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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New coach Justin Randall ready to lead hungry Carter contingent

Lions mascot photo.

Justin Randall considers himself pretty fortunate. He just landed his first “head” coaching gig and he is in a place where the cupboard is hardly empty – Carter.

Preparations for the season are underway and Randall, son of Colony Head Coach Steve Randall, has a hard time containing his enthusiasm.

“We have really good kids here,” he said, “I stepped into a good situation. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

Previous coach Alex Pierce moved over to Los Osos and Randall was chosen as his successor. He spent last year at Citrus College. Before that he spent four years working for his father at Colony. He also had a year at Ontario as an assistant coach.

Despite being one of the younger head coaches in the area at 26, he says he considers himself an “old-school” coach from having hung around his father and his coaching contemporaries.

“I have been around the game my while life,” he said. “I can’t imagine not being part of it.”

Randall will be the team’s defensive coordinator while Steve Johnston, who had been with Randall’s dad at Colony, will be offensive coordinator.

Last year the Lions went 5-5 in the regular season with a 3-4 mark in the tough Citrus Belt League. Randall will have several key players returning. He is most high on senior safety-wide receiver Justice Hamilton whom he says has the potential to be one of the top players in the Inland Empire.

Many of the Lions top players will be asked to contribute one both sides of the ball. Among the others are senior linebacker-running back Lemusu Toailoa, last in the line of talented football-playing brothers, senior lineman Daimon Ross and senior receiver-corner Keion Guyton.

Randall likes the combination he will have at running back in Toailoa and D.J. Thomas and thinks the strongest part of the defense will be the secondary.

The biggest question mark will be at quarterback where senior Wayne Schuster, junior Eddie Torres and sophomore Serbando Lopez are battling for the starting job.

The Lions won;t have to wait long for an interesting storyline as they open the season against Los Osos, headed by their former coach. Stay tuned.

CARTER SCHEDULE

Aug. 25 – Los Osos
Sept. 1 – At Rancho Verde
Sept. 8 – San Jacinto
Sept. 22 – At Miller
Sept. 29 – Redlands
Oct. 6 – Redlands East Valley (At Citrus Valley)
Oct. 13 – Yucaipa
Oct. 20 – At Citrus Valley
Oct. 27 – At Cajon
Nov. 3 – Eisenhower

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Webb School to host free football clinic

Image result for webb school football

The Webb School will host its fifth annual Scholar-Athlete Football Camp for youngsters in the fifth through eighth grades and it is free. The only requirement is that student-athletes have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday, July 21 at the Webb School (1175 West Baseline Road, Claremont).

Athletes should bring shorts, cleats and sunscreen. Dinner will be provided.

For more information call (909) 697-6852 or e-mail Webbfootball@gmail.com.

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Here is to the top single day performances of the past prep season

Roosevelt’s Anthony Easter, Upland’s Joseph Anderson, wins the race and Rancho Verde’s Cameron Samuel during the 300 meter hurdles CIF-State track & field finals at Buchanan High in Clovis, CA. Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Photo by Terry Pierson/SCNG)

Today’s flashback is the top single game-match performances of the school year. No it’s not easy trying to recall everything that happened in the last 10 or so months. So let us know if you think someone else should be included.

1. Joseph Anderson, Upland track So we don’t give an All-Sports Male Athlete of the Year but if we did, Anderson gets it hands down. He definitely saved his best for last, taking first place in both the 110 and 300 hurdles at the state meet.  In the 110, which he also won as a junior, he set a record time of 13.33 seconds. That 13.33 broke the meet record and his 36.06 in the 300’s was the fastest at the state final since 2007.

2. LaMelo Ball, Chino Hills basketball The youngest of the Ball siblings made national news when he scored 92 point in a 146-123 Baseline League win over Los  Osos.   The sophomore had 63 points in the second half alone and made 37 of 61 shots in the entire game. It was second best scoring performance in California history. I don’t care if he didn’t play any defense, 92 points is 92 points. People may or may not like the style of play but Melo and the Huskies are still the most entertaining team to watch, hands down.

