Braun takes second in 100 free

Cajon senior Katie Braun finished a mere .05 seconds short of winning a CIF title in the 100 freestyle at the Division 4 meet, as she was barely outtouched by Alverno’s Kali Kearns, who swam a 54.81 to Braun’s 54.86. Still not a bad way to end her CIF-SS career, as that time puts her in Tuesday’s CIF-Masters meet.

Citrus Valley girls win CIF 200 medley relay title

It didn’t take the Citrus Valley girls swim program too long to net a CIF championship, as its 200 medley relay team just took the gold with a time of 1:52.47 at the CIF-SS Division 4 meet at Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach. The team of junior Kahiwa Hollands, freshman Julia Zhao, sophomore Kailee Mora and junior Natasha Fares won by nearly four seconds, helped by Mora’s torrid 26.16 in the butterfly in leg 3, which opened up what had been a nip-and-tuck race with La Salle to that point

Damien graduate Adams commits to USF

A little outside of my normal reach, but I just got an email from IEBP club basketball coach Keith Howard saying that former Damien guard Chris Adams has committed to the University of San Francisco. Adams, a 2010 graduate of Damien, has played for the last year at Mack Academy in Charlotte, N.C. Local fans might remember him from the 2010 CIF-SS Division 2-A semifinal against Eisenhower, as he valiantly scored 34 points in an 82-74 loss to the eventual CIF champion Eagles.

Locals dot ESPNRise hoops underclass teams

Five county-based basketball players made ESPNRise’s All-State Underclass Junior teams recently. Three county girls — Summit center Jillian Alleyne, Cajon guard Sophia Bhasin and Rialto center Denae Williams were among 20 recognized by the website for their achievements this past season. Bhasin and Wiliams were first-team all-Sun selections this past season while Alleyne was a second-team pick.

Two boys with county selections were among 15 juniors selected for the boys underclass team. Chino Hills native Grant Jerrett, who attends two-time defending state champion La Verne Lutheran, and Chino native Chris Reyes, who is at Damien, were both selected. Jerrett has verbally committed to the University of Arizona.

The complete teams:

Jordan Adams (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-1 PG
Jillian Alleyne (Summit, Fontana) 6-2 F/C
Aly Beebe (St. Joseph, Santa Maria) 6-5 C
Sophie Bhasin (Cajon, San Bernardino) 5-7 G
Kelsey Brockway (Palos Verdes, PV Estates) 6-1 C/F
Ashlie Bruner (Palisades, Pacific Palisades) 5-6 G
Elisha Davis (Berkeley) 5-8 G
Tia Dixon (San Diego) 5-7 G
Nyre’ Harris (Lincoln, Stockton) 5-8 G
Lauren Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood) 5-9 G
Maya Hood (La Jolla Country Day, La Jolla) 5-10 F
Hannah Huffman (Carondelet, Concord) 5-10 G
Michelle Miller (Poly, Pasadena) 5-6 G
Terilyn Moe (Terra Nova, Pacifica) 5-9 G
Jeanier Olukemi (Brea Olinda, Brea) 6-0 F
Christine Salvatore (Canyon, Anaheim) 5-10 G
Imani Stafford (Windward, Los Angeles) 6-7 C
Annie Tarakchian (Chaminade, West Hills) 6-0 C
Keitra Wallace (Brea Olinda, Brea) 5-11 F
Denae Williams (Rialto) 6-1 F

Brandon Ashley (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 6-9 C
Zena Esomwan (Harvard-Westlake, N. Hollywood) 6-8 F
Julian Harrell (Loyola, Los Angeles) 6-5 F
Grant Jerrett (Lutheran, La Verne) 6-8 C
Donovan Johnson (Palisades, Pacific Palisades) 6-0 G
Tajai Johnson (Vallejo) 6-2 G
Xavier Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-6 F
Joe Rahon (Torrey Pines, San Diego) 6-1 G
Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-3 G
Chris Reyes (Damien, La Verne) 6-7 F
Matt Shrigley (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad) 6-4 G
E.J. Twyman (Elsinore, Lake Elsinore) 6-1 G
Grant Verhoeven (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) 6-8 C
Tyrone Wallace (Bakersfield) 6-3 F
Gabe York (Lutheran, Orange) 6-3 G

