It was quite the closing act for Upland senior wide receiver Trevor Wright.
He didn’t just have a good night in the Highlanders 24-6 Baseline League upset of Rancho Cucamonga. He had a great night when coach Tim Salter needed him most.
Wright and fellow receiver Marquis Wimberly were called on to play defensive back too because starting DBs Joseph Ayala and Jeff Farrar were two of the three players suspended by the CIF on Thursday because of an altercation in the game against Etiwanda last week.
He hadn’t played there at all this year, although he did start every game there last year as a junior. Well his name was called all night. He was part of the reason the Cougars scored only six points all night.
On offense he had five catches for 73 yards, including a 20-yard reception in the first quarter for the games first score. He also had a 33-yard catch in the third quarter that set up a Luke Van Ginkle field goal that made it 17-6.
For good measure he threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Tyler Hilinski on a trick play that rounded out the scoring.
Earlier this fall Salter said he was surprised Wright hadn’t drawn more interest from Division I schools – maybe because he’s just 5-10 and he’s not blessed with blazing speed. But he does everything right. College scouts just need to check out that game film and see for themselves.
Senior Ashten-Smith Gooden of Los Osos High School has been named to the 2013 Under Armour High School All-American team.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter who is headed to Cal, is hitting for an impressive .482 perentage, ranking her sixth in the Southern Section in that category. She has 382 kills, an average of 5.5 per game.
She also has 76 total blocks, 160 digs and 13 service aces.
The Under Armour team consists of 90 players from 33 states, with a 45-player first team and 45-player second team. Each player on the First Team will be invited to play in the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Competition at Key Arena on Dec. 20 in Seattle, Wash., in conjunction with the 2013 AVCA convention.
Requirements for nomination were that the student-athlete be in her senior year of high school, that she be nominated by her high school coach, that her coach be a member of the AVCA and that her individual season statistics versus all opponents for the entire season be entered into MaxPreps, a free service that aggregates and distributes data on high school sports.
The Don Lugo volleyball team is celebrating a Mt. Baldy League title and it has been a long time coming. In fact, it is believed to a first in the sport for the Conquistadores.
This should have come easy but didn’t. On the court the Conquistadores went undefeated in league play but they had to forfeit four matches, three of those Mt. Baldy matches, due to incorrect information provided on what was later ruled an eligible transfer.
So officially Don Lugo is 11-8 overall, 9-3 in league. It looked like the team would have to settle for a tie for first but when Chino knocked off Colony the last match of the season it gave the Conquistadores an unshared title. Call it poetic justice.
The rise of the program has come thanks in part to the arrival of the Chino Volleyballerz, a club team started by Don Lugo coach Eve Knowles who had recently moved into the area and was looking for a place for daughter Ayana to play. There wasn’t one so she started one. That’s never an easy chore.
When the Don Lugo position opened she was asked to take it and she did.
Like other sports, volleyball has become a year-round game. You can’t compete unless the balance of your team plays year-round. Clubs provide feeder programs for area high schools and colleges but you can’t control who goes where. So as a club coach you could be grooming players for rival high schools. So those who work with clubs are doing it for the advancement of the sport as much as anything.
Hopefully the progress of the Don Lugo program and the Chino club program will be the catalyst for improvement in other Inland Empire programs as well. That would benefit everybody.
The St. Lucy’s volleyball team has been the juggernaut in the Sierra League the last few years. Well Chino Hills proved it will be a force to reckon with come playoff time too.
The Huskies (17-8, 9-1) were convincing in a 25-21, 25-19, 25-19 win over St. Lucy’s in the regular season finale for both teams Tuesday night. The two tie for the league title, meaning a coin flip will determine the top seed.
St. Lucy’s (16-8, 9-1) won the first time the teams played – in not so dominant fashion 25-23, 25-22, 25-15.
This time it was just the Huskies night. Countless times a Huskies players would stick out a hand to try and keep a ball in play and somehow it found an open spot on the other side of the court. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don’t.
The Huskies boast one of the top players in Southern California in Meghan Buzzerio, a junior who has already committed to Arizona. They have a gutty little setter in Mallory Beard and a rapidly improving middle blocker in junior Alexa Lister who can be an imposing figure at the net. The rest of the cast isn’t too shabby either.
St. Lucy’s is a formidable foe too. The Regents will regroup and be just fine.
Let the playoffs begin!
