Welcome to Trojan Thursday – So what exactly is Trojan Thursday? Trojan Thursday is a weekly email/online blog to give the UNI community an update on what is happening with our UNI athletic teams and will also give information as to major events that are happening on campus. If you would like to receive Trojan Thursday each week please go to https://unitrojanthursday.wordpress.com and type in your email address. You will receive a notice each week when Trojan Thursday is posted. Please help spread the word about Trojan Thursday so everyone can hear how our athletes are doing.
What’s Happening on Campus
Help Support Girls Volleyball! The Uni Girls Volleyball Boosters have extended order pick up for Winter Formal corsage / Boutonniere orders until Friday, Feb. 2nd. They will pick up the order forms after school near the gym parking lot.
Upcoming Sports Try-outs: All athletes must show current Uni Athletic ID card to coach prior to participating in try-outs.
Baseball: Sat. Feb. 10th 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Must email Coach Gerakos if interested in attending)
Softball: Feb. 5th @ 3:00 p.m. @ Uni Softball Fields
Big changes ahead for University High School Athletics. After 32 years as our Head Football Coach, Mark Cunningham has decided to retire this year. Check out this article from OC Varsity.
Mark Cunningham to retire after 32 years as University’s football coach
By TIM J. BURT |
PUBLISHED: January 29, 2018 at 12:11 am | UPDATED: January 29, 2018 at 12:32 am
IRVINE – Longtime University football head coach Mark Cunningham announced Sunday night, Jan. 28, at the team’s annual banquet that he will retire at the end of the school year after 32 years, saying, “it was just the right time to do it.”
No replacement has been made for the 67-year-old Cunningham, who started at University in 1986.
“It went really well. There were a lot of former players who showed up and I guess the boosters suspected it so they had something set up,” Cunningham said in an interview Sunday night.
“It was quite a tribute. It was an amazing night. It was emotional.”
Cunningham said he did not want word of his retirement to be released before he could tell his players, and he did so at the end of the banquet on campus. News of the retirement had reached the University boosters, who honored the coach.
“Thirty-two years, that’s quite an accomplishment, especially when you take a look at the merry-go-round that was there before I got there,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said that during the banquet he had “a deep appreciation for everything that Uni has given me and the players and the experiences that I’ve had.”
He added, “I couldn’t have been more happy about my time at Uni and I think it’s time for someone new to come in, and they’re going to have a pretty darn good team next year and they’re going to be excited about it. There is going to be some new blood and some new ideas.”
Cunningham said he will continue to teach, run the offseason football program and be athletic director until a new coach is selected.
“The timing is right as it will provide University the opportunity to hire the best possible coach and not be restricted as to what their credential is in,” Cunningham said.
“If I were to stay one more year, and believe me with next year’s team it would be very easy to stay one more year, the same opportunity (for a new coach) would not be available.”
Cunningham was tied with Newport Harbor’s Jeff Brinkley for Orange County’s most active tenured years as a football coach. Brinkley announced his retirement on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Cunningham has been a high school coach for 41 years. He took half a season off to deal with cancer treatments in 2010 but returned that season for the league portion of the team’s schedule. He has been cancer-free for seven years, he said Sunday.
“What a year,” he said when looking back at that season.
University finished 6-4 overall and 2-3 in the Pacific Coast League this past season. The Trojans defeated Beckman 35-21 in what turned out to be Cunningham’s final game Nov. 2, but it wasn’t enough to help the Trojans qualify for the CIF-SS playoffs.
Cunningham said the highlights of his time as University’s coach include the 1991 season when the Trojans finished fourth in the league, got an at-large berth in the CIF-SS playoffs and upset No. 1 seed Garden Grove, which was undefeated.
Cunningham’s other top memories include three league championships and 14 CIF-SS playoff appearances.
He also mentioned the 1995 team which he called the “Dirty 30.”
“We made a decision that we would go with the players who really wanted to play and make a commitment,” he said. “We started with over 60 players but ended up with 30 and went to the playoffs that year. It was a great group and very gratifying season. There were more cheerleaders than football players.”
