Jurupa Hills looking to take San Andreas Crown from San G

 

Jurupa Hills' William Brock carries the ball against Arroyo Valley defense at Jurupa Hills High School in Fontana, CA., Thursday, October 6, 2016. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

For three years Jurupa Hills has finished second in the San Andreas League to San Gorgonio. Even though it has a new coach, Jurupa Hills leader Citos Marinez says San G remains the favorite.

“Until someone knocks them off they are the team to beat,” Marinez said. “They have a great program and  they will be tough again. They may have a new coach but they still have great athletes.”

Jurupa HIlls is coming off a 6-5 showing in 2016 that included a 4-1 in league play. It lost a first round Division 11 playoff game to Twentynine Palms 19-14.

Marinez expects his team to score some points but it will boast a lot of inexperienced players on defense. So how the newcomers there progress should be the key to unseating San Gorgonio, which Jurupa Hills faces in the very first league game.

Because there is some inexperience on defense Martinez will use some of his key offensive players on the other side of the ball. Among those will be junior wide receiver Dedrick Taylor-Akins who had 49 catches for 808 yards and 19 touchdowns last year. He’ll see time at corner as well.

Then there is Sir King Cody Atkins who will see time at strong safety and receiver.

You’re also one step ahead of the game when you have a quarterback returning and that is the case as Zane Scarbrough returns after throwing for 1,380 yards 10 touchdowns starting last year as a sophomore.

The running game will be ignited by senior William Brock, an all-league performer the last two years. Paving the way for him will be senior linemen Nicolas Talbert and Nick Guadalquivir, both of whom will be counted on defensively as well.

Among others who will be counted on defensively will be senior defensive end John Rodriguez, sophomore linebacker Miguel Rodriguez.

The Spartans also got a key transfer from Bloomington in senior Larenz Lawson who will see time at safety and slot receiver.

JURUPA HILLS SCHEDULE
Aug, 25 – Hillcrest
Sept. 1 – Chaffey
Sept. 8 – At Citrus Valley
Sept. 15 – At Moreno Valley
Sept. 22 – Hemet
Oct. 5 – At San Gorgonio
Oct. 12 – At Arroyo Valley
Oct. 20 – Indian Springs
Oct. 27 – At Rialto
Nov. 3 – Rim of the World

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Montclair football team looking for improvement

Cavaliers mascot photo.

The way Eric Kennedy looks at it, there’s nowhere to go bu up. Last year was his first as a head coach and even though he was previously at the school as defensive coordinator, there was a lot to learn.

Just having been in the job a year puts him ahead of where his team was at this time last year. He also has something he didn’t a year ago – a lot of returning starters,

The Cavaliers will be looking to improved a 1-9 showing last year that included an 0-5 finish in Mt. Baldy League play. Like most coaches this time of year, Kennedy is optimistic.

“We had very few players with any varsity experience last year so we really were starting from scratch,” he said. “We’re in the opposite position this year so hopefully that will pay off.”

Leading the charge will be junior quarterback Gabriel Tamba, who saw some time at that position last year. The entire offensive line is back too with that unit led by seniors Diego Sanchez and Lauro Zapata.

Kennedy expects to use a stable of running backs rather than rely on one. Among those who could factor in there are juniors Jorge Reboseno and Denzel Knox. Weapons in the passing game include junior tight end Evan Richardson and sophomore newcomer Devin Amphone.

“We really don’t have that one dominant guy but we will have some balance,” Kennedy said. “I think that will work to our favor.”:

Senior linebacker Juan Chagolla, who had 66 tackles last year a a junior, heads the defense. Some of the key players on offense will help too, including Sanchez at nose tackle and Knox at corner.

The season gets underway Aug. 25 with the Cavaliers taking on San Gabriel, the lone team it defeated last year. Kennedy hedged when asked what he would call a successful season.

“I hate to put a number on wins and losses,” he said. “I just want to see us be more competitive in every game and hopefully that will mean a few more wins.”

