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Riverside Notre Dame Over Citrus Valley 42-7

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By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –

As Riverside Notre Dame honored it’s graduating seniors, they played one last home game against Citrus Valley of Redlands. Friday night’s Mountain Valley League matchup pitted the Notre Dame Titans, one of the oldest programs versus the Citrus Valley Blackhawks, the newest.

As might have been expected, the Blackhawks were no match for the age, size and experience of the Titans.

Notre Dame running back Joshua Ivery rushed the ball 14 times for a nifty 138 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. His teammate Dominique Easton added another 81 yards on 9 carries and two touchdowns.

Well coached and virtually mistake free, the experienced Titans (7-3) will continue to play on as CIF’s second season begins on Friday.

High School football coaches know very well that the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the whole story. Citrus Valley coach Pete Smolin and his staff have molded and motivated their young student athletes to take on any challenge.

Quite often, the young Blackhawks must compete against athletes much older, larger, faster and more experience.

Cross town coach Kurt Bruich knows very well that it took his Redlands East Valley Wildcats several years to achieve a winning season.

Now they are a perennial powerhouse.

The scoreboard read 42-0 at halftime, but the young Blackhawks have learned not to let down. Their defense allowed zero second half points and their offense scored to avoid the shutout.

The second half was a glimpse of what’s to come for Citrus Valley as their sophomore quarterback completed eight passes to junior wide receiver Kyle Haddock for 116 yards to include a 42 yard touchdown.

Blackhawk running back Taylor Smith rolled up 82 second half yards on nine carries to prompt one Titan coach to say, “Hey, who is that guy?” Citrus Valley’s program is bound to show improvement as their young players mature physically and learn how to win.

Quarterback Dalton Douglass is likely to become very successful in this league.

The 6’2” sophomore possesses a canon arm and has demonstrated unusual poise both in and outside of the pocket.

Beyond the parents who cringe with every tackle as their hearts soar for each Blackhawk first down, it’s a slow building process. The Citrus Valley roster, filled with sophomores and juniors will ultimately make their mark upon the gridiron.

Riverside Notre Dames (7- 3) has drawn a second seed in the CIF pairings and will play away, at Grace Brethren on Friday night.

L.A. Galaxy Eliminates Seattle 2-1 Western Conference Final Next

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By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –

It took less than 20 minutes for a precision corner kick from the golden foot of David Beckham, to find the head of Edson Buddle and ultimately, the back of the net.

The Los Angeles Galaxy, in a year defined by a World Cup interruption and a devastating injury to David Beckham, have overcome those issues and are firing on all cylinders.

The Home Depot Center and AEG, have provided a premier facility to watch a professional soccer match. The live ESPN broadcast and a roaring sellout crowd was treated to competitive soccer at the highest level.

The Galaxy’s style of play simply didn’t allow the Sounders to mount their normal attacks.

Coach Bruce Arena knows very well that when focused, his players spread the field and dictate the pace of their matches. This one would go according to plan.

On Sunday, the trio of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle had their way with Seattle. They were so good at spreading the field, putting opponents on their heals and unleashing a barrage of shots at Kasey Keller, the Seattle keeper.

The Galaxy are at their best when they force the issue, as they did in the first half. Prior to the 20th minute of play, David Beckham went to the corner for a set piece. Like Muhammad Ali before a crisp to the head, all eyes seem to know exactly what’s about to happen. Sure enough, the Beckham cross found the forehead of a charging Edson Buddle. Seattle keeper Kasey Keller reached for the header in vein. 1-0 Galaxy.

“Soccer is a simple game” said Ralph Perez, ESPN radio commentator and University of Redlands coach. “The Galaxy’s defensive intensity eventually breaks the will of their opponent, especially when you go ahead early” according to coach Perez.

Omar Gonzales was the benefactor of a second Beckham assist, when he headed the precision free kick past a diving Keller. The early 2-0 Galaxy lead would prove to be a match clinching margin.

The Galaxy take the two game aggregate victory over the Sounders and earn a birth into the MLS Western Conference Final, at the Home Depot Center on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was solid on the night, allowing one insignificant goal in the 86th minute. Rickett’s, a unanimous coach, player and media choice for ‘Goalkeeper of the Year‘ honors on Wednesday. Originally from Jamaica, he recorded a record 11 shutouts, helping the Galaxy to go 18-7-5, an MLS best in 2010.

