Citrus Belt League releaguing proposal deserved consideration

Earlier this week, the Citrus Belt Area, held its releaguing vote with few changes.

But there was a radical idea on the table, from the Citrus Belt League. The Citrus Belt League’s proposal, which Miller athletic director John Romagnoli said finished third, would’ve had a 10-team “conference” with an East Division of the three Redlands schools, plus Yucaipa and Riverside Poly, and a West Division of Cajon, Carter, Miller, Eisenhower and Oak Hills.

While the 10 teams involved might not have been ideal, I think the idea deserves consideration. It would almost be like it used to be in the High Desert with Mojave River and Desert Sky Leagues, two leagues that were five teams before Adelanto High opened.

But the MRL-DSL deal only provided for cross-scheduling with teams on their bye weeks. What the CBL proposed (probably not necessary to include in the releaguing vote) would’ve been to have a championship game between the two divisions. The last week of the season the No. 1s from the two divisions would face each other, and so would the No. 2s, and so on.

I think it’s an idea before its time, but I think it’s an intriguing one. It would cut down on the number of league games now in the eight-team league, and cut down travel in league and keep schools with similar demographics playing against each other. They could still schedule the other “division” but wouldn’t be required to except for possibly the bye week.

Why were there few changes? First, there were no new schools to incorporate into the area, which includes schools from Riverside County and San Bernardino County east of the I-15. The only change, according to San Gorgonio athletic director Matt Maeda, was moving Indio Shadow Hills from the De Anza League to the Desert Valley League. They are being replaced in the De Anza League by Thermal Coachella Valley, which is coming from the Desert Valley League.

There had been talk that several schools might look for relief, including Miller, which has struggled in recent years in the Citrus Belt League.

“We talked about it, but we don’t want to just be thrown into another league,” Romagnoli said. “The last time we did this, they talked about putting us in a league with (Moreno Valley) Vista Del Lago.”

Romagnoli said ideally, if Miller would move, it would be to a league where they would have some natural rivals, like the Sunkist League.

But the Sunkist wasn’t looking to expand.

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VIDEOS: Cajon baseball holds off Redlands East Valley, 3-2

Above, highlight videos of Cajon’s 3-2 win over Redlands East Valley. The video includes all 5 runs that scored.

Cajon senior Branden Becker, above, talks about earning the save and scoring the go-ahead run in the 6th inning.

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Citrus Belt League water polo, basketball provide 2 improbable finishes in 1 week

I cannot recall a week with two games as crazy as the ones I had this week.
First, there was Redlands East Valley’s 5-4, 5 overtime win over Yucaipa in girls water polo on Tuesday.
Then came Thursday, when Eisenhower girls basketball rallied from 9 points down in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime, before falling to Cajon, 65-57.

I have never seen a 5 overtime game in water polo, and neither had anyone I talked to at the game. And scoring 9 points in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime? It just doesn’t happen.

But what makes these games remarkable beyond that is that both games had Citrus Belt League titles at stake at the end of the season. In the first case, REV won the CBL title outright, its sixth straight title with the marathon win. In the latter, Cajon earned a share of the CBL title by knocking off Eisenhower. In each case, none of the four teams had lost to anyone else in league. And they were all ranked in CIF-SS.

Those were two games what show why I love high school sports. In both cases, great fan atmosphere, two closely matched teams and two games in which there was a big mental aspect. in the first case, REV fought through fatigue to finally win. In the second case, Cajon fought through the embarrassment of squandering a big lead and recovered to win in overtime.

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VIDEO: Yucaipa girls water polo coach Kevin Lewis on 5 OT loss

Yucaipa coach Kevin Lewis, reacts to his team losing in the 5th OT to REV on Tuesday, 5-4. For him, it seemed like it was one that got away. Lewis had told me after the teams played the first time, a 10-7 REV win, to come back for the rematch at Crafton Hills College. The game did not disappoint. Lewis seems confident that his young team will break through next year to win league. But he and the Thunderbirds really wanted to make it this year.

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VIDEOS: REV girls water polo reacts to 5 OT win vs Yucaipa

Maddy Wieseler, above, talks after scoring the winning goal in the fifth overtime. I’m surprised she was willing to stand for the interview after that exhausting game. She said she felt confident the Wildcats would win however long it took, but that may have been more a reflection on the team having already won 5 straight league titles before Tuesday than how the game was going.

REV coach Ryan Williams, above talks about beating Yucaipa. He was working the officials hard, especially in overtime, to get exclusions in a game that hardly had any. The game seemed physical, but not to the point where either team had any advantage.

