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Simon Samarzich is character. It is said that character is who you are when no one is looking. Your character is made of the decisions you make in your private life, that are the culmination of your beliefs, dreams, and moral compass. To understand Simon Samarzich you would have to first understand his family. Simon is a lifelong Upland Highlander, something that has been a part of his life since he could walk. The decision to move to Upland years ago was largely due to his Father, Dave Samarzich’s, commitment and belief in the Salter family coaching legacy. You see, character does not just happen, it has to be taught and modeled. Simon has not only witnessed his father and mother’s dedication to supporting the Upland Football Program and city, he has also witnessed it in his older brother Christian. Spending countless days in elementary as a “ball boy” for the Upland High Football Program watching older brother Christian practice, win, and graciously lose taught Simon how to do things the “right way”.
Simon works as hard as any high school student athlete that I have ever witnessed. He is now (in our opinion) the best long snapper in the nation as well as a top area tight end prospect. Football practice, football camps, and constant training are the agenda items that make up Simon’s life. When he is not excelling on the field he is dominating in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA average and just for good measure he plays basketball for his high school as well. Quite simply put, Simon never quits. Watching Simon maneuver from being one of the top academic students at Upland High School, to transitioning to being a multi sport athlete who is one of the top class of 2019 prospects in the nation, is a sight to see. Simon is the type of student athlete that can put the world on his back and make it look easy.
Watching how Simon carries himself and the impact he has on his team to keep a positive attitude and care about his teammates builds unity and chemistry that is so often overlooked in team success. The Upland Football team went undefeated in the Baseline League this season and made a push in the CIF playoffs. With a talented group of juniors Upland made a huge statement for next season. Simon Samarzich was a BIG part of the success you saw in Upland this season. He is the type of young man that doesn’t come with excuses, he is about execution.
IE Preps Magazine
1. Corona Centennial (1-1) We got the super matchup that we were looking forward to in Centennial versus IMG. Centennial lost 40-20 in a game that saw players step up with their leader down. Tanner McKee’s injury could cost the Huskies more than a loss if it is anything long-term.
2. Rancho Cucamonga (2-0) The Cougars take over the #2 slot with a big win versus Norco 28-21. Biaz has a dangerous team that is full of specialty players like Super Sophomore Silas Bolden and Jeremiah Criddell. Quarterback Nick Acosta is coming into his own as a QB.
3. Upland (2-0) Upland QB David Baldwin’s Twitter handle is “The Franchise”, he played like it this week throwing 6 touchdowns in a 62-3 win over Claremont.
4. Norco (0-2) We can’t drop Norco too far, an ambitious schedule makes their record so far deceiving. They played tough versus Rancho Cucamonga this week in loss 28-21.
5. Cajon (1-0) Defensive end Jeremiah Martin is looking like an early Defensive Player of the Year Candidate. Cajon had a bye week.
6. Heritage (2-0) – In one word, Heritage is “Savage”, they play everyone and win 95% of the time. This week they bear Oak Hills 20-10.
7. Vista Murrieta (0-2) The Broncos faced a nasty Mission Viejo team this week losing 41-7. Another team in the ranking with a major league schedule, we can’t penalize that… right?
8. Citrus Hill (2-0) This team has already impressed us, beating a solid Santiago team 28-10.
9. Murrieta Valley (1-1) This week the Nighthawks bounce backwith an attitude winning big over Redlands 49-13. Spiker is the best wide receiver in the IE, scoring 6 touchdowns.
10. Murrieta Mesa (2-0) Quietly this team is positioning themselves to make a run. They beat Corona 42-7 in a route.
11. Paloma Valley (1-1) QB Chance Nolan was in classic form in a 35-30 win over Valley View.
12. Redlands East Valley (1-0) Win in a 59-55 shoot out versus Etiwanda.
13. Roosevelt (1-0) The Mustangs open up the season, by opening up a can of … on Eisenhower 44-3.
14. Etiwanda (1-1) This team is better than we thought, and Geordon Porter is better than you could ever imagine! The “Tesla” had 4 touchdowns, 7 catches with 260 receiving yards and 371 total yards in a
15. Aquinas (2-0) Branden Rankins becomes the all-time Aquinas rushing record holder and the Falcons beat Crespi 41-21.
16. Rancho Verde (2-0) Coach Steinberg has a good team and they proved it versus Carter winning 42-16. Their big time transfer will make a big difference this season.
17. Apple Valley (2-0) This program is legit, and they won big 60-7 over Granite Hills.
18. Oak Hills (1-1) The Bulldogs lose 20-10 to a strong Heritage team.
19. Damien (2-0) The Spartans win a slugfest versus Glendora 14-7.
20. Los Osos (2-0) The Grizzlies look good under new Head Coach Pierce, beating Northwood 45-7.
TEAMS TO WATCH: Chino Hills, Citrus Valley, Don Lugo, Pacific, Yucaipa
1. Corona Centennial – You have to respect success, and you have to really respect sustained success. It’s a new season, but its the same old Matt Logan. The Huskies may have their best quarterback ever in the super talented Tanner McKee.
2. Upland – Coach Salter has a talented crew of underclassmen who may be a year away, which makes us think this might actually be their year! Baldwin, Flowe, Samarzich, and Jones have us seeing “green this season”.
3. Norco – We happens when you play a really aggressive pre-season schedule, is you either get better or get beat down. Norco has gotten better and seems to love playing the best schools and this says alot about their mentality. Alabama commit Jarrett Bell leads a nasty bunch of bruisers for Coach Chastain this season.
4. Rancho Cucamonga – What you need to know about this team is that they may have the best running back tandem in the IE and potentially school history with Dollars & Alexander. The defense, as always, is talented with tons of hungry secondary players. Jeremiah Criddell may be the best player in the class of 2019.
