Bishop Amat transfer Tyler Sweet eligible at Upland

Bishop Amat's Tyler Sweet (14), seen rushing in a game against Oaks Christian last season, has transferred to Upland High. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Tyler Sweet looks for running room in a game last season against Oaks Christian.

Much has been made of the eight or so players Upland lost via transfer. Well the Highlanders got one too as senior wide receiver Tyler Sweet came in from football power Bishop Amat and is expected to be an impact player right away.

Athletic director John McNally said the newcomer was ruled eligible by CIF today on the “change of residence” so he will be eligible for the Highlanders opener on Saturday against Phoenix Mountain Prep.

Sweet played in eight games for the Lancers last season and registered 14 catches for 254 yards.

He is expected to pick up some of the slack left by the departure of sophomore Darren Jones who transferred from Upland to Cajon although Upland coach Tim Salter said it is one position where he has a lot of depth and add that Sweet has worked right into the fold.

“These kids all know each other from passing leagues and all their other off-season activities,” he said. “He has fit right in.”


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Top Upland Christian volleyball player transfer to Rancho Cucamonga

The Rancho Cucamonga volleyball team didn’t need a whole lot of help. Sure the Cougars graduated two-time Player of the Year Kylie Miller. But coach Aaron Flores had 15 other players returning including All-Inland Valley selections Bria Beale and Karson Bacon.

But the Cougars got help nonetheless as junior Brooke Madkin has transferred from Upland Christian.

Madkin recorded 203 kills, 163 digs, 427 assists and 58 aces in helping Upland Christian to a CIF Southern Section Division 5AA title as well as a runner-up showing in the state portion of the playoffs.

Flores said the move had more to do with academics than athletics. Madkin is a good student and was looking to take some advanced placement courses that Upland Christian doesn’t offer. Many of her credits also won’t transfer to a four-year college.

Madkin, the niece of the Upland Christian coach Micah Langston, was the CIF Player of the Year in that division.

Flores acknowledges the different in the level of play between that division and Division I in which the Cougars play. Madkin did some hitting and setting at Upland Christian but will be used as a rightside hitter by Flores.

“She did play with us over the summer because we were missing some players and she did very well,” he said. “But we have a lot of very good players. She is in the mix though.”

Among the other returning players are senior outside hitter Sydney Culpepper, senior setter Mary Bagshaw, junior libero Brooklyn Hill and sophomore outside hitter Allison Casillas.

Flores added that he is waiting for official word on the transfer but expects Madkin to have to serve the sit-out period which wouldn’t make her eligible to play until October.

Rancho opens the season Tuesday at Flintridge Sacred Heart, then travels to Claremont the next day.

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Local schools to host info sessions on colleges, recruiting

Three local high schools will give athletes, coaches and parents a chance to get more information on the ins and outs of college recruiting and what opportunities are out there academically.

Jack Renkens of Recruiting Realities will be the guest speaker. He has been a high school coach and athletic director and coached at the college level as well.

Sessions are open to athletes and parents from all schools free of charge.

Chaffey will host the first session at 7 p.m. tonight while Montclair will be the site on Tuesday. The circuit finishes up with a stop at Los Osos next Monday, Aug. 29 in the school’s theater.

For more, you can also visit Recruiting Realities website.


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Etiwanda football team enters season in rebuilding mode

The Etiwanda football team was in transition last under first year head coach Kevin Davis and the Eagles dealt with the expecting growing pains in finishing 3-7.

Well the Eagles graduated 29 players so they’re still going to be a team in transition. Making matters a little more difficult, Etiwanda opens its season on Friday against a Summit team that went 10-0 in the regular season a year ago.

“We’re young, both in terms of age and experience,” Davis said. “We have some good young players but we’re young and untested.”

Davis said the bright spot so far, although there has yet to be a snap in the regular season, has been the running back core led by junior Lawrence Starks who saw playing time last year as a sophomore on varsity.

Others who will contribute there include junior A.J. Williams and senior Kasmir Dina, neither of whom played last season.

“Those guys all have looked good,” Davis said. “We’re going to need all of them so that was a positive sign.”

The quarterback nod has gone to junior Tommy McDonnell, who won a tough competition with senior Justin Hamel, with whom he split time on the junior varsity last season.

The group looking to pave the way for those athletes is led by senior left tackle Chris Bradberry, junior right tackle Alec Anderson and senior right guard Ryan Hanson.