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Video Highlights and comments: REV girls water polo beats Yucaipa, 10-7

This game had the intensity of a playoff game. No team led by more than two goals until REV’s final winning 10-7 margin.
REV entered the week ranked No. 9 in Division 5, knocking off No. 6 Cajon and No. 4 Yucaipa in the process. So, how high does REV move up?
Coach Ryan Williams thinks No. 4 would be fair. Regardless, with a tough league and two tournaments still to play, REV will have chances to improve on a No. 4 ranking, or lose it again all together. But, come playoff time, whoever comes out of the Citrus Belt League should be battle tested.
By the way, the next time REV and Yucaipa play, it will be Feb. 10 at Crafton Hills College. It will be senior day, so you can expect a big crowd and another intense game in the REV-Yucaipa rivalry.

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All-Citrus Belt League football list is now out



Offensive MVP: Malik Lovette, Sr., Redlands East Valley
Defensive MVP: Matteo Biscotti, Jr., Redlands East Valley

First team offense
QB Nathan Martinez, Soph., Yucaipa
QB Armando Herrera, Soph., Redlands East Valley
RB Armani Green, Sr., Eisenhower
RB Joseph Harman, Jr,. Redlands East Valley
RB Spencer Coleman, Jr., Carter
WR Brandon Morris, Jr., Redlands
WR Joey Lines, Sr., Yucaipa
WR Norman Harris, Jr., Redlands East Valley
WR Gavin Westhover, Sr., Cajon
OL Russell Roberts, Sr., Yucaipa
OL Josepjh Price, Sr., Redlands East Valley
OL Laauli Fata, Sr., Redlands East Valley
OL Paul Trujillo-Langdon, Sr., Carter
OL Sua Moi, Sr., Citrus Valley
OL Gerardo Flores, Jr., Cajon
TE Khris Vaughn, Jr., Redlands East Valley

First team defense
DL Darion Washington, Sr., Eisenhower
DL Trevor Jackson, Sr., Redlands East Valley
DL Kyon Clark, Sr., Carter
DL Mikael Bunse, Jr., Cajon
ILB Jacob MacBride, Sr., Yucaipa
ILB Jakob Diaz, Sr., Redlands East Valley
ILB Nicholas Bustamonte, Sr., Carter
ILB Griffin Logan, Jr., Citrus Valley
OLB Aminasi Freddy Livai, Jr., Miller
OLB Erick Garcia, Jr., Cajon
DB Mark Radgowski, Sr., Miller
DB Dorian Fedrick, Jr., Redlands
DB DeAngelo Buffinginton, Sr., Eisenhower
DB Isaiah Armstrong, Sr., Redlands East Valley
DB Zamore Zigler, Sr., Carter
P-K Johnathon Hilfer, Jr., Redlands East Valley
UT Loken Toaliloa, Jr., Carter

Second team offense
QB Terry Ryan, Soph., Cajon
RB Malik Flowers, Jr., Miller
RB Anthony Sandifer, Jr., Redlands
RB Montel Houston, Sr., Citrus Valley
RB Steven Armenta, Sr., Citrus Valley
RB Giovanni Daniel, Jr., Cajon
WR Dashawn Faison, Sr., Miller
WR Markell Harris, Sr., Eisenhower
WR Philip Anthony Ryan, Soph., Cajon
OL Adrian Guzman, Jr., Miller
OL Alfred Edwards, Soph., Redlands
OL Louis Redd, Sr., Eisenhower
OL Jamil Jeters, Sr., Carter
OL Erik Knight, Jr., Citrus Valley
OL Brycen Gregg, Sr., Citrus Valley
OL Jacob Lopez, Sr., Carter
OL Lynell Smith, Sr., Carter
OL David Hernandez, Jr., Redlands
TE Austin Williams, Jr., Redlands
TE Charles Whitley, Sr., Citrus Valley

Second team defense
DL Shynol Mcclain, Jr., Redlands East Valley
DL Matthew Burroughs, Sr., Citrus Valley
DL Art Acebo, Sr., Redlands
DL Brandon Bland, Sr., Carter
ILB Chris Lopez, Sr., Eisenhower
ILB Dominic Guillen, Jr., Citrus Valley
ILB Rayvon Curry, Jr., Citrus Valley
ILB Marcus Stockton, Sr., Cajon
OLB Russell Oakley, Sr., Yucaipa
OLB Ronald Rudd, Sr., Miller
OLB Tyshjon McCune, Soph., Eisnhower
OLB Daijon McFoy, Sr., Carter
OLB Jacob Smith, Sr., Citrus Valley
DB Bisherie Stewart, Sr., Miller
DB Nicolas Wilson, Soph., Cajon
DB Elijah Lilly, Jr., Cajon
DB Marcus Strong, Jr., Carter
DB Ryan Nieman, Jr., Redlands East Valley
DB Justin Campbell, Sr., Miller
P-K Lance Diaz, Sr., Carter
P-K Jordan Schaefer, Soph., Citrus Valley

