Black History Month Feature: Passing The Legacy of Culture

What does Black Culture mean to me? Black Culture is our way of expressing ourselves through unique traditions. Whether it is clothing, dancing, art, or even the way we talk. I believe black culture is what most people strive to hop on or recreate. Black culture is essentially a part of us. We aren’t trying to be someone else or trying to be like others. We allow our creativity to run wild and that creativity turns into what is known as “Black Culture”.

Black culture in America is being different and thinking outside the box, which makes our way of thinking so valuable. We have a different way of portraying how we think and feel so we create art and music. Black Culture inserts a message into what we do to drive a deeper level of thinking, to help people see things a way they usually wouldn’t.

Black Culture isn’t just what we wear, say, or do, to me it’s a mentality. Having that “Black Culture” mentality means to strive for bigger and better. Knowing the people before me didn’t have much to work with and they still succeeded through all the hardship they were faced with, I don’t believe in settling for what’s comfortable for me. Taking the responsibility of the legacy of my culture I keep a mentality of wanting to be better than I was yesterday. I try to live who I am daily, my culture pushes me and helps me strive for my goals I want to achieve.

Black Culture is not just a stereotypical wave we want to push upon people. The culture grows a different kind of belief and thinking, there’s nothing we can’t do. Black Culture is a part of who we are and what we bring to the table, now what do you bring?

IE Preps POWER 10 High School Football Ranking (Week 2)

1. Corona Centennial (3-0) Beat Pittsburgh 35 -7 in their last game. Ranked in the top 10 in most national rankings, this program is built like none other. They without a doubt have the best running back tandem in the state. No game is promised and Coach Logan and his staff prepare the Huskies to play like their hair is on fire every game. Up next is Narbonne

2. Cajon (3-0) The Cowboys beat a really good Murrieta Valley team this Friday in a televised game. Their win was VERY impressive. QB Jayden “The Jedi” Daniels looked like he was playing a video game at times. Linebacker Perkins led a nasty defense and dominated at certain points of the game. Offensively Darren Jones and Daniel Fortune were brilliant. Inland Empire, Head Coach Nick Rogers as something special going on in San Bernardino, enjoy it while it lasts. Next up Oak Hills

3. Upland (2-0)  Upland looks like they have solved their QB issue with 11th grade Evan Rowe, soundly beating Redlands East Valley 35-7. The offense and defense is really starting to look like they are in midseason form.  The Scots face La Mirada next.

4. Norco (2-1)  Coach Chuck Chastain has his Norco Cougars looking good in early season play, crushing Rancho Cucamonga 49-14. Always ready to play anyone, Norco year in year out has one of the most aggressive schedules in southern California. Running back DJ Ford looks to be a man on a mission this season, using his speed, agility, and hard nosed running style. Up next for Norco is Vista Murrieta.

5. Heritage (2-0)  Heritage gave Great Oak “the smoke” in a 33-0 win. Hats on to Coach Broach for being willing to play the top teams wherever they are. Next up for Heritage is Redlands East Valley.

6. Rancho Verde (3-0) The Mustangs took Bonita Vista “behind the shed” in a  63-6 route. In the first 3 games of the season Rancho Verde has scored 168 total points, YIKES! Coach Duffy’s return is looking epic. Next up for Rancho Verde is Ribet Academy.

7. Vista Murrieta (1-1) The Broncos took a lopsided loss to Orange Lutheran 42-17. Up next for Vista Murrieta is Norco.

8. Alta Loma (3-0) Don’t look now, but Alta Loma is undefeated and beat a good Los Osos team 31-28 this week. A new vibe and locked in players are creating change for the Braves. Up next for Alta Loma is Hesperia.

9. Colony (3-0)  Coach Randall is quietly getting the Titans ready for a run, this week defeating Citrus Valley 36-26. Up next for Colony is La Serna.

10. Chaparral (3-0) The Pumas beat Redlands 17-7 this week. This may be the year Chaparral makes a major run at their league title. Up next for the Pumas is Yucaipa.

