to have on the books at either their July 11 or 18 meeting an ordinance outlawing the sale of flavored tobacco products to youths at 93 licensed tobacco retailers located in unincorporated parts of the county.

Should county supervisors adopt the proposed ordinance next month, the East Bay county will join Yolo and Santa Clara counties and the cities of El Cerrito and Los Gatos to have passed ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco products to youths under the age of 21.  Yolo and Santa Clara counties and Los Gatos have gone the extra mile to ban the sale of menthol flavored cigarettes that are a leading contributor to heart and lung disease related deaths especially among African Americans.

Supervisors balked on Tuesday acting on a proposed ordinance aimed to protect youth under the age of 21 from buying flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-liquids, snuff, chewing tobacco, little cigars, cigarillos, hookah tobacco, and vapor solutions for electronic smoking, mainly because they could not agree on some technical issues, one being whether a retailer selling these products should be 500 feet or 1,000 feet from either a school, library, park, or playground.

County records show 48 of the 93 licensed tobacco retailers in unincorporated Contra Costa County are within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or library.  Some 57 retailers are located within 500 feet of another tobacco retailer and 13 of these 57 stores are also within 1,000 feet of a school.

Saying she prefers setting a 500-foot distance, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said it is important for the board to draft an ordinance that supervisors can be satisfied with so that elected officials on city councils in the county will be potentially interested in adopting similar anti-flavored tobacco product ordinances.

County Health Director William Walker recommended that supervisors adopt the proposed ordinance that attracted more than 50 speakers, most of them calling on supervisors to pass the ordinance.

“Smoking is a pediatric disease, “said Dr. Walker.  “It is a leading factor for why this county spends $334 million a year in medical costs per year.  Flavored tobacco products are the gateway products to being a habitual smoker.”

Ninety percent of United States smokers began to smoke on average by age 18, he said.

Walker estimates the county receives $30 million in all tobacco sales tax revenue a year, a figure that includes tax revenue from flavored tobacco product sales in the county.

Dr. Phillip Gardener of the University of California San Francisco encouraged the board to adopt the ordinance noting how menthol flavored tobacco products are a major contributing factor for a high death toll in African American community.

“Menthol flavored tobacco products are a starter products for our youth,” he said.

“While store employees try to keep these products out of the hands of youth, the reality of the problem is that these products do get into the hands of our youth,” said Rachel Lazarus of the Contra Costa Tolerance Prevention Coalition.  “This ordinance will control this problem.”

With the prospects that the tobacco industry might file a lawsuit to block the county from enacting the ordinance, Jag Sing, a board member representing 12 Contra Costa County 7-11 Stores, opposed the proposed ordinance saying “No retailer wants to sell to minors.  Let’s work together.”

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Deer Valley High volleyball player Carson Zollars named league MVP

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Carson Zollars goes up for a spike. photo courtesy of

By Jesus Cano

Deer Valley outside hitter Carson Zollars is praised to be a leader and powerhouse player on the court by his team and the rest of the league. His hard work has paid off, as he was named the 2017 Most Valuable Player for the Bay Valley Athletic League.

The senior is regarded to be one of the top hitters in all of the North Coast Section. Zollars was a league leader in kills with 365 and serving aces with 56. Defensively, he came second in with 353 digs. Along with his work on the court, he maintained a 4.0 Grade Point Average all four years of high school.

“I’m so honored to be recognized by the BVAL as the most valuable player,” Zollars said  “I’ve worked hard and put in countless hours of gym time, and it just feels incredible to have it all pay off”

Zollars has been on the varsity squad since his freshman year. Many people state that the teams he participated in were considered one of the best in Deer Valley history. Not only that, but he played under the direction under legendary Deer Valley coach Lou Panzella.

Deer Valley had a championship year. They began their season by conquering the Golden Valley Tournament in Merced,Calif. Later in the season they captured their ninth BVAL Boys Volleyball League title in the past decade. The season ultimately came to an end in the NCS Division one playoffs where the lost to Foothill (Pleasanton) on the road.

His coach and father Andrew Zollars describes him to not only be a phenomenal player, but mentor to the entire program.

“Carson was our team captain and led by example with his positive attitude, constant communication on the court and ongoing encouragement to his teammate,” Zollars said “He was mentally tough all season and simply refused to let negative emotion determine the outcome of any match this season.”

He had received many scholarship offers to play volleyball in college, however many of those schools were located on the other side of the nation. Zollars stated he did not want to make the long move in order to have a more traditional college experience.

The newly crowned MVP will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno where he intends to major in Mechanical Engineering and play on the club volleyball team for the Wolfpack.

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Deer Valley freshman, Trinity Bolden headlines BVAL Championship Track Meet

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Trinity Bolden wins the 100 meter race at the BVAL track and field championship. screenshot from YouTube video.

By Jesus Cano

The elite runners of the Bay Valley Athletic League showcased their skills on Saturday, May 13th at Deer Valley High School where the BVAL League Championship track meet was held.

The city of Antioch was represented by both Deer Valley and Antioch High School at the meet, but freshman Trinity Bolden stole the show by taking home first place in both the 100 and 200 meter races. 

Bolden was not the only female competitor to place first for the Wolverines, as her teammate Lauren Siao come out on top in the 100 meter hurdles competition.

Not far behind Siao was Antioch’s Alyssa Morelli, who came in third place for both 100 meter hurdle and 300 meter hurdle. Morelli also placed third in the 4×400 relay along with Taaje Pete, Jenna Salas and Zoe Davis-Watkins.

Antioch Junior Dalaan Green’s speed helped him accolade him to place first in the Boys 100 meter dash and second in the 200 meter.

Ryan Redman, Dior Walker, Jason Johnson and Jamir Collier worked together in the 4×400 meter relay and took third place.

To view a YouTube video of Trinity’s first place run in the 100 meter race at the BVAL Championship, click here.

For more information on Trinity’s track and field times and results from this year’s competitions, visit

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Middle school teens get their own space at Antioch Community Center starting tomorrow

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Summer Open Gym at the Antioch Community Center is for middle school teens only!  Hang out with friends or play basketball, rule the table games or take part in other activities.

The gymnasium is open on Tuesdays beginning June 13th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm for only $3.00 per visit.  Purchase a punch card in advance and get one visit free. Leave your brothers and sisters home and come enjoy an afternoon set aside for just you and other middle school teens. 

Antioch Recreation staff will provide supervision throughout the afternoon.  For more information call the Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.

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