The Accolade

Andrew Ngo

Andrew Ngo, Web Editor-in-Chief

After a busy debut year as a full-time staffer for The Accolade, senior Andrew Ngo leaves his position as sports editor to oversee the renovation of shhsaccolade.com. Previously, Ngo traveled as far as Bakersfield to cover Sunny Hills playoff games, received recognition from journalists at the Orange County Register and numerous journalism competitions for his work and created the @AccoladeSports Twitter account—where he posts Sunny Hills sports news, scores and live updates. Ngo loves working from the sidelines and hearing feedback on his coverage.

When Ngo isn’t covering a Sunny Hills sports event, you can find him working with school clubs, playing tennis or listening to country music.

All content by Andrew Ngo
Linebacker senior Carson Irons (bottom) falls down while tackling Fullerton quarterback senior Cameron Williams during the first quarter of the Lancers' 31-7 win over Fullerton. Williams subbed in for starting quarterback senior Dylan Neal during several offensive series in the first quarter.

Lancers trounce first higher-ranked opponent in Fullerton 31-7, capture City Championship for third consecutive season

April 12, 2021

It was billed as the first big test of this condensed COVID-19 season for the Sunny Hills football team, its last home game of the 2020-2021 school year at Buena Park High School stadium. The 4-0 Lancers...

With the Fullerton Joint Union High School District board of trustees' latest directive, Sunny Hills students will be allowed to walk through the front entrance for live classroom instruction four days a week starting April 19.   Those learning from home can still continue to do so.

[Photo] FJUHSD students to be allowed to come to campus four days a week beginning April 19; some still prefer to stay home over COVID-19 health and safety concerns

April 12, 2021

With the Fullerton Joint Union High School District board of trustees' latest directive, Sunny Hills students will be allowed to walk through the front entrance for live classroom instruction four days...

Sunny Hills football players kneel while listening to head coach Peter Karavedas' postgame speech. Karavedas' boys combined for eight touchdowns in the dominating victory.

Football rolls past Fountain Valley 56-14 in first game back since championship season

March 13, 2021

They waited. And waited. And finally, their patience paid off in a big way. A big, big way — as in tonight’s 56-14 drubbing of the visiting Fountain Valley Barons (0-1) in their return to the...

Tight end and linebacker freshman Connor Irons does a dumbbell shoulder press in front of the weight room during a Jan. 27 practice in preparation for the return of the football season, which will begin at a March 12 home opener against Fountain Valley.

Lancer football ready to make return to the field this Friday even without title defense opportunity

March 10, 2021

They were supposed to begin their title defense against Canyon on Aug. 21. Canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. They were supposed to take a trip to South Orange County for a showdown...

The Sunny Hills campus will remain closed for live classroom instruction until at least Feb. 9 after the Fullerton Joint Union High School District board of trustees agreed during a Jan. 26 emergency meeting to defer the return of hybrid learning, citing COVID-19-related health and safety concerns.

Siding with overwhelming number of teachers’ public comments, FJUHSD trustees agree to keep campuses closed through Feb. 8

January 27, 2021

Despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision this week to drop the statewide stay-at-home order, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] board agreed Tuesday to continue distance learning...

Despite controversy, Lana Del Rey’s latest music video breaks through with mystique and flair

January 25, 2021

Lana Del Rey can’t stay away from trouble. As recently as this past May, critics have called out the “Summertime Sadness” singer over supposed cultural appropriation, outspoken political stances...

Just over a month into the hybrid schedule, some students have decided to trade in-person learning for Cohort C.

[Photo] More students opting to switch back to learning from their homes as COVID cases increase in OC

December 13, 2020

Just over a month into the hybrid schedule, some students have decided to trade in-person learning for Cohort C.

An artist's interpretation of the writer and his thoughts on police brutality.

King for a day: Defund the police

November 1, 2020

This is the third part of a series of stories written by five of Accolade's top editors as if they were to be "Kings for a day" — all of which originally appeared in the "Photo Finish" special section,...

Football players train while socially distanced June 23 before an athlete encounter with COVID-19 shut down practices two months later.

