Los Angeles Preps: Coachella Valley


League openers: Tonight – La Quinta @ Palm Springs; Xavier Prep @ Cathedral City; Indio # Palm Desert. Friday – Coachella Valley @ Palm Desert.

Last year’s finish: Palm Springs (12-0); Palm Desert (10-2); La Quinta (7-5); Indio (7-5); Cathedral City (3-9); Xavier Prep (3-9); Coachella Valley (0-12).

Players to watch: Quintin Taylor (Palm Springs), 6-2, Jr., G; Nick King (Palm Springs), 6-1, Sr., G; Xavier Thomas (Indio), 6-4, Sr., F; Abram Montoya (Indio), 6-2, Sr., G; Jonathan Serven (Palm Desert); 6-3, Sr., G; Robert Romero (Palm Desert), 6-5, Sr., F; Mike Releford (Cathedral City), 5-10, Sr., G; Taylor Pope (La Quinta), 6-0, Sr., G; Nathan Hill (La Quinta), 6-4, Jr., G; Creighton Chaney (Xavier Prep), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Cathedral City, Xavier Prep, Coachella Valley.


League openers: Tonight – Arlington @ Moreno Valley; La Sierra @ Ramona; Canyon Springs @ Rancho Verde; Vista del Lago @ Valley View.

Last year’s finish: Rancho Verde (11-3); Canyon Springs (11-3); Arlington (8-6); Ramona (8-6); Valley View (7-7); Vista del Lago (5-9); La Sierra (3-11); Moreno Valley (3-11).

Players to watch: Jordan Grace (Rancho Verde), 6-2, Sr., G; Kendall Schmidt (Rancho Verde), 6-0, Sr., G; Lance Jones (Rancho Verde), 6-3, Jr., F; Rajshah Head (Canyon Springs), 6-0, Sr., G; Joseph Esthers (Valley View), 5-10, Sr., G; Devonte Klines (Valley View), 5-11, So., G; Stephen Scroggins (Moreno Valley), 5-11, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Rancho Verde, Canyon Springs, Valley View, Arlington, Vista del Lago, Ramona, La Sierra, Moreno Valley.


League openers: Tonight – San Bernardino @ Rialto, Arroyo Valley @ Colton, Cajon @ Pacific. Saturday – Rialto @ Carter. Monday – Arroyo Valley @ San Bernardino.

Last year’s finish: San Bernardino (14-0); Cajon (11-3); Rialto (9-5); Arroyo Valley (9-5); Colton (5-9); San Gorgonio (4-10); Carter (3-11); Pacific (1-13).

Players to watch: Khleem Perkins (San Bernardino), 6-3, Jr., G; Javone Rabon (San Bernardino), 6-4, Sr., F; Jamie Jenkins (San Bernardino), 5-8, Sr., G; Richie Ragoo (Colton), 5-11, Sr., G; Devin Jones (Cajon), 6-0, Sr., G; Stephen Marshall (Arroyo Valley), Sr., G; Antonio Clemmons (Pacific), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: San Bernardino, Cajon, Arroyo Valley, Rialto, Colton, Pacific, San Gorgonio, Carter.

Next up: Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues (open league play Wednesday).

I.E.: A closer look at the Desert Valley League

August, 12, 2011

Last season’s results: Palm Springs (10-2, 5-0); La Quinta (10-3, 4-1); Palm Desert (6-5, 3-2); Coachella Valley (6-5, 2-3); Indio (2-8, 1-4); Cathedral City (0-10, 0-5).

