Prep Preview: Baseline League

Upland's Nathan Tilford received praise for his stellar sophomore season.

Upland’s Nathan Tilford received praise for his stellar sophomore season.

PREP FOOTBALL 2015
BASELINE LEAGUE PREVIEW

(Records in parenthesis)

One of the strongest leagues in the Inland area got tougher with the addition of Chino Hills last season. The Huskies were up to the task because the talent level is through the roof in their little enclave. It’s the No. 1 reason coach Matt Bechtel was one of the few able to step up results alongside a shifting divisional landscape.

Upland (10-3 overall, 5-0 Baseline League) is not the team it was last year. That much is clear. Furthering head coach Tim Salter’s challenge is the lack of a clear-cut successor to graduated QB Tyler Hilinski. Though there are always athletes hanging around ‘The U’ looking at a chance to make a play. Junior RB Nathan Tilford emerged as a go-to guy in 2014.

Chino Hills (8-3, 4-1) still has a ton of playmakers — plus Curtis and Vos Price — back from its first Baseline League foray last season. Questions remain at QB but with so many choices all over, a tackling dummy could stand in the pocket and lead the Huskies to the playoffs.

Rancho Cucamonga (7-5, 3-2) is ready to put it all on the line with senior QB Angel Matute this season. Matute already has 19 careers starts, and coach Nick Baiz said, “If he plays like we think he can play our offense should be quick-hitting a scoring points.”

Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda (4-5-1, 2-3) wants to renew some glory to its football program but the hill may be to steep a climb. New coach Kevin Davis may see his first season saved by senior QB Andrew Kanatsky and a core of offensive returners.

La Verne Damien (4-6, 1-4) wants to throw the ball. The Spartans will put it in the air as often as possible because their coach is Mark Parades, who loves nothing more than to spread the formation and let some strong-armed kid wing it.

Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos (2-8, 0-5) took some lumps last season. How will senior MLB Bryce Youngquist respond to being the best player on an otherwise woeful team?

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:
Rancho Cucamonga
Upland
Chino Hills
La Verne Damien
Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda
Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
CB Thomas Graham, Jr., Rancho Cucamonga
QB Andrew Kanatsky, Sr., Etiwanda
QB Angel Matute, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
MLB Cole McCarty, Sr., Upland
FS/RB Kamari Pleasant, Sr., Etiwanda
WR Grant Porter, Sr., Upland
WR/CB Vos Price, Jr., Chino Hills
OLB Nicholas Provenzano, Sr., Damien
OLB Anthony Rosales, Sr., Chino Hills
RB Dylan Thigpen, Sr., Damien
RB Nathan Tilford, Jr., Upland
LB/RB Bryce Youngquist, Sr., Los Osos

PROMINENT GAMES:
Sept. 4 — Rancho Cucamonga at Norco, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 — San Juan Capistrano JSerra Catholic at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11 — Etiwanda vs. Riverside Poly at Riverside King HS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — Chino Hills at La Puente Bishop Amat, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — Santa Ana Mater Dei at Upland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 — Upland at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
Nov. 6 — Rancho Cucamonga at Upland, 7 p.m.

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