Matheny new Aquinas football coach

Aquinas wasted very little time filling its head football coaching position, hiring Nick Matheny Tuesday to replace Josh Henderson, who left to take the job at Los Angeles Baptist last Friday.

Matheny, a 2002 graduate of Fontana High School, has been an assistant coach at Aquinas since 2004, mostly coaching the offensive and defensive lines while serving as defensive coordinator. He has also been a full-time physical education teacher at the school.

“Nick is a good young coach and I think he’s the perfect guy to keep this going,” said Aquinas athletic director Chris Ybarra, who is also a Fohi graduate. “We have a pretty good thing going here and Nick keeps the stability.”

He also continues the Fohi legacy at Aquinas, as Ybarra and Henderson, a 1993 graduate, were also Steelers. Matheny hopes to continue a lot of what Henderson – who won two CIF titles and won the last two Christian League titles – has established at Aquinas.

“Josh did a great job and I really am thankful that he recommended me,” said Matheny, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate. “I want to continue the emphasis of hard work and Christian ideals that this program has established and am I dedicated toward keeping Aquinas as a winning program.”

A more detailed story will be published in Thursday’s Sun.

Ian Johnson signs free-agent contract with Vikings

Former Damien running back Ian Johnson, who played at Boise State, has signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings according to this article by the Idaho Statesman. Johnson was a highly-productive player at Boise State and joins drafted players Patrick Chung (2nd round, New England), Jarron Gilbert (3rd round, Chicago) and Cameron Morrah (7th round, Seattle) as local products catching on with new NFL teams this weekend.

Gilbert, Morrah drafted

A couple of former Inland Valley standouts saw their names called in the NFL Draft Sunday, one fairly early this morning and one just about 10-15 minutes ago.

San Jose State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert, a Chino High School graduate, was picked by the Chicago Bears with the fourth selection of the third round (68th overall). Gilbert, who can play both end and tackle, was the Bears’ first selection of the 2009 Draft and the second Chino grad to be picked in the last two years – joining defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, the first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints a year ago.

California tight end Cameron Morrah, a Claremont High School graduate, was recently picked by the Seattle Seahawks with the 39th pick in the seventh round (248th overall). Morrah, the ninth-to-last selection, was the second Baseline League alum to be drafted this season, along with Rancho Cucamonga’s Patrick Chung, and the fifth to be drafted in the last three years (Morrah, Chung, Rancho Cucamonga’s Gerald Alexander, Rancho Cucamonga’s Terrell Thomas and Alta Loma’s Eric Weddle).

Not drafted today, but likely to be signed as a rookie free agent, is Boise State running back Ian Johnson, a Damien graduate. Johnson, a native of San Dimas, is most famous for scoring the winning 2-point conversion in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma and proposing to Boise State cheerleader Chrissy Popadics on national television after the postgame interview.