Upland football team could have eight transfers in fall

The Upland High School football program has attracted its share of transfers over the years, but it may reach new heights this season.

If all players who have transferred from other schools since last season are approved by the CIF-SS, the Highlanders could feature at least eight new faces in the fall.

That figure doesn’t include incoming freshman receiver Nathan Tilford, who received scholarship offers from USC and Arizona State while he was still in eighth grade.

“We work really hard at what we do and if people move in for whatever reason and we’re the benefactor, then I’m happy for that,” said Upland head coach Tim Salter, who is entering his 19th year. “We’re not out there recruiting kids, but I think we have one of the best programs around.”

Most, if not all, of the transfers figure to be impact players this season for an Upland team that has reached the CIF-SS Inland Division semifinals two seasons running.

Quarterback Tyler Hilinski, a 6-foot-4 rising junior that spent his first two seasons at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, is expected to be the starter for the two-time defending Baseline League champions. Though he is unproven after two years behind older brother Kelly Hilinski on the depth chart, Salter proclaimed the younger Hilinski a Division-I prospect.

The quarterback, whose family has returned to a previous residence in Claremont, is one of four transfers to Upland already approved by CIF-SS along with Elijah Jones from Damien, Tatum Slack from Rancho Cucamonga and Eric Turner from Victor Valley. All four attended Upland the second semester of last school year.

Of the four other transfers hoping to be approved, one has already been denied.

A CIF-SS ruling came down last week that the transfer of running back Jake Payton, whose 1,658 yards and 22 touchdowns at San Dimas last season earned him the Valle Vista League MVP, was athletically motivated. Unless Payton wins his appeal, he will be ineligible for his senior season.

“I can’t really comment on Jake’s case but we just hope the appeals process goes OK,” Salter said. “We anticipate if he has the opportunity to play, he could play a key role in what we do offensively.”

Rising senior Marquis Wimberly is one of three coming to Upland that played at Victor Valley last season. The 6-foot, 180-pound rising senior is joined by offensive lineman Gary Baker and Turner, who was Victor Valley’s starting quarterback last season.

Turner, a rising junior who passed for 1,157 yards last season, will play receiver for Upland. Baker’s family is still in the process of moving to Upland and will submit paperwork for transfer approval once their address is confirmed. Wimberly’s paperwork has already been submitted for approval.

A likely starter at receiver for the Highlanders, Wimberly spent the first part of last season at Diamond Ranch before transferring in time to play the final three games of the 2012 season with Victor Valley.

Slack, who played quarterback for the Rancho Cucamonga junior varsity last year before transferring to Upland in the midst of football season, will primarily play defensive back for the Highlanders.

Joining him in the secondary will be Jones, who had 15 tackles and one interception as a sophomore last season at Damien. Jones is also a capable running back, but Upland returns three others aside from Payton who will be competing for carries.

“With the new guys coming in, it’s tough on the kids that have been here,” Salter said. “But the kids here know what they’re getting into. This program has always been based on internal competition and we’ve never represented it any other way.”

Tyler Hilinski, QB, Jr., Sherman Oaks Notre Dame
Elijah Jones, RB/DB, Jr., Damien
Tatum Slack, DB, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga
Eric Turner, WR/QB, Jr., Victor Valley

Not yet approved
Marquis Wimberly, WR, Sr., Diamond Ranch/Victor Valley
Gary Baker, OL, Jr., Victor Valley
Vincent Elefante, DL/OL, Jr., Damien

Jake Payton, RB, Sr., San Dimas

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  • AramT

    Great stuff, Clay!

    Now what about ALL the other guys in the program who are previous transfers, i.e. Jeff Farrar (formerly of Alemany).

    These are just the newbies, but I think there are others who transferred in previously.

    Also, I wonder what Coach Salter would have to say to people linking Upland to BobyByTre 7-on-7 team.

    • Football Guy

      If families are moving there, no problem.

