John Romagnoli returns as Miller High’s boys basketball coach

He’s back as boys basketball coach, and it would seem, for the foreseeable future.

John Romagnoli, who first became head coach at Miller High in 1998, is back after his second one-year hiatus since then.

“I realized I was 46 years old and I wasn’t ready to hang it up (for coaching),” Romagnoli said.

Romagnoli’s teams at Miller have probably been the school’s most consistent, missing the playoffs only once (his first season) in 15 years as head coach. After serving as assistant coach to Gary West beginning in 1995, Romagnoli replaced West as head coach in 1998 and was the head coach until he first became athletic director in 2010, when he stepped down to concentrate on that job.

He returned after a year in which Miller missed the playoffs, then served as head basketball coach and athletic director for three years until last year, when the district forced to choose between the two positions.John Romagnoli mug shot

Romagnoli said he chose to remain as athletic director last year because he needed to get ready to move his mother-in-law out from Chicago to live with his family. He said the year away this time (when the team missed the playoffs) was much worse.

“Last time, I took the new (athletic director) job and that was kind of exciting,” he said. “I had coached 10-11 years at that point. Now, I’m completely revitalized, I got the (Inland Valley) all-star game resurrected. … Even when I wasn’t coaching, I was a (basketball) junkie, going to college basketball practices.

“I guess I’m at that point, where the coaching part comes easy. I feel like I’m back.”

School has started at Fontana, and as a result of returning to coaching, Romagnoli had to step down as athletic director and is back teaching. He monitors online classes that Miller students are taking.

“I’m a little bit of a tech guy,” he said. “I really wanted something different.”
So, as a result, long time Miller coach Jeff Omar is taking over as athletic director.

“Jeff’s learning the ropes and I’m there to help him out,” Romagnoli said.

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Los Osos grad Paige Halstead part of winning USA team

Los Osos High School graduate Paige Halstead was part of the U.S. Junior National team which won the Gold medal at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship today at Oklahoma City.

The USA team went 9-0 in the event, defeating Japan 8-1 in the championships game.

The American team was never really challenged with the other wins coming over Chinese Taipei 10-0, Italy 20-0, Australia 6-1, Brazil 16-0, Puerto Rico 7-2, Mexico 16-0, Czech Republic 7-0, Canada 14-2 and Japan 14-2.

Halstead, a catcher, played in four games and went 4-for-8 with a double, five RBI and four runs scored.

Halstead will be headed to UCLA for her freshman year later this month.


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Etiwanda’s Treyjohn Butler his has priorities straight

VIDEO: Treyjohn Butler talks about his decision.

Etiwanda High School defensive back Treyjohn Butler clearly gets it.

Most high school athletes can’t wait to be wined and dined by prospective colleges and most have visions of playing professionally dancing in their heads.

Butler, who plans to major in mechanical engineering,  knows that latter opportunity comes for only a chosen few. One of the reasons he decided on Stanford is the academic success for which the school is noted. After making public his decision to sign with that Pac 12 school, he talked about his discussions with the professors in the engineering department as much as those with the coaches.

Not that the other schools he was considering aren’t solid academic institutions, but you can’t go wrong with a degree from Stanford.

He also said he was turned off by one school’s constant barrage of negative comments about his eventual choice. He appreciated the way Stanford stayed the course and talked only about what it had to offer not where it thought some other school came up short.

So yes, this young man gets it.

Etiwanda coach Kevin Davis asked Butler to address the gathering of 400 or so made up largely of fellow football players and classmates. Butler’s advice was to not waste a minute and take advantage of every minute, every practice, every game.

He also says he has been overwhelmed by the number of younger student-athletes who have reached out to him on social media asking his advice on the pressure and obstacles that come with being a high profile athlete.

He says he is open to sharing his experience because he wondered a lot of the same things when he was in their place.

These “kids announcing their decisions” stories can get monotonous. You ask the same questions, write pretty much the same story, inserting the name of whatever school.

But I found this one a breath of fresh air.



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Upland’s Grant Porter sidelined to start season

Grant Porter

Upland High School senior wide receiver Grant Porter will not be available to start the season, after sustaining a stress fracture in his foot earlier this week in practice.

Salter confirmed that Porter, who has made a verbal commitment to Washington State, did get injured but downplayed the setback.

The Highlanders do have more depth at that position the most others.

Porter had 23 receptions for 366 yards which was second on the team behind Malik Yoakum and Gabe Delgadillo, both of whom have graduated. He was expected ot be one of the marquee players in the area this year.

Salter is hoping to have his standout backup by the third week which would mean he misses games Palmdale Knight and Venice.


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Swimmer Kenisha Liu of Ayala headed to international event

Ayala High school swimming standout Kenisha Liu will compete in the FINA Junior World Championships Aug. 25-30 in Singapore.

Liu, the Daily Bulletin Swimmer of the Year the past spring, qualified for that event with her showing in the 100-meter freestyle at the Long Course National Championships in San Antonio, Tex. two weeks ago.

Liu finished in 20th place  in that event with a mark of 56.23 but that field included swimmers all ages, including those in college. She was the fourth fastest of athletes under 18.

She actually had a mark faster than that of 55.98 that came the previous week in junior nationals where she finished third.

Liu has already qualified for next summers Olympic Trials in four events – 100 free, 200 individual medley, 200 breast and 100 fly.

