First CIF football polls of season are out and lots of locals are in

Here the CIF preseason football polls with schools from the Sun/Daily Bulletin coverage area denoted in bold:

Division 1 – 1. Mater Dei; 2. St. John Bosco; 3. Corona Centennial; 4. Serra; 5. Chaminade; 6. Mission Viejo; 7. JSerra; 8. Murrieta Valley; 9. San Clemente; 10. Orange Lutheran.

Division 2 – 1. Edison; 2. Oaks Chr.; 3. Norco; 4. Valencia; 5. tie, Upland, Calabasas; 7. Los Alamitos; 8. La Habra; 9. Great Oak; 10. Heritage.

Division 3 – 1. Sierra Canyon; 2. Buena Park; 3. Rancho Verde; 4. Newbury Park; 5. Palos Verdes; 6. Charter Oak; 7. St. Francis; 8. Hart; 9. Crespi; 10. Lompoc.

Division 4 – 1. Roosevelt; 2. San Juan Hills; 3. Corona del Mar; 4. Downey; 5. Cajon; 6. Capistrano Valley; 7. Corona Santiago; 8. Etiwanda; 9. Redondo Union; 190. Murrieta Mesa.

Division 5 – 1. Paraclete; 2. Yucaipa; 3. Paloma Valley; 4. Santa Maria St. Joseph; 5. Paramount; 6. Corona; 7. Long Beach Wilson; 8. Los Altos; 9. Ventura; 10. Salesian.

Division 6 – 1. Saugus; 2. Newport Harbor; 3. Golden Valley; 4. St. Paul; 5. Mira Costa; 6. Summit; 7. Crescenta Valley; 8. San Gorgonio; 9. Bishop Diego; 10. Elsinore.

Division 7 – 1. El Modena; 2. Yorba Linda; 3. Don Lugo; 4. Tustin; 5. Ayala; 6. Huntington Beach; 7. Fullerton; 8. St. Margaret’s Episcopal; 9. Oxnard Pacifica; 10. Burbank.

Division 8 – 1. Rio Mesa; 2. Cerritos Valley Chr.; 3. La Salle; 4. Northview; 5. Silverado; 6. Antelope Valley; 7. Citrus Valley; 8. Grace Brethren; 9. Riverside Notre Dame; 10. Temescal Canyon.

Division 9 – 1. Mayfair; 2. Aquinas; 3. St. Anthony; 4. Leuzinger; 5 Agoura; 6. Ridgecrest Burroughs; 7. West Ranch; 8. Lynwood; 9. Aliso Niguel; 10. Santa Barbara.

Division 10 – 1. Valley View; 2. Santa Ynez; 3. Quartz Hill; 4. Gahr; 5. Apple Valley; 6. Garden Grove Pacifica; 7. Dos Pueblos; 8. JW North; 9. University; 10. Santa Fe.

Division 11 – 1. Culver City; 2. Rancho Mirage; 3. Oak Park; 4. Arcadia; 5. Highland; 6. Eisenhower; 7. Lompoc Cabrillo; 8. Katella; 9. Sultana; 10. Xavier Prep.

Division 12 – 1. Rancho Chr.; 2. Whittier Chr.; 3. Santa Ana; 4. El Dorado; 5. Marina; 6. Santa Maria; 7. Artesia; 8. Schurr; 9. Godinez; 10. Laguna Beach.

Division 13 – 1. Orange; 2. Campbell Hall; 3. Nogales; 4. Hueneme; 5. Knight; 6. Indio; 7. Yucca Valley; 8. Hoover; 9. Ocean View; 10. Rio Hondo Prep.







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Jeremiah Criddell ready to be key player for Rancho Cucamonga

Defensive back Jeremiah Criddell didn’t play a lot for the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars last season. It wasn’t because of a lack of talent, it was the embarrassment of riches coach Nick Baiz had at that position and Criddell was just a sophomore.

