Participation in high school football rises for the first time in five years

Perhaps due to strides in concussion awareness, high school football saw an increase in participation nationwide last season for the first time in five years, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

An additional 6,607 boys participated in 11-man football during the 2013-14 season, making the total number of players in the country 1,093,234. Aiding that number was an additional 184 girls playing high school football, bringing the total number of girls to 1,715 nationwide.

Technology continues to improve the safety measures of football equipment and tangible progress in preventing concussions also includes a recently approved assembly bill in California limiting full contact high school football practices to three hours per week. AB 2129 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

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First week prep football schedule

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Here is the list of games for the first weekend of prep football:

Thursday, Aug. 28
Garey vs. Ontario (at Montclair HS)

Friday, Aug. 29
Adelanto at Lancaster Eastside
Alta Loma at Rowland Heights Rowland
Apple Valley at Silverado
Bellerose St. Alberta at Arrowhead Christian
Big Bear at Victorville Excelsier Charter
Bonita at Montebello Schurr
Burbank at Ayala
Calvary Murrieta at Western Christian
Claremont at El Rancho
Diamond Bar at Montebello
Diamond Ranch at Nogales
Eastvale Roosevelt at Pomona
Eisenhower at Sultana
Etiwanda vs. Summit (at Miller HS)
Fontana at Hesperia
Gladstone at Jurupa Hills
Glendora at Damien
Granite Hills vs. Yucca Valley (at Apple Valley HS)
Indian Springs at Murrieta Mesa
Lake Elsinore Lakeside at Chaffey
Lancaster Paraclete at Serrano
Monrovia at San Dimas
Los Osos at Mission Hills Alemany
Mark Keppel at Ganesha
Miller at Barstow
Newhall Hart at Chino Hills
Oak Hills at Highland
Ontario Christian at Heritage Christian
Palmdale Knight at Upland
Rancho Cucamonga at Trabuco Hills
Redlands at Corona Santiago
Saddleback at Aquinas
San Bernardino at Arroyo Valley
San Gabriel at Montclair
San Gorgonio at Citrus Valley
Victor Valley at Temecula Chaparral
Walnut at Don Lugo
West Covina at Colony

Saturday, Aug. 30
Village Christian at Webb

Teams that don’t open play until the following week: Bloomington, Cajon, Carter, Chino, Colton, Grand Terrace, Kaiser, Pacific, Redlands East Valley, Rialto, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa.

Lots of faces in new places as prep football kicks off

The latest list of area prep football coaching changes from 2013 to this 2014, with last year’s record in parentheses:

  • Arroyo Valley: old coach Tony DiThomas (3-7); new coach Demetrius Stewart
  • Cajon: old coach Kim Battin (2-8), new coach Nick Rogers
  • Diamond Bar: old coach Ryan Maine (7-5), new coach Marcus Hughes
  • Don Lugo: old coach Lou Randall (3-7), new coach Luis Garcia
  • Fontana: old coach Nick Matheny (3-7); new coach David Crump
  • Grand Terrace: old coach Harold Strauss (4-6), new coach Ryan Smalls
  • Ontario: old coach Ron Stocking Jr/ interim coach Ryan Alvarez (1-9); new coach John Kusleika
  • Ontario Christian: old coach Chris Stevens (6-5), new coach: Rick Martin
  • Pacific: old coach Don Markham (1-9), new coach: Mike Aragon
  • Rialto: old coach Gavin Pachot (6-5), new coach Drew Young
  • Rim of the World: old coach Bob Gradillas (8-4), new coach Ernie Madrigal
  • Summit: old coach Cesar Villalobos (5-6), new coach Nick Matheny
  • Victor Valley: old coach Leland Eudy (7-4); new coach Mark Mora

Local football players earn preseason recognition from CalHiSports

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While there are still more than two weeks until the first prep football games, some area players are already earning honors.

CalHiSports.com released its preseason all-Inland Empire team, featuring players from San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Etiwanda had the most players selected to the first team: LB Khaylan Thomas, DB Treyjohn Butler and multi-purpose Keon Stephens (a transfer from San Bernardino), while Upland had two: QB Tyler Hilinski and LB Josh Woods.

Other first-teamers from San Bernardino County are: Silverado OL Augistin Beltran, Redlands East Valley RB Malik Lovette, Rim of the World RB Jamie Taylor, Chino Hills DL Trent Goens, Serrano LB John Mackesy, Carter LB Lokeni Toailoa, Ayala DB Malik Psalms and Summit’s multi-purpose Damian Alloway.

