Diamond Ranch to host college expo for boys basketball players

Are you a boys basketball player in their senior year of high school or at a junior college who feels they have been overlooked? Well, there is an event coming up that will interest you.

Diamond Ranch High School will host a college showcase designed to hook prospective players up with college programs. It will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday.

Players will each compete in at least three games in order to showcase their skills. They will also get an update on new academic regulations that will directly affect them.

A dozen or so college coaches from NAIA, Division II and Division III schools will be on hand. There will also be some reps from community colleges. Among those on hand will be reps from schools such as Cal State LA, Cal State East Bay, Dominican University and University of La Verne.

The cost is $50.

Last year 10 players who participated got college spots.

For more information see www.TheCollegeExpo.org or call (909) 396-0151.

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Rancho Cucamonga looking like a formidable force in Baseline

Finishing third in the Baseline League last year didn’t exactly sit well with the Rancho Cucamongna Cougars. Sure Rancho made the playoffs and redeemed itself with a bit of a run. But coach Nick Baiz and his team are used to contending for the top spot.

The new season is fast approaching and it looks like the Cougars (7-5 last year, 3-2 in Baseline) will be poised to challenge once again.

“We were definitely a little disappointed because we thought we were capable of more,” Baiz said. “Our guys are definitely motivated to show they’re better than that.”

The Cougars do have a luxury many of their counterparts don’t. They return some key skill position players including senior running back Aaron Manning and senior quarterback Angel Matute, both of whom started as sophomores. Matute threw for 2,855 yards and 24 touchdowns last year while Manning ran for 766 and nine scores.

The strength of the defense will be in the secondary as the Cougars boast three Division I prospects back there. That trio includes Thomas Graham, who has committed to USC, and junior Tayari Venable, who is headed to Washington State.

A third player, junior Jaylon Redd, hasn’t committed but has offers from most of the Pac 12 and he isn’t even a senior.

The fourth player back there, senior Darrial Busby, is the most experienced but isn’t being recruited quite so heavily because of his size.

While Baiz knows just how good his secondary is, he is quick to point out that it is only facet of the team. The Cougars did graduate most of their linebackers and some key performers on both lines. So success hinges on replacing those athletes.

“It’s still all about blocking and tackling and that’s where he have some question marks,” he said. “It’s not that I don’t think we have good players there, they are just untested.”

There are a handful of players that saw some playing time who should be able to come in and assume larger roles this season. That group includes junior wide receiver Tyree Baker, junior wide receiver David Farmer, linebacker Justin Johnson, senior defensive end Deshawn Maiava, senior defensive lineman Johnny Latu and younger brother Jonah Latu, an offensive lineman.

The Cougars start the new season on Aug. 28 with a non-league game against Trabuco Hills at Los Osos High School. They beat the same team 17-0 in the season opener last year.

The first league game will be on Oct. 9 at Damien.

 

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Etiwanda defensive back Treyjohn Butler a hot commodity

Etiwanda senior defensive back Treyjohn Butler is one of the area’s top recruits this season. He has eight offers, six of those from Pac-12 schools, and just returned from a trip to Cal.

He says he benefited greatly from watching some highly touted teammates go through the process last year.

“It definitely helped to see how they handled it all last year. Everyone is different,” he said. “We had a lot of college scouts out there watching us because of the guys we had last year so I kind of got used to that part of it.”

Butler also has offers from Stanford, Washington, Arizona State, Washington State, Illinois and Northwestern.

He has also taken unofficials to Stanford, USC and UCLA.

He hasn’t quite decided which schools to which he will make official visits but expects two of those to be to Northwestern and Washington.

He plans to major in chemical engineering so academics will factor into his final decision.

“I am going to do what’s best for my future,” he said. “Yes it’s about football but it’s also about more than that and what will be best for me down the road.”

He is also looking forward to his senior year and the Eagles making a run after settling for a fourth-place finish in the Baseline League a year ago. New coach Kevin Davis has brought a new energy.

