Four things and one wild guess

1 Brandon Colbrunn was approved as Fontana’s new athletic director at Wednesday’s Fontana Unified School District board meeting. The eighth-year baseball coach at Fontana replaced Amanda Bentley, who served as athletic director for two years and two months before departing Oct. 5.

“Right now we’re on the rebuild,” Colbrunn said of Fontana athletics. “My predecessor, Amanda Bentley, did a lot of things to get us back on our feet. We have a lot of great kids here at Fohi but a lot of people don’t realize it because they get a bad rap.”

Colbrunn graduated in 1993 from Fontana, where he played baseball for the Steelers and football under legendary coach Dick Bruich. Colbrunn coached the Fontana junior varsity baseball team in 1999 before joining the Kaiser coaching staff for five years. He returned to Fontana in 2005, when he accepted his first head baseball coaching position.

“With baseball I get to be closely involved with the kids, but now I’m going to get to touch the lives of a lot more,” Colbrunn said. “I’m a Fohi kid and I want to give back to Fontana as much as it gave to me.”

2 As the Lakers’ Oct. 30 season-opener approaches, so does inevitable outrage. Not over the product on the court, of course. Having an all-star starting lineup will probably help on that front. The fact that the vast majority of the greater Los Angeles area and beyond won’t be able to watch their team on TV. Beginning this season, Time Warner Cable has exclusive right to all Laker games not on ESPN, ABC and TNT. Not even all TWC customers have channels 403 and 483 in their package. The cable company is trying to leverage other providers to purchase TWC SportsNet but their are no takers yet. As this realization dawns on the area stretching north to Fresno, south to Mexico, west to Hawaii and east to Las Vegas, this will get ugly.

3 Twenty-eight local schools will participate Friday and Saturday in the Mt. SAC Invitational, the biggest cross country meet of the year. Runners will get an early taste of the undulating Mt. SAC course that will host the CIF-SS championships in November. The Rancho Cucamonga boys, who won the Division 1 and 2 sweepstakes race last year, enter the meet ranked No. 8 in Division 1. Among other boys teams participating are Ayala, which is ranked sixth in Division 2, and Jurupa Hills, ranked No. 7 in Division 3. For divisions 1 and 2, the boys team sweepstakes race is Saturday at 10:25 a.m. and the team sweepstakes at 10:45.

Among the local girls teams competing is Bonita, the No. 2 team in Division 3. Also participating are Sierra League foes Claremont and Ayala, ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in Division 2. For divisions 1 and 2, the girls team sweepstakes race is at 9:42 a.m. and the individual sweepstakes is at 10:03.

4 Pending appeal, Upland defensive end Joe Mathis will be suspended for Friday’s football game against Los Osos after punching an opposing player during last week’s win over Glendora. After making a tackle, Mathis was being pulled off the pile by the Glendora quarterback, whom Mathis then struck in the helmet.

“He got ejected because they said it was a punch to the face,” Upland coach Tim Salter said. “I think it looked like a push instead of a punch.”

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior who has more than 50 scholarship offers, has helped Upland to a 7-0 record. Mathis will announce his college commitment at the U.S. Army All-American game Jan. 5 in San Antonio, Texas.

I’m tempted to guess the Lakers will post a 2010 Miami Heat-like .500 record as they meld the first month of the season, but the early portion of their schedule is so soft – and perhaps, more importantly, Steve Nash could smoothly integrate himself into any team – that I think the they’ll open the season on a tear, losing just three of their first 16 games.

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