The receiving core is led by senior Evan Gutierrez. Davis also got a transfer in Geordan Porter,  who came over from Upland and is younger brother for Upland graduate Grant Porter.

The Eagles inexperience shows up more on defense where the long players with any experience are senior defensive end Nate Neal,  senior lineman Kyle Edwards and junior corner Andre Grayson.

Davis is also high on newcomers senior linebacker Connor Sweeney and senior defensive back L.J. Bailey, both up from the junior varsity.

“We have a tough schedule so we’re going to have to grow up quickly,” Davis said. “We don’t have any easy games. Hopefully by the time we get to league play we’ll be ready.”

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Don Lugo’s Josh Ibarra commits to D2 Concordia-Irvine

Don Lugo senior baseball standout Josha Ibarra has committed to NCAA Division II Concordia-Irvine.

He had also been considering Division I UC Riverside and Division II Point Loma Nazarene ut made the decision after visiting all three schools. He didn’t see the need to wait for any other offers that might come his senior year.

“I really thought it was a good fit for me,” he said. “I really liked the campus and the class size as well as the baseball program. It had everything I was looking for.”

Ibarra, who can play multiple positions, helped the Conquistadores (23-4, 12-3) to a Mt. Baldy League title. He was a first team All-league and second-team All-Inland Valley selection.

Ibarra it .529 with eight doubles, two home runs, 16 stolen bases, 27 runs scored and 21 RBIs.

He was also a major contributor on the mound, going 5-1 with six complete games and a 2.04 ERA highlighted by 40 strikeouts in 38 innings.

Ibarra plans to major in education.

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Damien Moreno named girls soccer coach at St. Lucy’s

Damien Moreno has been named girls soccer coach at St. Lucy’s.

Moreno, 23, had served as assistant coach at St. Lucy’s Baseline League rival Los Osos the last two years. He spent the season before that as an assistant for the boys team at Southlands Christian, helping that team to a quarterfinal playoff berth.

He also coaches in the La Verne Lazers club program.

The 2011 graduate of San Dimas High School is excited about the opportunity.

“It’s in the same league so obviously I know a little about he team and the school,” he said. “I applied and came here and interviewed and it all felt right.”

Moreno singles out Los Osos head coach Diego Back as his mentor and admits it will be interesting squaring off against him.

“I figured at some point I would go for a head coach job somewhere and he and I had talked about that,” Moreno said. “At the time I never thought it would be in the same league.”

St. Lucy’s is coming off a 14-8-3 season that included a 5-4-1 mark in Baseline League play. The Regents were fourth in the tough league and graduated their top two players,

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Ayala football team looks to get back on track under new leader


The Ayala football team is one of the many in the Inland Valley under a new leader. A.J. Gracia has taken over and is hoping to lead a resurgence of a program that most agree underachieved last year in going just 3-7.

It won’t be easy. The competition is pretty stiff in the Palomares League and the Bulldogs open the season on Aug. 26 with a non-league game against local rival Chino Hills which has owned them in recent years.

But the new leader is optimistic.

“There is talent here,” he said. “Everyone has been working hard and they have bought in with what we’re trying to do and that’s a good place to start.”

Like all new coaches who weren’t on the staff previously Gracia says every player comes in with a clean slate with him. No returning player is guaranteed a starting spot. Those have to be earned. That competition for playing time can only help.

One of the battles is at quarterback where freshman Cole McCain and junior James Linn are candidates for the starting spot. Linn saw some playing time last year as a back-up to the graduate Michael Morales.

The line will be led by junior center Justin Salazar and junior guard-tackle Addison Shackelford, both of whom saw considerable action last year.  Senior tackle Justin Winans, out last year with a knee injury, and junior tackle Brian McMillan will also be counted on.

Ayala also graduated the running back who was the workhorse of the offense the last three years in Jordan Charles. Several players are vying for time there including junior brothers Mason and Max Hura and Makaio Provoost, also a junior.

Gracia expects his skill position players and his defensive secondary to be the strong points of his team.

“We have some good athletes and we have some depth,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that can contribute.”

Among those in that secondary are senior Emmanuel Flowers, perhaps the best player on the squad. Seniors Zach Brozick and Moses Sanchez and juniors Joshua Pryor and Dominic Gaetano should be big contributors there as well.

Gracia says the biggest question marks are the defensive line and linebacking core because of the number of players graduated. Among those the rookie coach is looking for to step are senior linebackers Josh Elliott and Parker Wallace

Many of the same players who will see time on offense will do so on defense as well with Provoost and Hura among those.

