Meet your 2016 Halo Hangout Staff.

Angels 2014 Division Championship Celebration. Hopefully there will be another one on the horizon in 2016
Angels 2014 Division Championship Celebration. Hopefully there will be another one on the horizon in 2016 /

Halo Hangout has been a Fansided website since July of 2012 and over 100 writers have posted their work on the site since then.  I, myself came on board in June of 2015 just as the Angels were preparing to take on the New York Yankees in Anaheim.  The series was the beginning of the Angels best 30 games of the season where the Angels went 24-6 to surge into first place.  Unfortunately they were not able to keep up the pace in the season’s final months and finished a disappointing third place.

It was a roller coaster ride in those final 3.5 months of the season that saw many peaks and valleys, but as a life-long Angels fan (1978 – present) I was quite used to the Boulevard of Broken Dreams that many Angels seasons prior had become. With this being said I’m fulfilling a life-long dream of writing about my beloved California Angels. (that is the way I will always remember them no matter what Arte Moreno says).

I remember the heartaches of the 1982 and 1986 playoff collapses, which only made the 2002 World Championship run that much sweeter.  Much has changed with the Angels since 1978, but one thing remains the same: the love of Halo fans everywhere for our Angels.

Just a little bit about me, my name is David Rice and I’m the editor of Halo Hangout.  I spent most of my growing up years in Florida, but I would come visit my family in So. Cal every summer and attend as many Angels games as possible in the time I was visiting thanks to my grandfather William (Eddie, or Bill) Edwards.

I graduated from Florida State University with a major in broadcasting, and a minor in journalism where I started my writing career for the Florida Flambeau newspaper.  I moved back to California in 1999 and have lived in So. Cal ever since attending on average 25-30 Angels game per season, including many of the post-season games including Game 7 of the World Series in 2002.

While in California I have written part-time for the Orange County Register, Daily Breeze (Torrance), and Daily News (SF Valley).  I have been a teacher either full or part-time during that period while writing on the side.  I earn my California teaching credential as master’s degree in education from Concordia University of Irvine.

In July of 2015 I got the opportunity to cover Jered Weaver’s two rehab assignments for the Inland Empire 66’ers giving me the opportunity to interview him along with the first staff writer I will introduce, Grant Avise.

Avise and I got to sit in the press box at the 66’ers game and then interview Weaver after he finished his work on the mound.  This was cool enough in itself, but it didn’t end there.  A week later on August 9th, 2015 I lived my life-long dream of covering the Angels vs. Orioles game at Angel Stadium.  Grant and I got to interview Mike Scioscia along with other members of the media.

Later after the game I was granted access to Angels’ clubhouse where I interviewed Weaver, David Murphy, Chris Iannetta, and Albert Pujols.  All of them were very nice and accommodating to me and I truly appreciated that as well as the courtesy of the Angels VP of Communications Tim Mead and his assistant Adam Chodzko.

The aforementioned Grant Avise is the other returning staff member from the 2015 season Halo Hangout staff.  I have known Grant for 15 years and he has always had a passion for Angels baseball.  My favorite memory of him which shows his Halos passion was during game 5 of the Angels vs. Yankees ALDS Series in 2005, Grant dressed in his red graduation gown with hat made of Thundersticks shaped like an A.  Every time the Angels would score he would pick myself or our friend Teddy up in the air and celebrate.

Grant grew up in Orange and says he was born with a Halo over his head (not too sure about that one, LOL). He attended Orange Lutheran High School and was part of their 2004 CIF Football Championship team which won the title where? You guessed it, the grass of Angel Stadium.

That was one of Grant’s favorite memories growing up, but as far as Angels memories he also like me lived a life-long dream being able to interview Jered Weaver and also Mike Scioscia while covering a game at Angel Stadium.

Grant’s other favorite Angel memory was meeting Mike Trout at the Lazy Dog Café and getting his autograph. He recently graduated from Concordia University in Irvine majoring in Liberal Arts. Halo Hangout is actually Grant’s first writing gig, but he has shown a passion for baseball and the Angels.  Grant also brings a lot of Angels knowledge and sometimes controversial opinions that you may or may not agree with.  However, one thing is for sure, you won’t too many Angels fans out there, that our more passionate than Grant Avise.

Recently Halo Hangout has added three new staff writers that you have already seen stories from and they are all college students as some of the best universities in the U.S.

Our first new addition, Benjamin Cardone, joined Halo Hangout in early December of 2015.  Benjamin is from South Orange County, graduating from Laguna Hills High School in 2015.  Benjamin is a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin where he is majoring in sports management.  His goal is to land a job in the sports industry upon graduation.

Benjamin has been an Angels fan since he was six when his family purchased season tickets for the 2003 season. Some of his favorite Angel memories were the 2009 sweep of the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS by our Angels.  Also his other favorite memory is going to the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim (I was also there for that one as well as the 1989 All-Star game , Yeah I’m that old, LOL).

Since coming on to the Halo Hangout staff, Benjamin has written very insightful stories and has done a great job in producing quality work.

Within the last two weeks we have added two more members to our Halo Hangout staff the first of which is Christoph Ludwig. He grew in Orange County less than 10 minutes away from the Big “A”, and became an Angel fan when he was five years old. Christoph moved to San Diego during high school and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego.

Christoph is now a senior at Ole Miss University in Oxford, Mississippi where he is majoring in recreation administration and minoring in journalism. While he has attended Ole Miss Christoph has written for the Daily Mississippian News which is a student newspaper where he was the Ole Miss Soccer beat writer as well as men’s and women’s tennis and women’s softball.

Christoph’s favorite Angel memories was watching the Angels win the 2002 World Series and also going to the 2010 Home Run Derby with his dad (I went with my dad as well to the Derby). He hopes to pursue a career in journalism or work in the front office of a sports team. Christoph has already penned two articles for Halo Hangout and both were quality pieces.  I’m looking forward to working with Christoph and can already tell he will be an asset to the staff.

Finally, our latest addition is Mitch Quesada.  Mitch also hails from Southern California from the Inland Empire where he graduated from Martin Luther King High School in Riverside. He is currently a senior at Arizona State University where is majoring in broadcast journalism. Mitch has worked for both the State Press and Cronkite Newspapers at ASU.  He is currently interning at Arizona Sportstalk Radio 98.7 and hopes to be doing baseball play-by-play upon graduating in May.

Mitch has been an Angel fan pretty much since birth since his parents dressed in an Angels onesie outfit for pictures. His favorite baseball memories have been going to games with his family and watching the team evolve year by year.  Mitch says that he gains a new “favorite player” each year from Troy Glaus, to Big Daddy Vlady, on to Chone Figgins and Torii Hunter, and of course now Mike Trout.

Mitch brings a wealth of experience and ideas to table as he was also an editor for the 12th man rising, a Seattle Seahawks Fansided website.  He is currently a staff writer, but may join me as Halo Hangout co-editor in the future.

All in All our Halo Hangout is stronger and better than ever and we are excited to bring you all the Angel happenings in the 2016 season.  Feel free to comment, give us story suggestions and talk Halo baseball both on our Facebook and Twitter sites as well as here on the Fansided form.  Let’s bring home an Angels Championship in 2016.