Claremont football looking to regroup with new personnel

Wolfpack mascot photo.

Count Claremont among the many schools that are coming off disappointing showings in 2016. And yes, like most of the others, the Wolfpack are going to take the field in 2017 with a new coach in Shane Hile.

Hile remains optimistic even though he has a couple of huge voids to fill. Running back Duy Tran-Sampson, who carried the offense the last three years, has graduated and moved on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo while Soloman Tuliaupupu, one of the top-ranked linebackers in the country, transferred to Mater Dei in the spring.

But Hile, previously on staff as an assistant at Upland, chooses to focus on what he can control.

“We can’t worry about who is not here, we have to work with the guys that are here,” he said. “The ones that are here have bought in and are working hard and it’s one of the closest knit groups I have been around.”

The offense will be much different for the Wolfpack, 37 overall and 2-3 in the Palomares League a year ago. The passing game was almost non-existent in recent year thanks to the presence of a dominant back but HIle expects more balance this season.

He also has the benefit  of a solid quarterback in junior Reggie Retzlaff who had to sit out the first five games last year after transferring from Webb and has looked good thus far.

“We’re excited about seeing what he can do wit a full year under his belt,” Hile said of his quarterback. “We’re definitely looking for a better balance. Of course you like to run because that opens it up for the passing game but we want to be able to do both.”

Senior running back Drew Johnson, who was on the junior varsity last year, will inherit the spot vacated by Tran-Samspon. He’ll have help front from senior linemen Noah Gonzalez and Ryan Bush, who will also be key players on the other side of the ball.

Senior linebacker Tommy Viat will head the defensive effort.

There are no holdovers from the previous coaching staff. Dillan Clark, previously at Citrus College and Upland High School, will serve as coordinator while Anthony Hile,the coach’s son, will be defensive coordinator.

The new coach likes the work ethic he has seen out of his team. One of the concerns this year will be depth with the number of total players in the program down considerably. The good thing is that the programs biggest numbers i in the freshman class so there is room to grow.


Aug. 23 – At Norte Vista
Sept. 1 – At Upland
Sept. 8 – Damien
Sept. 15 – Pomona
Sept. 22 – At Alta Loma
Oct. 6 – Glendora
Oct. 13 – South Hills
Oct. 20 – At Bonita
Oct. 27 – Ayala
Nov. 2 – At Diamond Bar

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Shane Hile named head football coach at Claremont

Shane Hile has been named football coach at Claremont. He replaces Jose “Coco” Jarin who was fired after directing the program the last two years.

It will be the first head coaching job for Hile, a 1989 graduate of Garey High School.

He is no stranger to the school, having been employed there as a special education teacher since 2010.

“I have been at this school nine years, seven as a teacher,” he said. “This is my school and my community so when the job opened up I was excited about the opportunity.”

Hile, 45, was also on the football staff at Claremont from 2009 to 2013 under Jarin’s predecessor Mike Collins who had headed the program for more then two decades. The last year of that term was spent as defensive coordinator.

More recently he spent two years at Upland where he coached the defensive line, Last year Upland played Claremont so Hile saw the Wolfpack first hand. It was also an odd dynamic.

“It was definitely a bit strange having kids I really cared about on both sidelines,” he said.

Hile singles out time he spent learning from other veteran coaches as good preparation, Besides Collins and Tim Salter at Upland he was at Damien from 2002 to 2008 where he worked with John and Tom Carroll, as well as Scott Morrison, now at Corona Santiago.

The first task will be to assemble a coaching staff and Hile said he is open to all options, including coaches who wee on Jain’s staff.

As far as offensive and defensive philosophies, Hile said he isn’t set on one. He will assess his personnel before deciding what schemes to run.

“The most important thing we’re going to do is stick with the philosophy of this school. We want good students and good character people in this program both as players and coaches.”

Hile will look to improve on a 3-7 finish of last year that included a 1-4 in Palomares League play.

He will also have to do that without the team’s top player as junior linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu transferred to Mater Dei last month.

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Claremont football looks to make up for disappointing 2015

Claremont High School junior running back Duy Tran-Sampson, 16, is one of the main reasons the Wolfpack are 5-0 so far this season. (Will Lester/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)


Senior Duy Tran-Sampson has been one of the area’s top rushers the last two seasons and is expected to shoulder the load again this season.



The Claremont football team did alright in the win column last year at 7-3. But the Wolfpack were 5-0 in non-league play so their collapse late in Palomares League play cost them a playoff spot.

They’ll be looking to make up for that misstep when the new season gets underway on Aug. 26. Coach Coco Jarin has a hard time containing his excitement when discussing the coming season.

“We’re going to put a good product on the field,” he said. “People are are going to be impressed. I can’t wait for the first game.”

