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Archive for August 2011

Citrus Football Looks to Return to Winning Ways

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citrus football practice

The Owls practice at Citrus College for their opening game vs. West L.A.

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It’s been a rough stretch recently for the Citrus College football team and their third-year Head Coach Ron Ponciano, but an influx of young players has the Owls feeling optimistic about their upcoming season.

“We have far more talent than we’ve had here in the past, that’s exciting,” said Ponciano whose team will travel to West Los Angeles Saturday as they open their 2011 campaign against the host Wildcats in a non-conference bout.

Citrus is coming off a disappointing 2010 season in which they posted a 2-8 overall record and went 1-4 in the Central Division West Conference. In fact, the team’s last winning season came under the guidance of former head coach Kevin Emerson who departed in 2008.

Ponciano said despite their record, the Owls still had a lot of fight in them last season and were plagued by off the field issues which hampered their defensive unit.

“We’ve got some guys back healthy, and defensively last year after a few games we had to make wholesale changes because of some academic issues and some paper work issues and so we were not very good at all last year and that’s very humbling and frustrating.”

The Owls also have a revamped offensive line following some key departures. “Offensive line wise when you lose Addison Bachman to Arizona, you lose Jason Peacock to the University of Arkansas, Michael Schulteis to New Mexico Highlands, that hurts,” said Ponciano while adding that they have been forced to replace offensive linemen with younger, less experienced players.

“It hurts when you lose kids who should be coming back, any other Junior College would have them back, when you lose Chris Stringer to the University of Arkansas, Albert Sid to UCLA that hurts us,” said Ponciano. “But it’s not about us, it’s always been about the kids and what’s right for them and what’s our role here and ours is to transfer kids.”

Another bright spot for the Owls is the return of sophomore quarterback Blake Loncar, out of Los Osos High school, who Ponciano called an exceptional player and a possible future Division 1 talent.

“We’ve got a quarterback I think can throw the ball better than anybody in the state,” he said. “He’s going to have a long career at quarterback and this year I think we also have a pretty darn good defense. I don’t think people are going to be running up and down the field on us, embarrassing us.”

Ponciano pointed out to Citrus’ ongoing practice of recruiting local talent as a key to their potential resurgence and said a revamped roster full of standouts from the area’s High Schools has the team excited about reaching their potential and turning the school’s fortunes around in an region where football has not been as ingrained in the cultural fabric.

“We’ve made great strides, it wasn’t like we played bad football last year we literally played four really bad quarters, everything else was very competitive,” Ponciano said. “This year the difference is we have a lot more speed, I believe we are going to score a lot more points. I believe we’re going to play a lot better defense and the proof will be in the pudding here in a week or so.”

Some key additions and returns to look out on offense include speedy sophomore running back Ricky Johnson out of West Covina, former Rowland standouts wide reciever B.J. Oyefeso and Michael Ball while the defense features sophomore linebacker Jesse Tauiliili, and Jose Nunez from Azusa, among others. Moses Vega, Aaron Dockery and Andre Holmes out of Glendora are some of the names which round out the roster.

“Nobody really wins with a young team. we’re going to try to do that. Most JCs win with a lot of sophomores,” said Ponciano, “We’re trying to win with some puppies up front and I believe we will if we can keep them all healthy.”

The Owls begin the season on Saturday on the road against West L.A. with kickoff set for 1 P.M. then following a week 2 bye play in front of their home crowd on Sept. 17 against Canyons.


Written by sgvsports

August 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm

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Glendora Football Prepares for Battle Against Charter Oak

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the Tartans varsity football teams practicing at Citrus College

The Tartans varsity football teams practicing at Citrus College

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Members of Glendora’s varsity football team were not at all happy with the way their season ended last year, starting out well behind stellar play by quarterback Chad Jeffries, only to have things fall apart towards the end of the year after Jeffries went down with a shoulder injury.

The Tartans lost 4 out of their last 5 games and finished 5-5 overall and 1-4 in League play after moving to the Baseline League.

Jeffries has since moved on to San Diego State and the Tartans are starting out fresh this season with former Northview High School coach Todd Quinsey at the helm, replacing Mark Pasquarella who resigned after eight years as head coach.

New coach Quinsey said he is looking forward to the season and his team is eager to take the field.

“I’ve never been in a place that had so much community support before,” said Quinsey, “There’s a lot of parent involvement, the kids have been really good so far, as far attitude and doing things we’re asking them to do.”

Quinsey, who coached the Northview Vikings for from 2003-05 and also had a stint at Sandy High in Oregon before finding his way back to the San Gabriel Valley where he served as an assistant for Charter Oak last season, has assembled a staff of assistant coaches with big program experience throughout the region, in order to try and maintain Glendora’s competitive edge in the Baseline League.

This is no easy task considering the Tartans will square off against the likes of previous CIF Winners like Monrovia, Colony and West Covina.

“They know what it takes to succeed, especially with this schedule,” he said while acknowledging that few teams in the valley have a tougher schedule than the Tartans.

Under Quinsey, the Tartans are forging a new team identity and are moving away from a passing attack to a more balanced game plan this season.

“Basically we’re starting from scratch,  we have a core group that’s been playing for the last two or three months, we’re happy where we are at right now.”

The responsibility of starting quarterback falls to junior Kyle Kianpour, but Quinsey said he will not be expected to match Jeffries’ prolific passing output of 2010 which netted him 12 touchdown passes, 1,148 yards and 164 passing yards per game.

“This year we’re not asking our  quarterback to do those things,” said Quinsey. “We’re not asking him to throw the ball 30 times a game, or run the ball 15 times a game. We’re going to put him in a position to be successful to manage the game, not turn the ball over and hand the ball to 3 or 4 guys who we think are pretty good.”

Quisey said the Glendora coaching staff is happy with the quarterback’s emergence during summer practices.

“He’s come along way since May. He’s thrown a lot during the summer, passed well during tournaments and passing leagues. He’s had some ups and down but overall we’re happy with the progress he’s made in the last three months, he has a lot of confidence now.”

The change in offensive philosophy comes as no surprise given Quinsey’s propensity to utilize his backfields and considering he has three returning weapons in junior wingbacks Corey Victoria and Donovan Holmes, and senior fullback Skyler Crall.

Quinsey said those three players will be getting the bulk of the carries while receiver Josh Pierce is expected to see a lot of action upon returning from an injury.

“He had a great 3 weeks of summer, he was probably the best receiver until he turned his ankle and didn’t play the rest of the summer,” said Quinsey.

“We’re definitely going to run the ball and we’re going to play good defense. We’re going to try to shorten the game, limit possessions to try and control the clock. Ideally, we’re going to run the ball and use our play action game.”

The Tartans and their new coach feel that they have improved over the summer months, and he credits his staff for their hard work, despite starting preparations late due to not having a staff in place and other factors.

“The biggest adjustment for most of us was getting used to the hitting,” said Kianpour following Wednesday’s practice. “There is a lot harder hitting going on and guys are trying to avoid injuries.”

“We are a lot better now than we were in May, and we’re a lot further along than we thought we would be at this point,” said Quinsey while pointing to the Sept. 2 match-up against Charter Oak which will officially open the season for the Tartans as a litmus test for the young team.

“Our philosophy going in to the season has been: Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to step up as an athletic program and as a team. We have to be competitive and continue to improve in every area.”

Written by sgvsports

August 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized