Bonita setter Sahara Martinez headed to UTEP

Bonita High school volleyball standout Sahara Martinez has committed to University of Texas-El Paso.

The three-year varsity starter made that decision today. She visited the school in June and also took trips to Hartford (Conn.), UC Irvine as well as Concordia-Irvine.

She was also talking to a handful of other schools including Youngstown State and Eastern Washington.

“It has everything I was looking for,” she said. “It’s the right size and it’s Division I. It’s a full scholarship so it’s also room and board. It’s a pretty campus and a great neighborhood and I loved the coaches.”

Martinez said even though she is sure of the decision, it was a tough one. The distance from home wasn’t necessarily a factor.

“My mom always told me it’s a good chance to experience something different and I have always taken that to heart,” she said. “It’s only four years. I’m a California girl at heart so I’ll be back.”

Martinez is a three-time All-Palomares League selection. Last year she helped the Bearcats to a 24-10 record that included a 7-3 in league play that was good enough for second place behind Glendora.

Martinez registered 413 assists, 131 digs, and 27 service aces.

She plans to major in psychology.

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Etiwanda’s Tyler Freeman selected to all-star game

Etiwanda High School shortstop Tyler Freeman has been chosen to participate in the Perfect Game All-American game to be held at 5 p.m. on Aug. 14 at Petco Park in San Diego.

The event will be broadcast live by the MLB Network.

“It’s an honor to be chosen and I am very excited,” he said. “It’s one of those things you dream about.”

Freeman, who has committed to Texas Christian, just rounded out his junior year with the Eagles. The repeat first-team All-Inland Valley selection hit .388 (33 for 85) with 29 runs scored, 17 RBIs, 11 doubles, 3 home runs and 13 stolen bases.

Freeman was chosen based on his showing in Perfect Game sponsored events. He plays with the California Baseball Academy.

He competed in a recent showcase in Florida and credits his performance in that for helping land him a spot.

There has been no time off since the spring season ended for Freeman. He has a tryout for the Area Code games tomorrow at USC and will be headed to Arizona for another travel ball event later this month.

“I really haven’t had a day off but that’s OK because I love playing the game,” he said. “You don’t need a day off when you love what you do.”

Here is link to rosters of players chosen for the game.

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Damien graduate Cody Ponce earns weekly minor league honor

Former Cal Poly Pomona pitcher Cody Ponce got a late start to the season due to some “forearm fatigue.” But Ponce, also a product of Damien High School, has rebounded quite nicely and is having a stellar season.

Ponce, the Brewers’ No. 8 prospect, tossed a pair of scoreless outings last week, lasting 11 innings in total, while striking out 17 and walking none for Class A Advanced Brevard County to capture the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week award.

The award is Ponce’s first as a pro since he was taken in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Cal Poly Pomona.

“I think it came down to whatever was working that day,” Ponce said. “But really in that sense, it was all [catcher Dustin Houle]. I don’t think I shook him maybe more than once or twice. He was just great behind the dish for two great games. I have to give it up to him. And then I had some great guys behind me making all the plays. I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Ponce’s first gem of the week came last Monday when he fanned five batters and allowed only two hits over five scoreless innings against Dunedin in what had been his longest start of the season up to that point. He one-upped himself five days later by lasting six frames, while fanning a career-high 12 and scattering only three hits. His 17 strikeouts were tied for third-most in the minors for the week of July 4-10 and were more than his dozen strikeouts over his five starts (14 innings) combined.

As impressive as the strikeout numbers were last week, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was happier with his zero in the walks column.

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Rancho Cucamonga setter Mary Bagshaw selects a college

Rancho Cucamonga senior setter Mary Bagshaw  has committed to UC San Diego where she plans to walk on with the volleyball team.

The decision had much to do with academics. Bagshaw is undecided on a major but is considering something in a medical field. She didn’t consider any other school.

“It really was my first choice all along,” she said. “It’s a good school academically and the volleyball program is very competitive so it was the best of both worlds for me.”

Bagshaw registered 697 assists, 117 digs and 19 service aces in helping the Cougars to a 28-7 showing that included a 10-0 mark in Baseline League play last year. Her playing time was sporadic depending on whether senior Kylie Miller was used in a hitting or a setting role.

But the Cougars will be reliant on her in the fall with Miller having graduated and moving on to UCLA. Rancho returns a pair of Division I players in outside hitter Bria Beale and middle blocker Karson Bacon who has committed to UC Irvine and Oregon respectively.

“I am very excited about next season. I think we’re still going to be very good,” she said. “I definitely learned a lot from playing and practicing with Kylie and I am ready.”

UC San Diego is coach by Ricci Luyties, a member of the gold-medal winning United States Olympic Team in 1988. The Tritons are coming off a 20-12 showing last year, including a 14-6 mark in CCAA play that was good enough for third place in the tough conference.


