Going away to college is an adjustment for any high school graduate. Three Inland girls will at least have each other when they arrive soon at the University of Arizona to study and play soccer.
Paloma Valley’s Nicole Dallin, Chino Hills’ Alex Day and Roosevelt’s Jenna Studer are all headed to Tucson to play for the Wildcats.
“It’s going to be an adjustment from high school to college but it will be so much better to go there with people I know,” said Dallin, a forward who scored 45 goals her senior year for Paloma Valley. “I played with Alex a while ago and I’m super close to Jenna – she’s like a sister to me. Having her by my side will make getting used to college easier, like having family there.”
That’s something Dallin has missed since her sister Megan graduated from Paloma Valley. Megan now attends Mt. San Jacinto Community College.
“She was my most honest critic,” Dallin said. “She was straight-up super honest with me. We have a good bond.”
Dallin said she hopes to eventually become a lawyer or a public information officer.
The Inland trio are part of the eight players Arizona is bringing in, including six from California. The Wildcats need an infusion of talent after going 12-7-1 last season and losing 4-3 in overtime to Penn State in the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
“Arizona has a really good brand and there are a lot of good players on the West Coast that know Arizona and want to come here and want to be a part of the Pac-12,” Arizona coach Tony Amato told arizonadesertswarm.com last November after signing day.
Day is a midfielder who played for Chino Hills High as a freshman and has most recently played with the Legends DA club team, as has Studer of Roosevelt.
She also feels reassured to have some friends headed for Tucson.
“It will be nice knowing someone already,” Day said. “It would be harder if I was going there and didn’t know anybody.”
Day also has a sister who plays in college – Delaney Day who competes at West Virginia State.
The Arizona recruit hopes to study Criminal Justice with hopes of possibly becoming a forensic pathologist.
Studer, a defender, is the sister of Oregon State standout Sydney Studer who also excelled at Roosevelt High until choosing not to play high school ball (like Jenna) as a senior. Jenna Studer scored 11 goals and had eight assists for the Mustangs as a junior.
Asked what attracted her to Arizona, Studer said, “I took some other visits but there was just something about Arizona. I liked the coaches and the girls.
“Having people I know (Day and Dallin) going there helps, but it would be OK even if I didn’t know someone because soccer is a team sport and we’ll all be like one family anyway.”
Studer was a straight-A student at Roosevelt and hopes to become a neurosurgeon.
Libby retires at Chino, eyes High Desert job
Chino baseball coach Gary Libby retired recently as a teacher and coach at Chino, but Libby still plans to coach, he said.
Libby, 60, has lived in Victorville for 31 years but has oddly never coached in the High Desert. He would now like to either take over a High Desert program or be an assistant.
The resume is impressive, with Libby having played at the defunct Covina Royal Oak High (it merged with Charter Oak) before coaching ninth grade ball at Alder Junior High in Fontana, assisting Steve Hernandez at Fontana High in 1988, then coaching at Bonita and Miller, then Pacific where he served his longest tenure, as well as doing shorter stints at Walnut, Ayala, Hacienda Heights Wilson and Chino. One of those Walnut teams he assisted won a section title.
“Back in his Pacific days we had some great battles,” longtime San Gorgonio coach Bill Eatinger said of Libby. “He always had good teams. One of them went to the CIF semis in the late 90s. Gary is a good coach and an even better man and has enjoyed success wherever he’s been.”
Libby hasn’t been a head coach at all of his stops but he has worked with some impressive coaches; they include Bob Sheehan, Kyle Billingsley, Frank Martinez, Hernandez and Paul Acosta.
“I still enjoy being out there and get nervous before games,” Libby said. “I feel like the best part of the week is having a good practice and helping the kids get better every day. Those things still turn me on.”
Eagles celebration on hold
The Arrowhead Christian Academy basketball team won a section title in 2019-2020 but hasn’t been able to fully enjoy it.
School shut down a week after the Eagles’ title victory due to the coronavirus pandemic. That put ACA’s post-season banquet on hold – though the school has honored the team by putting up a championship banner in the gym, placing a banner outside of the school and ordering championship rings.
“We haven’t been on campus, so that was kind of bad for the kids,” ACA coach Lance Evboumwan said. “They didn’t get that good of a taste of what they earned because of what is going on in the world (pandemic). But some of the seniors were able to come into the gym and see the banner.”
In other ACA news, the Eagles expect to announce a new baseball coach by the end of June and have recently hired two coaches – Brittney Amey (girls basketball) and Joey DeSantis (girls soccer), said Eagles athletic director Russ DeKock.
Plum job at Chino Hills
Chino Hills is advertising for a softball coach. Brandon Gonzalez served as an interim coach in 2020, leading the Huskies to a 9-2 record until the season was halted due to the pandemic.
It’s an attractive job with the Huskies ranking nationally in 2020 and returning many talented players in 2021. Included are slugging infielder Kayla Chavez, as well as infielder Kiki Estrada, outfielder Mykenzie Hanna, catcher Mia Escujuri and pitchers Kendall Mangel and Alexa Rosales.
“If anyone is interested they can apply on edjoin.org,” Chino Hills athletic director Mykeal Terry said. “We are looking to make a hire within the next few weeks.”
Vasquez earns All-America honor
Jesse Vasquez, who graduated last week from Excelsior Charter, picked up another big honor.
The Corona resident was named to the Amateur Wrestling News All-America first team. Vasquez won the 145-pound division last winter at the CIF-State meet, his fourth consecutive state meet title.
Other Californians names to the AWN first team were Poway’s Andre Gonzalez, Selma’s Richard Figueroa and Gilroy’s Chase Saldate.
Fontana seeking basketball coaches
Fontana is advertising its boys and girls basketball jobs.
The Steeler boys have been a powerhouse in the past but won just four games last season, according to MaxPreps.
The Fontana girls have also had their moments over the years but won one game last season.
Both jobs have been open for a while.
John Murphy may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @PrepCat.