For those who wonder if they run cross country in the rain, the answer is definitely yes.
The CIF-SS Finals were held as scheduled, but on the rain course at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday.
Three Inland Valley teams qualified for state by finishing in the top seven in their race: Rancho Cucamonga boys in Division 1, Claremont boys in Division 2 and Ayala girls in Division 2.
In addition, Colony’s Xochitl Navarrete (girls Division 2) and Nick Valenzuela (boys Division 2), Bonita’s Marissa Scott (girls Division 3) and Webb’s Bailey Stockdale (boys Division 5) all qualified for the state meet as individuals, which is next Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Webb filled its head football coaching vacancy with last week by hiring Ray Fenton, whose resume includes a CIF-SS Southwest Division championship in 2007 and four appearances in the semifinals in five years at Cypress.
Fenton showed interest in the Webb position only after receiving a reduction in force notice from Cypress for the second consecutive year, meaning his position could be eliminated. Webb athletic director Steve Wishek, who is thrilled to have a coach of Fenton’s caliber, actually rebuffed Fenton’s first attempt at contact with Webb upon hearing he was a physical education teacher.
“We don’t have P.E. so I kind of gave him the cold shoulder,” Wishek said. “Then I noticed on the OC Register Website that Cypress had a coach in the top 10 coaches of the decade and thought ‘Didn’t I get a call from a guy from Cypress?’ That’s when it clicked.”
Over 30 people applied for the position vacated by Robbie von Pertz on Jan. 23 for medical reasons. Wishek was surprised at the high level of applicants, estimating only about two applicants were less than qualified.
Webb High School’s Jacob Waas, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior, has verbally committed to play football at UC Davis. Waas was an All-CIF running back for Webb this season but will play exclusively defensive end for UC Davis, whose football team competes in the FCS, formerly known as Division I-AA.
Waas, a first team All-Prep League selection in 2008 and 2009, chose UC Davis among scholarship offers from Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins and the University of San Diego.
In my recent interview with Upland’s Tim Salter for the football Coach of the Year story, I wasn’t asking all the questions. Fresh off a CIF championship, the Upland coach, who is one of the most engaging in the Inland Valley, had a question for me.
“Why weren’t we in your preseason Top 10?”
A valid question, to say the least, given that the Highlanders lost two games by a total of five points this season on the way to a CIF title. Ironically, with one spot left in my preseason Top 10, I was debating between two teams: Upland and Los Osos – the two that eventually squared off in the CIF-SS Central Division championship game. I gave the spot to Los Osos, which seemed to have lost slightly less from its star-studded 2008 team.
Recalling my preseason efforts, or lack thereof, I thought I’d do final rankings based on all that transpired in the 2009 season. Not just a Top 10 but a slotting of every team in the Daily Bulletin coverage area…
Webb senior Chris Sazo was named Division 6 player of the year on Monday and Tom MacKinlay, coach of Webb’s 2008 CIF championship team, earned coach of the year honors. Two of Sazo’s teammates – Chandler Talleur and Matt Abrams – were named first team all-CIF.
CIF-SS Division 5 finalist Los Osos landed three players on the first team: Sean Evans, Tyler Abbott and Dominic Vicino. On the Division 3 first team are Damien’s David Purington and Eric Osterberg following the Spartans run to the semifinals.