Cunningham also coached at Garey High of Pomona from 1977 to 1980, and held head coaching jobs at Chino from 1981 to 1982, Garey in 1983 and at Truckee from 1984 to 1985.
His family includes his wife, Cassie Parham, daughter Kelly Connor, son-in-law Kevin Connor, son Casey Cunningham and grandchildren Jamison Connor and Paisley Mae Connor.
Cunningham said he plans to ski, play golf and “maybe be an assistant football coach on a voluntary basis.”
Winter Sports Update
The boys fell to Corona Del Mar on Tuesday, losing 55-61. They will be back at it on Friday (2/2) for their GOW against Irvine. Game starts at 7:00 p.m. in the Uni Gym. Come out and support!
They Lady Trojan Basketball team is 7-0 in league play!! Last Friday the girls beat Northwood 38-20 with stand out performances by Malia Goldsmith with 14 points and Claire Kawata with 10 points. Last night they beat Corona del Mar 59-39 with big games by Malia Goldsmith with 15 points and 5 assists, Ashley Chandler with 15 points 8 rebounds, and Karissa Shin with 10 points. Friday night is a big home game and is the Game of the Week at 5:30pm vs Irvine.
Boys soccer keeps winning. We are now 7-0 in league and 14-1-2 overall. Our latest win coming over CdM at home clinched at least a share of the league title, the school’s first since 2010. We are currently ranked #1 in CIF division 3 and #2 in OC. Ranked inside top 100 in the nation. We need just 1 more point in our last 3 games to clinch the league title outright.
Girls soccer had a great win against CDM on Tuesday final score was 3-0. CDM’s first league upset in two years. This Thursday is our GOW against Irvine at 3:15pm. Please come out and support our UNI girls as they take on Irvine and enjoy some tacos from Tacos & Co.
Girls Water Polo
Last weekend UNI went 3-2 in the Oceanview tournament. Topping Laguna Hills with a score of 9-0 and beating Aliso Niguel for a second time with a 2 point victory. They fell short against tournament winners Sunny Hills and lost twice to Mission Viejo. Overall, it was the best showing in the tournament the team has had in years. In league play, the lady Trojans fell to Irvine on Tuesday, with a score of 10-4. They didn’t see a spark until the second half, when Caitlyn Kissinger and Angela Yan each added two goals. The UNI ladies, will play Beckman on Monday, Feb. 5th, the last home game and Senior day. Please come out and support.
Last Saturday the wrestling team competed in League Finals at Irvine high school. We finished the day with 4 qualifiers and 1 alternate. Congratulations to those that qualified for CIF!
106 lbs-3rd place, Freshmen Dylan Ohashi
126 lbs-2nd place, Senior Sebastian Corona
170 lbs-3rd place, Junior Zander Burright
220 lbs-2nd place, Junior Kea Sadri
285 lbs-4th place, Sophomore Sam Xie
This Saturday Lorena Egea will be competing at the Girls Regional CIF Qualifier at El Toro high school.
Here is a look at this week’s UNI Athletics events
(Home events in Blue)
Thursday, February 1st
*GOW**Girls Soccer v Irvine – 3:15 p.m.
Boys Soccer @ Irvine – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, February 2nd
**GOW**Girls Basketball v Irvine – 5:30 p.m.
**GOW**Boys Basketball v Irvine – 7:00 p.m.
Monday, February 5th
Girls Soccer v Beckman – 3:15 p.m.
Girls Water Polo v Beckman – 4:15 p.m.
Boys Soccer v Beckman @ Tustin – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 6th
Girls Basketball v Beckman – 5:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball v Beckman – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 7th
Girls Water Polo @ Woodbridge – 4:15 p.m.
**GOW**Boys Soccer v Woodbridge – 4:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer @ Woodbridge – 5:00 p.m.
Continue to do what you can to help support UNI Athletics and:
- Attend the games
- Wear UNI clothing or colors to the games
- Attend the GOWs
- Support the Trojan Army so we can put on events and give always at big games
- Spread the word about Trojan Thursday – If someone is interested in receiving Trojan Thursday send them the link – http://trojanthursday.wordpress.com
- Get others to do the same