Upland standout Gary Theard headed to Naval Academy

Versatile Upland football standout Gary Theard was fairly sure his college destination was going to be one branch of the armed forces – the big question which one.

Well  the wide receiver-defensive back has decided it will be the Naval Academy.

TheardHe made an official visit to the Naval Academy back in October and was guided by former Upland teammate Elijah Jones who is now on his second year there.

Theard admitted Jones was a big factor i his decision.

“He told me exactly how it is, that the first two years are tough,” Theard said. “But it was good having someone I know be honest and tell me what to expect so I can trust what he says.”

Theard had 13 offers. Also among those was Air Force.

He has three brothers that have served in the Marines so a service academy always was his preference.

“It’s a chance to have your education paid for, travel and see the world. You come out and you have a job and a career,” he said. “I knew pretty much all along that I was going to go there.”

Theard has excelled on both sides of the ball but said he will play on defense for naval Academy.

The first step of his journey will be in Rhode Island where he will have service training and go to a prep school. That will not count toward his eligibility.



Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland High graduate Zach Wilson signs with Hawaii

Upland High School graduate and former football standout Zach Wilson has signed with the University of Hawaii and has already enrolled at that school. He will leave for there on Saturday.

Wilson played wide receiver and corner for the Highlanders, graduating in June. He only took two classes at Mt. SAC in the fall so his eligibility clock has not started. Since he didn’t play at that school he’ll still have four seasons to play in five years.

Wilson said he talked to that school briefly his senior year and had some conversation with Montana State and Arizona State before opting for Hawaii, which he never actually visited.

“This was a little bit of a different path than most people take but I’m excited,” he said. “I liked the coaches and I think I’ll fit into what they do defensively.”

Wilson, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, plans to major in sports management/business in hope of becoming a sports agent.


Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Baseline League honors: Football

Offensive MVP’s – Curtis Price, Sr., Chino Hills; Dylan Thigpen, Sr., Damien; Aaron Manning, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga

Defensive MVP – William Hackenberg, Sr., Chino Hills

First team offense
QB Caleb Arreola, Sr., Chino Hills
QB Angel Matute, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
QB Andrew Kanatsky, Sr., Etiwanda
QB Warren Bryan, Soph., Damien
RB Nathan Tilford, Jr., Upland
RB Donovan Williams, Sr., Los Osos
RB Darreyon Jones, Sr., Upland
WR Noah Gutierrez, Sr., Etiwanda
TE Tavoi Hoching, Sr., Upland
OL R.J. Stripling, Jr., Chino Hills
OL Matt Kivler, Sr., Chino Hills
OL Liam Ryan, Sr., Damien
OL Ray Matelau, Sr., Upland
OL Cohl Cabral, Sr., Los Osos
OL Nathan Thomas, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
K Matthew Amrhein, Sr., Damien

First team defense
CB Jaylan Brown, Sr., Chino Hills
CB Cameron Record, Sr., Damien
CB Jaylon Redd, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga
S Kendall Greer, Sr., Etiwanda
LB Anthony Rosales, Sr., Chino Hills
LB Dylan Tucker, Jr., Chino Hills
LB Cole McCarty, Sr., Upland
LB Bryce Youngquist, Sr., Los Osos
LB Cameron Smith, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
DL Grant Trueman, Jr., Chino Hills
DL Kelon Ferdinand, Sr., Upland
DL Lane Haywood, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga

Second team offense
RB Grady O’Donnell, Sr., Chino Hills
RB Kamari Pleasant, Sr., Etiwanda
WR Vos Price, Jr., Chino Hills
WR Joshua Keith, Sr., Etiwanda
WR David Farmer, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
OL Miles Dutton, Sr., Los Osos
OL Jonah Latu, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga
OL Connor Garcelli, Jr., Chino Hills
OL Austin Evans, Sr., Damien
OL Evander Achan, Sr., Damien
OL Ratu Faupula, Sr., Upland
OL Siani Malere, Jr., Upland

Second team defense
DB Josh Zappala, Sr., Chino Hills
SS Craig Worthley, Sr., Chino Hills
SS Darrial Busby, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
CB Thomas Graham, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga
LB Sione Piutau, Jr., Upland
LB Semisi Pahulu, Jr., Upland
LB Mikael Fakhoury, Sr., Los Osos
LB Mikey Rosales, Soph., Chino Hills
LB Nicholas Provenzano, Sr., Damien
LB Aidan Anderson, Sr., Etiwanda
DL Oscar Burgueno, Jr., Chino Hills
DL Isikeli Otuafi, Sr., Upland
DL Sosaia Sekeni, Sr., Upland
DL Mason Vega, Sr., Los Oso
DL Johnny Latu, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland wide receiver Grant Porter cleared to play

Embedded image permalink

Wide receiver Grant Porter of Upland High school was sidelined before the season even started with a broken foot.

But the speedy senior has been cleared to play and could see action in Friday night’s Baseline League game against Damien.

Porter, who has committed to Washington State, caught 23 passes for 366 yards last season as a junior and was expected to be a main weapon in the Highlanders offensive arsenal this season.

