By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Chino Hills High School will honor the Wounded Warrior Project on Friday night by wearing black jerseys with camouflage numbers and Wounded Warrior patches in the football season opener against Arlington.
Instead of having the players’ names on the back of the jerseys, the names of wounded warriors from the area will take their places. Each player will learn some information about the name of the wounded warrior they are representing in the game.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“I just felt it was a good cause for our kids to do something for the community,” Huskies coach Derek Bub said. “It opens our kids’ eyes to the outside world and it’s our little thanks to those who sacrifice their health to give us the opportunity to play this game.”
The Wounded Warrior Project aims to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, according to the project’s website. A portion of game proceeds will be donated to the project.
“I know it’s a good cause,” Bub said. “My brother-in-law is an officer in the Navy and through some conversations with him he just told me what a great foundation it is.”
The Huskies enter the season with high expectations. Much of them have to do with the arrival of new quarterback Matt Simko, who transferred from Colony during the offseason.
Simko’s coach at Colony, Matt Bechtel, now is offensive coordinator at Chino Hills. Simko is blessed with having one of the top receivers in the are to throw to in Boise State-bound senior Jack Austin.
Medrano ready for debut
New Bonita head coach Adrian Medrano will get his baptism by fire on Thursday at Citrus College in the Smudge Pot game against rival San Dimas.
The rookie head coach has been starting to feel the pressure this week thanks to modern technology.
“I’m getting phone calls and text messages from people I’ve never met before,” Medrano said. “I’m getting emails left and right from people.
“Obviously, it’s a pretty big deal for the community. A lot of people are excited about it and I’m pretty excited about it, too.”
Medrano will preach calm this week in practice because the last thing his team needs is to lose its focus when preparing for a difficult offense like San Dimas’ Wing-Z, Zernickow’s variation of the Wing-T.
Bonita and San Dimas exchanged films from their scrimmages Friday. After watching the Saints scrimmage Diamond Ranch, Medrano knows his defense had better be on its best behavior.
“They were pretty vanilla in that scrimmage, but Zernickow is going to come out with a few twists,” Medrano said. “He’s a great coach and gives opposing teams a headache with those things.”
West Covina’s Najera a game-time decision
West Covina quarterback Jon Najera missed Monday’s practice and is expected to sit out today as well because of a knee injury suffered in Friday’s scrimmage against Claremont.
Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore said Najera, a senior, will be a game-time decision on Friday night when West Covina opens its season in front of the FOX Sports cameras against Covina at Covina District Field.
Najera beat out sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull for the starting job after a prolonged battle this spring and summer. Hull would start on Friday if Najera can’t go.
“We have to see how it feels,” Maggiore said. “We’ll know a lot more on Wednesday. We’re not going to push something like that at this point in the season.
“He’s gotten a lot more range of motion in the last 48 hours, so I think he’ll be fine.”
Najera is scheduled to have an MRI next week to determine if there is a meniscus tear. The injury is more bad luck for Najera, who started last year’s season opener against Covina only to leave the game early with an injury and never reclaim his starting job from then-senior Chris Caballero.