Samuel Lopez returns home to coach baseball at Summit

Samuel Lopez has been named head baseball coach at Summit High School. The move was finalized at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

Lopez served as baseball coach at Bonita the past season. The Bearcats went 15-11 but were only 7-8 in Palomares League play which wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs.

That was his only season at that school. Before that he had spent five years at Carter, teaching and directing that baseball program.

He made the move to Summit late in the school year when a teaching position in his field (health and science) opened up. At that time the baseball position wasn’t open. He took the position to get bring him closer to home.

He lives in Fontana, not far from the school and is a 2001 graduate of A.B. Miller.

“I grew up in this community and it means a lot to me,” he said. “My kids play sports here and go to school here. To me there is a lot of pride in coming back to coach where I grew up.”

Summit is coming off a disappointing 6-18 showing with a 4-11 in Sunkist League play. But it was 15-12 the previous season. Kaiser has always been the top dog in the league and Lopez is looking forward to challenge the Cats.

“That’s the plan,” he said.

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Summit football team left scrambling as new season approaches

It’s hard enough going into a new season when you have to replace a player as dominant as Stephen Carr. But Summit coach Nick Matheny is really behind the eight-ball this season because he has had a handful of players, all significant starters, jump ship for other schools.

“We’re basically having to re-invent everything we do,” Matheny said. “The hardest part was that these kids left pretty late in the game so we’re really having to scramble.”

Numbers are down too, something that has been the case at other schools as well. Matheny has just 55 or so between the varsity and junior varsity teams. But the veteran coach is trying to look at the “silver lining.” Other kids who may not have had the opportunity to contribute are getting that chance now and embracing it.

“I can’t say enough about the guys we have here,” he said. “They have worked hard and not complained. I couldn’t be prouder. We have had to do some things a little different because of the situation so there might be some rough waters ahead but we’ll work through them.”

Troy Temmink of Summt High School is the SoCal Prep Legends boys athlete of the week. (courtesy photo).

The defending Sunkist League champion SkyHawks (10-2 in 2016) should not be written off quite yet thought, Among the players they do have back is senior quarterback Troy Temmink, who threw for 2,019 yards and 19 touchdowns with only four interceptions last season.

Also returning is one of his favorite targets in senior wide receiver Kavan Johnson who had 21 receptions for 406 yards and five touchdowns.

Matheny also singled out senior tight end-middle linebacker P.J. Ortiz and senior outside linebacker Antonio Coleman.

Summit will be young with just a handful of seniors so Matheny is looking at the experience his underclassmen will get as a huge benefit in the long run.

“We play a tough preseason so that should get us ready for league play,” he said. “We think we can still make a run at the league title. We just have to see how far we come over these first five games.”

The SkyHawks preseason includes reigning Palomares League champ Ayala and San Andreas power San Gorgonio as well as Etiwanda which is a rival and always in the thick of the Baseline League race.


Aug. 25 – Vs. Etiwanda (At Miller)
Aug. 31 – Hesperia (At Miller)
Sept. 8 – At San Gorgonio
Sept. 15 – At Ayala
Sept. 22 – At Sultana
Oct. 6 – Kaiser
Oct. 12 – Fontana (At Miller)
Oct. 20 – At Grand Terrace
Oct. 27 – Bloomington (At Miller)
Nov. 3 – At Colton

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Rich McClure looks to continue winning football tradition at San Gorgonio

Rich McClure knows he has it pretty good compared to a lot of first year coaches. He isn’t taking over a losing program and he isn’t inheriting a program where the cupboard is bare.

San Gorgonio High School football head coach Rich McClure, August 11, 2017. (Photo by John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

McClure is the first-year head coach at San Gorgonio where he takes over for Ron Gueringer who headed the program for eight years before moving over to Corona. Gueringer’s teams were 64-33 over his eight years with seven playoff appearances, highlighted by a Division 7 championship in 2016.

McClure is not unfamiliar with the program. He spent the last two years as defensive coordinator at San Jacinto but also spent two years under Gueringer as defensive coordinator.

He was even in attendance at one of the team’s playoff games last year. So call it a homecoming,

“I just to need to keep the train moving from here,” he said. “The cupboard certainly isn’t bare and they have had a inning tradition. A lot will be expected but I am up for the challenge.”

The Spartans did graduate a large core of players including Kaleb Hayes, who is now at Oregon State.

