CIF Volleyball polls

No real changes this week, as REV stays atop D2-AA. Aquinas breaks into the D4-AA rankings after a strong start to the season.

1. Santa Barbara
2. Dos Pueblos
3. Marymount
4. El Dorado
5. Laguna Beach
6. Huntington Beach
7. El Toro
8. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame
9. West Ranch
10. Rancho Cucamonga
Others receiving consideration: Arroyo Grande, Saugus

1. Redlands East Valley
2. Corona del Mar
3. South Torrance
4. Beckman
5. Bishop Montgomery
6. St Lucy’s
7. Lakewood St. Joseph
8. South Hills
9. Walnut
10. North Torrance
Others receiving consideration: Corona Centennial, Riverside Poly, Corona Santiago, Chino Hills

1. La Canada
2. La Reina
3. Troy
4. Elsinore
5. Oaks Christian
6. Oak Park
7. Oxnard
8. St. Bonaventure
9. Fullerton
10. La Habra

1. Campbell Hall
2. Bonita
3. Brentwood
4. Quartz Hill
5. Warren
6. Downey
7. Santa Ynez
8. Granite Hills
9. Village Christian
10. Palm Springs
Others receiving consideration: Palm Desert, Los Altos, Cerritos Valley Christian

1. Mayfield
2. Santa Monica
3. Pasadena
4. Cerritos
5. La Mirada
6. Ganesha
7. San Gabriel
8. Chadwick
9. Gabrielino
10. Webb
Others receiving consideration: Beverly Hills, Bell Gardens

1. Whittier Christian
2. St Margaret’s
3. Laguna Blanca
4. Calvary Murrieta
5. Arrowhead Christian
6. Sage Hill
7. Windward
8. Ontario Christian
9. Viewpoint
10. Aquinas
Others receiving consideration: Paraclete, Jurupa Valley, Gardena Serra, St. Monica

1. Upland Christian
2. Nordhoff
3. Riverside Notre Dame
4. Frazier Mountain
5. Gladstone
6. Xavier Prep
7. Desert Christian/BD
8. Big Bear
9. Twentynine Palms
10. Yucca Valley
Others receiving consideration: Alverno, La Sierra Academy

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Week 4 CIF-SS polls

The latest polls. Kaiser makes a big jump in the Eastern Division after its victory over Cajon Friday.

1. Rancho Cucamonga
2. Upland
3. Elsinore
4. Colton
5. Colony
6. Chino Hills
7. Cajon
8. Etiwanda
9. Ayala
10. Arroyo Valley
Others receiving consideration: Claremont, Glendora

1. Perris Citrus Hill
2. Kaiser
3. San Jacinto
4. Rim of the World
5. Palm Springs
6. Barstow
7. Palm Desert
8. Serrano
9. Victor Valley
10. La Quinta
Others receiving consideration: Granite Hills, Riverside Notre Dame, Coachella Valley, Riverside Norte Vista, Hesperia, Silverado

1. St. Margaret’s
2. Santa Paula
3. Kern Valley
4. Aquinas
5. Campbell Hall
6. Sierra Canyon
7. Frazier Mountain
8. Brentwood
9. Villanova Prep
10. Sage Hill
Others receiving consideration: Grace Brethren, Maranatha, Ontario Christian


1. Redlands East Valley
2. Temecula Chaparral
3. Corona Centennial
4. Vista Murrieta
5. Norco
6. Moreno Valley Rancho Verde
7. Riverside North
8. Riverside Arlington
9. Corona Roosevelt
10. Redlands
Others receiving consideration: Temecula Great Oak, Murrieta Valley

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U.S. Army to visit Kaiser next Monday

The U.S. Army All-American Game selection tour is stopping locally a next Monday, as they’ll be swinging by Kaiser High School according to a press release sent earlier today. They will hold a ceremony at 11:43 a.m. with a pep rally to announce the selection of a player to the game, which will be held January 9 in San Antonio, Texas. A jersey will be presented to the player.

The release didn’t indicate who the player would be, but the easy money is on Kaiser LB Josh Shirley – a four-star recruit by both and Shirley, who had 17 sacks a year ago and is the anchor of a ferocious Cats defense, has scholarship offers from around the country and is down to a final 8 of USC, UCLA, California, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Arizona and Washington.

