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Bruins Turn It Around

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UCLA Surprises with Youth Movement and Stellar Play

By G. Montgomery, Staff Writer –

There are a lot of ways to look at the Bruins 31-13 victory over the Houston Cougars on Saturday night.

Rick Neuheisel, as usual chose to look at it as a sign of good things to come. When asked what he said or did to produce such an astonishing turnaround in just one week.

Neuheisel said. “What happens when you suffer a demoralizing loss like we did to Stanford, you have to remember that you’re in a foxhole with a bunch of guys you can count on. The only way to get out is for everybody to grab a shovel and start digging.”

Just one short week ago nearly half of the Bruin faithful adjourned to the parking lot before half-time. A week later the entire crowd of 54,407 stuck around for the evening. UCLA improved in every category. Second year quarterback Kevin Prince, rushed on designed rollout plays for a total of 64-yards on 10 carries and kept the Cougars’ defense gasping.

Prince also threw for 99- yards. Although his passing performance was not stellar, it should be noted that he had no interceptions after a multipick performance against Stanford.

Allowing Prince to scamper out of the pocket opened lanes for sophomore running back Jonathan Franklin who rushed for 158-yards on 26 carries. No Bruin running back had topped 150-yards since Chris Markey accomplished the feat against woeful Washington in the 2007 season.

Ricky Marvray added to the youth movement with a electrifying 22-yard grab that sustained and early scoring drive.

Marvray a Red shirt freshman from Corona Centennial had 3 catches for 34-yards.

The defense was equally impressive, holding the powerful Cougar offense to only 3 points in the first half.

Houston entered the game leading the nation in scoring with 61 points per game and ranked 23rd nationally.

Heisman hopeful, Case Keenum led the nation in passing and total offense in 2009. Junior running Bryce Beal was Conference USA Player-of-the-week coming off a 195-yard rushing performance last week.

Expectations for UCLA were not very positive given the Cougars incoming resume. “No one gave us a chance,” said Junior Strong Safety Rahim Moore. I told myself before the game, I just want to win. I don’t care about stats. I’m just going out there and fly around and make plays. And the plays came to us.” Moore’s interception of Keenum early in the second quarter and subsequent 42- yard return essentially finished the Cougars and sealed the deal for UCLA. Moore has 15 career interceptions.

Bruin junior linebacker Akeem Ayers also picked off what would be Keenum’s final pass. The Houston Quarter hurt a knee attempting to make a tackle on the runback and left the game with a season ending injury.

The Cougars would also lose their second string quarter Cotton Turner with a broken collar bone.

Saturdays win was the first time UCLA has beaten a ranked opponent since winning in Tennessee in September 2008. The Bruins face #7 ranked Texas in Austin this weekend. This will be the Bruins opportunity to prove Neuheisel right about things to come.

Former Pasadena Standout Lands in Cincinnati

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By Earl Heath –

The Viking Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island is one of the top notch venues in America. Earlier this year it was the setting where the Big East Football coaches and players gathered for the media day.

University of Cincinnati’s Armon Binns was dressed in a pin stripe suit, his shoes shined like there’s no tomorrow and he flashed a million dollar smile. The former Pasadena High School standout was one of the most charismatic and confident players present. The road to Cincinnati was ignited by Binns himself. After his senior season he was a bit over looked in talent rich California. He sent a DVD of highlights to the UC football office. “It was the way God worked it out,” said Binns.

“Recruiting started slow and it worked out.”

The senior wide receiver helped lead the Bearcats to a 12-0 record in 2009, the campaign in which he had 61 catches for 1191 yards and 11 touchdowns including a 68 yarder.

College football has given Binns a great experience as he has traveled around American cities like Pittsburg, PA, Louisville, KY and Syracuse, NY. He has been on stage in one of the biggest venues in the sports world playing at the Superdome in New Orleans in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

He draws praise from his 1st year head coach Butch Jones.

“We expect Armon to have a great year,” said Jones. “He’s already made some big, big plays for us in the past. He’s held our receiving core at a very high standard. He has a tremendous work ethic.

Armon brings so much to our team, on and off the field.”

Binns has taken to the university and the city. Cincy’s football program is the fifth oldest in America having began in 1885. It began behind Rutgers (1869), Michigan (1879), Navy (1880) and Minnesota (1883).

Cincinnati is known as the Queen City. It has a lot of history.

“It’s a big city with small town values,” added Jones. “Our facilities (football) are second to none. Expectations that surround the football team are very high. You feel the passion that the whole community has.”

Binns himself would love to share his experience with others from California. Former Dodger great, Dusty Baker has the Reds in first place and is electrifying the whole town.

Binns states why So. Cal players should come to Cincy.

“We’ve got T.O. and Ochocinco. There’s plenty of entertainment and character. If you want to have fun and get a good education you should come here.”

Bruins Need a Miracle

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By Gary Montgomery, Staff Writer –

What can a head coach say after a 35 point shutout by a conference opponent? You probably wouldn’t want to hear what Rick Neuheisel told his team in private, but in public, Nueheisel’s position was grim but still optimistic.

“Tonight was a rough night for UCLA Football. Congratulations to Stanford,” Said Neuheisel. “We were not very good on offense. We lost our ability to run the football and we looked like an offense that’s spinning its wheels."

