Summit girls bball to promote breast cancer awareness

I received an email from Summit girls basketball coach Alexis Barile earlier this afternoon saying that the SkyHawks will be wearing pink uniforms for their home game against Bloomington at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10. The SkyHawks will be “GOING PINK” in an effort to fight breast cancer.

The pink jerseys are being donated by Ken’s Sporting Girls and Summit is expected to get pink items donated by Nike. The proceeds and donations taken will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for fighting breast cancer in honor of former N.C. State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who passed away last week due to the disease. Summit also will be honoring community members that have survived or have lost someone to breast cancer.

Notre Dame to visit Pollard

Cajon defensive back Marlon Pollard verbally committed to UCLA after visiting the school on Jan. 10, decommitting from Notre Dame in the process. But that hasn’t stopped the Fighting Irish from pursuing Pollard, a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com and Scout.com.

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown stopped by the Pollard household last Wednesday to meet with the 6-foot-1, 170-pound all-CIF and all-County first-team selection and will have an in-home with the Pollard family Wednesday night according to Marlon’s mother, Rachael Pollard.

“We have a great deal of respect for Corwin and a great deal of appreciation for how Notre Dame has approached their recruitment of Marlon,” Pollard said. “We believe in not closing doors and getting all the information possible. Corwin has been up front with Marlon throughout this entire process and wants to put all the information he has out on the table.”

Rachael Pollard reiteriated that her son is 100 percent committed to UCLA, with whom Marlon committed to prior to his junior year at Valencia before decommitting after Karl Dorrell’s firing for Notre Dame, citing the bond Marlon had with the players and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel.

“Marlon has a bond with the UCLA players and really wants to stay home and play in front of his family and friends,” Rachael said. “That’s the reason why we moved back to the Inland Empire to begin with. Our family is out here and Marlon was born in Pomona and played youth football in Rancho Cucamonga. He wanted to come back to where he was from.

“He wants to play in Southern California for coach Neuheisel. (Neuheisel) was very upfront about mistakes he made in his past and very honest about it, which is something we appreciate.”

Walker commits to Idaho

Redlands East Valley defensive back Gary Walker recently committed to the University of Idaho according to REV coach Kurt Bruich. Walker, who was an all-CIF and all-County selection after transferring from Rialto High School last offseason, visited Idaho this past weekend and apparently loved every bit of his trip.

“After seeing Gary early this week, I had an idea of where he was going,” Bruich said. “I know that he had a great time up there.

“He’s a great pickup for Idaho. He’s a special player. He plays fast and when you need an impact play, he’ll come up with it for you.”

Walker chose the Vandals over teams such as Arizona State and Fresno State. He had been to both campuses, but chose Idaho’s instead. He is the third Wildcat to make that choice in recent years, joining kicker Trey Farquhar (2008) and linebacker Andre Ferguson (2007).

“We have a nice pipeline going there,” Bruich said. “Gary knows those guys, which will definitely help him out.”

San Bernardino boys basketball comes through big

In the hustle and bustle that comes with deadlines in the newspaper business, sometimes things get in too late to be put in the next day’s paper. That happened with the San Bernardino boys basketball team, which is starting to turn some heads in the San Andreas League.

The Cardinals made history Wednesday night, defeating Arroyo Valley 81-74 for their first-ever varsity boys basketball win over the Hawks. The Cardinals (12-6 overall, 3-0 San Andreas League) went 23 of 27 from the free-throw line and had three players score over 20 points. James Harper led the way with 26 points, Jeremiah Tardy scored 22 and Devonte Chatman added 20.

Wednesday’s win was the sixth in a row for San Bernardino, which plays at San Gorgonio Friday before hosting a big game with SAL co-leader Cajon next Wednesday.

Ragan commits to Northern Arizona

Aquinas running back J.J. Ragan, the Christian League Offensive MVP and a third-team all-County performer, verbally committed to Northern Arizona University this past weekend according to Scout.com. Ragan, a bruising 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, was one of the leading rushers in the County, rushing for 1,293 yards and 17 touchdowns in helping lead the Falcons to a Christian League championship.

The article detailing Ragan’s commitment can be accessed here.

Philipp commits to Oregon State

Arroyo Valley offensive lineman Michael Philipp, rated the No. 1 guard and the No. 38 player in the nation, has verbally committed to Oregon State, according to Arroyo Valley head coach Marcus Soward.

Philipp chose the Beavers over several suitors, most notably Stanford, UCLA, California and Oregon. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Philipp took an official visit to Oregon State this past weekend.

“Mike committed yesterday,” Soward said. “He didn’t have a big speech planned about why he chose Oregon State and why it was the best place for him. He went up there and just felt comfortable. They have a real family environment and he just felt like it was the best place for him. They were straight shooters with him and Mike feels like he can make a real impact.”

Philipp is the next in a long line of brothers to emerge in the Division I ranks. Paul Philipp went to Arizona after playing at San Bernardino High while Hans Philipp will be a redshirt sophomore at Arizona after playing at Arroyo Valley.

Soward, who graduated from Arizona State and played defensive back for the Sun Devils in the 1997 Rose Bowl, was happy to see Philipp join the fraternity of Pac-10 football players.

“I was hoping that he would go to a Pac-10 school,” Soward said. “The great thing about Pac-10 schools is that they are great academic institutions that also play some great football. The Pac-10 was undefeated during bowls this year, which is a pretty incredible accomplishment.”