Liu, who just started her senior year, trains with Brea Aquatics which competes out of Mt. SAC.


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Two-way quarterback battle brewing at Chino Hills

VIDEO: Caleb Arreola and Brett Borgogno talk about competing for the starting quarterback spot at Chino Hills.

The Chino Hills Huskies were second in the Baseline League last year in their debut, giving eventual champion Upland quite a battle in the head-to-head match-up between the two.

All agree competition in the league will be tougher than ever.

Chino Hills coach Matt Bechtel has some key players back at some of the skill positions and has three starting linemen back as well. But the biggest void is at quarterback so what happens there will go a long way in determining the Huskies fate.

The candidates are junior Brett Borgogno and senior Caleb Arreola.

Arreola saw mop up duty in a handful of games last year. Most of that came in a 38-7 win over Los Osos when he completed 10 of 15 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown.

Looming even larger, he got the start in the Huskies playoff game against Temecula Great Oak when starter Zac Sturdivant was out injured. It was quite the baptism under fire.

Borgogno is better known as a slick infielder for the CIF runner-up baseball team. He had an outstanding season for the freshman team two years ago but opted to not play last year so he could focus on baseball. He made a verbal commitment in that sport to Cal State Fullerton last spring. With that decision behind him, he is ready to return to football.

Bechtel says Arreola has the slight edge because he played last year but the competition has just begun. We’ll see how it plays out!

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Montclair alum Larry Gordon returns to help raise money for basketball program

Larry Gordon talks about Montclair’s alumni game and playing professionally in Germany.

Probably the best basketball player to come out of Montclair High School returned to his old stomping grounds tonight.

Larry Gordon will be on a plane to Germany on Tuesday but first he stopped to visit and help raise some money for the Cavaliers program. The school had its second alumni game, organized by Gordon.

The first raised nearly $680 but tonight’s improved to $960.

Gordon has remained close to Cavaliers coach and athletic director Bill Blades who has headed the program the last 18 years. He wanted to help. It proved to be a good way to do so while also getting to see some old friends.

The biggest trick has been finding a good day. He wanted to do it while school was in session but it had to fit into his professional schedule too.

“It’s always fun to come back,” said Gordon, who was accompanied by wife Desiree. “I really wanted to help and this was a fun way to do it.”

Gordon will be entering his seventh year as a professional. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2009. He was an All-American there and one of the best players that storied program has ever produced.

He just signed a contract with the Bremehaven entry of the German League which is in the same league as Phoenixhagen with whom he had played the past couple of years.

Montclair coach Bill Blades talks about Larry Gordon coming back to help raise money for the program.


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Chaffey’s Michael Dean ready to hit the ground running

VIDEO: Chaffey’s Michael Dean talks about preparing for his season.

Last year Chaffey High School’s Michael Dean rushed for 1,373 yards with more than 100 yards in 10 of 11 contests. He also played defensive back and was a big-play threat on special teams.

He was a first team All-CIF and first team All-Inland Valley selection.

But the college offers didn’t exactly start flowing in. He admits it was a little discouraging. But chalk that up to his size rather than his ability. He stands only 5-foot-5. No matter what your speed, 5-5 isn’t going to land you many offers.

But some are starting to see past the size, or lack there of.

Two offers came last month, the first coming from NCAA Division II Western New Mexico, the other coming from NAIA Trinity International (Chicago, Ill.).

Azusa Pacific, which has made quite the splash in its infancy at the Division II level, has shown a lot of interest and he admits that option looks enticing should he actually get an offer.

“That definitely takes the pressure off,” he said of the two offers he has now. “I am starting to feel a lot better about things.”

Dean has worked hard during the off-season to prepare for the coming season, bulking up about 15 pounds and adding some muscle to his diminutive frame. He averaged 15 or so carries a year ago but with backfield mate James Oxier and quarterback James Leon both having departed, coach Chris Brown says he could get twice that.

He is used to playing full-time on defense too but if he needs a break, that’s where his break will come.

He had always competed in track in the spring but did little this year because he had a broken bone in his pelvis. That sidelined him for two months but he is back stronger than ever.

His speed has gotten better, improving from a 4.48 to a 4.40 in the 40.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I’m really excited about this season and being able to do everything I can to help us win.”

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Ganesha seeks wrestling coach

Ganesha High School is in need of a wrestling coach.

Athletic Director Don Cayer has been searching but come empty so far and says if one isn’t found the program may have to be dropped.

“It isn’t like many other sports,” Cayer said. “They’re pretty hard to come by.”

Those interested can contact Cayer at (909) 397 4409, ext. 30097 or e-mail him at


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Two-way standout Jaylon Dean transfers from Kaiser to Ganesha

Christmas came a little early for Ganesha football coach Don Cayer.

Jaylon Dean has transferred from Sunkist League champion Kaiser to Ganesha, Cayer confirmed.

The CIF has already ruled him eligible for the coming season. Dean, a 5-foot-10, 225 pounder, is expected to make an immediate impact.

“He will be a difference maker, especially on defense because that’swhere he has played the most,” Cayer said. “We have some skill players on offense but he gives us more options there.

Dean was an All-League selection last year on defense with 53 tackles and four sacks. Cayer says he will use him on both sides of the ball.

“We don’t get a transfer of this caliber that often,” he said. “We’re talking an All-League kid on a first place team. We’re excited to have him.”

Ganesha opens the season at Mark Keppel on Aug. 28.



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