MONTCLAIR SCHEDULE
Aug 25 – At San Gabriel
Sept. 1 – St. Pius X-Matthias Academy
Sept. 14 – vs. Covina (at Covina District Field)
Sept. 22 – At Ganesha
Sept. 29 – Patriot
Oct. 6 – Don Lugo
Oct. 13 – At Ontario
Oct. 20 – Colony
Oct. 27 – Alta Loma
Nov. 3 – at Chaffey

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Don Lugo’s Chris Randazzo casts commitment for Oregon

After not getting any offers as a junior, Don Lugo offensive lineman Chris Randazzo decided to take matters into his own hands. He got a personal trainer and spent the summer going to camps and showcases.

It paid off as Randazzo, a 6-foot-8, 330-pounder, has committed to the University of Oregon.

He visited that school twice and also took a trip to Fresno State which was the first Division I  school to extend an offer. Others later came from Washington State, Arizona State, USC and Utah.

Randazzo chose the school based largely on his relationship and faith in offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal, previously an offensive line coach at Alabama. He also was overwhelmed by everything he saw on his trip.

He said the school made an offer after seeing him at a Nike camp at Cerritos College over the summer.

“It felt like a home there,” he said of Oregon. “:It was impressive, very high-tech, everything you’d expect Oregon to be and more.”

Randazzo was eager to make a decision so he could focus on his senior season. The Conquistadores will try to repeat as Mt. Baldy League champions. They are also coming off a berth in the CIF Division 8 semifinal and will be moving up a class to Division 7.

“I really want to be able to sit back and enjoy this season without having all that pressure,” he said.

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Recruiting expert to hold free lecture for parents, athletes

Parents and student athletes wanting to learn more about the college recruiting process can do so at a free lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the auditorium at Montclair High School (4725 Benito St.) .

It is open to those from all sports from all schools.

The guest lecturer will be Jack Renkens who has coached at all levels, served as an athletic director and had children go through the process. He founded Recruiting Realities and tour the country speaking on the topic.

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Los Osos football looking to improve under new coach Alex Pierce

Grizzlies mascot photo.

It’s hard enough trying to jump start a struggling football program. It’s even tougher when you’re competing in the Baseline League.

That’s the tough task ahead of new coach Alex Pierce who moved to the school this year after an impressive run slightly East at Carter High School.

The Grizzlies were just 1-9 last year and have won just seven games in the last three years. The last winning season was a 6-4 showing in 2011.

Neighborhood rival Rancho Cucamonga is the juggernaut right now. Upland’s young team has matured and looks poised for a breakout season and Etiwanda, the other city school, always gets good athletes. Chino Hills, Damien, yes you get the picture. It has been a tough go for the Grizzlies.

Pierce is ready for the challenge though. His goal is to get the students who should be at his school to come to the school, rather then skip to one of the rivals or yet another school.

“This is a great academic school with a lot of other things to offer too. If the football program was a little better it would go a long way toward keeping those kids here,” he said. “I hate to use a college example, but there is Stanford. That’s a great example of school with academics that is also competitive. It can be done. It won’t be easy and no we have to do some things different.”

Pierce will serve as offensive coordinator as well with Tommy Martinez, now the school’s athletic director but the head football coach the last time the team had a winning season, stepping in to serve as defensive coordinator.

Pierce does have a solid quarterback returning in senior Brett Cabral, who threw for 1,409 yards in nine games. The key will be having enough weapons around Cabral to make the offense more formidable. The new coach is also high on junior wide receiver Andrew Walker and running back Kyle Jorgenson, who will also be an impact player at linebacker.

The line will be led by seniors Brandon Funke and Brandon Trejo.

Demsive standouts include senior linebacker Connor Helsius, senior nose tackle Matthew Williams, senior lineman Tahi Fakava and senior linebacker Isaiah Peck.

Right now Pierce has 100 players between the varsity and junior varsity teams and another 50 working the with freshman team.

“We’re going to play hard and try and outwork everyone else on both sides of the ball,” Pierce said. “We’re going to find a way and that way won’t be the same as everyone else’s way.”

Los Osos makes its debut on Aug. 25 against, of all teams, Carter – the team Carter just left. The schedule was made long before Pierce interviewed for the job and he admits walking the visitor’s sideline at that school will be difficult.

“It will be a little awkward, no doubt,” he said.

