Pomona’s Denario Critton headed to Northern Colorado

Denario Critton isn’t worried about going to college far from home.

The Pomona High School football standout feels like he’s going through that process right now since he moved from his native Atlanta to live with an uncle here because he thought it would mean better exposure to colleges.

Critton, who excelled both as defensive back and wide receiver, has signed with Division 1-AA Northern Colorado after visiting that school earlier this month.

“I really liked the chemistry between the players and the coaching staff,” he said. “It seemed like one big family and i felt comfortable there.”

Critton said he prefers to play wide receiver. The school is bringing him in to play on the defensive side of the ball and he says he’ll play where the team needs him.

Northern Colorado was the only school Critton visited but he had also been talking to San Jose State and San Diego State.

He plans to major in business or engineering.

Critton held the Red Devils to a 10-3 finish that included a Miramonte League title and a berth in the Mid-Valley Division semifinal where they lost to eventual champion Sierra Canyon.

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Little drama left in Miramonte League in football playoff picture

Ganesha quarterback John Mosqueda is taken down by Pomona's Javaris Steward and Brian Lamb at Pomona High School in Pomona, CA., Friday, October 16, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

There is very little left up for grabs come Friday night in the Miramonte League.

Reigning CIF champion Pomona (7-2, 3-0) is already assured of at least a share of the league title and since it has already beaten Bassett (6-3, 3-1) it has secured the top seeding out of the league as well.

Pomona will be finishing the regular season with a home game against La Puente (3-6, 1-2) Friday night.

The Red Devils, ranked fourth in the Mid-Valley Division, have won five straight games. Throw out the forfeit win against Garey and Pomona has outscored its last four foe by a cumulative 230-44. It has been ridiculously easy.

Ganesha (6-3, 1-2) is the team still on the bubble but with the easiest game left. The Giants have a road game at Garey (1-8, 0-3) and can assure themselves third place with a victory because even if La Puente was to upset Pomona, Ganesha beat La Puente head to head.

A third-place team in the five-team league is not guaranteed a playoff berth but Ganesha coach Don Cayer says he has it on good authority that if his team wins it will be in because there are four at-large berths in the division.

Ganesha hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997 and hasn’t won six games since the same year. If there is any danger of the Giants looking past their city rival they need to look back only as far as last year when they were in similar situation and lost to Garey 19-7.

“There is definitely unfinished business,” Cayer said. “Our guys haven’t forgotten.”

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Pomona football team looking to repeat with new cast

Dec 5 2014. Lancaster CA. Pomona football team holds the CIF award, during the CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division football final as Pomona took the win 37 to 29 over Paraclete. Photo by Gene Blevins/LA DailyNews

The Pomona High School football team can no longer get away with flying under the radar. Last year the Red Devils won their first CIF title since 1951, capturing the Mid-Valley Championship.

So head coach Keith Richardson’s team is now the hunted not the hunter. The Red Devils also graduated 20 or so players, some of them key contributors on both sides of the ball so their loss is even more costly.

The pressure is, no doubt, on.

“We know people are focusing more on us this year,” Richardson said. “We have to rise to the challenge. We have some very good players but they may not be ones people know right now.”

The Red Devils (11-4 last year) did inherit a couple of transfers who will be counted on heavily. One of those is senior quarterback Aaron Sandoval who came over from Chino Hills and will be the starter.

Sandoval’s arrival will allow Darreon Lockett, to slide over to a receiver slot for which he is better suited. Lockett will also see time on defense.

“He is one of those players that can help you in a lot of places,” Richardson said of Lockett. “But this is more of a true position for him.”

The other big new arrival is senior Chris Jackson, the top player last year at Garey who will also play at wide receiver and defensive back.

Other key newcomers are junior wide receiver Ricky Lua, brother of Manny who was a key player on last year’s team, as well as senior Denario Critton who competed in track last year but did not play football.

Among the holdovers from the title-winning team are senior linebacker-safety Brian Lamb, senior offensive lineman Christopher Mendez and junior lineman Joel Trujillo.

Leonard Hudson is back as offensive coordinator but Richardson will no longer be defensive coordinator so he can oversee the entire game. John Brown, who was on staff, will head the defense.

Pomona starts the new season on Aug. 28 at Oak Hills. It begins defense of its Miramonte League title on Oct. 16 against city foe Ganesha.

 

 

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Pomona’s Kheenyon Woods headed to Montana State

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Pomona High School’s Kheenyon Woods didn’t sign with New Mexico State after all. He has opted to go to Montana State instead, according to Red Devils Keith Richardson.

“He really liked the coach there and changed his mind,” Richardson said of Woods’ change in plans.

Woods was a jack-of-all trades in helping the school to an 11-4 record and Mid-Valley Division championship. He caught 12 passes for 287 yards and 6 touchdowns and ran for 440 and five touchdowns on just 34 tries.

He was also an integral factor on defense with 66 tackles and 5 interceptions.

Woods was a first-team All-Miramonte League selection.

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Keith Richardson has interim label removed at Pomona High

Keith Richardson is expected to be named head football coach at Pomona High School. The move will be finalized at the board meeting on March 5, Pomona Athletic Director Albert Abdou said.

“It’s the right thing. He deserved that,” Abdou said.

Richardson had been serving as defensive coordinator but took over the reigns when previous coach Aaron Jamieson was put on administrative leave the day before the first playoff game.

When Jamieson was ushered out the players were polled to see who they wanted to lead them the rest of the way and Richardson was the choice.

