Jerone Cox will play in the Hall of Fame after sitting out a season for Baldwin Park because of Duarte’s protest … But all he did was improve his GPA, score an 1,890 on his SAT, and earn a scholarship to Eastern Michigan

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
Friday’s Hall of Fame All-Star Game means a lot of different things to a lot of different players. For Jerone Cox, it means an entire senior season rolled up into one game. Cox, a defensive back, was ruled ineligible for his senior season after CIF decided that his transfer from Duarte High School to Baldwin Park was athletically motivated. Thanks to the urging of Baldwin Park coach James Heggins, though, Cox was selected to play in Friday’s game and will get a chance to finish out his career on the big stage he never got to shine on last fall before heading to Eastern Michigan University on scholarship.

Below: Jerone Cox talking to a crowd of reporters on signing day after announcing his intentions to attend Eastern Michigan.


“I feel like the coaches made a good choice choosing me to play in this game,” Cox said. “There are a thousand other great players in the Valley, and they chose me. It was a great choice because I feel I’m one of the best players in the Valley.”
Odds are that Cox would have earned his way onto the East roster during his senior season. In two seasons at Duarte, he did everything from play quarterback to defensive back. He averaged 12 yards per carry when he played tailback as a junior.
His departure from Duarte coincided with the firing of popular football coach Wardell Crutchfield, which set off a flurry of transfers by players such as Cox and fellow standouts Jordan Canada, Demetrius Jackson and Wardell Crutchfield III decided to transfer.
Cox maintains that the recent rash of gang violence that plagued the Duarte and Monrovia area in recent years was the main reason for his desire to transfer.
“A Latino kid had just got shot in my neighborhood,” Cox said. “There was a lot of shooting back and forth between African Americans and Latinos. I didn’t want to put my life in jeopardy. A lot of innocent bystanders were being shot.”
Cox moved in with his father in Baldwin Park, but once Duarte appealed Cox’s transfer, along with the transfers of his former teammates, CIF ruled the move as athletically motivated partly because Cox’s sister was still attending Duarte.
CIF also denied eligibility to Canada, who went to South Hills, and Jackson, who went to Baldwin Park. Jackson will be eligible to play this fall at Baldwin Park and is expected to be one of the Valley’s top players.
“I’m like a father figure to these kids, and to watch your kids not be allowed to do something they love, it’s just tough,” said Wardell Crutchfield, who coached Cox at Duarte and is now an assistant at Baldwin Park. “The amount of work these kids put into it and them not being able to play, it was heartwrenching.”
Although distraught, Cox tried to turn the bad news into a positive. He still practiced with the Braves and helped them prepare by being a scout-team standout.
“It didn’t stop my work ethic,” Cox said. “I figured I would try and help the team by giving them a good look at practice.
“I also worked harder and studied harder. I ended up getting an 1890 on my SAT. My GPA increased from 2.3 at Duarte to 3.3 at Baldwin Park. I just looked at it like it was my redshirt year of college.”
What Cox does in his prep swan song on Friday is anybody’s guess, since the East coaches could use him in myriad ways. Despite being hobbled by a groin injury, Cox is already banking on getting extensive time at cornerback, which should lead to a ton of action against the pass-happy West.
“I plan on trying to prove my point that I’m one of the best corners in the Valley by not letting anybody from the West catch a pass on my side,” Cox said. “I’m going to do my best to help the East bring it.

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  • Colts 4 life

    Great story about a kid who did not put his down and worked his tail off to improve. Shame on Duarte however it shows the VVL is more than small schools put together, they have coaches who really care and guide them in the right direction. That is what Duarte and CIF failed to notice! My hats off to Crutchfield, Higgins and the rest of the BP staff.

  • GPA

    Not sure it is mathematically possible to take your GPA from a 2.3 to 3.3 in 1 year. Even if you got a 4.0, that would bring you to a 2.6 or so after 3 years of 2.3. Maybe his senior GPA was 3.3. Good luck to the young man. Sad to see his sister was left at Duarte to deal with the gang violence. Kind of makes it obvious that the transfer was athletically motivated, doesn’t it.

  • Hats off to crutchfield?

    Last guy I’d want to be backing is crutchfield. Dude has got be one of the most arrogant and disrecptful coaches in the sgv. I give no credit to crutchfield here, credit the kid for workin on his GPA and SAT’s. If I give any credit to crutchfield’s influence on the kid, it’s this comment: “It was a great choice because I feel I’m one of the best players in the Valley.” So much for being humble.

  • Earle Parker

    Paying much respect to Coach Crutchfield, Jerone’s move was very beneficial to him, not just for his academics and athleticism, but for his safety as well due to the racial violence going on in Duarte. Hats off to Jerone and every other player trying to make progress in their lives. I wish I can put it in one word how positive this move is for Cox. Its funny how when someone is making a positive move in their lives people try to shoot them down with negativity. His sister is doing very well and hasnt had to face the same pressure and issues that Jerone had been facing so really…..theres no comparison. God is blessing them with opportunities and they are taking advantage of it. Best wishes to all of them, and God bless those who have something negative to say about it. Hats off to Crutchfield, Cox, and the rest of the players; and for his sister…..continue to do well.

  • HATERS

    GPA get a life. Obviously you were one of the many haters who didnt make the team or sat on the bench. I don`t know, but if I didn`t play my senior year in high school but still got a full ride to college & chosen to play in the all star game I`d think I was one of the best too! Thanks for the positive comments that`s what our youth needs. So hopefully all the negativity is from the children.

  • look thru the smoke and mirrors

    Jerone is a great kid and great player who was influenced by a coach who thought he could send players away from Duarte to leave their football team in shambles. You bet Crutchfield is doing a lot for this kid, because if it wasn’t for crutchfield, Jerone would still be playing at Duarte with many scholarships on his lap to choose from. Though to still have to explain why the transfer “gang violence” someone is feeling guilty about the untrue reason for leaving. We can see the truth. Good luck Ronie and we wish you luck. Good luck Crutchfield as well for back peddeling to get those kids who you screwed up their last year of eligibility to get some kind of recognition.

  • 1890 for a C student?

    Very very unusual for a 2.3 GPA student to get anything near 1890 on his SATs. I know 4.2 students who do that and count themselves lucky. Years ago Shea Cotton also pumped out a score equal to that and was later found to not be able to duplicated it. Not saying that happened here but 1860 for a three year student who basically got C’s D’s and a couple of A’s? That doesn’t make sense, sorry. We all have kids who take these test and also took them ourselves and 2.2 GPA students don’t bang out a 1890. The NCAA might want to look at that one. I’m talking form experience I took my brother’s SAT test and I was in my second year of college. No lie. Stranger things have happened.

  • Leave the kid alone

    You took your brothers SAT’s and you were 2nd year in college? First of all Shame on both of you and give this kid a break… I dont know how long ago you did this but its pretty hard to pass for someone else now and get into the class to test without the proper ID. If he got the grades and the SAT score to go to college on a schalarship, congratulate him, dont question him because you cant figure out how he did it maybe without football and practice he had more time to study and get a better score!

  • shereese cox

    too myy brotherr, ilovee yuu andd alwayss looked upp tooo yuuu congradulationss onn yurr hardd work andd accomplishmentss yuu been a positivee influencee inn myy lifee regardless aboutt watt anyonee hass too sayyy. keeep doingg youuu iknoww u gonee makee itt andd be successful theres alwayss peoplee trynaaa makee u fall butt iknoww u risee abovee all of that. im fine at duartee doing what i have to as for my brother he’s doing what he has to do and iknow he will succeed at anything he do. ilove you roni keep goingg and never stopp !

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