Prep football playoff prediction: CIF-SS Central Division

First round
No. 1 Summit over Paloma Valley
La Quinta over Colony
Wildomar Elsinore over Colton
No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde over Chaffey
Riverside North over No. 3 Kaiser
Palm Springs over Temescal Canyon
Riverside Arlington over Chino
No. 2 Menifee Heritage over Palm Desert

Quarterfinals
No. 1 Summit over La Quinta
Wildomar Elsinore over No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde
Riverside North over Palm Springs
No. 2 Menifee Heritage over Riverside Arlington

Continue reading

Sunkist champ, CIF champ, it’s all the same

Winning the Sunkist League is apparently equivalent to winning a CIF-Southern Section football championship.

Well, at least last year it was.

It was no coincidence that once the Summit High School football team reached the level necessary to win its first league title, its first CIF-SS Eastern Division championship followed a month later. The SkyHawks aren’t carrying 11 years worth of expectations into league play, which begins on Friday. After all, the school has only been around for seven years. But Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya, whose team won 11 consecutive Sunkist League championships prior to last season, doesn’t envy Summit’s position.

“Now everybody probably expects them to win the league again,” Zelaya said. “I know I would. Now we get to be where they were, trying to take down the defending champion.”
Continue reading

Kaiser forces issue, wins battle of undefeated teams

Perhaps total yards were actually a better indication than the score of how close Kaiser’s 14-7 win over Ayala was Friday night.

Kaiser gained 227 yards to Ayala’s 226.

The only clear difference between two undefeated teams, aside from the scoreboard, was the turnover column. Ayala committed three, two of which Kaiser converted into Marquette Washington touchdowns. Kaiser didn’t turn the ball over once.

“They’re an excellent football team,” Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya said, “and when you win a game like this, you need a little luck.”
Continue reading

Marquee matchup: Kaiser (4-0) at Ayala (4-0)

Only one team will leave this matchup undefeated after Ayala (4-0) and Kaiser (4-0) meet tonight in what is likely the toughest game of the regular season for both teams.

Only getting tougher: Ayala’s nonleague schedule has included a first-place team, a two-time defending CIF champion, a ranked team from Nevada and a potential playoff team in the Baseline League. Kaiser, however, represents its most difficult test to date.

Ayala, which won three games last season, has surpassed that total in impressive fashion. The Bulldogs are trying to graduate from just being improved to being a contender in the deep Sierra League. Winning tonight would be one more big step in that direction.

“We’re going to get hit in the mouth tonight and we’ll see how we respond,” Ayala coach Randy Reams said. “It seems to work out that our opponents get tougher every week. I don’t think I could have scheduled it any better.”
Continue reading

Only so many wins to go around in new Sunkist League

The resumes in the new Sunkist League include a 2011 CIF championship, a 2010 CIF championship, 11 consecutive league titles and even a mythical national championship. There is no shortage of winning pedigree, but there are only so many wins to go around now that Colton, Fontana and Grand Terrace have joined Summit, Kaiser and Bloomington this year.

Entering just its seventh season of existence, Summit has been to consecutive CIF-SS Eastern Division championship games, winning the first title in school history last season. But the SkyHawks didn’t win their first Sunkist League championship until last season courtesy of an unprecedented 11-year run of league titles by stalwart Kaiser.

Added to the mix is a Colton program that won a CIF-SS Central Division championship just two years ago. There is, however, a disproportionate amount of uncertainty surrounding these programs despite their winning traditions.
Continue reading

Cowboys’ Butler aiding younger brother’s recruitment

It doesn’t hurt Justin Strong’s recruitment that the Summit High School senior has an NFL player vouching for him. It also doesn’t hurt that the two share the same gene pool.

Victor Butler’s younger brother by seven years already has an offer from San Diego State but thanks in part to the Dallas Cowboys fourth-year linebacker Strong is fast gaining interest, even garnering an unofficial visit to Texas A&M last weekend courtesy of an assist from his sibling.

“He puts the word out about me,” Strong said of Butler, a 2005 Eisenhower High School graduate. “He’s talked to a lot of different schools like Texas A&M. I went down there and the coaches evaluated my flim and I got to check out the school and the football stadium. And Oregon State, where (Butler) went, is close to offering me too.”

Strong is also receiving interest from Boise State, Nevada, UCLA, San Jose State and New Mexico State. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Strong, who played linebacker for Summit’s CIF championship team last season, is being primarily recruited as a defensive back but Boise State prefers him at running back. With positional considerations further complicating things, the senior-to-be is happy he doesn’t have to make any decisions soon.

“I’ve played on the defensive side of the ball my whole life, so that’s where I’m more comfortable,” Strong said. “I could see myself playing running back but it’s different with some of these schools that want me as an athlete cause they don’t even know where they’re going to play me yet. I’m just going to see who is going to offer me then I’ll figure it out from there.”
Continue reading

Kaiser softball team’s comeback keeps Cats alive

Pitcher Krystel Gabbard calmly shook her head when asked if she was worried about the Kaiser High School softball team’s five-run deficit two innings into Tuesday’s second-round CIF-SS Division 4 playoff game against Rancho Alamitos.

The same can’t be said for the feeling in the Cats’ dugout.

“I’m 64 going on 80,” Kaiser coach John Stevens said after the Cats’ 9-5 comeback victory punctuated by a tie-breaking four-run sixth inning.

After going hitless the first two innings, the Sunkist League champions collected 13 hits, more than half of which were for extra bases.
Continue reading

All-Sunkist League girls basketball team

Most Valuable Player: Jillian Alleyne, Sr., Summit High School
Coach of the Year: Latrina Duncan, Summit High School

First Team All-League
Brooklyn Jackson, Summit High School
Ashley Weissman , Summit High School
Ajaee Foster, Summit High School
Ana Brodie, Summit High School
Alysia Trejo, Jurupa Valley High School
Paige Tompkin, Jurupa Valley High School
Judit Briseno, Jurupa Valley High School
Ciara Guerrero, Patriot High School
Sabrina Avery, Patriot High School
Lorena Carillo, Patriot High School
Jazmin Medina, Kaiser High School
Alijah Dodson, Kaiser High School
Continue reading

Barile leaving Summit on top, headed to Roosevelt

After winning a CIF championship at Summit High School last season, head coach Tony Barile accepted the head football coaching position at Eastvale Roosevelt High School on Sunday. Barile, who has coached Summit from the program’s inception in 2006, led the SkyHawks to the CIF-SS Eastern Division championship in December, the school’s first CIF title of any kind.

A member of the vaunted Big VIII League, Roosevelt will be competing with the likes of two-time defending CIF-SS Inland Division champion Corona Centennial, a perennial state title contender. Having taken Summit to the top played a role in Barile’s decision to depart for Roosevelt, a decision he wrestled with over the weekend.

“When I look back on my coaching moves, that played into it somewhat,” Barile said of the CIF title. “I had reached a goal and now I’ve got an opportunity to compete for a state championship, a new goal. I’m going to miss the people at Summit but at the same time I know they’re prepared to continue to be successful.”
Continue reading