Two-way standout Jaylon Dean transfers from Kaiser to Ganesha

Christmas came a little early for Ganesha football coach Don Cayer.

Jaylon Dean has transferred from Sunkist League champion Kaiser to Ganesha, Cayer confirmed.

The CIF has already ruled him eligible for the coming season. Dean, a 5-foot-10, 225 pounder, is expected to make an immediate impact.

“He will be a difference maker, especially on defense because that’swhere he has played the most,” Cayer said. “We have some skill players on offense but he gives us more options there.

Dean was an All-League selection last year on defense with 53 tackles and four sacks. Cayer says he will use him on both sides of the ball.

“We don’t get a transfer of this caliber that often,” he said. “We’re talking an All-League kid on a first place team. We’re excited to have him.”

Ganesha opens the season at Mark Keppel on Aug. 28.



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Here are 10 more players to watch the coming prep football season

We’re rolling out the content that will be in our Prep Xtra Football section on Aug. 26 bit by bit.

Earlier this week we unveiled the area’s top 10 prospects and soon we’ll give you a countdown of the top 10 teams.

Today it’s our Pre-Season All-Area team. If there is anything harder than picking one at the end of the season, it’s picking one BEFORE it starts. You have to go a lot on last year and what players are already known and there are always some that have breakouts years.

Here is the link to that.

Yes I had a hard time narrowing it down because there are so many great players from which to choose.

But here are 10 others I think are poised for great seasons. A couple guidelines – I didn’t want to pick more than one player from the school and I wanted to have representations from different geographic areas.

* QB Angel Matute, Rancho Cucamonga, Sr.
The Cougars boast a lot of Division I prospects and Matute, who will be starting for the third year, will be one of those. He’s 6-4 and mobile. Colleges love that. He threw for 2,000 yards last year and it wasn’t even a great one for the Cougars.

Grady O'Donnell

* RB Grady O’Donnell, Chino Hills, Sr.
He was kind of unknown going into last season but when Brysen Charbonier got hurt he took advantage of the opportunity and ran with it (pun intended). With the Huskies breaking in a new quarterback, he will be counted on heavily and have the opportunity to shine.

* RB Dylan Thigpen, Damien, Sr.
He’s already had two great season so it isn’t like he’s an unknown commodity. But he has a great lineman in front of him in Liam Ryan and the Spartans should be a little more competitive this season, their second in the Baseline. He should put him bug numbers, even more impressive given the competition.

* RB Duy Tran-Sampson, Claremont, Jr.
How do you put yourself on the nap? You rush for 1,525 yards as a sophomore. Like Thigpen, not unknown. But not in a program that has garnered a lot of attention recently. Didn’t want to include so many running backs here, but couldn’t leave him out.

* RB-CB Davion Gaisie, Diamond Ranch, Sr.
He very quietly rushed for more than 1,000 yards last year in a so-so season for the Panthers. It will be interesting to see what he does under a new coach in a new offense. He’ll also be a contributor on defense.

* WR-DB Leni Toailoa, Carter, Sr.
Everyone knows his more heralded brother Lokeni but Leni is a solid player in his own right. He committed to San Jose State but now has offers from higher profile programs including UCLA. We’ll see where he ends up.

* WR Chris Jackson, Pomona, Sr.
He was a great player last year but since he was at Garey, barely anyone noticed. (Ok I did because I did a story on him). But he’ll be in a higher profile program which graduated a ton of players so his contribution will be huge if the Red Devils are to repeat.

* OL Raymond Matelau, Upland, Sr.
Upland always has lineman and he is the most experienced one Coach Tim Salter has. With so many new starters he will be counted on heavily.

* LB Aidan Anderson, Etiwanda, Sr.
The Eagles have always had great players, especially on defense. They had a lot of them last year too so Anderson didn’t get a lot of recognition. This year that will change. Not only has he stepped it up performance-wise, new coach Kevin Davis also singles him out as a great team leader.

* MLB Cody Darrow, Ayala, Sr.
The Bulldog standout is drawling a lot interest right now from Big Sky type schools. But a good season will likely land him some higher profile offers. Ayala has a ton of players coming back and he’s one of those. Good things can be on the horizon for Darrow and his teammates.

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Webb football gets different opening week foe by accident

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The Webb School football team was supposed to play Temecula Prep in its season opener on Aug. 28.  Instead the Gauls will be playing DeAnza Hamilton and it has nothing to do with something the school did or didn’t do.

Webb coach Amahl Thomas says yes his team was to play Temecula Prep but that school had some sort of computer glitch and lost its schedule. It tried to recreate one but left Webb off the second time and scheduled Hamilton instead.

