Colony football team aiming to defend Central title

Some say it’s harder to stay at the top than get to the top. Count Colony High School football coach Steve Randall among those who agrees.

“You’re on everyone’s radar when you’re the defending champion,” he said. “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone.”

Well the Titans (12-2) are confronting the challenge of defending head on. They’re playing as tough a non-league schedule as you’ll see so they should be prepared by the time Mt.Baldy League play rolls around.

The Titans graduated 30 or so seniors, with a dozen of those being significant impact players.

Leading the returning cast is senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns in the last two years. He separated his shoulder later in the regular season and was thought to be lost for the season only to return for the title game against Los Altos.

“He worked really hard in the off-season to get stronger,” Randall said. “He has looked good. We’re looking for more good things out of him this season.”

Some of the other vital cogs in the offense are gone. Look for Fred Harrison to shoulder some of the load carried by the departed Ryan Kinard with Tyrone Hatchett pitching in as well. Senior Tre Bland and sophomroe newcomer Oscar Noyola will be among the big bodies up front clearing the way.

Hugo Malana and Marcos Valencia headline the receiving core.

The offense will be a bit different this season. Chalk that up to the departure of offensive coordinator Kevin Davis who left for the head position at Etiwanda.

Randall says his team will not go up-tempo all the time as it did last year. Instead it will pick and choose its spots. Thompson will also be more over center as opposed to in shotgun formation.

“I like going up-tempo but it hurt as at times,” Randall said. “So we’ll be more conventional at times.”

Randall singles out the defensive line as the team’s strong suit. Returner Tyrique Faatiglia will head the effort along with a couple of newcomers in junior Jacob Chagolla.

Other key defenders include defensive back Khalil Dorsey, who had 11 interceptions last year, as well as newcomer Dallas Trena and linebacker Elijah Arellano.

The Titans begin defense of their title on Aug. 28 with an opener at West Covina, a foe that made it to the second round of the playoffs a year ago.

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Peter Lambert of San Dimas lands MaxPreps honor

The honors keep getting better for San Dimas pitcher Peter Lambert.

The recently-graduated right-hander has been named All-American by MaxPreps which picked only 30 players nationwide for the first team.

Lambert, who was drafted in the second round by the Colorado Rockies, went 13-0 with an 0.34 ERA. He had 5 shutouts, 113 strikeouts and 16 walks in 83 innings. He also hit .295 batting average (31 for 105) with 23 runs, 27 RBIs, 6 doubles, 3 home runs.

Here is the elite list of players picked:

P Beau Burrows, Weatherford (Tex.)
P Peter Lambert, San Dimas, Calif.
P Austin Smith, Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.)
P Juan Hillman, Olympia (Orlando, Fla.)
P Kale Breaux, Sulphur (La.)
P Donny Everett, Clarksville (Tenn.)
P Max Wotell, Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw, N.C.)
P Jason Barber, Oxford (Miss.)
P Tristan McKenzie, Royal Palm Beach (Fla.)
P Joe DeMers, College Park (Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
C Tyler Stephenson, Kennesaw Mountain (Kennesaw, Ga.)
C Cory Zangari, Carl Albert (Midwest City, Okla.)
C Chris Betts, Woodrow Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.)
1B Luken Baker, Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas)
1B Luke Shilling, Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Mich.)
IF Brendan Rodgers, Lake Mary (Fla.)
IF Cadyn Grenier, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
IF Ke’bryan Hayes, Concordia Lutheran (Tomball, Texas)
IF Cornelius Randolph, Griffin (Ga.)
IF Tyler Nevin, Poway (Calif.)
IF Tyler Wyatt, Liberty (Peoria, Ariz.).
OF Dazmon Cameron, Eagle’s Landing Christian, (McDonough, Ga.)
OF Kyle Tucker, Plant (Tampa, Fla.)
OF Ashton Bardzell, Ramsey (N.J.)
OF Nick Plummer, Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
OF Trent Clark, Richland (North Richland Hills, Texas)
OF Jahmai Jones, Wesleyan (Norcross, Ga.)
UT Bryan Hudson, Alton (Ill.)
UT Mike Nikorak, Stroudsburg (Pa.)
UT Austin Riley, DeSoto Central (Southaven, Miss.)

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Bonita’s Amanda Legaspi headed to international event

Bonita High School sophomore Amanda Legaspi will be represent the USA this summer in the UANA Pan American Youth Water Polo Championships

The event runs from Aug. 24 through Sept. 4 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Legaspi is a member of the United States Women’s National Cadet Team and the Foothill Water Polo Club.

Last year as a freshman she earned first team All-CIF and All-Palomares League honors.

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Four local baseball standouts earn Cal-Hi Sports honor

Four local baseball players have been to the All-State Underclassmen team by Cal-Hi Sports.

The quartet is led by San Dimas juniors Jacob Castillo and Tommy Acuna. Both were named to the first team with Castillo selected as a pitcher and Acuna named as an infielder.

