The summer has become a time to play for former athletes from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and this Olympic summer of 2004 will be no different.
Former LMU stars have made a name for themselves among the best in their sports.
At least 21 former or current LMU student athletes are playing in the professional ranks or top amateur competition this summer, including a pair of Lions in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Three-time All-American Reid Priddy from the men’s volleyball team will lead Team USA for a medal bid, while current student athlete Rachel Riddell of the women’s water polo team will play for Team Canada.
Also playing at the next level this summer is Arturo Torres (2004 graduate), a men’s soccer player on the Los Angeles Galaxy; Michael Erush (2004 graduate) and men’s soccer player in Colorado Rapids; and Sarah Noriega (1996 graduate) and women’s volleyball player on the U.S. National Team.
Priddy leads a talented group of former LMU players as he has become one of Team USA’s top players. He joined the national team in 2000 and was an alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games.
This year he helped Team USA qualify for the 2004 Olym-pic Games in Athens, Greece, by winning the NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caguas, Puerto Rico January 10th.
The team posted a perfect record of 6-0 en route to the gold medal, which included a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Cuba in the championship match. In that match Priddy scored a match-high 16 points on 13 kills and three blocks.
Priddy has emerged as one of the starting outside hitters on the left side and served as the team captain at the Pan American Games last year.
He has also played professionally for the Vienna Hotvolleys in Austria.
Last year, as a true freshman, Riddell became one of the best goalies in collegiate water polo as she became the first freshman in LMU women’s water polo to earn All-American honors.
Riddell led the team to 24 wins, then a program best, and set the program record with a goals against average of 4.22 per game.
Riddell did not play with the Lions this year, as she spent the year training with Team Canada as they qualified for the 2004 Olympics.
The Canadians are currently ranked fourth in the world and were fifth at the 2000 Olympics, the first time women’s water polo was included on the official Olympic Games program.
Canada is in a tough division with the world champion Americans, third-ranked Russia and surging Hungary, which lost to the U.S., in the World League final last month in a shootout.
Riddell will return to LMU this fall.
Torres, a former All-American, was the first player from the men’s soccer program to play professionally as he enters his second year in the MLS.
He currently has one assist for the Galaxy as a midfielder and finished his LMU career as the all-time leading scorer in the 2002 season.
He officially earned his degree this May. Joining him in the professional ranks this summer was former teammate Michael Erush, who signed a developmental contract with the Colorado Rapids this spring. Erush, who finished his degree in three-and-a-half years, was an All-Conference selection a year ago.
Noriega has been one of the Lion staples in national team play, joining the women’s national team in 1998. She will serve as an alternate on this year’s Olympic team after competing in the 2000 Games in Australia.
She serves as an alternate after suffering a shoulder injury. Last year, she has helped the U.S. earn a bronze medal at the World Cup and a berth in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
CHURCH ANNIVERSARY — Westchester Christian Church will celebrate its 60th anniversary Sunday, July 25th, and Pastor J.D. Webster will also be celebrating ten years as pastor.
The church event will include music, food and an awards ceremony where Webster, the church and two of Westchester’s community devotees — Helen Meyer and Marianne Godding — will receive recognition for their devotion and dedication.
The reception starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by a free luncheon at noon.
The official Manhattan Beach entertainers, The Hyperion Outfall Serenaders, and The Sacred Jazz Ensemble will provide the entertainment.
The event is open to the public.
Reservations are requested. Information and reservations, (310) 645-4344.
PLAYA VISTA CONCERT — Playa Vista will hold its second summer concert of the year from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 25th, at Concert Park.
The featured band will be Eight Days a Week, an amazing Beatles tribute band playing all the favorite Beatles songs.
Bring your blankets and a picnic dinner for this fabulous free concert. Parking will be provided in the Visitor Center Parking Area on the north side of Jefferson Boulevard, at Playa Vista Drive. Shuttles will be provided.