Ricketts set a Galaxy club mark of 0.90 goals-against, a franchise record. His overall career mark is now 0.96, also an MLS record. On a team with so many proven offensive international stars, the 33 year old Ricketts has made a significant impression upon his club and the league.

Looking toward the conference final on Sunday, FC Dallas will be a worthy opponent.

“The Galaxy’s ability to rely upon a re-set or set piece from a player like David Beckham is so valuable.” “His quality of service is beautiful to watch, yet so difficult to defend” - coach Ralph Perez.

For those who like to experience live expert game commentary, tune in to coach Ralph Perez (color analyst) and Joe Tutino on ESPN Radio AM 830 or 1150 on game day.

The Los Angeles Galaxy will play FC Dallas for the Western Conference Title on Sunday at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The winner will play the Eastern Conference champion for the MLS Cup, in Toronto on November 21st.

Rialto Supt. Cebrun's Youth Football League Crowns Champions

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By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –

What began as a vision for district students and families, culminated in a celebration for all Rialto Youth League Flag Football players on Saturday.

The concept of creating a competitive, district wide youth league was the brainchild of Rialto Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Harold R. Cebrun.

Through planning and passion, Dr. Cebrun mobilized his student leadership to make it happen. He opened up the gates of district school yards and let the community benefit from their own facilities.

The co-ed league has had a cross the board impact upon the community and united it’s young people through the age old concept of team building and the pure joy of athletic competition.

From 4th to 8th grade, there was a team located near their home school, for any district student to join.

“I thank Dr. Cebrun on his new vision for our district and the opportunity to be included as a member of his great team” said Mr. Robert Goodloe, a computer teacher and the league’s assistant Youth Sports Coordinator. Mr. Goodloe supports Mr. Ernie Carr, a retired Rialto educator who coordinates the scheduling, equipment and logistics for the league.

With the support of School Board President, Joseph W. Martinez, the student athletes and their families came together every Saturday for two months.

The league championship brackets were decided for all 18 teams, in an all day competition, at Rialto High School, on Saturday.

The intrinsic value of being part of a team, blending gender and race into one cohesive unit, produces a special collaboration that can’t be reproduced in the classroom. When you see the intensity on their faces and the joy in their eyes, anyone can see how important the experience is to them.

The young players and teammates are constantly engaged in listening (coaches), thinking and executing on the field of play.

Among district leaders who observed as coaches were Monte Stewart (Hughbanks Elementary) and Leonard Buckner (Morgan Elementary) to name a few.

We were very impressed with one of the playoff teams on Saturday, the Curtis Elementary School Redskins. Intense, focused, relentless and successful, the Redskins won all their games and earned the championship trophy. Hats off to super coach Bunny Alisaalem and his assistant, Daniel Harris, both custodians at the school. Well done.

Special thanks to Greg Bell, former Notre Dame and Los Angeles Ram for his energy and commitment to the kids. Thanks to former San Diego Charger Leonard Russell for his support.

All the generous coaches, parents and the kind people from the Horizon Water Company for supplying water on championship day.

Dr. Cebrun’s youth program continues with basketball in December and soccer in the Spring. No time for video games or texting, this youth league is an opportunity to become a part of a team and compete.

For those who would like to become involved in supporting the kids, please contact Mr. Robert Goodloe at (951) 323- 7505.

Chargers' Win Just In Time

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By Gary Montgomery, BVN Sports –

It was obvious from the tone and intensity of his voice that Norv Turner was emotional after Sunday's win over the visiting Titans. No chance of mistaking Norv for Bill Belichick during his post game press conference. His answers were increasingly abrupt and succinct. When one of the Chargers beat reporters commented “you seem angry Norv.” Turner quickly fired back “no I’m not angry, I’m excited, I’m excited. I am excited for the guys out there making plays. Those guys worked their tails off to get this win. I’m excited for them.”

Turner deflected the question but his answers didn’t match his emotions in the most obvious ways. I suspect Norv wasn’t completely honest in accessing his feeling. It was obvious that Turner was somewhat testy and irritable.

I would guess, he was happy about getting a win and avoiding a 2-6 start, yet concerned about the future with Houston, Indianapolis, Denver twice and the surging Raiders making up 5 of the remaining 8 games.

The first half of the Chargers’ schedule was relatively light, with only 3 teams with winning records.

