Chino Hills volleyball team looking to play catch up

The Chino Hills volleyball team comes into the new season trying to play catch up – literally.

Coach Dana Buzzerio, who had been in the program for eight years, stepped down after last season and Christina Johnson was named her successor. But Johnson had to resign before even coaching the first match because of new job responsibilities in her full-time gig at Cal State San Bernardino.

Enter Andy Farrow, also the assistant for Randy Bohlmann with the very successful Damien boys’ program. He interviewed in July but wasn’t formally approved until this week. So the girls have practiced with an on-campus faculty member looking on.

Farrow has a daughter that went through the program so he was familiar with the school and the program’s history so he is a good choice, albeit a late one.

The Huskies won’t play their first match until Sept. 13 and they will have only two before starting Baseline League play. Farrow was able to pick up a tournament at the end of the season but he is still looking to pickup a tournament or a handful of individual matches.

The light schedule is likely the result of the administrative turnover. Who knows where the ball was dropped. Not only did the Huskies have more than one change in coaches, the school also changed athletic directors.

“We’re going to be two to three months behind every team we’re going to be playing against,” Farrow said. “We just have to do what we can do and tray and get where we need to be by the end of the season.”

The Huskies do have talent. Senior Kenzie Koerber has committed to Utah and senior outside hitter Alexis Cardoza is a returning first team All-Inland Valley selection. That’s a good start.

Farrow will be looking to fill a void at setter as junior Courtney Buzzerio transferred to Orange Lutheran. Farrow said he has four candidates for that spot but he doesn’t have a lot of matches to experiment.

Baseline competition should be tough with Rancho Cucamonga looming as heavy favorite. St. Lucy’s is always in the playoff mix and Los Osos seems much improved. We’ll see how this drama plays out.


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Chino Hills football team already dealing with key injuries

It might be one game into the season but Chino Hills is already dealing with a couple of injuries that could loom large.

Senior offensive lineman Connor Garcelli and junior running back Sean O’Donnell both sustained knee injuries in Friday’s 19-7 victory over cross-town rival Ayala.

Head coach Chris Stevens says O’Donnell will definitely be out and he’ll have other tests, possibly and MRI, this week.

The injury to Garcelli, a preseason All-Inland Valley selection, looks less severe. Stevens says Garcelli wants to play against Diamond Ranch on Friday and probably could if the game were significant but he is leaning toward holding the 6-foot-3, 275-pound tackle out so the injury doesn’t become a lingering one that Garcelli will have to play through all season.

If Garcelli can’t go, the start would go to sophomore Caleb Shockey.

O’Donnell ran for 77 yards on 15 carries in the opener, With him out more of the load might fall on the team’s other back, sophomore Walter Carl, who ran for 130 yards on 19 tries.

“They are both good kids and they want to play but we have to look at the bigger picture,” Stevens said. “We need to have them healthy in the long run.”

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Ganesha football game now slated for Thursday

The Ganesha High School football team is scheduled to play Gladstone this week. The site has changed three times and the day has changed too but as of now the teams are slated to play on Thursday at Charter Oak High School.

Gladstone does not have its own field which is the reason for the uncertainty. It is one of four schools that use Citrus College for a home venue and three of those schools are slated to have home games this week.

Giants coach Don Cayer hopes the game starts by 7 since it is a school night but it will be taking place AFTER a junior varsity game so it could be later.

Ganesha opened the season with a 28-8 win over Mark Keppel while Gladstone lost to South El Monte 40-7.

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Etiwanda loses startting quarterback to concussion

Etiwanda quarterback Tommy McDonnell is picked up and tackled by Summit defense at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA., Friday, August 26, 2016. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Etiwanda junior quarterback Tommy McDonnell sustained a concussion late in the first half of Friday’s 22-14 loss to Summit and will have to miss this week’s game against Redlands East Valley because of concussion protocol.

The starting nod will go to Justin Hamel, also a junior.

The Eagles are not in panic mode however. McDonnell and Hamel battled for the starting spot, sharing the reps in the spring and summer. So Hamel is prepared to step in.

Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis said it is unlike last year when he lost his starter to a concussion, then had to scramble because the second option was a distant second best at that position.

“Those guys battled for that position all the way so they both came into the season prepared. It was like we had a 1A and a 1B,” he said. “We feel confident with either of them at that position.”


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Here are latest CIF rankings for football in all divisions

Division 1 – 1. Corona Centennial (1-0; 2. Mater Dei (1-0); 3. St. John Bosco (1-0); 4. Mission Veijo (1-0); 5. Long Beach Poly (1-0); 6. Servite (1-0); 7. JSerra (1-0); 8. Chaminade (0-1); 9. Tesoro (0-1); 10. Santa Margarita (1-0).

