Rancho Cucamonga’s Victor Joseph chooses Chaffey

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Rancho Cucamonga basketball standout Victor Joseph will play at Chaffey College next season, He plans to play one season because he is already an NCAA qualifier.

Joseph, a 6-foot-guard, helped the Cougars to a 25-5 record and runner-up showing in the Baseline League behind perennial power Etiwanda.

He averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 assists with a season high of 32 points against Los Osos. He earned All-CIF, All-Baseline League and Inland Valley honors.

Several Division I schools were interested including Colorado State and Florida A & M, both of which he visited. But Colorado State ended up not losing a couple of guards it thought were leaving and FAMU had a coaching change.

Washington State and Portland State were interested too but endned up getting guards that were slightly higher on their list.

Joseph has taken that in stride.

“At first I was disappointed because I think I’m a Division I guard,” he said. “But maybe God just has another plan for me right now. If I go out and have a great year I hope to have more options then.”

Joseph will get to play in a high profile program in a state where community college basketball is top-notch. The Panthers wee i the state title game two years ago and made the semifinal last season under coach Jeff Klein.

Local football players earn preseason recognition from CalHiSports

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While there are still more than two weeks until the first prep football games, some area players are already earning honors.

CalHiSports.com released its preseason all-Inland Empire team, featuring players from San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Etiwanda had the most players selected to the first team: LB Khaylan Thomas, DB Treyjohn Butler and multi-purpose Keon Stephens (a transfer from San Bernardino), while Upland had two: QB Tyler Hilinski and LB Josh Woods.

Other first-teamers from San Bernardino County are: Silverado OL Augistin Beltran, Redlands East Valley RB Malik Lovette, Rim of the World RB Jamie Taylor, Chino Hills DL Trent Goens, Serrano LB John Mackesy, Carter LB Lokeni Toailoa, Ayala DB Malik Psalms and Summit’s multi-purpose Damian Alloway.

There were also several local players who made the second team: Chino Hills DB Philip Afia, REV LB Matteo Biscotti, Oak Hills QB/RB Nolan Brammer, Kaiser RB Joshua Johnson, San Gorgonio DB Nathan Meadors, Arrowhead Christian QB/DB Bradley Mowbray, Upland DB Cameron Powell and Los Osos LB Bryce Youngquist.

 

Roddy Layton takes over as athletic director at Diamond Ranch

Roddy Layton may not be the head football coach at Diamond Rancho any longer, but he’ll still have his hand in the athletic department.

Layton will be serving as Co-Athletic Director along with Lisa Cheney, another teacher at the school.

Layton will be in his 11th year at the school. He had been head football coach the last eight but resigned in the spring.

“Football is very time consuming,” he said. “If you’re doing that you really don’t have time for anything else. I love this school and the principal I work for and I am excited about this opportunity.”

Layton says he doesn’t miss football, at least not yet. He has been out to practice a couple of times to lend support to new coach Mario Gomez who was on his staff as an assistant.

Etiwanda’s Jordan Naughton chooses Wyoming

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Etiwanda High School basketball standout Jordan Naughton has committed to NCAA Division I Wyoming.

The 6-foot-9 center helped the Eagles to a Baseline League title and spot opposite Mater Dei in the CIF Open Division semifinals.

With the Eagles having graduated their top two players in Jordan McLaughlin and Kenny Barnes, Naughton will likely have a bigger role the coming season.

 

Former college All-American Larry Gordon organizing alumni game

Former Cal Poly Pomona All-American basketball standout Larry Gordon is organizing a fund-raiser for his alma mater Montclair High School.

It will feature Gordon and others who played for the Cavaliers from 2001 to 2013.

It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at the school. Admission is $3 with proceeds going toward the boys basketball program.

Claire Dietrich of Los Osos commits to Cal State East Bay

Volleyball player Claire Dietrich of Los Osos High School has committed to NCAA Division II Cal State East Bay.

Dietrich, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, helped the Grizzlies to a 26-12 record and second-place showing in the Baseline League last year as a junior. She is expected to play a more major role this year as a senior with the Grizzlies having graduated three Division I hitters.

East Bay was 11-19 overall and 7-15 in CCAA play. The Pioneers are the newest member of the conference, having made the move from Division III a couple of years ago.

Fundraiser for Nnamdi Okongwu’s family coming up

The community efforts to help the family of former Chino Hills basketball player Nnamdi Okongwu are ongoing. Okongwu, 17, passed away last month after sustaining a head injury while skateboarding.

A bingo fundraiser will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday  in the small gym at Chino Hills High School.

Also a fundraiser at Roscoes Famous Deli in Chino Hills Thursday, August 7th 11am- to closing. Roscoe’s will donate 15% of your purchase to the family fund.

Donations are also being taken at www.gofundme.com/4unnamdi

Donnie Greene of Upland headed to Fresno State

Upland High School offensive lineman Donnie Greene has made a verbal commitment to Fresno State. He visited the school earlier this week and made his commitment on the spot.

“It really seemed like a close-knit family with the players and coaches. I really liked that,” he said.

Greene, who will make the move from left tackle to center this year, said he also liked the community involvement in the football program as well as the fact its relatively close to home. The fact that the Bulldogs run a high-tempo offense is also a plus.

“Football is a big part of the community three,” he said. “The whole town is focused on it so its a great atmosphere.”

Greene is a four-year varsity player. He transferred from Victor Valley to Upland the second semester of his freshman year.

He is the fourth Upland player to commit to a Division I school before the season has even started. Greene also visited USC, Cal and San Jose State. He also went to Utah on an unofficial trip with a former teammate two years ago.

Greene plans to major in kinesiology with emphasis on exercise science.

Upland’s Josh Woods decides on UCLA

Upland High School outside linebacker Josh Woods has made a verbal commitment to UCLA. He also visited USC and was considering trips to Boise State and Arizona as well.

He had a handful of other offers too – Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, Boise State and Nevada.

“I wanted to stay close so my family and friends could come see me play,” he said. “t will be a great education and I really like the campus, the coaching staff, the players and what the program has to offer.”

Woods, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, transferred from Victor Valley High School after his sophomore year but was ruled ineligible by the CIF last year so he had to sit out.

He never lost faith that would prove costly. What most likely helped was Woods’ showing at a handful of camps and combines. He participated in the Army All-American Combine in Texas as well as one sponsored by Rivals at Fullerton College and the Nike Football Training Combine at Redondo Union High School.

Having to sit out last year has only served as more incentive for Woods this year, The Highlanders are expected to be one of the best teams in the Inland Empire with two others who have already committed to Pac 12 schools in quarterback Tyler Hilinski and defensive back Kameron Powell.

Etiwanda baseball standout Kyle Isbel commits to UNLV

Etiwanda High School infielder Kyle Isbel has made a verbal commitment to UNLV

He also visited a number of Division I schools including USC, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge but decided he’d take the option out of state.

“I like the atmosphere there and the new facilities,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with the coaches and got to talk to some of the players and it seemed like a great fit.”

It helped that Isbel has another good friend going there in Austin Pritchard of Riverside J.W. North who has also committed to the school.

Isbel hit .347 with seven doubles and 14 RBI as a junior for the Eagles, earning second team All-Baseline League honors. He plans to major in business or sports medicine.

UNLV finished first in the Mountain West Conference last year. The team was 36-25 overall and 20-10 in conference play.