Duplicating their first half performance would result in a 6-10 season and probably ensure a farewell party for Norv and his staff. So, my guess is that although happy about Sunday’s win, Norv is looking ahead and thinking he’s going to need a lot more wins to pull this season out of the fire.

The Chargers (3-5) win on Sunday was preceded by a three game losing streak to Oakland, St. Louis and New England. “It’s huge. It’s been a trying season for us. We’ve been through a lot. But one thing about us as a group, there is never any question about the closeness or the tightness of this group,” said safety Eric Weddle. “We just thought we weren’t playing.

We were playing a little tight, we weren’t having fun and Norv (Turner) came out and said some things and it really got us going. Norv is one of us and we would die for Norv. He is the reason we came out in the second half,” continued Weddle.

Turner’s half-time speech must have been nearly presidential but an equally contributing factor for the Chargers’ survival was a late injury to Titans’ quarterback Vince Young. With 4:43 remaining in the game and trailing by 8-points, Young reinjured his recently sprain ankle and was forced to leave the game in favor of backup Terry Collins. Collins was ineffective on 2 possessions and the Chargers held on for the win.

“It was very tough. Like I said, I definitely wanted to be out there with my teammates. It was very frustrating. I hate putting #5 (Collins) in those types of situations,” said Vince Young after the game.

The Chargers roster is decimated by injuries. Legedu Naanee, Craig Davis, Malcolm Floyd and Nate Keading are all on the injured reserve. Antonio Gates although in the lineup is playing with a severe case of turf toe and has to leave the game frequently to visit the training table.

Norv Turner’s emotional conundrum is understandably given the Chargers current situation.

Although the team is saying all of the right things the sudden loss of so many its stars is problematic and will likely haunt the team throughout the remainder of the season.

Gary Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

L.A. Galaxy Ready for MLS’s Second Season

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By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –

The Los Angeles Galaxy completed their 30 game regular season on Sunday night with a league leading 18 victories as they secured home field advantage in the playoffs.

The race for the 15th MLS Cup will begin for the Galaxy on Sunday as they travel to Washington to play the Seattle Sounders. The winners of the Eastern and Western MLS conferences will play in the MLS Cup Final on November 21st in Toronto.

This years divisional playoff system has the clubs playing each other twice in a home and home format. The aggregate score in total goals will determine who advances. The Galaxy will host their second playoff game, at home against Seattle on Sunday, November 7th.

In recent years, the personality of the Galaxy has featured Landon Donovan (Redlands East Valley H.S.) as their team captain and center- piece. David Beckham’s arrival helped take some of that pressure off Donovan, however, due to injuries and roster changes, the Galaxy has had a few disappointing seasons.

This year figured to be difficult with the expected World Cup interruption in South Africa. That makes the rise of Edson Buddle, all the more remarkable. USA National Team coach Bob Bradley was so impressed with Buddle’s ability to score goals, that he made him a late add to the U.S. squad.

Buddle joined established forwards Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley and Hercules Gomez on the squad.

The Los Angeles Galaxy club had two objectives against Dallas on Sunday. One, to secure home field advantage for the conference playoffs and two, to help Edson Buddle score a goal or two and win MLS’s ‘Golden Boot’ award as the leagues top goal scorer.

On a misty evening at the Home Depot Center, the Galaxy did play with intensity throughout the match. Down one goal to FC Dallas in the first half, David Beckham stood about 25 yards out and called for the ball. As Landon Donovan fed the ball in, Beckham ripped it passed the keeper to tie the game.

As the rain continued to fall during the second half, the pitch became a little sloppy. Several players went down and coach Bruce Arena hoped the club could manage a victory without an injury.

That wish was granted as Juninho blasted home the game winner from about 20 yards out. The end to end play was fairly intense until the final whistle. The Galaxy earned home field advantage for the first two rounds of the MLS playoffs.

Unfortunately, the objective of getting Edson Buddle the opportunity to win the ‘Golden Boot’ did not happen. Buddle simply didn’t get many touches on the ball.

Dallas is a well coached club with few weaknesses. It is certain that they anticipated the Buddle scenario and defensed him well.

Edson Buddle’s remarkable season of 17 MLS goals and World Cup selection is a season that most professionals would envy. A successful playoff run and a ‘2010 MLS Cup’ in Toronto, would certainly cap Buddle’s year. A career for many.

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