The Don Lugo volleyball team is celebrating a Mt. Baldy League title and it has been a long time coming. In fact, it is believed to a first in the sport for the Conquistadores.
This should have come easy but didn’t. On the court the Conquistadores went undefeated in league play but they had to forfeit four matches, three of those Mt. Baldy matches, due to incorrect information provided on what was later ruled an eligible transfer.
So officially Don Lugo is 11-8 overall, 9-3 in league. It looked like the team would have to settle for a tie for first but when Chino knocked off Colony the last match of the season it gave the Conquistadores an unshared title. Call it poetic justice.
The rise of the program has come thanks in part to the arrival of the Chino Volleyballerz, a club team started by Don Lugo coach Eve Knowles who had recently moved into the area and was looking for a place for daughter Ayana to play. There wasn’t one so she started one. That’s never an easy chore.
When the Don Lugo position opened she was asked to take it and she did.
Like other sports, volleyball has become a year-round game. You can’t compete unless the balance of your team plays year-round. Clubs provide feeder programs for area high schools and colleges but you can’t control who goes where. So as a club coach you could be grooming players for rival high schools. So those who work with clubs are doing it for the advancement of the sport as much as anything.
Hopefully the progress of the Don Lugo program and the Chino club program will be the catalyst for improvement in other Inland Empire programs as well. That would benefit everybody.
Colony High School football coach Steve Randall stood on the field at Chaffey a half hour from kickoff talking about his senior running back Devan Imbach. To play him or not to pay him.
Imbach sustained a stress fracture three weeks ago and has missed the last couple of games. Fortunately for Randall and the Titans those games were against lesser foes.
But Randall was debating whether to play Imbach on Friday against the Tigers. He left the decision on suiting up to Imbach so Randall knew what would happen. He was dressing out.
But Randall said his trainers are keeping an eye on the star player.
Randall said he’d like to get him in the game for a few carries rather than have him try and play in next week’s game against Chino, which could be for a Mt. Baldy League title, without having carried the ball for month.
He’s a gamer so if it’s up to him he’ll get in.
“He’s one of those guys we have to save from himself,” Randall said.
The Don Lugo High School volleyball team has had to forfeit three Mt. Baldy League wins, athletic director Joe Marcos confirmed.
So instead of being 8-5 overall and 6-0 in league play, the Conquistadores are 5-8 and 3-3 heading into today’s match against Chaffey.
Don Lugo has never won a league title in volleyball. It is ranked No. 5 in Division 4-AA.
Marcos said the forfeits are the result of a paperwork error that is the result of incorrect information forwarded with the players’ transcript. The matter has been cleared up and the player, a transfer from Ontario, is eligible to play again.
It’s been quite a week for the Ontario High School football team. Coach Ron Stocking stepped down on Saturday a day after his team won its Mt. Baldy opener against Garey.
Athletic director Ryan Alvarez stepped in to try and pick up where Stocking, who got a more financially stable job not in the education field, had left off.
Alvarez admitted Monday was a little hectic but things started settling down on Tuesday. He said his players were adapting as well as can be expected.
“They are doing better than what most adults in the same situation,” he said. “I have been very proud of the way they have carried on. It says a lot about the type of kids they are.”
Alvarez said he won’t change anything when it comes to strategy or game plan and he’ll rely heavily on offensive coordinator Bo Hust and defensive coordinator James Hutch who had worked with Stocking.
“They’re both great young coaches. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he said.
Unfortunately the change comes right before what may be the toughest game of the season – against defending Mt. Baldy champion Chino.
And the Jaguars will be without quarterback Edgar Murillo who is still nursing a knee injury. Sophomore Cameron Poe will fill in.
No doubt the team’s tenacity is being tested.
Ontario High School is the first school to change football coaches this season as Ron Stocking has resigned. Stocking, 30, got a job offer in another sector that was too good to pass up.
The team was told on Saturday. Stocking said the players were understanding and supportive of his decision which made it that much more difficult.
Athletic director Ryan Alvarez, who has coached in the lower levels of the program the last several years, will serve as interim coach the remainder of the season. He says he’ll rely heavily on his offensive and defensive coordinators.
