New look Alta Loma looking to contend in Mt. Baldy League

Try telling new Alta Loma football coach Mark Pasquarella that this is a rebuilding year and he’ll have none of that. The veteran coach wants to win a Mt. Baldy League title right away.

“I think we have talent, we just don’t have a lot of experience,” he says. “Our goal is to go out there and win every game.”

Pasquarella is taking over the reigns following the departure of Joe Szczepanksi who had them for four years. It has been a slow transition. Until June 30 he was still working for the Covina school district so anything he did football-related had to come after 4 p.m.

The Braves, coming off a 5-5 showing last year, also had to hold spring practice at a nearby elementary school because construction of the new stadium on campus forced a temporary relocation.

As for other setbacks, well a couple of veteran players transferred out. Among those – quarterback Jacob Hennie. Sophomore Junior James and junior Garrett Kettle are fighting for that vacant spot.

Pasquarella, who will call the offense, singles out the offensive and defensive lines as the team’s strong suit. He also likes the depth he has at running back.

The defense is where his team needs the most work right now, with the most inexperienced units being at linebacker and in the secondary. Getting the Braves up to speed will be the responsibility of new defensive coordinator Bill Strycula.

As for other key players, Pasquarella singles out versatile senior Will Ukpong who will play safety and can line up at a varsity of spots on offense.

The team is heavy with sophomores and juniors. While Pasquarella singles out defending champion Colony as the team to beat, he isn’t counting out his.

“I really like what I have seen. The kids have worked hard and I think we’ll surprise people,” Pasquarella says.

The Braves get the new season underway on Aug. 28 with a non-league game at Chaffey High School against Rowland, which is coming off a 4-6 season.


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Three locals earn All-State baseball honors from MaxPreps

The final baseball honors are out and three local players have been honored by MaxPreps which named its Large Schools All-State team.

Pitcher Bailey Falter and outfielder Chris Ceballos, both seniors, were named to the first team while senior second baseman Kyle Isbel of Etiwanda made the second team.

Falter, who was drafted in the fifth round and signed by the Phillies, was 6-2 with a 1.20 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched.

Ceballos, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton, hit .422 batting with 7 doubles, 25 RBI, 27 runs and a school single season record of 12 home runs.

Isbel, the Most Valuable Player in the Baseline League, hit .397 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs, 28 RBI and 34 runs scored. He has signed with UNLV.

All three players were first team All-Inland Valley selections by the Daily Bulletin.


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Pomona football team looking to repeat with new cast

Dec 5 2014. Lancaster CA. Pomona football team holds the CIF award, during the CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division football final as Pomona took the win 37 to 29 over Paraclete. Photo by Gene Blevins/LA DailyNews

The Pomona High School football team can no longer get away with flying under the radar. Last year the Red Devils won their first CIF title since 1951, capturing the Mid-Valley Championship.

So head coach Keith Richardson’s team is now the hunted not the hunter. The Red Devils also graduated 20 or so players, some of them key contributors on both sides of the ball so their loss is even more costly.

The pressure is, no doubt, on.

“We know people are focusing more on us this year,” Richardson said. “We have to rise to the challenge. We have some very good players but they may not be ones people know right now.”

The Red Devils (11-4 last year) did inherit a couple of transfers who will be counted on heavily. One of those is senior quarterback Aaron Sandoval who came over from Chino Hills and will be the starter.

Sandoval’s arrival will allow Darreon Lockett, to slide over to a receiver slot for which he is better suited. Lockett will also see time on defense.

“He is one of those players that can help you in a lot of places,” Richardson said of Lockett. “But this is more of a true position for him.”

The other big new arrival is senior Chris Jackson, the top player last year at Garey who will also play at wide receiver and defensive back.

Other key newcomers are junior wide receiver Ricky Lua, brother of Manny who was a key player on last year’s team, as well as senior Denario Critton who competed in track last year but did not play football.

Among the holdovers from the title-winning team are senior linebacker-safety Brian Lamb, senior offensive lineman Christopher Mendez and junior lineman Joel Trujillo.

Leonard Hudson is back as offensive coordinator but Richardson will no longer be defensive coordinator so he can oversee the entire game. John Brown, who was on staff, will head the defense.

Pomona starts the new season on Aug. 28 at Oak Hills. It begins defense of its Miramonte League title on Oct. 16 against city foe Ganesha.