[Photo] Staff editorial: When it comes to after school sports practices, Sunny Hills needs to take lead in notifying all stakeholders of potential COVID-19 exposures

October 28, 2020

Football players train while socially distanced June 23 before an athlete encounter with COVID-19 shut down practices two months later.

A firefighter standing upon Anaheim Fire Department's Engine No. 2 aims a deluge gun toward the palm tree on fire.

Instagram live: Palm tree fire

October 27, 2020

  View this post on Instagram   Reported live from Sunny Hills campus on Oct. 26. Tyler Pak and Andrew Ngo reporting. A post...

While standing on Anaheim Fire Department’s Engine No. 2, a firefighter uses a hose to extinguish a palm tree’s flames across the street from the 20s building on Oct. 26. Firefighters had been dispatched to the Sunny Hills campus twice -- at 11:36 a.m and again at 12:20 p.m. to respond to a palm tree that struck power lines and caught fire twice because of winds reaching 20 mph.

High winds Monday, Oct. 26, spark fire — twice — on palm tree across street from Sunny Hills, forcing evacuation of staff, teachers

October 26, 2020

While gusts of up to 60 mph wreaked havoc in Orange County for most of Monday, Oct. 26, and caused several wildfires totaling over 7,000 acres, the Sunny Hills campus in Fullerton was also momentarily...

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a transition to distance learning on March 18, the district’s board of trustees voted on Oct. 6 in favor of returning to school on Nov. 2, which led to students having mixed reactions about the decision.

[Photo] Apocalyptic or epic? Teachers, students share reactions to Nov. 2 reopening of live classroom instruction

October 23, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a transition to distance learning on March 18, the district’s board of trustees voted on Oct. 6 in favor of returning to school on Nov. 2, which led to students having...

Classrooms will reopen on the Sunny Hills campus on Nov. 2, nearly eight months after the coronavirus pandemic sent students and teachers home and shuttered classrooms nationwide.

[Photo] Sunny Hills scheduled to reopen for hybrid learning classroom instruction Nov. 2

October 6, 2020

Classrooms will reopen on the Sunny Hills campus on Nov. 2, nearly eight months after the coronavirus pandemic sent students and teachers home and shuttered classrooms nationwide.

Linebacker senior Noah Brown runs around a cone during a June 23 football practice on the Sunny Hills baseball field. Practices would be suspended two weeks later on July 6 before resuming on Aug. 17 but have since been shut down again because of possible COVID-19 exposure.

Basketball, football programs temporarily shut down because of possible COVID-19 exposure

September 19, 2020

This story was updated at 8:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, with an additional quote from principal Allen Whitten and information about how many athletes have been exposed to COVID-19.  In what’s been a...

The sun sets on the Sunny Hills campus on May 28, the last day of school in the 2019-2020 school year. Because of Fullerton Joint Union High School District’s Sep. 3 announcement, students whose parents signed them up for Cohors A or B will not arrive back on campus until Oct. 5 at the earliest.

[Photo] FJUHSD pushes back date for returning to on-campus learning to no earlier than Oct. 5

September 13, 2020

The sun sets on the Sunny Hills campus on May 28, the last day of school in the 2019-2020 school year. Because of Fullerton Joint Union High School District’s Sep. 3 announcement, students whose parents...

Despite Orange County's new placement in the purple tier, students will still return to campus on the first day of the second semester.

[Photo] Cohort A students to return to school Jan. 4

December 12, 2020

Despite Orange County's new placement in the purple tier, students will still return to campus on the first day of the second semester.

Senior Andrew Ngo, a straight-A student at Sunny Hills, has been enrolling in Fullerton College’s summer courses since 2019. Before the coronavirus pandemic forced all classes to be held online earlier this spring, one of the midterm projects from Ngo’s June 2019 art class  provided Ngo the chance to expand his right-brain creativity through a visit to the Getty Museum.

Worth the effort: Find your next summer activity in a Fullerton College course

August 24, 2020

Before COVID-19 hit earlier this year, I’ve known of classmates flying cross country to participate in summer programs that cost upwards of $10,000. Some landed internships, while others joined the workforce...

Defensive back rising junior Dane Soaper kneels while stretching following a June 23 practice on the Sunny Hills baseball field. The SH football team had been preparing to defend its 2019 CIF-SS Division 8 title when the Orange County Department of Education opened schools for sports summer workout sessions but now must wait until January 2021 to play under Friday night lights again.

