Chaffey football team looking to return to successful formula

Tigers mascot photo.

Chaffey used to be known for its running game, made possible by a strong offensive line.

Last year the Tigers (4-6 overall, 2-3 in league in 2016) were a little young and the inexperience showed. But veteran coach Chris Brown thinks this team is capable of having the success on the ground it has in the past.

“I think we’re going to be able to run the ball,” Brown said. “We were young up front last year but all those guys are back and they’re a year older and they worked at it during the off-season. I really like this team.”

Most of the other offensive starters are back too. That group of returning players is led by senior running back Nick Silva who ran for a team-high 838 yards in nine games a year ago. The backfield will also include junior David Ciminiski (234 yards, 46 carries) and senior Micah Gildenrew (219 yards, 45 carries).

Senior speedster Jalen Vivian should see the ball as well.

That unit up front is led by senior Josue Lepes Sanchez, who will also be counted on defensively, as well as senior Gabriel Fuentez. The Tigers are also set at tight end with both George Wusstig and Malaki Tovi factoring in.

Junior Tyler Freeman is set to start at quarterback.

On defense many of those same players will be relied upon. Brown is a little concerned with his secondary, only because many of those playing there will also play full-time on offense.

The other trouble spot will be the kicking game because Brown said right now he literally does not have a kicker.

The team will be bolstered by the addition of senior strong safety0linebacker Kurt Imbach, who older brother Devin was a standout at Colony several years ago.

“He is really gong to help us,” Brown said. “He can play.”

The Tigers are dropping from Division 8 to Division 9. Brown singles out Colony and Don Lugo as the frontrunners in the Mt. Baldy League but thinks his team could factor into that third spot and possibly get into the playoffs.


Aug. 25 – Grand Terrace
Sept. 1 – At Jurupa Hills
Sept. 8 – Patriot (at Rubidoux)
Sept. 15 – Colton
Sept. 29 – Barstow
Oct. 6 – Colony
Oct. 13 – Alta Loma
Oct. 20 – At Ontario
Oct. 27 – At Don Lugo
Nov. 3- Montclair

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Chaffey football looks to challenge in post-Dean era

Chaffey HS Athletics

The Chaffey High School football program has always relied on the running game. The last few years it has been Mikey Dean as the featured back.

Well Dean has graduated, leaving many to wonder what the Tigers will look like in 2016. Veteran coach Chris Brown might be able to use that to his advantage, particularly in the first few games with opponents not able to rely much on previous film.

Dean rushed for almost 4,000 yards and a school record 53 touchdowns in the last two years.

But the new version of the Tigers takes the field for the first game on Aug. 26 at Grand Terrace, an opponent it beat 14-6 in the third game of the 2015 season in which they finished 8-3 with a first-round playoff loss to Chino.

“It will be a little different not having Mike back there,” Brown said. “We’re going to try and throw the ball a little more and work some option stuff. We have dual threat quarterback and we want to use him.”

That quarterback will be senior DeQuan Futrell, who saw some time at that position last year and appears to be ready to step into the starring role this season.

Among the others Brown will be looking for big contributions from are senior wide receiver Joshua Rice, junior running back Nick Silva, promising sophomore David Ciminski who will see time at receiver, running back and even at safety and junior Princeton Kauvaka, the team’s fastest player who can also be utilized at multiple positions.

Brown also thinks he has one of the better tight ends in the area in 6-4 junior George Wusstig who will also play at defensive end.

Of course it always helps to have returning linemen. The leaders there are senior Joe Mizer and sophomore Daniel Godina. Siope Tovi is expected to start as a sophomore.

Leaders on defense will include junior DE Malakai Tovi, senior DB Nick Gonzalez and junior DB Paul Perez.

Colony remains the top dog in the Mt. Baldy League and Brown says the Titans will be a heavy favorite. But as has been the case the Tigers should be in the mix for a playoff spot. They were third last year behind Colony and Don Lugo.

“We might be a little better than last year even without Mikey because we’ll be more balanced,” Brown said. “Guys worked hard over the summer knowing there was going to be opportunity for then to step up.”



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Mt. Baldy League honors: Football





Overall MVP – Khlalil Dorsey, Sr., DB-WR, Colony
Offensive MVP – Josh Thompson, Sr., QB, Colony
Defensive MVP – Devon Harper, Sr., Colony
Outstanding Lineman – Tre Bland, Sr., Colony