This will be the second stop in the IE for the tour, as it stopped at Rancho Verde High School last week to present 5-star DE Ronald Powell with an invitation. Arroyo Valley’s Michael Philipp, now a freshman at Oregon State, played in the game last year.

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Week 4 top 25

After the top 3, college football rankings this year seem to be a crapshoot. I might actually start picking teams out of a hat if the upsets continue. Huge dropoff after the top 3.

1. Florida (1) – Killed Kentucky, but Tim Tebow almost got killed in the process. His status is definitely worth monitoring.
2. Texas (2) – Longhorns scored 47 in the first half against UTEP. That’s enough to remain No. 2.
3. Alabama (3) – Tide defense subdued a high-flying Arkansas team. This team has probably been the most consistent to date.
4. LSU (7) – If there was a way to leave slots 4-6 blank, I would. But LSU, despite almost losing to Mississippi State, moves up by default.
5. Boise State (8) – Highest rating ever for the Broncos. Their win over Oregon all of a sudden looks a lot better.
6. Virginia Tech (12) – Impressed with win over Miami. Wins over Miami and Nebraska, plus loss to Alabama, best of one-loss crowd.
7. Oklahoma (9) – Move up during a bye week. Have a huge test this weekend at Miami.
8. TCU (13) – Got their second win on the road in the ACC in the last three weeks. Might have one of the best defenses in the nation.
9. Ohio State (10) – Second straight shutout after losing to USC. Still need to show more offensively though.
10. Houston (14) – Win over Texas Tech, the second over a Big 12 team, move Cougars into top 10.
11. Cincinnati (17) – Bearcats are an impressive 4-0. I put them behind Houston because I like the Cougars’ wins a little bit more.
12. USC (15) – Pretty ho-hum shutout for the Trojans. Game against Cal suddenly a survival one for both teams.
13. Iowa (NR) – Huge debut in the poll for the Hawkeyes, which is deserved after winning at Penn State.
14. Oklahoma State (18) – Everyone else’s pain was Okie State’s gain. Houston winning helped as well.
15. Mississippi (5) – Of the top 10 teams to lose, Ole Miss’ was the most excusable. Should be OK.
16. Miami (Fla.) (11) – Hurricanes take a little bit of a dive after Va. Tech loss. Can’t take away Florida State and Georgia Tech wins though.
17. Penn State (6) – Easy non-conference schedule didn’t exactly prep the Nittany Lions for Big Ten play, a fact that Iowa exposed.
18. Georgia (20) – Not pretty, but the Bulldogs pulled it out against Arizona State.
19. BYU (21) – Bounced back nicely against Colorado State.
20. Kansas (22) – Jayhawks survived a tough home game with an underrated Southern Miss squad.
21. Michigan (23) – Wolverines stay undefeated…barely…by beating Indiana. Defensive problems need to be addressed though.
22. Oregon (NR) – Broke back in the rankings in a huge way by beating Cal. Boise State issues look to be in past.
23. California (4) – Bears absolutely plummet in the rankings after a 42-3 stinkbomb against the Ducks.
24. Georgia Tech (24) – Yellow Jackets get back on tracking by whipping North Carolina.
25. South Carolina (NR) – Thursday night victory over Ole Miss gets Gamecocks in poll.

Receiving consideration: Missouri, South Florida, Nebraska.
Dropped out: No. 16 North Carolina, No. 19 Florida State, No. 25 Missouri.

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Week 3 NFL picks

Another winning week for me, putting up nine wins after getting 10 in week one. I hope this is a trend and not an aberration.

N.Y. JETS (-2) over Tennessee
HOUSTON (-3.5) over Jacksonville
Kansas City (+8) over PHILADELPHIA
BALTIMORE (-13.5) over Cleveland
N.Y. Giants (-6.5) over TAMPA BAY
DETROIT (+6.5) over Washington
Green Bay (-6.5) over ST. LOUIS
San Francisco (+7) over MINNESOTA
NEW ENGLAND (-4.5) over Atlanta
SEATTLE (+2.5) over Chicago
BUFFALO (+6) over New Orleans
Miami (+6) over SAN DIEGO
Pittsburgh (-3.5) over CINCINNATI
Denver (-2) over OAKLAND
Indianapolis (+2.5) over ARIZONA
DALLAS (-8.5) over Carolina

Week: 9-7
Overall: 19-12

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Week 4 top 10

Everyone is the same, but Kaiser makes a huge move while Barstow and Cajon tumble.