“It’s a whole different aura I guess you can call it,” he said. “We’re all excited and we’re already very close. It’s like a family.”

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Chino Hills football team should make another run at Baseline title

Chino Hills running back Grady O’Donnell looks for running room in last year’s playoff loss to Great Oak.

The Chino Hills Huskies made quite the entry into the Baseline League last season. Coach Matt Bechtel’s team was second behind an Upland squad loaded with Division I talent and gave the Highlanders all they could have wanted in the head-to-head battle between the two.

The new season gets underway in about a month and the Huskies again loom as a formidable threat.

“There are a lot of good teams but we should be in the mix,” said Bechtel, whose team went 8-3 overall and 4-1 in league play. “We went in last year thinking we were going to compete and we did.”

The Huskies return several key players on offense, most notably running back Grady O’Donnell, who rushed for 697 yards in nine games, much of that coming after Brysen Charbonier got injured.

Curtis Price (681 yards) is also back, along with younger brother Vos, the team’s top receiver from last year.

It always helps to have linemen back and the Huskies have a couple veterans in R.J. Stripling, Matt Kivler and Conner Garcelli.

The biggest question mark comes at quarterback where Bechtel is looking for a successor to the graduated Zac Sturdivant. The candidates are junior Borgogno and senior Caleb Arreola.

Arreola is the more experienced, having gotten some time last year, most notably in the playoff loss to Great Oak when Sturdivant was out injured.

Borgogno, who has committed to Cal State Fullerton for baseball, did not play last year but was the starters for a freshman team that went 9-1 in 2013.

“If the season were starting tomorrow it would probably be Arreola just based on experience,” Bechtel said. “But it doesn’t so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Senior linebacker Anthony Rosales is the top returner on defense. Among the others are corner Josh Zappala and safeties Craig Worthley and Max Masad. Bechtel is also looking for good things from Dylan Tucker, who played behind Trent Goens last season.

Among the key newcomers are wide receiver-corner Jaylan Brown, a transfer from Eastvale Roosevelt, and wide receiver Devon Blakely, from Summit. Defensive lineman Oscar Burgueno and linebacker Michael Meza are up from the junior varsity and will also be impact players.

Bechtel prefers to look at his team as the darkhorse, although most football enthusiasts know better.

“Upland is still the champion and until someone knocks them off, they’re the team to beat,” he said. “I also think Rancho is going to be very good.”

The Huskies open the season against local rival Ayala on Aug. 28.

 

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Damien offensive lineman Liam Ryan attracting offers

Damien High School senior Liam Ryan always thought his future was in basketball because it was the sport he played the most growing up. He only played one year of youth football.

But his sophomore year then-basketball coach Matt Dunn sat him down and told him otherwise. The popular coach, who recently moved over to St. John Bosco, told Ryan he should really think more seriously about football.

Dunn turned out to be right. While Ryan was a starter for a Damien basketball team that won a Division 3 state title earlier this spring, he was more of a role player than anything else.

Meanwhile his stock continues to rise on the gridiron. Ryan, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder, already has nine offers and we’re still a month away from the first game.

“It really was kind of a surprise. I always thought of myself as a basketball player first,” he said. “I only played one year of Junior All-American football.”

Of course, good offensive lineman aren’t easy to find.

So far Ryan has attracted offers from Washington State, San Jose State, Sacramento State, New Mexico, Nevada, Air Force, Fresno State, San Diego State and Eastern Washington.

The first offer came from Eastern Washington in early May. The week after that he got three more.  That’s when it all sunk in.

“When I got the first it was great because it let me know things were going in the right direction. Then I got three more the next week and it was really kind of overwhelming,”

Ryan hasn’t taken any official visits yet but he is starting to look seriously at his options. He plans to visit Fresno State, San Jose State, Sacramento State and Nevada next week.