The duo led San Dimas to a 31-1 record. Castillo, who has committed to San Diego State, was 11-1 with an 0.43 ERA and also hit .341. Meanwhile Acuna, who committed to Arizona just last week, his .529 with 25 RBI.

Two locals also earned second team honors. Sophomore shortstop Tyler Freeman was named in the infield while Ayala junior Matthew Acosta was named in the outfield.

Freeman, who has committed to Texas Christian, hit .398 and scored 27 runs in helping the Eagles to a Baseline League title.

Acosta, who has signed with USC, was the top player for the Bulldogs. He hit .4689 and scored 25 runs.

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Bonita football team will be dependent on newcomers

Last year the Bonita High School football team was a bit lucky to slip into the playoffs. The Bearcats were part of a three-way tie for third place but got in the playoffs based on a tiebreaker.

They made the most of the opportunity, advancing all the way to the CIF Central Division semifinal before falling to Los Altos, 27-13.

But if the Bearcats are to move on and make a run this year coach Adrian Medrano will have to get major contributions from a lot of newcomers.

“We graduated a lot of players and some really key players,” he said. “And our league is tough. So we’re going to have to grow up quickly.”

Bonita (8-5 last year, 2-3 in the Palomares League) will have several players coming from a junior varsity squad that was 9-1 so there is potential.

Among the few players returning is senior quarterback Tanner East (above).

Other veterans include B.J. McLaurin, a wide receiver and defensive back who was also one of the area’s top track standouts, as well as lineman Baylee Smith, wide receiver Josh Peifer, linebacker-lineman Nathan Smedley, linebacker Giovanni Luna, free safety Darien Gamell and defensive back Amir Ainsworth – all seniors.

Ainsworth saw some playing time last year on special teams and was the backup to top defender Danny Gelalich.

Angel Verdugo rushed for 1,373 yards and 18 touchdowns a year ago but he is among the departed. This year Medrano says it will be more “running back by committee.”

Among those who will factor into the game plan are senior Brandon Bradshaw, the second-leading rusher behind Verdugo, as well as  senior Romeo Gutierrez.

Medrano is also high on junior wide receiver Dylan Flores who can contribute in a number of areas.

“We really don’t have that star player,” Medrano said. We’re one of those teams that really relies on having a lot of guys that come in and work hard and play together.”

Bonita gets the new season underway on Aug. 28 with a home game against Montebello Schurr.

The Bearcats open league play at South Hills on Oct. 16.

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Don Lugo baseball coach Joe Marcos leaves one job, stays with another

Joe Marcos has been part of Don Lugo High School for a long time – since 1975 to be exact. But he’s starting to ween himself off of the jobs he holds.

Marcos, 60, has resigned as baseball coach. He’ll stay on for one more year as athletic director but plans to retire completely following the completion of the next school year.

The end came a lot quicker than I wanted it too,” he said. “It was definitely a tough decision because I love this program and these kids and the school. But I don’t know there was ever going to be a good time but it seemed like the right time.”

Marcos said the timing also seemed right because he didn’t want to leave both positions as the same time, leaving multiple voids for the school to have to fill. He also thought it would be good to be around in some capacity to assist the new coach should he need it.

Marcos started at the school as a walk-on assistant in 1975 and did that until getting the head coaching job in 1985.He picked up his 500th win earlier this season when the Conquistadors defeated Mt. Baldy League foe Montclair 10-3.

He has been athletic director since 1999.

There have been a lot of career highlights but Marcos says he particularly enjoyed the years he coached son Ryan, who graduated in 2000. The previous year the team got all the way to the semifinals.

“I am going to miss the players and the friendships,” Marcos said. “It’s amazing now with social media and what not, you find out you had an impact on a kid’s life. That’s very rewarding.”

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Colony football team bracing for tough preseason foes

Colony celebrates after defeating Los Altos 35-7 during a CIF Southern Section Championship football game at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

The Colony High School football team had quite the storybook season in 2014, marching all the way to the CIF Central Division title game where it completely dismantled Los Altos in a finale that was over by halftime.

Much of the reason the Titans accomplished that was that they played a tough slate of non-league foes. Among those Pomona, who won a CIF title in the Mid-Valley Division.

Well it isn’t going to be an easy road this year either.

Coach Steve Randall may have graduated 30 seniors but that didn’t mean he was going to scale back the schedule. It may be even tougher.

“I like to schedule tough teams but I am a little concerned this year,” he said. “It will be a real challenge. Hopefully we get through it healthy.”

The Titan opponents will include West Covina, Alemany, Bishop Amat, La Habra and Riverside Poly.

Those teams were a combined 44-16 last year and all but one made the playoffs. The one that didn’t, Alemany, played in a tough league and finished fourth.

Riverside Poly is coming off a 13-1 season that included a narrow 36-31 loss to Redlands East Valley in the Inland title game. Of course REV went on to win a state title. So that easily could have been Poly.

Bishop Amat lost a semifinal playoff game by one point to perennial title contender Corona Centennial. That says it all right there.  Amat is expected to be the top team in the San Gabriel Area and possibly in the entire division.

