Los Angeles Preps: Ahkeel Chambers

Lawler signs with Cal, ending big day for I.E.

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
3:35
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Upland wide receiver Kenny Lawler, the last major unsigned recruit from the Inland Empire, made it official Wednesday afternoon, announcing he will sign with California.

Lawler took a last-minute recruiting trip over the weekend to California after visiting Oregon State and Washington State the two prior weekends. Heading into Wednesday’s national signing day, he was reportedly down to California and Oregon State.

The Bears return leading receiver Keenan Allen, but second-leading receiver Marvin Jones has exhausted his eligibility. A spot opened up for Lawler in Cal's recruiting class after Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton, who had committed to the Golden Bears in early January, switched to Washington last week before ultimately signing with UCLA.

Lawler said on Fox Sports Prime Ticket that a major factor in his decision was California hiring one of his longtime coaches, Charlie Collins, as a staff member.

“I know he’s going to have my back up there,” Lawler said.

The 6-3, 185-pound senior committed to Arizona State shortly after last year’s national signing day, the first school to offer him a scholarship. He stuck by the commitment until late November, shortly after the Wildcats fired coach Dennis Erickson.

Lawler caught 53 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, including nine scores in the final four games. His size and reach allows him to out-jump most defensive backs.

Lawler is one of four Upland players to sign a letter of intent Wednesday. Running back Donte Abron, Jr., defensive back Marques Mosley and fullback Christian Powell signed with Colorado earlier in the day.

Here's a full list of signings from Wednesday:

(Read full post)

Football: No. 2 Corona Centennial

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
6:39
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Corona Centennial has firmly established itself as the prominent program in the Inland Empire. The Huskies are coming off their second trip to the state bowl championships in the last three years and sixth Southern Section title since 2000.




Centennial enters 2011 in a unique situation, however. The Huskies lost standout quarterback Michael Eubank (Arizona State) and running back Barrinton Collins (Weber State) to graduation, but return four offensive linemen, the most experienced group Matt Logan has coached in 15 years at the school.

Centennial will have far fewer holes to fill on a defense that allowed an average of 14.2 points a game, though most were scored well after the game had been decided.

Here’s a closer look at the Huskies.

Team: Corona Centennial.

Coach: Matt Logan, 15th season.

2010 Record: 14-1. Lost to Palo Alto in the Division 1 state bowl championship.

Returning starters: 10 total. Four on offense, six on defense.

Key players on offense: RB Romello Goodman, OT Lio Lafaele, OG John Hamilton, OT Cameron Hunt, QB Hayden Gavett, OL Anthony Juarez.

Key players on defense: DL Milo Jordan, DL Ngata Tuihalamaka, CB Izaac Colunga, LB Ahkeel Chambers, OLB Isaiah Ashby, DB Miquan Johnson.

Difference maker: His statistics didn’t really stand out last season but Centennial defense lineman Milo Jordan sure did, routinely absorbing two or three blockers at a time, enabling a linebacker to roam free and make the tackle. Opposing coaches certainly noticed Jordan’s game-changing abilities, electing him defensive MVP in the Big VIII League. Jordan, at 6 feet 3, 280 pounds and firmly committed to Arizona State, is expected to be an even more intimidating force as the Huskies try to defend their Inland Division championship.

Newcomers: WR Chase Krivashei, WR Isaac Crandall, OLB Vann Dennis, WR Ryan Pascarella.

Not to be missed: Sept. 9 vs. Ventura St. Bonaventure. No better way to test those preseason rankings than to match a couple of top 10 teams in Week 1. Corona Centennial is historically a first-half team, often securing a double-digit lead before the band takes the field for intermission. St. Bonaventure, meanwhile, is known for its in-game adjustments and ability to come from behind. Should be a good one.

Coach’s comment: “Well be pretty physical on both sides of the ball,” Logan said. “It kind of depends how fast we can get experience [in the backfield]. It might take a couple weeks or so but we expect to be a much better team midway through the season.”

Final analysis: With the quarterback situation a lot greener this season and the nonleague schedule much tougher with the addition of St. Bonaventure, it’s possible the Huskies could take some lumps in the month of September. Any losses, as we’ve learned, are bad for the resume when it comes to awarding state bowl bids. Early on, as Hayden Gavett finds his wings at quarterback, it’ll likely be up to the defense to keep the Huskies in games, maybe even score a touchdown or two. If the Huskies live up to Logan’s expectations and begin to hit their stride midway through the season, that would leave them in good shape for Norco and Roosevelt, two of their main challengers for the Big VIII League title.

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