Needless to say that didn’t sit well with Webb.

When contacted, the CIF mandated that either Temecula Prep either play Webb or let Webb play the team it scheduled the second time.

So Webb will face Hamilton.

Not quite sure how you have a schedule in a computer and have no other record anywhere. But that’s the story.

And even if you lose that schedule, it would be hard to believe you wouldn’t at least remember your first opponent.

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Will Summit’s talent translate into a league championship?

Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff Photographer Running back Stephen Carr, who is verbally committed to USC, is one of four Summit High School players already with Division-I scholarship offers entering the 2015 season.

Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff Photographer
Running back Stephen Carr, who is verbally committed to USC, is one of four Summit players with Division-I scholarship offers entering the 2015 season.

If it could convert scholarship offers into victories, Summit could crown itself today.

The SkyHawks football team enters the 2015 season with four players sporting Division-I offers, including Damian Alloway’s list of 16. Had he not committed to USC nearly two years before he could sign a letter of intent, running back Stephen Carr would presumably have more than five scholarship offers.

After becoming the first school other than Kaiser to win a Sunkist League championship – Summit claimed consecutive league titles in 2011 and 2012 – the SkyHawks have finished second the last two seasons. But talent hasn’t been much of an issue, according to head coach Nick Matheny.

“With our three guys at the skill positions, we’re pretty loaded,” Matheny said. “But we were talented last year too and we were only able to pull out six wins.”
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Montclair to host alumni men’s basketball game

Montclair will host its second annual alumni basketball game at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10.

The event is being planned by 2005 graduate Larry Gordon who went on to earn All-American honors at Cal Poly Pomona and now plays professionally overseas.

Admission is just $3 but the first 100 spectators will be admitted free, compliments of Gordon.

Last year’s events featured players who graduated as far back as the late 90’s and as recently as a couple of years ago.


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Rancho Elite girls basketball team wins State Games


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A girls basketball team from Rancho Elite came away with a gold medal at the California State Games Tournament at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego last month.

The team had to play in several qualifying tournaments just to get into regional from which the top three teams advanced. It finished with a 25-10 record and went 6-2 at the state games.

At the state games the team lost in the first round but still had three games to get into the championship. During each round the team held the last three foes to less than 40 points.

The members of the team were:

Sam Velasquez, Rancho Cucamonga
Amari Terry, Alta Loma
Taylor Goldsberry,  Cajon
Caylen Goldsberry, Cajon
Kourtney Casey, Summit
Taelor Grays Arnold, Summit
Kylie Mosley, Summit
Jamari Adams, Upland
Jordyn Penniman, Canyon Springs

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Colony football wins without high profile college prospects

Last year the Colony Titans cruised to a CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. One would think that meant coach Steve Randall sent a lot of players on to Division I schools. Not so.

Colony (12-2), which won its last nine games of the season, didn’t have a single player that continued on to a high-profile school. Was it because they didn’t make the grade academically? Not at all.

They just had a lot of seniors that didn’t pass the old “eye test.” They were players that didn’t measure up to the physical stature the bigger schools are looking for.

That doesn’t mean Colony hasn’t sent players to major colleges. Samajie Grant has emerged as a key player at Arizona.

But the Titans have made their living off having blue-collar players that buy into their role and worked well into the framework of the team concept.  Does it make the coach’s job more rewarding? Absolutely!

“It does kind of tell us that what we’re doing is working,” Randall said. “A lot of the teams we beat last year have those marquee players. So we’re doing something right.”

Randall passes much of the credit on to his senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who is quiet by nature, but leads by example. He’s one of those guys that fits into the “not passing the eye test” category.

He has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns with just nine interceptions in the last two years. Those numbers should garner a little bit of a look. But he’s one of those 5-foot-10 guys and that’s a bit small for a quarterback. Schools aren’t looking at the intangibles such as toughness and poise under pressure.

He injured his shoulder the next to last game of the regular season and was thought to be done for the season. He worked hard, came back and got a bit of playing time in the semifinal. Then led his team to the win in the title game.

Most of the interest Thompson has drawn thus far has been from Ivy League schools and he has the grades to get in.

“He has said about four words in three years here,” Randall joked. “But he doesn’t get rattled and our guys feed off that. They feel like he’s in control and they’re in control too. That showed a lot last year in the way he handled his injury.”

As far as other possible major college players, Randall says senior defensive back Khalil Dorsey and linebacker Devon Harper are the most likely candidates. But Dorsey, who was fifth in the state in the 100 hurdles during spring track season, is listed as 5-9, and Harper is just 6-0.

Time will tell. But colleges that aren’t snatching up some of these athletes are missing out.



