Kaiser opponent’s decision: go for the tie or win?

Last week, Kaiser settled for a 15-15 tie with Downey Warren, but not by its own choice.
Here’s the situation as told to me from Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya:

Warren scored the game’s first touchdown and went for 2 to go up 8-0. Kaiser answered and also went for 2 to tie the score, 8-8.

Then Kaiser scored again, this time kicked the extra point to go up 15-8. Warren answered right back and quickly went down the field to score a touchdown with about 25 seconds left.

“It looked like they were going to go for 2,” Zelaya said.

It was big Warren crowd, a “White Out” night for the fans and coach Raul Lara, the former coach at Long Beach Poly decided to kick the extra point. It was successful and the game finished in the tie although Kaiser nearly had a chance to win in the final seconds.

Some preseason games have overtime, by mutual agreement from coaches, but most do not. Coaches want to play 48 minutes, but don’t see the need to play extra time, risking injury, in a game that likely has no bearing on whether or not they make the playoffs.

So what would Zelaya have done?

“I would’ve gone for 2,” he said.

Yes, a tie is better than a loss. But don’t you want your team to see you’re willing to go for it? I would’ve gone for the win, too.

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Alta Loma wrestling stronger with newcomers

Wrestling season is still three months away, but Alta Loma’s boys team looks like it will be especially strong.
Zander Silva, who spent his freshman year at Alta Loma and was a CIF-SS runner-up that year, before becoming a state placer the last two years at San Marino, is back at Alta Loma for his senior season. Silva was seventh in the state last year at 126 pounds.
His San Marino teammate, Tino Lopez, was hurt for CIF last year, but as a freshman two years ago was sixth in CIF at 106 pounds.
A third wrestler, Daniel Galvan, was second in CIF last year at 106 pounds as a sophomore while wrestling for Rowland.
All three, who wrestled for coach T.J. Dawson prior to high school, are now at Alta Loma. Silva and Lopez have had their transfers approved while Galvan’s is still pending.

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Inland Valley CIF-SS Masters qualifiers

Here is a list of automatic CIF-SS Masters qualifiers from the Inland Valley, and where they placed at their respective CIF last week. Top 5 automatically advance. Sixth place can advance as an alternate, but that isn’t known until later in the week. These are only the top 5 listed here.
Wrestling is Friday-Saturday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario

106 lbs
Frankie Lira, Jr., Upland (5)
Leighlan Corpus, Sr., Diamond Bar (2)
Ryan Marquez, Jr., Bonita (5)
Alfonso Romo, Jr., Ayala (4)
113
Johnny Vargas, Jr., Montclair (4)
Alex Nunez, Jr., Alta Loma (3)
120
Elijah Diaz, Sr., Montclair (2)
126
Michael Bobeda, Sr., Montclair (5)
Jonathan Palafax, Sr., Carter (5)
132
Abe Cervantes, Jr., Los Osos (3)
Antonio Cortina, Sr., Alta Loma (1)
Merrill Ortiz, Sr., Etiwanda (5)
138
Juan Heredia, Sr., Carter (3)
Diego Carrillo, So., Etiwanda (4)
145
Cole Pruitt, So., Alta Loma (4)
152
Jose Chicas, Sr., Montclair (5)
Nico Dominguez, Sr., Bonita (5)
160
Anthony Miller, Don Lugo (4)
Ezekiel Barraza, Sr., Rialto (2)
Jamal Starks, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga (4)
Dylan Soltysik, Sr., Ayala (5)
170
Shuker Flowers, Jr., Rialto (5)
Anthony Anaya, Ontario (5)
182
Stacy Aneke, Colony (4)
Nathan Smith, Jr., Los Osos (5)
Jacob Lopez, Sr., Carter (2)
195
Aiden Anderson, Sr., Etiwanda (5)
220
Chantz Avila, Sr., Ayala (2)
Jose Rivera, Sr., Montlciar (4)
285
None

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CIF-SS cross country finals: When the locals run

The CIF-SS cross country Finals at Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. Top 7 teams plus up to 5 individuals advance to CIF State Championships.

