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.
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.
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.
Here are Inland Valley CIF-SS Masters Track and Field Meet competitors and how they fared at Masters
Bonita: Dillon Beckum (1600), B.J. McLaurin (triple jump)
Chino: Taylor Crocken (shot put)
Colony: Khalil Dorsey (110 hurdles, long jump)
Damien: boys 4×100, Thaddeus Smith (100, 200), Zachary Shinnick (200, 400)
Diamond Ranch: Daniel Stokes (100, 200)
Etiwanda: Jacquelyn Hill (800)
Jurupa Hills: Devon Reed (3200)
Los Osos: Tomi Adegoke (long jump), Aidan Christensen (300 hurdles), Tyler Merkley (shot put, discus), Michael Pertusati (discus), Caleb Repp (400).
Rancho Cucamonga: girls 4×400.
Upland: girls 4×100 team, Mikaela Adolphus (400), Joseph Anderson (110 and 300 hurdles), Skyler Daniel (high jump), Jada Hicks (100 hurdles)
San Dimas: Hannah Nance (high jump)
Webb: Stirling McCullough (high jump)
Did not qualify for State:
Alta Loma: James Wilson (triple jump)
Rancho Cucamonga: Jalyn Harris (400)
Summit: Jennifer Sandoval (3200)
Upland: Kierra Davis (200), Antonio Woodard (200),
Inland Valley’s CIF-SS Masters Track and Field qualifiers from Saturday’s CIF-SS Finals:
Alta Loma: James Wilson (triple jump).
Bonita: Dillon Beckum (800, 1600), BJ McLaurin (triple jump).
Chino: Taylor Crockem (shot put).
Colony: Khalil Dorsey (110 hurdles, long jump).
Damien: 4×100, Zachary Shinnick (200, 400), Thaddeus Smith (100, 200).
Diamond Ranch: Daniel Stokes (100, 200),
Etiwanda: Jacquelyn Hill (800).
Jurupa Hills: Devon Reed (3200).
Los Osos: Tomi Adegoke (long jump), Aidan Christensen (300 hurdles), Tyler Merkley (shot put, discus), Michael Pertusati (shot put, discus), Caleb Repp (400).
Rancho Cucamonga: girls 4×400 relay, Jalyn Harris (400).
San Dimas: Hannah Nance (high jump).
Summit: Jennifer Sandoval (3200).
Upland: girls 4×100, Mikaela Adolphus (400), Joseph Anderson (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Skyler Daniel (high jump), Kierra Davis (200), Jada Hicks (100 hurdles), Antonio Woodard (200).
Webb: Stirling McCulloch (high jump).
Tonight, April 7, at 6:30 pm at Charter Oak High in Covina, is a Dual-Meet all-star girls wrestling match pitting teams from the East vs. West, roughly divided by the 57 Freeway. I believe entrance is free; it is just an event designed to promote girls wrestling.
The West team is coached by Tom Cote, the Charter Oak coach who formerly coached at Kaiser, Los Osos, Chaffey, Montclair and other places I can’t think of right now.
The East is coached by Montclair girls coach Matt Furr. Here is the East Lineup:
101 – Shandrea Shelby – Corona
106 – Sugey Ceja – Corona
111 – Alyssa Aceval – San Jacinto
116 – Vanesa Contreras – Yucca Valley
121 – Kimberly Espinoza – Chaffey
126 – Maryssa Monterrossa – Montclair
131 – Ashley Pofek – La Sierra
137 – McKenna Hutchison – Upland
143 – Jasmine Cordero – Tustin
150 – Anna Castro – Carter
160 – Sarah Rahlwes – Redlands
170 – Kendall Reusing – La Sierra
189 – Diana Perez – Hillcrest
235 – Melissa Lopez – Hillcrest
Head Coach – Matthew Furr – Montclair
Asst. Coach – Mario Estrada – Titan Mercury Wrestling Club
Asst. Coach – Roman Medina – Chaffey
Asst. Coach – Cecilia Ramirez – Montclair
Asst. Coach – Vanessa Nordstrom – Titan Mercury Wrestling Club