Hesperia, Silverado forfeit boys tennis matches

The Hesperia and Silverado boys tennis teams forfeited their wild card and first-round playoff matches, respectively, due to an illegal scrimmage that took place between the schools Monday according to a press release sent this afternoon by the CIF-SS offices.

According to the CIF, teams are allowed only one scrimmage that takes place before the season Feb. 28. With 23 of the 24 varsity players between the having taken part in Monday’s scrimmage, the Scorpions had to forfeit their Division 4 wild-card match with Paloma Valley and the Hawks had to forfeit their first-round match with Costa Mesa. Paloma Valley will take on Calabasas Viewpoint in the first round Wednesday, with the winner of that match taking on Costa Mesa in the second round.

CIF-State to add regional football round

I meant to comment on this last week, but the CIF-State offices have added a regional round of playoffs to be played between the CIF-SS championship round and the state championship bowls. And as far as I’m concerned, this should have happened years ago.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the BCS-type selection process for the championship bowls. It’s a bit too political for my blood and it excluded quite a few teams – read San Bernardino County teams – that could have had a shot for greater things. How cool would it have been last year to see Colton attempt to continue its Cinderella run against a team like La Habra, which won the Southwest Division? I bet the Colony teams of 2006 and 2007 would have loved to have march on against another section champion, along with 2006 Big Bear, 2008 Rancho Cucamonga and 2009 Upland teams. More football is always fine by me and the term “state champion” means more when there are more teams given the opportunity to play for these championships.

As far as the new format of the state playoffs is concerned, there will be five regional title games that feed into the five state championship bowls (Division 1-4 and open). The bowls will be played December 14-15, meaning that the regionals will take place Dec. 7-8 and the CIF championships will take place Nov. 30-Dec. 1. That’ll bump the start of the regular season up a week, so Week 0 will take place the last weekend of August instead of the first weekend of September.

Bray back at Colton

Common sense finally washed over the Colton Joint Unified School District at their school board meeting Thursday night, as the CJUSD school board unanimously approved the rehiring of CIF championship coach Rick Bray by a 7-0 count to end what has been a sometimes ugly political soap opera.

“I’m just glad to be back to work,” an emotionally relieved Bray said after the vote was passed. “We are here for the kids and I can’t wait to be their coach again.”

36 hours ago, it looked as if Bray – who led the Yellowjackets to their first CIF-SS title in 32 years in his first season as head coach this fall – might be out of luck. Legendary coach Don Markham, a teacher at Colton High and owner of 309 career wins, was recommended for approval by the board as he filled the qualifications of the Rialto Rule, which gives preference to certificated teachers over walk-on coaches like Bray, who is a security officer at CHS.

But Markham, who was hired for the Compton job two months ago, had a change of heart Wednesday night and withdrew his name Thursday morning after Compton was able to give him a full-time teaching position.

“I applied for the Colton job because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get a job at Compton,” said Markham, who will be a full-time weightlifting teacher. “But they came through and after thinking about it, I decided to go with Compton. Colton doesn’t really need me and Compton really made me feel that they wanted me.”

Several players, parents and members of the community showed up in support of Bray, although it wasn’t unanimous. The parents of outgoing senior Tyler Ervin criticized Bray in the open discussion part of the meeting for not honoring their son with a plaque at the awards banquet and for not helping him with recruiting, causing assistant coach and Bray’s son, B.J. Bray, to retort angrily.

An emotional B.J. Bray was still stung by the process but happy that his dad was still in charge of the Colton program.