LOS OSOS SCHEDULE
Aug. 25 – At Carter
Sept. 1 – Northwood
Sept. 8 – At Alta Loma
Sept. 15 – Chino
Sept. 29 – At Silverado
Oct. 6 – At Etiwanda
Oct. 13 – Rancho Cucamonga
Oct. 20 – Damien
Oct. 27 – At Chino Hills
Nov. 3 – Upland

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Rancho Cucamonga’s Nick Acosta looking to build on solid junior season

One of the biggest question marks going into the 2016 season for Rancho Cucamonga football coach Nick Baiz was who who would step in at quarterback for the graduated Angel Matute who had turned in a stellar three years at the position.

Not only did junior Nick Acosta meet expectations, he is exceeded them.

He completed 156 of 256 offerings for 2,288 yards with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions in leading the Cougars (12-1) to an undefeated regular season for the first time in school history. Rancho advanced to the Division I semifinal before losing a hard-fought game to national power Mater Dei.

So Acosta, a first team All-Baseline League selection and second team All-Inland Valley choice, is ready for an even better senior season.

“He did a great job of not trying to do too much,: Baiz said. “He knew he had good weapons around him and used them.”

This season the 6-foot, 175-standout comes in more confident than ever with that experience behind him. He is one of just two returning starters on offense, the other being senior lineman Joshua Gray.

The biggest difference is that Acosta has matured into the leadership role that typically comes naturally for most quarterbacks.

“I definitely feel ready to take that on this year,” he said,. “I know a lot will be expected but I am ready. I learned a lot last season.”

Colleges are starting to take notice too. His stature is working against him but he has drawn some Division I interest. Ivy League schools are starting to come calling too and that woudln’t be a bad fit given that he boasts a grade-point average of 4.2.

We’ll have a more in-depth story on Acosta coming up in the newspaper soon. Stay tuned!

 

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New coach Justin Randall ready to lead hungry Carter contingent

Lions mascot photo.

Justin Randall considers himself pretty fortunate. He just landed his first “head” coaching gig and he is in a place where the cupboard is hardly empty – Carter.

Preparations for the season are underway and Randall, son of Colony Head Coach Steve Randall, has a hard time containing his enthusiasm.

“We have really good kids here,” he said, “I stepped into a good situation. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

Previous coach Alex Pierce moved over to Los Osos and Randall was chosen as his successor. He spent last year at Citrus College. Before that he spent four years working for his father at Colony. He also had a year at Ontario as an assistant coach.

Despite being one of the younger head coaches in the area at 26, he says he considers himself an “old-school” coach from having hung around his father and his coaching contemporaries.

“I have been around the game my while life,” he said. “I can’t imagine not being part of it.”

Randall will be the team’s defensive coordinator while Steve Johnston, who had been with Randall’s dad at Colony, will be offensive coordinator.

Last year the Lions went 5-5 in the regular season with a 3-4 mark in the tough Citrus Belt League. Randall will have several key players returning. He is most high on senior safety-wide receiver Justice Hamilton whom he says has the potential to be one of the top players in the Inland Empire.

Many of the Lions top players will be asked to contribute one both sides of the ball. Among the others are senior linebacker-running back Lemusu Toailoa, last in the line of talented football-playing brothers, senior lineman Daimon Ross and senior receiver-corner Keion Guyton.

Randall likes the combination he will have at running back in Toailoa and D.J. Thomas and thinks the strongest part of the defense will be the secondary.

The biggest question mark will be at quarterback where senior Wayne Schuster, junior Eddie Torres and sophomore Serbando Lopez are battling for the starting job.

The Lions won;t have to wait long for an interesting storyline as they open the season against Los Osos, headed by their former coach. Stay tuned.

CARTER SCHEDULE

Aug. 25 – Los Osos
Sept. 1 – At Rancho Verde
Sept. 8 – San Jacinto
Sept. 22 – At Miller
Sept. 29 – Redlands
Oct. 6 – Redlands East Valley (At Citrus Valley)
Oct. 13 – Yucaipa
Oct. 20 – At Citrus Valley
Oct. 27 – At Cajon
Nov. 3 – Eisenhower

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Etiwanda wide receiver Geordon Porter one to watch this season

As the prep football season fast approaches, I thought it might be good to take a look at some of the players sure to do great things the coming season. One of those is senior wide receiver Geordon Porter of Etiwanda.

