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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Diamond Bar keeps Branding Iron with rout of Walnut

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Diamond Bar coach Marcus Hughes with the rivalry trophy.

The Diamond Bar football team retained the Branding Iron, beating local rival Walnut 57-7 Friday night. It was the fifth straight win in the rivalry for the Brahmas.

The games in recent years haven’t been close as Diamond Bar was victorious last year 44-7 and 60-28 in 2013.

The first two in that stretch of five were competitive however with Diamond Bar winning 41-35 in double overtime in 2012 and 26-22 in 2011.

This year’s win brings the Brahmas to 2-0. They will be at home next Friday against San Dimas.

Meanwhile Walnut drops to 0-2 heading into a game next week against La Puente.

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Diamond Bar, Walnut prepping for rivalry game

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This is only the second year for Diamond Bar football coach Marcus Hughes. But he gets this rivalry thing.

The Brahmas will square off against Walnut on Friday night in the annual “Branding Iron” rivalry game and Diamond bar has won the last four.

“When you have it, you don’t want to be the team and coach that loses it,” he said. “It’s a very fun, friendly rivalry and it’s a game the community looks forward to every season.”

The Brahmas started the season with an impressive 44-13 win over Duarte.

Hughes singled out the performance of senior RB Dimaggio Rico who ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries. He also singled out the showing of QB Grant Mestas. The Brahmas had the game in hand so he didn’t have to throw much but he did a good job of managing the game.

Defensively the coach praised sophomore LB Ryan Vargas and junior CB Davion Bluitt.

The Brahmas also won the field possession battle thanks to the effort of kicker Anthony Vargas.

Walnut is having to regroup after losing its opener to Don Lugo 31-0.

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Diamond Bar football looks to regroup after tough season

Last year was a learning one for Marcus Hughes, who had just taken the helm of the Diamond Bar football program. It’s hard enough to come into a program new. Try coming in when you’re from another part of the country.

So the New York native comes into this season feeling a whole lot more comfortable.

Last year the Brahmas were also hit with some key injuries late in the season, many of those to skill position players.

“We’re light years ahead of where we were last year,” Hughes says. “Just having a whole off-season has been huge. “The learning curve when you’re from the outside is much steeper than people think.”

Much of the cast that contributed to last year’s 3-7 showing has graduated so this will be a young Brahma squad.

Hughes thinks the strength of this team will be in the offensive line which is led by senior David Omana, a three-year starter who is drawing some looks from smaller Division I colleges. Junior Bryan Kwon has moved from guard to center and will also be counted on heavily.

Junior Grant Mestas is the newcomer at quarterback. He directed the junior varsity team a year ago but did get some playing time on varsity late last season when starter Tyler Peterson was injured.

The entire backfield will be new. Hughes is looking at senior Dimaggio Rico, used primarily as a cornerback and return specialist, to shoulder much of the load.

The wide receiving core is also unproven but Hughes likes the potential. Top players there are sophomore Koby Duru, who is up from the freshman team, and junior J.C. Holmes, up from the junior varsity.

Top athletes on defense should include senior linebacker Connor Donohue, senior lineman Blake Goodman, who has made a transition from fullback, senior defensive end Andrew Gomez and defensive back Christian Kim.

A couple of sophomores are in pivotal positions on defense with Hughes singling out sophomores Ryan Vargas and Wayne Schuster who will be in the linebacking spots with Schuster a converted quarterback.

Hughes has taken over offensive coordinator duties and is changing up the offense. He will be looking to emphasize the run a bit more.

“Last year I took what I had been used to and tried to combine that with what they were used to here and it never really worked,” he said. “We as a coaching staff down and put thought into what was the best fit for our personnel.”

There is also a change defense as J.D. Thompson and Eddie Hernandez will coordinate that side of the ball. Hernandez was on staff last year as a line coach while Thompson is a new addition.

The Brahmas open the season on Friday against Duarte, which is coming off a 2-8 showing in 2014.

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Diamond Bar to go without twin brothers next two weeks

Diamond Bar coach Marcus Hughes has a huge dilemma on his hands. Senior twins Kyle and Tyler Peterson were both injured in last week’s 40-14 loss to South Hills. They won’t be available for this week’s game against Claremont or next week’s contest at Bonita either.

It isn’t just losing two seniors. It’s two seniors who play skill positions. And since they are both starters on both sides of the ball, it’s like losing four players.

“It’s definitely a big blow,” Hughes said. “I don’t know of many teams that can overcome that type of loss but no one is going to feel sorry for us. We just have to do the best we can and get other guys ready to play.”

Kyle, a receiver and linebacker, sprained an ankle in the first few minutes of the game while Tyler, a quarterback and free safety, took a hard hit and sustained a concussion. They both ended up in the hospital at the same time Friday night.

The Brahmas finished the game with versatile running back Antonio “Noodles” Hull at quarterback. He’ll likely be the player getting the call again this week.

Depth has become an issue and complicated the picture. The player who would have been the backup quarterback sustained an injury in the junior varsity game last week, the day before the varsity game.

A backup wide receiver, who probably would have seen additional playing time with Kyle getting hurt, is also out. So Hughes is trying to make a lineup out of what he has left.

“At least we had a week to work on what we’re going to do,” Hughes said. “It was really tough losing those guys early in that game, then having to make all the adjustments in game.”

Tyler had thrown for 397 yards and run for 492 more. On defense he has 19 tackles and an interception.

Kyle had 12 receptions for 177 yards. On defense he had 29 tackles and two sacks.

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Diamond Bar player commits to Northern Arizona

Versatile Diamond Bar High School football standout Tyler Brown has made a verbal commitment to Northern Arizona University, following a visit there the past weekend.

Brown, a first-team All-Hacienda League and all Inland Valley selection, rushed for 1,112 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 255 yards.

He was also a factor on special teams with four kickoff returns for 201 yards and a touchdown.

Brown also excelled on defense with 60 tackles from his defensive back position. He had four caused fumbles, 1 recovered fumble and an interception returned for a touchdown.

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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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