Jurupa Hills held its second annual community day on Friday, but after Saturday, coach Ed McMillon said he might move the day. Why?
While there was some response again, with two school board members, Lorena Corona and Shannon O’Brien arriving to take pictures with players. Parents also arrived to take pictures with players on the field.
It was the team’s picture day, so it worked out well that the players were already in their uniforms. But team pictures ended early, and some of the players scattered by the time parents and community members arrived.
But on Saturday, for the team’s intrasquad scrimmage, McMillon was surprised.
Jurupa Hills coach Scott Cartzdafner said he was “more than positive” his team would see Citrus Valley in the CIF-SS Division 5 championship game in three weeks.
He said that after his team lost to defending Division 6 champ Citrus Valley 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh to give Citrus Valley the Mountain Valley League title on Thursday. That was two days after Jurupa Hills knocked off Citrus Valley 3-2 on a walk-off two-run homer.
Citrus Valley is ranked No. 1 in the division and a favorite to get back to the CIF-SS title game. But what about Jurupa Hills? The Spartans were ranked fifth entering this week.
A year ago, Citrus Valley won its final 21 games en route to the CIF title. In the final 20 of those games, 2 of the 3 closest games were 3-2 and 4-1 wins over Jurupa Hills. The 4-1 win came in the CIF semifinals. Jurupa Hills might’ve been the second-best team in the division last year, but because the Spartans tied for 2nd in league and went into the playoffs as the No. 3 team, they could end up on the same side of the bracket as Citrus Valley, hence meet in the semifinals.
This year, since Jurupa HIlls is the No. 2 team in the league, the Spartans will be on the opposite half of the bracket from No. 1 Citrus Valley. So they could meet in the finals. But will they?