Well with five athletes from the secondary having graduated, four of whom moved on to Division I schools, Criddell will get his turn in a staring role this season for a Rancho Cucamonga team looking to defend it’s Baseline League title.

He is proof you can land attention from major colleges without being a full-time starter. Of course Criddell, a 6-foot-1, 185 pounder, has done all the right things in the off-season to get that attention.

He now has 14 major college offers and the list is growing. Of those 14, nine are from Pac-12 schools with USC and UCLA included in that lot. Among the others are Nebraska and Alabama.

He has made unofficial trips to USC, UCLA, Washington and Alabama.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and showing people what I can do,” he said. “Of course everyone likes to play but when you’re not you still have try and get better and challenge yourself so you’re ready when they call on you.”

Baiz is confident Criddell will rise to the challenge.

“We always knew the kind of player he is,” Baiz said. “He just had a lot of guys ahead of him. He probably would have started for any other school last year. It’s always frustrating for those guys but he’s only a junior and he knew he was going to be the guy this year.”


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Alta Loma football looking for elusive playoff berth

Image result for Alta Loma braves

Last season the Alta Loma football team finished third in the Mt. Baldy League. In past years third place was good enough to advance to the postseason but not under the new formula instituted by the CIF last season.

So the Braves (5-5 overall, 3-2 in league last season) head into the new season hungry. It’s also the third year for coach Mark Pasquarella so expectations are higher.

“We really thought we were going to get in last year,” the coach said, “The kids really wanted that so they are a little hungrier.”

Much of the reason for the optimism is the strength of the defense as the Braves graduated just three starters. Leading the charge is senior nose tackle Kingston Toki, whose shorter stature might be the only thing keeping him from landing him a spot at a high profile Division I school.

“We’re really going to depend on our defense a lot until the offense gets its feet on the ground and moving,” Pasquarella said. “We have a lot of guys back with a lot of experience so it’s where we expect to be strong.”

Other returning players on defense are junior nose guard Brandon Macias, senior strong safety Jerry Valencia, senior linebackers Trent Proctor, Nate Prado and David Bustamante, junior safety Psyer Blackley.

Pasquarella also singled out senior Darin Taylor, who played as a freshman but has not played since, choosing instead to focus on baseball.

“He’s really going to help us,” Pasquarella said.

The biggest change in the offense is that Pasquarella won’t be using two quarterbacks. He did that last year alternating Garrett Kettle and James Josiah with both playing in all 10 games and passing yardage evenly distributed but Kettle has graduated and it is Josiah, a senior, in full control of the offense now.

“He has good leadership skills and he has really matured into that role,” Pasquarella said of his quarterback, “We think he is going to have a good year.”

The offensive line has returning starters in seniors Dylan Vanderkallen and Troy Woods and junior Izaya Spann.Newcomer Gabe Owens, a junior, will help out at center.

Skill position players include junior running back David Ramirez and junior wide receiver Kyle Smathers with Blakely also seeing time at receiver.

Aug. 25 – At Diamond Bar
Aug. 31 – Ayala
Sept. 8 – Los Osos
Sept. 15 – At Roosevelt
Sept. 22 – Claremont
Oct. 6 – At Ontario
Oct. 12 – At Chaffey
Oct. 20 – Don Lugo
Oct. 27 – At Montclair
Nov. 3 – Colony

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Damien’s Cody Rawson commits to San Diego State

Damien senior baseball standout Cody Rawson made a verbal commitment to San Diego State today

Rawson, a catcher, visited the school on earlier this week. He also took trips to Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara before deciding to head South for college.

He has a cousin that graduated from the school and he knows a couple of players on the team who are from the Inland Valley. He also has family nearby.

“I like the feel that I got walking around campus,” he said,. “You could tell there was a lot of pride in being an Aztec. It’s close to home. Who wouldn’t want top stay in Southern California? I liked everything about it.”