“We were very disappointed at not making the playoffs last season and it was our own fault,” he said. “The kids haven’t forgotten that and they have been working hard.”

Of course Claremont returns its top weapon on each side of the ball and that will be a bit help. Junior running back Duy Tran-Sampson will ignite the offense. He ran for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns last year and built on that with a strong showing in track season.

On defense junior linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu heads the effort, after recording 140 tackles as sophomore.

“Those guys are the leaders but we have good players around them too,” Jarin added.

Tran-Sampson will have a solid line to run behind. That group features senior guard Ricky Sandoval, who will start on both sides of the ball, senior tight end Caesar Arranga, senior center Noah Garcia, junior tackles Ricky Martin and Ryan Bush and junior guard Noah Gonzalez.

In the skill positions Claremont has the potential to throw the ball it they choose with a standout receiver in senior Laquamie Bond and solid fullback in senior Gabriel Gonzales.

The quarterback spot is up for grabs, the candidates being sophomore Reggie Retzlaff, a transfer from Webb, and senior Jacob Grajales, the backup last year.

Standouts on defense will also include Bond at free safety and Sandoval at linebacker as well as linebacker Jacob Gentry, senior safety Jordan Cardosa and senior cornerback Cameron Winfrey.

Jarin is also high on varsity newcomer Cammeron Thomas.

The biggest question mark is the defensive line which lacks returning player with experience. Junior Jason Hall, up from the junior varsity, is expected to be an impact player.

A tougher and more compelling schedule starts on Aug. 26 with Riverside Norte Vista.

“Our schedule will definitely have us more prepared,” Jarin said.

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Claremont football team looking at more attractive schedule

Claremont's Duy Tran-Sampson carries the ball against Bonita's Logan Zylstra at Bonita High School in La Verne, CA., Friday, October 9, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Senior running back Duy Tran-Sampson is among the large group of returning players who hope to help Claremont to a playoff berth this season.

One of the first things Jose “Coco” Jarin wanted to address when he took over as head football coach at Claremont High School was its non-league schedule.

The Wolfpack had quality competition in the Palomares League but the teams it faced in non-league play did little to prepare them for more important games and hardly generated any buzz on campus or in the community.

El Rancho, Hemet West Valley, Covina, Bell Gardens. Nothing against those schools, but they are hardly compelling non-league opponents. Yes that other game was Damien, but the schedule needed work.

The Wolfpack went 5-0 last year in non-league play, but were never the same once non-league play started. They finished 7-3 and were 2-3 in league. That tied them for fourth with Claremont but the CIF took a 3-7 Ayala to the playoffs INSTEAD of Claremont. That had to have been a slap in the face and was another indication the schedule had to be addressed.

Yes Claremont lost to Ayala head-to-head, but at 7-3 Claremont would have been in the running for an at-large berth had it not been for the weak schedule.

“We got off to that 5-0 and our guys got a little too high on themselves,” Jarin said. “We weren’t as good as we thought we were.”

The first two opponents were a combined 1-11. And the five foes were a total of 18-34. Take away 7-5 Covina, by far the best of that lot, and Claremont played four teams that were 11-29.

Claremont had also been losing players from the feeder middle school who were opting to go to other programs nearby.

The best way to get those kids back? Put those schools on your schedule and beat them. And that’s just what Jarin did.

Claremont football enthusiasts now have some non-league foes for whom they can get excited. Damien is once again there and that could be quite a rivalry.

Then there are Riverside Norte Vista, Pomona, Alta Loma and Upland. Yes, the one and only Upland.  So this year’s opponents were a combined 35-21 a year ago. That’s a major upgrade.

Credit those schools for wanting play Claremont.

“We want to make this a place kids want to play football,” Jarin said. “We want to show them were a good place to go not just because of the academics but because we’re a pretty good football team too.




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Palomares League honors: Football

Athlete of Year – Matt Fink, Sr., QB, Glendora
MVP (Offense) – Jordan Charles, Sr., RB, Ayala

MVP (Defense) – Amir Ainsworth, Sr., Bonita





First team offense
WR Quinn Cotter, Sr., South Hills
WR Logan Zylstra, Jr., Bonita
WR Tyler Schoenick, Sr., Glendora
WR Kyle Yada, Sr., Diamond Bar
WR LaQuamie Bond, Jr., Claremont
OL David Lebel, Sr., Glendora
OL Andre Rodriguez, Sr., Ayala
OL Carlos Calderon, Sr., South Hills
OL Ricardo Sandoval, Jr., Claremont
OL Victor Arteaga, Soph., Glendora
OL Baylee Smith, Sr., Bonita
OL Max Shapiro, Sr., Claremont
QB Tanner East, Sr., Bonita
QB Raine Pohaku Kaheaku-Paiva, Sr., Claremont
RB Duy Tran-Sampson, Jr., Claremont
RB Markelle Davis, Sr., Claremont
RB Dimaggio Rico, Sr., Diamond Bar
RB Andrew Montano, Sr., Glendora
K Caleb Watkins, Sr., Glendora