Senior Tanner Carew was the man of the hour today at Damien High School.
The Oregon-bound football standout was named to the prestigious U.S. Army All American Bowl to be played in January in San Antonio, Tex. Just 90 players nationwide were selected. Representatives from the game and the Armed Services were on hand to formally present Carew with his jersey in a noon gathering in the Senior Quad.
It’s an honor because of the caliber of player chosen for the event. There are lots of senior All-Star games, locally and throughout the country. But this one puts added emphasis on character and leadership – attributes the armed services embrace.
Carew saw the game on television for the first time when he was in the fourth grade and told dad Marty it was one he would like to participate. Well that goal has come to fruition. He’ll be a great representative of Damien High School, the Inland Valley and Southen California.
Colony High School football coach Steve Randall stood on the field at Chaffey a half hour from kickoff talking about his senior running back Devan Imbach. To play him or not to pay him.
Imbach sustained a stress fracture three weeks ago and has missed the last couple of games. Fortunately for Randall and the Titans those games were against lesser foes.
But Randall was debating whether to play Imbach on Friday against the Tigers. He left the decision on suiting up to Imbach so Randall knew what would happen. He was dressing out.
But Randall said his trainers are keeping an eye on the star player.
Randall said he’d like to get him in the game for a few carries rather than have him try and play in next week’s game against Chino, which could be for a Mt. Baldy League title, without having carried the ball for month.
He’s a gamer so if it’s up to him he’ll get in.
“He’s one of those guys we have to save from himself,” Randall said.
A couple more local soccer player commitments courtesy of Rancho Cucamonga coach Chris Van Duin.
Defender Beth Robbins of St. Lucy’s Priory is headed to NCAA Division III Aurora University (Ill.) which is currently 16-2-0 overall and 10-1 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
Forward-midfielder Shaday Daniels of Don Lugo High School will attend NAIA Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. which is 5-5 overall and 1-0 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC).
Before the season started most people thought when it came to prep volleyball it was Los Osos, then everyone else. In fact, that’s exactly how one coach put it.
Well that turned out not to be the case as Rancho Cucamonga was the team that marched through Baseline League play unscathed. Well they have two matches left but those are just a formality.
The Cougars beat their rival twice – 3-0 and 3-1. Both were convincing.
Player for player Rancho didn’t measure up but the Cougars made up for that with all the other intangibles it takes to make a great team. Kylie Miller is just a great all-around player. She can hit, she sets, she can pass. And she has a serve that is nearly impossible to return. She has a solid cast around her too.
For Los Osos this will be a gut check. The Grizzlies will still make the playoffs and they will, no doubt, be a very formidable foe. They had won the last three titles before being dethroned. Sometimes you can win so much you can get complacent. And they do have probably the best player in the area in Ashten Smith-Gooden. They’ll be just fine too. But Rancho winning only adds to what is a great rivalry . . . in pretty much every sport.
Long snapper Tanner Carew of Damien has been chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
A ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 at Damien in which Carew will be presented with his jersey by a member of the selection committee.
Carew, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder who has already committed to Oregon, also plays linebacker for the Spartans (4-4, 2-1), who are hosting South Hills in Sierra League play on Friday.
There are big games at all levels all the time. About half the time they live up to their billing. But the showdown between Los Osos and Rancho Cucamonga sure did. No. 1 Rancho won 20-16.
Give the Grizzlies credit. Despite playing without quarterback Jason Crain the Grizzlies (4-4, 1-2) gave the undefeated Cougars (8-0, 3-0) all they wanted and more. Donovan Williams, normally a running back, filled in admirably and kept his team on top until the very end. It looked like they were going to pull off a major upset that was going to turn the Baseline League upside down.
Oh the quarterback drama! Nick Baiz has two and had a decision to make. Use sophomore Angel Matute who has been the guy the last month with Gage Pucci injured. Or go with Pucci who was healthy enough to start.
He went with Matute, which was probably the right call. When Matute struggle he went to Pucci in the second half. Another right call.
Pucci then led a resurgence. He got the Cougars in striking distance, closing the gap to 16-13 with a touchdown pass to Blake Fisher – the other hero.
Then he went down with the Cougars driving in the final minutes. Cougars at the Los Osos 20. Back comes Matute, who responds by throwing the winning pass to Fisher with 1:14 left.
It says a lot about Matute’s character.
We’ll see who Baiz starts next week.