Rawson, who hit .288, said he decided to get the decision out of the way now so he could focus on having a successful senior season and getting the Spartans back to the playoffs.

He plans to major in business/finance but hopes to pursue a career in firefighting when baseball is over.

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Summit football left scrambling as season approaches

It’s hard enough going into a new season when you have to replace a player as dominant as Stephen Carr. But Summit coach Nick Matheny is really behind the eight-ball this season because he has had a handful of players, all significant starters, jump ship for other schools.

“We’re basically having to re-invent everything we do,” Matheny said. “The hardest part was that these kids left pretty late in the game so we’re really having to scramble.”

Numbers are down too, something that has been the case at other schools as well. Matheny has just 55 or so between the varsity and junior varsity teams. But the veteran coach is trying to look at the “silver lining.” Other kids who may not have had the opportunity to contribute are getting that chance now and embracing it.

“I can’t say enough about the guys we have here,” he said. “They have worked hard and not complained. I couldn’t be prouder. We have had to do some things a little different because of the situation so there might be some rough waters ahead but we’ll work through them.”

Troy Temmink of Summt High School is the SoCal Prep Legends boys athlete of the week. (courtesy photo).

The defending Sunkist League champion SkyHawks (10-2 in 2016) should not be written off quite yet thought, Among the players they do have back is senior quarterback Troy Temmink, who threw for 2,019 yards and 19 touchdowns with only four interceptions last season.

Also returning is one of his favorite targets in senior wide receiver Kavan Johnson who had 21 receptions for 406 yards and five touchdowns.

Matheny also singled out senior tight end-middle linebacker P.J. Ortiz and senior outside linebacker Antonio Coleman.

Summit will be young with just a handful of seniors so Matheny is looking at the experience his underclassmen will get as a huge benefit in the long run.

“We play a tough preseason so that should get us ready for league play,” he said. “We think we can still make a run at the league title. We just have to see how far we come over these first five games.”

The SkyHawks preseason includes reigning Palomares League champ Ayala and San Andreas power San Gorgonio as well as Etiwanda which is a rival and always in the thick of the Baseline League race.


Aug. 25 – Vs. Etiwanda (At Miller)
Aug. 31 – Hesperia (At Miller)
Sept. 8 – At San Gorgonio
Sept. 15 – At Ayala
Sept. 22 – At Sultana
Oct. 6 – Kaiser
Oct. 12 – Fontana (At Miller)
Oct. 20 – At Grand Terrace
Oct. 27 – Bloomington (At Miller)
Nov. 3 – At Colton

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Memorial service scheduled for Damien teacher and sports announcer

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday for Chuck Ballingall, the popular

Chuck Ballingall, longtime voice of Damien sports, died suddenly on Wednesday.

teacher and public address announcer for Damien High School athletic events for the last 36 years..

It will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, appropriately enough, in the school’s athletic center. A reception will follow in the events center. Both are open to the public.

Ballingall passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday after collapsing at the school.

Here is link to story we rank last week.



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Sean Dollars inherits Rancho Cucamonga position from Jaylon Redd

Sean  Dollars has big shoes to fill and he knows it.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior will step into a leading role this season as a running back for the defending Baseline League champion Rancho Cougamonga Cougars. Just how daunting of a task is that? Well he is replacing Jaylon Redd. And all Redd did was run for 1,693 yards and 25 touchdowns. He led the Cougars to an undefeated regular season, earned All-CIF honors and was named Inland Valley Player of the Year.

Doillars is pretty good too. He ran for 443 on 44 carries (11.2 avg.) in relief of Redd, mostly when the game was out of hand and coach Nick Baiz was just trying to run out the clock.

Rancho is one of those programs that prides itself on having players step up when given the chance and Dollars will be evidence of that.

He was used in relief last year as a sophomore and yet he already has eight major college offers – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State, Utah, Washington, Colorado. Nebraska and TCU.