First team defense
LB Soloman Tu;liaupupu, Soph., Claremont
LB Corey Taylor, Sr., Glendora
LB Luis Astorga, Sr., South Hills
LB Nathan Smedley, Sr., Bonita
LB Damien Cannon, Sr., Claremont
LB Anthony Mendoza, Sr., Glendora
DL Logan Zylstra, Jr., Bonita
DL David Label, Sr., Glendora
DL Kyle Kelly, Sr., South Hills
DL Isaiah Flowers, Sr., Ayala
DL Cole Mraz, Sr., Glendora
DB Mato Pacheco, Sr., Claremont
DB Mike Lowe, Sr., Glendora
DB Emmanuel Flowers, Jr., Ayala
DB Winston Donnell, Sr., Ayala
DB Tyler Schoenick, Sr., Glendora
P Caleb Watkins, Sr., Glendora

Second team offense
WR Garrison DeShay, Sr., South Hills
WR Matthew Banfield, Sr., Claremont
WR Darren Ireland, Sr., Bonita
WR Josh Peifer, Sr., Bonita
OL Tito Bucheli, Sr., Ayala
OL David Omana, Sr., Diamond Bar
OL Jeffrey Lu, Jr., Diamond Bar
OL Joe Bazza, Sr., Ayala
OL Ryan Roh, Soph., Diamond Bar
OL Justin Salazar, Soph., Ayala
RB Andrew Segura, Sr., South Hills
RB Griffen Herrera, Sr., Glendora
RB Max Hura, Soph., Ayala
RB Blake Goodman, Sr., Diamond Bar
K Garrett Dean, Jr., Bonita

Second team defense
LB Cody Darrow, Sr., Ayala
LB Jack Sheehan, Sr., South Hills
LB Connor Donohue, Sr., Diamond Bar
LB Tim Hendricks, Jr., Glendora
LB Isaiah Garcia, Sr., Bonita
LB Ryan Torres, Soph., South Hills
DL Markelle Davis, Sr., Claremont
DL Carlos Salinas, Sr., South Hills
DL David Armana, Sr., Diamond Bar
DL Connor Tolliver, Sr., Claremont
DL Tracey Riordan, Sr., Glendora
DB Tahron Tolbert, Jr., South Hills
DB Matthew Scott, Sr., Ayala
DB Zach Brozick, Jr., Ayala
DB Jamie House, Jr., Diamond Bar
P Raine Pohaku Kaheaku-Paiva, Claremont

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Claremont’s Conner Tolliver named to national team

Claremont High School offensive lineman Conner Tolliver has been named to the U.S. Under-18 National Team and which will will compete against Canada in the 2016 International Bowl at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Tolliver  was one of 56 athletes selected after an exhaustive process..

“I thought I did well and i know I worked hard but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” said Tolliver, who can play any position on the line. “It’s a great honor to get chosen and I’m excited about it.”

The 2016 International Bowl is a collaboration of the sport’s national governing bodies in each country – USA Football and Football Canada.

Tolliver first went to a two-day regional camp in Orange County back in the early spring.

After making that cut he advanced to a week-long regional development camp held at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

The final evaluation was made of players in three scrimmage games, one at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and two in other parts of the country.

Claremont defensive back Mato Pacheco was also selected to play on a select team in conjunction with the same event.

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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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Claremont football starting new era under new coach

Mike Collins was an institution at Claremont, heading the school’s football program for more than two decades. But he resigned during the off-season and the program is now in the hands of Jose Jarin, who had been on the staff the previous three years.

But there will not be a massive overhaul. In fact, most of Collins’ long-time assistants are staying on. Jarin couldn’t be more happy. Among those staying on is Terrance Lynch who will coach running backs and had served as Collins’ right-hand man.

Milo Epling will serve as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator while Ryan Capuzamo will be offensive coordinator. Both were on Collins’ staff for most of his tenure.

“This is like walking into the perfect home,” Jarin said. “The guys have all been great.”

There are plenty of quality players back too, enough that Jarin thinks his team could factor into the Palomares League race.

Among those coming back is junior running back Duy Tran-Sampson, who rushed for 1,525 yards and 14 touchdowns last year as a sophomore.

Among the other key offensiv e players returning are senior fullback Markelle Davis as well as three senior linemen, Conner Tolliver, Anthony Russo and Jonathan Gonzalez.

Claremont has always lived and died with its ground game but there is potential to throw with the arrival of new quarterback Raine Pohaku Paiva, a transfer from Paloma Valley who threw for 1,471 yards last year.