TEAMS TO WATCH: Ayala, Citrus Hill, Etiwanda, Murrieta Valley, Oak Hills, Paloma Valley, San Gorgonio, Temecula Valley & Yucaipa

J.P. Andrade of Bonita

JP Andrade

This young man may be the best kept secret in Inland Empire high school football. His name is J.P. Andrade of Bonita High School.
We like to say the J. P. stand for “Just Perform”! Andrade was #5 in the country in completions last season and is only getting better. With a new coach and defensive coordinator this season, Mr. J.P. is sure to lead the Bearcats to the playoffs this season!

IE Preps Magazine High School Football Pre-Season POWER 10 Ranking

Power 10 Pre Season Mark Perry

1. Corona Centennial – This season begins with a few questions in the roster, with dynamic players like QB Tanner Mckee graduating. There is no question about Head Coach Matt Logan. Logan once again finds a way to continue his dominance and carry the torch for the Inland Empire.

2. Cajon – The Cowboys were CIF section and state champs last season and did it in grand fashion. All everything defensive end Jeremiah Martin is gone, but the young “JEDI” QB Jayden Daniels is back for his final campaign. The Cowboys are loaded with talent, versatile linebacker Johnathan Perkins and wide receiver Darren Jones lead the way. Head Coach Nick Rogers may have his fair share of job offers after this season.

3. Upland – Upland QB David Baldwin’s departure is huge, but we are talking Upland here! With a team full of mostly juniors, Upland almost got it done last season. With seniors Simon Samarzich, Taj Davis, and Cam Davis the Scots will be ready to bring a ring to Coach Salter this year. There is also this junior on the team named Justin Flowe called “BABY MAN” who may be the best player in the country.

4. Norco Coach Chuck Chastain keeps the Norco Cougars competitive every season. If it were not for being in the same league as Centennial, Norco may have several league titles this decade. Never a team team that backs down from a battle, Norco’s schedule continues to have one of the most challenging schedules in southern California.

5. Rancho Verde – The Mustangs brought home a CIF title last season under Coach Jeff Steinberg, soon after Coach Steinberg surprised everyone and moved on to coach Beaumont High School.  Then the unthinkable happened former Head Coach Pete Duffy returned to be the new Head Coach. What Coach Duffy can flat out do is coach, and he has a bevy of talented players in the fold such as Jaxen Turner, Jamar Simpson, and transfer Ty McCullouch. The “CHO” Boys are back!

6. Vista Murrieta – The Broncos have their 3rd head coach in recent years in new Head Coach Eric Peterson. Coach Peterson served as an assistant coach on the staff with Candeale and knows the high Vista Murrieta football expectations. The natives are getting restless and want to see the Broncos back at the top in league and in the post season. The good news is, Vista Murrieta always has talent. Look for a big push this season.

7. Murrieta Valley – Top national QB recruit Hank Bachmeier starts his grand finale at Murrieta Valley. The offensive numbers that the Nighthawks have put up with Bachmeier under center have been record breaking! The air assault will continue this season.

8. Rancho Cucamonga – No school was hit harder in the off season more than Rancho Cucamonga. Long time Head Coach Nick Biaz stepped down and potential 5 star juniors Jeremiah Criddell and Sean Dollars both took their talents to Mater Dei High School. New Head Coach Mark Verti takes over this year, there will not be much transition because he served as offensive coordinator the past 3 years. On the field defensive back Mark Perry will carry on the tradition of “DBU”. Look for speedy Silas Bolden to play all over the field, he is a touchdown waiting to happen.

9. Redlands East Valley – The Bruich era is over at REV, it sounds strange just saying it. A new coach will be on the sidelines for the Wildcats this year, it will be Coach Richard Lunsford formerly of Arlington High School. All eyes will be on REV this season to see if the school’s rich football tradition will continue to carry on.

10. Citrus Valley – CIF State champion Head Coach Kurt Bruich brings his magic to Citrus Valley taking over for Coach Smolin. The city of Redlands awaits, to see if Bruich can do it again with the Blackhawks.

TEAMS TO WATCH: Aquinas, Chino Hills, Citrus Hill, Los Osos, & Yucaipa

Follow The Leader

Jake Turner is simply put, a leader. ASB President at Damien, Football Captain, and he soon will be enrolling into West Point in the Fall. The Sky is the limit for this transformative scholar athlete.

