Redlands football team earns preseason ranking

The University of Redlands football team is No. 22 in USA Today Sports Weekly’s Preseason Poll for NCAA Division III programs. Redlands is the only team from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) to be included on the poll. In addition, the Bulldogs join the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX) as the only schools from the western part of the United States.

Last season, Redlands went 8-2 overall, which included an exciting 24-12 road-victory over Whitworth University. In addition, the Bulldogs captured a share of the conference title with a 5-1 SCIAC mark, earning the program’s 28th championship in school history. In addition, the football team advanced onto the NCAA playoffs for the fifth time.

During the 2007 campaign, Bulldog football gained 14 players on the All-SCIAC teams, including the Offensive Player of the Year in upcoming senior quarterback Dan Selway (Villa Park, CA). In addition, Redlands looks forward to the return of upcoming senior defensive linemen Gavril Gabriel (Downey, CA) and Brock Arndt (Valencia, CA), who earned d3football.com All-West Region Second Team honors. Most recently, Gavril landed on the Consensus Draft Services Division III Preseason All-American Second Team for Defense.

Overall, the Bulldogs return eight offensive and eight defensive starters for the 2008 season.

Lancers pitcher signs with Padres

Four-time All-GSAC Steve Goins inked a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres organization earlier this week.

After going undrafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft two weeks ago, Goins was enrolled at Riverside Community College, taking lab courses needed so he could begin work on becoming a physician’s assistant as well as working part-time. Baseball was just a memory.

Monday afternoon, however, CBU head coach Gary Adcock received a call from a scout in the Padres organization inquiring about Goins. Adcock quickly and frantically called Goins to notify him that the organization needed another pitcher.

“I was in my first class on the first day of class when I happened to turn my phone on,” said Goins. “There were all these missed calls and texts from my family, Gary and the scout. I stepped outside to check my messages, came back in, packed my stuff up and left right then and there. I was definitely excited and had to work hard to quickly change my plans.”

Goins quit his job, put school on hold and headed out Tuesday for Peoria, Ariz., and the Arizona (Rookie) League. Shortly after arriving, he threw his first bullpen session Wednesday and all signs point to his first professional appearance sometime this weekend.

“It feels good to be a part of the sport again,” said Goins. “I’m just taking it one day at a time and seeing where this might lead.”

One of the finest players in the history of the program, Goins just completed a remarkable four-year career. During his career on the mound, Goins was 26-10 with a 3.17 ERA. In 300.2 career innings, he had 295 strikeouts. He tossed 10 complete games and five shutouts and also collected three saves. He won a career-high eight games and had a career-low 2.58 ERA as a 2008 senior.

Goins also hit .354 with a program-record 62 doubles to go along with 134 runs, 137 RBIs and 12 home runs. This past season, Goins hit .391 with 15 doubles and four home runs. He never hit worse than .317 and never had fewer than 54 hits and 14 doubles in any one season.

He will only pitch for the Padres.

“This is a great opportunity for Steve,” said Adcock. “He is very deserving and it will be exciting to see what type of pitcher he can become since he is able to just focus on pitching and not having to worry about playing on the infield or hitting.”

 

Rialto native heads to Olympic track trials

Rialto native Damein White admits he had ulterior motives for taking up track. He liked the fact that it could pay for his education if he were good. But there was something he liked even better.

“My friends told me it was a good way to get girls,” he said with a chuckle.

While that may have been the impetus to get started, White, a junior at Cal State Los Angeles, has quickly risen through the ranks to earn a place in the 200-meter dash at the United States Olympic Trials, which start today and run through July 6 in Eugene, Ore.

Not bad for a guy that only took up the sport when he started college three years ago.

“It was a chance to better myself,” he said. “If they’re going to pay me to go school, why not do it?”

White spent his freshman year at Garey High School, but transferred to Rialto the following year when his family moved from Pomona to San Bernardino. He excelled in football, playing tight end on the same team with Ryan Grice-Mullen, who went on to star as a wide receiver at the University of Hawaii.

College was not originally in White’s plans. After finishing high school he got a job making decent money and even moved out on his own.

It was close friend and Rialto teammate Francis Nunez that convinced him to come with him to a track practice at Riverside Community College, where Nunez was competing.

Then-coach Aaron Goodman remembers Nunez bringing his friend.