A good season this year will land him even more opportunities and with the Spartans playing in the Baseline League for the second year, there will be plenty of opportunities to be seen by higher profile schools.

The Spartans will boast one of the area’s top running backs in Dylan Thigpen so Ryan will be among those up front clearing the way for him.

“I’m really excited for this season,” he said. “I think we’re going to be better and surprise some people.”

 

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Chino Hills’ Tannon Snow heads MaxPreps All-State softball team

Chino Hills senior Tannon Snow was named MaxPreps National Player of the Year earlier this month. So it was a no-brainer that the organization tabbed her California’s Large Schools Player of the Year.

That announcement came today and Snow was joined by several other local players including her sophomore sister Taylon.

Snow, who is headed to University of Washington, hit a state record 28 home runs in 32 games and drove in 89. Of her 62 base hits, 44 were for extra bases. She also homered 11 times in the last seven games.

Yucaipa’s Dave Kivett was named Coach of the Year as the Thunderbirds upset Mission Viejo in the CIF Division 2 title game.

Other Bulletin/Sun coverage area players named first team All-State:

P Brooke Bolinger, Sr., Yucaipa
C Paige Halstead, Sr., Los Osos
C Kelly Martinez, Jr., Yucaipa
OF Kennedy Clark, Sr., Ayala
OF Taylon Snow, Chino Hills, Soph.

Given the level of talent in the state, it’s quite significant to have that many local singled out.

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Damien looking for better showing second year in Baseline

The Baseline League is noted for tough competition top to bottom, no matter what the sport. But when it comes to football there are few better.

Damien was thrown into the mix last year. It was tough going for the Spartans who settled for fifth, finishing 4-6 overall and 1-4 in league play with that lone win coming over Los Osos.

They’re hoping for a better showing the second time around.

“We definitely learned a lot,” third-year coach Mark Paredes said. “We knew going in that all the teams were good and we had to rise to the challenge. Our guys really know now what they will be up against every week.”

Dylan Thigpen

Paredes and the Spartans do have two strong factors weighing in their favor and both are on the offensive side of the ball. Senior running back Dylan Thigpen is coming off a season that saw him rush for 1,254 yards and 12 touchdowns, which earned him first-team All-Inland Valley honors. He just got his first offer from Idaho.

Liam Ryan

The Spartans also have a couple offensive linemen returning, the most notable being senior Liam Ryan, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder who also played center for the state championship basketball team in the spring. He has a handful of offers from eight schools including Washington State.

Paredes is also excited about the showing of senior guard Evander Achen.

Last year the veteran coach used two quarterbacks – Will Bryan and Mark Boragine. He has settled on the sophomore Bryan as the starter, with Boragine being his backup but also seeing time at wide receiver.

The Spartans also have a couple of receivers who should figure prominently in seniors Chris Gregg and Cameron Record.

The defense will be led by senior linebackers Nicholas Provenzano and Andrew Hernandez.

The defensive line is the biggest concern right now.

“We’re a lot smaller there,” he said. “That’s not to say we don’t have good players there but we’re smaller and more inexperienced.”

The Spartans open the new season on Sept. 4 against Eastvale Roosevelt, which was just 2-8 last year. The first Baseline contest will be at home on Oct. 9 against Rancho Cucamonga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fresh off blowout loss, Kaiser looking to answer ‘wake-up call’

A CIF championship in 2012. A semifinal appearance in 2013. A 45-14 first-round playoff loss in 2014.

Which of these is not like the other?

Kaiser’s ears are still ringing from the “wake-up call” it received eight months ago. The Cats’ run a proud football program, something regularly reflected on the scoreboard. Blowout losses are uncommon, even less common in the postseason, where Kaiser strung together a successful five-year run including 11 playoff wins – prior to last season.

