Rich McClure knows he has it pretty good compared to a lot of first year coaches. He isn’t taking over a losing program and he isn’t inheriting a program where the cupboard is bare.
McClure is the first-year head coach at San Gorgonio where he takes over for Ron Gueringer who headed the program for eight years before moving over to Corona. Gueringer’s teams were 64-33 over his eight years with seven playoff appearances, highlighted by a Division 7 championship in 2016.
McClure is not unfamiliar with the program. He spent the last two years as defensive coordinator at San Jacinto but also spent two years under Gueringer as defensive coordinator.
He was even in attendance at one of the team’s playoff games last year. So call it a homecoming,
“I just to need to keep the train moving from here,” he said. “The cupboard certainly isn’t bare and they have had a inning tradition. A lot will be expected but I am up for the challenge.”
The Spartans did graduate a large core of players including Kaleb Hayes, who is now at Oregon State.
Despite losing a coach and some key contributors, the Spartans still loom as the heavy favorite in the San Andreas League. They will take a 22-game league win streak into the new season, the last league loss coming to Carter in 2012.
Not only did the Spartans win, they won big. San G outscored its five league foes 240-16 and four of those ere shutouts. Arroyo Valley was the lone league foe to score against it.
Much of the reason for optimism center around the strong core of underclassmen who should have starring roles. San Gorgonio had a dominant freshman team and many of those players will fill key roles on varsity – among them quarterback Kenzel Lawler and wide receiver-corner Larenzo McMillan.
Among the other key players to watch this season will be senior running back R.J. Dynes, junior running back Elijah Hall, junior wide receiver Perrion Oforo, senior receiver-defensive back Clemonte Rogers, senior running back-defensive end Larry Slayton and senior linebacker Xavier Jones.
“We have some young players with a lot of potential,” McClure said. “Yes varsity play is a different level but I like what I have seen out of them so far.”
SAN GORGONIO SCHEDULE
Aug. 25 – Citrus Valley
Sept. 1 – At Fontana
Sept. 8 – Summit
Sept. 15 – At Yucaipa
Sept. 22 – Oak Hills
Oct. 5 – Jurupa Hills
Oct. 13 – At Indian Springs
Oct. 20 – Rialto
Oct. 27 – At Rim of the World
Nov. 3- At Arroyo Valley