  • Just saying…

    Sounds like the cracks are starting to show in that great Roman Empire…

  • Saints Fan

    What would Salter say about one of his coaches who is on the staff of BodyByTre and the transfers included in this list who are paying customers of BodyByTre. I think that is more descriptive than Aram indicating “people linking” Upland to BTB.

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      Probably “Great job!”

  • footballfan123

    Yea Right They Don’t Recruit. Then Why Is His Ex Coach Esquivel Still Attending Passing Leagues… Football Camps Etc.. Filming And Taking Pics Of Stand Out Players… Didn’t A QB Just Transfer Out Of Upland Because He Knew After All The “New” Enrolles And Transfers We In He May Not Get Equal Play Time.. Everyone Knows Upland Recruits… Maybe Not Salter Himself But His staff Does It For Him.

    • UHighFootballFan

      The QB that transferred to Chino Hills Wasn’t a Starter. In High School Football you don’t Get Equal Playing time! That stops in Pop Warner where the kid was also a back-up. Hope he does well in Chino Hills.

      • Not So Fast My Friend

        You’know the interesting thing about cow manure? The smell carries in the air for miles. Salter’s scent has even made it’s way to the Riverside area. As big as the coaching community is, it’s quite small. Salter and Upland’s ability to attract a specific set of transfers (meaning that fill a need) is no secret.

        That said, word is reassurances were made concerning there being a competition when in actuality Salter already had his mind made up when Tyler transferred in. I’m sure that became painfully obvious for the kid that transferred to Chino Hills after the first passing league game. If not, it became obvious in the second one where he didn’t get any reps.

        • UHighFootballFan

          Could That have been because between those two QBs one is on a completely Different Level then the Other. They competed against each other in the off season on the 7 vs 7 cuicuit and when it was head to head it was painfully apparent who the better QB was.

          • Not So Fast My Friend

            I’m sure it was. But don’t tell a player or a parent that it’ll be a full blown competition when it fact it wasn’t.

            I’ve seen Tyler play. He’s very impressive. I think both the player and parents of the kid that transferred would have appreciated a more frank discussion.

          • UHighFootballFan

            There is no discussion to be had. If you have a kid who is a better player then you either step up your game to the next level or you step aside. That’s not just at every level of sports that’s Life as a whole.

          • Not So Fast My Friend


            When any coach tells a player, “you’re my guy” that means something. Now the percentage of its value may mean less on the professional level, but it carries 10 tons more weight when a high school coach tells a kid that. In the universe of coaches that are actual coaches and not some bloke with a large stomach, gruff voice and a whistle, it means credibility.

            Now if you tell a kid all spring, you’re my guy and suddenly via the force of nature or back room telephone calls, another kid transfers in who is fundamentally better then a coach has two options, lie or be honest.

            He can lie and tell the player, it’s an open competition when he knows it’s not. Or he can be candid. Which did Salter choose? Looks like he chose the first.

            Anyone that follows high school football and isn’t a “fan”atic knows Tyler at Notre Dame was pretty darn good. They even know that Upland at QB after Romine left was open season. If Salter, the coaching mastermind was worth his weight, he would have been frank about the position with that transfer kid and his parents so they’re not wasting time and have enough time in evaluating their options. Stand up coaches do that. The opposite, Salter, do not.

            Since sports follows life, if I tell a subordinate he or she is my fighter pilot to complete a project and a new hotshot comes in and I know they’re coming and I know they’re better suited to do the project, as a very good manager, I’m going to be upfront and explain my rationale. I’m not going to drag them out thinking I’m giving it to them when I know I’m not.

            Salter, coaching aside, not being candid with that family is indicative of his well known character.

  • sbfootball

    Will any of the eight have to sit out the 4 weeks? before playing?

    • Clay_Fowler

      If they don’t make a valid change of residence, they will have to sit out 30 days. But I believe all eight of the transfers listed above are moving.

      • UHighFootballFan

        Yeah but doesn’t the Payton Kid live in Upland too?

        • Clay_Fowler

          Jake Payton’s family did move to Upland, according to Salter. But even if there is a valid change of residence, an athletically motivated transfer is still a violation of CIF-SS rules. Apparently CIF has evidence that it was a move for athletic reasons, but Payton’s family is appealing the ruling.