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Local water polo standouts earn All-American honors

The National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) has announced its list of water polo high school All Americans for the 2014-2015 season.

The organization picked 14 players for each of six teams nationwide.

Several locals earned recognition.

The top honoree was junior Matthew Maier of Damien who named to the second team.

Senior Austin Stewart of Los Osos made the fourth team while senior goal keeper Steven Cagle of Claremont, who led the Wolfpack to a CIF championship, made the sixth team.

Senior Thomas Halverson of Los Osos made honorable mention.

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Chino Hills, Ayala football teams renew “Battle of the Bone”

Ayala Football

The “Battle of the Bone” is back!

When Chino Hills was dispatched from the Sierra to the Baseline League last year, so went the rivalry between the schools separated by just 4.3 miles.

But the rivals are back on each others’ schedule, in football at least. They will play on Aug. 28 at Ayala in the season opener for both.

Chino Hills Athletic Director Phil Garcia says when it comes to scheduling he takes his cue from his coaches on who they prefer to play in non-league. A lot can hinge on what tournaments the respective teams are in and what common open dates there are.

Chino Hills Husky Football

This year it worked out. Chino Hills wanted the game bad enough it forfeited a home game and will have only four this season, according to Garcia. Ayala needed a home game and the Huskies obliged.

The game looms as the most intriguing Week 0 match-up in the Inland Valley.

Ayala coach Randy Reams was looking to beef up his team’s non-league schedule. What better way to do that than schedule a Baseline League team, and a local rival as well.

“We’re excited. It will be a great test,” he said. “We’re very happy to have that game back on our schedule.

Chino Hills counterpart Matt Bechtel agrees.

“We played them my first year and I really didn’t think it was that big a deal,” he said. “Then the day of the game it was crazy. It took 30 minutes for us to get there just because of the traffic and the people that were out. It was a great atmosphere.”

Here’s how the previous games between the two have played out.

2014 – Did not play
2013 – Chino Hills 52, Ayala 28
2012 – Chino Hills 49, Ayala 34
2011 – Chino Hills 40, Ayala 17
2010 – Chino Hills 36, Ayala 8
2009 – Chino Hills 14, Ayala 7
2008 – Ayala 18, Chino Hills 17
2007 – Ayala 19, Chino Hills 10
2006 – Chino Hills 42, Ayala 21
2005 – Chino Hills 20, Ayala 7
2004 – Chino Hills 21, Ayala 16
2003 – Ayala 21, Chino Hills 17

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Upland football team will be counting on lesser known athletes

Last year the Upland High School football team boasted 10 or so Division I recruits, many of whom went on the high profile college programs.

The Highlanders don’t have quite the star power this season but veteran head coach Tim Salter thinks his team is capable of adding to a streak of four straight Baseline League titles.

“We had guys most people didn’t know but they had to play at a high speed to keep with those guys in practice,” he said. “We had very competitive practices and we’re counting on those to have gotten these guys ready to play.”

Among the departed is quarterback Tyler Hilinski, now at Washington State.

Junior Andrew Harrison has inherited the job after being relegated to backup duty last year. The biggest difference is that he is much smaller in stature than his predecessor.

Of course your chances are always pretty good when one of your returning players is Nathan Tilford. The versatile junior focused on playing running back last year because the Highlanders didn’t need him on defense with so many other players. But Salter said he will see time there this season.

The are in which there are the most returners is in the wide receiving core with Joseph Jones, Joseph Ayala and Grant Porter all returning. Porter recently committed to Washington State. Jones and Ayala can also see time in the secondary.

Upland has never had a lot of players going both ways but Salter said that with 20 players having graduated, he’ll be experimenting with players at multiple positions, at least through non-league play.

Other key players on offense are senior Raymond Matelau, the team’s most experience lineman, as well as Tavoi Hoching, perhaps the most versatile player on the squad. Salter also singled out junior wide receiver Gary Theard, who the coach says had a good spring.

On the defensive side, senior lineman Kelon Ferdinand is the top returner. Other key players are linebackers Cole McCarty, Semisi Pahulu and Sione Piutau.

Senior Isikeli Otuafo may see time in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

A couple of siblings who could be contributors. Corners Jacob Tilford, younger brother of Nathan, and Jordan Porter, brother of Grant will push for playing time. Both are juniors.

Upland opens the season on Aug. 28 at Palmdale Knight, an opponent it pummeled pretty good last season. But the Highlanders do boast top notch foes in non-league play such as Mater Dei, Venice and Tesoso.

“I don’t think you can be ready to play in our league unless you see teams of this caliber first,” he said. “You have to play those games at a high speed. You don’t want a high speed game for the first time when’ you’re just getting to league play.”



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