Players to watch: Even with the graduation of the league’s offensive MVP, all-purpose running back Nephi Garcia, Palm Springs definitely owns the edge in returning talent. Not only does the Indians return quarterback Dane Tiedeman but he’ll have a pair of all-league receivers to choose from. Jordan White caught a team-high 34 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns and Nick King did a lot of everything, catching 23 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns and rushing for 729 yards and nine scores. Perhaps the best player for Palm Springs is linebacker/offensive lineman Kyle Lass, an all-Central Division selection on offense last season and three-year starter on defense. He was a key member of the 2009 team that won the SS-Eastern Division title. Nate Evans, another first-team all leaguer for the Indians, returns at safety. Palm Desert has the top returning ball carrier in senior Tim Santa Maria, who rushed for 1,066 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He was also an effective pass catcher out of the backfield, accounting for 15 receptions and three touchdowns. The league's best returning athlete is La Quinta senior quarterback Taylor Pope, who is just as valuable on defense and special teams. Pope was named the league’s special teams co-MVP last season, intercepted a pass in Week 2 to seal a 14-3 upset against Colton, the eventual Central Division champion, and orchestrated a second-half comeback from 28 points down against Chino in the second round of the playoffs.

Projected order of finish: Palm Springs, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Coachella Valley, Indio, Cathedral City.

Key games: Sept. 2 – Palm Springs @ Palm Desert; Sept. 16 – La Quinta @ Mission Viejo; Sept. 30 – Palm Desert @ Fontana Kaiser; Oct. 7 – Temecula Chaparral @ Indio; Oct. 28 – Palm Desert @ Palm Springs; Nov. 4 – Palm Springs @ La Quinta; Nov. 11 – Palm Desert @ La Quinta.

Alumni in the NFL: James Dockery, Cleveland Browns (Palm Desert ’06)

Fast fact: For the second consecutive season, Palm Springs and Palm Desert will meet in a nonleague season opener and again during league play. Due to the extreme heat that’s usually still hanging around the Coachella Valley in early September, the schools have had difficulty finding opponents to travel out to the low desert. When the teams met last season, the temperature had reached a record-tying 117 degrees in Palm Springs that day, and was still 108 at kickoff. Palm Springs won the game, 35-20.

On the clock: Inland Valley League.

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 22, 2010
1. The Baseline League went 3-0 in Inland Division play Friday night, while the Citrus Belt League was 0-3. The biggest upset victory in the division belonged to Etiwanda, the third-place team from the Baseline, which defeated CBL champion Redlands East Valley, 21-16. The Eagles have been forced to outscore teams this season because its defense had allowed an average of 35.6 points coming into the playoffs. The defense came through against REV, however, returning a fourth-quarter fumble 100 yards for a touchdown, stretching its lead to 21-10.

2. What a day for Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Chino Hills. He began Friday by committing to play for Oregon, then went out that night and scored four touchdowns in a 70-42 victory against Corona in an Inland Division first-round game. Ekpre-Olomu had two touchdown runs of six yards, another for 53 and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. As lopsided as the final score appears, the Huskies led only, 49-42, heading into the fourth quarter.

3. A more impressive fourth-quarter surge was delivered Friday night by Riverside La Sierra in a 54-49 loss to Palm Springs in a Central Division first-round game. The Eagles scored 32 points in the final quarter, turning a laugher into a nail-biter. "I started the night 57 years old and I ended it 83," Palm Springs coach Steve Fabian told the Desert Sun after the game. Fabian decided to rest star running back Nephi Garcia after taking a 37-point lead and nearly regretted it.

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Inland Empire: Southern Section playoff rundown for I.E. teams

November, 14, 2010

Seeded teams:

1. Corona Centennial; 2. Vista Murrieta; 3. Rancho Cucamonga; 4. Chino Hills

At-large selection:


Best first-round game:

Temecula Chaparral (4-6) at Upland (7-3) – Chaparral is the defending Inland Division champion, while Upland won the Central Division title last season. Chaparral was the preseason favorite to repeat, but a 1-5 start ending any discussion of that. Still, the Pumas tend to get better as the season rolls along.

Best potential second-round game:

Vista Murrieta (9-1) at Norco (8-2) – Both of these teams should survive the first round to create a semifinal-type second-round matchup. Norco’s upset loss to Eastvale Roosevelt on Oct. 8 ultimately dropped them into third place and created this nightmare matchup for Southwestern League champ Vista Murrieta.


Corona Centennial should walk through this division, especially with either Vista Murrieta or Norco getting knocked off in the second round. Corona Centennial 56, Norco 7.

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