Picking the Week 4 winners . . .

I picked both Thursday night games right to bring my season total to 74-26.

Here goes on this week’s games . . .

Cajon 32, Eisenhower 10 – Citrus Belt League play gets underway this week. The Cowboys will cruise, a warm-up for the tougher games that lie ahead. This freshman quarterback is looking pretty good too.

Redlands East Valley 36, Carter 14 – The Lions have played a ridiculously easy non-league schedule. They’ll pay for that.

Citrus Valley 24, Miller 7 – The Rebels got in the win column last week against local foe Fontana. But they won’t get one here.

Bonita 24, San Dimas 23 – This is one of the best rivalries you’ll find anywhere. It could go either way. Bonita has won it the last two years so I’ll go with the Bearcats. But a win by the Saints wouldn’t surprise me either.

Chino 27, Don Lugo 17 – The ole Milk Can game. The Conquistadores got it back last year but the Don Lugo offense is struggling a bit so the Cowboys are going to get it back.

Kaiser 24, Apple Valley 14 – The Cats had an easy one last week. It won’t be as east this week but I think they’ll come out on top.

Claremont 24, Bell Gardens 17 – The Wolfpack haven’t played the toughest schedule and they’ll be facing a ranked foe. This could be close but I’ll go Wolfpack at home.

Diamond Bar 28, Cypress 7 – The Brahmas were dealt their first loss last week. They’ll bounce back against a team whose only win is over a winless team.

Chino Hills 36, Downey 10 – This will probably seem easy after playing Bishop Amat and JSerra. Huskies get back on the winning track tonight.

Diamond Ranch 24, El Rancho 10 – The Panthers have won three in a row. After tonight it will be four.

Ganesha 31, Workman 14 – The Giants beat this team big last year and they appear improved this year. I’ll go with them.

Alta Loma 21, Grand Terrace 14 – This is probably a toss-up game. Flipping a coin here.

Heritage 27, Etiwanda 14 – Someone tell the Eagles you’re supposed to play a patsy on homecoming, not a No. 1 team. The team has gotten a little swagger back after back-to-back nice wins. Probably won’t be a third.

Pomona 28, Montclair 21 – Montclair is another team that has yet to play a quality foe. The Red Devils have been up and down. But at least they have played someone so I’ll go with them.

Upland 56, Washington Prep – So what if the Highlanders have injuries. Their junior varsity could probably beat this team. Feast or famine for Upland in the preseason. Two very good foes and three horrific ones. Seems to be no middle ground.

Damien 21, South Hills 14 – I think this will be another close game. I’ll go Damien at home.

Nogales 21, Garey 7 – The poor Vikings are struggling so I’ll leave it at that.

Murrieta Mesa 27, Jurupa Hills 20 – I will go with Mesa because it has played  and at least battled against tougher teams.

Cerritos Valley Chr. 27, Ontario Christian 24 – Looks like Matt Hoekstra  is doing a great job in his first year but this will be a tough one.

Rancho Cucamonga 27, La Serna 24 – The Cougars pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat last week. Who knows which Rancho team will show up tonight. I think it will be the good one.

Summit 26, Elsinore 7 – The SkyHawks don’t have anything to worry about this week.

Riverside North 17, Fontana 14 – It’s struggling team vs. struggling team. Somebody has to win.

Valley View 26, Rialto 7 – It’s been a tough few years for the Knights. This is at least a team they should be able to play with.








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Montclair football team looks to improve to 4-0

The Montclair High school football team looks to improve to 4-0 tonight when it squares off against defending CIF Mid-Valley champion Pomona. But how good are the Cavaliers? No one really knows. Montclair’s three wins have come over teams that are a combined 1-10 so far.

That isn’t lost on head coach T.J. Fiorenza who has is guardedly optimistic.

“This will be the best team we have faced,” Fiorenza said about the Red Devils. “They graduated some players but they still are very athletic and have some good players. We’re going to have our hands full.”

The Cavaliers are coming off a 3-7 showing last year so they have already equaled their win total of a year ago – officially. They would have been 5-5 had it not been for a pair of forfeits.

Fiorenza is hoping his team contend for a playoff spot in the Mt. Baldy League.

The coach singles out the steady play of senior quarterback Jose Campos, who played some last year but fought injuries. He has thrown for 542 yards and rushed for 204.

Junior Matthew Mendibles (234 yards), a quarterback on the junior varsity team last year, is the leading rusher. Other offensive weapons include slot receivers Robin Wiley and Devin McLee.

On defense the standouts have included senior safety Dan Carlin, and senior middle linebacker Cris Arismendez.

“I think we’re better but we’re going to find out,” Fiorenza said.

