Upland’s Jaden Dedman makes verbal commitment to Nevada

Upland defensive back Jaden Dedman like the communication he has had from the University of Nevada coaches all along. That was enough to convince him that is the place he would like to play college football.

Dedman, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, committed to that school today. He plans to make an official visit during the upcoming season.

“They showed me a lot of love. I text them or talk to them almost every day,” he said. “It’s not always about football stuff. I really had the feel that they wanted me there.”

Dedman also had offers from Hawaii and San Jose State and made unofficial trips to USC and San Diego State.

He managed 36 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles and 15 passes defended last year in his first season at Upland. He transferred there from Oaks Hills where he played his first two high school seasons.

Dedman also liked the idea of going and competing for playing time right away.

“I really don;t want to red shirt. I want to play,” he said. “They told me I will have that chance.”

Dedman plans to major in engineering or business.

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Upland kicker Daniel Mojarro decides on U of La Verne

Upland High School kicker Daniel Mojarro has decided to go to school and play football at the University of La Verne.

He admits the recruiting process was difficult as a kicker.

“We’re everybody’s last priority so it is tough,” he said. “But I am happy with La Verne. It’s close to home so I can still be near my family and friends and I really like the school and the football program.”

Mojarro was also talking to UC Davis and Azusa Pacific. He plans to major in criminology.

Mojarro was a first-team All-Inland Valley selection last season as a senior. He made 37 of 38 extra-point attempts and converted 12 of 15 field goal tries with a long of 47 yards.


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Upland football coach could miss second straight game

Referee Rocky Bettar, center, talks with Upland head coach Tim Salter prior to Upland’s game against Venice earlier this month.

Upland football coach Tim Salter was not in attendance at last week’s 62-7 loss to Mater Dei and is not sure whether or not he will be at his school this Friday when the Highlanders (2-2) take on Temecula Great Oak (2-1).

Salter slipped and fell while at school the Monday before the Mater Dei game, breaking his fibula. He didn’t know the injury was that bad but sought medical attention after practice on Monday.

He had planned on going to the game but being on the sidelines was not an option because of the chance of getting run into. The stadium is an older one without an elevator so taking it in from the press box was not an option either.

“I really felt bad for the kids,” Salter said of the loss and being completely overwhelmed. “I really did want to be there.”

There are a myriad of issues, particularly with workman’s compensation so until all that paperwork and red tape are taken care of Salter is having to stay away from practice.

His assistants tape practice and he watches via I-pad and he is in close communication with them. He says it also helps having a veteran staff with many assistants who have been with him most of his tenure.

He had a cast put on today which replaced a soft cast.

“It was just one of those things,” he said. “The team is in good hands and I trust my assistants. It’s just tough not being there like I would like.”


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Upland transfer Darren Jones ruled ineligible at Cajon

Four high profile football transfers from Upland to Corona Centennial were ruled ineligible by the CIF Southern Section, but Centennial wasn’t the only school to have transfers from Upland denied.

Darren Jones, a sophomore who led Upland in receiving as a freshman last year with 19 receptions for 437 yards and five touchdowns, had transferred to Cajon and hoped to be a big part of the Cowboy offense. That won’t happen anytime soon as CIF-SS also ruled him ineligible for football and basketball until next July. Rogers said Upland contested Jones’ transfer.

“I think he’s going to file an appeal with the state (CIF), as far as I know,” Cajon coach Nick Rogers said. “But that would take several weeks.”

Rogers doesn’t agree with Upland contesting the transfer.

“I’m like Kim (Battin, former Cajon coach). If a guy doesn’t want to play here, let him go,” Rogers said.

Unlike other schools, Cajon has not been a destination for many transfers Rogers said. He notes that he lost three varsity players to transfers (two to Pacific and one to San Gorgonio) and got only one varsity player back, receiver Tre’veon Wellmaker from Jurupa Hills.

“If this is a recruiting competition, I’m not doing a very good job,” Rogers said.


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Upland football team looks to challenge with young cast

Upland Football

The Upland football team fared well last year in what was largely considered a rebuilding season. They were second in the Baseline to Chino Hills and made it to the CIF quarterfinal before losing a heart-breaker to Vista Murrieta.

The Highlanders (8-4 in 2015) are rebuilding again, not because of players who graduated but because of players who transferred. Coach Tim Salter saw 10 or so athletes, most of them starters, jump to other schools. But he isn’t dwelling on what he lost, he’s focused instead on those that remain.

“I’m sure all those kids had their reasons,” he said. “We have good kids here that want to play Upland football and they have worked hard. We have some kids with great potential, they’re just young.”

Sophomore quarterback David Baldwin will lead the charge. He took the reigns of the team midway through the Baseline League game against Chino Hills and never looked back. His stock continued to rise over the summer.

Other weapons in the offensive arsenal include senior running back Artis Seymore and junior running back Kyle Jones. Baldwin will also have some solid receivers in Gary Theard, Bryce Parker and Tyler Sweet, with Sweet a transfer from Bishop Amat.

“Those kids are all good. They just have not had the chance yet because of the players who were in front of them. I really like our potential.”

The effort up front will be led by senior tackle Hugo Esqueda and senior guard Kris Montano.

Top players on the other side of the ball include junior linebackers Leonard Leau, Corey Thomas and Nick Zamora, junior lineman Fou Hoching and junior free safety Malik Goss.

Salter is also looking forward to the return of senior Montez Evans, who was out injured last season.

The new version of the Highlanders takes the field at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday against Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) at Norco High School in the Brother in Arms Classic.

The young Highlanders will need to mature in a hurry though. The Baseline League is tough enough but Upland’s non-league schedule also includes perennial title contenders in Mater Dei and Redlands East Valley as well as much-improved Claremont.

“We play a lot of tough teams,” Salter said. “We’re going to find out how good we’re going to be right away. There really isn;t an easy team on our schedule.”



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Bishop Amat transfer Tyler Sweet eligible at Upland

Bishop Amat's Tyler Sweet (14), seen rushing in a game against Oaks Christian last season, has transferred to Upland High. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Tyler Sweet looks for running room in a game last season against Oaks Christian.

Much has been made of the eight or so players Upland lost via transfer. Well the Highlanders got one too as senior wide receiver Tyler Sweet came in from football power Bishop Amat and is expected to be an impact player right away.

Athletic director John McNally said the newcomer was ruled eligible by CIF today on the “change of residence” so he will be eligible for the Highlanders opener on Saturday against Phoenix Mountain Prep.

Sweet played in eight games for the Lancers last season and registered 14 catches for 254 yards.

He is expected to pick up some of the slack left by the departure of sophomore Darren Jones who transferred from Upland to Cajon although Upland coach Tim Salter said it is one position where he has a lot of depth and add that Sweet has worked right into the fold.

“These kids all know each other from passing leagues and all their other off-season activities,” he said. “He has fit right in.”


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Running back Nathan Tilford transfers from Upland to Colony

Junior Nathan Tilford, expected to be one of the Inland Valley’s most sought after recruits next season, has transferred from Upland to Colony, Titans coach Steve Randall confirmed.

Randall wouldn’t elaborate further except to say Tilford has enrolled. The school is going through the paperwork process that comes with a transfer.

Tilford, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, ran for 887 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 106 carries last year for the Highlanders. Coach Tim Salter used Tiflord and senior Darreyon Jones in the backfield.

Tilford has also played some linebacker.

Tilford has been an impact player since his freshman year, even drawing a scholarship offer from USC as an eighth-grader.


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