Despite losing a coach and some key contributors, the Spartans still loom as the heavy favorite in the San Andreas League. They will take a 22-game league win streak into the new season, the last league loss coming to Carter in 2012.

Not only did the Spartans win, they won big. San G outscored its five league foes 240-16 and four of those ere shutouts. Arroyo Valley was the lone league foe to score against it.

Much of the reason for optimism center around the strong core of underclassmen who should have starring roles. San Gorgonio had a dominant freshman team and many of those players will fill key roles on varsity – among them quarterback Kenzel Lawler and wide receiver-corner Larenzo McMillan.

Among the other key players to watch this season will be senior running back R.J. Dynes, junior running back Elijah Hall, junior wide receiver Perrion Oforo, senior receiver-defensive back Clemonte Rogers, senior running back-defensive end Larry Slayton and senior linebacker Xavier Jones.

“We have some young players with a lot of potential,” McClure said. “Yes varsity play is a different level but I like what I have seen out of them so far.”

Aug. 25 – Citrus Valley
Sept. 1 – At Fontana
Sept. 8 – Summit
Sept. 15 – At Yucaipa
Sept. 22 – Oak Hills
Oct. 5 – Jurupa Hills
Oct. 13 – At Indian Springs
Oct. 20 – Rialto
Oct. 27 – At Rim of the World
Nov. 3- At Arroyo Valley

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Jake Knesel looking to lead Arroyo Valley program back

Hawks mascot photo.

Arroyo Valley hasn’t had a winning record in football since 2009 when it finished 7-4. And the Hawks have won just six games total in the last four seasons.

That didn’t scare Jake Knesel, who thought he was ready for his first head football job and applied. He got the nod – Now the work begins.

Knesel and the Hawks are preparing for their Aug. 25 season opener against Fontana.

There is reason for optimism. Numbers are up with 85-90 players between the varsity and junior varsity teams. Knesel said he has corralled a bunch of extra players since school started a week ago.

Knesel, a 2007 graduate of Etiwanda, said he has watched film and he has been impressed with the athleticism of his players. The biggest challenge has been changing the mentality and instilling a worth ethic.

“I have heard they would have players miss practice and they would still be starting on Friday nights,” he said. “The biggest thing is making each players accountable and setting down some guidelines. Guys aren’t going to get away with things they have gotten away with in the past.”

The Hawks (2-8, 1-4 in 2016) were senior heavy so Knesel will boast a younger, more inexperienced squad. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it will give the new coach a chance to start fresh.

Another of the reasons for a better outlook – the junior varsity team went 8-2 last year and most of those players should be big contributors.

“”Those kids know what it’s like to win,” he said. “They can bring that confidence you have when you haven;t been part of those losing teams.”

Knesel, 28, most recently served as an assistant coach the last two years at Upland Christian but he has also been in the big school setting with stints as an assistant both at Etiwanda and Miller.

He said two seniors have set the tone for a better work ethic – lineman A.J. Ile and linebacker Daniel Estrada.

Junior quarterback Roland Pacheco will run the offense. Knesel said he prefers to keep the ball on the ground but that will depend on “what the defense gives us.”

Among the others Knesel is looking for big things from are junior wide receiver-defensive back Jacob Tkatch and senior defensive back-running back Chandler Rice and junior wide receiver-defensive back Jordan Boykin.

There are no holdovers from the previous coaching staff. Knesel said he will double as offensive coordinator while Marcus Austin, who played with him at Etiwanda, will serve as defensive coordinator.

Aug. 25 – Fontana
Aug. 31 – San Bernardino
Sept. 8 – At Colton
Sept. 15 – At Jurupa Valley
Sept. 22 – Ramona
Oct. 6 – At Rialto
Oct. 12 – Jurupa Hills
Oct. 20 – At Rim of the World
Oct. 27 – At Indlan Springs
Nov. 3 – San Gorgonio

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New Rim of World coach trying to make up for lost time

Rim of the World High School's Quarterback Matthew Williams works his way through Big Bear High's defense during a football game in Big Bear Lake, Oct. 1, 2016. (Photo by Eric Reed/SCNG)

Quarterback Matthew Williams runs for yardage in a game last season against Big Bear. He is back leading the Fighting Scots this season.

Joe Jurado wasn’t given the head coaching job at Rim of the World until last month. So he scrambling to make up for lost time.