The Cavaliers close out non league play next week against Hacienda Heights Wilson which is 1-2. They start league play on Oct. 8 against Colony which has struggled against a difficult schedule.

“They’re still the team to beat,” he said of Colony. “They have just played the toughest schedule known to man.”


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Colony football team trying to keep the faith despite losses

VIDEO: Colony coach Steve Randall talks about his team’s tough schedule.

The Colony football team is at a crossroad. The Titans head into their last non-league game 1-3. After an opening-week win they have been manhandled three straight weeks.

Tonight it was La Habra 49, Colony 6

The other scores:
Bishop Amat 59, Colony 20
Alemany 42, Colony 0

Next week it is Riverside Poly. The Bears were CIF runner-up a year ago, but like Colony graduated a lot of players.

Colony coach Steve Randall isn’t taking any team lightly but says Riverside Poly is a team his matches up against better physically.

Randall has preached that the schedule will get his team ready for Mt. Baldy League play. Yes it should. But you don’t want kids to completely lose confidence in the process.

The Titans could use a win. Randall should be able to get some help if he wants it. His former offensive coordinator Kevin Davis is the first-year head coach at Etiwanda and the Eagles just played and beat Riverside Poly.

The good news Randall points to is that his team has survived physically. There have been no major injuries, or even minor injuries to speak of.

The other teams in the Mt. Baldy have have looked good, most notably Montclair and Chaffey. But both have played weak schedules. Real weak. Ontario looks improved but the jury is still out on the Jags too.

Alta Loma is a question mark under a new coach.

We’ll see what kind of senior leadership this team has this week. The coaches can keep preaching about the bigger picture but the seniors can help rally the troop. Sometimes it helps to hear the right words from you peers rather than your coaches.

Colony's Jaire Wade (3) finds room to run near the goal line during the second quarter against La Habra Thursday night. Colony hosts La Habra Thursday night September 24, 2015 in a prep football match up at Colony High School in Ontario.  (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

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Taking a stab at picking the Thursday night winners

We have two games on the prep football schedule tonight and it will be Colony and Chaffey playing at home.

Here is a link to info boxes from those games.

Now to pick the winners . . .

La Habra 32, Colony 21 – Mad props to the Titans for playing a brutal schedule. We won;t know till later in the season if that is paying off. So far the going has been tough for the defending CIF champions.

Chaffey 28, Colton 7 – No one has been able to stop Mikey Dean and Colton won’t either. He’ll get his 200 yards rushing and all four touchdowns.


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“Champions for Character” Awards include several locals

The CIF Southern Section will hold its 12th annual “Champions for Character” Awards dinner at The Grand in Long Beach on Monday. Several locals will be among those honored.

The honors go to student-athletes, coaches and administrators who best exemplify the “Six Pillars of Character” – trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Here are the individuals and schools that will be honored:

Marie Abe, North Torrance
Cristian Ayala, Oxnard Pacifica
Emily Bacon, Newport Harbor
Tayler Bennett, St. Anthony
Madeline Coppersmith, Mayfield
Logan Dreese Heritage
Tyler Gerrard, Lakeside
Emma Hovanec, Westridge
Lucky Jordan, Barstow
Jack Koulos, Long Beach Wilson
Elisa Pierre, Golden Valley
Emma Reed, Aliso Niguel
Seve Rodriguez, La Canada
Allison Samp, Academt of Academic Excellence
Destiny Tellez, Azusa

Kelle Bond, Volleyball, Capistrano Valley Christian
Aaron Flowers, Football, San Juan Hills
Andrew Gates, Swimming/Water polo, Damien
Colin Gilliland, Soccer, Lakeside
Jack Hastert, Golf, St. John Bosco
Gary Jackson, Basketball, San Dimas
Scott Larsen, Soccer, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel
Jon McFarland, Swimming, Oxnard Pacifica
Ed Prange, Basketball, Loara
Adam Schullhofer, Baseball, Canyon Country Canyon
Erik Starkey, Cross Country, Covina

Kristen Braun, Athletic Director, Jurupa Hills

Michael Gerakos, Activites Director, University High
Kitt Holk, Athletic Director, Bonita
Kirk Kennedy, Principal, Fountain Valley
Matt Maeda, Athletic Director, San Gorgonio
David Martinez, Assistant Principal, Estancia
Craig Miller, Athletic Director, Hamilton
Ramiro Rubalcaba, Principal, Azusa

Commissioner’s Awards
Kimberly Fricker, Principal, Anaheim Canyon
John Hansen, Athletic Trainer, Los Alamitos
Holli Jackson, Athletic Trainer, Edison

Elsinore, Hemet, Lakeside, Sherman Indian

Cary Osborne, Assistant Managing Editor/Sports Editor, Santa Clarita Signal

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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.”


