Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I.E.: A closer look at the Sunkist League
By Dan Arritt
Last season’s results: Fontana Kaiser (12-1, 5-0); Fontana Summit (10-3-1, 4-1); Riverside Norte Vista (5-6, 3-2); Riverside Patriot (4-6, 2-3); Bloomington (4-7, 1-4); Mira Loma Jurupa Valley (1-9, 0-5).
Players to watch: Kaiser has lost only one league game in the last 10 years but could be facing its toughest run after graduating 18 of 22 starters from last season’s team. Waiting to pounce on the Cats is Summit and Jurupa Valley. Summit is led by Donte Deayon, a two-way star who committed to Boise State this summer. He tied for the state lead with 10 interceptions last season and also caught 38 passes for a league-leading 524 yards and five touchdowns. Jamaal Williams was another valuable two-way player for the Eastern Division finalists, rushing for 717 yards and 11 touchdowns and playing free safety. He has committed to Brigham Young. Bernard Porter also returns at quarterback after passing for a league-leading 1,611 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing for seven other scores. Jurupa Valley's defense might be even better. Alex Beam had a league-leading 137 tackles last season, and fellow returners Sergio Camacho, Robert Magana, Alfonso Villegas, Darien Pule and Anthony Torres were also key members of the unit. On offense, quarterback Martin Mercado was the league’s second-leading passer and receiver Ramon Barrajas caught 22 passes for 367 passes and three touchdowns. Patriot has the league’s top returning rusher in Nano Martinez, who totaled 894 yards and five touchdowns last season. Daniel Rico led the way on defense with five sacks. Bloomington features two experienced skill players in quarterback Demetreus Moore and running back Johnta Carter. Heritage might be short on experience but the Patriots might have the most intimidating player in offensive lineman Aiseah Hanson, who stands 6-4, 320.
Projected order of finish: Summit, Jurupa Valley, Kaiser, Patriot, Bloomington, Norte Vista.
Key games: Sept. 2 – Summit vs. Etiwanda @ Fontana A.B. Miller HS; Sept. 9 – Summit @ Redlands; Sept. 16 – Kaiser @ San Bernardino Cajon; Sept. 22 – Summit vs. Colton @ A.B. Miller; Sept. 23 – Riverside North @ Kaiser; Oct. 14 – Jurupa Valley vs. Patriot at Riverside Rubidoux HS; Oct. 21 – Kaiser @ Jurupa Valley; Nov. 4 – Summit @ Jurupa Valley; Nov. 11 – Summit vs. Kaiser @ A.B. Miller.
Alumni in the NFL: Lonyae Miller, Dallas Cowboys (Rialto/Fontana Kaiser '06); Jason Shirley, Cincinnati Bengals (Kaiser ’03);
Fast fact: Bloomington hasn’t had a winning record since 2007 but the Bruins still boast the state record for most points scored in a season. The 1994 team plowed its way to 880 points in 14 games, which was also a national record until 2001. By comparison, Bloomington has scored 866 points in its last 42 games.