      As most high school students in the Inland Empire can relate, being a student athlete today is never easy. Juggling school, sports, family, friends, and other extracurriculars can be a very overbearing experience at times, but it’s all how you prioritize and approach each agenda.

    My experience at Damien High School has certainly been challenging, but rewarding nonetheless. Going into high school, I already knew I wanted to apply myself to some type of leadership role; it just took some time for me to figure out how. When I heard the morning announcement for elections for class office my freshman year, I knew that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Since then, I have been voted in as Class Vice President for my freshman and sophomore years, Class President for my junior year, and ASB President for my senior year.

    This final year especially, my schedule has been packed. A day in my life includes 4 AP classes, one IB class, recording the school-wide daily announcements, meetings during lunch, planning events after school with ASB, and 2-3 hour long sport practices every single day between Football and Track. Plus extracurricular events like my participation in Congresswoman Norma Torres’ Youth Advisory Committee. As a member of ASB, you are held to a higher standard among faculty, parents, members of the school community, and even the student population. The responsibilities you take on are high and expectations of you are even higher.

     My duties as ASB President are truly a widely-ranged spectrum. I often act as a middle man between the students and the faculty, engaging in the ideas of both. I communicate to the faculty whatever the students want to see get done, and vice versa. Day-to-day, I help coordinate and undertake the morning prayer and announcements and unexpected tasks as they arise.

    Working with the faculty, I help plan events across campus, such as pizza sales, fundraisers, rallies, etc. Something new happens every single day, but whatever it is that I am doing, I take pride in what I do. As a result, my duties never feel like a chore or assignment, but as something fun or enjoyable in my life.

     Being a representative of the student body has allowed me to make close relationships with all types of people at Damien, not just athletes. Over the years I have come to make strong connections with different classes, grade levels, clubs, sports, members of the faculty, and many more. The leadership roles I have taken on in the classroom and on campus also ultimately helped me transition into being a leader on the field, as I was elected Co-Captain of my Varsity Football Team, and received other athletic accolades such as one of the Baseline League’s Outstanding Scholar/Athletes. These parts of my life are closely connected–one often stemming off the other. I believe my leadership in high school helped me recently receive an offer of admission to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point.

     With so much going on, you often feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Some might assume you’d buckle under the pressure of it all. Yes, I’ll admit it can be a lot of work, but as I look back at the experiences I have had and the memories I have made, it has been totally worth it. Being a student athlete and ASB president has prepared me for life itself, learning many lessons along the way.


Jake Turner

Damien High School

Class of 2018

Remembering Tyler Hilinski

By J.R. Rucker


When I first met Tyler Hilinski, he was in the 11th grade at Upland High School. We met in Chino Hills for a team photoshoot and the first thing that I noticed about him was that he called me “Bud”. Not in a disrespectful way, but a cool almost NFL QB way. I would give him suggestions for picture ideas and would just say, “cool whatever you need “Bud”. Over time I almost felt like he was the 40 year old and I was the teenager, due to his maturity and poise.

Tyler Hilinski was and is a special young man. He was not the cocky, “me first” guy that sometimes comes with being a prominent student athlete. Hilinski was just really … cool. The kind of cool where you knew he was the guy you wanted under center if the game was on the line. Tyler was also the guy that you wanted your son to hang out with and your daughter to date.

During a break in our first photoshoot I had a chance to speak with Tyler’s Father, Mr. Hilinski. Like his son, Mr. Hilinski was really easy going and not the super intense sports Dad that we often see with star high school athletes. I could see where Tyler got his easy flow style from. On our 2nd photoshoot the plan was to have Ford of Upland bring a green Ford Mustang for the team to pose with. They were the #1 preseason team and we wanted the picture to make a big splash. I remember it being a really hot day and Tyler’s teammates began to get restless as we waited 30 minutes for the car to arrive. Tyler began to make conversation with everyone and started to throw the football around making the mood light and easy. Tyler was a leader without going out of his way to be one

I choose to remember Tyler as that gracious young man that was so easy to work with. Tyler shares the same birthday as my daughter, who is now two years old. One day I am going to tell her about an awesome young man that she shares her birthday with.

IE Preps Magazine asks that you support Hilinksi’s Hope Foundation and keep his family and loved ones in your prayers. Tyler we will see you soon and we miss you. – “BUD”