Porter currently has 15 offers and has narrowed his list to seven schools. He has planned visits to Utah (Sept. 2), Notre Dame (Sept. 9) and Arizona State (Sept. 16). Four other schools – Alabama, Cal, Colorado and UCLA – are still in play.

He had quite the smorgasbord to chose from. Others offering included Purdue, UNLV, Washington State, Hawaii, Georgia, San Jose State, Colorado State, UNLV  and Duke.

The 6-foot-2, 172-pounder had a decent season as a junior with 33 catches for 512 yards and five touchdowns. He came up big in a 45-42 win the last game of the regular season against Damien which got his team into the playoffs.

Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis said interest in his speedster picked up in the spring after he ran 10.6 in the 100 during a spring track meet. A couple of offers quickly turned into more than a dozen.

“He was on the radar before that,” Davis said “But when schools saw that the interest really did pick up in a big way. He is really ready to have a huge season,.”

Porter’s potential is not surprising given his genes. Father George was  a track standout at USC. Older brother Grant, who graduated from Upland in 2016, red-shirted last year at Washington State and is looking to be a factor for the Cougars this year at defensive back.

Porter says he learned a lot from watching his brother go through the recruiting process.

“It can be a lot of fun but at times it is stressful too,” he said. “You have to find the school that is the right fit and there are lot of things to consider – what offense it runs, how soon you thing you can play, what school fits you best academically.”

Davis said while Porter’s biggest contributions will come on offense, he night also be used on defense as well as on special teams.

“He makes things happen so we definitely have to get the ball in his hands,” Davis said.

Porter and the Eagles make their debut on Aug. 25 against Summit in their annual rivalry game at Miller high School.

 

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Chino Hills basketball gets late game at State Preview

The Chino Hills boys basketball team is used to playing in showcase events with the success it has had over the last three years.

One of those is the State Preview, previously hosted by Fairfax and now by Rolling Hills Prep at Cerritos College.

This season’s event is set for Jan. 27 with the Huskies playing the 8:30 p.m. game against Oak Park.

Earlier games will be:
* Long Beach Jordan vs. Crean Lutheran, 9:30 a.m.
* Heritage Christian vs. Brentwood, 11 a.m.
* Durango vs. Maranatha, 12:30 p.m.
* Loyola vs. Rolling Hills Prep, 2 p.m.
* Corona Centennial vs. Taft, 3:30 p.m.
* Wasatch vs. Santa Monica, 5 p.m.
* Fairfax vs. Bishop Montgomery, 7 p.m.

Not only do the Huskies have the last of the Ball brothers, LaMelo, now a junior, but much of the focus is likely to be on new head coach Dennis Latimore. He took over after Stephan Gilling was fired, the school couching that change by saying it preferred an “on-campus coach.”

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Etiwanda lineman Alec Anderson commits to Washington State

Perhaps no major college recruit was more prepared for the recruiting process than Etiwanda offensive lineman Alec Anderson. He has three older siblings who went

through the process. Father Anders Anderson was the girls basketball coach at Etiwanda and he had many players from that program move on to the next level.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle recently committed to Washington State, picking that school from among 10 offers.

He and his father  visited Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon State.

“I liked that it is in a smaller city away from other distractions,” he said. “Just walking around campus I got a positive vibe and all the players and coaches were very uplifting.”

Anderson said he got a chance to speak with a lot of players who had nothing but good things to say about their experiences.

Anderson plans to major in criminal justice. In addition to the schools he visited, offers came from Utah, Colorado State, Colorado, UNLV, New Mexico, Hawaii and San Jose State.

Oldest sister Ashtyn played basketball at NCAA Division II Chico State before her career was derailed by multiple knee injuries. Another sister Alyssa is entering her junior year at UNLV where she too plays basketball.

Brother Aidan will be sophomore at the University of Regina (Canada)  where he played football.

“Each one raised the bar higher than the other,” Alex said of his successful siblings. “I have definitely benefited from the experiences each one of them has had.”

Anderson has worked hard in preparation for his senior season, adding 60 or so pounds to his 6-5 frame.

He and his Eagle teammates open the season on Aug. 25 with the rivalry game against Summit at Miller High School.

 

 

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