There were also several local players who made the second team: Chino Hills DB Philip Afia, REV LB Matteo Biscotti, Oak Hills QB/RB Nolan Brammer, Kaiser RB Joshua Johnson, San Gorgonio DB Nathan Meadors, Arrowhead Christian QB/DB Bradley Mowbray, Upland DB Cameron Powell and Los Osos LB Bryce Youngquist.

 

Fundraiser for Nnamdi Okongwu’s family coming up

The community efforts to help the family of former Chino Hills basketball player Nnamdi Okongwu are ongoing. Okongwu, 17, passed away last month after sustaining a head injury while skateboarding.

A bingo fundraiser will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday  in the small gym at Chino Hills High School.

Also a fundraiser at Roscoes Famous Deli in Chino Hills Thursday, August 7th 11am- to closing. Roscoe’s will donate 15% of your purchase to the family fund.

Donations are also being taken at www.gofundme.com/4unnamdi

Chino Hills basketball player in bad shape after skateboard accident

Chino Hills High School basketball player Nnamdi Okongwu is in a hospital after a skateboarding accident left him in a coma.

Huskies basketball coach Steve Baik was on vacation in Hawaii when notified of the accident in a text from his athletic director so he knew few details.

The 6-foot-9 center, who will be a senior in the fall, was an integral factor in the Huskies Sierra League title and postseason run. The honorable mention All-Inland Valley selection helped the Huskies to a spot in the Southern Section Open Division championship game where they lost to nationally ranked No. 1 Mater Dei at the Honda Center.

Chino Hills played in the state portion of the playoffs in Division I and made the South Region championship before losing to Corona Centennial at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.

 

Cayer named athletic director at Ganesha

Don Cayer has been named athletic director at Ganesha High School.

He previously served as a teacher at Fremont, which doesn’t have athletics. He was also football coach at Pomona for two years before moving over to Ganesha. He served as assistant athletic director last year so the responsibilities won’t be new to him.

Cayer is also the school’s head football coach, a position he took a year ago. The school district has restructured its staff positions so Cayer will have much of the school day to get administrative things done before heading to practice.

“It  should work out. At least that’s the plan,” he said.

Webb quarterback Kienan Dixon to head East

Webb junior receiver Kienan Dixon loses the ball with Army-Navy sophomore defensive back Cameron Coe providing tight coverage

Kienan Dixon of Webb School will attend and play football at NCAA Division III Dickinson College (Penn.).

The Upland native threw for 1,050 yards with seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 10 games last year for the Gauls (3-7).

Dickinson, a liberal-arts college that is home to 2,400 students from across the nation and around the world, competes in the Centennial Conference. The Red Devils were 3-7 overall, 3-6 in conference play.

CalHiSports recognizes Inland Valley softball talent

It was another banner year on the softball field for are high schools. Jurupa Hills won a championship and Citrus Valley and Chino were runners-up.

Not surprisingly, player from those teams are among those singled out by CalHiSports which names an All-State team, quite a venture for a state this big.

Senior pitcher Miranda Viramontes of Chino, junior shortstop Tannon Snow of Chino Hills and senior catcher Janell Wheaton of San Dimas were named to the elite All-State first team which included representatives from schools all sizes throughout the entire state.

Second team honorees include shortstop Paige Halstead of Los Osos, junior outfielder Zoe Casas of Aquinas, freshman outfielder Taylon Snow and senior pitcher Patricia Parks of Chino Hills and senior pitcher Natalie Calderas of Jurupa Hills.

Third team selections were senior second baseman McKenzie Long of Los Osos, outfielder Chloe Melanson of Bonita and third baseman Sara Ketelsleger of Ayala.

The Snow sisters, Casas, Halstead and junior pitcher Brooke Bolinger of Yucaipa also were named to the All-State first team underclassmen team.

Second-team underclassmen state honorees were junior catcher Kelly Martinez of Yucaipa, sophomore first baseman Alyssa Gonzalez of Chino and junior infielder Taylor Rowland of Ayala.

Separate teams were selected for medium and small schools. Wheaton, Calderas and senior Destiney Henderson fo Kaiser were first team medium schools selections while junior pitcher Taylor Troost of Citrus Valley was second team.

Among small schools first team honorees were Casas and junior pitcher Allie Hotetz of Aquinas, senior infielder Sarah Guillen of Pomona Catholic and sophomore outfielder Madison Paige of Ontario Christian.

Second team small school selections were senior infielder Autumn Bartholomay of Pomona Catholic, junior pitcher Ariana Ramos of Ontario Christian and senior Danielle Stusy-Henderson of Bloomington Christian.