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Jags Football wins their opener!
Photos from Ontario v. Garey posted in the Galleries
Ontario High School School Info
Members of the Board of Trustees taking the challenge, 8/25/2014
JAGS OPEN THURSDAY AGAINST A FAMILIAR OPPONENT
ONTARIO, CA; (08/26/2014): While most of us were off during the summer enjoying our vacations, Jaguars football was working under the scorching sun, preparing for what should be one of their better football seasons. As the San Bernardino Sun newspaper accurately reported, the Jaguars are being led by their third head coach in just two years. That would challenge some teams, but it's clear the Jaguars are up to the challenge, in part, because of who their new head coach is.
Veteran coach John Kusleika was selected to lead the team in the late Spring. Speaking with WeRtheO.com back then, he said, "We're going to be stronger... we're going to understand what our jobs are and we're going to have fun." If the Jaguars performance in last week's scrimmage versus Ontario Christian is any indication, he has lived up to his April 2014 comments. Ontario looked strong in their first outing last week. The offensive and defensive lines are considerably bigger and stronger than in recent years. The last time this line had this type of size was back when the likes of Justin Randall, Moses Huerta and Chris Ortega were up front clearing traffic back in 2009. That was the year Ontario opened 3-1, and brought home the Cat Bowl trophy.
Returning O-Linemen 6'3" 245# Joshua Manzano and 6'2" 255# Casey Zendejas hold down the left side vs. OCHS
Coach Kusleika, along with his new staff (Ryan Alvarez, Brian Martinez, Mark Cecerez, Joe Rivas and Phil Lugo), are committed to not only building a team, but instead, are intent on building a football program. And, why not? The staff knows that this season is a critical turnaround year. Ontario's new stadium is on the horizon and the anticipation, excitement and school spirit is at an all-time high. The Jaguars have a number of key returners who are expected to lead the Jags in this turnaround season.
The Jaguars know that this week's opening contest against the Garey Vikings is a key game. A victory is important, but not the most important outcome of the game. A good, positive showing by the Jags, showing unity, excitement and hunger is a precursor to a good season. Garey is no longer a league opponent as they are now a part of the newly revamped Miramonte League, (Garey, Pomona, La Puente, Bassett and Ganesha), but that doesn't mean they won't be looking for a little payback after last year's 0-10 season, losing to the Jaguars, 15-28.
The game will be played on the Jaguars current home field at Montclair High School on Thursday night at 7:00pm.
JAGS PREPARE TO RETURN TO AN IMPROVED CAMPUS
ONTARIO, CA; (07/30/2014): All week long, Jaguars new and returners have been scurrying across campus in anticipation of the 2014-2015 school year. School starts in less than one week on Wednesday, August 6th and this year students will be treated to a variety of campus improvements thanks to the local community. Voters in November 2012 authorized a Proposition 39 Bond, (known as 'Measure P), which grants to the Chaffey District 848 million dollars in bond funds for the purpose of improving our campuses.
Ontario High School's new 32-classroom facility, which is easily seen from Palmetto Avenue will be ready for use by the end of the calendar year. This is more than a facelift as portable units, some of which have been on the campus for decades will be gone, having been replaced by the state of the art modern classroom building. In addition, groundbreaking on the Jaguars Athletics Stadium and Complex will have in November. Forty-seven years after Ontario's first Athletic Director suggested that a stadium was not needed, voters decided otherwise. Measure P funds will be used to build the new complex. The Jaguars Complex will feature CIF-rated soccer and football fields and an ultra modern track complex. This means that Ontario High School will be able to host CIF events and the Ontario Relays Track Meet will finally come home. The stadium will be located along the East side of the campus where the varsity baseball field are area used for soccer games is currently located. The baseball and softball fields will be relocated to where the current football field and track are located.
By the Spring of 2015, construction will begin on Ontario's new Aquatics Complex also thanks to the voters. Ontario's two pools will be replaced by a larger single pool, which will be used for swimming and water polo events. Furthermore, the pool will be outfitted for diving, although no diving boards are being considered at this time.
The Quad has been completely remodeled and will be ready for amphitheater-style events once school begins. New shade structures will occupy the Quad and soon the student parking lot will be covered by solar panels.
