It’s Oklahoma for Los Osos linebacker Bryce Youngquist

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Los Osos senior linebacker Bryce Youngquist has picked one O over another.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder announced today he’ll be attending the University of Oklahoma. He picked the Sooners over 14 other programs with Oregon being the other he most seriously considered.

He visited the school two weeks ago and that sealed the deal. He also made trips earlier to Oregon, Utah, Oregon State, Wisconsin and Washington State.

“I really fell in love with it when I went there,” he said. “It really seemed to have a family atmosphere and environment and it seemed like the right fit for me. I don;t need to have a big city. I think it’s a place where he can fit in and focus on what I need to do.”

Youngquist, a four-star recruit, got to take in the team’s spring game so he got a feel for the atmosphere that comes with football in Norman.

He also liked Oregon and said the recruiting process was stressful at first. Once the offers started coming in he felt less pressure and actually enjoyed the experience.

He wanted to announce his decision so he concentrate on his senior season with the Grizzlies.

Last season he played in only five games, recording 43 tackles, two sacks, one blocked punt and two caused fumbles.

Youngquist added that me plans to major in communications.

 

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Ayala swimmer Kenisha Liu qualifies for Olympic Trials

Senior Kenisha Liu of Ayala has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in a third event.

Liu, the Daily Bulletin’s Girls Swimmer of the Year the past spring, recorded a 56.19 today in finishing fifth in the 100 freestyle at the Speedo Junior National Championships in Texas.

Liuset a qualifying mark in the 200 individual medley (2:18.61) at the California-Nevada Sectional long course meet earlier this month in Santa Clarita.

In December she set a qualifying mark in the 200 breaststroke at a meet in Federal Way, Wash.

The Olympic Trails will be held next June in Omaha, Nebraska. The Olympic trials meet is very competitive and only the top two in each event will qualify to represent the United States in ‎Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Liu has not decided on a college yet but is being recruited by many Pac 12 schools and has the grades to go wherever she chooses.

Liu earned All-American honors this year from the NISCA in six sevents. Also earning national recognition were Mikki Thompson, Shannon Steele and Megan Delgado.

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LaMelo Ball commits to UCLA and hasn’t played a high school game

A third Ball is headed to UCLA.

No not Lonzo or younger brother LiAngelo. It’s the youngest of the family.

LaMelo Ball, 13, the youngest brother in the basketball playing family said today he too has committed to the Bruins even though he has yet to play a high school game.

“It is my dream school,” he said. “I decided to get it out of the way now instead of waiting for the future.”

Other schools looking at the youngest Ball included Virginia and Washington State but he opted to follow his brothers, although he said that wasn’t a major factor.

Lonzo, who will be a senior this fall, committed to the Bruins as a sophomore and last year as a sophomore LiAngelo did the same. All three will play together for the Huskies but they won;t be together at UCLA even for a year because Lonzo has made it known he wants to be “one and done” at UCLA.

The three brothers on the same floor will be a marquee attraction this winter. The three brothers combined for 93 points in a recent travel ball game for Big Ballers.

Here is the video from MaxPreps of that performance:

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Colony football wins without high profile college prospects

Last year the Colony Titans cruised to a CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. One would think that meant coach Steve Randall sent a lot of players on to Division I schools. Not so.

Colony (12-2), which won its last nine games of the season, didn’t have a single player that continued on to a high-profile school. Was it because they didn’t make the grade academically? Not at all.

They just had a lot of seniors that didn’t pass the old “eye test.” They were players that didn’t measure up to the physical stature the bigger schools are looking for.

That doesn’t mean Colony hasn’t sent players to major colleges. Samajie Grant has emerged as a key player at Arizona.

But the Titans have made their living off having blue-collar players that buy into their role and worked well into the framework of the team concept.  Does it make the coach’s job more rewarding? Absolutely!

“It does kind of tell us that what we’re doing is working,” Randall said. “A lot of the teams we beat last year have those marquee players. So we’re doing something right.”

