Player of the Year – Offense: Michael Salas, Sr., Ontario Christian
Player of the Year – Defense: Caleb McClure, Sr., Ontario Christian
Coach of the Year: Scott Hurst – Ontario Christian
Craig Bruinsma, Jr., Ontario Christian
Christian Dirksen, Jr., Ontario Christian
Caleb McClure, Sr., Ontario Christian
Michael Salas, Sr., Ontario Christian
T.J. Spykstra, Jr., Ontario Christian
Josh Tampio, Jr., Ontario Christian
Mark Urtz, Sr., Ontario Christian
Richard Anhaueser, Sr., Aquinas
Romero Flores, Jr., Aquinas
Burrell Handy, Sr., Aquinas
Frank Klementich, Sr., Aquinas
Drew Ybarra, Sr., Aquinas
Player of the Year: Carly DeHoog, Jr., Ontario Christian
Coach of the Year: Paige Molina, Ontario Christian
Carly DeHoog Jr. Ontario Christian
Nancy Obi Jr. Ontario Christian
Elizabeth Prestia Sr. Ontario Christian
Samantha Sutley Jr. Ontario Christian
Small school football doesn’t present coaches with many options. Ontario Christian’s Scott Hurst uses all of his.
There are 27 players on the roster. None play offense and defense.
“When you have a guy play both ways there is someone behind him who may be a little bit of a drop- off,” Hurst said. “But if you let one guy play each position, he really takes ownership of it. And you don’t have to worry about the fatigue.”
Whatever Hurst is doing in his first season at Ontario Christian, a school with an enrollment of 510 students, it’s working.
The name of the league wasn’t the only unfamiliar thing last season for the Ontario Christian and Aquinas high school football teams. After the schools played each other for a league championship six consecutive years, Ontario Christian was on the outside looking in at the new-look Ambassador League title race last season.
Aquinas, however, ended the season in a position it knows all too well. Coming off its fourth consecutive league title, the Falcons (4-1) enter league play tonight with the best record of any league team.
Five games into what it hopes will be a return to league title contention, an Ontario Christian team coming off a third-place finish that left it out of the playoffs last season is has shown plenty of signs under first-year head coach Scott Hurst that it is ready to return to familiarity.
“I believe we’ve played the toughest schedule of any team in the league through five games,” Hurst said. “But I still think Aquinas is the team to beat. Until somebody knocks them off, they’re the champions.”
Player of the Year: Michael Fagan, Linfield Christian
Pitcher of the Year: Trevor Oaks, Woodcrest Christian
Coach of the Year: Glen Prater, Woodcrest Christian
Mickey Chupek, Jr., Woodcrest Christian
John Davis, Jr., Woodcrest Christian
Caleb Dirks, Sr., Woodcrest Christian
Edwin Gibbs, Jr., Woodcrest Christian
Trevor Oaks, Sr., Woodcrest Christian
Parker Strebel, Jr., Woodcrest Christian
Clint Hibma, Sr., Ontario Christian
Jordyn McMath, Jr., Ontario Christian
Alex Bush, Jr., Linfield Christian
Zach Cope, Jr., Linfield Christian
Michael Fagan, Sr., Linfield Christian
Sean Egan, Sr., Arrowhead Christian
Christien Pena, Sr., Arrowhead Christian
Brock Dudley, Sr., Calvary Murrieta
Jonathan Ruiz, Sr., Aquinas
Mark McMahon, Sr., Western Christian
Player of the Year: Danielle Vega, Jr., Infielder, Aquinas
Pitcher of the Year: Cecily Ruiz, Fr., Aquinas
Coach of the Year: Chris Ybarra, Aquinas
Chelsea Casas, Jr., Aquinas
Heaven Murguia, So., Aquinas
Cecily Ruiz, Fr., Aquinas
Corrina Smith, Jr., Aquinas
Jessica Valenzuela, So., Aquinas
Danielle Vega, Jr., Aquinas
Kayla Hatch, Jr., Calvary Murrieta
Julia Howell, Sr., Calvary Murrieta
Loryn Nichols, Jr., Calvary Murrieta
Mackenzie Hammar, Fr., Woodcrest Christian
Brooke Uribe, Jr., Woodcrest Christian
Mackenzie Magro, Jr., Arrowhead Christian
Sarah Stromwall, Sr., Arrowhead Christian
Jasmine Lara, Sr., Western Christian
Breezy Bernard, Sr., Linfield Christian
Taylor Lott, Sr., Ontario Christian
Western Christian hired Kevin Oberlander as its new head football coach Wednesday after Scotty Kirkpatrick stepped down following the 2010 season. Oberlander has served as quarterback coach and assistant offensive coordinator the last three years for a La Habra Whittier Christian program that reached the CIF-SS Mid-Valley finals last season and the semifinals in 2009.
Western Christian compiled a 4-16 record the past two seasons under Kirkpatrick, who stepped down to spend more time with his family. Whittier Christian’s record over the past two years is a combined 21-6.
Oberlander is a native of Atwater and played at Trinity University, an NAIA school outside of Chicago, where he coached after a stint playing arena football in Omaha, Neb. Oberlander’s wife graduated from Western Christian in 2002.
“For a young coach, he brings a lot of experience from the college level to his most recent experience at Whittier Christian High School.” Western Christian athletic director Nick Karavedas said. “Coach Oberlander understands that building a quality football program begins with building quality young men. We’re excited about what he brings and for the future of Western Christian football.”
Ontario Christian High School football coach Laing Stevens doesn’t think he’ll have a difficult time keeping his team from feeling overconfident the final two games of the season. Starting the year with six losses in seven games can have that effect.
A year after reaching the CIF-SS East Valley Division championship game Ontario Christian began the 2010 season 1-6 before winning its first Ambassador League game Friday, a 36-7 defeat of Western Christian.
“We had a dry spell and we won a game but I don’t think there’s any reason for us to get cocky,” Stevens said. “We played a hard schedule this year but that wasn’t a 1-6 schedule. There’s probably not a team we played other than Whittier Christian that we couldn’t play with.”
Compiling statistics as the season went along last year, Mike Mendoza and Christian Solis made themselves impossible to ignore. Then a sophomore and junior, respectively, at Western Christian, the quarterback-receiver duo kept topping the statistical charts we compile each week at the Daily Bulletin. When it was all said and done in 2009, Mendoza threw for 1,600 yards and Solis, who missed the final three games with an injury, had 35 receptions for 612 yards and five touchdowns.
Once these two had my attention last year, Western Christian entered Christian League play, which was not kind to their statistics. Coach Scotty Kirkpatrick is hoping that will change this year, though the new Ambassador League – which includes the former Christian League – is tougher with the addition of CIF champion Linfield Christian. If the Lancers are to enter the playoff picture after a 1-9 season last year, it will likely be on the strength of their skill players.
Ontario Christian lost five of its first six games last season, cycled through three offenses (and three QBs), scrambled to fill out a lineup thanks to a multitude of injuries and still the Knights reached the CIF-SS East Valley championship game. No matter the circumstances, it’s hard to count out OCHS.
It’s easy to count the Knights in this year. Despite returning just seven starters, head coach Laing Stevens thinks this team is faster, stronger, deeper and more athletic than the squad that lost the championship game by just six points to a St. Margaret’s team Aquinas coach Nick Matheny labeled “one of the best small school football programs in California.”