It’s an exciting time of year.
Football and volleyball, collegiate and prep cross country and water polo, plus collegiate soccer.
All of which brings a conclusion to a lazy summer, though probably not “lazy” for those athletes.
It’s exciting for a lot of reasons.
One thing I search for instantly when Fall sports season begins is the rosters.
Who made the roster at San Bernardino Valley College? Same with soccer and cross country.
When SBVC won five straight state men’s cross country titles between 2006 and 2010, there was huge curiosity to see which local runners made their roster.
Football at the University of Redlands can be a little different. Lots of out-of-towners, even some from out of California.
You’re checking to see if players from St. John Bosco or Corona Centennial have shown up. There have been players from Santa Ana Mater Dei.
Cathedral Catholic, which plays in the San Diego Section, has long been a powerhouse. In past years, the Bulldogs even nabbed a defensive lineman from the Dons.
Heritage High is a legitimate force in nearby Menifee Valley. DB Chad Virgil was a big hitter for the Patriots. Showed up to do the same at Redlands.
Plus, you look at the local teams that landed players in a Redlands uniform. In past years, we’ve seen Citrus Valley, Redlands, Arrowhead Christian, Aquinas, Redlands East Valley, San Gorgonio and Yucaipa ⎯ plus a few more ⎯ add to the Bulldogs’ lineup.
Citrus Valley-to-Yucaipa QB Nathan Martinez, groomed during his prep days by ex-Arena Football pro Ryan Porter, was a nice pickup for the Bulldogs a couple years back.
Martinez, still on Redlands’ roster, played in a handful of games last season.
A few years back, Concord de la Salle High School ⎯ by way of Portland State ⎯ placed a credible DB into the Bulldogs’ lineup. De La Salle, incidentally, has been prep football’s top program, arguably, throughout the U.S.
When much-traveled DB Daniel Gonzales, a REV product, showed up here a few years ago, the quick-striking corner had himself an All-American season in maroon-and-grey. Try a dozen interceptions?
Yes, it’s exciting all right.
It’s always interesting to check who the Bulldogs have successfully recruited to their campus, both to study and play. You eyeball that entire list, anywhere between 60 and 80 names, perhaps overlooking some playmakers that came from less celebrated campuses.
The Bulldogs, like in all of their sports, turn freshmen into proven athletes once they get committed to it all.
As for SBVC, consider this: Over the years, Wolverines’ coaches scoured this area’s programs for football players. Yucaipa, San Gorgonio, maybe Fontana Summit and Rialto Carter ⎯ plus all the Redlands schools ⎯ were other programs that excited SBVC coaches.
Those prep programs are ones that are highly respected by JUCO coaches.
Players show up at those prep stops ⎯ or they get cut. It’s that simple.
It’s not that way at some other campuses. Skipping practice is a way of life at many prep stops for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons might even acceptable.
When coaches at SBVC, or even Riverside City, can land a player from Redlands, they’re getting kids that are well-coached, disciplined and fully embraced in the sport.
RCC out-recruited SBVC in this year’s final tally. That’s not always the case.
SBVC got defensive tackle Eddie Chang from Citrus Valley. That appears to be it.
Meanwhile, the Tigers landed Aquinas stud guard Zion Mathis ⎯ part of the Falcons’ 2017 CIF championship ⎯ while getting Redlands’ Zach Burrola, REV’s Brady Sheehan and Eric Fauntleroy, all linebackers.
Incidentally, SBVC plays at Riverside City College on Sept. 21 (6 p.m. kickoff).
Got a sports tip, some rumblings, or just chat about sports? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.