The good news for Scots faithful is that Jurado has a vested interest in returning the school to its glory days. He played at the school under veteran coach Bob Gradillas and previously served on the staff of the popular coach.

And he still lives in the community.

But getting the job a little late hurt.

“If you’re here in the spring you have day-to-day contact with the kids,” said Jurado, who most recently served as an assistant at Citrus Valley. “We lost that line of communication. We lost a handful of kids because they might have thought the school was moving too slow to find a coach or that there wasn’t support so we’re working to build that trust back.”

Last year the team went 6-4-1 overall and 2-3 in San Andreas League play under Ernie Madrigal, who coached there for three years.

Not only did Jurado get a late start but he will be working with a roster of about 25 and many of those are underclassmen or athletes who are untested at the varsity level.

That too has been a challenge. He’ll be counting on several key players to contribute on both sides of the ball.

He plans to run a Power-I offense which has worked for the school in years past. Senior quarterback Matthew Williams is among the returning players which is a good start.So is senior Michael Hust who moves from more of a slot to running back and will also play some linebacker.

Others to watch are junior tight end-defensive end Andrew Wetzel, senior lineman Gilbert Najera, senior fullback-linebacker Fabian Perez, senior linebacker Isaiah Hansink, who manes a move from running back and  junior inside linebacker Daniel Dulin.

While there appear to be some challenges, Jurado is still looking forward to contending in the San Andreas League which boasts a juggernaut at the top in San Gorgonio.

“We’re rebuilding a but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to compete. We just have a lot kids that are inexperienced,” he said. “We want to get this program back where it used to be and this year is the first step of that process.”

Aug, 25 – Maranatha
Sept. 9 – At San Bernardino
Sept. 15 – Desert Hot Springs
Sept. 22 – At Woodbridge
Sept. 29 – Big Bear
Oct. 5 – Indian Springs
Oct. 13– At Rialto
Oct. 20 – Arroyo Valley
Oct. 27 – San Gorgonio
Nov. 3 – At Jurupa Hills

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REV’s Daniela Popa makes commitment to Cal State Northridge

Cajon's Deja McBath and Jada Johnson fight for a loose ball with Redlands East Valley's Daniela Popa, during the second half of Tuesday's Citrus Belt League girls basketball game at Cajon High School in San Bernardino, Ca., February 7, 2017. (Photo by John Valenzuela/SCNG)

Redlands East Valley basketball standout Daniela Popa (right) has committed to NCAA Division I Cal State Northridge.

The 6-foot-2 center averaged 13 points, 10.5 rebounds and three steals last year as a junior for the Wildcats (17-10, 11-3) who placed third in the Citrus Belt League.

She was a first-team All-Citrus Belt League selection. Popa recorded double digits in points 18 times with a high of 25 coming against West Valley. She hit double digits in rebounds 17 times with a best of 18 coming against Carter.

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Brian Landon of Redlands headed to Cal State Fullerton

“I like helping out the team any way possible,” Redlands High School’s Brian Landon said. “It does get tiring, but it’s fun and I enjoy it.” The junior is playing wide receiver, free safety and handles kick returns. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/SCNG)

Versatile Redlands High School standout Brian Landon has committed to Cal State Fullerton for baseball.

He was also a starter on the basketball team as well as an All-Citrus Belt League performer in football.

On the diamond he excelled as a pitcher and outfielder. As a pitcher he went 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 appearances with 41 strikeouts in 47 innings. He also hit ,323 with seven doubles, two triples, 10 stolen bases and 15 runs scored.

He was also considering soon-to-be Division I Cal Baptist.

Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook saw Landon at a showcase over the summer.

“I really liked the campus and it has a great baseball program,” Landon said. “I like that it’s close to home but not too close also.”

Landon said that he consulted with Vanderhook before deciding to play the other sports.

“I know that can be a concern,” he said. “But they said to go ahead. They liked that I was staying in shape and playing other sports. I appreciated that.”

Landon is still undecided on a major.


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San Gorgonio seeking head girls varsity soccer coach

San Gorgonio is in need of a head girls varsity soccer coach.

Athletic director Matt Maeda said Connie Beard-Boughan, who had headed the program the previous nine years, stepped down for family reasons and one of the other coaches in the program was not interested.

Candidates can contact him at (909) 388-6059 or email him at

Last year the Spartans were 9-14-3 overall and 5-3-2 in the San Andreas League which put them third.

