Eisenhower coach facing more surgeries after last week’s shooting

UPDATE: Eisenhower basketball coach and athletic director Steve Johnson is likely facing more surgeries after being shot multiple times Jan. 21 at at Seccombe Park in San Bernardino. The shooting caused damage to Johnson’s stomach and intestines in addition to breaking bones in his arm, according to this report.

It was determined fairly quickly that the injuries to Johnson, 47, were not life threatening. He was in fair condition as of Jan. 23.

The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year was able to drive himself to a police station despite the gunshot wounds and was later transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment. Here is the complete story of the events that began at 8 p.m. Monday night.

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Eventful week at Miller, whose AD visits Ike coach Johnson in hospital

An eventful week at Miller High School ended with conclusion of its three-month search for a new head football coach. The replacement for Marcus Soward will be a 26-year-old first-time head coach from Clovis High School. Justin Nast, a Washington D.C. native, was impressive in his interview, as detailed in this story, but also did some interviewing of his own by getting in tough with former Miller coach Jeff Steinberg.

After interviewing football coaches for weeks, Miller athletic director John Romagnoli conducted an interview of a different nature Tuesday when he visited Eisenhower basketball coach Steve Johnson in the hospital. It was “a surreal day,” as described by Romagnoli, who is also the Miller basketball coach and has competed with Johnson for years in the Citrus Belt League.

The Miller girls basketball program was also highlighted this week, in a feature story on senior Rachel McCoy, who hadn’t played organized sports before high school. She is now a Division-I scholarship basketball player and a state champion in track despite only having competed for two seasons.

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All-Citrus Belt League football team

2012 All-Citrus Belt League Football

First team Offense
Levi Plante, REV, QB
Jimmy Walker, Redlands, QB
Taylor Thompson, REV, RB
Darryl Miller, Redlands, RB
Wesley Hill, Cajon, RB
Jerrion Burton, Eisenhower, WR
Brandon Scott, Yucaipa, WR
Daniel Gonzales, REV, WR
Jordan Ory, Redlands, WR
Micah St. Andrews, Eisenhower, OL
David Fortunat, Eisenhower, OL
Steven Chaparro, Yucaipa, OL
Donald Hale, REV, OL
Jared Layel, Redlands, OL
Desjon Burroughs, Cajon, OL
Dallas Mohler, Yucaipa, TE

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Marquee prep football matchup: Redlands at Chino Hills, Inland Division

In the CIF-SS Inland Division playoff bracket, the tier of teams behind No. 1 seed Vista Murrieta and No. 2 seed Corona Centennial isn’t separated by much. This game is proof seeing as both Chino Hills (7-2-1) and Redlands (7-3) were one league victory from earning the top playoff seeds in the Sierra and Citrus Belt Leagues, respectively.

Nearly No. 1: After a league-opening 41-13 loss to Inland Division No. 4 seed Covina Charter Oak, Chino Hills finished second in the Sierra League. Had Redlands not lost the regular season finale, 14-7, to Eisenhower, the Terriers would have been the league’s top seed instead of its No. 3 seed.

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Four things and one wild guess

1 Diamond Bar High School golfer Bethany Wu already has an impressive collection of hardware entering today’s CIF State semifinals. After her team claimed its first CIF championship on Oct. 23, Wu won the CIF-SS individual championship Nov. 1.

The sophomore, who recently issued a verbal commitment to UCLA, was one of two players to shoot under par as her 3-under 67 earned her a two-shot victory.

“Right at the end of the year she’s playing her best golf,” Diamond Bar coach Tony McCabe said. “She’s a premier player, so she has a chance every time she steps on the course. There’s about 11 or 12 elite players and she’s one of them.”

The Brahmas play today in the state semifinals in Murrieta with the hopes of being one of three teams to advance to the state finals on Nov. 13. The top 12 individuals also will advance. Diamond Bar has shown an affinity for clutch play this postseason. During the competition that advanced the Brahmas to the state semifinals, Wu birdied the last four holes and teammate Isabelle Shee birdied three of the last four to advance the team by one stroke.

2 Miller High School Athletic Director John Romagnoli said he wasn’t surprised when football coach Marcus Soward resigned last week.

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Prep football playoff prediction: CIF-SS Inland Division

First Round
No. 1 Vista Murrieta over West Covina South Hills
Norco over Redlands East Valley
Rancho Cucamonga over Corona Santiago
Temecula Chaparral over No. 4 Covina Charter Oak
No. 3 Upland over Temecula Great Oak
Chino Hills over Redlands
Eisenhower over Murrieta Valley
No. 2 Corona Centennial over Los Osos

No. 1 Vista Murrieta over Norco
Rancho Cucamonga over Temecula Chaparral
No. 3 Upland over Chino Hills
No. 2 Corona Centennial over Eisenhower

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Rancho Cucamonga HS ‘like a college team’

Frighteningly, it wasn’t the five players with multiple scholarship offers that prompted Marcus Soward to liken the Rancho Cucamonga High School football team to a college program.

The offensive and defensive fronts were the units that inspired the comparison from Miller’s football coach during Rancho Cucamonga’s 45-0 victory over Miller Friday night at Los Osos High School.

Soward, a former defensive back for Arizona State whose brother R.J. starred at USC, has some credibility when it comes to college football.

“As big and fast and strong as they are, they’re like a college team,” Soward said. “The fronts were what impressed me the most. They were some of the best I’ve seen in a long time.”

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Summit worn down by Lee, Redlands in 21-12 loss

Craig Lee won’t arrive at UCLA until next season, but the Redlands High School running back has already faced plenty of college-caliber talent this year.

Thursday night the Terriers took on a defending CIF champion Summit defense with eight returning starters that included multiple Division I prospects, but Lee couldn’t be contained for the second consecutive week as he churned out 148 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 21-12 victory at Miller High School.

After Lee was held to 80 yards on 20 carries in a season-opening blowout loss to the CIF-SS Inland Division’s No. 2 team last week, Redlands bounced back by pulling away from the defending Eastern Division champions in the second half thanks in large part to its UCLA-committed running back and a stout defensive effort. Rancho Cucamonga, which features at least four defensive players with multiple scholarship offers, handed Redlands a 40-17 loss last week but Terriers coach Jim Walker knew his team gave the Cougars plenty of assists.

John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer
Redlands running back Craig Lee (above) ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in a 21-12 win over Summit.
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Watkins rallies Miller to victory, 39-20

Miller High school was seemingly sleepwalking into the second half, losing four fumbles in less than 10 minutes and fell behind Lake Elsinore Lakeside 14-0.

Then things suddenly changed.

A 72-yard touchdown pass from Michael Watkins to Devon Brown with 7:37 left in the third quarter started Miller’s comeback.

By the end of the game, Miller had scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions plus a defensive touchdown and downed Lakeside 39-20 in the season opener for both schools.

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All-CIF football selections: Inland Division

Offensive Player of the Year: Su’a Cravens, Vista Murrieta
Defensive Player of the Year: Jeremy Castro, Vista Murrieta
Coach of the Year: Coley Candaele, Vista Murrieta

Running back:

Romello Goodman, Corona Centennial
Donta Abron, Upland
Craig Lee, Redlands
Joseph Ajeigbe, Norco
Kurt Scoby, Charter Oak
Hayden Gavett, Centennial
Travis Santiago, Charter Oak.
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