3. Steven  Rivas, Etiwanda baseball – Rivas was smacking around the ball around every field all season but no doubt his best game came in a 23-3 win over Baseline League foe Chino Hills. Rivas, who has signed with Long Beach State,  went 4 for 6 with 4 runs scored and 11 RBI. He slugged two three-run home runs, had a two-run triple and a three-run double. He hit .477 on the season.

4. Jaylon Redd, Rancho Cucamonga football He is another athlete who gave highlight performances every time he stepped on the field. Perhaps his best game came when he scored five touchdowns against the Cougars biggest league rival Upland in a 47-10 win.  He scored on a 48-yard punt return and returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for another score. His other touchdowns came on runs of 3 and 75 yards, as well as an 8-yard reception. He finished with 366 all-purpose yards including 170 yards on 15 carries on the ground

5. LiAngelo Ball, Chino Hills Let’s add a second ball to the list. Before the younger brother went off the middle sibling was doing quite well. He had 72 in the third game of the season against Rancho Christian. That was part of a three-game stretch in which he had 154 with the 72 point game preceded by a 56-point showing. He would go on to earn Inland Valley Player of the Year honors.

6.  Kenzie Koerber, Chino Hills volleyball The Utah-bound standout had 25 kills,11 digs, 2 blocks in the last match of the season against Rancho Cucamonga, the dominant team in the league in recent years. That showing enabled the Huskies to claim a share of the Baseline title. Those numbers came in just three sets as Chino Hills swept Rancho.

7. Nathan Tilford, Colony football – Tilford had a huge hand in the Titans rallying from a 42-20 deficit against Corona del Mar in a CIF Division 4 quarterfinal. Colony came up short 49-48 but the Arizona bound prospect was a hug force. He rushed for 141 yards on just 16 carries and had sixc receptions for 189 yards,

8. Owen Bishop, Claremont cross country – Bishop helped the Wolfpack win the Division 2 state cross country title in the fall. He also took individual honors in the 5,000-meter race, becoming the school’s first individual state champion.

9. Ashley Anumba, Los Osos track – 1. She didn’t just win a CIF Southern Section title, she won a state title in discus with a throw of 171 feet. She also placed 12th in shot put. She pretty much obliterated county records in the throwing events.

10. Audrey Sellers, St. Lucy’s softball The sophomore catcher led the Regents to a 17-8 Baseline League win over Chino Hills. She went 3-3 with three home runs – two three-run shots and a two-run shot which came her first three times up. Pitchers then walked her twice.

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A tip of the cap to some of the top coaching efforts of the season

We have already saluted some of the top teams of the past school year. Now its time to acknowledge some of the coaches who helped their teams to great things.

It’s easy to honor those whose teams went all the way. But it’s also nice to acknowledge those who have taken programs from the scrap heap and but them back to respectability.

Not going to rank them because they all deserve a lot of praise and it was hard comparing coaches who continued solid programs with those who had to revive theirs.

They’re listed in alphabetical order. Here goes . . .

Image result for Nick Baiz

Nick Baiz, Rancho Cucamonga football – The Cougars played in the elite Division 1 and more than held their own, making it to the semifinal before losing to national power Mater Dei. The Cougars played a tough schedule but what was also impressive is that they never played down to an opponent. They did what they were supposed to do in each and very game.

Dawnesha Buckner, Los Osos girls basketball (27-4) – I touched on the Grizzlies success in my team highlights. But Buckner took a team that was 6-19 just a year ago and led them to a Division 3A CIF Southern Section title and a berth in the state title game. The Grizzles went from last place in the Baseline to second behind juggernaut Etiwanda. It was a young team last year so future foes should look out.

Image result for Jerry DeFabiis

Jerry DeFabiis, Colony boys basketball (30-6) – The Titans won the CIF Division 2AA title and did so without a true “superstar.” You hear a lot about team chemistry, yadda, yadda, yadda. Some say it is overrated. It’s not and the Titans are proof of that.

Sarah Farnworth, Upland softball (21-7-1) – The Highlanders were able to overtake the usual Baseline League powers this season – Etiwanda, Chino Hills and a much-improved St. Lucy’s and finished atop the heap. Upland did that despite losing its top pitcher for two months.  Farnworth did a good job of handling her pitchers and getting the most out of them, one of those just a freshman.

