Etiwanda close to hiring football coach

Etiwanda has yet to hire a football coach to replace Tommy Leach, who resigned Nov. 12, but the school has narrowed the number of candidates to four, according to athletic director David Masucci.

“We’re making progress but we haven’t hired anybody yet,” Masucci said. “We just got our new principal last Tuesday, so he’s just getting settled in but we should make the football coaching hire soon.”

One of the four candidates is Damien coach Greg Gano, according to Aram Tolegian of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Gano resigned from Damien on Dec. 9 after going 20-22 in four seasons at the school and two playoff appearances. Two of the other three finalists are Jason Smith, an Etiwanda assistant coach last season, and former San Dimas head coach Roland DeAnda.

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All-Baseline League football team

Offensive MVP: Nate Romine, Upland, QB, Sr.
Defensive co-MVPs: Viliami Latu, Rancho Cucamonga, LB, Sr.; Alani Latu, Rancho Cucamonga, LB, Sr.

First Team
OFFENSE
Tyler Bratton, Upland, RB, SR
Stephen Johnson, Los Osos, QB, SR
Vic Bolden, Los Osos, UTL, SR
Cade Lindsay, Glendora, RB, SR
Adam Friederichsen, Rancho Cucamonga, QB, SR
Anthony Romero, Upland, TE/WR, SR
Trevor Wright, Upland, WR, SR
Jordan Villamin, Etiwanda, WR, SR
Jermel Walker, Rancho Cucamonga, WR, SR
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Basketball team that beat Etiwanda, Upland kicked out of tournament

Westwind Prep, a team from Phoenix, Arizona, which beat both Etiwanda and Upland in boys basketball this season, has been sent home from the Charter Oak Tournament.

Upland boys coach John McNally said he had heard CIF told Westwind to leave the Charter Oak Tournament a day after beating Upland, and CIF-SS spokesman Thom Simmons confirmed that Westwind was in  violation.

“The team sent from Westwind was not comprised of students attending full time at Westwind High School making them ineligible for competition versus CIF member schools.” Simmons wrote in an email.

There is no word yet whether Etiwanda and Upland will receive forfeit wins. Etiwanda lost to Westwind 58-56 in the Corona Centennial Tournament and Upland lost to Westwind 81-64 in the Charter Oak Tournament on Thursday.

Etiwanda football coach resigns following first season at the school

Etiwanda coach Tommy Leach resigned Nov. 12 after one season as head football coach, according to Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci. The Eagles went 4-6 and finished fourth in the Baseline League in their lone season under Leach, who took over after Steve Bryce resigned following a seven-year tenure.

The former Temecula Chaparral and Diamond Ranch coach was making a 110-mile commute round trip from his teaching job at Chaparral, where he was the head coach from 2006-2010.

“I think he thought it was going to be easier than it was to make the drive back and forth,” Masucci said. “And he’s the type of coach that, if he’s not able to give everything, he won’t do it. He said he felt like he was always behind, always chasing.”

Leach was the head coach at Diamond Ranch in 2004 and 2005 before taking over at Chaparral, where he won a CIF-SS Inland Division championship in 2009. Etiwanda will soon begin to accept applications for the position both inside and outside the Chaffey Joint Union School District.

Approved at Etiwanda, Leach ‘won’t be outcoached’

Thomas Leach was approved Tuesday by the school board to become Etiwanda’s new head football coach. After head coaching stints for two and five seasons, respectively at Diamond Ranch and Chaparral, Leach will take over for Steve Bryce, who resigned following last season.

“He seems like the type of guy that if we lose a game, it’s not going to be because he got outcoached,” Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci said. “He puts in the time and he cares a great deal about what he does. He’s a players’ coach, the type that gets his players to run through walls for him.”

Leach posted a 47-19 record in five seasons at Chaparral, winning a CIF-SS Inland Division championship in 2009. He was most recently an assistant coach for Norco after departing Chaparral following the 2010 season.

Etiwanda football coach Bryce resigns

After seven seasons as the Etiwanda High School head football coach and “31 straight years on a football team,” Steve Bryce will resign effective at semester’s end on Dec. 21.

Bryce has been on the Etiwanda sideline in some capacity for the last 15 seasons but with his first child due in January, Bryce and his wife decided it best for him to step down. He will continue to teach anatomy and physiology at Etiwanda.

“It’s going to be tough,” Bryce said. “It was difficult telling the players because I didn’t want them to think I was abandoning them. I’ll still be here for them but I wanted them to understand that I was putting my family first for the first time ever.”
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