Randall passes much of the credit on to his senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who is quiet by nature, but leads by example. He’s one of those guys that fits into the “not passing the eye test” category.

He has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns with just nine interceptions in the last two years. Those numbers should garner a little bit of a look. But he’s one of those 5-foot-10 guys and that’s a bit small for a quarterback. Schools aren’t looking at the intangibles such as toughness and poise under pressure.

He injured his shoulder the next to last game of the regular season and was thought to be done for the season. He worked hard, came back and got a bit of playing time in the semifinal. Then led his team to the win in the title game.

Most of the interest Thompson has drawn thus far has been from Ivy League schools and he has the grades to get in.

“He has said about four words in three years here,” Randall joked. “But he doesn’t get rattled and our guys feed off that. They feel like he’s in control and they’re in control too. That showed a lot last year in the way he handled his injury.”

As far as other possible major college players, Randall says senior defensive back Khalil Dorsey and linebacker Devon Harper are the most likely candidates. But Dorsey, who was fifth in the state in the 100 hurdles during spring track season, is listed as 5-9, and Harper is just 6-0.

Time will tell. But colleges that aren’t snatching up some of these athletes are missing out.

 

 

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Claremont football starting new era under new coach

Mike Collins was an institution at Claremont, heading the school’s football program for more than two decades. But he resigned during the off-season and the program is now in the hands of Jose Jarin, who had been on the staff the previous three years.

But there will not be a massive overhaul. In fact, most of Collins’ long-time assistants are staying on. Jarin couldn’t be more happy. Among those staying on is Terrance Lynch who will coach running backs and had served as Collins’ right-hand man.

Milo Epling will serve as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator while Ryan Capuzamo will be offensive coordinator. Both were on Collins’ staff for most of his tenure.

“This is like walking into the perfect home,” Jarin said. “The guys have all been great.”

There are plenty of quality players back too, enough that Jarin thinks his team could factor into the Palomares League race.

Among those coming back is junior running back Duy Tran-Sampson, who rushed for 1,525 yards and 14 touchdowns last year as a sophomore.

Among the other key offensiv e players returning are senior fullback Markelle Davis as well as three senior linemen, Conner Tolliver, Anthony Russo and Jonathan Gonzalez.

Claremont has always lived and died with its ground game but there is potential to throw with the arrival of new quarterback Raine Pohaku Paiva, a transfer from Paloma Valley who threw for 1,471 yards last year.

Top targets for the new signal caller will include senior Cameron Gray as well as sophomore newcomer Ben Lynch, son of the Claremont assistant, who caught 28 touchdown passes last year for the freshman team.

Jarin also expects good things from tight end Max Shapiro who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

“We’re going to add a dimension Claremont football hasn’t had in awhile,” Jarin said. “We’re excited about the potential we have and some of things we think we’ll be able to do.”

Top defenders will include sophomore linebacker Soloman Tuillapupu, who will replaced the graduated James Stephens, senior corner Mato Pacheco, defensive end Kamren Brown, junior end Ricky Sandoval and senior linebacker Damien Cannon.

Jarin also singled out kicker Jacob Olesniewicz, whom he expects to be one of the area’s best.

 

VARSITY PASSING TOURNEY

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Carter football team looking to make noise in CBL

The Carter High School football team had good season in 2014. But it wasn’t great and great was what it needed to over take Redlands East Valley for Citrus Belt League honors.

The Lions (9-3 overall and 6-1 in CBL play) will try and knock off that juggernaut again this year but coach Alex Pierce knows it will take a monumental effort.

“They’re still the team to beat,” Pierce said. “They graduated a few guys but they still have a lot of talent coming back and they have a great program. So we know that’s always going to be our biggest obstacle.”

Carter returns about half its starters – five on offense and six on defense, so massive reloading isn’t necessary. Pierce did graduate many of his linemen on both sides of the ball, which is key for the Lions because of the style they play.