There is also new staff ready to welcome students, including new Principal Eduardo Zaldivar, Assistant Principal Charlene Saenz, teacher and Head Football Coach John Kusleika and new Aquatics Head Coach Howard Hyde.
SPRING DANCE CONCERTS: EXCELLENCE IN ARTISTRY
ONTARIO, CA; (04/26/2014): This week's Spring Dance Shows were a resounding success... what follows is the review by professional music critic Milt Wilson, (many thanks to Mr. Wilson for granting permission to WeRtheO.com to repost his article):
Dance Director Purwin and 156 OHS Students Wow Audience as Beatles Are Honored in Fantastic Program
by Milt Wilson, Music Critic for the Claremont Plaza Coffee Gathering Gazette
This reviewer normally does not waste his time in attending amateur productions, particularly those involving teenage high school students. These performances are, well, you know, often very amateurish, and we all know those teens have a problem, don’t we? The only problems that the Ontario High School Dance Company group would seen to have are (1) not knowing the meaning of “amateur,” (2) not being yet well enough known that a large paid audience would partially reimburse them for their time spent learning 24 complex routines, and (3) their recent performance was not on the stage of one of the five principal musical theater venues in downtime Los Angeles, where this Gazette reviewer would have been joined by his colleagues from The L.A. Times and a few national magazines.
Putting on an entertaining, yet meaningful, musical show involving dance is definitely not for amateurs. The school’s Dance Director Rhonda Purwin is obviously a professional, and one that knows more than the theory and teaching of dance, as she vividly demonstrated by joining one of the groups in a “Show Me How To Burlesque” number just before the intermission. Most Broadway or London West End musicals have at most seven choreographed scenes. In electing to serve us up 24, Mrs. Purwin not only had to face up with developing and then teaching the routines to students as young at 15, with few having had any musical education at all, but to hold the audience’s attention through a wide variety of styles over the course of those 24 tunes. And to write the script holding the whole evening together. Train two young boys how to best use the MC portions of that script to keep the scenes moving from one to the next. And to select talent to operate wonderfully appropriate and inspiring lighting effects from start to finish. And to select specific CDs (sorry, no 30-piece union orchestra to rehearse!) for use for her choreography and that of her guest choreographers. And to often remind that huge cast to keep smiling no matter how far you were run down and a bit achey from all those rehearsals.
The show was entitled “10 Minutes That Changed The World.” This refers to the time allocation that the Beatles were given in the debut of their music and style on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago now. How less than a quarter of an hour not only changed the length of men’s hair, but influenced clothing styles, how celebrities are to be treated and worshipped, and, without much exaggeration, how life was to be lived. I have not settled the argument with myself whether this title and theme chosen by the Dance Director complicated or simplified the CD choice, but it sure made assuring variety a problem. Using some non-Beatle performances helped, as did slipping in a few other “iconic” artists right up to last month’s Chart Toppers. The choice and blend were ideal and I would suggest that some neighboring school district just might learn a lot by next year working around a new theme of “120 Minutes That Changed The Way That Once-Amateurish High School s Put On Dance Company Shows.”
I sincerely wish that I could say “Hey, don’t miss this outstanding show.” Say, “Hey, don’t forget to go back stage and thank Mrs. Rhonda Purwin for devotion far beyond the call of duty.” But, shucks, friends, the show closed on April 25th. I will try to give you a pre-view next year, not just a re-view!
PADILLA SETS RECORD-BREAKING SWIM
ONTARIO, CA; (03/15/2014): Senior Varsity Swimmer and two-time CIF Qualifier Jeremey Padilla broke Ontario High School's long-standing Men's 100yd Butterfly record at the 2014 Jag Swim Invite. Padilla swam his race just over eight tenths of one second ahead of the previously held record. His record-breaking 0:54.12 time was a credit to his extensive training and strength, both of which have continued to increase since he was a freshman.
After his swim, Jaguars' teammates were quick to embrace him and offer words of congratulations. "I can't believe I did it. This is awesome," Padilla exclaimed after verifying his time.