Stocking was not on staff at the school, something pretty much unheard of for a head football coach at any school nowadays. He said he was hoping a teaching position would open up but that never happened. One really can’t blame him if a job came up that made for better financial stability for his family.
The Jaguars were 5-15 in his two previous years and were 1-4 this season, that win coming Friday when they opened Mt. Baldy League play with a win over Garey.
Being new to the prep beat I have had limited dealings with Stocking but he seemed like a good guy who genuinely cared about his players. I wrote a feature on one the Jaguar players earlier this month, senior Christian Beltran. Beltran spoke very highly of Stocking and his entire coaching staff so I can go on that.
Next up for Ontario is a showdown with defending league champion Chino this Friday.
Montclair High School’s Fernando Soto gave new meaning to the words playing through pain.
The junior, who plays linebacker but also serves as the team’s long snapper, played much of the second half of the 38-6 win over San Gabriel with a broken ankle.
Coach T.J. Fiorenza says he was without his backup long snapper too because his backup was unable to make the game.
Soto apparently broke the ankle while playing defense and was hobbling around so much so that the officials told Fiorenza the player couldn’t be out on the field.
Undeterred the player “snuck” his way onto the field to handle his long-snapping duties.
Fiorenza also singled out the play of senior corner back-wide receiver Drew Gonzales, a transfer FROM Upland. The school was waiting for word on his eligibility from the CIF and that didn’t come until the day of the game. Because of that the coaches weren’t counting on him but got a great contribution.
The Cavaliers (1-0) host Alta Loma (0-1) on Thursday.
Al Brown knew he had his work cut out for him when he took the head football job at Garey High School 17 or so months ago.
The school hasn’t fared well in athletic circles recently, the exception being soccer. The feeder system isn’t exactly strong and the athletes it has drawn haven’t been well-versed in the sport. So right now he’ll take the small victories.
Brown is optimistic, as all coaches are this time of season. A year ago there were just 50 players in the program so the school didn’t field a junior varsity team. That number has swelled to 100 this year. That is reason enough for hope.
Spent some time today with the Colony High School football team, headed by second year coach Steve Randall.
All say there is a bit more unity and camaraderie this year. Randall took over in the spring last year and word is that last year’s seniors really never bought in and had their own agenda. I guess we’ll see.
The Titans have a new offensive coordinator in Kevin Davis and will be running an up-tempo no-huddle offense. That should be exciting for the spectators. QB Jonathan Trucks will be the catalyst, along with all-everything standout Devan Imbach who will be a factor on both sides of the ball.
The Titans are coming off a 7-5 showing, that included a second-round playoff berth. Randall was pleased with that all things considered, but knows at Colony there are higher expectations.
There is no tie to waste as the Titans have a game on Aug. 23 against Rancho Cucamongna. The first home game will be Sept. 6 against Corona.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Miranda Viramontes, Chino, Jr., Pitcher
Miranda Viramontes may have produced the same end result as last season, but rest assured, the path was entirely different.
It is a testament to the pitcher’s talent that she led her team through a playoff gauntlet to a CIF championship as an inexperienced sophomore in 2012. It was practically unfair for opponents this season.
Having not just a year under her belt, but a run through the playoffs chock-full of tense one-run games, Viramontes’ postseason performance in 2013 was off the charts. In the playoffs alone, the junior pitched a no-hitter and three one-hitters, one of which netted a 4-0 win over Lakewood in the CIF-SS Division 2 championship game on June 1.
The lone playoff game Viramontes allowed more than one hit was a nine-inning 2-1 victory.
“I don’t think this season could have ended up any better,” Viramontes said. “With my record and my numbers and where we ended up as a team, it was just unbelievable.”
Miranda Viramontes was destined for awards beyond the CIF-SS championship plaque she hoisted on June 1. The only playoff game that wasn’t a no-hitter or a one-hitter for the Chino pitcher was a 2-1 semifinal win. The junior’s shutout in the title game awarded Chino its second consecutive CIF championship to which Viramontes added a CIF-SS Division 2 Player of the Year award today. Chino coach Mike Smith was awarded Coach of the year in Division 2 after a 29-2 season that was unquestionably the best in school history.
To view all-CIF teams for baseball and softball, click the link below.