The Lions have been noted for a physical, punishing ground game. They will still depend on that but Pierce says his team is going to throw the ball a little more than it has in the past. He has a new quarterback in Sonny Robison, a move-in from Nevada. Brett Hernandez, who played there last year, is being move to tight end and linebacker.

The Lions strength will be on defense as they” be led by four Division I prospects, most notably senior linebacker Lokeni Toailoa who has committed to UCLA.

Brother Leni Toailoa is among the other marquee defenders. He made a verbal commitment to San Jose State but Pierce says he has recently been drawling attention from higher profile programs.

The other noteworthy defenders are senior defensive Marcus Stone and senior corner Marquis Green. Green has also committed to San Jose State.

Pierce also singled out junior defensive end Justin McKinstry.

“Our defense has always been our bread and butter and it still will be,” he said. ” We just need to find the right pieces in a few places and i think we can be pretty good.”

Carter starts the new season at home on Aug. 28 against Los Osos. It’s first Citrus Belt League contest will come on Sept. 25 it will be against REV.

Unfortunately for the Lions, the non-league schedule will do little to help them prepare for that game against REV. Their three non-league foes were a combined 6-25 last year.

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Local water polo standouts earn All-American honors

The National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) has announced its list of water polo high school All Americans for the 2014-2015 season.

The organization picked 14 players for each of six teams nationwide.

Several locals earned recognition.

The top honoree was junior Matthew Maier of Damien who named to the second team.

Senior Austin Stewart of Los Osos made the fourth team while senior goal keeper Steven Cagle of Claremont, who led the Wolfpack to a CIF championship, made the sixth team.

Senior Thomas Halverson of Los Osos made honorable mention.

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Chino Hills, Ayala football teams renew “Battle of the Bone”

Ayala Football

The “Battle of the Bone” is back!

When Chino Hills was dispatched from the Sierra to the Baseline League last year, so went the rivalry between the schools separated by just 4.3 miles.

But the rivals are back on each others’ schedule, in football at least. They will play on Aug. 28 at Ayala in the season opener for both.

Chino Hills Athletic Director Phil Garcia says when it comes to scheduling he takes his cue from his coaches on who they prefer to play in non-league. A lot can hinge on what tournaments the respective teams are in and what common open dates there are.

Chino Hills Husky Football

This year it worked out. Chino Hills wanted the game bad enough it forfeited a home game and will have only four this season, according to Garcia. Ayala needed a home game and the Huskies obliged.

The game looms as the most intriguing Week 0 match-up in the Inland Valley.

Ayala coach Randy Reams was looking to beef up his team’s non-league schedule. What better way to do that than schedule a Baseline League team, and a local rival as well.

“We’re excited. It will be a great test,” he said. “We’re very happy to have that game back on our schedule.

Chino Hills counterpart Matt Bechtel agrees.

“We played them my first year and I really didn’t think it was that big a deal,” he said. “Then the day of the game it was crazy. It took 30 minutes for us to get there just because of the traffic and the people that were out. It was a great atmosphere.”

Here’s how the previous games between the two have played out.

2014 – Did not play
2013 – Chino Hills 52, Ayala 28
2012 – Chino Hills 49, Ayala 34
2011 – Chino Hills 40, Ayala 17
2010 – Chino Hills 36, Ayala 8
2009 – Chino Hills 14, Ayala 7
2008 – Ayala 18, Chino Hills 17
2007 – Ayala 19, Chino Hills 10
2006 – Chino Hills 42, Ayala 21
2005 – Chino Hills 20, Ayala 7
2004 – Chino Hills 21, Ayala 16
2003 – Ayala 21, Chino Hills 17

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Upland football team will be counting on lesser known athletes

Last year the Upland High School football team boasted 10 or so Division I recruits, many of whom went on the high profile college programs.

