William Hackenberg a shining star in the Chino Hills defense

VIDEO: William Hackenberg talks about 45-21 win over Etiwanda.


All season long Chino Hills has used a tenacious defense to set the tone for the offense.

Last year it was Trent Goens in the middle of almost everything wreaking havoc.

This year that distinction goes to 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior defensive end William Hackenberg. Never heard of him? Well then you probably haven’t paid attention. He’s No. 11.

You wouldn’t have had reason to have heard of him before this season. He barely played as a sophomore or a junior because the Huskies already had stars playing ahead of him in Goens and J.P. Lanathou. Both those players have graduated, with Goens going on to Northwestern.


Now Hackenberg is finally getting a chance to shine. Yes it has been a long time coming.

“I really just kept hoping I’d get a chance,” he said, moments after the Huskies disposed of Etiwanda 45-21 in their regular season finale Thursday night. “It was frustrating but I just tried to keep preparing myself for when I did get a shot.”

Hackenberg went into Thursday’s game with 67 tackles, an astounding 21 1/2 of those for a loss. He has 10 1/2 sacks.

Who knows how those All-League votes are going to go. Usually the first place-team gets the top awards and the Huskies boast the best defense in the league. So Hackenberg would have to be a leading contender.

There are some good defensive players in the league – senior linebacker Bryce Youngquist of Los Osos, junior defensive back Jaylon Redd of Rancho Cucamonga and defensive back Treyjohn Butler among them.

After the game Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis sang Hackenberg’s praises.

“They have some good players on that side of the ball. He’s the guy I really like,” Davis said.

It just goes to show there is something to be said for playing against good teammates in practice preparing every day like your shot is coming tomorrow.

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Baseline League once again to be hotly contested

Non-league games are over. The race for league titles is on and again it is the Baseline League with numerous compelling match-ups looming.

Damien and Los Osos were the bottom two teams a year ago and both of those have shown much improvement over the course of the non-league season. Damien has RB Dylan Thigpen upon who they rely while the Grizzles have a couple of Division I signees in LB Bryce Youngquist (Oklahoma) and OL Cohl Cabral (Arizona State).

Los Osos has also come up on the winning end of some close games so they seem poised when it matters.

Have those teams improved enough to actually contend? They are probably going to be hard-pressed to do so but they’re god enough to pull an upset that could throw a monkey wrench into some team’s title hopes.

The top team a year ago was Upland but the Highlanders graduated a majority of their starters including nine who advanced to Division II schools. Is Upland as good as in years past? Only time will tell. But if the Highlanders are going to repeat, it will take big contributions from those who weren’t the headline performers a year ago.

Rancho Cucamonga is the team with the most returning starters with that group including quarterback Angel Matute, running back Aaron Manning and DB Jaylon Redd. The Cougars also added a top-notch DB in Thomas Graham, who has committed to USC.

Chino Hills the most formidable test for Upland a year ago and looks like it too poised to challenge. The Huskies had newcomer at QB in Caleb Arreola. He was banged up in the Huskies win two weeks ago. His backup is already out for the season, so much of the Huskies hopes hinge on his health and development.

Just where does Etiwanda fit in? The Eagles wee a disappointing fourth a year ago and they have a new and energetic coach in Kevin Davis. The got off to a tough start this season but stayed the course and have momentum going into league play. They face Upland tonight so we’ll see right away what Etiwanda is made of.

The battle for the top spot could take place the last week of the regular season when Upland and Rancho square off. But no doubt, every battle is going to be a big one.

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Should Chino Hills-Ayala football game be moved to a neutral site

The prep football season opener between Chino Hills and Ayala sold out in a day. Sale of tickets at the school was open to the general public so many students were left out and disgruntled.

Some are calling for the game to be moved to an alternative site with a bigger seating capacity. But is that the way to go?

Chino Hills Athletic Director Phil Garcia is against that idea. He goes a lot on recent experience. He had to move a boys basketball game against Mater Dei in March from his school to Colony in Ontario and he ended up losing money. How much?

“Maybe not $1,000 but hundreds,” he said.

Garcia says he also talked to Don Lugo Athletic Director Joe Marcos who talked about moving a Milk Can game against rival Chino several years ago to Chaffey College and that didn’t go over well for the same reason.

Garcia also doesn’t want to give up home field advantage.

“That’s theirs this year and it should be so I don’t want my team to give it up next year,” he said.

The teams also don’t have the luxury of a suitable facility in the neighborhood. Mt. SAC is about 13, depending which school are coming from. Chaffey is about 20.

Moving the game literally out of the city will also likely take away from the atmosphere and community feel. It’s about a backyard rivalry and wouldn’t it be different it was played in another city several miles away.

