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


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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