San Dimas’ Jarell Sykes also excelling on defense

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Senior Jarell Sykes of San Dimas is most noted for his efforts on offense. He has rushed for 3,304 yards and 42 touchdowns the last three years. He had 2,129 of that last year in helping the Saints to the Mid-Valley championships game,

But second-year head coach Mark Holman has been pleased with Sykes play on defense as well. Last week the Saints shut out Diamond Bar 49-0 and Sykes was a big part of that for his defensive efforts against Brahmas junior Shane Wells, the top receiver in the Inland Valley.

Wells has 34 catches for 530 yards and caught passes for more than 100 yards in Diamond Bar’s first four games. Last week Sykes, who moved over from safety to corner, held Wells to three receptions for 21 yards.

“We thought that was our best shot,” Holman said of putting Sykes on Wells. “That was our Plan A and we had a Plan B but we didn’t have to go to it.”

Sykes, an All-Inland Valley selection last year, has drawn some interest from some lower Division I schools as a running back but Holman is trying to sell his player on defense and working on putting together film on him there in hopes of landing him higher profile offers.

“I think he’d be great where ever you put him but there are a lot of running backs out there and a lot fewer guys that can play defense like he can,” Holman said.

San Dimas (4-0), ranked third in Division 8, plays Thursday night against California High of Whittier which is 3-1 but has beaten three teams that are a combined 0-15.

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San Dimas, Ontario football teams set for Thursday night game

The game between Ontario (0-2) and host San Dimas (2-0) was originally scheduled for Friday but the move to 7 p.m. on Thursday was necessitated by not having enough officials to cover all the Friday night games.

The officials association reached out to some schools to see who would be interested in moving a game to Thursday and San Dimas was happy to oblige. Of course the Saints did so after checking with their opponent which didn’t have a problem with the move either.

Ontario just opened an on-campus stadium this year but has a permanent road team previously the Jaguars have always played a lot of Thursday games.

“It really didn’t make a difference to us,” Ontario coach John Kusleika said. “If that’s what they needed to do we were fine with it.”

Ontario is still looking for its first win of the season after being dealt a 56-28 loss by much-improved Nogales last week. The Jaguars turned the ball over four times which led to 21 Nogales points.

San Dimas is coming off a 55-14 shellacking of Maranatha and has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 97-28.

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Sykes, San Dimas football looks to keep the ball rolling

Jarell Sykes of San Dimas carries the ball for a first down in Valle Vista League action against the Covina Colts. The Saints shut out the Colts in the first half 28-0 Friday, October 30, 2015, at Covina District Field.

Senior running back Jarell Sykes (above) will again lead the charge for the San Dimas Saints.

The San Dimas football team is coming off quite the season. The Saints marched all the way to the Mid-Valley title game before falling to Sierra Canyon.

The Saints have more than enough talent to get to another title game, although the Mid-Valley Division is gone and a new playoff alignment is in place.

“I really like what we have,” second-year head coach Mark Holman says. “We have a lot of players that had really great off-seasons. We think we can pick up where we left off.”

Of course the Saints (10-4 in 2015) are going to do what they do well – run the football. And why not when you have a quality back like Jarell Sykes returning. He ran for 2,129 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and was the catalyst of the 12th-ranked rushing team in the state. Oh yeah, Sykes is also a top defensive player.

Among the other returning veterans on offense are senior quarterback Joey Tamayo, senior lineman Abbas Darwiche, a three- year starter, and junior lineman Pablo Donoso.

Holman is also high on junior tight end Andre Zarate, senior wide receiver Josh Marquez, junior running back Noah Maldanado and senior running backs Daniel Jackson and Kai Rodriguez.

San Dimas head coach Mark Holman has the Saints back in the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division semifinals.
(Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

“I’m more excited about our offense than I was last year,” Holman added. “We have more options so it doesn’t have to be all one guy.”

On defense Holman will be counting on many of the same players – most notably Darwiche and Sykes.