Andy Farrow, Chino Hills girls volleyball – The coach originally hired had to give up the job very late and Farrow was given the nod just a couple of weeks before the season started. His team didn’t even have a full schedule so most teams had at least a half dozen matches in before is even started. But the Huskies upset Rancho Cucamonga the last match of the season to the Cougars for first place in the Baseline.

Image result for Don Furnald

Don Furnald, Etiwanda baseball (27-3) – The Eagles made mincemeat of the Baseline League and that doesn’t happen often. They won 26 of their last 27, capped off by a CIF title in tough Division 2. Yes he had lots of talent, but it takes more than that to finish the job. The Eagles always seemed to keep calm under pressure.

Greg Gano, Don Lugo football (10-3) – Everyone knew Rancho Cucamonga was going to be good but it was Don Lugo emerging as the most pleasant surprise. The Conquistadores wrestled the Mt. Baldy League title away from Colony and made it to the Division 8 semifinal before losing to Burbank. He graduated some key defenders but many top offensive players will be back so they won’t sneak up on anyone next year.

Jeff Joines, Montclair boys soccer (27-2-1)  – The Mt. Baldy isn’t competitive in most sports but the exception is boys soccer and the Cavaliers came out on top against some other quality programs. The Cavs lost the Division 5 semifinal the toughest way possible, penalty kicks after a 2-2 double OT tie.

Alex Matal, Diamond Bar water polo – The Brahmas fielded a girls team for just the third year and went from 7-22 a year ago to 26-8 and Division 7 runner-up. Natal won CIF titles at Nogales and looks to be working that magic again at Diamond Bar. The boys went 22-12 and made the CIF semifinal and after going 14-15 the previous year.

Kevin Nesbit, Alta Loma water polo – It’s not easy to build a program when you’re right in the same neighborhood as established foes, most notably Los Osos.  But the Braves have made great strides. The girls went 22-10 and won a CIF title in Division 6 while the boys went 24-7, making it to the CIF semifinal before losing to Xavier Prep.

Max Pinedo, Chaffey baseball – The Tigers (20-6-1) were the Division 5 runner-up, dropping the title game to Katella 3-0 in 11 innings. Chaffey last played in a title game in 1971. He just rounded out his third year.  The team was 11-9-1 last year and 3-20 in his first year. Now that is progress.

 

 

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A look back at all our athlete of year selections

Rancho Cucamonga’s Jaylon Redd named the 2016 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin’s Football Player of the Year. (Photo by John Valenzuela/SCNG)

Another year of high school sports is behind us. Here’s a quick rundown of those we named the top athlete in their respective sport this season.

FALL
Football – Overall Player of Year: Jaylon Redd, Rancho Cucamonga
Football (Offense): Nathan Tilford, Colony
Football (Defense): Lavaka Latu, Rancho Cucamonga
Girls Volleyball: Bria Beale, Rancho Cucamonga
Girls Cross Country: Annie Boos, Claremont
Boys Cross Country: Owen Bishop, Claremont
Boys Water Polo: Bruno Snow, Claremont
Girls Tennis: Cameron Leigh Ward, Ayala
Girls Golf: Crystal Wang, Diamond Bar

WINTER
Girls Soccer: Sophie Jones, Claremont
Boys Soccer: Jose Torres, Montclair
Girls Basketball: Mikaylah Wilson, Etiwanda
Boys Basketball: LiAngelo Ball, Chino Hills
Girls Water Polo: Amanda Legaspi, Bonita
Wrestling: Zander Silva, Alta Loma

SPRING
Baseball: Tyler Freeman, Etiwanda
Softball: Taylon Snow, Chino Hills
Boys Track: Joseph Anderson, Upland
Girls Track: Ashley Anumba, Los Osos
Boys Volleyball: Johnny Abrolat, Claremont
Girls Swimming: Mikki Thompson, Ayala
Boys Swimming: Ethan Trieu, Los Osos
Boys Tennis: Jansen Comadena, Redlands
Boys Golf: Zachary Kauffmann, Chino Hills

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