“We do a great thing here and we do it all for the kids,” Bray said. “This isn’t about winning football games. It’s about creating doctors, lawyers, businessmen. The amount of kids going to college in this area is low and we have done everything we can to help every kid in our program get to that point. And we are going to keep doing that until they force us out.”

Look for more on this story in tomorrow’s Sun.

Pike named Fontana football coach

Longtime assistant coach Tim Pike, who has spent the last two years assisting at Citrus Valley, was named the Fontana football coach this week, information that Pike confirmed this morning.

This isn’t the first go-round for Pike, 61, at Fohi. Pike was an assistant coach for the Steelers from 2002-04 before taking over as interim head coach for Joe Kramer during the 2005 season. Fontana went 0-9 under Pike and hired Lance Ozier, who coached Fohi the last five seasons, prior to the 2006 season.

“This isn’t anything new to me,” Pike said. “I coached here before and it wasn’t very successful. The reason I took it now was that the kids needed somebody and for me, this is my last shot. After I take off the whistle here I’ll never coach again.”

Pike, a U.S. History teacher at Fohi, also allowed the school to not have to hire an off-campus coach. With the budget crisis in the Fontana Unified School District making new teacher hires a virtual impossibility, Pike felt that he was best person to take the job and provide the proper amount of time with it.

“I looked around and saw that I was the only person with a teaching position on campus that could do this job,” Pike said. “I didn’t want these young kids to have to suffer with a walk-on coach. The district is laying off teachers left and right – there was no way they’d be able to hire a new coach from outside and get them a teaching position.”

As far as his goals for the job, Pike – who has been a head coach at Sutter High School and assisted at places such as Claremont, Bishop Amat and Needles in a career that dates to 1972 – just wants to get the Steelers back to respectable position. And not just in the minds of the teams they play.

“I want these kids to respect themselves and I want the community to respect the efforts they are making on the field,” Pike said. “I want good students and good athletes who will go out there and line up and play hard against everybody.”

Three county softball players to represent USA this summer

Rim of the World juniors Sarah Tribe and Taylor Tribe and Chaffey graduate and current University of La Verne softball player Laura Olson will represent USA Athletes International in Australia this summer, as they will join 11 other players from across the country at the Blacktown Softball Challenge June 16-19 in Sydney. Along with playing international squads, the three players will travel across the Gold Coast region of Australia. They were selected based off recommendations from coaches, fellow athletes and athletic professionals.

Colton school board to approve Markham as head coach

Former Bloomington and Rialto head coach Don Markham will be recommended to the Colton Joint Unified School District as the next coach of the Colton football team at Thursday’s CJUSD school board meeting according the CJUSD agenda released Tuesday.

Markham, who is a teacher at Colton High School, was hired as Compton High School’s head coach in the offseason. His recommendation for the job, which was held by Rick Bray last year, puts the district in accordance with the Rialto Rule, which gives hiring preference to certificated teachers. According to Colton athletic director Harold Strauss, who otherwise refused comment, the only qualification for applying for the job was previous coaching experience, something that the 71-year-old Markham has plenty of with 309 career victories.

Markham’s last coaching at the high school level came in 2007, when he led Bloomington to a 6-5 record. He coached at American Sports University before being hired by Rialto in January 2010. He never coached a game with the Knights, resigning in April 2010 amid allegations of mistreatment of players.

Bray, a security officer at Colton High School and longtime assistant before taking over the head job last year, led the Yellowjackets to their first CIF-SS title since 1978, winning the Central Division with a 17-7 victory over Moreno Valley Rancho Verde in December. Bray was also named the all-Sun Coach of the Year.

Markham needs a simple majority vote — at least four votes out of seven — to be approved by the school board. Bray, who was recommended to the school board at the last board meeting April 21 but rejected due to Rialto Rule considerations, has reapplied for the position and will almost certainly have plenty of support at Thursday’s meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at the school district office.