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“That first-round loss was bothersome,” Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya said. “The players haven’t forgotten about that. But it says a lot about where we’re at against these new teams. All three teams from our league were out in the first round. That’ll tell you something about the competition.” Continue reading

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Chino looks to contend with top teams in Hacienda League

Last year the Chino High School football team settled for a fourth place finish. But the Cowboys have a new coach in place and he’s bringing in a new system.

Let the fun begin!

“So far I am very pleased. I think we’re going to surprise some people,” said newcomer Jesse Ceniceros, who comes over after heading the Norwalk program for seven years. “The kids have bough in to what we’re doing and they’re working hard. It’s a good start.”

Ceniceros is a disciple of Don Markham, so yes the Cowboys (5-5 overall last year, 2-3 in league) will be running the double wing offense that Markham popularized and says he has the right personnel to run that offense.

Junior Angel Herrera, the quarterback of the junior varsity team last year, is the leading contender for that job.

Junior Da’creh West, who Ceniceros believes was under utilized last year, will be the primary back with junior Daniel Pena and sophomore Andrew Almecan also getting the ball.

To run that offense you also need a strong offensive line, The new coach singles out senior tackle Manuel Avina and junior tight end Adrian Alfaro.

While the double wing focuses on the run, Ceniceros believes he has what could be one of the top wide receivers in the area in junior Willie Morris.

The defense will be led by junior linebackers Brandon Serrano, who could also see time at fullback, as well as junior corner Musa Graylor.

Chino’s defensive coordinator will be Nick Moreno, who was coaching in the Pasadena last year.

“I am really pleased with our depth,” Ceniceros said. “I don’t think we’re gong to have a lot of players going both ways and that’s great.

The Cowboys make their debut under Ceniceros on Aug. 27 against Bloomington, which is coming off a 1-9 season and also has a new coach.

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Etiwanda football team looking to challenge in tough Baseline

Coaches who talk about winning a league title a year after finishing fourth usually come off as a little TOO optimistic.

New Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis is in that position this year. But unlike most, the Eagles loom as a legitimate threat. Most agree the Eagles had more talent last year than any other team besides Upland. So yes they underachieved in finishing fourth with a 4-5-1 overall record.

Etiwanda, Summit set up football rivalry

“The biggest thing will be learning to close out games,” said Davis, who comes over after two years as offensive coordinator at Colony. “There were a lot of games here last year that could have gone either way.”

The Baseline League will be as tough as ever. Yes there is defending champion Upland, traditional challenger Rancho Cucamonga and Chino Hills which made quite the splash last year, its first in the league.

Damien and Los Osos, the bottom two finishers last year, also look much improved.

“We’re going in there with a goal of winning the league title,” Davis said. “We definitely have the talent. There are a lot of good teams in this league but we really believe in what we have.”

Leading a large group of returning players is senior defensive back Treyjohn Butler, who has more than a dozen offers from Division I schools. His presence is one reason Davis singles out his secondary as the Eagles most solid position.

Other key returners on defense are safeties Kamari Pleasant and Kendall Greer, middle linebacker Aidan Anderson, linebacker-end Kendell Jordan and defensive end Nate Neal, who will also play some tight end.

Quarterback Andrew Kanatsky heads the returners on offense and stand to be the big beneficiary in the arrival of Davis as head coach.

Joining Kanatsky as key returnees on offense are brothers Evan and Noah Gutierrez who will figure into the passing game, as well as senior center Kyle Bagnall and running back-wide receiver Kempson Pearce.

Among the significant newcomers are wide receiver Josh Keith, a speedster who has come over from Summit, as well as junior offensive lineman Chris Bradberry (6-6, 350 pounds), a transfer from Rancho Cucamonga.

Sophomore running back Lawrence Starks, who played on the freshman team, last year, is also expected to be a big contributor.

“The biggest factor for us will be how quickly the kids adapt to a new offense and new defense,” Davis said. “That’s one of those things you never know how long it is going to take.”

The curtain comes up on the new season Aug. 28 when Etiwanda challenges Norco.

 

 

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