Top targets for the new signal caller will include senior Cameron Gray as well as sophomore newcomer Ben Lynch, son of the Claremont assistant, who caught 28 touchdown passes last year for the freshman team.

Jarin also expects good things from tight end Max Shapiro who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

“We’re going to add a dimension Claremont football hasn’t had in awhile,” Jarin said. “We’re excited about the potential we have and some of things we think we’ll be able to do.”

Top defenders will include sophomore linebacker Soloman Tuillapupu, who will replaced the graduated James Stephens, senior corner Mato Pacheco, defensive end Kamren Brown, junior end Ricky Sandoval and senior linebacker Damien Cannon.

Jarin also singled out kicker Jacob Olesniewicz, whom he expects to be one of the area’s best.



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Sierra League football honors

Athletes of the Year – Adam Goss, Sr., South Hills; Donavin Washington, Sr., Charter Oak; Eric Prevost, Sr., Charter Oak.
Offensive MVP – Zion Echols, Soph., Charter Oak
Defensive MVP – Trent Goens, Soph., Chino Hills

First team offense
QB Brian Meyette, Sr., Ayala
RB Kory Brown, Sr, Charter Oak
RB Brysen Charbonier, Jr., Chino Hills
RB Cecil Fleming, Sr., Claremont
RB Dylan Thigpen, Soph., Damien
OL Jordan Austin, Sr., Claremont
OL Ray Fathauer, Sr., Damien
OL Mike Green, Sr., Chino Hills
OL Alex Haston, Sr., Charter Oak
OL Dominic Johnson, Sr., South Hills
OL Tate Larson, Sr., Damien
WR Josh Dozal, Sr., Ayala
WR Chazz Eldridge, Sr., Chino Hills
WR Baron Franklin, Sr., Claremont
WR D’Angelo Ross, Sr., South Hills
WR Donovan Walker, Sr., Chino Hills
K Tristan Vizcaino, Sr., Damian
ST Tanner Carew, Sr., Damien

First team defense
DB Philip Afia, Jr., Ayala
DB Leroy Cloud, Sr., Damien
DB Carlos Delgado, Sr., South Hills
DB Chazz Eldridge, Sr., Chino Hills
DB Candy Nava, Sr., Charter Oak
LB Mason Behr, Sr., South Hills
LB Jose Bonilla, Sr., Charter Oak
LB Matt Chavez, Sr., South Hills
LB Josh Ferrer, Sr., Claremont
LB Nick Markarian, Jr., Ayala
LB Luke McKay, Jr., Chino Hills
LB Jason Ortiz, Jr., Charter Oak
LB Joe Provenzano, Sr., Damien
LB Anthony Rosales, Soph., Chino Hills
DL David Apodaca, Sr., Charter Oak
DL Khylan Brooks, Sr., Charter Oak
DL Matt Daley, Sr., Damien
DL Ryan Rodriguez, Sr., South Hills
DL Patrick Sanchez, Jr., Damien

Second team offense
QB Daniel Martinez, Sr., Chino Hills
RB Lawon Carney, Sr., South Hills
RB James Carter, Jr., Ayala
RB Craig Myers, Sr., Claremont
RB Brian Phelan, Jr., Ayala
OL Clay Garcelli, Jr., Chino Hills
OL Nico Jaffe, Sr., Claremont
OL Andrew Leadingham, Sr., South Hills
OL Parker Blakeslee, Sr., Claremont
OL Oscar Perez, Sr., Charter Oak
OL Andrew Posner, Sr., Ayala
WR Brandon Burnhem, Sr., Claremont
WR Carlos Delgado, Sr., South Hills
WR Andrew Herber, Sr., Chino Hills
WR Mackenzie Sternquist, Jr., Damien
WR Elijah Taylor, Sr., Chino Hills
K Tristan Gonzalez, Sr., South Hills

Second team defense
DB Alfonso Basurto, Sr., Ayala
DB Todd Green, Sr., Charter Oak
DB Tyrus Lineberger, Jr., Chino Hills
DB D’Angelo Ross, Sr., South Hills
DB Cameron Tyus, Sr., Claremont
LB Jacob Adams, Sr., Damien
LB Cody Darrow, Soph., Ayala
LB Stephen Schaap, Sr., Ayala
LB James Stephens, Sr., Claremont
LB Addison Whitham, Sr., Claremont
LB Conner Wilson, Soph., Chino Hills
DL Elijah Campbell, Jr., Ayala
DL Nick Carrillo, Sr., South Hills
DL Isaiah Flowers, Soph., Ayala
DL Nico Jaffe, Sr., Claremont
DL JP Lanathoua, Jr., Chino Hills

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