Chemistry As Coursework Ocregister

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz, right, announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Angie Janowicz shows support for her husband, former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz, as he announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Family and supporters of Phil Janowicz attend his announcement of his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz, center, speaks to constituents prior to announcing his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kathy Traverse, center, cheers when her son Phil Janowicz announces he would seek election for Congress in California’s 39th District during a rally on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Former California State University Fullerton chemistry professor, Phil Janowicz, left, announces his candidacy for Congress in California’s 39th District on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kathy Traverse, left, of Memphis hugs her son Phil Janowicz after he announced he would seek election for Congress in California’s 39th District during a rally on the campus of CSUF in Fullerton on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Janowicz will challenge Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton for the seat. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Setting up a potential David-vs-Goliath showdown, Democratic first-time candidate Phil Janowicz, 33, on Tuesday launched his challenge of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, who is in his 25th year in Congress and has $2.9 million in his campaign account.

National Democrats, who have targeted the seat and several others held by GOP representatives in Orange County, could buoy Janowicz’s odds if he proves a viable candidate worthy of funding and outperforms any other Democrat who joins what is currently a two-man race.

Although Royce won reelection last year by 14-percentage points, Democrats are optimistic because the district’s Republican advantage in voter registration is less than 2 points and shrinking — and because district voters favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last year by nearly 8 points.

Janowicz, a former CSU Fullerton chemistry teacher who supported Bernie Sanders in last year’s primary, said Trump’s win motivated him to run. He spent much of his Tuesday campaign speech linking Royce to the president.

“I’m running for Congress to resist the Trump agenda,” Janowicz told about three dozen supporters in announcing his candidacy on the CSU Fullerton campus. “We deserve a representative who is 100 percent for you, not 96 percent for Trump.”

Janowicz “96 percent” is based on a tally by the analytic news site fivethirtyeight.com, which tracks how often Congress members vote in sync with Trump’s positions. He specifically singled out Royce for voting more than 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act while Barack Obama was president, for not opposing Trump’s travel ban and for wanting to roll back some environmental regulations.

But Royce, the high-profile chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, has not walked in lockstep with Trump.

The 65-year-old congressman offered public support for candidate Trump only after the nomination was secured and even then, in a emailed statement to the Register, he did not mention the nominee by name. He never took a position on the now withdrawn proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, he has expressed reservations with Trump’s proposed budget and he has been critical of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

“Rep. Ed Royce ran 34,000 votes ahead of Trump and 38,000 votes ahead of his Democrat challenger in 2016,” said Dave Gilliard, a Royce campaign consultant. “Democrats in Washington, D.C., are fantasizing if they think a college professor who is Bernie Sanders’ philosophical clone can compete with Royce in the 39th district.”

Janowicz supports increasing the federal minimum wage and a centerpiece of his campaign is guaranteeing a debt-free college education.

“Many are struggling just to afford basic education and that’s bad for our national interests,” he told the Register.

Janowicz, who grew up in Memphis, came to Orange County in 2010 to teach at CSU Fullerton, before leaving his job last year. He now runs Quill & Abacus, an educational consulting firm.

The Buena Park resident said he will need at least $5 million to win the race and, at his CSU Fullerton announcement, acknowledged the uphill road he faces.

“Going up against a career Washington politician will not be easy,” he said. “That’s why by the end of next week, my campaign will raise over $100,000. By the end of next month, we will be out on the field directly talking to the voters … And by the end of next year, our district will have a Representative who listens to constituents, opposes the unconstitutional actions of the Trump administration and defends healthcare for working families.”

  • Jadelyn Allchin, left, Kelli Kufta and Allee Bunker of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Allee Bunker,left, Kelli Kufta and Jadelyn Allchin of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jadelyn Allchin, left, Kelli Kufta and Allee Bunker of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Shortstop Allee Bunker of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Center fielder Jadelyn Allchin of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Third baseman Kelli Kufta of the Huntington Beach High softball team. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

In ultra-competitive Orange County softball, it’s a good idea to rely on more than just talent.

Huntington Beach’s rising team is loaded with ability but has an additional dimension that the Oilers believe will help them reach their goals.

“We have really good chemistry this year, probably better than we’ve had in the past,” Oregon-bound shortstop Allee Bunker said.

“We have very good talent right now. We’re all super into it and we all want to win. But just this year, we’re all together.”

Huntington Beach, which opens its season Saturday at the Best of the West tournament, has built a tight-knit squad through a variety of activities. From small and simple to long and exhausting, Coach Jeff Forsberg’s Division 1 team has grown close.

All-County outfielder Jadelyn Allchin believes preseason conditioning united the players. The Oilers trekked off campus for several runs, including about a 3.2-mile jaunt that covered a part of Pacific Coast Highway.

Allchin and sophomore utility Shelbi Ortiz often led the pack of runners.

“Conditioning for us can be a challenge but we push each other through it,” said Allchin, who has committed to top-ranked Washington.

The players also support each other during core and arm exercises with team trainer Monica Hansen. A passerby might hear the Oilers shout their repetitions in unison.

“We’ll suffer as a team and connect as a team,” San Diego-bound third baseman Kelli Kufta said. “We’re all on the same page in pain. We bond through that pain because we get each other through it.”

Team meals during the season provide other opportunities for the players to connect. A debate over pasta versus tacos could easily breakout at any moment.

“We entertain ourselves,” Allchin said with a laugh.

Before practices and some games, the Oilers also form a large circle to play hacky sack, a tradition for Huntington Beach softball.

“Toward the end of the season, everyone gets kind of used to it and we’re all pretty good at it,” Bunker said.

The Oilers believe their chemistry will support their communication on the field, leading to more success. That could be vital because a few players are moving to new positions.

Bunker patrols shortstop after playing third base last season. Kufta moves to the hot corner after playing first in 2017.

The Oilers’ main goal is to capture their first Sunset League crown since 2014. They’ll have to dethrone Los Alamitos, also the reigning CIF-SS Division 1 and national champion.

Huntington Beach took second last season.

Los Alamitos coach Rob Weil is taking the Oilers seriously, calling them legitimate contenders.

Huntington Beach also returns junior twins Kelly and Megan Ryono, sophomore pitcher Grace Uribe, junior Jaelyn Operana and junior Valerie Rudd among others.

Freshman Devyn Greer, a pitcher/outfielder, has already committed to North Carolina State. Maila Cockrell and catcher Katelyn Mangrello are other players to watch.

Forsberg said 12 of his 17 players have committed to colleges, including the Tennessee-bound Operana.

But the Oilers lost in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs last season.

“Our chemistry is going to get us wins,” Allchin said.

NOTES

Host Pacifica, Mater Dei, Marina and Aliso Niguel are the other county teams in the Best of the West, which concludes March 17. The Carew Classic is scheduled for April 4-7. …

Cypress coach John Felicetti has resigned after five playoff appearances in Division 1 in five seasons. He has been replaced Kevin Dull. …

Beckman has hired AJ Ramirez as its new coach. …

Marina coach Mandee Farish has added its former successful coach Shelly Luth and former Canyon coach Dan Hay as assistants. Olympian Amanda Freed (Pacifica) is serving as a part-time assistant.

Standout Canyon pitcher Miranda Stoddard, a junior, has reportedly decided not to play this season.

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