Sunny Hills sports delayed until end of 2020 given spread of COVID-19 cases

July 23, 2020

On March 12, the Sunny Hills boys volleyball team walked out of the SH gym with a 3-0 victory over Artesia, the Lancers’ first best-of-five set win in its inaugural season. It would also be the last...

Image created by Accolade co-sports editor Andrew Ngo. Individual images of football players with their rings used with permission from Peter Karavedas.

Head football coach, staff, parent booster personally deliver about 80 rings to players’ homes as alternative to canceled ring celebration because of COVID-19 school closure

April 19, 2020

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the governor's stay-at-home order, two Sunny Hills football coaches and a booster contributor took it upon themselves from April 3-8 to distribute roughly 80 rings...

Tight end and defensive lineman sophomore Ethan Johnson (center) celebrates following the team's championship game victory over Santa Barbara at San Marcos High School Stadium on Nov. 30. After the spring sports cancellation, football may not have its chance to defend the fourth CIF-Southern Section title in school history. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

With CIF State officially canceling spring playoffs because of coronavirus-related school closures, what are implications for fall sports?

April 13, 2020

After CIF State postponed a March 17 decision to cancel the spring sports playoffs, the organization’s executive director Ron Nocetti made an April 3 announcement that all spring playoff events would...

Accolade co-sports editor Andrew Ngo went to the hospital with the intent of getting a chest x-ray, but he had no idea what events would unfold regarding the coronavirus threat to schools and spring sports. +RengenDSC_0116 by Ansikov is licensed under CC BY 4.0

March 19: Spring sports suspension, a trip to the hospital and what it’s like to be the subject of an OC Sports Zone story

March 21, 2020

LIVING UNDER THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS This is part of a series of columns from The Accolade staff about their various experiences during the school closure because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you...

Senior Andrew Park (center) pushes the ball past Crean Lutheran defenders during a 3-1 loss to the Saints. The Feb. 20 game was the first ever Sunny Hills boys volleyball game. Now, the inaugural Freeway League boys volleyball season will have to be postponed to next year. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Brianna Zafra

Coronavirus threat-related school closure to May 4 leads to end of regular spring sports season; fate of CIF playoffs to be determined April 3

March 20, 2020

Upon Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] superintendent Scott Scambray’s decision to extend school closure until May 4, athletics officials confirmed Friday that the regular spring sports...

A March 3 email from Nicolas Junior High teacher Leah Yamamoto telling the participants that the trip to South Korea been canceled.

Conoravirus threat cancels exchange program trip to South Korea for two juniors

March 16, 2020

It could have been a trip to remember. Then, the coronavirus outbreak picked up speed in March, prompting the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a pandemic. A March 3 email from Nicholas...

Boys tennis singles player freshman Owen Taylor prepares to hit a backhand during a March 3 match against Whitney. Taylor aims to play in the April 21-26 Ojai Tournament, but concern over how to stop the spread of the coronavirus has the event's status in jeopardy. Image taken by Accolade photographer Brianna Zafra.

Coaches, athletes await CIF announcement March 17 or 18 on spring sports playoffs — possibly season as a whole — during state coronavirus threat

March 15, 2020

The March 17-18 CIF State annual spring meeting in Sacramento could shed light on the fate of the spring sports season in light of what Southern California schools have decided to do in halting athletics...

Cheer coach Lizzy Mejia (right) helps basketball player and male cheerleader sophomore Jacob Dedeaux perform a backflip as male cheerleaders watch in the background on the Sunny Hills blacktop during a Feb. 27 practice. Dedeaux and 18 other male athletes will show off their skills in the March 13 assembly. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Male athletes join forces with cheer to perform in March 13 assembly

March 9, 2020

The first time the boys entered the cheer room for practice on Feb. 18, head cheer coach Lizzy Mejia laid out a few rules for them. Rule No. 1: No jewelry.  Rule No. 2 (and the most important):...

