The Orange Coast College football team (3-1), off to its best start since 2009, has jumped to the No. 8 ranking in Southern California, No. 17 in the state and No. 30 in one national poll.

Coach Mike Taylor's Pirates upset Palomar, then ranked No. 5 in Southern California and No. 13 in the state, 35-28, on Saturday in the Southern Conference opener at OCC.

The Pirates are ranked No. 30 in the nation by

OCC plays Grossmont (3-1), ranked No. 5 in Southern California and No. 13 in the state, on Saturday at 1 p.m. in El Cajon.

— Barry Faulkner


Lions' Licciardi honored

Vanguard freshman men's soccer goalie Luca Licciardi has been named Golden State Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after shutting out Cal State San Marcos on Saturday.

Licciardi had two saves in a 1-0 nonconference overtime triumph and also allowed only one goal in the Lions' 1-0 nonconference loss to Lindsey Wilson, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, on Sept. 14.

Vanguard entered Wednesday's GSAC-opening contest at Westmont with a 2-5-1 record.

— From staff reports


Mikulak an innovator

The International Gymnastics Federation has approved naming a pommel horse skill after Corona del Mar High graduate Sam Mikulak.

Mikulak, a junior at the University of Michigan who represented the United States at the London Olympic Games, became the first gymnast to perform the "Mikulak" in an FIG sanctioned competition, during the men's qualification round in London.

The skill is a double-scissor with a hop from one end of the horse to the other. It begins with forward leg swings and a half turn of the body, but ends with backward leg swings.

"I just pushed an old skill to the limits and just made it more exciting and a little bit more interesting," Mikulak said in a statement. "Having that skill in the books forever is something that I can look back on and say that I made a difference in the world of gymnastics."

Mikulak is scheduled to open the NCAA season on Dec. 8.

— From staff reports