Michael Philipp joins Hans Philipp (2007), Keenan Brown (San Jose State, 2008) and Robert Fuller (Utah State, 2008) as Arroyo Valley players that have or will sign with Division I programs.

“It’s huge for our program,” Soward said. “Can you imagine the type of impact a guy like Michael Philipp, a player who is getting a full ride to a Pac-10 school, would have on a freshman? It shows that if you work hard and take care of business in the classroom, you can go off to a Division I college, even a Pac-10 one if things go well.”

Morris commits to Cal Poly

Redlands offensive lineman Brock Morris, a first-team all-CIF and first-team all-County selection, verbally committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo over the weekend after taking an official visit.

Morris, who was also looking at Army and Portland State, fell in love with the campus and committed right on the spot when asked.

“It was everything I was looking for,” Morris said. “It’s a great team, great school, great campus. I liked everything about it and I can’t wait to get there (August 2). It feels good to have it over and be at a school that I really like.”

A lot of the draw toward Cal Poly SLO was their hiring of former Pacific graduate Saga Tuitele as co-offensive coordinator. Tuitele, a standout for the Pirates in the mid-1990s and a graduate of Portland State, was hired this month after spending a two-year stint as the offensive line coach at Army – where he was Morris’ main recruiter.

“Having coach Tuitele at Cal Poly is a pretty big deal,” Morris said. “He’s the one that got me interested at Army and I built a pretty good relationship with him. I can’t wait to go and play for him.”

Morris is the second Terrier to commit to a Division I-AA school of high academic standing, with all-CIF and all-County first teamer Michael Poage having already committed to Columbia. Both Morris and Poage will sign their letters of intent to make their choices official February 4.

Booker commits to San Diego State

When San Bernardino senior defensive back Aarein Booker went on his official visit to San Diego State this past weekend, he wasn’t necessarily thinking about committing. But after spending an entire day on the campus, he knew that he wanted to be an Aztec.
“I was thinking about everything right before I went to bed,” Booker said. “When I woke up, I knew what I wanted to do.”
Booker, a 6-foot, 180-pound jack of all trades for the Cardinals this season, gave his verbal commitment to San Diego State Sunday morning, becoming the first Division I-A football recruit out of San Bernardino since Paul Philipp committed to Arizona in 2001.
“This is a big deal for us,” San Bernardino coach Nick Monica said. “For Aarein to be the first D-I guy we’ve had in eight years is a pretty big deal for us, especially since we were 2-8 this year.”
The Cardinals may have struggled on the field, but none of the blame could be placed on Booker. Along with playing cornerback for San Bernardino, Booker ran for 1,058 yards and even served time at quarterback.
San Diego State is looking at Booker, who is also an accomplished sprinter on the Cardinals’ track team, to play at corner. After talking to the Aztec defensive coaches, including defensive coordinator and former New Mexico head coach Rocky Long, Booker was pretty excited about his new role.
“I loved the defense they ran and I loved all the players I talked to,” Booker said. “I really feel like I connected with the players and coaches and I really enjoyed the campus.”
The trip also included breakfast at the beach on Sunday morning, something his other main suitor, Division I-AA Idaho State, couldn’t offer. Booker was planning an official trip to Idaho State this upcoming weekend, but canceled it after committing.

Roenicke wins the gold

Tara Roenicke and Summer Ross capped off a dominating run at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival Sunday afternoon Sydney time, sweeping the Australian duo of Mariafe Artacho and Zina Stone 21-17, 21-9 to capture the gold medal in girls beach volleyball.

Roenicke and Ross didn’t lose a game in their run to the gold, winning all 10 of them en route to the championship.

“We had a goal of coming over here and not losing a game,” Roenicke said. “We felt pretty good about how we matched up with all of these teams and we did it. I’m so excited right now I don’t know what to do.”

Roenicke called me on the tram in Sydney en route to watch the U.S. boys soccer team, which plays Australia in the gold medal game of that event. To get their gold medals, Roenicke and Ross toughed out a tight first game before turning it on in game two.

“Once we got that first game, I think they gave up a bit,” Roenicke said. “It was so exciting. With every point I was just sitting there thinking ‘Just one more.’ It’s an unbelievable feeling and I really don’t even know how to act right now.”

The third time in an international event was certainly the charm for Roenicke. She’s competed the last two summers in the Under-19 World Championships in Poland and The Netherlands, respectively. She didn’t receive a medal in those events, but the experience she obtained in those events definitely paid off.

“I felt real confident going into the gold-medal game,” Roenicke said. “When I competed in Poland (in 2007), the team I was on was able to beat that team. I have a different partner, but I had a good feeling about this match coming in. I felt if we could beat Norway (in the semifinals) we’d have a good shot.”

Roenicke, the United States’ flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies, will hang out in Sydney for the closing ceremonies before flying back to Los Angeles on Tuesday and heading back to Los Osos Wednesday. And even though the resulting jet lag – Roenicke leaves Sydney Tuesday afternoon Australia time and arrives in Los Angeles Tuesday morning California time – will cause her to spend most of Tuesday adjusting, Roenicke knows the first thing she’s going to do.

“I’m hanging up my gold medal in my room,” Roenicke said.

Pacific’s Cardoza takes fifth

Pacific sophomore wrestler Samantha Cardoza compete in the CIF-SS girls wrestling championships at Oxnard High School, finishing fifth in the 108-pound division.

Cardoza has competed in each edition of the two-year event, with this year being the first time she has placed. Now she has the option of either going to the girls’ state event in two weeks in Sacramento or staying with the boys varsity team, where she competes in the 112-pound weight class.