It is always fun to look back when a school year is over and reflect on the individuals and teams that made it a memorable run.
So just for fun here are athletes I’ll miss covering next year. Nothing against those not singled out here because I have enjoyed my interactions with all the coaches and athletes in the Inland Valley.
But there are some that have been so successful since their freshman year I have had more dealings with them then most. So here goes.
Bryce Peters, Damien basketball
He was a key player as a junior in helping the Spartans to a state championship but probably didn’t get the credit he deserved because of the more heralded seniors around him. This year he excelled in a starring role and it was nice to see him flourish in that role. He’s headed to Colorado State.
Kylie Miller, Rancho Cucamonga volleyball
She was a four-time first team All-Inland Valley selection and that’s an accolade very few can claim. There are few athlete more humble or soft-spoken but her talent did the talking. The Under Armour All-American is headed to UCLA.
Josh Thompson, Colony football
Grabbed the starting job early his sophomore year and never gave it up, leading Titans to a CIF title as a junior. Oh, and he did that in the title game after missing a month with a separated shoulder. He is about as tough as they come. I will never forget a Pomona player grabbing him by the face mask with such ferocity it turned the helmet all the way around. He got up without skipping a beat and was ready for the next play. He’s headed to Dixie State.
Jacob Beltran, Upland baseball
How can you not root for a kid that had brain surgery and went from having to learn to walk again to returning to the playing field in seven months. We have all heard the tragic stories of athletes who collapsed on the playing field and didn’t make it. So it is nice to have a happy ending. He’s probably headed to a community college, since he missed is entire junior season.
Mikey Dean, Chaffey football/track
Who doesn’t love Mikey Dean? Guys that small shouldn’t be able to do what he does both on the football field and the track. Rushing for a ton of yardage is one thing. But taking up a new track event – long jump – this year and then placing at state in California which has so many elite athletes. Well, that pretty much says it all. He is headed to Idaho State where he’ll compete in both sports.
Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills basketball
There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. I have been covering high school sports for 30 or so years (yes I am aging myself) but I have never enjoyed watching a player or a team as much as I did the Ball and the Huskies. The last thing I remember close was seeing Deion Sanders in high school in my Florida tenure. I definitely don’t remember the last time i saw an athlete with such a complete skill set at such a young age. Can’t wait to see Lonzo doing his thing at Pauley Pavilion for the UCLA Bruins.