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Chaffey senior Mikey Dean earns CalHi Sports honor

Two of this week's SoCal/NorCal honorees are running backs Marcel Dancy from West of Tracy (left) and Mikey Dean from Chaffey of Ontario. Photos: Mark Tennis & RBAthleticAcademy/Twitter.com.

Another big week has earned Chaffey’s Mikey Dean another major accolade. He has been named Southern California Offensive Player of the Week by CalHi Sports.

Dean rushed for 336 yards and five touchdowns on just 13 carries in a 48-10 win over Bloomington.

Through four games this year for the 4-0 Tigers, this senior captain, who had a preseason goal of rushing for 2,000 yards this season, has rushed for 1,083 yards and 15 touchdowns on 100 carries.

He sat out the second half of last week’s game with the outcome in hand and has done the same in two other big wins earlier in the season.

The Northern California accolades went to running back Marcel Dancy of Tracy West. He had six touchdowns and 335 yards on 27 carries in a 57-42 win at Chavez of Stockton.


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Five local teams make CIF Central football ranking

Glendora holds the top spot in the Central Division this week.

Here are this week’s CIF football polls . . .

Central Division – 1. Glendora (3-0); 2. Charter Oak (3-1); 3. San Marino (4-0); 4. Bonita (4-0); 5. Summit (3-0); 6. Colony (1-2); 7. Kaiser (2-1); 8. Claremont (4-0); 9. West Covina (1-3); 10. Los Altos (3-1).

Eastern Division – 1. Palm Springs (4-0); 2. Serrano (4-0); 3. Norte Vista (3-0); 4. Moreno Valley (3-0); 5. Barstow (4-0); 6. Rubidoux (4-0); 7. Ramona (3-1); 8. Vista del Lago (3-1); 9. Oak Hills (1-3); 10. Silverado (2-2).

East Valley Division – 1. St. Margaret’s (3-0); 2. Grace Brethren (4-0); 3. tie, Calvary Murrieta (4-0), Saddleback Valley Chr.  (3-0), Brethren Chr. (4-0); 6. Desert (3-1); 7. St. Anthony (1-2); 8. Santa Paula (3-1); 9. Webb (3-1); 10. Capo Valley Chr. (2-2).

Inland Division – 1. Heritage (4-0); 2. Carter (3-0); 3. Redlands East Valley (2-1); 4. Cajon (3-0); 5. Citrus Hill (3-1); 6. Redlands (2-1); 7. Rancho Verde (2-2); 8. San Jacinto (4-0); 9. Paloma Valley (2-2); 10. Riverside Poly (1-2).

Mid-Valley – 1. Sierra Canyon (4-0); 2. Montebello (4-0); 3. Pomona (2-2); 4. Northview (3-1); 5. Paraclete (1-3); 6. San Dimas (2-1); 7. Bell Gardens (3-1); 8. Brentwood (2-1); 9. Arroyo (2-2); 10. El Monte (2-2).

Northwest Division – 1. Linfield Chr. (4-0); 2. Templeton (4-0); 3. Nipomo (2-2); 4. Riverside Notre Dame (3-0); 5. Cerritos Valley Chr. (4-0); 6. Mission Prep (3-0); 7. Bishop Montgomery (3-1); 8. Twentynine Palms (3-0); 9. Ontario Chr. (3-1); 10., tie Maranatha (2-2) and Pasadena Poly (3-1).

West Valley Division – 1. Mission Viejo (5-0); 2. Vista Murrieta (3-0); 3. Tesoro (3-1); 4. Los Alamitos (2-1); 5. Upland (2-2); 6. Rancho Cucamonga (3-1); 7. San Juan Hills (4-0); 8. Hart (3-0); 9. Edison (2-2); 10. Murrieta Valley (3-1).








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Damien baseball player Isaiah Paige commits to Michigan

Damien High School junior baseball standout Isaiah Paige grew up a big fan of the University of Michigan. It didn’t matter what sport, he rooted for the  Wolverines.

Now he has a chance to represent that school.

Paige, a pitcher and outfielder, made a verbal commitment to that school after a visit over the weekend.

“I always like that school,” he said. “I’m really happy to have the opportunity to play there.”

Paige also visited UCLA, UC Irvine. Loyola Marymount, University of San Diego and University of the Pacific.

The decision came down to Michigan and UC Irvine.

Weather was not an issue. In fact Paige says he won’t mind the cold weather.

“I actually prefer that to the heat,” he said. “I like it a lot better.”

Paige’s sister Madison, an All-Inland Valley selection in softball, has committed to Minnesota-Moorehead. So their parents will be hitting the road a lot.

Paige plans to major in sports management.


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