          • UHighFootballFan

            Any Idea when that appeal will happen Clay?

          • Clay_Fowler

            I’m not sure exactly what the time table will be on the appeal. In comparison, I know there were a little more than two months between Diamond Bar transfer Antonio Hull having his transfer from West Covina denied and losing his second and final appeal on July 17.

  • Telling the truth…

    Now they’re recruiting 8th graders. Nathan is a great kid and comes from a great family…that lives in FONTANA!

  • Football 1

    Jeff Farrar played Varsity at Cathedral while a Freshman.

  • football1216

    Upland isn’t recruiting players. People see the program that Upland has built and want to go there. Not only is it an outstanding football program, it’s also a great school. If I were in high school and wanted to play football, I would want to transfer to Upland in a heartbeat. It isn’t the only school getting transfers, this has been going on everywhere with a good program. And frankly, students are ALLOWED to transfer schools now, so obviously they are going to do it if they believe they have any talent and are playing at a school that doesn’t have the best program. Upland has been spitting out division 1 players since the 90s! This isn’t something new. The coaching staff knows the sport better than most and they dedicate way more time than most schools so that the athletes can reach their full potential on and off the field, including their education. Ask any of the players that have graduated and moved on. Why do you think most of the staff graduated from Upland years ago? They share a common love for football, helping young men grow and become the best they can be, and again there is a GREAT program at this school that has been built over several years.

    • mr white

      sounds like coach waterboy has an axe to grind…almost laughable !

      • football574fan

        And who are you? An old man re-living your high school football days? Get off your high horse. And on your way down, check your facts before you embarrass yourself even more.

    • no-step

      Careful! That much BU_ _ kissing might give you chapped lips.

  • YouWantMoreProof

    Let’s take a look at some players who have been associated with Body By Tra:

    Ajee Montes – Transferred to Charter Oak in `09. Transferred to Bishop Amat in`10

    Chris Powell – Starts at Alta Loma `08. Transfers to Upland in `10

    Donta Abron – Starts at Alta Loma in `08. Transfers to Upland in`10

    Treshawn Lovett – Starts at Claremont in `09. Transfers to Upland for `11. Transfers to Pomona in`12

    Chris Hawkins – Starts at Etiwanda in `09. Transfers to Rancho Cucamonga in`12

    Aaren Vaughns – Starts at South Hills in `09. Transfers to Charter Oak in`11

    Tyler Schwartz – Starts at Etiwanda in `09. Transfers to Bonita `12 but abruptly leaves for AB Miller.

    Joe Mathis – Starts Colony in `09. Transfer to Upland in `10.

    Joel Koloa – Starts at Chaffey in `09. Transfers to Upland in `12.

    Jeffrey Farrar – Starts at Cathedral in `10. Transfers to Alemany in `11. Transfers to Upland in `12.

    Kurt Scoby – Starts at Charter Oak in `10. Transfers to St. Paul in `12. Leaves when Asante is fired. Makes pits stops at Cathedral, Alemany only to land at Monrovia in hopes he will gain eligibility for `13.

    Artuz Manning – Unknown where he started HS in `10. Transfers to Rancho Cucamonga in `12.

    Cravon Gillespie – Unknown where he started in HS in `10. Transfers to Monrovia in `12.

    Charles Ontiveros – Unknown where he started HS in `10. Transfers to Bell Gardens in `12.

    Jake Payton – Starts San Dimas in `10. Attempts transfer to Upland in `13, is denied pending an appeal.

    Don Greene IV – Starts Victor Valley in `11. Transfers to Upland in `12.

    Tyler Hilinski – Starts at Notre Dame in `11. Transfers to Upland in `13.

    Eric Turner – Starts Victor Valley in `11. Transfers to Upland in `13.

    Elijah Jones – Starts Damien in `11. Transfers to Upland in `13.