Here are race times with Inland Valley entries:

Race 1: Division 3 girls, 7:45 a.m.
Bonita (No. 6 in CIF-SS)

Race 2: Division 4 girls, 8:05 a.m.
Shaylynn Wynn, San Dimas

Race 3: Division 3 boys, 8:25 a.m.
Colony

Race 4: Division 4 boys, 8:45 a.m.
None

Race 5: Division 5 girls, 9:05 a.m.
Mikayla Mays, Upland Christian

Race 6: Division 1 boys, 9:25 a.m.
Rancho Cucamonga (No. 13 in CIF-SS)
Peter Torres, Chino Hills

Race 7: Division 2 girls, 9:45 a.m.
Ayala
Claremont (No. 3 in CIF-SS)

Race 8: Division 5 boys, 10:05 a.m.
Ontario Christian
Western Christian (No. 13 in CIF-SS)
Raphael Huang, Webb

Race 9: Division 1 girls, 10:25 a.m.
Rancho Cucamonga (Erin Holton won her Prelims heat)
Sarah Holloway, Los Osos
Jennifer Sandoval, Summit (No. 3 in her Prelims heat last week)

Race 10: Division 2 boys, 10:45 a.m.
Claremont (No. 7 in CIF-SS)
Steven Khan, Ayala

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Final thoughts on Colony/Kaiser

Sometimes, I cover a game, and it’s so entertaining a game that there’s more I want to get to than I can possibly mention in a story. Such was the Kaiser/Colony football game on Friday, won by Colony 23-19.

Some thoughts:

  • Each team scored 3 touchdowns and there were no other scores. Kaiser had its first PAT blocked, went for 2 on the second and failed, then kicked the third. Colony kicked the first, then went for 2 and made it on the second and third touchdowns.
  • The math wouldn’t indicate it, but Colony made the right move going for 2 on its final touchdown. Usually, you go for 2 late in a game when a TD puts you up 1, 4 or 5, but in this case, it put the Titans up 21-19. Going for 2 had more to do with Kaiser. Kaiser had attempted just one FG all year, and missed it. So going up 3 would’ve meant little in this game. But going up 4 would’ve been helpful because if Kaiser came back to score a TD and kicked an XP, Colony could’ve tied with a FG.
  • Kaiser’s drives ended with: Downs, lost fumble, TD, TD, halftime, punt, TD, downs/INT. Just one punt for the Cats. Kaiser ran more plays on its first drive 19 than Colony had in the first half (12). Colony had 3 drives end after just 1 play: 2 TDs, and one lost a fumble. Kaiser had six drives end in Colony territory.
  • On Kaiser’s opening drive, they appeared to be getting a first-and-goal at the Colony 9 as Colony was being called for pass interference on fourth-and-15 at the 19. But Kaiser also got a penalty for illegal man downfield. The down was replayed on the offsetting fouls and Kaiser failed to convert the 4th-and-15  the second time.
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VIDEO: Ontario asst. coach Joe Szczepanski reunited with son Justin

It was a surprise and Ontario assistant coach Joe Szczepanski was told just to go to midfield before the game vs. Bloomington. He soon found out his son Justin, a 2013 Alta Loma HS grad had returned home from a stint in the Army in Korea, surprising his father. He hadn’t been home since Christmas and will be back for two weeks.

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John Romagnoli returns as Miller High’s boys basketball coach

He’s back as boys basketball coach, and it would seem, for the foreseeable future.

John Romagnoli, who first became head coach at Miller High in 1998, is back after his second one-year hiatus since then.

“I realized I was 46 years old and I wasn’t ready to hang it up (for coaching),” Romagnoli said.

Romagnoli’s teams at Miller have probably been the school’s most consistent, missing the playoffs only once (his first season) in 15 years as head coach. After serving as assistant coach to Gary West beginning in 1995, Romagnoli replaced West as head coach in 1998 and was the head coach until he first became athletic director in 2010, when he stepped down to concentrate on that job.

He returned after a year in which Miller missed the playoffs, then served as head basketball coach and athletic director for three years until last year, when the district forced to choose between the two positions.John Romagnoli mug shot

Romagnoli said he chose to remain as athletic director last year because he needed to get ready to move his mother-in-law out from Chicago to live with his family. He said the year away this time (when the team missed the playoffs) was much worse.

“Last time, I took the new (athletic director) job and that was kind of exciting,” he said. “I had coached 10-11 years at that point. Now, I’m completely revitalized, I got the (Inland Valley) all-star game resurrected. … Even when I wasn’t coaching, I was a (basketball) junkie, going to college basketball practices.

“I guess I’m at that point, where the coaching part comes easy. I feel like I’m back.”

School has started at Fontana, and as a result of returning to coaching, Romagnoli had to step down as athletic director and is back teaching. He monitors online classes that Miller students are taking.

“I’m a little bit of a tech guy,” he said. “I really wanted something different.”
So, as a result, long time Miller coach Jeff Omar is taking over as athletic director.

“Jeff’s learning the ropes and I’m there to help him out,” Romagnoli said.

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