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Logan Rinehart of Rancho Cucamonga picks Cal Baptist

Rancho Cucamonga High School shortstop-pitcher Logan Rinehart wasn’t blinded by the glamour of playing Division I baseball. He has instead chosen to sign with rising Division II  power Cal Baptist.

He also considered UCLA and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before choosing the Lancers, who advanced to the NCAA Division II regional this year before falling to Cal Poly Pomona.

“I really like what the program has to offer,” said Rinehart, who plans to major in health science. “I really liked the coaching staff and I think it will be a good place for me to develop.”

The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder hit .338 for the Cougars with 13 runs scored and 15 RBI. He was a first-team All-Baseline League selection and an honorable mention All-Inland Valley selection.

Cal Baptist went 31-22 last season, losing to Cal Poly Pomona 6-4 in that West Region title game in just the school’s second year of playoff eligibility after transitioning from NAIA.


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Final prep softball honors of the year are out

Calhi Sports named its All-State softball teams and there is heavy representation from teams in the San Bernardino Sun/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin coverage area.

It’s a huge nod to those selected given that it’s a statewide list and the depth of talent from which there was to choose.

It’s good confirmation that we pretty much nailed our All-Area picks which came out last month.

Here’s a rundown of the locals honored.

C Paige Halstead, Sr., Los Osos
P Brooke Bolinger, Sr., Yucaipa
INF Tannon Snow, Sr., Chino Hills
OF Zoe Casas, Sr., Aquinas
OF Kennedy Clark, Sr., Ayala

C Kelly Martinez, Jr., Yucaipa
INF Eliyah Flores, Soph., Grand Terrace
OF Taylon Snow, Soph., Chino Hills
Multi-purpose – Ciera Schick, Sr., Los Osos

P Taylor Troost, Sr., Citrus Valley
Multi-purpose – Tiffany kennedy-Cummings, Sr., Chino

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Etiwanda, Summit to start traveling trophy rivalry game

Etiwanda and Summit High Schools are separated by just 3.53 miles. So it only makes sense that the Eagles and SkyHawks play for more than just bragging rights.

Starting this year they will. All the details are being ironed out but the Sept. 4 game will be called the “Fight for 15,” or some variation thereof. It is in reference to the fact that the two are opposite sides of that particular freeway.

Image result for Summit high school logo Fontana Ca

Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis, who came over after two years as offensive coordinator at Colony, graduated from Etiwanda in 1997. He also previously served as assistant there and remembers talk about establishing such a game back then.

So one of the first things he did upon getting the head job was calling Summit counterpart Nick Matheny and asking his opinion on the matter. As expected, Matheny was on board. It didn’t take much to rally support for the idea from the administration at both schools.

Both schools have used A.B. Miller as a home field and Summit still does so the game will be played there.

“I took it to my guys and they really loved the idea,” Davis said. “The schools are so close the kids all know each other. Everyone loves rivalry games so why not do it?”

Last year the teams played to a 6-6 tie, the game cut short prematurely by a power failure early in the fourth quarter.

“After that game it seemed like the perfect time to start it,” Davis said.

“Last year I surprised at just how big that game was,” Matheny said. “It was a great atmosphere. The kids all know each other and the schools are close so it is a game we should keep playing.”

It will be the second game of the season for Etiwanda which opens the season against Norco on Aug. 28. It will be the opener for Summit which plays a scrimmage against Jurupa Valley, also on Aug. 28.


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Local baseball players earn All-State honors from Cal-Hi Sports

Several locals have earned All-State honors from Cal-Hi Sports. Here’s the rundown of locals from the Dailey Bulletin/Sun coverage area saluted:

P Bailey Falter, Sr., Chino Hills
P Peter Lambert, Sr., San Dimas


INF Branden Becker, Sr., Cajon
OF Chris Ceballos, Sr., Chino Hills
UT Kyle Robeniol, Sr., Los Osos

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Locals named to CalHi Sports Underclass softball team

As usual, several players earned special recognition from CalHi Sports which released its All-Underclass team.

Remember this is a particularly elite list since it consists of players from all divisions throughout the entire talent-laden state.

The first team list included these locals from the Daily Bulletin/Sun coverage area:

Taylon Snow of Chino Hills was the 2014 State Freshman of the Year and has committed to Washington, where she plans to reunite with recently graduated sister Tannon Snow (also a multiple all-state underclass pick). Photo:

C Kelly Martinez, Jr., Yucaipa
INF Eliyah Flores, Soph., Grand Terrace
INF Megan Stevens, Jr., Etiwanda
OF Taylon Snow, Soph., Chino Hills
OF Vanessa Taukeiaho, Jr., Etiwanda

Second team selections included:

Melanie Olmos, Soph., Grand Terrace

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Chino Hills’ Tannon Snow named top softball player in country

Chino Hills High School shortstop Tannon Snow admits keeping the secret wasn’t easy. And this was a really big secret.

