When it comes to high school volleyball, there are usually very few surprises in the first round.
Well the Chino High School volleyball team sure provided one of those. The fourth-place team out of a weak Mt. Baldy League turned in a 3-2 (25-15, 15-25, 15-25, 25-14, 15-7) win over Sunkist League champion Fontana which came in with a 22-3 record.
By the way, Chino parted ways with is coach a month ago., making the story tat much better.
Give new coach Ariel Rorabaugh much of the credit. She was the junior varsity coach until the varsity coach was removed. She says confidence was a big factor. That is, building up that of her team.
And the players too say that is the what has made the difference.
Yes, Fontana probably took their opponent lightly. But after the Steelers won the second and third games convincingly, it only seemed like just a matter of time before they wrapped it up. But that didn’t happen.
Chino made all the plays in the last two games. Fontana seemed to tighten up. Sometimes it’s easier in that situation when you are the underdog with nothing to lose.
Summit starting quarterback Jakob Jordan transferred to Eastvale Roosevelt in December, but it didn’t take the SkyHawks long to fill the void. The two-time defending Sunkist League champions will replace Jordan with Etiwanda transfer Keshon Flemmings.
Flemmings, who will be a junior in the fall, quarterbacked the Etiwanda junior varsity last season. He has turned in a great summer in passing league, according to Summit head coach Cesar Villalobos. Flemmings will certainly have plenty of talent at receiver this coming season in Washington commit Erik Brown and Jordan Washington, who has scholarship offers from Idaho and New Mexico State.
As soon as Erik Brown’s season ended, it began.
The Summit High School receiver didn’t have a scholarship offer when the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Central Division went down in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 9, 2012. Over a four month period beginning in February, he became one of the most sought after receivers in the country.
The pursuit ended last week when the 6-foot-2, 175-pound rising senior verbally committed to Washington, choosing the Huskies from nearly 30 scholarship offers that included UCLA, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Boise State and Oregon State.
“I knew it was coming,” Brown said. “I worked hard for this and it has been a blessing. It all happened really fast. I think I just got a chance to showcase what I can do when passing league came around.”
Kaiser’s Ryan Mota verbally committed to San Diego State on Tuesday, according to Kaiser baseball coach Mike Spinuzzi. The 6-foot-3 pitcher, who will be a senior next season, chose the Aztecs over offers from Washington, Hawaii and Long Island University.
As a junior Mota went 9-2 with a 2.05 earned-run average for the Sunkist League champions. He pitched three complete games, had 56 strikeouts and 16 walks in 58 innings. Mota, who also played first base, hit .354 with 28 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 28 games in helping Kaiser to a 25-5 overall record and the No. 2 seed in the Division 4 playoffs last season.
There were two distinct sides to be taken in the debate over the Sunkist League baseball MVP. The pitching side: a 9-0 record, 0.95 ERA, six complete games, 114 strikeouts and just 12 walks in just 74 innings. And the offensive side: .455 batting average, three home runs, 41 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 28 games with a .518 on-base percentage.
Of course, both sides belonged to junior Chris Mathewson of league champion Kaiser. Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a debate.
MVP: Chris Mathewson JR Kaiser
Toby Rainwater JR Kaiser
Ryan Mota JR Kaiser
Jacob Sanchez JR Kaiser
Alex Valdivia JR Kaiser
David Osuna SR Kaiser
Jacob Barajas SR Kaiser
Anthony Ayala SR Fontana
Andres Solis SR Fontana
Armondo Zapata JR Fontana
Summit receiver Erik Brown doesn’t yet know which college he will choose, but one thing recently became a certainty. Wherever he goes it will be with his cousin Devon Blackmon, a four-star receiver from the Summit class of 2011 who went to Oregon before transferring to Riverside City College in January.
Brown (pictured, right) has collected nine scholarship offers since the end of Summit’s season in November. Blackmon has pulled in several offers with the intention of transferring to a Division I school after his first season at Riverside City. Two offers the duo has in common are Boise State and Washington, which are high on the a short list that includes USC, a school that has expressed interest in both players but is yet to offer.
“It’s always been in the back of our minds (to go to the same school),” Blackmon said. “I would like to show (Brown) the ropes in college and steer him away from some of the mistakes I made.”
Doors just keep opening for Summit’s Erik Brown. Perhaps that’s why the junior wide receiver resisted the temptation to commit immediately after UCLA issued him a scholarship offer last week.
It was the sixth scholarship offer for Brown since the end of football season, and the third Pac-12 offer. Brown also has offers from Washington and Oregon State. Nevada, Houston and San Diego State have also offered Brown.
“UCLA is his dream school,” Summit head coach Cesar Villalobos said. “And I expect him to keep getting offers partly because he’s doing so well with his seven-on-seven team.”
Winning the first league championship in school history doesn’t entirely encapsulate the depth of the Kaiser girls basketball team’s accomplishment. The Cats ended defending CIF champion Summit’s 63-game win streak in the Sunkist League. In fact, Summit had never lost a league game until this season.
Accordingly, it’s not surprising that Kaiser team swept the All-Sunkist League awards. It’s hard to say enough about the feats Kaiser pulled off in 2012-13, but this list is a start.
MVP – Aliyah Dodson, Kaiser
Coach of the Year – Denise Sinohui, Kaiser
Jasmine Soto (Kaiser)
Paige Harder (Kaiser)
Jordyn Buffum (Kaiser)
Long Beach Poly 35, Mater Dei 17
Palos Verdes 35, West Torrance 14
Kaiser 28, Rancho Verde 21
Downey 33, La Serna 25
Corona del Mar 35, Garden Grove 10
Nordhoff 31, North Torrance 14