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Still young Indian Springs aiming for first ever playoff berth

The Indian Springs football program is still in its infancy. It’s the fifth year and there has been modest improvement each year – one win each of the first two years, then three wins and a 4-6 mark in 2016.

The Coyotes and second-year head coach Ed McMillon hope the upward trend continues the coming season.

Last year the Coyotes were third in the San Andreas League and third typically means a playoff spot, But in the new playoff format that isn’t necessarily case because there are so many teams in Division 13 in which the school competes.

COYOTES mascot photo.

So McMillon and his crew will keep trying.

The good news is that McMillon has some athleticism on his team, particularly at the skill positions. The biggest disappointment is that despite the modest improvement, there are still only 65 or so players in the program.

“The players we have here want to be here and they’re working hard,” McMillon said. “I just wish we had a few more. Kids want instant gratification and this is a tough sport. You have to work hard and sometimes the results don’t show up right away.”

Junior Johnathon Duhart will step in at quarterback  for the previous starter who transferred. He was the backup last year but also saw playing time at wide receiver and corner back.

Among the other key players will be senior offensive lineman Jacob Perez, offensive lineman-linebacker Donyae Custis, senior wide receiver Chris Cross, senior corner back-wide receiver Montae Ewing, senior  middle linebacker-running back Aaron Encke and junior running back-corner back Kylaun Woods

The team inherited a player McMillon thinks can have an immediate impact in senior wide receiver-defensive back Albert Jackson, who came over from Los Angeles Dorsey High  School.

McMillon says he will be using several players on both sides of the ball, so conditioning has been an emphasis since Day 1.

“We’re definitely pushing them because they have to be ready,” he said.

As for what McMillon would deem a successful season, he’s rather not talk wins and losses. It’s more about all the little things that go into building a program.

Aug, 25 – At Ramona
Sept. 1 – Jurupa Valley
Sept. 8 – Pacific
Sept. 15 – At Twentynine Palms
Sept. 29 – Riverside-Carnegie
Oct. 5 – At Rim of the World
Oct. 13 – San Gorgonio
Oct. 20 – At Jurupa Hills
Oct, 27 – Arroyo Valley
Nov. 3 – Rialto

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Jurupa Hills looking to get over San Andreas League hump

Jurupa Hills' William Brock carries the ball against Arroyo Valley defense at Jurupa Hills High School in Fontana, CA., Thursday, October 6, 2016. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

For three years Jurupa Hills has finished second in the San Andreas League to San Gorgonio. Even though it has a new coach, Jurupa Hills leader Citos Marinez says San G remains the favorite.

“Until someone knocks them off they are the team to beat,” Marinez said. “They have a great program and they will be tough again. They may have a new coach but they still have great athletes.”

Jurupa HIlls is coming off a 6-5 showing in 2016 that included a 4-1 in league play. It lost a first round Division 11 playoff game to Twentynine Palms 19-14.

Marinez expects his team to score some points but it will boast a lot of inexperienced players on defense. So how the newcomers there progress should be the key to unseating San Gorgonio, which Jurupa Hills faces in the very first league game.

Because there is some inexperience on defense Martinez will use some of his key offensive players on the other side of the ball. Among those will be junior wide receiver Dedrick Taylor-Akins who had 49 catches for 808 yards and 19 touchdowns last year. He’ll see time at corner as well.

Then there is Sir King Cody Atkins who will see time at strong safety and receiver.

You’re also one step ahead of the game when you have a quarterback returning and that is the case as Zane Scarbrough returns after throwing for 1,380 yards 10 touchdowns starting last year as a sophomore.

The running game will be ignited by senior William Brock, an all-league performer the last two years. Paving the way for him will be senior linemen Nicolas Talbert and Nick Guadalquivir, both of whom will be counted on defensively as well.

Among others who will be counted on defensively will be senior defensive end John Rodriguez, sophomore linebacker Miguel Rodriguez.

The Spartans also got a key transfer from Bloomington in senior Larenz Lawson who will see time at safety and slot receiver.

Aug, 25 – Hillcrest
Sept. 1 – Chaffey
Sept. 8 – At Citrus Valley
Sept. 15 – At Moreno Valley
Sept. 22 – Hemet
Oct. 5 – At San Gorgonio
Oct. 12 – At Arroyo Valley
Oct. 20 – Indian Springs
Oct. 27 – At Rialto
Nov. 3 – Rim of the World

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