Yucaipa’s Brooke Bolinger, one of the top pitchers in the area, talks about the high expectations for the upcoming season.
I cannot recall a week with two games as crazy as the ones I had this week.
First, there was Redlands East Valley’s 5-4, 5 overtime win over Yucaipa in girls water polo on Tuesday.
Then came Thursday, when Eisenhower girls basketball rallied from 9 points down in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime, before falling to Cajon, 65-57.
I have never seen a 5 overtime game in water polo, and neither had anyone I talked to at the game. And scoring 9 points in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime? It just doesn’t happen.
But what makes these games remarkable beyond that is that both games had Citrus Belt League titles at stake at the end of the season. In the first case, REV won the CBL title outright, its sixth straight title with the marathon win. In the latter, Cajon earned a share of the CBL title by knocking off Eisenhower. In each case, none of the four teams had lost to anyone else in league. And they were all ranked in CIF-SS.
Those were two games what show why I love high school sports. In both cases, great fan atmosphere, two closely matched teams and two games in which there was a big mental aspect. in the first case, REV fought through fatigue to finally win. In the second case, Cajon fought through the embarrassment of squandering a big lead and recovered to win in overtime.
Yucaipa coach Kevin Lewis, reacts to his team losing in the 5th OT to REV on Tuesday, 5-4. For him, it seemed like it was one that got away. Lewis had told me after the teams played the first time, a 10-7 REV win, to come back for the rematch at Crafton Hills College. The game did not disappoint. Lewis seems confident that his young team will break through next year to win league. But he and the Thunderbirds really wanted to make it this year.
This game had the intensity of a playoff game. No team led by more than two goals until REV’s final winning 10-7 margin.
REV entered the week ranked No. 9 in Division 5, knocking off No. 6 Cajon and No. 4 Yucaipa in the process. So, how high does REV move up?
Coach Ryan Williams thinks No. 4 would be fair. Regardless, with a tough league and two tournaments still to play, REV will have chances to improve on a No. 4 ranking, or lose it again all together. But, come playoff time, whoever comes out of the Citrus Belt League should be battle tested.
By the way, the next time REV and Yucaipa play, it will be Feb. 10 at Crafton Hills College. It will be senior day, so you can expect a big crowd and another intense game in the REV-Yucaipa rivalry.
The picture above says a lot. But here’s more: Brittney Reed, a senior at Yucaipa, is has signed her National Letter of Intent to the Air Force Academy, where she will compete for the gymnastics team. According to her bio, she has a 4.2 GPA and is currently ranked 10th in her class of 657 at YHS.
As is the case with most high schools in the CIF-SS, Yucaipa does not have a gymnastics team. But that makes the accomplishment no less remarkable.
With 113 races spread out over two days, the high school portion of the Mt. SAC Invitational for cross country, set for Friday and Saturday, has plenty of racing to go around.
TX Body: The elite races are the sweepstakes races, divided into different divisions.
TX Body: But the top teams aren’t necessarily in the sweepstakes races, and even if they are, they aren’t necessarily in the division they would normally belong in.
TX Body: For instance, Big Bear is in Division 4, but defending Sun Runner of the Year Caleb Webb is running instead in the Division 1 and 2 individual sweepstakes at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, while the rest of his team runs in the Division 4 sweepstakes at 4:25 p.m. Friday. Division 3, 4 and 5 races are Friday, while Division 1 and 2 are Saturday. Varsity sweepstakes run from about 4:05-6 p.m. Friday and 8:45-10 a.m. Saturday.
TX Body: On the girls’ side, the Nos. 2 and 4 ranked teams in San Bernardino County, Yucaipa and Citrus Valley, respectively, will be competing, but neither one will be in sweepstakes races.
TX Body: Other San Bernardino County teams in sweepstakes races includes: Big Bear girls (Division 4), Yucca Valley boys (5), Ontario Christian boys (5), Victor Valley boys (3), Rancho Cucamonga girls (1 & 2 individual), Ayala boys and girls (1 & 2 team), Jurupa Hills boys (1 & 2 team), and Serrano girls (1 & 2 team).
TX Body: Yucaipa girls are scheduled to compete in a Division 1 varsity race at 10:46 a.m. Saturday, and the Citrus Valley girls are in a Division 2 varsity race at 3:56 p.m. Saturday.
TX Body: Yucaipa coach Jason Carney said via text message that when entries were due two weeks ago, he didn’t think his girls team was ready for sweepstakes. Citrus Valley coach Bryan Haddock said his team had initially been told it would be in a sweepstakes race.
This week among the conversations I had with coaches were ones with Hesperia’s Jeremy Topete and Yucaipa’s Justin Price.
I wasn’t able to write anything about it in a prep football notebook, but wanted to mention some of the thoughts in a blog post.
Both coaches have a similar problem: they want to keep their team on an even keel, but they are coming at it from different sides.
Yucaipa scored on four of its first five possessions (not counting a 19 second one that ended the first half) and went on to rout Chaffey 30-6 on Thursday night.
Yucaipa did suffer a blow when star Nevada-bound wide receiver Brandon Scott left the game at halftime with a possible concussion.
Scott caught two passes for 50 yards in the first half. He was hurt on his second reception for 27 yards just before halftime. He came back out to the sideline to start the second half, but then left the sideline to be examined.
“We hope he’s OK,” Yucaipa coach Justin Price said. “We want to be really safe.”
Yucaipa had enough to overwhelm the Tigers, with Erik Abrams catching five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 53 and Dakota Smith rushing for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Billy Gustason passed for 139 yards and rushed for 37 yards on seven carries.
Two former Yucaipa High teammates, Taijuan Walker and Matt Davidson will be teammates again, albeit for one day as they were both named to the U.S. squad for the Futures Game on July 14 in New York, a minor-league precursor to MLB’s all-star game.
Walker a 2010 Yucaipa grad and Davidson, a 2009 Yucaipa grad, are two hot prospects in baseball.
Walker, 20, who is ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect by MLB.com, just made his debut for the Seattle Mariners’ Triple-A Tacoma affiliate on Tuesday, and he pitched six innings, allowing three hits, no runs, two walks and struck out four and earned the win vs. Fresno. Prior to the promotion, he was 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 84 innings with Double-A Jackson. Walker was also selected for the Futures Game last year and pitched one shutout inning in relief in the U.S.’s 17-5 win over the World team.
Davidson, 22, is a third baseman with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A Reno affiliate. There, he is batting .301 with 10 home runs, 46 RBIs, and a respectable 14 errors in 73 games at third base so far. This is Davidson’s first Futures Game selection.