Garcia says the schools may look into how they distribute tickets so that many students wouldn’t be left out. But he is against the idea of selling on campus just to students because he dubbed it “a community event, not just a school event.”

What do you think?


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Caleb Arreola to start at quarterback for Chino Hills

Senior Caleb Arreola will start at quarterback for Chino Hills which opens the season on Friday at crosstown rival Ayala.

Arreola was the backup to Zac Sturdivant last year and actually started the one playoff game against Temecula Great Oak because Sturdivant was out injured.

Coach Matt Bechtel expected junior Brett Borgogno to challenge for the job and he did but experience proved to be a key factor. Borgogno started on the freshman team two years ago but did not play last year.

“It’s not like riding a bike. You don’t just pick it back up again with no problem,” Bechtel said. “The speed of the game is also completely different. Caleb had varsity reps last year. It’s not the same going from junior varsity to varsity or freshman to varsity.”


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Chino Hills, Ayala battle in rivalry game for season opener

VIDEO: Chino Hills football coach Matt Bechtel talks about the rivalry game against Ayala.

When Chino Hills was dispatched from the Sierra to the Baseline League last year, so went the rivalry between Ayala and Chino Hills separated by just 4.3 miles.

But the teams will square off in the season opener for both at 7 p.m. Friday at Ayala.

Chino Hills is coming off a second-place finish last year in the Baseline, the lone team finishing in front of it being Upland. The Huskies finished 8-3 overall, with a first-round playoff loss to Temecula Great Oak.

Meanwhile, Ayala is coming off a 6-4 regular season in which it was tied for third in the Palomares but missed out on the playoffs because of a tiebreaker.

The Huskies hold an 8-3 lead in the series and Ayala hasn’t won the rivalry game since 2008. Here’s how the previous games between the two have played out.

2014 – Did not play
2013 – Chino Hills 52, Ayala 28
2012 – Chino Hills 49, Ayala 34
2011 – Chino Hills 40, Ayala 17
2010 – Chino Hills 36, Ayala 8
2009 – Chino Hills 14, Ayala 7
2008 – Ayala 18, Chino Hills 17
2007 – Ayala 19, Chino Hills 10
2006 – Chino Hills 42, Ayala 21
2005 – Chino Hills 20, Ayala 7
2004 – Chino Hills 21, Ayala 16
2003 – Ayala 21, Chino Hills 17

VIDEO: Ayala coach Randy Reams talks about rivalry game against Chino Hills

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Two-way quarterback battle brewing at Chino Hills

VIDEO: Caleb Arreola and Brett Borgogno talk about competing for the starting quarterback spot at Chino Hills.

The Chino Hills Huskies were second in the Baseline League last year in their debut, giving eventual champion Upland quite a battle in the head-to-head match-up between the two.

All agree competition in the league will be tougher than ever.

Chino Hills coach Matt Bechtel has some key players back at some of the skill positions and has three starting linemen back as well. But the biggest void is at quarterback so what happens there will go a long way in determining the Huskies fate.

The candidates are junior Brett Borgogno and senior Caleb Arreola.

Arreola saw mop up duty in a handful of games last year. Most of that came in a 38-7 win over Los Osos when he completed 10 of 15 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown.

Looming even larger, he got the start in the Huskies playoff game against Temecula Great Oak when starter Zac Sturdivant was out injured. It was quite the baptism under fire.

Borgogno is better known as a slick infielder for the CIF runner-up baseball team. He had an outstanding season for the freshman team two years ago but opted to not play last year so he could focus on baseball. He made a verbal commitment in that sport to Cal State Fullerton last spring. With that decision behind him, he is ready to return to football.

Bechtel says Arreola has the slight edge because he played last year but the competition has just begun. We’ll see how it plays out!

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Chino Hills, Ayala football teams renew “Battle of the Bone”

Ayala Football

The “Battle of the Bone” is back!

When Chino Hills was dispatched from the Sierra to the Baseline League last year, so went the rivalry between the schools separated by just 4.3 miles.

But the rivals are back on each others’ schedule, in football at least. They will play on Aug. 28 at Ayala in the season opener for both.

Chino Hills Athletic Director Phil Garcia says when it comes to scheduling he takes his cue from his coaches on who they prefer to play in non-league. A lot can hinge on what tournaments the respective teams are in and what common open dates there are.

Chino Hills Husky Football

This year it worked out. Chino Hills wanted the game bad enough it forfeited a home game and will have only four this season, according to Garcia. Ayala needed a home game and the Huskies obliged.

The game looms as the most intriguing Week 0 match-up in the Inland Valley.

Ayala coach Randy Reams was looking to beef up his team’s non-league schedule. What better way to do that than schedule a Baseline League team, and a local rival as well.

“We’re excited. It will be a great test,” he said. “We’re very happy to have that game back on our schedule.

Chino Hills counterpart Matt Bechtel agrees.