Division 2 – 1. Oaks Christian (1-0); 2. Norco (1-0); 3. Murrieta Valley (1-0); 4. La Harba (1-0); 5. St. Bonaventure (1-0); 6. Redlands East Valley (0-0); 7. Citrus Hills (1-0); 8. Westlake (1-0); 9. Sheran Oaks Noter Dame (1-0); 10. San Clemente (0-10).

Division 3 – 1. La Mirada (1-0); 2. Edison (2-0); 3. Cathedral (1-0); 4. Villa Park (0-0); 5. San Juan Hills (1-0); 6. Newbury Park (1-0); 7. Buena Park (1-0); 8. Palos Verdes (1-0); 9. Oak Hills (1-0); 10. Rancho Verde (0-1).

Division 4 – 1. Charter Oak; 2. Sierra Canyon; 3. Colony (1-0); 4. Redondo Union (1-0); 5. Lompoc (1-0); 6. Murrieta Mesa (0-0); 7. Corona del Mar (0-1); 8. Dominguez (0-1); 9. Placentia Valencia (0-1); 10. Lakewood (0-1).

Division 5 – 1. Calabasas (1-0); 2. Bishop Diego (1-0); 3. Salesian (1-0); 4. Redlands (1-0); 5. Corona (1-0); 6. Paloma Valley (1-0); 7. Moorpark (1-0); 8. Ventura (1-0); 9. Temecula Valley (1-0); 10. Harvard-Westlake (1-0).

Division 6 – 1. Summit (1-0); 2. Mira Costa (0-0); 3. West Torrance (0-0); 4. Lawndale (0-0); 5. Long Beach Wilson (1-0); 6. Yucaipa (0-0); 7. Los Altos (1-0); 8. San Marino (0-1); 9. Palmdale (0-1); 10. Crescenta Valley (0-0).

Division 7 – 1. Linfield Christian (0-0); 2. St. Margaret’s (1-0); 3. Long Beacah Cabrillo (1-0); 4. El Segundo (0-0); 5. San Gorgonio (1-0); 6. Tustin (1-0); 7. Warren (0-1); 8. Huntington Beach (1-0); 9. North Torrance (0-0); 10. Diamond Ranch (1-0).

Division 8 – 1. El Modena (0-0); 2. Grace Brethren (1-0); 3. Laguna Hills (0-0); 4. Burbank (1-0); 5. Burbank Burroughs (0-0); 6. Moreno Valley (0-0); 7. Brea Olinda (0-0); 8. Chino (0-1); 9. Garden Grove (1-0); 10. Hemet (1-0).

Division 9 – 1. Ridgecrest Burroughs; 2. Riverside Notre Dame (1-0); 3. Palm Desert (1-0); 4. La Salle (1-0); 5. Antelope Valley (0-1); 6. Eastside (0-0); 7. Muir (1-0); 8. Perris (1-0); 9. South Torrance (0-0); 10. Norwalk (1-0).

Division 10 –1. Brethren Christian (1-0); 2. Aquinas (1-0); 3. Alta Loma (1-0); 4. Mission Prep (0-0); 5. Rubidoux (0-0); 6. Dos Pueblos (0-1); 7. Grand Terrace (1-0); 8. Santa Ynez (1-0); 9. Leuzinger (1-0); 10. Apple Valley (1-0).

Division 11 – 1. Ontario Christian (1-0); 2. Culver City (0-0); 3. Ramona (1-0); 4. Crean Lutheran (1-0); 5. Oak Park (1-0); 6. Twentynine Palms (1-0); 7. Valley View (0-1); 8. Coachella Valley (1-0); 9. Bishop Montgomery (0-0); 10. Covina (0-0).

Division 12 – 1. Banning (0-1); 2. Calvary Murrieta (1-0); 3. Segerstrom (1-0); 4. Rancho Mirage (1-0); 5. Rim of the World (0-0-1); 6. Santa Paula (0-1); 7. Schurr (1-0); 8. Arroyo (0-0-1); 9. Saddleback (0-0); 10. Ontario (0-1).

Division 13 – 1. Santa Ana (0-0); 2. Rancho Christian (1-0); 3. Godinez (0-0); 4. Campbell Hall (1-0); 5. Rio Hondo Prep (0-0); 6. Cantwell Sacred Heart (1-0); 7. Mary Star of the Sea (1-0); 8. Hueneme (1-0); 9. Santa Clarita Christian (0-1); 10. Boron (0-1).