Sun Top 10

1. Rancho Cucamonga (4-0)
Previous ranking: 1. Last week: def. Covina Charter Oak, 35-25. Up next: Oct. 9 at Temecula Valley (0-3)

2. Redlands East Valley (3-0)
Previous ranking: 2. Last week: def. Orange Lutheran, 20-14. Up next: Friday at Eisenhower (0-3)

3. Upland (4-0)
Previous ranking: 5. Last week: def. Lancaster Eastside, 44-0. Up next: Friday at Bloomington (2-1).

4. Colton (2-1)
Previous ranking: 6. Last week: def. Palm Springs, 21-12. Up next: Friday vs. Chaffey (2-2).

5. Kaiser (2-1)
Previous ranking: 10. Last week: def. No. 10 Cajon, 20-0. Up next: Friday vs. No. 7 Colony (3-1).

6. Etiwanda (2-1)
Previous ranking: 7. Last week: idle. Up next: Friday vs. Chino (0-3).

7. Colony (3-1)
Previous ranking: 8. Last week: def. Alta Loma, 30-10. Up next: Friday at No. 5 Kaiser (2-1).

8. Chino Hills (3-1)
Previous ranking: 9. Last week: def. Diamond Ranch, 17-14. Up next: Friday vs. San Gorgonio (1-2).

9. Barstow (2-1)
Previous ranking: 3. Last week: lost to Quartz Hill, . Up next: Friday vs. Hesperia (2-1).

10. Cajon (3-1)
Previous ranking: 4. Last week: lost to No. 5 Kaiser, 20-0. Up next: Friday vs. La Quinta (1-2).

Just missed the cut: Arroyo Valley (3-0), Redlands (2-1), Rim of the World (4-0), Ayala (3-1).

Dropped out: None.

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This is what I got so far. Just got back from watching Kaiser throttle Cajon in a pretty impressive display of defense.

Aquinas 74, Citrus Valley 0
Arroyo Valley 32, Eisenhower 14
Ayala 28, Los Altos 12
Banning 22, Twentynine Palms 6
Brea Olinda 20, Diamond Bar 12
Chaffey 34, La Puente Nogales 7
Chino Hills 17, Diamond Ranch 14
Colony 30, Alta Loma 10
Colton 21, Palm Springs 12
Corona Roosevelt 51, Bloomington 0
Don Lugo 21, Oak Park 0
Fontana 23, San Bernardino 21
Garey 26, Ganesha 7
Granite Hills 35, Rialto 6
Hesperia 62, Pacific 0
Kaiser 20, Cajon 0
Palmdale Knight 39, Sultana 13
Quartz Hill 27, Barstow 14
Rancho Cucamonga 35, Covina Charter Oak 25
Redlands East Valley 20, Orange Lutheran 14
Rim of the World 19, Bishop 0
Riverside Rubidoux 20, Jurupa Valley 7
Serrano 35, Palmdale Highland 0
Temecula Linfield Christian 27, Ontario Christian 26
Upland 44, Lancaster Eastside 0
Victor Valley 20, Apple Valley 17
Vista Murrieta 17, Los Osos 14 (OT)
Yucaipa 33, San Gorgonio 24

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Week 4 college picks

Definitely some backsliding this week, putting me with one great week and two terrible weeks. Of course, that has me back at square one. Guess it could be worse.