He singles out junior middle linebacker Dylan Ware as the best pure athlete on the squad.

Other major contributors will include junior lineman A.J. Placentia, senior outside linebacker Evan Haas and senior  Anthony Bernal who has excelled at both linebacker and free safety.

Holman is looking for his team to get off to a better start. It was only 2-2 through the first four games last year and one of those was the Smudge Pot loss to Bonita, something else he hopes to avenge.

The Saints also settled for second place in the Valle Vista League behind Northview.

The new season starts on Aug. 26 with that rivalry game at Bonita.

“We haven’t won that in a few years so we’re due,” he said. “For whatever reason we always seem to get off to a slow start. We’d really like to change that.”

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San Dimas senior Josiah Erickson earns state honor

San Dimas High School senior Josiah Erickson has been named first-team All State (Small Schools) by CalHiSports.

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Erickson, a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder, earlier earned All-CIF honors as well as All-Inland Valley honors. He registered 158 tackles, 18 of those for a loss. He also managed 15 sacks, three fumbles cause and three fumbles recovered.

Erickson was a three-year starter, helping the Saints to a 10-4 record and a berth in the CIF Mid-Valley Division title game the past season.

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Valle Vista League honors: Football

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MVP – Antwuan Ayers, Jr., Northview
Lineman of Year – Youssef Hanna, Sr., San Dimas
MVP Offense – Steven Comstock, Soph., Northview
MVP Defense – Josiah Erickson, Sr., San Dimas

First team offense
Receivers
– Dominic Ramirez, Northview; Christopher Rodriguez, Rowland; Hakim Williams, Covina
Backs – Andrew Apodaca, Covina; David Barragan, Covina; Andres Hooper, Northview; Edward Siapno, San Dimas; Jarell Sykes, San Dimas.
Offensive line – Nathan Aceves, San Dimas; Charles Anderson, Rowland; Johnathan Guardado, Nogales; Jael Martinez, Northview; Anthony Padilla, Northview; Daniel Sanchez, Covina.
Tight end – Nathan Reep, San Dimas.

First team defense
Backs
– Paul Cooper, Northview; Andrew Guzman, Covina; Andres Hooper, Northview; Jarell Sykes, Jr., San Dimas.
Defensive line – Mbanefo Akpom, San Dimas; Dominic Cortez, San Dimas; Anthony Esquivel, Rowland; Zion Maae, Covina.
Linebackers – Elijah Grijalva, Northview; Andrew Leyva, Rowland; Steven Ojeda, San Dimas; Matt Vidrio, Covina.

Second team offense
Receivers
– Paul Cooper, Northview; James Gray, Nogales; Kevin Hynes, Covina; Eric Williams, Covina.
Backs – Richard Campos, Rowland; Cameron Egalin, Nogales; Jonathan Gonzalez, Wilson; Elijah Grijalva, Northview; Keenan Romney, Nogales.
Offensive line – Adam Cardenas, Wilson; Nathan Collier, San Dimas; Pablo Donoso, San Dims; Danny Galvez, Northview; Andrew Ramirez, Wilson; Jackson Serna, Northview.
Tight end – Dorian Roninson, Covina.

Second team defense
Backs
– Alec Alvarez, Covina; Dominic Ramirez, Northview; Brandon Landeros, Rowland; Edward Siapno, San Dimas.
Defensive line – Jesse Beltran, Nogales; Noah Polanco, Covina; David Valencia, Northview; Josh Valenzuela, Wilson.
Linebackers – Gio Dominguez, Nogales; Bick Rosales, Wilson; Ailaoa Tauvao, Covina; Anre Tinoco, Northview.

Honorable mention – Nick Aguila, Wilson; Dominic Bentacur, Nogales; Eric Burton, Rowland; Tyler Davis, Wilson; Herman Esquivel, Rowland; Brian Estrada, Rowland; Shane Fisher, Wilson; Leonard Hernandez, Covina; Brandon Landeros, Rowland; Davion Lewis, Wilson; Joe Mantilla, Nogales; Gilbert Ontiveros, Nogales; Zachary Ponce, Rowland; Christian Ramos, Nogales; Jesus Rendon, Nogales; Mike Roberts, Covina; Charles Santisteban, San Dimas; Elijah Taylor, Rowland; LaRenzo Williams, Nogales.