The other aren’t too shabby either. La Habra is one of only two teams to beat the Titans last year, doing so by a 45-27 score.

It will also be quite the start because although the Titans have a quarterback returning in Josh Thompson, they do have a new offensive coordinator and a few additions to the coaching staff as well. Previous offensive coordinator Kevin Davis left for the head job at Etiwanda, taking a few of Randall’s other assistants with him.

“We’re going to know right away where we stand,” Randall said. “If we have any flaws they will be exposed.”

 

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Ontario Christian to host baseball camp

Ontario Christian High School (931 W. Philadelphia St.) is hosting a four day summer baseball camp July 13-16.

Ontario Christian head coach Chuck Belk will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

It is open to players in grades 1-12 and are limited to six players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and base running.

Space is limited. Registration is now under way. For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

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Montclair football looking for better start to new season

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Rarely do the first few games of the season prove to be a turning point. For the Montclair Cavaliers that was indeed the case.

Montclair officially went 3-7 but it was on the field at 5-5. The difference were forfeits of the first two games of the season both of which they won decidedly over San Gabriel (42-0) and Garey (23-6).

That came after the Cavaliers won a third game which would have made them 3-0. Alas, it was 1-2.

Coach T.J. Fiorenza tried to stress that his team did win on the field and that the ultimate goal of a league title was still in sight but he doesn’t think his team ever really bounced back mentally.

“I don’t think out guys ever bounced back,” he said. “I know it was early but we never really were the same after that.”

But it’s a new year and Fiorenza is as optimistic as most coaches. He returns seven starters on offense and four on defense so improving on last year’s fifth-place finish in the Mt. Baldy League is doable.

Montclair FootballⓂ

“I think we’re going to be a lot better,” he said. “Our guys worked hard and I liked what I saw out of the passing leagues. We’re definitely looking forward to that new start.”

Senior Jose Campos inherits the starting quarterback spot after seeing some playing time a year ago.

Fiorenza expects the wide receiving unit to be his best. Among the other experienced athletes coming back there are  seniors Joseph Martinez and Gustavo Herrera and juniors Devin Mclee and Robin Wiley.

Othe veterans are senior corner back Dante Haro, senior offensive lineman Nick Orozco, senior safety Daniel Carlin, senior defensive end-tight end Jose Rivera and senior linebacker Cris Arismendez.

Among the newcomers is sophomore strong safety Roy Wiley, younger brother of Robin, who Firoenza says has outstanding potential.

Other promising newcomers include sophomore defensive tackle Diego Sanchez, junior running back-linebacker Matthew Mendibles and junior linebacker Jason Le.

“The key for us, like it always is, is staying healthy,” Fiorenza says. “We can’t afford to lose guys, especially for a long time.”

The Cavaliers open the season Aug. 28 at San Gabriel. The first game will be the following week against Garey.

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Pitcher Peter Lambert of San Dimas lands another honor

Right-hander Peter Lambert of San Dimas may be off starting his professional baseball career but the honors continue to roll in nonetheless.

Lambert, who was drafted in the second round by the Colorado Rockies, was one of just 11 players named to the All-California Team by USA Today.

Lambert was nothing short of spectacular. He had 13 starts and won all of those, completing nine. Five were shutouts and he allowed only four earned runs and managed 113 strikeouts in 83 innings for a miniscule ERA of 0.43.

Shortstop Branden Becker of Cajon, who was drafted and signed by the Baltimore Orioles, was named to the second team.

Here’s the complete list of players honored. It is a pretty select group.

Player of the Year: Joe DeMers, P, Pleasant Hill College Park, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
Justin Hooper, P, Concord De La Salle, Sr.
Peter Lambert, P, San Dimas, Sr.
Chris Betts, C, Long Beach Wilson, Sr.
Devin Davis, INF, Santa Clarita Valencia, Sr.
Nick Madrigal, INF, Elk Grove, Sr.
Tyler Nevin, INF, Poway, Sr.
Luke Williams, INF, Dana Point, Sr.
Daniel Amaral, OF, Huntington Beach, Sr.
Matt Smith, OF, Placentia El Dorado, Sr.
James Terrell, OF, St. Patrick-St. Vincent Vallejo, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
Marrick Crouse, P, Dana Hills, Sr.
Kyle Molnar, P, Aliso Viejo, Sr.
Patrick Sandoval, P, Mission Viejo, Sr.
Lucas Herbert, C, San Clemente, Sr.
Branden Becker, INF, Cajon, Sr.
John Cresto, INF, San Diego Cathedral Catholic, Sr.
Devin Davis, INF, Santa Clarita Valencia, Sr.
Royce Lewis, INF, Junipero Serra, So.
Anthony Gordon, OF, Terra Nova Pacifica, Sr.
Alex McKenna, OF, Mission Hills Bishop Alemany, Sr.
Jagger Rusconi, OF, West Ranch, Sr.

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