Washington State (+45.5) at USC
One of these teams is coming off a big victory and the other is coming off a disappointing loss. It’s not how you’d think it would go down though, as the Trojans are looking to kill someone after their annual Pacific Northwest nose dive. Wazzu, despite beating SMU in OT last week, will be victimized here.
Pick: USC

California (-5.5) at Oregon
Last time these two teams played here, Oregon fumbled the ball out of the end zone late to lose a heartbreaker. Cal may be as hot as any team in the nation, but Autzen is never easy – especially now that the Ducks seem recovered from the Boise fiasco. The Bears will win, but it’ll be rough.
Pick: Oregon

Arizona (+2.5) at Oregon State
Both teams suffered disappointing losses last week, with the Wildcats losing at Iowa and Cincy beating Oregon State in Corvallis. But this about the time when Oregon State starts to put it together. That should be enough against an Arizona team without star TE Rob Gronkowski.
Pick: Oregon State

Washington (+8.5) at Stanford
I wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-foot pole. But I’m picking it anyway. The Huskies seem ripe for a letdown after the USC victory, but getting 8.5 points to an average team like Stanford seems a bit much. I have to think that a Washington team that beat USC and hung with LSU can stay within that spread.
Pick: Washington

Arizona State (+12) at Georgia
Whatever you do, prepare for fireworks. Georgia has played some PlayStation-esque games since losing its opener, winning 41-36 over South Carolina and 49-38 over Arkansas. The Sun Devils are a nondescript 2-0, as they’ve pasted cupcakes. Georgia is no cupcake.
Pick: Georgia

Miami (Fla.) (-3) at Virginia Tech
The Hurricanes, after beating Florida State and Georgia Tech, are the newest (or most retro) hip team in college football, as the ‘U’ has been declared to be back. If the Hurricanes are back, they have to win at Lane Stadium – one of the roughest environments in college football. Va. Tech will keep it ugly, but the ‘U’ will continue its surge.
Pick: Miami

TCU (+2.5) at Clemson
With Utah and BYU going down this past weekend, the Horned Frogs are now the sole “BCS Buster” in the Mountain West. A win at Clemson would do wonders for their prospects and its something that TCU, which won at Oklahoma in 2005, is capable of. I’ll pick them to pull it off.
Pick: TCU

Iowa (+9.5) at Penn State
If you want some hard-hitting, bloody-nose, old-school football, this is the game to watch. These two teams have wars that aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing (case in point, Iowa’s 6-2 win in 2004). The Hawkeyes ruined Penn State’s shot at the BCS title game with an upset last year. PSU will get revenge, though not enough to cover.
Pick: Iowa

Arkansas (+17.5) at Alabama
The Razorbacks, with rocket-armed quarterback Ryan Mallett, can pass and score at will it seems. However, their defense is leakier than an 150-year-old ship, getting flossed for 49 points by Georgia last week. Alabama probably won’t put up 49, but won’t give up nearly as many points as Arkansas needs.
Pick: Alabama

Texas Tech (+1) at Houston
This game should be fun, as the Red Raiders and Cougars score as much as most high school boys basketball teams. Can Houston pull off another win against the Big 12, or can Texas Tech shrug off an emotional loss to Texas and grab this one. I’ll pick Houston to represent at home.
Pick: Houston

Week: 4-6
Overall: 15-15

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Week 3 predictions

Still losing too many games here, as I went 24-10 in this space last week. It’s time to kick some butt and take some names. Here are my picks before I head up to Victorville to see some Palm Desert-Silverado action.

Kaiser at Cajon
The champions of the Sunkist and San Andreas Leagues come together for what should be a physical contest. Last year the Cowboys outlasted Kaiser 10-7 in Fontana but I expect to see many more points this time around, as Cajon is averaging 50.6 points per game. It won’t reach that mark obviously, but Cajon should have enough firepower in this one.
Cajon 24, Kaiser 14

Redlands East Valley at Orange Lutheran
This game is huge for REV’s perception, as the Wildcats, with a win, can not only get a big win as far as San Bernardino County’s reputation is concerned, but can also put themselves in the conversation for the state bowls in December. The Wildcats have the explosive offense and physical defense to get the win. I’ll go out on a limb and say they will.
Redlands East Valley 28, Orange Lutheran 25

Rancho Cucamonga at Covina Charter Oak
The Central Division champion takes on the Southeast Division champion in a rematch of last year’s 14-14 tie, the only blemish on each team’s championship resume. This should be a doozy once again and I think it’s supposed to be on TV. Rancho looked really good against Carter last week and I think they’ll settle this game in regulation.
Rancho Cucamonga 21, Charter Oak 17