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The first CIF cross country rankings are out

The CIF preseason cross country polls are out. Here they are with local teams denoted in bold:

Division 1 –
1. Dana Hills; 2. Great Oak; 3. Burbank Burroughs; 4. Roosevelt; 5. California; 6. Beaumont; 7. Placentia Valencia; 8. El Toro; 9. Rancho Cucamonga; 10. Trabuco Hills.

Division 2 – 1. Loyola; 2. Mira Costa; 3. Claremont; 4. Ventura; 5. Ayala; 6. Anaheim Canyon; 7. West Ranch; 8. Mission Viejo; 9. Agoura; 10. Newport Harbor.

Division 3 – 1. Brea Olinda; 2. West Torrance; 3. Baldwin Park; 4. Cathedral; 5. Paso Robles; 6. Rubidoux; 7. Sultana; 8. St. John Bosco; 9. Esperanza; 10. Palos Verdes.

Division 4 – 1. Foothill Tech; 2. Yucca Valley; 3. Harvard-Westlake; 4. Oaks Christian; 5. Bishop Amaat; 6. JSerra; 7. Covina; 8. Big Bear; 9. El Segundo; 10. Crean Lutheran.

Division 5 – 1. Desert Christian; 2. Flintridge Prep; 3.Brentwood; 4. Thacher; 5. Woodcrest Christian; 6. Valley Christian; 7. St. Margaret’s; 8. Orcutt Academy; 9. Xavier Prep; 10. Santa Maria St. Joseph’s.

Division 1 –
1. Great Oak; 2. Arcadia; 3. Long Beach Poly; 4. Vista Murrieta; 5. Dana Hills; 6. Burbank Burroughs; 7. Newbury Park; 8. Yucaipa; 9. Redondo Union; 10. Roosevelt.

Division 2 – 1. Saugus; 2. Claremont; 3. Ventura; 4. Serrano; 5. Woodbridge; 6. Mira Costa; 7. Capistrano Valley; 8. Mission Viejo; 9. Anaheim Canyon; 10. Simi Valley.

Division 3 – Esperanza; 2. Palos Verdes; 3. Oak Park; 4. Moorpark; 5. Laguna Hills; 6. Bolsa Grande; 7. Norwalk; 8. Paso Robles; 9. Bonita; 10. West Valley.

Division 4 – 1. Bishop Amat; 2. Foothill Tech; 3. JSerra; 4. Atascadero; 5. Covina; 6. La Canada; 7. Mayfield; 8. Laguna Beach; 9. Rosary; 10. Big Bear.

Division 5 – 1. Flintridge Prep; 2. Sage Hill; 3. Woodcrest Christian; 4. Pacifica Christian; 5. Brentwood; 6. St. Margaret’s; 7. Xavier Prep; 8. Bell-Jeff; 9. Chadwick; 10. Pasadena Poly.

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Rancho Cucamonga football appears loaded for another run

Tayari Venable, left, Thomas Graham, Jaylon Redd and Darren Hall at Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Wednesday, August 3, 2016. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

You don’t necessarily have to win a league title to make a run deep into the playoffs. The Rancho Cucamonga Cougars are proof of that. They were only third in the Baseline last year but marched to the West Valley semifinal before losing a 5, yes 5, overtime game to Vista Murrieta.

Rancho looms as the Baseline League favorite this year though, returning a large group of players who were part of that playoff run.

“I like what we have,” Rancho coach Nick Baiz said. “We have some holes to fill, just like everybody else but we could be pretty good.”

Most of the voids though are at the skill positions. Junior Nick Acosta steps in as quarterback,. replacing Angel Matute who had held down that spot for three years. Leading rusher Aaron Manning is gone too. Senior Jaylon Redd, known more for his exploits on defense, will see time in Manning’s spot.

Other key players on offense will include senior center Brandon Watson, senior guard Jordyn Hill and senior wide receivers David Farmer and Tyree Baker.

Newcomers who should factor in up front are junior tackle Isaiah Alejo and senior guard Nick Parson Santiago, both up from the junior varsity.

Senior defensive Thomas Graham, like Redd, will, see time on offense at wide receiver.

It is on the other side of the ball where the Cougars  return a scary amount of talent. The secondary of Redd, Graham, Tayari Venable and Darren Hall has combined to land 60 or so Division I offers.

Baiz is also high on Farmer and Aaron Lewis  who also star in the secondary. Other key defenders are senior ends Jonah Latu and Donnel Harris, tackles Lavaka Latu and Jonathan Meza and senior lineman-linebacker Dylan Beridon.

The Cougars enter the new season with the target on their back. But Baiz says his squad is up for the challenge. The Cougars will play at Temecula Chaparral tonight. They’ll return home next week against Norco to mark the first game in their new on-campus facility.