The Highlanders close out the regular season next week against Rancho Cucamonga.


Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

It’s good news on the injury front for Upland football team

The worst part of playing a physically tough non-league game is the risk of injury to a key player that can derail postseason plans.

Colony was fortunate that it had none in its long line of juggernaut opponents.

But Upland had several major players hurt in a 43-14 loss to Mater Dei on Sept. 18. The good news is that the Highlanders had a patsy opponent the next week in Los Angeles George Washington Prep. Then came the bye week. So players have had the better part of three weeks to get healthy.

That’s not to stay they they will be 100%. But they will play in Friday’s Baseline League opener against Etiwanda at Colony High School.

The worst injury was an ankle sprain sustained by senior Cole McCarty, who starts at linebacker and fullback and plays on all special teams. Coach Tim Salter feared his player had a broken ankle the night it happened but that wasn’t the case.

“We were really aggressive with treatment and physical therapy,” Salter said. “He’s still limping a little but he has been practicing and will be able to play.”

The other injuries were to senior wide receiver Gary Theard (hip/back), senior defensive lineman Kelon Ferdinand (ankle), senior running back Darreyon Jones (headaches) and senior defensive back Andrew Davis (ankle). All will be available this week.

Senior wide receiver Grant Porter (broken foot) remains out but the Highlanders haven’t had him all season as the injury occurred in practice before the first game. Salter is hoping to have him back for the playoffs and says having him back before that would be “a luxury.”

The good thing for the Highlanders is that they have depth at that position.

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland football team to be missing several key players this week

The Upland High School football team had several key injuries in Friday night’s 43-14 loss to national power Mater Dei.

The good news most of the injured parties are expected back by the time the Highlanders start Baseline League play in two weeks against Etiwanda.

The worst of the injuries was sustained by senior Cole McCarty, who plays on both sides of the ball as well as on special teams. He sustained an ankle injury and head coach Tim Salter feared on Friday night it was broken. Fortunately it’s only a severe sprain.

“The swelling went up so quickly that’s why we really thought it was worse,” Salter said. “Sprains aren’t good either but it could have been worse.”

Senior running back Darreyon Jones complained of headaches so he was held out the second half and got just four carries the entire game.

Jnior wide receiver Gary Theard fell awkwardly after  making a sensational catch in the first half and he didn’t return.

Senior defensive lineman Kelon Ferdinand and senior defensive back Andrew Davis also sustained ankle injuries.

Salter said McCarty, Jones and Theard will be held out of Friday’s home non-league game against George Washington Prep of Los Angeles (2-2) while the other three will be game-time decisions.

“The bye definitely comes at a good time,” Salter said. “It gives us two weeks to rehab guys and we’ll see how far they come.”


Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland coach Tim Salter recognized for 200th win

Embedded image permalink

The Upland High School football team had no trouble disposing of visiting Venice 63-7 tonight.

Before the game veteran coach Tim Salter was honored in pre-game festivities. He notched his 200th career win last week when the Highlanders were victorious at Palmdale Knight 49-6.

He was presented a plaque and commemorative picture.

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

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.”



Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland High School football boasts 10 signees

Upland football coach Tim Salter has headed the Highlander program more than two decades and he has had some good players. Never this many at once.

Upland held its Signing Day festivities this morning in the gymnasium and 10 players declared their intent. The veteran coach says that is the most he has had at one time.

Another three may sign in the coming weeks.

Here is the list:
Gary Baker, Oregon
Vince Elefante, Sacramento State
Donnie Greene, Fresno State
Tyler Hilinski, Washington State
Elijah Jones, Naval Academy
Jalen Moore, Oregon State
Kameron Powell, Washington State
Hasani Smith, Sanb Diego State
Troy Thomas, Azusa Pacific
Josh Woods, UCLA

Hilinksi was the only player not on hand for the festivities. He has already enrolled at Washington State, having graduated early.

Here’s what Salter had to say about the class:

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Upland lineman Gary Baker decides on Oregon


Upland High School lineman Gary Baker hasn’t visited the University of Oregon yet, but he’s decided that’s where he would like to spend his college days.

Baker, a 6-foot-3, 280-pounder, made a verbal commitment to the Pac-12 power this week after the school’s coaches came for a home visit.

He plans to take his official trip to the school this weekend and expects that to further confirm his desire to play there.

“I had my grandparents there and a lot of other family and we all loved the coaches and just got a good vibe,” he said. “I am excited about the opportunity.”

Baker was a first-team All-CIF and Inland Valley selection in his only year playing for the Highlanders. He played for two years at Victor Valley but sat out his junior year after the transfer.

Not being able to play his junior year was tough but he spent it working out just as hard as if he were playing, alongside teammate Josh Woods, another transfer who will be signing with UCLA.

Baker started full-time on both side of the ball but said he prefers defense. That is where Oregon wants him to play.

Baker visited Fresno State and New Mexico. He had a trip planned to Arizona State but said he probably won’t take it.

He plans to major in business management.

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email