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Damien pitcher Matt Amrhein commits to Cal Baptist

Damien High School pitcher Matt Amrhein has committed to NCAA Division II Cal Baptist.

He was the solid No. 2 pitcher for the Spartans behind senior left-hander Nick Lodolo and helped give Damien a formidable 1-2 punch on the mound. He was 6-1 in Baseline League play, helping the Spartans to their first league title since 2004.

He was also considering Cal State Monterey Bay and Colorado at Colorado Springs, both also Division II schools.

He liked the offerings at Cal Baptist and the fact that is was close to home. He also visited Monterey Bay.

“It really felt like home there and I like that my family will be able to come see me play,” said Amrhein, a 6-foot right-hander.

He is the latest local player to join the Riverside-based college. Teammate Harrison Spohn has committed to the school, although he is just a junior. Rancho Cucamonga’s Logan Rinehart has also signed there.

Amrhein was a first team All-Baseline League and second-team All-Inland Valley selection. He was also a second team pick in football, excelling as kicker.




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John Hermosillo named head baseball coach at Diamond Ranch

John Hermosillo has been named baseball coach at Diamond Ranch.

Hermosillo, 37, had served as an assistant coach at Diamond Bar the last four years. Before that he spent three years as head coach at La Puente and spent from 2003 to 2005 as pitching coach at Damien.

He’ll be attempting to revive a program that went 10-17 overall the past season including a 3-12 and last-place showing in the Hacienda League.

“The biggest thing will be establishing a rapport with the kids and generating some enthusiasm and pride,” he said.

Hermosillo is a 1995 graduate of Garey and now works as a teacher in the Pomona Unified School District.

He was a pitcher and first baseman in his playing days which included two years at Imperial Valley Community College, then two years at NCAA Division II Augusta State (Ga.). He was a Division II All-American his senior year.

He is looking forward to the challenge that faces him.

“There is some talent but the team hasn’t been up to par,” he said. “I can’t really say how many games I think we can win but we should be able to compete and that’s the important thing.”

Charter Oak and Walnut tied for first place in the league the past season and usually loom as the top contenders.

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Chino Hills’ Meghan Buzzerio transfers from Arizona to Iowa

Volleyball standout Meghan Buzzerio of Chino Hills is transferring from University of Arizona to Iowa.

Buzzerio, the Inland Valley Player of the Year as a senior at Chino Hills High School in 2014, red-shirted at Arizona last year so she will still have four years of eligibility remaining.

“I really liked the school, it just didn’t work out for me volleyball-wise,” she said. “I thought it was best to go somewhere I’d be part of the bigger picture.”

Buzzerio, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, had committed to Arizona as a sophomore.  She said the fact that she red-shirted this year did not factor into the decision since most recruits going into major programs end up doing that as well.

She visited Iowa and liked what the school had to offer. The coaching staff there had previously been at Marquette and had tried to recruit Buzzerio to that school in the first place.

Buzzerio is already in Iowa. She had originally planned on taking summer classes but it working out with the team and helping the staff there conduct summer camps.

“I really felt like they had a plan for me,” she said. “They sat down with me and said this is where we see you in two years, in three years and this is how you’re going to get there. ”

Of course going further from home might make it tough since Buzzerio comes from a close-knit family.

“That will be a little tough but we have all talked about it and this is for the best. I’m excited about the opportunity there,” she said.

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Etiwanda’s Tyler Freeman makes prestigious USA 17-under squad

Etiwanda High School’s Tyler Freeman is among the players named to USA Baseball’s 2016 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).

The team consists of 40 players and 28 alternates and was named after the conclusion of the 17U East and West National Team Championships in Florida and Arizona.

Players will move on to the week-long 2016 17U National Team Development Program to be held in Chicago, Ill., from July 18-22.

The National Team Development Program provides athletes the chance to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experience. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field education seminars and intrasquad games

Athletes were chosen based on their participation and performance at USA Baseball sanctioned events, including the USA Baseball National Team Championships and the National Team Identification Series (NTIS).

Freeman just rounded out his junior year. The first-team All-Inland Valley selection hit .388 (33 for 85) with 29 runs scored, 17 RBIs, 11 doubles, 3 home runs and 13 stolen bases. He has committed to Texas Christian University.

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Here’s to some senior athletes who provided us with great moments the last four years

It is always fun to look back when a school year is over and reflect on the individuals and teams that made it a memorable run.

So just for fun here are athletes I’ll miss covering next year. Nothing against those not singled out here because I have enjoyed my interactions with all the coaches and athletes in the Inland Valley.

But there are some that have been so successful since their freshman year I have had more dealings with them then most. So here goes.