He led the Red Devils all the way to the Mid-Valley Division championship and was later named that division’s CIF Coach of the Year.

“It’s nice to know I have their trust,” he said. “We’re going to try and keep it going and build on what we did last year.

Richardson said he expects little to change. He is keeping the same staff, which includes Leonard Hudson as offensive coordinator.

The Red Devils are graduating some key players but have several good ones coming back including junior quarterback Darreon Lockett.

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Pomona’s Kheenyon Woods headed to New Mexico State

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Kheenyon Woods makes tackle in title game against Lancaster Paraclete.

Pomona High School’s Kheenyon Woods will be signing with New Mexico State next week, Red Devils interim coach Keith Richardson said.

Woods was a jack-of-all trades in helping the school to a Mid-Valley Division championship. He caught 12 passes for 287 yards and 6 touchdowns and ran for 440 and five touchdowns on just 34 tries.

He was also an integral factor on defense with 66 tackles and 5 interceptions.

Woods was a first-team All-Miramonte League selection.

 

 

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Pomona football duo earns statewide honor

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Shawn Wilson and Andre Walker were a big part of Pomona High School’s run to a Mid-Valley Division CIF championship.

Now the two have earned a pretty nice honor in recognition of that.

Both have been named to the MaxPreps California Division III All-State team which includes athletes from all over the rather large geographic area.

Wilson was named to the “Second Team Offense.” He caught 50 passes for 1,375 yards and 19 touchdowns which help earned him our Inland Valley Offensive Player of the Year honor.

Wilson, who has committed to Oregon State, also played full time at defensive back and will probably be playing that position in college.

Walker was named to the “Second Team Defense.” He made 183 tackles and tallied 12 sacks. He was the CIF Mid Valley Division Defensive Player of the Year and was also a Daily Bulletin first team All-Inland Valley selection.

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Keith Richardson deserves Pomona football coaching nod

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It seems there is another football coaching opening every week.

There are vacancies at Diamond Ranch, Chino, Alta Loma and Claremont with Pomona also trying to decide what to do after its coach Aaron Jamieson was put on administrative leave right before the Red Devils first playoff game.

The Pomona position should be a no-brainer. Keith Richardson deserves that position.

When Jamieson was told to go away, the players were given the opportunity to vote for who they wanted to lead them the rest of the way. They chose Richardson, who had been the defensive coordinator. That spoke volumes.

All Richardson did was steer the team to the Mid-Valley Division championship. You can’t do better than that. Yes the Red Devils had some marvelously talented players, but Richardson kept the team on course when the adversity could have spelled the end to that title hope.

Let’s hope the right decision is forthcoming.

 

 

 

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Valle Vista League football honors

San Dimas beats Paraclete for Mid-Valley Division title

(No positions or grades for players were given)

MVP – Darreon Lockett, Pomona
Lineman of Year – Jared Trujillo San Dimas
MVP Offense – Joseph Mayorga, San Dimas
MVP Defense – Darryl Aggers, Pomona

First team offense
Shawn Wilson, Pomona
Desmond Bobo, Pomona
Jayson Miller, Baldwin Park
Fasuto Martinez, San Dimas
Pearnell Smally IV, Covina
Darren Torres, Covina
Mike Moran, Bladwin Park
Bryan Salinas, Northview
Mike Zapata, San Dimas
Fidel Castro, San Dimas
Ruben Retana, Covina
Victor Valdez, Pomona
Noah Reep, San Dimas
Dylan Mora, Baldwin Park

First team defense
Desmond Bobo, Pomona
Shawn Wilson, Pomona
Erick Ware, San Dimas
Kheeyon Woods, Pomona
Jared Brito, Northview
Erasmo Isiorida, Northview
Bobby Rios, San Dimas
Anthony Urrea, Covina
Bryan Salinas, Northview
Josiah Erickson, San Dimas
Darren Torres, Covina
Brian Torres, Pomona

Second team offense

Raymond Baraza, Baldwin Park
Christian Padilla, Covina
Daniel Valencia, Northview
Josh Avila, San Dimas
Christian Blackman, Northview
Manny Lua, Pomona
James Gonzalez, Nogales
Matt Arellano, Nogales
Francisco Perez, Baldwin Park
Alex Arroyas, Pomona
Jaron Reed, Northview
Luis Palma, Baldwin Park
Ben Rodriguez, Covina
Jared Brito, Northview
Colin Rumbin, San Dimas

Second team defense
Daniel Valencia, Northview
Christian Padilla, Covina
Nicholas Ybarra, Northview
Jacob Martin, Nogales
Victor Valdez, Pomona
Derek Kearns, San Dimas
Libner Castillo, Pomona
David Valadez, Covina
Max Flores, Northview
Mitchell Giles, San Dimas
Michael Roberts, Covina
Ricky Padilla, Northview

Honorable mention – Chris Salcido, San Dimas; Justin Padilla, Baldwin Park; Erik Williams, Covina; Ricky Beltran, San Dimas; Dequan Earl, Pomona; Anthony Guardado, Nogales; Robert Conway, Wilson; Jaron Reed, Northview; Aaron Ballard, Wilson; Jason Wallace, San Dimas; Rocky Mosqueda, Nogales; Andrew Guevara, Covina; Erik Hurrola, Wilson; Anthony Montez, Pomona; Ronnie Silva; Alberto Valenzuela, Baldwin Park; Mateo Ovalle, Nogales; Austin Maldonado, Wilson; Ryan Caveness, Covina; Oscar Sandoval, Wilson.

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