About Clay Fowler

Clay Fowler is a Dallas native, graduated from the University of Texas and worked in Central Texas for two years before joining the Daily Bulletin staff in 2006.

Western Christian football has gone from bottom to top before

Of all football programs, Western Christian shouldn’t be intimidated by it’s current predicament.

The Lancers finished last in the Ambassador League last season, but perhaps even more revealing is that new coach Michael Khoshkbariie began spring practice with just 18 players on the roster.

Western Christian has beaten the odds before – quickly. The Lancers went from three wins to an undefeated regular season in just two years, surging to the CIF-SS semifinals in 2013. But just as quickly, Western found itself at the bottom of the league again.

The Lancers have their work cut out again in an Ambassador League that is deeper than it was two seasons ago. But Khoshkbariie already has 40 players out for the team. Continue reading

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Ontario Christian football hopes to climb out of unfamiliar territory

Ontario Christian is only two seasons removed from a trip to the CIF finals. Success of this nature isn’t surprising for a program with one of the longest standing traditions in the Ambassador League.

What is surprising? The Knights have just one league championship over the last nine years outside of their banner season in 2012. Even more surprising? Last year, Ontario Christian missed the playoffs for the first time in at least 15 years.

A new coach, a strong returning nucleus and a promising young quarterback are plenty of reasons to believe this year will begin the Knights’ climb toward their traditional spot near the top of the league. The Ambassador League is deep, but Ontario Christian could benefit from the league’s expected parity. Continue reading

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Will Summit’s talent translate into a league championship?

Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff Photographer Running back Stephen Carr, who is verbally committed to USC, is one of four Summit High School players already with Division-I scholarship offers entering the 2015 season.

Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff Photographer
Running back Stephen Carr, who is verbally committed to USC, is one of four Summit players with Division-I scholarship offers entering the 2015 season.

If it could convert scholarship offers into victories, Summit could crown itself today.

The SkyHawks football team enters the 2015 season with four players sporting Division-I offers, including Damian Alloway’s list of 16. Had he not committed to USC nearly two years before he could sign a letter of intent, running back Stephen Carr would presumably have more than five scholarship offers.

After becoming the first school other than Kaiser to win a Sunkist League championship – Summit claimed consecutive league titles in 2011 and 2012 – the SkyHawks have finished second the last two seasons. But talent hasn’t been much of an issue, according to head coach Nick Matheny.

“With our three guys at the skill positions, we’re pretty loaded,” Matheny said. “But we were talented last year too and we were only able to pull out six wins.”
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Fresh off blowout loss, Kaiser looking to answer ‘wake-up call’

A CIF championship in 2012. A semifinal appearance in 2013. A 45-14 first-round playoff loss in 2014.

Which of these is not like the other?

Kaiser’s ears are still ringing from the “wake-up call” it received eight months ago. The Cats’ run a proud football program, something regularly reflected on the scoreboard. Blowout losses are uncommon, even less common in the postseason, where Kaiser strung together a successful five-year run including 11 playoff wins – prior to last season.

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“That first-round loss was bothersome,” Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya said. “The players haven’t forgotten about that. But it says a lot about where we’re at against these new teams. All three teams from our league were out in the first round. That’ll tell you something about the competition.” Continue reading

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Participation in high school football rises for the first time in five years

Perhaps due to strides in concussion awareness, high school football saw an increase in participation nationwide last season for the first time in five years, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

An additional 6,607 boys participated in 11-man football during the 2013-14 season, making the total number of players in the country 1,093,234. Aiding that number was an additional 184 girls playing high school football, bringing the total number of girls to 1,715 nationwide.

Technology continues to improve the safety measures of football equipment and tangible progress in preventing concussions also includes a recently approved assembly bill in California limiting full contact high school football practices to three hours per week. AB 2129 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

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Baseline League finals track and field champions

BOYS
100: 1. Tyrin Wells (Upland) 10.92
200: 1. Antonio Woodard (Upland) 21.68
400: 1. Antonio Woodard (Upland) 48.48
800: 1. Parker Saele (Glendora) 2:00.76
1,600: 1. Mat Holton ( Rancho Cucamonga) 4:28.66
3,200: 1. Mat Holton (Rancho Cucamonga) 9:52.33
4×100 relay: 1. Upland 42.72
110 HH: 1. Joseph Anderson (Upland) 14.32
300 IH: 1. Aidan Christensen (Los Osos) 40.26
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Recruiting documentary coming soon features I.E. prep football players, coaches

“Signing Day” is a feature-length documentary film I co-produced with a filmmaker from Los Angeles that explores the world of college football recruiting through the stories of three football players from Summit, Claremont and Diamond Ranch High Schools. Several NFL players, who are Inland Empire natives, were also interviewed for the film about their own recruiting experiences, including Eric Weddle, Toby Gerhart, Anthony Munoz, Terrell Thomas and Bobby Wagner. Check out the trailer below and see more videos on the Signing Day Facebook page

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No. 9 point guard in nation chooses USC over UCLA, Kansas and Indiana

Etiwanda’s Jordan McLaughlin didn’t exactly make the conventional choice when he committed to USC today, but could the point guard be the type of transcendent talent that could help turn the program around? It’s certainly a possibility. After all, the senior has often been compared to Etiwanda alum Darren Collison, a four-year NBA veteran who led UCLA to three Final Fours.

The college coaching community certainly thinks a lot of McLaughlin. The final list of schools under consideration include some of the most storied programs in the country in Kansas, UCLA and Indiana. In the end, I don’t think McLaughlin wanted to leave Southern California and Andy Enfield, the coach that took Florida Gulf Coast to the sweet 16 last season, gave the Trojans the edge. Who can blame a 17-year-old for being intrigued by an offense that took the college basketball world by storm a few months ago?

Here is the complete story on McLaughlin’s recruitment.
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Diamond Ranch offensive lineman, Damien kicker named to All-State football team

2013 CAL-HI SPORTS PRESEASON ALL-STATE FOOTBALL TEAMS

First Team Offense
WR — Michiah Quick (Central, Fresno) 5-11, 170, Sr.
WR — John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 6-1, 180, Sr.
TE — Tyler Luatua (La Mirada) 6-4, 230, Sr.
OL — Kammy Delp (Diamond Ranch, Pomona) 6-4, 305, Sr.
OL — Toa Lobendahn (La Habra) 6-5, 295, Sr.
OL — Damien Mama (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-5, 350, Sr.
OL — Kolton Miller (Roseville) 6-8, 280, Sr.
OL — Jordan Poland (La Jolla Country Day) 6-8, 335, Sr.
QB — Keller Chryst (Palo Alto) 6-4, 210, Sr.
RB — Royce Freeman (Imperial) 6-1, 220, Sr.
RB — Joe Mixon (Freedom, Oakley) 6-1, 205, Sr.
PK — Kevin Robledo (Westlake, Westlake Village) 6-0, 170, Jr.

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Upland coach refutes report that coaches were fired, players declared ineligible

Upland football coach Tim Salter didn’t shed much light on Thursday’s Los Angeles Times report that two Upland coaches were removed from their positions and three Upland players had been declared ineligible.

Salter gestured to a group of at least nine Upland players not in uniform, but declined to specify how many were not playing due to injury.

“All I can tell you is that everything in (the report) is not true,” Salter said. “We’ll try to get this all straightened out.”

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