5. Murrieta Valley – Junior QB Hank Bachmeier is a touchdown passing machine. This season he still has Mr. Spiker to throw to and possibly break state records in receiving. Look for more of the same from the Nighthawks, high scoring and fast paced. If the defense shows up big, look out.
6. Vista Murrieta – Since IE Preps Magazine has covered high school football Vista Murrieta has never been lower than #3 in our pre-season rankings. The Broncos has an adjustment year losing Candale and having a new man in Coach Olson. We believe this year Vista Murrieta bounces back, the game versus Murrieta Valley this season will never mean more.
7. Cajon – Guess what Inland Empire? Cajon is good, and we must say LOADED. Coach Rogers has a bevy of talented players suiting up this season for the Cowboys. QB Jayden Daniels, is a real problem for opposing defenses and defensive end Jeremiah Martin looks like he belongs in the SEC right now! Remember these other 3 names for Cajon as well: Jones, Perkins, and Fortune.
8. Redlands East Valley – It’s still in REV we trust, but finding a quarterback to run the machine is not always easy. Not to mention losing perhaps the defensive player in the nation in Jaelan Phillips, the Wildcats will look for new leaders.
9. Heritage – You already know the Patriots are one of the best football programs in the IE every season. This year is more of the same, the only question is will they continue to hold off Paloma Valley?
10. Citrus Hill – Zomalt’s teams always seem to be in the thick of things at the end of the season. We have no doubt that this season will be
11. Aquinas – Please don’t label this team small time. Aquinas is a super talented team and good have the IE’s most underrated player in Branden Rankins.
12. Paloma Valley – The new coach at Paloma Valley is blessed with veteran QB Chance Nolan and defensive studs Mills and Bradshaw. If they could only find a way to be Heritage.
13. Roosevelt – Coach Leach has his Mustangs ready to make a run this season. All World Chase Williams should make plays all season, while QB Jeremy Moussa will be ready to spread the ball all over the field.
14. Chino Hills – This is a young Huskies team, but don’t be fooled by their youth. Coach Stevens has his guys fired up to make some noise in the Baseline
15. Yucaipa – This has to be one of the most physical teams in the IE. Add some speed to that hard hitting and you have a heck of a team. Coach Price is one of the IE’s most underrated coaches. He will have the fastest man in Asani Hampton.
16. Don Lugo – Bethley might be the best running back in the IE, and offensive lineman Randazzo is a dancing bear who can maul anyone he faces.
17. Rancho Verde – The Mustangs always have talent. Coach Steinberg always gets the most out of his teams on and off the field.
18. Redlands – The Terriers are back! We have Redlands shaking up things this season in their league. The city of Redlands has been warned.
19. Oak Hills – A new coach, who is the old coach.. is back. The Bulldogs will be fine this season even with a coaching change. Look out for offensive lineman Jason Rodriguez.
20. Corona – Coach Gueringer fresh off a CIF title moves over to Corona. Look for highly rated wide out Manuel Allen to put up big numbers at his new school.
TEAMS TO WATCH: Citrus Valley, Colony, Etiwanda, Great Oak, Pacific
By J.R. Rucker
Our 2nd annual IE Preps Magazine Media Day was held on June 10th, 2017 in Riverside California. Coaches and players throughout the Inland Empire came out to be photographed, interviewed, and filmed. It was a great day of fun and film as we got a chance to get to know the athletes and their parents better.
Special thanks to the following schools and programs:
Los Osos Basketball
McGwire Bustamante of Great Oak
Diamond Ranch Football
Ashlyn Blotzer of Santiago
Redlands East Valley Cheer
Jason Rodriguez of Oak Hills
Coach Guerringer of Corona Football
San Gorgonio Football
Don Lugo Football
Arroyo Valley Football
Troy Temmink, of Summit High School in Fontana, looks more like a surfer than a quarterback. While most quarterbacks go overboard trying to by loud and aggressive, Troy is calm and confident. This smooth 6 foot signal caller, took over as starting quarterback for the SkyHawks in 2016, his junior year. “After our first scrimmage last year, I knew that I would be fine handling the responsibilities of being starting quarterback” said Troy about being nervous. While scouts came in droves to see Summit’s highly ranked USC bound Stephen Carr last season, Troy watched and listened. “Troy kept quite last season and watched Stephen be a leader through action” said John Temmink Troy’s Dad.
Entering his senior season, Troy Temmink is bigger and stronger. He has used this off-season to prepare for a senior campaign that will undoubtedly see him throw the football more. “Last season the key was to get the ball to Carr and not get hurt” said Troy. This season, the SkyHawks have plans to let Temmink let it fly. “Although we wil miss our seniors and the greatness of Stephen Carr, we still have talent. We have looked good in our passing league games” says Troy.
Temmink is definitely ready to lead his team this year, already proving his toughness through a playoff run last season. Troy will stay in the pocket and make the read in a collapsing pocket if need be. “Troy is a true pocket passer, but he can also really run, he is quick” says Troy’s Father. A accurate arm and quick feet with both be needed this season as Summit heads into a 2017 season that will have opponents eager to see Summit without Stephen Carr.
Troy’s leadership preparation is not only on the field. Temmink plays a big part on campus leading bible study and with other students. “I want to make a difference and I’m really happy to be at Summit High School playing for Coach Matheny” states Troy. As off-season work continues, “Mr. Smooth” Troy Temmink is ready to take the lead and has proved that he is never to proud to listen and follow.
Darren is a senior at Rancho Cucamonga who has graduated a whole year early. With an outstanding GPA and his athletic talent Darren will be continuing his education at San Diego State University. What has really set Darren apart is his leadership and involvement in the community. Being a key participant in #ttgog an athletic ministry, Darren Hall is a great role model and a credit to his school.