FONTANA, CA – Nineteen members of Fontana Unified School District high school football teams have secured prestigious All California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) division honors, recognizing their outstanding accomplishments in what was a historic football season across the District.
A.B. Miller, Jurupa Hills, Henry J. Kaiser and Summit high schools all produced multiple All CIF-SS players in their respective divisions after all four teams qualified for the CIF-SS postseason.
The dual-CIF championship Jurupa Hills team had 11 members who earned All CIF-SS Division 8 awards. Citos Marinez received honors as the championship coach, senior quarterback Caleb Ruiz earned the Offensive Player of the Year award and junior linebacker Michael Ephraim was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in Division 8.
Jurupa Hills went on a historic playoff run and won both the CIF-SS Division 8 and CIF State Division 4-AA Southern California Regional championships to advance to the CIF Division 4-AA State Championship game before ending the year with a 9-7 record. This led to eight other Spartans earning All CIF-SS Division 8 recognition, including senior running back Damien Ortiz, linebacker Jordan Pernillo, wide receiver Jaylen Ephraim; junior defensive linemen Devin Colen and Arthur Gonzalez, offensive lineman Joseph Murillo, defensive back Durand Johnson and sophomore linebacker Daniel MacCharles.
“These individual awards directly reflect the team’s success. This sets an example for future teams and players – if you want these individual accolades it has to start with the team first,” said Martinez, who praised his team’s mental toughness through its historic postseason. “There are not a lot of schools that can say they made it to a state championship; we put ourselves in rare air in San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire.”
Four Kaiser High players earned All-CIF honors as the Cats advanced to the CIF-SS Division 9 semifinals and ended the season with a 9-4 record. Kaiser utility/defensive back Terrell Holmes Jr., offensive lineman Ryan Guerrero, defensive end Zak Afutiti and running back/linebacker Ki’yel Shyne – all seniors – secured All-CIF recognition this season, which included the Cats winning the San Andreas League title.
Summit High junior Mark Mitchell made the All CIF-SS Division 8 Team as an athlete, along with sophomore quarterback Jesse Vega. The SkyHawks finished runner-up in the Sunkist League and ended the year with a 7-4 overall record.
A.B. Miller senior running back Eric Copeland and senior offensive lineman Vili Paama made the All CIF-SS Division 13 team after the Rebels reached the quarterfinals and finished 7-5 on the year.
“The 2023 football season will never be forgotten in Fontana, and I want to congratulate all 19 of these individuals for being recognized by CIF as some of the best in their sport across Southern California,” Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “Thank you all for representing Fontana Unified and your schools with pride and for the life-long memories you helped create for us all this season.”
FUSD_CIF1: Jurupa Hills High School football produced 11 All California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division 8 honorees when All CIF-SS teams were released on Jan. 29. The Spartans won both the CIF-SS Division 8 and CIF State Division 4-AA Southern California Regional championships to advance to the CIF Division 4-AA State Championship game.
FUSD_CIF2: Four Henry J Kaiser High School football players earned All-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division 9 honors with the release of the All CIF-SS teams were released on Jan. 29. The Cats won the San Andreas League title, compiled a 9-4 record and advanced to the CIF-SS Division 9 semifinals in the fall.