Neuheisel’s assessment of his team’s performance was heartfelt but the Bruins troubles go much deeper than a mere one game meltdown. The truth of the matter is simple – UCLA does not have sufficient experience or talent at enough positions to achieve any level of football sustainability at this time. It is the same problem that UCLA has faced for nearly a decade irrespective of the Coaching staff in charge.

Actually, coming into year three of his five year deal, Neuheisel’s program has not achieved an equal level of success as his predecessor at this same point in time. Karl Dorrell entered his third year with a top 25 ranking.

Although a week four thrashing at the hands of Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish ended that run and UCLA spiraled back to survival mode.

But, the facts remain and when studied shine a light of suspicion on the long accepted practice of firing one coach and hiring another to solve all that ills a football program. Norm Chow’s offense mustered only 81 total passing yards. This proves that being the Guru of all football means nothing without the players to execute the system. “We’ve got to make the tough decisions and see who’s ready to play. “To think it would be a struggle tonight, we could not have imagined it,” said Neuheisel.

Again, the facts trump Neuheisel’s optimism. The facts are that eight years and two coaches into the rebuilding process UCLA’s football program is still clearing out the parking lot by half time.

Rialto's Fields of Change

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Superintendent Cebrun launches flag football for district students

By Jon Gaede, BVN Community –

Remember your elementary school days from long ago? If you’re old enough, you may recall competing as a member of a softball, flag football, soccer or track team. Dawning a t-shirt bearing the name and colors of the school, you may have boarded a bus, just after lunch, to compete against a rival across town.

Unfortunately, for most school districts, those days are long gone. Do to shrinking budgets and complicated transportation issues, most young people simply miss out on the best natural high a child can experience, the pure joy of athletic competition.

Thanks to the initiative and vision of Superintendent Dr. Harold L. Cebrun Sr., in concert with the Rialto School District, a community based flag football league was launched. With the motto “Youth is our most valuable resource.” supported by School Board President Joseph W. Martinez and several district principals, an 18 team coed flag football league plays in its second year.

To catch some of the action, the 6th, 7th and 8th graders play at Jehue Middle School, while the 4th and 5th graders play at Rialto Middle School. The 9 am to 12 pm Saturday league is coed, free to student athletes and will last until the end of October.

“This opportunity comes from a collaboration between parents and administration” said Dr. Cebrun. “The athletic team activity of flag football promotes pride, sportmanship and unity between each other and in their community.”

The soaring 100 degree heat didn’t seem to phase the kids as they treated every play like their Superbowl. The squads were blended by gender and various levels of talent, as every play reflected a cohesive team effort. Highly motivated principalcoaches Monte Stewart (Hughbanks Elementary) and Leonard Buckner (Morgan Elementary) were so enthusiastic and positive with the kids that even the casual observer becomes a fan. In short, the young players were constantly engaged in listening, thinking and executing on the field.

“There is a physical aspect here for the players, but there is also an incredible leadership development opportunity at work on these fields.” according to School Board President Joe Martinez.

Just like seasoned teachers who know their subjects and their students well, the volunteer principals create life experiences in the outdoor classroom. The young students listen, study the play, imagine in their head and then execute. Pressure, failure, refinement, success and joy. It’s all there, for each player, on every Saturday morning.

From the Superintendent to the parents, coaches and young student athletes, every effort was sincere and every smile genuine. No time for video games or texting, too busy enjoying the warm September day and focused on the pure joy of athletic competition.

After the flag football playoffs in October, the Rialto Elementary Schools Sports Program will shift gears for basketball in the Winter, followed by soccer in the Spring.

Thanks to a local vendor, several thousand gallons of drinking water was donated to the teams.

If you would like to contribute or support the Superintendent’s program, please contact Mr. Robert Goodloe at (951) 323-7505.

Venus Flies Flag for Williams Family at U.S. Open

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By Simon Camber –

(Reuters) - Venus Williams kept the flag flying for American tennis' most famous family at the U.S. Open on Wednesday when she beat Canada's Rebecca Marino 7-6 6-3 in the second round.

Marino gave the third seed a brief scare when she pushed the opening set to a tiebreak but Williams was able to raise her game in the second and wrap up a comfortable victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams, U.S. Open champion in 2000 and 2001, is the highest-ranked American in the women's draw this year after her sister, world number one Serena, withdrew because of a foot injury.

Serena is following her elder sister's efforts at Flushing Meadows from afar but Venus would not reveal the feedback she has been receiving.

"That's between Serena and I," Williams joked to reporters. "But she's always very positive."

The 30-year-old Williams has never gone out before the last 16 in New York but having not played any tournaments in the lead-up because of knee tendinitis, she looked a little rusty.

But after taking the first set on the tiebreak, she slowly found her game in the second set to run out a comfortable winner.

Williams said she was not allowing herself to look any further ahead than her next opponent, Luxembourg's Mandy Minella, a qualifier in her first grand slam event, who upset Bulgarian 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-0.

"I'm really just going match by match," Williams said. "I'm not thinking about dusting off any rust or where I might be.

"I thought I made a quick turnaround this summer to try to get ready (for the U.S. Open). I'm glad that I'm just in the singles as that way I have a chance to recover between rounds.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

 

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