Senior Brian Papazian, who handles all the kicking duties, is also back.

Gracia has brought in some experienced assistants to help him. Matt McCain and Rick Martin will head the defensive staff while Manny Saiz will serve as offensive coordinator.

Gracia, who came to the school from Hillcrest, says he’ll judge the season on how his players progress, not necessarily on how many games it wins since the first year is usually a transition one.  He had to finish out the year at his former school before moving over to Ayala full-time which slowed the process.

“It’s really about going out there and working hard and hopefully it all pays off,” he said. “We’re just really looking forward to being competitive and then see what happens.”



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Montclair to hold alumni men’s basketball game

Montclair will hold its third annual alumni men’s basketball game at 6 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Players will be from as early as 1999 and as recently as 2014.

Admission is $3 with all proceeds going toward the Cavaliers boys’ basketball program. The first 200 spectators will be admitted free, courtesy of Larry Gordon, a former Montclair standout and All-American at Cal Poly Pomona.

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Rebuilding Bonita football hopes to factor in to Palomares race

Bonita cheerleaders hope No. 3-ranked football team can remain undefeated in Friday's Palomares League opener against Claremont. ¬ (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News) ¬ ¬

The Bonita High School football team goes into the new season not that much different than several of its Palomares League counterparts.

Not only did the Bearcats lose a majority of their starters, they had a coaching change as well with Ibis Aguilar taking over for Adrian Medrano, who moved over to El Rancho.

So yes this is shaping up to be a rebuilding year. But that doesn’t mean Bonita can’t be competitive.

“A lot of teams are in the same boat,” said Aguilar, who served as wide receivers coach and assistant head coach under Medrano before being elevated to the head job. We’ll see how fast the younger players come along. We’re hoping to be right there in the mix.”

The Bearcats, 8-3 with a first round playoff loss to Don Lugo in 2015, will be relying on several newcomers in the skill positions, most notably at quarterback where three are vying for the starting job. That trio consists of senior Andrew Harrison, a transfer from Upland, junior Jason Schiller and sophomore Joe LaFountain, up from the junior varsity, and sophomore John Andrade, up from a freshman team that went 10-0.

If one has taken the lead in the battle for that spot, Aguilar isn’t saying.

Among the veterans who will be called up on on returning lineman Miles Blount and Abel Montoya – both seniors.

But perhaps the team’s best player is senior tight end-defensive end Logan Zylstra, a first-team All-Inland Valley selection last year who has landed an offer from Air Force.

Others to look for are returning standouts in wide receiver Dylan Flores, who will also be in the secondary, and senior kicker Garrette Dean as well as newcomers senior wide receiver corner Adrian Bejarano and seniopr tailback Andrew Pasowicz.

About the only veterans on the defensive side of the ball are Zylstra, lineman Andrew Quintero and linebacker Chase Lopez.

Aguilera is also high on inside linebacker Ethan Lancaster, sophomore defensive back Kevin Bullock and sophomore lineman Donnell Osguera.

“I think we’re going to be competitive,” Aguilera said. “It’s hard to say what we’re capable of win-wise just because we have so many younger players. But there is a lot of potential and they’re working hard.”

First up for Bonita, the annual Smudge Pot game on Aug. 26 vs. local rival San Dimas, a game over which the Bearcats have had bragging rights the last few years.

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Lodolo, Rojas earn MaxPreps All-State baseball honors

MaxPreps has handed out its All-State honors and two area players landed accolades.

Former Damien pitcher Nick Lodolo has decided to attend TCU rather than play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Staff)

Damien senior pitcher Nick Lodolo was named to the “Large Schools” first team while senior outfielder Paul Rojas of Redlands East Valley made the second team.

Lodolo was the Daily Bulletin Player of the Year, going 8-2 with a 1.97 earned run average and 83 strikeouts in 65 innings.

His effort propelled the Spartans to the Baseline League title as well as the CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinals where they lost to eventual champion South Hills.

The 6-foot-5 left-hander was chosen with the 41st pick (lottery pick after first round) in the June draft but decided to go the college route instead, having signed with Texas Christian.

Rojas helped the Wildcats (23-8) to the Division 2 title game where they too lost to South Hills, 4-3. He hit .464 with 28 runs scored and 16 RBI. He plans to play at Riverside Community College.

Here is the link if you want to check who else was chosen.


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