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Citrus Belt League all-league girls tennis

All Citrus Belt League
Girls Tennis

1st Team
Alyson Dust 12 Cajon
Callie Matthews 12 Cajon
Madison Daniels 12 Citrus Valley
Hermehr Kaur 10 Redlands
Heidi Lai 11 Redlands
Kathryn Ryan 12 Redlands
Whitney Weisberg 12 Redlands
Sophia Garcia 10 Yucaipa
Heather Graf 10 Yucaipa
Valerie Millette 11 Yucaipa
Hannah Stevenson 10 Yucaipa
Carlee Taylor 12 Yucaipa

2nd Team
Micah Espinoza 12 Cajon
Deziree Luera 12 Carter
Chandler Tillman 10 Citrus Valley
Deysi Orozco 12 Eisenhower
Rebecca Torres 12 AB Miller
Anushka Paladugu 12 Redlands
Jennifer Gallao 11 Redlands East Valley
Katalina Salinas 12 Yucaipa

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All-Citrus Belt League boys water polo

Cal Mende, of Redlands High

All Citrus Belt League
Boys Water Polo
1st Team
Calvin Mende – MVP 12 Redlands
Jesus Osorio-Castrejon 12 Cajon
Ryan Erickson 12 Citrus Valley
Andrew Fares 12 Citrus Valley
Nicholas Cortz 11 Redlands
Jared Gornay 10 Redlands
Austin Kent 11 Redlands
William Clifford 12 Redlands East Valley
Mohamed Takkouch 12 Redlands East Valley
Campbell Harris 11 Yucaipa
Matthew Paxton 12 Yucaipa
Blake Vazmendes 12 Yucaipa

2nd Team
Andrew Perry 12 Cajon
Hunter Starkey 11 Cajon
Justin Quiroga 12 Citrus Valley
Sean Todd 12 Citrus Valley
Talon Weck 10 Citrus Valley
Clayton Bernholtz 12 Redlands
Thomas Frye 11 Redlands
Nathan Le 11 Redlands
Winson Bi 11 Redlands East Valley
Gregory DeBelina 12 Redlands East Valley
Lane Huddleston 12 Yucaipa
Christopher Womack 10 Yucaipa

Honorable Mention
Tyler Osgood 10 Carter
Kacey Cauldren 11 Citrus Valley
Jacob Bier 12 Eisenhower
Spenser Johnson 12 Redlands
Jacob Bills 10 Redlands East Valley

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All-Citrus Belt League girls volleyball

All Citrus Belt League
Girls Volleyball

1st Team
Vashti Knight 11 Redlands East Valley – MVP
Brooklyn Wilson 10 Cajon
Anika Lewis 12 Carter
Hannah Barrett 12 Citrus Valley
Claire Kovensky 10 Citrus Valley
Gabrielle Haugh 12 Redlands
Kaitlin Smith 11 Redlands
Sascha Dominique 12 Redlands East Valley
Jayln Knight 12 Redlands East Valley
Kaycee Tessitore 12 Redlands East Valley
McKenna Hafner 11 Yucaipa
Janell Walley 11 Yucaipa

2nd Team
Bashirah Arogundade 12 Cajon
Shawna Masiosomua 12 Cajon
Kelsee De Roos 11 Citrus Valley
Sage Purcell 12 Citrus Valley
Ana Faalaulau 10 Eisenhower
Aaryon Green 12 Eisenhower
Ariana Cole 12 AB Miller
Inez Mangino 12 Redlands
Kaitlin Boyer 11 Redlands East Valley
Diana Maile 10 Redlands East Valley
Kayla Fisher 10 Yucaipa
Lynda Tobar 12 Yucaipa

Honorable Mention
Jalyn Hayes 10 Cajon
Taylor Jackson 11 Carter
Jade Bell 11 Citrus Valley
Hadiya Hall 12 Eisenhower
Valerie Navarrete 12 AB Miller
Paige McLeod 11 Redlands
Savannah Bailey Bibbs 11 Redlands East Valley
Natalia Hadder 10 Yucaipa

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