The Highlanders don’t have quite the star power this season but veteran head coach Tim Salter thinks his team is capable of adding to a streak of four straight Baseline League titles.

“We had guys most people didn’t know but they had to play at a high speed to keep with those guys in practice,” he said. “We had very competitive practices and we’re counting on those to have gotten these guys ready to play.”

Among the departed is quarterback Tyler Hilinski, now at Washington State.

Junior Andrew Harrison has inherited the job after being relegated to backup duty last year. The biggest difference is that he is much smaller in stature than his predecessor.

Of course your chances are always pretty good when one of your returning players is Nathan Tilford. The versatile junior focused on playing running back last year because the Highlanders didn’t need him on defense with so many other players. But Salter said he will see time there this season.

The are in which there are the most returners is in the wide receiving core with Joseph Jones, Joseph Ayala and Grant Porter all returning. Porter recently committed to Washington State. Jones and Ayala can also see time in the secondary.

Upland has never had a lot of players going both ways but Salter said that with 20 players having graduated, he’ll be experimenting with players at multiple positions, at least through non-league play.

Other key players on offense are senior Raymond Matelau, the team’s most experience lineman, as well as Tavoi Hoching, perhaps the most versatile player on the squad. Salter also singled out junior wide receiver Gary Theard, who the coach says had a good spring.

On the defensive side, senior lineman Kelon Ferdinand is the top returner. Other key players are linebackers Cole McCarty, Semisi Pahulu and Sione Piutau.

Senior Isikeli Otuafo may see time in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

A couple of siblings who could be contributors. Corners Jacob Tilford, younger brother of Nathan, and Jordan Porter, brother of Grant will push for playing time. Both are juniors.

Upland opens the season on Aug. 28 at Palmdale Knight, an opponent it pummeled pretty good last season. But the Highlanders do boast top notch foes in non-league play such as Mater Dei, Venice and Tesoso.

“I don’t think you can be ready to play in our league unless you see teams of this caliber first,” he said. “You have to play those games at a high speed. You don’t want a high speed game for the first time when’ you’re just getting to league play.”

 

 

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Diamond Ranch looking to contend in Hacienda under new coach

Last year the Diamond Ranch football team settled for a 5-5 record, with a 2-3 Hacienda League mark that was only good enough for fourth place.

The Panthers are on their third coach in as many years and are looking to re-establish themselves under newcomer Jimmy Welker.

The first year is always one of transition. Welker didn’t want to divulge what exact offenses and defenses his team will be running but deemed his schemes a “complete overhaul.”

He won’t judge his team by what happens in the win-loss column.

“It will be a matter of are we doing what we have been coached to do,” he said. “Flat out execution. If we do that, then the wins and losses will hopefully take care of themselves.”

There are two players battling for the starting quarterback slot – seniors Ethan Cota and Joe Sebastian with Sebastian, transferring from Garey and Cota one of three players that saw action in that position last year.

Among the top players on the squad will be senior running back-corner Davion Gaisie who rushed for 1,112 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

Welker also expects a good showing from both fronts with Harley and Christian Becerra the top performers there.

Several other players could be keys on both sides of the ball. That group includes senior wide receiver-defensive back Kalean Williams and senior running back-linebacker Dashawn Ellis.

The Panthers swing into action on Aug. 28 with a home game against South Hills. They open league play on Oct. 9 against West Covina.

 

Welker expects tough competition in the league with Los Altos the reigning Central Division runner-up. Walnut and Chino had coaching changes in the off-season as well, which makes for an even more intriguing season.

Welker comes to the Inland Valley after serving as defensive line coach for the last two years at Redondo Union High School.

He also has previously served as outside linebacker coach and junior varsity defensive coordinator at Notre Dame High School as well as wide receiver coach for the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Welker was a four-sport athlete at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, excelling in football, basketball, baseball and track. He went on to play quarterback at Louisiana State. LSU went 43-9 during his time there, highlighted by a national championship in 2007.

 

 

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