It’s often a pat answer for why recruits decide on a college, but Jordan Austin’s grade-point average gives his reasoning some serious credibility.
Academics were indeed the Claremont High School offensive tackle’s deciding factor in committing to USC June 26. His 4.4 GPA and ambitious plans for higher education, not to mention the scholarship offer he received from Harvard, certainly speak to his priorities.
“I want to get a Masters degree and when you get one of those from USC, NFL or no NFL, you’re set for life,” Austin said. “But if you’re a starting offensive lineman at USC, you’re practically guaranteed a shot at the NFL.”
Decorated coach Steve Johnson will not return as Eisenhower High School’s athletic director or boys basketball coach this coming school year, according to Rialto Unified School District director of communications Syeda Jafri.
The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year returned to his athletic director position briefly after recovering from gunshot wounds suffered Jan. 21 at an inner-city park in San Bernardino.
The 47-year-old Johnson was not asked to return as athletic director by newly appointed Eisenhower principal Scott Sparks. Johnson chose not to return as boys basketball coach for a program he turned into one of the area’s best over the last 19 years.
“Both the new Rialto and Eisenhower principals opened the athletic directors’ positions up going toward a different direction,” Jafri said. “Mr. Johnson chose not to return to coach basketball for next school year. The district has not opened the position yet.”
As soon as Erik Brown’s season ended, it began.
The Summit High School receiver didn’t have a scholarship offer when the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Central Division went down in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 9, 2012. Over a four month period beginning in February, he became one of the most sought after receivers in the country.
The pursuit ended last week when the 6-foot-2, 175-pound rising senior verbally committed to Washington, choosing the Huskies from nearly 30 scholarship offers that included UCLA, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Boise State and Oregon State.
“I knew it was coming,” Brown said. “I worked hard for this and it has been a blessing. It all happened really fast. I think I just got a chance to showcase what I can do when passing league came around.”
Granted, she is among elite company in a state that fields elite softball teams, but the only surprise would have been if Miranda Viramontes wasn’t named one of the best in California. Fresh off leading her team to a second consecutive CIF championship, the rising senior pitcher committed to Utah was named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team.
Viramontes won 21 consecutive starts to finish out the season. She posted a 0.36 earned-run average during the regular season and allowed two runs in five postseason games. In all, she finished with five no-hitters, six one-hitters and 15 shutouts.
Etiwanda UCLA-bound shortstop Delaney Spaulding and Rancho Cucamonga Florida-bound outfielder Justine McLean were named to the all-state second team. Spaulding hit .511 with 10 home runs, 36 RBIs and 45 runs scored her senior season while McLean batted .580 with 31 runs scored and 31 steals.
Click the link below to see the Cal-Hi Sports all-state team, the medium and small school all-state teams and more.
After nine successful seasons, the contract of Norco High School head football coach Todd Gerhart was not renewed, a source confirmed to the Daily Bulletin.
The news was announced to the Norco players at a 3 p.m. meeting on Friday and the players’ parents at a 4 p.m. meeting. Gerhart’s longtime defensive coordinator, Larry Baker, will take over as head coach at Norco.
The first indication Gerhart may not be brought back was when the coach was placed on administrative leave in April while the school conducted an investigation based on complaints alleged by a former assistant football coach.
With 44 schools from which to choose, only three were removed from the Mt. SAC area this year. All three are Catholic affiliated.
This is the argument lawyers representing Damien and St. Lucy’s will utilize in a federal lawsuit they hope will prevent their clients’ athletic teams from being placed in leagues with parochial schools in the fall of 2014, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer Aram Tolegian’s story. The decision was ostensibly based on competitive equity, something the schools’ lawyers find questionable when the obvious common thread is the schools’ religious affiliation.
The reasons cited for the lawsuits are one thing. The reasons Damien and St. Lucy’s would like to remain in their current arrangement is another.
Both are competitive in the Sierra League, but if forced to move in the fall of 2014, could land amongst a group of private schools with a reputation for a higher level of play in all sports. Apparently that level is high enough that the two schools – along with Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure – are willing to take the CIF State, CIF-Southern Section and CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod to court.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Stephen Zetterberg, Claremont
Story By Staff Writer Michelle Gardner
Volleyball isn’t the traditional sport for boys to focus on growing up in the Inland Empire. For most that would be basketball, soccer or baseball.
Stephen Zetterberg grew up competing in those too but older brother Andrew played volleyball, so that’s the sport he gravitated toward.
He’s gotten pretty good.
Zetterberg, 17, registered 234 kills in 68 sets in leading the Wolfpack (25-6, 11-1 in Pacific League) to the second round of the CIF playoffs. He earned first team All-CIF recognition in Division II and is being honored as the All-Valley Player of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brandon Tsujimoto, Damien, Senior
Story By Staff Writer Keith Lair
Brandon Tsujimoto started the 2013 golf season strong and finished just as strongly.
The senior helped the Spartans to the season-opening Riverside Poly tournament championship. He had Damien’s co-low score of the event. He had the Spartans’ low scores in other tournaments and helped Damien to an undefeated team season and the Sierra League title.
He was fourth in the Father Joe Barry Masters tournament at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course. The Spartans finished fourth in the two-day tournament. He was 16th in the three-day Champions Invitational at the Golf Club at Terra Lago. He was also low medalist in six league matches.
He seemed to play his absolute best golf when it counted the most. That would be the postseason.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Victor Brown, Alta Loma, Jr.
Victor Brown’s season was difficult to measure in sets — he didn’t lose one in Baseline League play. The Alta Loma junior lost just two games en route to his third consecutive league championship.
Don’t be surprised if he improves on that number next season.
Brown’s game is clearly developing each season, evidenced by his trip to the CIF-SS Individual final this year.
As a freshman he reached the round of 16. His sophomore season ended with a 7-5, 7-6 loss in the quarterfinals — he still laments not having capitalized on a set point in the first — to eventual CIF champion Gage Brymer, who will play at UCLA in the fall.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Rachel McCoy, Miller, Senior
Story by Pete Marshall, Staff Writer
It’s hard to fathom that at the beginning of the season, she was quitting track and field. By the end, she was winning state and hoping to compete in track in college.
“I always knew I could do it (win state),” Miller senior Rachel McCoy said. “But it’s always surprising when I actually do it.”
Such was the journey this season for McCoy. The senior, who has signed with Long Island University to play basketball, won state in the high jump as a sophomore with a solid, but unspectacular jump of 5 feet, 8 inches. That gave her an ego problem.
“I got this attitude that I can do anything,” she said. “This should be run my way. It was immature to think that.”