EDUARDO ZALDIVAR APPOINTED PRINCIPAL 2014-2015
ONTARIO, CA; (03/11/2014): The Chaffey Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees confirmed the appointment of Montclair Assistant Principal of Instruction and Guidance Eduardo Zaldivar as the new Principal of Ontario High School effective with the 2014-2015 school year. Zaldivar, 38, a graduate of UC San Diego with double majors in History and Political Science, was a member of the first graduating class of Rancho Cucamonga High School in 1994, which is in the Chaffey District. In a March 7, 2014 E-mail to the Ontario staff, District Superintendent Mat Holton said, “You will find him to be accessible, ease to speak with and a willing listener,” and as one who “will be a strong force to help OHS continue to be an exceptional high school.”
Zaldivar is a native of Mexico who came to the United States as a young child, where through the years he has developed a heart for education. “I am very student-centered. This is the reason for my existence, to see our students achieve success and fulfill their potential.” His reputation of being a thoughtful, collaborate and passionate leader was evidenced through his past positions, which include principal of a Las Vegas middle school, and at the high school level as a social science teacher, coach, student activities director, career advisor, and dean of discipline.
WeRtheO.com was given an exclusive interview with Zaldivar who was engaging and elated to be joining the Ontario Jaguar family, “I’m beyond thrilled. I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be walking into a school like Ontario. Mr. Willborn has done a phenomenal job and he is leaving some very large shoes to fill.” He considers his strengths to be his ability to work and connect with his students. “It’s all about getting to know them and being genuine. They are here for a reason and I want to help them find that reason.” Throughout the interview, his passion and genuine interest was evident.
Mr. Zaldivar is married to his wife Melissa and together they have four children ages 2 to 7.
ONTARIO SCORES BIG WITH NEW HEAD COACH, JOHN KUSLEIKA
ONTARIO, CA; (02/04/2014): The Chaffey Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees confirmed long-time coach John Kusleika as the Ontario High School's newest football head coach. Kusleika, 45, succeeds OHS Athletic Director Ryan Alvarez who took over mid-season last year when the position was vacated by Ron Stocking, Jr. "Coach K," as he is called, is currently an educator at Los Osos and comes with a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, having coached at both the collegiate and high school levels over his 23 years of coaching. "I want to do this. I'm so excited. I can't wait to start. I think it's a perfect match. [Ontario] is a school that's had a football team and really needs a football program. I know that it's been rough for Ontario over the last ten seasons. I think I can help and I think they can help me, too. I considered this position when it was open three years ago, but the timing wasn't right," Kusleika told WeRtheO.com.
Kusleika has coached inside the Chaffey District as the head coach at Alta Loma and Montclair and as an assistant at Rancho Cucamonga, and taught at Los Osos and Etiwanda since entering the District in 1999. His history is solid. After playing for the University of LaVerne, he returned in 1990 as an assistant coach. He went on to coach at the University of Redlands, Fresno State and other schools. His last outing was as the Offensive Coordinator for Redlands East Valley (REV) last season.
Some of Coach K's players have gone on to be very successful. He speaks very highly of Eric Weddle, free safety for the San Diego Chargers, whom he coached at Alta Loma. "I'm pretty proud of [him] because I had the opportunity to coach him in high school and help him through that last little bit of the recruiting process." During the course of his interview, Kusleika repeatedly made the point that a goal of his is to get his players to college. "I don't care if it takes hours or days, if I can get even five-hundred dollars to help one of these guys, it's worth it.
Ontario Principal Cary Willborn told WeRtheO.com, "I am so pleased that John is coming to Ontario. He brings a proven track record of success and I truly believe we are fortunate to have him. I have no doubt in his abilities and know that he will build a program here that we can and will all be proud of."
"[I want my players to know] we're going to be sound fundamentally. We're going to play together. We're going to be tough. Those are the maxims that I learned very early in my coaching career." Along with those maxims, Kusleika is clear about the togetherness and interdependence needed amongst his players. "Because football is the consummate team sport, we can't have individuals out there with their own agenda, because all that's going to do is tear us apart. We're going to have to learn how to give 100%. I don't believe in 101%. I don't believe in 110%, but I also don't believe in 99%. High school players need to be taught what that is; what giving that much of your time, effort and energy means, because it's a lot. They may not like what it takes to get there, but they're going to be satisfied when they do."
Coach Kusleika will meet with his returning players on Thursday night at OHS. This is an intriguing time to be a part of the Jaguars football program. With a stadium on the horizon, a new head coach, new staff and a revamped Mt. Baldy League for next season without Chino or Garey High Schools, this is a time of great expectation.
JAGUARS VARSITY STATS 2014-2015