Yucaipa at San Gorgonio
This is an intriguing matchup, as both of these teams have explosive capabilities. The Thunderbirds scored four touchdowns from 62 yards or more in their win over San Bernardino while San Gorgonio has put up some lofty numbers with its new spread attack. I’ll go with the home team in a thriller that will see lots of points and excitement.
San Gorgonio 33, Yucaipa 31

Palm Desert at Silverado
After a embarrassing Week 0 loss to Gardena Serra, the Hawks have righted the ship, battling Serrano close and defeating Quartz Hill. However, Palm Desert is potent and will be a tough test for Silverado. But what else is new – Silverado prides itself on painful nonleague schedules. Palm Desert has a little too much oomph right now.
Palm Desert 28, Silverado 17

Diamond Ranch at Chino Hills
The last two victims of Colony get to compare wounds this week. But even with the Colony angle ignored, this matchup has made for some classic games over the last couple of years, with the teams splitting meetings. Assuming Ryan Verdugo and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu are going to play, I’m taking Chino Hills here.
Chino Hills 27, Diamond Ranch 17

Vista Murrieta at Los Osos
Not the best matchup for a Los Osos team looking for momentum after consecutive losses to Riverside North and Redlands. Vista Murrieta is scary good, as they went into Colton two weeks ago and had their way with the Yellowjackets. Los Osos can throw the ball, but that won’t be enough against the Broncos.
Vista Murrieta 30, Los Osos 16

Palm Springs at Colton
Kind of a repeat of last week, as a highly-rated Eastern Division squad from the Low Desert comes into Colton. The Yellowjackets disposed of former No. 2 La Quinta 23-8 last week and now face a No. 3 ranked Palm Springs team that it beat with a 100-yard fumble return last year. Such heroics won’t be necessary this time around.
Colton 25, Palm Springs 13

Apple Valley at Victor Valley
The battle for The Bell has been an Apple Valley-dominated thing recently, as the Sun Devils have won the last five. However, Victor Valley came within a failed 2-point conversion of winning it last year and have ascended to No. 10 in the Eastern Division polls thanks to a 2-0 start. So who am I going to pick? Apple Valley of course. Don Lugo aside, you don’t pick against a streak.
Apple Valley 27, Victor Valley 23

Eisenhower at Arroyo Valley
This is the first meeting between schools that are almost within walking distance of each other on Baseline Road. The Eagles have shown some big-play offensive ability with QB Richard Redd and WR Darron Usher, but the defense has been an absolute sieve, giving up 109 points in two weeks. That won’t fly against Arroyo Valley QB Michael Yearwood.
Arroyo Valley 45, Eisenhower 26

Other games of note:

Colony 35, Alta Loma 10
Baldwin Park Sierra Vista 38, Western Christian 29
Riverside Norte Vista 25, Carter 23
Aquinas 42, Citrus Valley 0
Corona Roosevelt 43, Bloomington 20
Ayala 28, H.H. Los Altos 18
Chaffey 31, La Puente Nogales 16
Lancaster 30, Oak Hills 10
San Marcos 34, Ontario 17
Hesperia 38, Pacific 6
Serrano 19, Palmdale Highland 13
Barstow 28, Quartz Hill 14
Granite Hills 34, Rialto 20
Rim of the World 36, Bishop 14
Fontana 37, San Bernardino 31
Palmdale Knight 30, Sultana 12
Temecula Linfield Christian 28, Ontario Christian 23
Banning 27, Twentynine Palms 13
Upland 20, Lancaster Eastside 3
Beaumont 20, Yucca Valley 10

Last week: 24-10
Overall: 62-29

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Ratliff commits to Washington State

Etiwanda wide receiver Bobby Ratliff verbally committed to Washington State Wednesday according to Ratliff, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver, called the Cougar coaches up to notify them of his decision.

“I told them I had good news, that I was committing to Washington State. I heard in the background a ‘Yeah Bobby!’ Ratliff said to “It was everything — the coaches, how close the coaches and the players were, the college town, I just really liked all of it.”

Ratliff, who has 20 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns this despite missing a game due to injury, was also offered by Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State and San Diego State. He joins WR Marvin Jones (California), RB Vince Minor (New Mexico) and DE Ike Nduka (Fresno State) as Eagles who have committed/signed to Division I schools over the past two years.

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