Fontana football showed class vs. Summit

It was a tough game for Fontana players. Many of them had been fired up for Friday’s game ever since former coach Nick Matheny left his alma mater to coach at Sunkist League and city rival Summit.

Fontana was 1-7 entering the game but played Kaiser and Grand Terrace close (both eight-point losses, and the Grand Terrace game went to overtime). They were highly motivated. Perhaps to show their former coach they were OK without him. Perhaps to show he should’ve stuck around.

In a season they had already been eliminated from playoff contention, this would’ve made their season. It had all the buildup and Summit provided an early knockout punch.

But as far as I could tell, Fontana was all class. Several players came up to Matheny afterward to congratulate him. He hugged a few Fontana players and staff members. In the video above, he appreciated their class. I did not see an abundance of penalties. I had Fontana wwith four penalties, totaling 46 yards. (I had Summit with 9 for 65). There was at least one set of offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but other than that it was class. That’s a testament to the Fontana kids, and probably coach David Crump.

Summit, actually was the one that got a trash-talking 15-yard penalty before the opening kickoff, but not Fontana. That’s not a criticism of Summit, but rather praise for Fontana for not retaliating.

The above video has Summit coach Nick Matheny talking about how tough it was to play Fontana and the Steelers’ class.

Is this the best Fontana volleyball team of the last decade?

On the surface it would seem to be an easy question I asked of Fontana High girls volleyball coach Leah Gomez today.
Fontana is currently ranked No. 2 in CIF-SS Division 4A, so the Steelers as of now would be a favorite to reach CIF-SS Finals, a feat Fontana has not come close to accomplishing in the last decade.
So, when I asked Gomez if this is the best team she’s had in the decade she’s coached at the school, you would think the answer would be a resounding yes.’
But, upon further inspection, Gomez cautioned me, it is not so easy.
Remember, until 2012, Fontana was in the Citrus Belt League, which was dominated by the likes of Redlands East Valley, Redlands and Yucaipa.
But Fontana actually finished in the top half of the CBL in both 2009 and 2010, qualifying for the playoffs. With all due respect to the Sunkist League, it is not the CBL. The CBL for years was either in Division 2AA or 1A. It’s entirely possible one of those CBL Fontana teams was better than the current.
It may not be the only way to gauge team strength, but maxpreps.com gives state rankings, involving all schools, regardless of division. Fontana in 2009 was 272, 2010 was 237. What is this year’s ranking? 315.
This may be the Fontana team in the last decade that has the best chance to win a CIF-SS title, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than previous Steeler teams.

San Bernardino County Prep football coaching changes: an updated list

The latest list of San Bernardino County prep football coaching changes from last year to this year, with last year’s record in parentheses:

  • Arroyo Valley: old coach Tony DiThomas (3-7); new coach Demetrius Stewart
  • Cajon: old coach Kim Battin (2-8), new coach Nick Rogers
  • Don Lugo: old coach Lou Randall (3-7), new coach Luis Garcia
  • Fontana: old coach Nick Matheny (3-7); new coach David Crump
  • Grand Terrace: old coach Harold Strauss (4-6), new coach TBA
  • Ontario: old coach Ron Stocking Jr/ interim coach Ryan Alvarez (1-9); new coach John Kusleika
  • Ontario Christian: old coach Chris Stevens (6-5), new coach: Rick Martin
  • Rialto: old coach Gavin Pachot (6-5), new coach Drew Young
  • Rim of the World: old coach Bob Gradillas (8-4), new coach Ernie Madrigal
  • Summit: old coach Cesar Villalobos (5-6), new coach Nick Matheny
  • Victor Valley: old coach Leland Eudy (7-4); new coach Mark Mora