    While they have been the biggest benefactor, everyone is not going to Upland. However, when you get to the crux of what is going on, Tra has quite the human trafficking racket going on.

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      You’ve obviously done your homework. 🙂

      • YouWantMoreProof

        Funny thing….CIF has all the information in front of them. Just have to get someone off their proverbial butt and start looking at all the transfer paperwork. If they did that at most, you could easily connect the dots and follow the trails. It wasn’t hard to do.

        • Not So Fast My Friend

          No kidding!

        • mr white

          re connect the dots? how about the UHS coach and CIF SS Commissioners, Rainier Wolf and Glen Martinez all played/coached at Bishop Amat in the same time frame? bet you were unaware of that tidbit

          • YouWantMoreProof

            Interesting. The evil empire?

    • footballguy12345

      marquis wimberly never went to rancho cucamonga. you dont know what your talking about. he started at victor valley than transferred to diamond ranch and HAD to move back to victor. he went to upland in hopes of getting a college scholarship his senior year. he just didnt want to stay at victor valley. if he didnt go to upland than he wouldve went to some school in the ie

      • footballguy123456

        and he didnt play with body by tra he played for ground zero. look it up

        • YouWantMoreProof

          I said associated with, never said played. They are notorious for recruiting the 7-on circuit.

      • YouWantMoreProof

        It’s a typo…but he’s still a school hopper!

        • footballguy123456

          the only reason he is a school hopper becuase he has family problems and they are judge moves know your facts you moron

          • YouWantMoreProof

            I commend him for trying to get to the next level. For a lot of kids, this is their only way out. However, when you lay down with dogs, you’re bound to come up fleas….especially in this case.

    • socalnative13

      What you are not saying is these same athletes that are jumping all over the place are the same ones jumping from BBT to ground zero to frat boys to match makers to b2g. A lot of these kids dont stay with bbt or any one off season program. They use the programs to get exposure then try to transfer to a big school where they think they will shine.
      Example Elijah Jones is a ground zero kid that transferred to upland just like marquise wimberly.
      So you cant knock upland or any one school or tra or any one program.

  • football574fan

    What disappoints me the most is that everyone has no idea what is going on here. You are all ignorant. And the players love the coaching staff. I know my son does. He isn’t a starter, but he is getting better because of the time and dedication the coaches put into their team. Their excitement and love of the game is what makes the players get excited and want to do better! I wouldn’t want my son going to any other school. I also don’t blame any of the players for moving away from their schools to go to a better school and program. Who in their right mind would want to live in Victor Valley?!

    • YouWantMoreProof

      So you’re content with your child being marginalized for the sake of getting a CIF championship ring…whoope!

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      Really? You insult other readers and posters by calling them ignorant. Then you insult Victor Valley? I don’t live there, but geez man, you’re on a roll.

      • YouWantMoreProof

        Well you need sand to make glass houses too…hahahahaha!

        • Not So Fast My Friend


  • betruthful

    When will this stop? It is high school.

    • socalnative13

      What you are not saying is these same athletes that are jumping all over the place are the same ones jumping from BBT to ground zero to frat boys to match makers to b2g. A lot of these kids dont stay with bbt or any one off season program. They use the programs to get exposure then try to transfer to a big school where they think they will shine.
      Example Elijah Jones is a ground zero kid that transferred to upland just like marquise wimberly.
      So you cant knock upland or any one school or tra or any one program.

      Vista Murrietta has 30 SENIOR transfers coming in including norco qb Gerhart…

      • Just saying “WOW”…

        “Vista Murrietta has 30 SENIOR transfers coming in including norco qb Gerhart…”


      • joe scalero

        I’m curious, do you happen to know how I could verify the number of transfers coming into Vista Murrieta? I am considering on doing a feature article for my paper regarding schools with a high number of transfers.

  • Jack

    I would like to see them recruit a football announcer. Oh wait, they already have the best in Paul Robertson. It’s too bad the kids that grow up in Upland and are good football players now have to go to another city to play sports. Are any of these kids living with any of the coaches? Wouldn’t surprise me if they were.