Reigning Inland Valley Player of the Year Amy Okonkwo of Etiwanda High School has made a verbal commitment to USC.
Okonkwo averaged 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds her first year with the Eagles (28-4) after transferring from Baseline League rival Los Osos.
She was at her best in the biggest games, scoring a season-high 28 points in the Eagles’ 73-72 win over Mater Dei, then ranked No. 1 in the nation, in the CIF Southern Section semifinal. Included in that point tally was a 3-pointer in overtime that gave her team a 67-64 lead it never relinquished.
The 6-foot-1 forward also tallied 19 against Corona Santiago in the CIF championship game and 18 against Long Beach Poly in a state playoff loss.
Okonkwo heads a group of five all headed to Division I schools. The others are point guard McKenzie Fort (Oregon), wing Alyssa Anderson (UNLV), point guard Cherise Harris (Arizona) and center Daeja Smith (Cal State Fullerton).
Upland football coach Tim Salter didn’t shed much light on Thursday’s Los Angeles Times report that two Upland coaches were removed from their positions and three Upland players had been declared ineligible.
Salter gestured to a group of at least nine Upland players not in uniform, but declined to specify how many were not playing due to injury.
“All I can tell you is that everything in (the report) is not true,” Salter said. “We’ll try to get this all straightened out.”
Numbers have never been a problem at Los Osos High School when it comes to football.
Last year the Grizzlies had the luxury of fielding four teams, the traditional varsity and junior varsity but also a freshman and a junior varsity “reserved” team.
Well this year it will be just the traditional two.
New varsity head coach Kevin Price says it was a matter of logistics. It’s hard to schedule games for that many times and equally as difficult and costly to fund transportation.
“That’s a lot of players/teams to manage,” Price said.
About the only down side is trying to find playing time for that many players.
On Saturday, the Rancho Cucamonga High girls cross country team is hosting a fundraiser, a 5K run/walk, to be held at Millken Park in Rancho Cucamonga.
It is actually a “costume” 5K, but the costumes are optional.
Sign-in and registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with the run/walk starting at 9 a.m.
The event is for people of all ages, and costs $5. Food and drinks will be sold on site. All entrants also get a raffle ticket. All proceeds go to the Rancho Cucamonga High girls cross country team.
The Upland High School football team has garnered yet another transfer as defensive back Kameron Powell has left Rancho Cucamonga for Upland.
Cougars coach Nick Baiz confirmed today that Powell has left. The player started school at Rancho Cucamonga last week but checked out of the school on Thursday without talking to him.
His departure hurts because he was one of just a few returning starters for the Cougars.
Baiz said there are now 6-7 players competing for the four defensive back positions but didn’t want to elaborate much more on the latest defection to the Cougars Baseline League rival.
The CIF-Southern Section announced the results of 14 releaguing appeals on Friday, and the only one from a San Bernardino County or Inland Valley school was Ayala, which had its appeal denied.
Ayala is scheduled to move into the Baseline League along with Chino Hills, in the fall of 2014, replacing Alta Loma and Glendora.
Of the 14 appeals, only two were accepted: those of Simi Valley and Simi Valley Royal. Ayala’s was one of the 12 denied. Ayala was denied by a vote of 13-1.
Alyssa Ybanez, left, transferred from Rim of the World to Los Osos.
It’s hard to imagine the Los Osos volleyball team getting much better, but that’s exactly what happened this offseason. The team that finished one win shy of the first CIF championship in school history gained two transfers, one of which helped lead her team to a CIF title last season.
Alyssa Ybanez, the 2012 Mountain Valley League offensive MVP, transferred to Los Osos along with 6-foot-1 Aquinas middle blocker Delaney Goodrich. They will join a core of players at Los Osos including the reigning Daily Bulletin Player of the Year, Cal-bound senior Ashten Smith-Gooden and Ashley Kaylor, a first team All-Valley selection last season.
“One and done” doesn’t quite have the same connotation in the case of Rancho Cucamonga High School football as it does college basketball. But the Cougars are incorporating a senior transfer quarterback for the second straight season courtesy of Gage Pucci’s transfer from Damien.
Adam Friederichsen, a transfer from Carlsbad La Costa Canyon prior to last season, completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions before walking on at Arizona following his lone season at Rancho Cucamonga. Pucci’s numbers in two seasons as a starter at Damien don’t measure up, but the 5-foot-11, 195-pound rising senior will be surrounded by much more talent at Rancho Cucamonga, one of the best two or three programs in the Inland Valley.
As a junior at Damien, Pucci completed 47 percent of his passes for 1,498 yards with 15 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
“He’s learning the offense, picking it up pretty well,” Rancho Cucamonga coach Nick Baiz said. “He’s a leader. He’s a tough kid. I think our biggest issue will be if we can put together an offensive line that will keep him upright.”
Summit starting quarterback Jakob Jordan transferred to Eastvale Roosevelt in December, but it didn’t take the SkyHawks long to fill the void. The two-time defending Sunkist League champions will replace Jordan with Etiwanda transfer Keshon Flemmings.
Flemmings, who will be a junior in the fall, quarterbacked the Etiwanda junior varsity last season. He has turned in a great summer in passing league, according to Summit head coach Cesar Villalobos. Flemmings will certainly have plenty of talent at receiver this coming season in Washington commit Erik Brown and Jordan Washington, who has scholarship offers from Idaho and New Mexico State.
The Upland High School football program has attracted its share of transfers over the years, but it may reach new heights this season.
If all players who have transferred from other schools since last season are approved by the CIF-SS, the Highlanders could feature at least eight new faces in the fall.
That figure doesn’t include incoming freshman receiver Nathan Tilford, who received scholarship offers from USC and Arizona State while he was still in eighth grade.
“We work really hard at what we do and if people move in for whatever reason and we’re the benefactor, then I’m happy for that,” said Upland head coach Tim Salter, who is entering his 19th year. “We’re not out there recruiting kids, but I think we have one of the best programs around.”