Damien High's Bryce Peters (#23), right, speeds down court with Rancho Cucamonga High's Daniel Embry (#40) in tow at Damien's La Verne, Calif. campus gym January 12, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Bryce Peters, Damien basketball
He was a key player as a junior in helping the Spartans to a state championship but probably didn’t get the credit he deserved because of the more heralded seniors around him. This year he excelled in a starring role and it was nice to see him flourish in that role. He’s headed to Colorado State.

Rancho Cucamonga Kylie Miller is Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Volleyball Player of Year.

Kylie Miller, Rancho Cucamonga volleyball
She was a four-time first team All-Inland Valley selection and that’s an accolade very few can claim. There are few athlete more humble or soft-spoken but her talent did the talking. The Under Armour All-American is headed to UCLA.

Colony's Josh Thompson (#12) scrambles out of the pocket looking to pass against Kaiser during the first half of Friday's CIF-SS Central Division first round playoff game at Colony High School in Ontario, Ca., November 13, 2015. (Photo by John Valenzuela/ Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Josh Thompson, Colony football
Grabbed the starting job early his sophomore year and never gave it up, leading Titans to a CIF title as a junior. Oh, and he did that in the title game after missing a month with a separated shoulder. He is about as tough as they come. I will never forget a Pomona player grabbing him by the face mask with such ferocity it turned the helmet all the way around. He got up without skipping a beat and was ready for the next play. He’s headed to Dixie State.


Upland High School’s Jacob Beltran had a seizure on Wednesday and a 10-hour surgery to resolve a vein issue. He was selected the SoCal Prep Legends Most Inspirational Athlete this month,

Jacob Beltran, Upland baseball
How can you not root for a kid that had brain surgery and went from having to learn to walk again to returning to the playing field in seven months. We have all heard the tragic stories of athletes who collapsed on the playing field and didn’t make it. So it is nice to have a happy ending. He’s probably headed to a community college, since he missed is entire junior season.

Michael Dean

Mikey Dean, Chaffey football/track
Who doesn’t love Mikey Dean? Guys that small shouldn’t be able to do what he does both on the football field and the track. Rushing for a ton of yardage is one thing. But taking up a new track event – long jump – this year and then placing at state in California which has so many elite athletes. Well, that pretty much says it all. He is headed to Idaho State where he’ll compete in both sports.


Chino Hills’ Lonzo Ball (#2), drives to the basket against Immanuel High School during the frist half of Friday’s CIF-SS Open Division State Playoff game at Chin Hills High Schoolin Chino Hills , Ca, Friday, March 11, 2016. (Photo by John Valenzuela/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills basketball
There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. I have been covering high school sports for 30 or so years (yes I am aging myself) but I have never enjoyed watching a player or a team as much as I did the Ball and the Huskies. The last thing I remember close was seeing Deion Sanders in high school in my Florida tenure. I definitely don’t remember the last time i saw an athlete with such a complete skill set at such a young age. Can’t wait to see Lonzo doing his thing at Pauley Pavilion for the UCLA Bruins.

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Local athletic directors among those honored by CIF

The CIF Southern Section has started a program to honor athletic directors at its member high schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

Recipients were chosen based on criteria set out a year ago:

Here is the list of those honored with locals denoted in bold. They are in alphabetical order by school:

Arlington – Maurizio Dubuisson
Bishop Montgomery – Eric Wood
Burroughs (Ridgecrest) – Robert Campbell
Cajon – Rich Imbriani
Calabasas – Cpry Chandler
Cate – Wade Ransom
Centennial (Corona) – Bill Gunn
Chino Hills – Phil Garcia
Corona del Mar – Don Grable
Crespi – Russell White
Damien – Jeff Grant
Don Bosco Tech – Chris Shockley
Edison – Rich Boyce
El Rancho – Ray Elliott
Excelsior Charter – Jennifer Evans
Fountain Valley – Steve Eggert
Gladstone – Chuck Shore
Glendora – Rod Tilton
Godinez – Lisa Treen
Huntington Beach – Melissa Vandenbosch
Irvine – John Phillips
Jurupa Hills – Kristen Braun
Jurupa Valley – Mark Gard
La Puente – Jim Lane
La Sierra – Norman Diaz
Leuzinger – Marlon Mendez
Los Osos – Tom Martinez
Marina – Michelle Spencer
Marlborough – David Colicutt
Monrovia – Randy Bell
North (Riverside) – Michael Breyer
Oak Hills – Darren Goodman
Oxnard – Rick Garcia
Paloma Valley – Michael Pfeiffer
Poly (Riverside) – James Vaughan
Ramona – John Tibbets
Redlands – Pat Hafley
Rubidoux – Ed Luna
San Dimas – Nicki Bonomo
St. Anthony – Brian Walsh
Thousand Oaks – Gary Wallin
Trinity Classical – Matthew Dixon
Villa Park – Tom Fox

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