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CHS baseball team needs work; complete roundup

It was a dark and stormy night. How dark, you ask? Too dark to play baseball, apparently, as the home plate umpire cut short a seventh inning Wolfpack rally, sealing the boys 8-2 loss to Kaiser on Tuesday in Fontana.

How stormy was it? Too stormy to play a home game Monday because the field was just too soaked from the rain. Claremont instead traveled to Arcadia where they unfortunately lost, 7-2.

Claremont did win its first game of the season, 10-8, last Saturday against West Covina. Senior Michael Navarro hit a double with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, driving in the winning runs. That game, too, was called for darkness, this time favoring the Pack. Ah, the joys of early season baseball.

Perhaps the biggest early season news for the Wolfpack is the all-new coaching staff, led by CHS alumnus Charlie Reynoso.

Coach Reynoso, who started in early October, replaces Ron La Chase who resigned last year after a somewhat lackluster four-year tenure. Rebuilding the team from the ground up is the first priority for the new coaching staff.

“I graduated from Claremont and we want to right the ship. We really want to turn this into a winning program. Claremont has had 22 coaches in 30 years we want to buckle down and make this thing happen,” Coach Reynoso said.

First assistant coach Vic Espinosa helps with offensive strategy, calling signs and coaching third base. Jeff Williams, who was key in getting Coach Reynoso interested in the job, will work with the outfielders.

First base coach Kyle Jackson, the son of former CHS head coach Steve Jackson, will be working with infielders. Finally, Coach Reynoso’s son, Jonny Reynoso, will be the alternate first base coach and will work with the hitters.

Coach Reynoso played baseball at CHS, Citrus and Mt. Sac, before switching to coaching earlier in his career. He was the pitching coach for the Claremont American Legion team, which won the state championship in 1988. He was the coach of a Red American Legion team that won the state championship in 2004. In 2012, he coached a Connie Mack team that took a state championship.

He coached at Don Lugo from 2002 to 2012 and runs a summer program at Cal Poly Pomona. Coach Reynoso is an Upland resident, is married with three boys and owns a door and lock business.

When asked about leading his alma mater after so many years, he was quite candid.

“Jeff Williams called me and said, ‘Hey, we have to take the team and help Claremont move forward.’ I thought about it and it was like a calling, and I came back,” he said.

Claremont has work to do to right the ship. On Tuesday against Kaiser, the boys hit very well with seven hits to the Cats’ 11. However, Kaiser did a superior job of making the hits count, as reflected in the final score. What really held Claremont back were the errors, five of them, particularly when the Pack really needed an out.

“We have freshman at third, short and second, probably the youngest team in the area. So we are going to make errors, it’s going to be a potential problem throughout the year. They are getting smarter every game and we will just see how long it takes. Hopefully less and less as the year goes on,” Coach Reynoso said.

The game plan is something he calls “baseball IQ class.”

“The strategy is hard work and learning the finer points, the fundamentals, mechanics and the mental aspects of baseball. It’s kind of like playing chess, but in this case it’s baseball,” he said.

During the next several weeks Claremont will be in two tournaments, weather permitting: the Inland Valley and Chino Varsity. The games will be a good opportunity for the division four Wolfpack, as they will be playing strong division two teams.

“In our league we have three teams that are in division two, so we felt it was important even at the price of losing to play up. I think you learn faster when you lose,” Coach Reynoso said

At six feet, five inches, 220 pounds, junior Eric Rohrer will be the top pitcher. Sophomore Jacob Klinovsky is the designated hitter and will bat third. He will also do some catching. “He is hitting the ball extremely well,” Coach Reynoso said.

Claremont, 1-2, was scheduled to play Thursday, but got rained out. The boys also have a game on Saturday, if the weather cooperates. Palomares League opens on March 1 with a home game against Alta Loma.

 

Wolfpack CIF hopes dashed after losses by basketball, waterpolo

Any hope that a winter sports team would claim a CIF title were dashed over the weekend as all remaining contenders lost matches.

On Friday boys basketball traveled to Highland for a first round game but lost, 69-55. The Pack quickly fell behind by 10 points after one quarter and even with a big third quarter they could never catch up.

In his last game for Claremont senior Matthew Dirckx had a big night with 24 points and seven rebounds. Junior Jacob Lopez and sophomore Sebastian DePrez each had eight points.

Claremont ends the season with a 12-17 overall record, 6-4 in Palomares League.

Girls basketball won in the first round of the CIF tournament last Thursday, but lost in the second on Saturday.

On Thursday the Wolfpack was on the road and ran over San Gabriel, 52-26. Senior Gabi Watkins had an outstanding night with 20 points and nine rebounds. Senior Ella Nolte had 10 points while senior Kaela Reisch had nine.

The girls were still traveling on Saturday for the second round a disappointing, 41-32 loss to Whittier Christian. Junior Jessica Andrada was the top scorer with 12 points followed by Watkins with 9 points.

The girls final record is 17-11 overall and 4-6 in league.

The Palomares League champion girls water polo team could not hold off a powerful Mira Costa team on Saturday losing in the second round of the CIF tournament 13-6 in Manhattan Beach. No individual stats were available for the game.

Still Claremont had a stellar season with a perfect 10-0 league record and 23-5 overall.

 

CHS sends seven boys, one girl to CIF wrestling championships

Eight Claremont High School wrestlers placed in the top four spots during the Palomares League Finals earlier in the month, which qualified them for the CIF Individual Championships held at Ayala High School last weekend.

Freshman Isaac Navarrette, took fourth at 106 pounds; freshman Sebastian Gomez took fourth at 120 pounds; junior Brandon Fairman took fourth at 138 pounds; senior Jonathan Raviv second at 170 pounds; sophomore Ignacio Blanco third at 182 pounds; sophomore Juan Baltazar fourth at 195; sophomore Eddie Flores third at 220; junior Christopher Lopez third at 285 pounds. 

Only seven were actually able to compete at CIF because Baltazar was injured. No Pack wrestlers qualified for this weekend’s Masters Championship meet.

Raviv and Fairman both placed eighth which will allow Fairman, who is returning next year, a higher seeding for tournaments.

Six Claremont girls competed at the CIF Regional qualifier this past weekend at San Dimas High. Junior Desiree Sanchez at 106; sophomore Xcaret Torres at 113; freshman Angyalyk Kantor at 137; freshman Ella Misawa at 143; junior Mia Reyes at 170 senior Chloe Garcia at 235.

Garcia will be the only one to compete at the girls CIF Individual Championships at Roosevelt high in Eastvale this Friday and Saturday after placing third in the qualifying event. “Desire and determination enabled Chloe to wrestle through the Regionals nursing an arm injury,” Coach Gerald Escalate said.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com