Dollars admits Oregon has always been his “dream” school but that doesn’t mean that school is a slam dunk at landing him. Ironically, Redd is at Oregon now, along with former Rancho teammate Thomas Graham.

Rivals has Dollars ranked fifth at his position, 43rd nationally and fourth in the state for players in his class.

With a good season in a high-profile role who knows how many more will come.

“He was a great player but I am my own player,” said Dollars, who will wear Redd’s No. 5.  “I know I have big shoes to fill but I am ready for the challenge. I watched him a lot and I have watched a lot of film. I am looking forward for my chance to shine.”

Baiz is confident Dollars will be an impact player as well.

“People saw enough of him last year to know what he is capable of,” Baiz said. “I think he learned a lot by watching Jaylon last year and he will be that guy for us this year.”

Is Dollars actually faster than Redd? Baiz won’t go that far.

“Jaylon was faster than most cars in the parking lot,” he laughed.


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Don Lugo’s Chris Randazzo casts commitment for Oregon

After not getting any offers as a junior, Don Lugo offensive lineman Chris Randazzo decided to take matters into his own hands. He got a personal trainer and spent the summer going to camps and showcases.

It paid off as Randazzo, a 6-foot-8, 330-pounder, has committed to the University of Oregon.

He visited that school twice and also took a trip to Fresno State which was the first Division I  school to extend an offer. Others later came from Washington State, Arizona State, USC and Utah.

Randazzo chose the school based largely on his relationship and faith in offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal, previously an offensive line coach at Alabama. He also was overwhelmed by everything he saw on his trip.

He said the school made an offer after seeing him at a Nike camp at Cerritos College over the summer.

“It felt like a home there,” he said of Oregon. “:It was impressive, very high-tech, everything you’d expect Oregon to be and more.”

Randazzo was eager to make a decision so he could focus on his senior season. The Conquistadores will try to repeat as Mt. Baldy League champions. They are also coming off a berth in the CIF Division 8 semifinal and will be moving up a class to Division 7.

“I really want to be able to sit back and enjoy this season without having all that pressure,” he said.

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Recruiting expert to hold free lecture for parents, athletes

Parents and student athletes wanting to learn more about the college recruiting process can do so at a free lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the auditorium at Montclair High School (4725 Benito St.) .

It is open to those from all sports from all schools.

The guest lecturer will be Jack Renkens who has coached at all levels, served as an athletic director and had children go through the process. He founded Recruiting Realities and tour the country speaking on the topic.

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Rancho Cucamonga’s Nick Acosta looking to build on solid junior season

One of the biggest question marks going into the 2016 season for Rancho Cucamonga football coach Nick Baiz was who who would step in at quarterback for the graduated Angel Matute who had turned in a stellar three years at the position.

Not only did junior Nick Acosta meet expectations, he is exceeded them.

He completed 156 of 256 offerings for 2,288 yards with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions in leading the Cougars (12-1) to an undefeated regular season for the first time in school history. Rancho advanced to the Division I semifinal before losing a hard-fought game to national power Mater Dei.

So Acosta, a first team All-Baseline League selection and second team All-Inland Valley choice, is ready for an even better senior season.

“He did a great job of not trying to do too much,: Baiz said. “He knew he had good weapons around him and used them.”

This season the 6-foot, 175-standout comes in more confident than ever with that experience behind him. He is one of just two returning starters on offense, the other being senior lineman Joshua Gray.

The biggest difference is that Acosta has matured into the leadership role that typically comes naturally for most quarterbacks.

“I definitely feel ready to take that on this year,” he said,. “I know a lot will be expected but I am ready. I learned a lot last season.”

Colleges are starting to take notice too. His stature is working against him but he has drawn some Division I interest. Ivy League schools are starting to come calling too and that woudln’t be a bad fit given that he boasts a grade-point average of 4.2.

We’ll have a more in-depth story on Acosta coming up in the newspaper soon. Stay tuned!


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