The Washington-bound standout has been named MaxPreps National Player of the Year, meaning she’s the best player in the entire country.

A representative called her a month or so ago to do the interview but the announcement didn’t come until last night. So word it out now, finally!

“I kept wondering when it was going to come out so I could tell people,” she said. “It’s truly an honor with all the great players that had great years. It’s awesome. I don’t even know what to say.”

Snow put up just insane offensive numbers. In 32 games she hit a California single-season record 28 home runs and drove in a state-record 89 runs. She added 13 doubles and three triples so 44 of her 62 hits were for extra bases. She batted .573 and walked 16 times, with a slugging percentage of 1.513 and an unheard-of OPS of 2.129.

Among the other players who landed on first team, earning All-American honors were pitcher Brooke Bolinger of Yucaipa and Taylor McQuillan of Mission Viejo, whose teams met in the CIF Division 2 title game.

Snow numbers made her a strong candidate but some of the other top honors from other outlets went to other players, mainly due to the Huskies only getting to the quarterfinal.

“Our team didn’t go as far so I thought maybe those other players had the edge,” she said.

There are still more impressive numbers for Snow: in 21 games, she had two or more base hits. She drove in a teammate in 27 of Chino Hills 32 games and in 22 of the games she drove home more than two.

Snow homered in 19 games and had eight multi-homer games. Twice during the season, she homered in five or more games in a row. She hit three home runs and drove in seven runs in one game.

But the most amazing statistic is that in her final seven games, she homered 11 times.

The other locals also earned first-team honors with strong seasons. Bolinger led Yucaipa to a 31-3 record and the Southern Section Division II title, beating undefeated and then-No. 1 Mission Viejo, 1-0. She had 306 strikeouts with a 0.26 ERA and limited opponents to a .088 batting average. She will attend Nevada-Reno.

Paige Halstead of Los Osos was named first team All-American at catcher. The USA Junior National Team member batted .568, scored 38 times and had 36 RBIs. She has signed with UCLA.

Zoe Casas of Aquinas is the fourth local making the first-team. The Florida State-committed senior batted .736 with 64 hits, giving her a state record 248 base hits. In 105 games, she scored 193 runs and struck out just three times. For her four seasons at Aquinas, she batted .681.


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Colony football team aiming to defend Central title

Some say it’s harder to stay at the top than get to the top. Count Colony High School football coach Steve Randall among those who agrees.

“You’re on everyone’s radar when you’re the defending champion,” he said. “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone.”

Well the Titans (12-2) are confronting the challenge of defending head on. They’re playing as tough a non-league schedule as you’ll see so they should be prepared by the time Mt.Baldy League play rolls around.

The Titans graduated 30 or so seniors, with a dozen of those being significant impact players.

Leading the returning cast is senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns in the last two years. He separated his shoulder later in the regular season and was thought to be lost for the season only to return for the title game against Los Altos.

“He worked really hard in the off-season to get stronger,” Randall said. “He has looked good. We’re looking for more good things out of him this season.”

Some of the other vital cogs in the offense are gone. Look for Fred Harrison to shoulder some of the load carried by the departed Ryan Kinard with Tyrone Hatchett pitching in as well. Senior Tre Bland and sophomroe newcomer Oscar Noyola will be among the big bodies up front clearing the way.

Hugo Malana and Marcos Valencia headline the receiving core.

The offense will be a bit different this season. Chalk that up to the departure of offensive coordinator Kevin Davis who left for the head position at Etiwanda.

Randall says his team will not go up-tempo all the time as it did last year. Instead it will pick and choose its spots. Thompson will also be more over center as opposed to in shotgun formation.

“I like going up-tempo but it hurt as at times,” Randall said. “So we’ll be more conventional at times.”

Randall singles out the defensive line as the team’s strong suit. Returner Tyrique Faatiglia will head the effort along with a couple of newcomers in junior Jacob Chagolla.

Other key defenders include defensive back Khalil Dorsey, who had 11 interceptions last year, as well as newcomer Dallas Trena and linebacker Elijah Arellano.

The Titans begin defense of their title on Aug. 28 with an opener at West Covina, a foe that made it to the second round of the playoffs a year ago.

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