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Bonita-San Dimas football game picked as a top rivalry

Bonita defeated San Dimas 24-13 in the annual Smudge Pot game last year. Can the Saints get it back?

The Smudge Pot showdown between San Dimas and Bonita has been singled out as one of the nation’s top rivalry games by the Great American Rivalry Series,

That annual game will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday at Citrus College. The Bearcats are 4-0 while San Dimas comes in 2-1.

The Great American Rivalry staff will be on hand and present Scholar-Athlete Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and an MVP award. Several other activities will also be held in conjunction with the event. Not only will the Smudge Pot be awarded, so will a “Champions” Trophy in honor of the game’s inclusion in the rivalries list.

This is the 12th year the Great American Rivalry Series has named an exclusive list of top rivalry games.

The schools are just six miles apart and each is the only public high school in its quaint town.

San Dimas leads the series 22-19.

 

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San Dimas football looks for same success under new coach

San Dimas Football

The San Dimas football program was one of the San Gabriel Valley’s best in the decade-long tenure of Bill Zernickow. But Zernickow departed for a job in Oregon and his long-time assistant Mark Holman was handed the reigns.

So will things change? Probably not.

Expect the Saints to go with that same vaunted physical running game. The offensive and defensive lines are the team’s strong suit, according to Holman, so why not keep pushing the ball.

“This might be the best line we have had since  I have been here so we’d be stupid to not take advantage of that,” said Holman, who will call the offense. “We have always had success on the ground and we’re going to stick to that but that doesn’t mean we won’t throw it when we want to.”

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The Saints, who went 8-4 and were bounded from the playoffs in the second round by eventual Mid-Valley League champion Pomona, return three starters up front – seniors Youseff Hanna and Nathan Reep and sophomore Nathen Aceves, who started on varsity last year as a freshman.

A fourth, Charles Santisteban, also saw considerable playing time.

Just who will be the quarterback over center has yet to be determined. The graduation of the starter as left a vacancy and juniors Ernie Guerrero and Joey Tamayo, both on the junior varsity last season are fighting for the spot.

Other key performers on offense will be senior running back Edward Siapno and junior running back Jarell Sykes. Wide receivers will include juniors Ryan Berry, who did not play last year, and Anthony Bernal, a starter at linebacker last year.

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Senior defensive lineman Joey Erickson is the most notable veteran on defense.  He already has offers from Sacramento State, Montana and Montana State and Holman expects mroe to follow.

 

Other key players on defense are junior safety Kai Rodriguez, senior senior linebacker Steven Ojeda and senior end Mbanefo Akpom.

Last year the Saints were knocked off the Valle Vista League thrown by Northview, which again looms as the stiffest challenge. It was  bit of a rude awakening.

“It was definitely a wake-up call,” Holman said. “Our guys are coming back a bit hungrier. Sometimes you do take it for granted.”

The new season gets underway Sept. 4 with the Saints hosting Maranatha. The opening league game will be on Oct. 9 against Hacienda Heights Wilson.

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Bill Zernickow resigns as San Dimas football coach

VFOOTBALLCOACHES

Veteran coach Bill Zernickow of San Dimas has resigned as the Saints football coach after a decade-long tenure.

Zernickow, 41, said he originally thought about doing so last year but decided to go one more year and see the seniors through the end of their high schools careers.

He finishes with an 87-37 record in those 10 years with winning seasons the last eight. He won four Valle Vista League titles with CIF titles in the Mid-Valley Division in 2009 and 2014.

The Saints were 8-5 the past season but settled for second in the league, plagued by a myriad of injuries to key players.

Zernickow has three children all active in sports and he plans to spend more time with them and their endeavors.

 

 

 

 

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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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