Due to heavy fog on Thursday at Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead and the anticipation of more fog Friday, the CIF-SS East Valley championship football game has been moved to Citrus Valley High School, according to Ontario Christian athletic director David Parkes. No. 1 seed Ontario Christian will take on Rim of the World on Friday as scheduled at 7 p.m., just not in the mountains as originally planned.
Ontario Christian could be the first local football team to play beyond CIF-SS championship week since the inception of the CIF state bowl games in 2006.
A win over second-seeded Rim of the World in Friday’s CIF-SS East Valley Division championship game would give the top-seeded Knights a 14-0 record and almost assuredly a berth in the Division IV CIF regional championship game. The winner of the Southern California regional championships advance to a CIF state championship bowl game against a counterpart from Northern California.
CalHiSports.com projects an Ontario Christian victory to land the Knights a regional championship game matchup with the winner of the CIF-SS Northeast Division.
Offensive Player of the Year: Romiro Flores, Aquinas
Defensive Player of the Year: Brandon Maldonado, Ontario Christian
Coach of the Year: Chris Stevens, Ontario Christian
Craig Bruinsma Sr. Ontario Christian
Christian Dirksen Sr. Ontario Christian
Brad Gaudy Sr. Ontario Christian
Brandon Maldonado Sr. Ontario Christian
T.J. Spykstra Sr. Ontario Christian
Josh Tampio Sr. Ontario Christian
1. If the preseason polls released on Tuesday are any indication, girls water polo season in the Inland Valley likely will still be going near the end of February.
Despite having moved up a division, Bonita claimed the No. 1 ranking in the CIF-SS Division 4 poll a season after it secured the No. 1 playoff seed in Division 5. The Bearcats have some unfinished business after falling one goal short of the division championship last season.
Four of the 10 teams in the Division 3 preseason poll are locals, headlined by a third-ranked Los Osos program that has reached the CIF finals four years in a row. The Grizzlies will have plenty of local competition, including Baseline League foe Upland, which is ranked No. 7. Upland and Los Osos were two of the final four teams left in the Division 4 playoffs last season but lost to eventual champ Harvard Westlake.
The winner of Ontario Christian and Aquinas’ annual meeting has produced a league champion the last 10 years. After Friday night, Ontario Christian hopes it will be 11.
The Knights raced out to a 13-point lead and held on for a 27-20 win over Aquinas to remain undefeated on the season and move into sole possession of first place in the Ambassador League with two games to play.
Considering their No. 1 ranking in the CIF-SS East Valley Division, Ontario Christian (8-0, 3-0) may have more than one championship in its future this season.
“I’m not so sure about the No. 1 in our division after tonight, but we are worthy of the 8-0,” Ontario Christian coach Chris Stevens said. “We have a long way to go still with two games in league and the postseason and we’ve got a lot to work on. So we can’t be happy with that, we can’t be satisfied with that and especially we’ve got to stop looking at those rankings.”
Upland Christian graduate Ethan Chapman was named the Player of the Year for the Kansas City Royals’ rookie-advanced team, the Idaho Falls Chukars.
The 22-year-old outfielder, who was selected in the 30th round of the 2012 draft out of Cal State San Bernardino, batted .314 with eight triples, which tied for third in the league. He also tied for second in the league with 22 steals.
Chapman was a member of the Upland Christian team that went to the CIF-SS finals in 2007 and won CIF in 2008.
Ontario Christian’s Ambassador League championship last season created a nice round number. It has officially been a decade since any team but Aquinas or Ontario Christian has won the league championship.
The Knights’ undefeated run through league in 2011 gave each team a tidy five titles since 2002 but despite the balance, the rivalry was threatening to become one-sided. Aquinas had won the last four league championships, even relegating Ontario Christian to third in 2010 before a bounce back year by the Knights in 2011 they hope will propel them into this season as the favorites.
Just like seven of the last eight seasons, this one could very well end with the matchup between the longtime rivals deciding the league championship.
“There’s a mutual respect there,” Aquinas coach Chris Ybarra said. “They respect what we do and how hard our kids play and we respect the things they do. It could come down to that again where we’re playing each other for a league title. That would be nice.”
Craig Bruinsma is far from the first quarterback to campaign for a heavier dose of the passing game. But the Ontario Christian High School senior has actually collected some convincing evidence for his claim while developing a calculated pitch to the coaching staff.
For credibility purposes, however, he may want to leave out the part about wanting to break the Ontario Christian all-time single-season passing record.
“We’re in league and we’re blowing some of these teams out and then we get to the playoffs and expect to immediately establish a passing game,” Bruinsma said. “I think we need to throw the ball more in league play so we can be ready to play these playoff teams and handle these closer games. I think coach (Chris) Stevens will open it up some more this year.”
Player of the Year: John Davis, Sr., Woodcrest Christian
Pitcher of the Year: Zack Hodges, Jr., Arrowhead Christian
Coach of the Year: Bob Sheehan, Arrowhead Christian
Josh Gasca, Sr., Ontario Christian
Joseph Guadarrama, Sr., Ontario Christian
Tim West, Jr., Ontario Christian
Alex Bush, Sr., Linfield Christian
Zach Cope, Sr., Linfield Christian
Ryan Olson, Jr., Western Christian
T.J. Lee, Sr., Aquinas
Zach Burgett, Fr., Loma Linda Academy
Player of the Year: Cameron Levise, Ontario Christian
Coach of the Year: Michael Allen, Arrowhead Christian
Daylan Lawrence, So., Ontario Christian
Cameron Levise, Sr., Ontario Christian
Kevin Ross, Sr., Ontario Christian
Brandon Zuidema, Sr., Ontario Christian
Demetrius Overstreet, Jr., Aquinas
Joseph Rushing, So., Aquinas