Rialto forging through tumultuous offseason

If there’s one thing that can be said about Rialto’s offseason, it’s that it wasn’t boring. The Knights were uprooted from their league, moving from the Citrus Belt League to the San Andreas League. They changed coaches twice, removing Eric Rodriguez for Don Markham, only to see Markham resign in May due to allegations of misconduct toward players.

Now in place at Rialto is Gavin Pachot. Pachot was an assistant the last three years under Rodriguez and is technically the acting head coach of the Knights, which assures him of keeping the job through the end of the season.

“I’m excited to get started and I’m really not looking too far down the road,” Pachot said. “They’ll either hire me full-time after the season or open the job up for me and others to apply. I’m just happy to be coaching football and I’m excited about this group of kids.”

The Knights will be participating in a new league, as they join Carter in leaving the CBL for the SAL. But while the CBL has more of a winning reputation, Pachot doesn’t seem to think that the change will be any easier for Rialto.

“There are a lot of athletes in this league,” Pachot said. “It seems like every team has athletes and every team will be a tough one to play against. We respect everyone in this league and know we are going to have to work hard to be successful.”

The Knights do have quite a few players returning offensively, plus several intriguing sophomores. Senior Robert Williams (5-10, 215) will be the quarterback, with senior Anthony Pomee (5-8, 195), juniors Brandon Bennett (5-9, 175) and Tyler Telthey (5-10, 195) and sophomore Brian Davis (5-11, 185) competing for time at running back. Massive junior Julian Ramos (6-1, 330) anchors the offensive line and will be joined by sophomore OL Carlos Jacobo (6-3, 250) and junior TE Markis Tuioti (6-1, 215).

Senior linebacker Jeff Eso (6-1, 225) leads the way defensively, with sophomore Michael Romero (5-8, 195) and Pomee expected to see time. Telthey, Bennett, Davis and Williams will play in the secondary, with Ramos and Jacobo playing on the DL.

Rialto 2010 schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)

Sept. 3 – at Moreno Valley
Sept. 17 – at Oak Hills
Sept. 24 – GRANITE HILLS
Oct. 1 – ARROYO VALLEY*
Oct. 8 – at San Bernardino*
Oct. 15 – at Cajon*
Oct. 22 – CARTER*
Oct. 29 – SAN GORGONIO*
Nov. 5 – at Pacific*
Nov. 12 – COLTON*