By J.P. Hoornstra
SB Sun Staff writer
An act of hazing by upperclassmen on the Miller High School football team last Thursday has resulted in the possible suspension of at least 10 varsity players by the school. The incident included “verbal and physical harassment,” according to a statement released by Fontana Unified School District Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks. No students reported being seriously injured.
*FRIDAY UPDATE: CIF director of communications Thom Simmons confirmed that Gala Canada, the mother of Jordan and Jamie Canada, met with CIF-SS officials on Thursday and stated her case for her sons to be reinstated. This is not an official appeal, however. Simmons said that CIF is gathering more information and if they decide to reverse their decision, it could come early next week.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
CIF-Southern Section officials ruled on Monday that South Hills High School football players Jordan (senior) and Jamie (sophomore) Canada are ineligible for the 2009 football season, citing an “athletically motivated” transfer from Duarte High School.
The brothers left Duarte in the spring and enrolled at South Hills. They have been practicing with the Huskies football team in preparation for the season, which begins next week.
The Canada family filed a transfer request with the CIF-SS based on “change of residence,” having moved from Duarte to the South Hills high school district. But the request was denied after Duarte officials suggested the move was “athletically motivated” in paperwork filed with the CIF-SS office.
“We based our decision on statements from the previous school that this (transfer) was athletically motivated,” said CIF-SS director of communications Thom Simmons. “Now it’s up to the parents (of Jordan and Jamie Canada) and South Hills to show that it wasn’t an athletically motivated transfer.” The news caught South Hills officials by surprise on Monday. Huskies coach Steve Bogan said they’re in the process of filing an appeal.
“We know that they (the Canadas) did everything right,” Bogan said. “We know this was not a final decision, it was a step in the process. CIF has a process they have to go through to find clarity. We’re looking into it and will work with CIF to find that clarity so they can make the right decision.” Jordan Canada is a highly regarded running back with a scholarship offer from New Mexico. He rushed for 1,956 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior for the Falcons. The Canadas and several other football players left the school and enrolled at nearby schools after Duarte fired coach Wardell Crutchfield following the 2008 season. Crutchfield is still a teacher at Duarte, but his son, Wardell Crutchfield Jr., is now a student at Baldwin Park and playing for the Braves after also transferring from Duarte. “I know the (Canada) family and know it was not athletically motivated,” Crutchfield said. “It’s a shame. They were trying to move into a better situation, a safer situation. They’re good kids, I’m shocked to be honest with you.”
Duarte athletic director Robyn Garcia hinted this could happen in an April 6 conversation. Former Duarte coach Wardell Crutchfield reacted to the news on Monday: “I know the (Canada) family and know it was not athletically motivated,” Crutchfield said. “It’s a shame. They were trying to move into a better situation, a safer situation. They’re good kids, I’m shocked to be honest with you.”
Side note: Neiko Padilla, who transferred from South El Monte to South Hills, also filed a change of residence transfer, and was given a “valid” change of address approval by CIF.
The CIF-Southern Section reversed its decision on Charter Oak sophomore quarterback Travis Santiago on Wedenesday, approving his request for a transfer based on “change of address.” Santiago left South Hills during his freshman year last February for Charter Oak. The sophomore is currently in a quarterback battle with junior Josiah Thropay over who will take over for Chris Allen when the season starts next Friday against Gardena. Before Wednesday’s ruling, Santiago was on “restricted” football status until February of 2010. Charter Oak officials maintained all along they had its paperwork in order, and now can put this behind and get ready to defend its Miramonte and Southeast Division titles. On a side note, from what the coaches have been telling me, Santiago and Thropay could alternate possessions to start the season until the coaching staff is comfortable naming a permanent starter.
FOX SPORTS UPDATE: It’s officially official. We told you a month ago that Fox Sports West intends on covering the Sept. 25 Rancho Cucamonga-Charter Oak showdown live on television. With both teams going 13-0-1 and winning section titles, their only blemish was a tie against each other at R.C., last season. Fox is hoping and praying both teams are undefeated when they meet again in the SGV’s backyard. This IS the nonleague game of the year.
Before we start calling around on girls volleyball teams, tell us what you know, who to watch out for and of course, the best teams in the area. Girls Volleyball was a popular blog topic last season, so we intend to cover more games once the season begins.
For many, the football season begins next week. Here is a list of the “zero” week games, and for fun I will list them in the order of importance in terms of our coverage. This gives you an idea of what we think are most important games to our readers. You can agree or disagree, but most of you will agree
Thursday, Sept. 3
1. La Puente at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. – Great Thursday night opener, two new head coaches making their debut. I’m feeling La Puente, think they have a great shot.
2. Azusa vs. Garey at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – How will the Aztecs respond after one of the greatest years in school history?
Friday, Sept. 4
1. Damien vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos, 7 p.m. – Are you kidding me, Greg Gano makes his debut against the defending champion and No. 1-ranked team in the Central Division.
2. San Dimas at Los Altos, 7 p.m. — The best local match-up between two teams that have a lot to prove. Will San Dimas rebound after losing their entire backfield? And is Los Altos ready to become Los Altos again under second-year coach Felipe Aguilar.
3. Diamond Ranch at Muir, 7 p.m. — Third time’s the charm? I sense a rivalry building here, these teams split last year, but the Ranch knocked out the Mustangs in the playoffs. Muir is debuting it’s new field turf surface, so trust, they won’t lose this one.
4. Gardena at Charter Oak, 7 p.m. — The defending champs and No. 1 team in the area is always intriguing. I’m setting the line at Chargers + 28.
5. Nogales at Baldwin Park, 7 p.m. — Is Nogales really the weak link in the San Antonio? Is Baldwin Park really the favorite in the VVL? We will know much more after this. Can’t wait to see the Braves’ new additions from Duarte.
6. West Covina at El Rancho, 7 p.m. — Not being disrespectful leaving the Bulldogs this far down. They should handle this rather easily, and very curious to see just how dominant they can be.
7. Norwalk at South El Monte, 7 p.m. — All eyes on the new coaching staff at South El Monte under former La Puente coach Ray Hernandez. Everything I’m hearing is positive, but now the real proof comes after kickoff.
8. Westview at Bonita, 7 p.m. — The Bearcats are another “not sure what to expect,” team. I was at the school over the weekend, and was impressed with their size. You know, maybe they will be a surprise.
9. Duarte at Cajon, 7 p.m. — Assuming the Falcons have enough players to field a team, lets see if new coach Tip Sanders can work his magic again.
10. Mountain View vs. Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m. — I’m already on record saying that Workman will win the Montview. Hope they prove me right.
11. Western Christian vs. Gladstone at Citrus College, 7 p.m. — This is not Covina Western Christian anymore, they have moved to Upland. Anyway, the Gladiators can’t do any worse than last season. Can they?