“We have a lot of seniors and I think they like the challenge,” Baiz said of being the team with the target. “I think they’ll go out and want to prove their the team to beat.”

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Upland football team looks to challenge with young cast

Upland Football

The Upland football team fared well last year in what was largely considered a rebuilding season. They were second in the Baseline to Chino Hills and made it to the CIF quarterfinal before losing a heart-breaker to Vista Murrieta.

The Highlanders (8-4 in 2015) are rebuilding again, not because of players who graduated but because of players who transferred. Coach Tim Salter saw 10 or so athletes, most of them starters, jump to other schools. But he isn’t dwelling on what he lost, he’s focused instead on those that remain.

“I’m sure all those kids had their reasons,” he said. “We have good kids here that want to play Upland football and they have worked hard. We have some kids with great potential, they’re just young.”

Sophomore quarterback David Baldwin will lead the charge. He took the reigns of the team midway through the Baseline League game against Chino Hills and never looked back. His stock continued to rise over the summer.

Other weapons in the offensive arsenal include senior running back Artis Seymore and junior running back Kyle Jones. Baldwin will also have some solid receivers in Gary Theard, Bryce Parker and Tyler Sweet, with Sweet a transfer from Bishop Amat.

“Those kids are all good. They just have not had the chance yet because of the players who were in front of them. I really like our potential.”

The effort up front will be led by senior tackle Hugo Esqueda and senior guard Kris Montano.

Top players on the other side of the ball include junior linebackers Leonard Leau, Corey Thomas and Nick Zamora, junior lineman Fou Hoching and junior free safety Malik Goss.

Salter is also looking forward to the return of senior Montez Evans, who was out injured last season.

The new version of the Highlanders takes the field at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday against Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) at Norco High School in the Brother in Arms Classic.

The young Highlanders will need to mature in a hurry though. The Baseline League is tough enough but Upland’s non-league schedule also includes perennial title contenders in Mater Dei and Redlands East Valley as well as much-improved Claremont.

“We play a lot of tough teams,” Salter said. “We’re going to find out how good we’re going to be right away. There really isn;t an easy team on our schedule.”



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Ontario football team to open new stadium against local foe

Hundreds of students, faculty and community members attend the much-anticipated dedication ceremony Tuesday for the new football stadium at Ontario High School. The facility is expected to be completed next month.

Dedication festivities for Ontario’s new football stadium were held in the spring. Now the Jaguars get to play in it!

Ontario High School will finally get to play a varsity game on its own campus this Friday night and it should be a real shot in the arm for a program that has struggled in recent years although last year’s .500 record was a step in the right direction.

The opponent will be Ontario Christian, a school only a block away. Both schools are looking forward to the contest.  Matt Hoekstra is starting his second year as coach at Ontario Christian while John Kusleika is in his third at Ontario.

The teams have scrimmaged the previous two years and this year Ontario spent much of the spring walking over to Ontario Christian to practice because work was being finished up on its stadium.

“Matt was very helpful to us when we needed a place to practice,” Kusleika said. “It should be a fun game. It can be a fun, friendly rivalry. They’re a small school but they’re always pretty good.”

Hoekstra is looking to rely on his running game with a solid trio of Zac Cupp, Blake Biby and Travis Struiksma the contributors. Other key players are senior wide receiver Ian Ulloa and junior quarterback Kevin Jack, who missed much of last season with an injury.

On defense Hoekstra singles out senior outside linebacker Clayton Dahl and senior defensive back Giovanni Debonis.

There has been a battle for the quarterback spot at Ontario with Aaron Delgado and Luis Rivera the candidates. Kusleika said he’ll likely use both and see what materializes. The Jaguars also have a solid running back in junior Antoine Paul, who saw a lot of playing time late last season.

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Ayala to start freshman quarterback in Battle of the Bone

The Ayala football team hasn’t beaten crosstown rival Chino Hills since 2009 and last year it was ugly – 31-0. The Huskies lead the young series 9-3.

There are new coaches on each side with Chris Stevens now heading Chino Hills and A.J. Gracia in charge at Ayala.

The quarterbacks will be a compelling storyline as Chino Hills will start Austin Zavala, a transfer from Ayala.

Meanwhile Ayala will be starting a freshman – Cole McCain, son of assistant coach Matt McCain. Gracia said it was a tough battle with McCain pushed by junior James Linn but in the end he went with the youngster.

“It was a battle all the way and they competed for it,” Gracia said.  “Cole just kind of separated himself in the end.”

Linn is still going to be a factor though, starting at safety.

Here’s a rundown of the scores in the series:

2015 – Chino Hills 31, Ayala 0
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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