“He (Nunez) said he had this friend that wanted to try out with us,” Goodman recalled. “I didn’t think anything of it at the time because we have guys come in here all the time and we never turn them away. He didn’t have any technique but he had potential.”

White spent that year working on the technical aspects of the sport, since he was just a rookie. The Tigers had several sprint specialists so his contribution came on relays.

The following year Goodman went over to Long Beach City as sprint coach, with White and Nunez following him. The move paid off, as White won a state championship in the 200 meters and placed third in the 400. Being a quick study helped.

“A lot of guys come to college and they think they know everything,” he said. “I had never competed before so I knew I didn’t know anything. I really listened to what my coaches told me, let it sink in and went out and did it.”

Some Division I schools were interested, including Arizona State. But White, 22, chose to stay closer to home and go to Cal State Los Angeles along with Nunez.

It helped that Goodman had a strong working relationship with Eagles coach Christopher Asher, who has many of the same philosophies.

“I wasn’t taken in by the whole Division I thing,” White said. “You can run fast anywhere.”

White’s showing with the Eagles this season put him on the map. He took first in the 100 and 200 and ran the second leg of a winning 4×100 relay at the CCAA championships.

His time of 20.55 in the 200 was a personal best and met the provisional qualifying standard for the upcoming trials. It also ranked him first nationally among Division II athletes.

At the Division II nationals at Cal Poly Pomona, White finished second in the 200 and sixth in the 100, both won by junior Dennis Boone of St. Augustine. The relay team, which also included Nunez, placed third with a school record time of 40 seconds flat.

He didn’t take any time off after that meet, shifting his focus to the trials. Asher isn’t worried about having two big meets so close together.

“We have really been working him more toward this one any way,” Asher said. “Division I athletes have it tougher because they only have 10 days between the two. He has had five weeks.”

White admits he is still new enough in the sport that gets excited about his surroundings. He is a big fan of  Tyson Gay, the top American and world record holder in the 200.

“I’ll probably be the only guy out there racing against him, then asking for his autograph,” White said.

Coincidentally, White’s specialty comes up July 4.

“I plan on providing the fireworks,” he laughed.

White’s future appears to be bright. He has achieved good results in a short time even though he admits he doesn’t like lifting weightsa distaste for weightlifting and he isn’t good about watchingis lax about his diet.

Asher would also like to see him start running the 400 meters, something Goodman has always pushed as well.

All know that this likely won’t be his first Olympic trials. He could have at least two more after this.

“There is still a lot he doesn’t know. But he’s getting there,” Asher said. “Male runners don’t usually reach their peak till at least their mid 20′s. And he still is relatively new to the sport. He has great potential. This is just the start for him. He can go as far in this sports as he wants to go.”

Brewer named hoops coach at SBVC

San Bernardino Valley College stayed close to home in selecting the next coach for its marquee athletic program as Quincy Brewer has been named men’s basketball coach.

Brewer, 34, spent last season as an assistant to Gerry Wright. He is the program’s fourth coach in as many years. The past three coaches were once assistants in the program.

Brewer is an Inland Empire product. He graduated from Riverside North High School in 1992 and later came back to get his start in coaching at Riverside Ramona High School after finishing college.

He has a bachelor’s degree in social work and master’s degrees in education and physical education.

“I grew up here and I like this area,” Brewer said. “This job doesn’t have to be the stepping stone for anything else for me.”

Brewer’s appointment was finalized at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday although word of his selection has been circulating for several weeks.

Wright, then an assistant, took over the program in December of 2006 when Derrick Pugh was let go only minutes before the team was leaving for an afternoon game. Wright did an admirable job and led the team to a Foothill Conference title, earning conference coach of the year honors in the process.

The team settled for fourth in 2007-08, missing the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. But that is deceiving. The Wolverines finished 13-15 overall and a respectable 9-5 in conference and were part of a four-way tie for first on the final day of the season.

Wright was not retained because his master’s degree is in education and the position is full-time, based out of the physical education department which requires a master’s in that area.

The two boast contrasting styles.

“He’s the guy that’s cool as ice and I’m the guy that’s fiery hot,” Brewer said. “One isn’t better than the other. We’re just different.”

While his demeanor may be different, Brewer said one thing that has been a trademark of the program will not be altered.