First team
Stacy Aneke, Sr., Colony
Jonathan Arcos, Sr., Colony
Elijah Arellano, Sr., Colony
Khoury Bethley, Sr., Don Lugo
David Bustamante, Soph., Alta Loma
Jose Campos, Sr., Montclair
Gabriel Casas, Soph., Don Lugo
Devin Collins, Jr., Don Lugo
Alec Cota, Sr., Alta Loma
Mikey Dean, Sr., Chaffey
Omar Delarosa, Jr., Ontario
Tyrique Faatiliga, Sr., Colony
Dane Ford, Sr., Don Lugo
Nicolas Gannuscio, Jr., Alta Loma
Jason Gardner, Jr., Don Lugo
Christopher Gonzalez, Sr., Don Lugo
Trevor Goulet, Jr., Don Lugo
Tyrone Hatchett, Sr., Colony
Matt Lawson, Soph., Colony
Reuben Leyva, Sr., Alta Loma
Ray Maldanado, Sr., Chaffey
Ryan Moya-Chapron, Jr., Colony
Jesse Munguia, Sr., Don Lugo
Nathan Orozco, Sr., Don Lugo
Antoine Paul, Jr., Ontario
Cameron Poe, Sr., Ontario
Jose Rivera, Sr., Montclair
Jovanni Sanchez, Sr., Chaffey
Nathan Solorio, Sr., Chaffey
Sebastian Soto, Sr., Ontario
Ryan Suliafu, Fr., Chaffey
Dallas Teren, Sr., Colony
Ryan Twist, Jr., Alta Loma
Marcos Valencia, Sr., Colony
Isac Velasquez, Soph., Alta Loma
Jiaire Wade, Jr., Colony
Roy Wiley, Soph., Montclair

  • Positions not provided


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Chaffey running back Mikey Dean decides he’ll go to Idaho State

The wait is over for Chaffey diminutive dynamo Mikey Dean who has committed to Idaho State.

The 5-foot-7 Dean rushed for 2,555 yards and 37 touchdowns last season and has run for 4,091 yards and a school record 53 touchdowns in his career.

Dean led the state with an average of 232.3 yards per game. His yardage total was second to Serrano’s Sultaan Sullivan who averaged 229.2 yards and played three more games than Dean.

“I am very relieved to have made the decision,” he said. “At times it was very stressful. Now I can focus on school and work on having a great season in track.”

It came down to Division I Idaho State and local Division II power Azusa Pacific University. But a lot of factors tipped the scales for Idaho State.

Dean liked that it was a Division I program and welcomed the chance to get away from home. Dean, who plans to major in physical therapy, also liked the academic offerings of the school.

Dean has not visited the school yet but will do so next month. Assistant coach Roger Cooper visited Dean both at school and at home the past week and head coach Mike Kramer is expected to visit after Christmas.

“It really had everything I was looking for,” Dean said. “I think will also fit well into their offense.”

Dean had offers from Division II Dixie State and Western New Mexico as well as NAIA Trinity (Ill.). He had also been talking to APU as well as Humboldt State.

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Chaffey RB Mikey Dean receives offer from Idaho State

Chaffey running back Mikey Dean confirmed that he has received his first Division 1 offer from Idaho State.

“Sunday was the first time I emailed the coach and he said the recruiter for my area was already coming out to see me today,” Dean explained. “He offered me on spot during my home visit.”

Dean has offers from Western New Mexico (Division 2) and Trinity international (NAIA).

Dean finished the season as California’s leading rusher at the high school level and was seventh in the national following the conclusion of the regular season.

The running back is listed at 5’8″ stated that this offer means a lot to him for several reasons.

“It means a lot. Not being the biggest player,” he said. “It shows that there are people that truly believe in me and it is not about my size. It is about my work ethic, stats and skills.”

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Mikey Dean’s numbers starting to open eyes despite his size

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Chaffey’s Mikey Dean is putting up some downright ridiculous offensive numbers. The Tigers have played five games and he has 1,415 yards and 21 touchdowns to lead the entire state in both those departments.

He has rushed for more than 200 yards in every game and has three games of 320 or more yards. In Thursday’s win over Colton he ran for 332 yards and six touchdowns.

He should have college  scouts coming at him in droves and that isn’t quite the case.

The dilemma is his size. He’s 5–foot-7 (and a half) and 165 pounds. No matter how fast or tough you are that’s a tough sell for colleges who want size, speed and ALL the intangibles in one package.

Dean has two offers – Division II Western New Mexico and NAIA Trinity (Ill.)

He took an unofficial visit the past weekend to Arizona and was on hand for the Wildcats game against UCLA. He loved everything about the experience and has had ongoing dialogue with coaches from that school. Only time will tell if something further develops.

“I really like it,” he said. “The coaches all seemed to know who I was and that made me feel good.”

Army and Navy are interested with Hawaii also recently coming into the mix.

Dean would be a nice addition for any school, no matter what his size. Schools really ought to start looking at the total package rather than just stature. Dean is also a 4.0 student and a quality individual. He deserves a shot somewhere.

The Tigers are off this week in preparation for their Mt. Baldy League opener against Ontario,

Dean had a modest goal of reaching 2,000 yards this season but that seems like a forgone conclusion.

“Now I’m shooting for 3,000,” he said.


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Chaffey’s Mikey Dean makes a statement

Mikey Dean is a man on a mission and he made it clear with back-to-back statement games in the first two weeks of the Chaffey High’s football season.


Dean finished Thursday’s game against Riverside Patriot with four touchdowns and over 200 rushing yards in three quarters of play.

“Our coach doesn’t like running up the score,” Dean said. “So I didn’t play the fourth quarter.”

