Finally, Bassett has a football coach

Read more on Aram’s blog, “In the Huddle,” Bassett High School has named Craig Cieslik to be its next football coach, replacing Leon Ward.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Lancers02

    Congratulations Bassett. Now listen up Bassett Administration, if this is a one of life time hire, take care of him, listen to his needs, give him what he needs and most importantly SUPPORT your new head coach and he will hopefully provide a brand of leadership that bring a new winning Era to a program so in desperate need of a major overhaul.

    Good Luck Coach Cieslik!

  • Take Note Bassett Administration

    Excerpt taken from

    “Its a question that was underscored on Monday, Sept. 1, 2009 when coach Craig Cieslik offered his resignation. Not that I couldnt see this coming Cieslik and La Sierra were a train wreck and he didnt have much issue with telling me so. You can read a blog about that here.

    The school, which opened in 1969, had built a proud tradition under former coaches Roger Folsom and Hank Moore, who each led the Eagles to a number of CIF playoff appearances during their tenures.

    Then Moore retired in 95 or so to become athletic director and the Eagles never found another coach who could stick around more than a couple of years. One coach was fired for fighting (choking) a player. Others found (or were given) reasons to leave. There were a series of 1-9 seasons and it appeared as if LSHS was a rudderless ship.

    Success didnt return until 2006, when former San Bernardino San Gorgonio coach Tony Barile was hired and a big-armed sophomore named Sean Sudol transferred (followed Barile) from the San Gorgonio district.

    Barile was able to manufacture a couple of receivers for Sudol to throw to and the 6-foot-4 QB led the Eagles into the playoffs his senior year. But while the results may have changed, the training conditions at La Sierra did not. That is, La Sierra did not have the facilities necessary to perpetuate Barile and Sudols short-term strides into long-term success. They didnt have them then. They do not have them now.

    Barile found a better job at a new school in Fontana or Rialto and La Sierra was right back at 1-9.

    Then Cieslik showed up in 2007 and took over what amounted to a reclamation project. Realizing La Sierra lacked size or speed he utilized a version of the double-wing offense, an offense that relies more on deception than any physical attributes. Like say, size or speed. Every play became a run left, right or center. Ciesliks QB passed the ball less than five times a game. The offense, as gimmicky as any every used, tires undisciplined defense and with almost no passing game to slow the clock because of incomplete passes, the Eagles got old-school.

    Then it began to work.

    Cieslik went 4-6 in his first season a marked improvent over anything in recent memory. The team got out to a 4-0 record in 08 and hopes were unrealistically high. Anything was possible in the brand new Inland Valley league. Or not. The Eagles went 2-4 the rest of the season and missed the playoffs. They went just 3-4 in league play, the double-wing getting completely squashed by bigger, stronger teams like Moreno Valley and Arlington.

    Following their Week 10 blowout loss to Moreno Valley, Cieslik told me exactly zero positives about his experience as football coach at La Sierra. The kids lacked enthusiasm. The administration lacked interest. If he wasnt such a stand-up dude, Cieslik probably wouldve cried.

    In Mondays Press-Enterprise article by Eric-Paul Johnson, Cieslik is quoted as saying:

    Its a personal reason as to why I could no longer continue. I have nothing but positive things to say about the kids. Im very proud of them and of the things we were able to accomplish these past two years.

    In my opinion, Ciesliks comments here are spin. A personal reason for resigning? How personal could it be if hes still going to remain at the school as a teacher? And he has nothing but positive things to say about his former players? Why would he have anything negative to say? Sounds like hes deflecting, to me.

    Now a fellow named Scott Booth takes over as coach. Is he a pawn of the administration? How long can he tolerate his situation?

    Principal Robert Cunard seems about as concerned with football as Republicans are with global warming.

    His comments in Mondays Press-Enterprise:

    There no questions a situation such as this brings difficulties. This will be a challenge, but we feel confident the kids will do just fine.

    Hes confident the kids will do just fine. Oh, thats nice. Just fine is good enough for Cunard. What kind of message does that send to the football players, their parents, or the coaches? Sounds more like the administration supports you but dont expect us to lift a finger to help you get better.

    And why should the football team at La Sierra ever get any better? Why should anyone strive for anything better than fine? The other sports, especially the girls sports, seem to do quite well.

    Well the football team, like it or not, sets the tone for the entire school. If the team is terrible, student apathy is higher than usual and morale suffers. If the team is winning, students support the program and, dare I say, care. Its pretty simple, unless you think school is all about books and learning and not at all about community.

    Speaking of community La Sierra isnt the nicest area of Riverside. Actually, some parts of La Sierra may be among the worst this side of downtown. But it has its better neighborhoods and is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the city. Which hasnt always been to its credit.

    Its my suggestion that creating a sense of real community there has been difficult because of racial factors and a real community still does not exist, in my mind, in La Sierra. And as La Sierra has struggled and continues to struggle to find itself as a community, newer schools in Corona (Centennial, Santiago) and even Riverside (King) have developed strong football programs playing kids from practically the same geographic area.

    Its as if La Sierra football is caught in a vacuum surrounded by expansion and improvement, both ecomically and athletically, and cant shake itself free. As areas east and west thrived, the center shriveled. Corona Centennial is now a regional power. Riverside King is right behind Riverside North on the local scene. Then theres La Sierra. The also-ran. Poor, old La Sierra.

    How does this change? Only when an administration is installed that cares enough to commit to the program properly (top-notch weight room, training room, class room) can the Eagles begin to be revived.”

  • Bob

    Congrats to new head coach Cieslik. Keep the kids in Bassett and done lose them to other schools.Good Luck!

  • Republican

    take note

    Get a life you Lib, I can see this isn’t personal.

  • trojan fan

    Good luck at good ol Bassett you will no doubt need it with your 18 kids and the fat Lujan twins. Make sure you don’t step on there little nephews toes or you will be gone very quickly whats wrong Fred isn’t yor nephew as good as your kids that went to West Covina High School but lived in the Bassett School District? So let the games begin you have no excuss here brand new weight room, nice stadium, a team that had at least 30 some players on it last year,with the majority of those coming back the lost I think maybe 2 or 3 starters from a team that went 4-6 last year which at Bassett was a major feat,so go get that leaque championship ha. ha.