“All the coaches here have done a good job of advancing players and that will not change,” Brewer said. “Our goal is always an education. It’s nice to win games but it’s about getting guys to the next level.”

Before arriving on the SBVC campus, Brewer spent three seasons as the coach at Ramona where he directed the Rams to an overall mark of 71-16, with a pair of league titles.

That record is noteworthy because the Rams won just three games the year before Brewer took over. The team made the playoffs all three seasons, reaching the CIF quarterfinals in 2005 and the semifinals in 2007, the best playoff run for the Rams in three decades.

As a player, Brewer helped the Riverside North Huskies to a pair of appearances in the CIF finals.

He went on to Arizona State, where he was a three-year starter. The Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 his junior year. After college, he played professionally in six countries.

Athletic Director Dave Rubio was pleased with the pool of 24 applicants. The school interviewed five before deciding on Brewer.

“He gave a great interview, by far better than anyone else. He was well prepared and had all the right answers,” Rubio said. “He also has great work ethic and will run a disciplined program.”

In addition to coaching with the Wolverines, Brewer runs the NextLevel basketball training company. He and his wife, Berenice, live in Riverside. They have three children — Kenneth, Andrea and Brianna.

RCC product pitches minor league no-hitter

Mississippi Braves right-hander Thomas Hanson didn’t exactly get off to a good start in his outing Wednesday against the Birmingham Barons.

Hanson, a graduate of Redlands East Valley High School and Riverside Community College, issued two walks, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch in the first inning. But he regrouped quite nicely. In fact Hanson ended up throwing the first no-hitter in the history of the Double-A Southern League franchise, striking out a career-high 14 in a 6-0 victory.

“I felt really good in the bullpen warming up,” he said. “I was pumped, maybe a little too pumped. I just tried to calm myself down and just attack the strike zone the way I normally do.”

Hanson, 21, said it was his first no-hitter since Little League. He came close last year at Low-A Rome where he had a no-hitter broken up in the seventh.

A more casual approach this time helped.

“I tried not to think about it as much,” he said. “It is hard not to think about it. last year I kept sitting there thinking `I hope they don’t get a hit.’ This time I just tried to focus on what I had to do to get guys out.”

Hanson said Birmingham, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, had two hard hit balls, one coming on the last out of the game when Ricardo Nanita lined out to centerfielder Jordan Shafer.

“He got good wood on it. Squared up pretty good,” he said. “Fortunately it was right at someone.”

With the win Hanson improved to 4-3 on the season with a 4.32 earned run average in nine starts. He has 49 strikeouts in 50 innings. Take out one bad outing in which he allowed eight earned runs and his ERA is a nifty 3.02.

Hanson, a 22nd round draft pick, started the season with the Braves affiliate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., of the High-A Carolina League but earned a promotion after going 3-1 with 49 strikeouts in 40 innings and an 0.90 ERA in seven starts there.

 

Hanson hurls no-hitter for Mississippi Braves

Thomas Hanson hadn’t thrown a no-hitter since Little League. But that all changed Wednesday night when Hanson, a graduate of Redlands East Valley High School and Riverside Community College, did exactly that in leading the Double-A Mississippi Braves to a 6-0 win over the Birmingham Barons in Southern League play.

Hanson, a 21-year-old right-hander, struck out a career-high 14 in the win over the Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. It was an even more impressive outing given the way the game started. In the first inning Hanson walked two, hit one and threw a wild pitch.

A visit from pitching coach Derek Botelho gave the hurler a chance to catch his breath and he wasn’t challenged again.

The gem was even more special because his father, stepmother and two of his three sisters were in town visiting.

On the season Hanson improved to 4-3 with an ERA of 4.32. That is a bit deceiving because in his second outing after being promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach Hanson gave up eight runs. Throw out that game and is ERA is an even-more-solid 3.02.

Not bad for a 22nd round draft choice with barely two years of minor league experience.

Wetzel plays a big role in Fresno State win

The Fresno State Bulldogs completed a Cinderella season Wednesday night, beating the other Bulldogs- the Georgia Bulldogs – 6-1 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha to clinch an improbable College World Series championship. It was the first championship in the history of the program out of a men’s sport.

Fresno fought off elimination time and time again. They were only the fourth seed in what was probably the toughest regional and emerged as the lowest seeded team to ever go on and win the title.