But the running back will be the first to tell you that his early success is not just his own doing.

“Shout out to my linemen because they were moving the pile and battling hard up front to create holes. Then our blocking backs did a great job getting through to their secondary and creating lanes,” he explained. “I stayed behind them and let my speed carry me to the end zone.”

The Tigers’ rusher has goals for the upcoming season, which includes the milestone of over 2,000 rushing yards before the season concludes.

On Thursday, Dean also contributed to the offense with a passing touchdown during the team’s 34-10 win.

His performance is six days removed from the 35-6 victory against Lakeside, in which Dean had 384 total yards and scored four rushing touchdowns.

A third victory is in sight for Dean, who leads all nominees in the inaugural SoCal Prep Legend’s boy player of the week poll. The results will be announced Friday.

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The first Male Athlete of the Week is . . .

For something new this year we’re picking a male and female athlete of the week.

Coaches we need your help, particularly for sports we don’t cover on a daily basis. Send us your nominations by Sunday night each week. You can e-mail the information to

Winners will be announced on-line Tuesdays and in the newspaper on Wednesday.

There were no girls sports last week so we just have a boy this week.

Here is our first honoree:




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Chaffey’s Michael Dean ready to hit the ground running

VIDEO: Chaffey’s Michael Dean talks about preparing for his season.

Last year Chaffey High School’s Michael Dean rushed for 1,373 yards with more than 100 yards in 10 of 11 contests. He also played defensive back and was a big-play threat on special teams.

He was a first team All-CIF and first team All-Inland Valley selection.

But the college offers didn’t exactly start flowing in. He admits it was a little discouraging. But chalk that up to his size rather than his ability. He stands only 5-foot-5. No matter what your speed, 5-5 isn’t going to land you many offers.

But some are starting to see past the size, or lack there of.

Two offers came last month, the first coming from NCAA Division II Western New Mexico, the other coming from NAIA Trinity International (Chicago, Ill.).

Azusa Pacific, which has made quite the splash in its infancy at the Division II level, has shown a lot of interest and he admits that option looks enticing should he actually get an offer.

“That definitely takes the pressure off,” he said of the two offers he has now. “I am starting to feel a lot better about things.”

Dean has worked hard during the off-season to prepare for the coming season, bulking up about 15 pounds and adding some muscle to his diminutive frame. He averaged 15 or so carries a year ago but with backfield mate James Oxier and quarterback James Leon both having departed, coach Chris Brown says he could get twice that.

He is used to playing full-time on defense too but if he needs a break, that’s where his break will come.

He had always competed in track in the spring but did little this year because he had a broken bone in his pelvis. That sidelined him for two months but he is back stronger than ever.

His speed has gotten better, improving from a 4.48 to a 4.40 in the 40.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I’m really excited about this season and being able to do everything I can to help us win.”

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Chaffey football team looking to overtake Colony

The Chaffey High School football team settled for second place in the Mt. Baldy League last year behind eventual CIF Central Division champion Colony. The Tigers battled the Titans head to head but the Titans eventually wore them down and won the game.

Can Chaffey get over the hump this year? Veteran head coach Chris Brown says his team has the potential to do so.

“We have more depth than we have had before and that is really important against a quality team like Colony that likes to play up-tempo,” he said.

The Tigers, 8-3 last year, do have one of the top players in the area returning in senior running back Michael Dean, a first team All-Inland Valley and All-CIF selection who rushed for 1,373 yards and 16 touchdowns on 194 tries last year.

Chaffey’s Mike Dean is listed as a “generous” 5-foor-7, 155 pounds, but brings a big game to the field.

His partner in the backfield, James Oxier (912 yards), has graduated.

Brown says he has a lot of options there and will see how that plays out in the next couple of months.  There is the definite possibility that Dean, who also plays in the secondary on defense, could see more carries, bad news for upcoming foes.

“If we need to spell him it will be on defense,” Brown said. “He has really worked hard, put on some muscle and he’s a lot stronger.”

The biggest question mark will be the offensive line, an area with which Brown wasn’t happy last year. A bunch of those players are back so improvement is expected. Among the key players there will be senior tackle Alexander Kraskowsky.

Bloomington High School's quarterback Salvador Munoz, left, pushes off Chaffey High School's Daniel Millstein during a game...

Other key players on offense are sophomore quarterback Dequan Futrell, a transfer from Upland and freshman lineman Ryan Soliafu,

Among those leading the defensive charge will be senior linebacker Jiovanni Sanchez, senior defensive end Ray Maldanado, senior outside linebacker Frank Venegas, senior outside linebacker Brian Ramirez and junior defensive tackle Jacob Chavira.

Another player that could factor on both sides of the ball is junior RB-DB Larry Hammett-Love, the second-fastest player on the team behind Dean.

“He’s going to be on the field somewhere,” Brown added.

The Tigers open the new season Aug. 28 at Lake Elsinore-Lakeside, a team they defeated 30-7 in last year’s season opener. The Tigers are also on the road the second week with the first home game being on Sept. 11 against Grand Terrace.

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