No. 1 Summit over Paloma Valley
La Quinta over Colony
Wildomar Elsinore over Colton
No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde over Chaffey
Riverside North over No. 3 Kaiser
Palm Springs over Temescal Canyon
Riverside Arlington over Chino
No. 2 Menifee Heritage over Palm Desert
No. 1 Summit over La Quinta
Wildomar Elsinore over No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde
Riverside North over Palm Springs
No. 2 Menifee Heritage over Riverside Arlington
For the third season in a row, Colony and Chino enter their meeting with perfect Mt. Baldy League records. Since Chino entered the league in 2010, the matchup between the Cowboys (6-2, 4-0) and Colony (6-3, 5-0) has determined the league champion each season. This year appears to be no different.
League of their own: Colony is the defending league champion after grinding out a 24-16 win over Chino last season on the way to a semifinal appearance in the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs. In 2010, it was Chino that emphatically won league with a 49-20 pasting of Colony. The two seem more evenly matched this season than the previous two years, creating plenty of intrigue for tonight’s matchup.
“When the same two teams square off every year for the league championship,” Colony coach Steve Randall said, “the rivalry develops itself.”
Matt McCain has resigned as the Chino High School athletic director but will continue his duties as head football coach at the school from which he graduated in 1990. After seven years as the athletic director, McCain decided over the summer to step down for reasons that didn’t include issues with his workload.
“The administration will have the opportunity to hire a new athletic director of their choice that shares their vision on what it takes to run a successful athletic program,” McCain said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done here since I’ve been athletic director. I think we’ve made a lot of great strides.”
Chino tennis coach Michael Hinkle was approved as the new athletic director at the Oct. 4 school board meeting. Hinkle, a teacher at Chino for the last 10 years, has coached the girls tennis team the last seven seasons and the boys team for the last four seasons.
Prepare for the Mt. Baldy League to be flipped upside down this season.
Well, maybe judgement should be reserved for at least another week.
The three teams that finished at the bottom of the seven-team league last season currently sit at the top. The one caveat: Mt. Baldy League play hasn’t begun yet.
As far as the postseason goes, nothing accomplished to this point matters as each team gets a fresh start when league play begins Friday night.
Through four games, the only winless team in the league is defending champion Colony. The team with the best nonleague record is Garey, which didn’t win a game during the entire 2011 season. Equaling Garey’s 3-1 mark is Montclair, which went 1-5 in league play last season.
Of course, you can’t pick your opponents once league play begins.
“This is the toughest nonleague schedule in Colony’s league history,” Colony coach Steve Randall said. “I still think we’re one of the better teams in the league. And I think we’re going in the right direction.”
A new coach, an emergency quarterback and the toughest schedule in school history. There are several places to look for an explanation for Colony High School’s 0-3 start to the football season.
Steve Randall literally was drawing up plays in the dirt during summer passing league. The former Ontario head coach wasn’t hired by Colony until the end of May, which allowed him two weeks of practice prior to a dead period. Of course, the quarterback who threw for him during passing league transferred out of Colony, along with one of his best receivers, just prior to the season.
“We’ve been behind the eight ball ever since,” Randall said. “This isn’t the start anybody taking over a program would want. We’re just trying to play catch-up.”
After a turnover-marred loss in Week 0 and a blowout victory last week, Chino (1-1) will figure out much more about the caliber of its football team tonight against a young Oak Hills (1-0) program that just seems to keep getting better.
Open and shut: The Cowboys entered the season as one of the favorites in the Mt. Baldy League, but a 22-14 loss to a Diamond Ranch team they scored 41 points against in last season’s opener brought that status into question.
Chino, however, did plenty to beat themselves. An interception on the Diamond Ranch 1-yard line late in the game and a roughing the punter penalty that cost the Cowboys possession deep in enemy territory were the two most glaring mistakes.
“We might have been living in the past a little bit and thought that we didn’t have to come out and play hard every week,” Chino head coach Matt McCain said. “But that loss could turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to us.”
The Garey football team looked pristine in its new uniforms during a season-opening victory over Pomona Friday night, but not all is as it appears.
The Vikings’ varsity and freshman teams are surviving on the practice field with just 10 footballs and 63 helmets between them. Several of the helmets are too big to fit any of the current players and there are only 40 new varsity uniforms.
In dire need when he arrived in April, first-year head coach Al Brown requested some new equipment but a change in athletic directors since last school year delayed the purchase of some essentials until the arrival of a new athletic director in August. Of course, funding is the larger hurdle.
“Money is tight and when you come to a program that hasn’t been doing well, there’s just not a lot here,” Brown said. “The administration is working from every angle to get everything I asked for. They’re using money from different accounts and we’re doing as many fund raisers as we can.”
Too early to tell: Was Ayala’s 46-17 win over Diamond Bar on Friday more due to the Bulldogs’ offseason leap forward or Diamond Bar’s influx of undeveloped youth? With all the preseason lauding of Ayala, I imagined it would be significantly better than last year’s three-win squad but didn’t expect a 29-point season-opening victory over a respectable Diamond Bar team. Perhaps it’s more of an indication that Diamond Bar will take a small step back this season as it integrates some young, but promising players. The Brahmas didn’t help by failing to recover four onside kicks in the game.
One short of a dozen: Garey snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 21-19 season-opening victory against Pomona Friday in the debut of head coach Al Brown, the longtime Diamond Ranch offensive coordinator. Of the handful of downtrodden programs in the area, Garey seems to have the most potential. The Vikings were winless last season but are just a year removed from making the playoffs. Garey takes on Carter in two weeks, but could enter Mt. Baldy League play at 3-1.
Ike joining city movement: Carter and Rialto experienced a renaissance last season. Under new coach Vinny Fazio, Eisenhower hopes to join the city movement. If a 54-0 victory last week over Alta Loma is any indication, perhaps the Eagles are ahead of schedule. Alta Loma is no titan, but Eisenhower couldn’t have dominated the game much more thoroughly. It led 47-0 at the half. We’ll find more this week about the Eagles when Ike takes on Rialto.
There has been an easy game to circle on the Mt. Baldy League schedule the last two seasons. A couple of coaching changes within the league and a few departed players may make the circle a little larger this year.
Since Chino entered the league two years ago, the Cowboys have played Mt. Baldy League power Colony for the title each season. Defending league champion Colony will have to regain its footing after the departure of coach Matt Bechtel and the reigning league offensive MVP, quarterback Matt Simko, who transferred to Chino Hills. Chino’s bid to stay at the top rests heavily on its ability to replace three-year starters at quarterback and running back.
“The last couple of years you could tell there was one dominant team in the league,” Chaffey coach Chris Brown said. “Chino had a group of Division I skill players two years ago. Colony was the dominant team last year with their two quarterbacks. This year it doesn’t seem like there’s one obvious dominant team.”