Junior Jason Thomson (right) passes the ball to a teammate during the Lancers' home opener loss to Crean Lutheran Feb. 25 in the Sunny Hills gym. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Brianna Zafra

Opener for Sunny Hills boys volleyball’s inaugural season soured by four-set, home loss to Crean Lutheran

February 26, 2020

Bright lights shine on the hardwood floor. Cheers echo around the gym. Fans stomp on the bleachers.  Suddenly, the ball pops in the air. As every millisecond passes, the ball gets farther and farther...

Sunny Hills boys basketball forward senior Emmanuel Seddoh (left) searches for a teammate to pass the ball to while being double-teamed during the second quarter of the Lancers' 72-65 victory at home over Fullerton Feb. 4. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Brianna Zafra

Sunny Hills boys basketball team beats Fullerton 72-65 to keep playoff hopes alive

February 5, 2020

Facing playoff elimination and a fifth straight loss, the Sunny Hills boys basketball team overcame a nine-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Fullerton 72-65 on Senior Night Feb. 4 at the Sunny...

Head Coach Peter Karavedas speaks to the football team following the team's 42-21 loss to Bakersfield Christian in the CIF State Division 3-A SoCal Regional game at Bakersfield Christian High School stadium Dec. 14. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Season Recap: Lancer football’s historic season full of broken streaks and dramatic finishes comes to a close

December 19, 2019

This story was updated on Dec. 20 to include more honors. Fifteen weeks.  Twelve wins.  Six games decided in the final minute of play.  Four players selected to the Orange County Register...

Running back and defensive back senior Jun Ahn (center) avoids Santa Barbara special teams players during a kickoff return while linebacker junior Carson Irons (left) blocks in front of him. Ahn had 142 rushing yards on 30 carries during the Lancers' 24-21 victory over the Dons in the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 championship game at San Marcos High School stadium Nov. 30. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Game recap: Cardiac kids do it again, erase halftime deficit to beat Santa Barbara in CIF final 24-21

December 4, 2019

A shorter recap is available on this story. Update: The story was updated Dec. 9 at 11:00 a.m. to change the number of total CIF championships won by the team from three to four. For the Lancers’...

The Lancer football team celebrates its first CIF title in 27 years by posing with the championship plaque in the rain Nov. 30 at San Marcos High School stadium. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Sunny Hills football team defeats Santa Barbara 24-21 to take CIF-Southern Section Division 8 title

December 1, 2019

Sunny Hills football captured its first CIF title in 27 years after a 24-21, come-from-behind victory Nov. 30 against Santa Barbara at San Marcos High School stadium. “It’s still surreal," head...

The Sunny Hills football Lancers will introduce themselves for one last time for the 2019-2020 season during their CIF Southern Section Division 8 away championship game Nov. 30 against Santa Barbara High School. But because Santa Barbara's home stadium remains closed for modernization, the game has been moved to San Marcos High School in the Santa Barbara school district. Photo taken by Paul Yasutake

Sunny Hills’ Nov. 30 CIF Southern Section Division 8 championship game against Santa Barbara to be held at San Marcos High School

November 24, 2019

This story was updated on Nov. 26 to include more information about the rooter bus. Because Santa Barbara's football stadium is undergoing modernization, the CIF Southern Section Division 8 championship...

Linebacker junior Carson Irons (center) leads the Lancers on to the Trabuco Hills High School field in Mission Viejo during the Nov. 22 CIF Southern Section Division 8 semifinal game against the Mustangs. Irons made the game-saving interception off a tipped ball at the one-yard line with less than seven seconds left in the game. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Game recap: The new cardiac kids? Sunny Hills football team comes back from behind again in Nov. 22 CIF semifinal win over Trabuco Hills

November 24, 2019

A shorter recap of this game with more quotes is available in this story. One main point Sunny Hills head football coach Peter Karavedas emphasized immediately after the Nov. 22 CIF Southern Section...

Running back and defensive back junior Brandon Roberts prepares for an oncoming defender during a first half rush. Roberts opened the scoring early with a 69-yard run that put the Lancers up 7-0 early in the first quarter. Photo taken by Paul Yasutake

Late interception near goal line secures Sunny Hills football’s 31-27 victory over Trabuco Hills; Lancers advance to first CIF playoff final in 27 years

November 23, 2019

This story has been updated Nov. 23 and 24 to include revised information as to the date of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 title game and the name of the Trabuco Hills quarterback. In a rematch...