“We played them my first year and I really didn’t think it was that big a deal,” he said. “Then the day of the game it was crazy. It took 30 minutes for us to get there just because of the traffic and the people that were out. It was a great atmosphere.”

Here’s how the previous games between the two have played out.

2014 – Did not play
2013 – Chino Hills 52, Ayala 28
2012 – Chino Hills 49, Ayala 34
2011 – Chino Hills 40, Ayala 17
2010 – Chino Hills 36, Ayala 8
2009 – Chino Hills 14, Ayala 7
2008 – Ayala 18, Chino Hills 17
2007 – Ayala 19, Chino Hills 10
2006 – Chino Hills 42, Ayala 21
2005 – Chino Hills 20, Ayala 7
2004 – Chino Hills 21, Ayala 16
2003 – Ayala 21, Chino Hills 17

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Chino Hills football team should make another run at Baseline title

Chino Hills running back Grady O’Donnell looks for running room in last year’s playoff loss to Great Oak.

The Chino Hills Huskies made quite the entry into the Baseline League last season. Coach Matt Bechtel’s team was second behind an Upland squad loaded with Division I talent and gave the Highlanders all they could have wanted in the head-to-head battle between the two.

The new season gets underway in about a month and the Huskies again loom as a formidable threat.

“There are a lot of good teams but we should be in the mix,” said Bechtel, whose team went 8-3 overall and 4-1 in league play. “We went in last year thinking we were going to compete and we did.”

The Huskies return several key players on offense, most notably running back Grady O’Donnell, who rushed for 697 yards in nine games, much of that coming after Brysen Charbonier got injured.

Curtis Price (681 yards) is also back, along with younger brother Vos, the team’s top receiver from last year.

It always helps to have linemen back and the Huskies have a couple veterans in R.J. Stripling, Matt Kivler and Conner Garcelli.

The biggest question mark comes at quarterback where Bechtel is looking for a successor to the graduated Zac Sturdivant. The candidates are junior Borgogno and senior Caleb Arreola.

Arreola is the more experienced, having gotten some time last year, most notably in the playoff loss to Great Oak when Sturdivant was out injured.

Borgogno, who has committed to Cal State Fullerton for baseball, did not play last year but was the starters for a freshman team that went 9-1 in 2013.

“If the season were starting tomorrow it would probably be Arreola just based on experience,” Bechtel said. “But it doesn’t so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Senior linebacker Anthony Rosales is the top returner on defense. Among the others are corner Josh Zappala and safeties Craig Worthley and Max Masad. Bechtel is also looking for good things from Dylan Tucker, who played behind Trent Goens last season.

Among the key newcomers are wide receiver-corner Jaylan Brown, a transfer from Eastvale Roosevelt, and wide receiver Devon Blakely, from Summit. Defensive lineman Oscar Burgueno and linebacker Michael Meza are up from the junior varsity and will also be impact players.

Bechtel prefers to look at his team as the darkhorse, although most football enthusiasts know better.

“Upland is still the champion and until someone knocks them off, they’re the team to beat,” he said. “I also think Rancho is going to be very good.”

The Huskies open the season against local rival Ayala on Aug. 28.


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Chino looks to contend with top teams in Hacienda League

Last year the Chino High School football team settled for a fourth place finish. But the Cowboys have a new coach in place and he’s bringing in a new system.

Let the fun begin!

“So far I am very pleased. I think we’re going to surprise some people,” said newcomer Jesse Ceniceros, who comes over after heading the Norwalk program for seven years. “The kids have bough in to what we’re doing and they’re working hard. It’s a good start.”

Ceniceros is a disciple of Don Markham, so yes the Cowboys (5-5 overall last year, 2-3 in league) will be running the double wing offense that Markham popularized and says he has the right personnel to run that offense.

Junior Angel Herrera, the quarterback of the junior varsity team last year, is the leading contender for that job.

Junior Da’creh West, who Ceniceros believes was under utilized last year, will be the primary back with junior Daniel Pena and sophomore Andrew Almecan also getting the ball.

To run that offense you also need a strong offensive line, The new coach singles out senior tackle Manuel Avina and junior tight end Adrian Alfaro.

While the double wing focuses on the run, Ceniceros believes he has what could be one of the top wide receivers in the area in junior Willie Morris.

The defense will be led by junior linebackers Brandon Serrano, who could also see time at fullback, as well as junior corner Musa Graylor.

Chino’s defensive coordinator will be Nick Moreno, who was coaching in the Pasadena last year.

“I am really pleased with our depth,” Ceniceros said. “I don’t think we’re gong to have a lot of players going both ways and that’s great.

The Cowboys make their debut under Ceniceros on Aug. 27 against Bloomington, which is coming off a 1-9 season and also has a new coach.

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