Local product Erik Wetzel had a big hand in that championship. The junior second baseman out of Don Lugo High School went 14-for-32 in seven games with 11 runs scored and five RBI.

Now he will have the tough decision of whether to return for a senior season to help defend that title or turn pro. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Colorado Rockies earlier this month.

Two other locals also factored for their teams. Norco product Toby Gerhart went 4-for-14
for the Stanford Cardinal who went 2-2 in the event. He had three hits including a home run in a 16-5 thrashing of perennial title contender Florida State.

Junior first baseman Matt Clark went 2-for-8 with three walks in three games for LSU. Both of the hits for the Etiwanda High School graduate were home runs. He ended up with 28 on the season, leading the country in that category. He too was drafted, in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres.

It was an exciting event and the showing by the local players made it all the more memorable.

Former Redlands assistant goes to UCR

UC Riverside Head Men’s Soccer Coach Junior Gonzalez today announced the hiring of Peter Boyer as the team’s new assistant coach. Boyer will work primarily with the team’s goalkeepers in addition to playing a vital role in the development of the Highlanders’ field players.

 

“Peter is a great addition to our program,” said Gonzalez. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to coaching collegiate student athletes that compliments the rest of the coaching staff’s perfectly.”

Boyer comes to the Highlanders staff after two years with the University of Redlands where he worked primarily with the defenders and goalkeepers. He also earned his maser of arts in counseling while at Redlands through the School of Education.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs staff, Boyer was the assistant men’s soccer coach for the United States Military Academy (ARMY) during the 2005 season. A New Jersey native, Boyer graduated from Drew University (Madison, NJ) with a degree in political science. He also competed on the Rangers men’s basketball and men’s soccer teams during his undergraduate career.

During his four years on the pitch, Boyer helped the team reach the 2003 NCAA Championship game while earning NSCAA All-American First Team honors. As the team’s top goalkeeper, he also gained NSCAA All-Region honors during his junior and senior seasons. To wrap up his career, he was named Freedom Conference Player of the Year in 2003.

Following graduation, Boyer stepped into the coaching ranks by serving as the assistant boys’ varsity soccer and basketball coach at his alma mater of Dwight-Englewood School.

Mt. SAC moves five women along

Junior colleges are good for a lot of reasons. Some students aren’t ready to move away to a four-year school. Many need help academically and a two-year school makes for an easier transition.

And athletics also prove to be a good stepping stone. Few programs do as good a job moving their players along as the Mt. SAC women’s basketball program led by San Bernardino native Larua Beeman and her top assistant Brian Crichlow.

Not only do the Mounties advance their players, they win too. How about three straight state titles and four in the last five years!

And it isn’t just the marquee players moving on, it is the role players and reserves also getting a chance to continue their careers.

Three players are headed to Division I schools – Jazlyn Davis (Arizona State), Etiwanda High graduate Safiyha Brown (Long Beach State) and Kendra Calvin (Cal). ZsaZsa Lawson (BYU-Hawaii) and Janae White (San Francisco School of the Arts) are going the Division II rout.

The lone sophomore yet to decide is 6-3 Carmen Deal. Academics are the likely issue here because she would have been snatched up by a Division I long ago had that not been the case.

But the Mounties track record is good. And it keeps getting better.

Redlands program ranks 30th out 430 schools

The University of Redlands finished 30th out of 430 Division III colleges in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup.

 

This honor is presented annually by NACDA and USA Today to the nation’s best
overall collegiate athletics programs in each division as well as the NAIA.

Williams College (Mass.) was the winner in Division III. Redlands chalked up 438.5 points to finish 30th in the standings. It was the highest finish of any Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) school.

The University of La Verne came in 73rd, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges took 81st and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 98th. In addition, the Bulldogs surpassed various schools from the West Coast, including Whitworth University (41st), the University of Puget Sound (59th),
Linfield College (68th), and UC Santa Cruz (75th).

“We earn points and remain competitive because of the quality of our programs across the board,” Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez said. “This is a great tribute to our student-athletes, coaches, and support staff, who work diligently to help make us the best we can be
every day.”

This is the fifth straight season Redlands has been in the top 30. The Bulldogs’ best finish came in 2004-05, when they earned 458.5 points for 16th place.