Bonita football team should be at full strength for playoffs

The Bonita High School football team should be at full strength when it takes the field for a first round Central Division playoff game against Don Lugo on Friday.

Senior quarterback Tanner East left last weeks game against Ayala after taking a hard hit in the third quarter. Beacats coach Adrian Medrano said East, who has thrown for 1,991 yards and 21 touchdowns, is expected to play this week and could have gone back in the game if the outcome were in doubt.

Medrano chose to keep the player out with his team comfortably in front.

In addition wide receiver B.J. McLaurin is also expected to play. He has been slowed by a strained groin and did not play last week.

Bonita (8-2), the second place team out of the Palomares League, and Don Lugo (5-5), the second-place finisher in the Mt. Baldy League, will square off at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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Palomares League should be competitive to the end

Glendora uses big plays to beat South Hills football 28-7

Glendora opened Palomares League play with a win over South Hills on Thursday.

Last year the Palomares League was one of the more balanced and competitive leagues in all of Southern California. Three teams finished tied for second and it took a tiebreaker to decide who went to the playoffs and who stayed home.

Based on the showing of teams in the first half of the regular season, that could very likely be the case again.  The teams went into league play with a combined record of 31-11.

Three teams are ranked in the top seven in the CIF’s Central Division – Glendora at No. 3, Bonita at No. 5 and Claremont at No. 7.

Two of those teams – Bonita and Claremont – are undefeated and will square off in their league opener tonight. Glendora, led by USC commit Matt Fink, bested South Hills last night.

Those teams all seem to be the most significant players this year. But don’t l;eave out Diamond Bar. The Brahmas, who finished in last place in 2014, are much improved under second-year coach Marcus Hughes. That first year is always a tough transition one and the Brahmas ended up 3-7. But they’re already 4-1.

Defending champion South Hills has struggled, as has Ayala. South Hills graduated some key players so they’re a bit in rebuilding mode

The Bulldogs are a bit of mystery. All seem to agree they have enough talent to compete but it hasn’t looked that way, at least to this point.  We”ll see right away as Ayala faces Diamond Bar tonight.

.Let the battles begin.

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Bonita, Claremont football coaches go way back

VIDEO: Claremont football coach Coco Jarin talks about game against Bonita and ties with Bearcats coach Adrian Medrano.

What better way to start Palomares League play?

Claremont (5-0) will be facing Bonita (5-0) in the most intriguing match-up in any league in the Inland Valley. The Bearcats are ranked fifth in the CIF Central Division, the Wolfpack are seventh.

Forget that both are off to undefeated starts and the fact that the schools are geographic rivals, separated by just 3,83 miles.

There is another subplot to the showdown. Bonita coach Adrian Medrano was a linebacker at the University of La Verne and first-year Claremont coach Coco Jarin was then a defensive coach for the Leopards.

Well what do the respective coaches have to say about the other?

“Adrian was always well prepared so I know he is going to have his team ready,” Jarin said. “He never came into a situation unprepared so I’m sure his team takes after him.”

As for Medrano, well he knew his team was going to have its hands full when his former coach took over at Claremont.

“He brings a great energy and passion,” Medrano said. “That rubs off on his players and guys love playing for him.”

Game time at Glenn Davis Stadium on Friday is 7 p.m.



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Bonita-San Dimas football game picked as a top rivalry

Bonita defeated San Dimas 24-13 in the annual Smudge Pot game last year. Can the Saints get it back?

The Smudge Pot showdown between San Dimas and Bonita has been singled out as one of the nation’s top rivalry games by the Great American Rivalry Series,

That annual game will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday at Citrus College. The Bearcats are 4-0 while San Dimas comes in 2-1.

The Great American Rivalry staff will be on hand and present Scholar-Athlete Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and an MVP award. Several other activities will also be held in conjunction with the event. Not only will the Smudge Pot be awarded, so will a “Champions” Trophy in honor of the game’s inclusion in the rivalries list.

This is the 12th year the Great American Rivalry Series has named an exclusive list of top rivalry games.

The schools are just six miles apart and each is the only public high school in its quaint town.

San Dimas leads the series 22-19.


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Bonita football team will be dependent on newcomers

Last year the Bonita High School football team was a bit lucky to slip into the playoffs. The Bearcats were part of a three-way tie for third place but got in the playoffs based on a tiebreaker.

They made the most of the opportunity, advancing all the way to the CIF Central Division semifinal before falling to Los Altos, 27-13.

But if the Bearcats are to move on and make a run this year coach Adrian Medrano will have to get major contributions from a lot of newcomers.

“We graduated a lot of players and some really key players,” he said. “And our league is tough. So we’re going to have to grow up quickly.”

Bonita (8-5 last year, 2-3 in the Palomares League) will have several players coming from a junior varsity squad that was 9-1 so there is potential.

Among the few players returning is senior quarterback Tanner East (above).

Other veterans include B.J. McLaurin, a wide receiver and defensive back who was also one of the area’s top track standouts, as well as lineman Baylee Smith, wide receiver Josh Peifer, linebacker-lineman Nathan Smedley, linebacker Giovanni Luna, free safety Darien Gamell and defensive back Amir Ainsworth – all seniors.