Quarterback senior Luke Duxbury pushes down a Notre Dame linebacker to avoid getting tackled in the first half. Duxbury threw two touchdowns in the first half of the 49-24 rout Nov. 15 of Notre Dame of Riverside at Buena Park High School stadium. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Lancers’ offense pounces on Notre Dame early and often in 49-24 blowout; Sunny Hills will face Trabuco Hills in CIF semifinal Nov. 22

November 16, 2019

The Lancer football team (10-2, 4-1 Freeway League) knocked the Notre Dame Titans (7-5, 2-1 Freeway League) out of the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 playoffs in a dominant 49-24 victory at Buena Park...

The Sunny Hills football team celebrates together following its 21-14 comeback win against Tustin High School in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 playoffs Nov. 8 at Buena Park High School stadium. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Lancer football ends 24-year CIF playoff win drought, comes back from 14 down to defeat Tustin Nov. 8

November 9, 2019

This story was updated Nov. 12 to reflect the number of years that the football team last won a first-round CIF playoff game. It took 21 unanswered points — including a two-point conversion and a...

Band leaders from each school in the competition march on the field before receiving their awards at Sierra Vista High School Oct. 26. Sunny Hills is the third team from the right. Image reprinted with permission from Brian Milian

Lancer Regiment takes first place at Oct. 26 tournament; first time winning sweepstakes against bigger bands

November 2, 2019

Following the Lancer Regiment’s first-place finish at the Valencia Field Tournament Oct. 12, the Sunny Hills band won sweepstakes at the Sierra Vista Field Tournament Oct. 26 in Baldwin Park, earning...

Student athletes get ready for the Oct. 30 cross country Freeway League Finals. But because of the threat of high winds that could cause a tree to fall and poor air quality from Southern California fires  at the park, coaches from each of the six Freeway League schools decided to postpone the event until Friday, Nov. 1. Image posted with permission from Elyse Angelus

Today’s cross country Freeway League Finals postponed because of unsafe conditions at time of race

October 30, 2019

Today’s boys and girls cross country Freeway League Finals race has been delayed until Friday, Nov. 1, because of poor air quality and windy weather conditions creating an unsafe environment at Ralph...

International Baccalaureate Economics HL1 teacher Robert Bradburn holds a $20 and $10 bill before putting the money into an envelope during the Oct. 18 ASB-sponsored

Lancers raise $2,450 for breast cancer victim in one-minute fundraiser

October 23, 2019

As part of a fund-raising drive called “Miracle Minute,” Sunny Hills faculty and students raised $2,450 last week for Breast Cancer Angels, which in turn will pass the funds to a Fullerton breast cancer...

Popeyes' classic chicken (left) and spicy chicken sandwiches are no longer available at the restaurant, according to Popeyes' online Twitter post in August. Interest in the sandwiches went viral over the summer after a rapid increase in popularity. Photo taken by Accolade sports editor Andrew Ngo.

Taking a bite into Popeyes’ ‘sold out’ viral chicken sandwiches

October 6, 2019

For three weeks during August, Popeyes’ chicken sandwich craze went viral over the internet before, according to the restaurant’s social media posting, the meal suddenly sold out. Released across...

Junior Irene Lee performs in her routine during the 2019 National Theater on Ice competition in Alabama June 28. She is wearing dark markup as part of the routine. Photo reprinted with permission from Kayla Heo.

Award-winning figure skater overcomes knee injury as she enters new season with new team

October 1, 2019

It was a routine junior Irene Lee followed four to five times a week during the last school year: Before arriving to Sunny Hills, Lee said she traveled to Anaheim or Lakewood at 6 a.m. for her ice skating...

Girls volleyball frosh-soph coach Allison Wong (center) announces the roster for a varsity game against Walnut High School Aug. 22 in the Sunny Hills gym. Photo taken by Accolade reporter Andrew Ngo.

New girls volleyball frosh-soph coach reunites with former club coach

September 16, 2019

Five years ago, new girls volleyball frosh-soph head coach Allison Wong never expected to be joining the coaching staff with her own head coach from club volleyball.  “I never saw myself as a coach...

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