Ainsworth saw some playing time last year on special teams and was the backup to top defender Danny Gelalich.

Angel Verdugo rushed for 1,373 yards and 18 touchdowns a year ago but he is among the departed. This year Medrano says it will be more “running back by committee.”

Among those who will factor into the game plan are senior Brandon Bradshaw, the second-leading rusher behind Verdugo, as well as  senior Romeo Gutierrez.

Medrano is also high on junior wide receiver Dylan Flores who can contribute in a number of areas.

“We really don’t have that star player,” Medrano said. We’re one of those teams that really relies on having a lot of guys that come in and work hard and play together.”

Bonita gets the new season underway on Aug. 28 with a home game against Montebello Schurr.

The Bearcats open league play at South Hills on Oct. 16.

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Bonita’s Payton chooses Army

Bonita High School’s standout running back Jake Payton has made a verbal commitment to Army.

Payton has not visited West Point yet but will do so later this month. He also took unofficial visits to numerous schools including Notre Dame, Boise State, Miami, UCLA, Cal and University of San Diego.

He called the decision an “investment in his future.” He isn’t quite sure yet what he wants to study but plans to use his time there to figure that out.

Army has always had a high interest in him, even visiting him his junior year at San Dimas.

Payton rushed for 1,291 yards and 18 touchdowns on 157 carries in leading the Bearcats to a 6-4 showing.

“The military is tough,” he said. “It’s balancing studying, football and military duties so it will be a challenge but I have dealt with challenges before. I’m up for it.”

Payton, a 5-foot-9, 190-pounder, will report to West Point in mid-July. He is already working out in preparation.

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Hacienda League football honors

Player of the Year – Kammy Delp, Diamond Ranch
Offensive Player of the Year – Estuardo Marcos, Sr., Los Altos
Defensive Players of the Year – Sidney Jones, Sr., West Covina and Thomas Loy, Sr., Bonita

First team offense
C Eric Castillo, Jr., Los Altos
G David Tolmachoff, Jr., Los Altos
G Eric Quevedo, Jr., West Covina
T George Stewart, Jr., Los Altos
T Chris Fernandez, Sr., West Covina
TE Tyler Lli, Jr., West Covina
QB Tanner Diebold, Sr., Bonita
RB Daniel Garcia, Jr., Diamond Ranch
RB Tyler Brown, Sr., Diamond Bar
RB Jake Payton, Sr., Bonita
RB William Bryan, Sr., Diamond Ranch
WR Cordell Broadus, Jr., Diamond Bar
WR Danny Gelalich, Jr., Bonita
WR Marcus Briscoe, Sr., Diamond Ranch
K Mario Giron, Sr., Diamond Ranch

First team defense
DL David Tolmachoff, Jr., Los Altos
DL Christian McQueen, Sr., Bonita
DL Josh Herrera, Sr., West Covina
DL Tevita Sina, Jr., Los Altos
DL David Jimenez, Jr., Los Altos
DL Austin Russell, Jr., Bonita
LB Josh Best, Sr., West Covina
LB Matt Preston, Sr., Diamond Ranch
LB Carlos Mejia, Jr., Los Altos
LB Steven Olmos, Jr., Los Altos
LB David Ford, Sr., West Covina
DB Danny Gelalich, Jr., Bonita
DB DeShon Love, Jr., West Covina
DB John Perkins, Jr., Diamond Ranch, Jr.
DB William Bryan, Sr., Diamond Ranch
DB Daniel Garcia, Jr., Diamond Ranch

Second team offense
C Joe Tollar, Sr., Bonita
G Jake Loera, Sr., Los Altos
G Carl Bryan, Sr., Diamod Ranch
T Bryson Finley, Sr., West Covina
T John Aleriano, Jr., Bomita
T Chris, Sr., Diamond Bar
TE Miguel Romero, Sr., Rowland
QB Tyler Peterson, Jr., Diamond Bar
RB Matt Hayashi, Jr., Los Altos
RB De Shon Love, Sr., West Covina
RB Steve Garcia, Sr., West Covina’
RB Andrew Coronado, Jr., Walnut
WR Renee McGowan, Sr., Wlanut
WR Austin Cox, Jr., Diamond Bar
WR Daniel Garcia, Jr., Diamond Ranch
K Brandon Paisley, Sr., Rowland

Second team defense
DL Keandre Johnson, Sr., Diamond Bar
DL Zory McThomas, Sr., Diamond Ranch
DL Ashton Lizarraga, Sr., Walnut
DL Chris Kirchgrabber, Sr., Diamond Ranch
LB Christian Zambrano, Jr., Diamond Ranc
LB Josh Sanchez, Sr., Diamond Bar
LB Damien Ibarra, Jr., West Covina
LB Jacob Karrim, Sr., Bonita
LB Noah Montoya, Sr., Bonita
DB Chris Torres, Sr., Diamond Bar
DB Tyler Brown, Sr., Diamond Bar
DB Isaiah Love, Soph., West Covina
DB Justin Berry, Sr., Diamond Ranch
DB Daniel Valdez, Jr., Los Altos.

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