Preseason All-Inland Empire FB Team

Yes, we did find a way to get Tyler Hilinski of Upland (left), Sheriron Jones of Rancho Verde (right) plus Blake Barnett of Corona Santiago all onto the All-Inland Empire preseason team. We could have picked just one QB, but that's not how we do any honors squad. Photos: Tom Hauck/Student Sports.

Yes, we did find a way to get Tyler Hilinski of Upland (left), Sheriron Jones of Rancho Verde (right) plus Blake Barnett of Corona Santiago all on the All-Inland Empire team. We could have picked just one, but that’s not how we roll. Photos: Tom Hauck/Student Sports.

This is the second preseason all-section or all-area football team we have compiled and the first from a significant portion of the CIF Southern Section. Along with Orange County, the Inland Empire has some of the best players in the state period.

To see our preseason All-Central Section team, CLICK HERE.

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Note: Players considered for the All-Inland Empire preseason football team were from Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We did not choose any players from schools in L.A. County.


WR Greyson Bankhead (Centennial, Corona) 5-10, 175, Sr.
Leading the Huskies in receptions last season, he caught 73 passes for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns and should be the leading target even more this season with the graduation of Barry Ware. Back in May, he committed to Cal.

WR Brandon Presley (Great Oak, Temecula) 6-0, 180, Sr.
He has now caught 80 passes in his high school career after catching 52 last season for 1,102 yards and 15 touchdowns. He nearly doubled his numbers from his sophomore season.

TE Jamie Nunley (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) 6-4, 215, Sr.
Considered a three star WR/TE, he turned down offers from schools including Boise State and Colorado and committed to Arizona earlier this summer. He was 2nd on the Broncos last season in receptions with 27 catches for 439 yards and two touchdowns.

Jamie Taylor from Rim of the World is one of the most prolific returning running backs in the state. Photo: Student Sports.

Jamie Taylor from Rim of the World is one of the most prolific returning running backs in the state. Photo: Student Sports.

OL Agustin Beltran (Silverado, Victorville) 6-3, 320, Sr.
The lone non-senior to make the Desert Sky League all-league first team on the offensive line helped block for the Hawks to pass for over 1,800 yards and rush for over 1,400 yards during their 2013 playoff season.

OL Tevita Halalilo (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) 6-3, 320, Sr.
He could be the state’s No. 1 ranked offensive lineman based on our own Hot 100 for the Class of 2015 and has committed to UCLA. With his blocking up front, the Mustangs went undefeated during Inland Valley League play.

OL Kyle Hoppe (Chaparral, Temecula) 6-2, 285, Sr.
Committing to San Jose State at the end of June, he can now concentrate on his final season with the Pumas as they will look to try and knock off Vista Murrieta in the Southwestern League. Kyle is one of the state’s best true centers.

OL Craig Johnson (Norco) 6-2, 270, Sr.
On varsity since his freshman year, Johnson helped block up front for the Cougars run-heavy offense as they rushed for over 4,200 yards and 52 touchdowns last year.

OL Mason Walter (Chaparral, Temecula) 6-6, 275, Sr.
Another on this team that committed in late June, Walter gave his verbal to attend Arizona State just a week after his teammate on the Pumas, LB Malik Lawal, gave his commitment to the Sun Devils. We didn’t put Malik on this team only because of a knee injury that may cause him to miss most of the season.

QB Tyler Hilinski (Upland) 6-4, 200, Sr.
Leading the Higlanders to the CIFSS Inland Division semifinals, he passed for over 3,000 yards and 34 touchdowns while rushing for 297 yards and four more scores. Named the Inland Valley Offensive Player of the Year last season, he committed to Washington State back in April. Since Hilinski is more of a classic drop-back QB, we put him in the QB spot for this team and put both Blake Barnett and Sheriron Jones as multi-purpose.

RB Malik Lovette (Redlands East Valley, Redlands) 5-11, 175, Sr.
While his numbers are not as over whelming as some last season, he ran and caught the ball well for the Wildcats and showed why he is considered a four star recruit. Schools like USC and Oregon are trying to get him to come to their school next season.

RB Jamie Taylor (Rim of the World, Lake Arrowhead) 5-11, 175, Sr.
He may not be the big time recruit like Malik Lovette or some juniors that we put as multi-purpose, but Taylor put up big time numbers last season. He carried the ball for 2,610 yards and 32 touchdowns to earn the Mountain Valley League Offensive MVP award.

PK Manny Berz (Citrus Hill, Perris) 5-9, 160, Soph.
The youngest player on this team was a perfect 11-for-11 on field goal attempts last season while converting 66 of 67 PATs to be named first team all-area. He was also chosen earlier this summer to attend USA Football’s National Team Development Games.

There are high expectations this season for DB Darrion Molton and the rest of the team at Chaparral of Temecula. The Pumas led the way with four players on the Cal-Hi Sports preseason All-Inland Empire team. Photo:

There are high expectations this season for DB Darrion Molton and the rest of the team at Chaparral of Temecula. The Pumas led the way with four players on the Cal-Hi Sports preseason All-Inland Empire team. Photo:


DL James Bonner (Arlington, Riverside) 6-2, 275, Sr.
This returning Inland Valley all-league selection plays nose guard and had 54 tackles and six sacks last season for the Lions.

DL Trent Goens (Chino Hills) 6-3, 230, Sr.
A commit to Northwestern back in April, Goens has had 122 tackles and 18 sacks over the last two seasons with the Huskies. He was an impact player as a sophomore with 10.5 sacks.

DL Tevita Mounga (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) 6-2, 290, Sr.
This beast on the Broncos’ defensive line had 40 tackles despite teams trying to go away from him. Mounga does have college offers and may get more with a huge senior season.

LB John Mackesy (Serrano, Phelan) 6-1, 195, Sr.
Following up a 160-tackle season two years ago as a sophomore, he had 113 total tackles last season for the Diamondbacks. Mackesy isn’t as highly recruited as some others, but a 4.40 in the 40 should make more people take notice. He also is a very effective player as a center for Serrano’s offensive line.

LB Lokeni Toailoa (Carter, Rialto) 6-2, 225, Jr.
Leading the Lions in tackles last season with 79, he also tied for the team lead with six sacks as they finished second in the San Andreas League behind San Gorgonio. Notre Dame, USC and Oklahoma are among the double-digit offers he already has received.

LB Khaylan Thomas (Etiwanda) 6-2, 210, Sr.
Playing on both sides of the ball for the Eagles, it’s on the defensive side where he makes the biggest impact. Thomas recorded 89 tackles and five sacks last season. Arizona State, Miami and UCLA are among the schools after this uncommitted four-star recruit.

LB Josh Woods (Upland) 6-2, 210, Sr.
Committing to UCLA two weeks ago, he will get to be back on the field this year after missing last season because of the CIF Southern Section ruling him ineligible to play after transferring from Victor Valley of Victorville.

DB Treyjohn Butler (Etiwanda) 5-11, 175, Jr.
Coach Brandon Rohrer was quoted in the Los Angeles Times back in November saying “He’s the real deal” after he finished his sophomore season with an interception during a playoff loss to Centennial of Corona. Butler, who had seven interceptions for the season, was on the all-state junior team and is one of the top 10 juniors on the Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100 for top juniors in the state.

DB Darrien Molton (Chaparral, Temecula) 5-10, 170, Sr.
Considered by most as a three star recruit, he became the 7th player to commit to Washington State’s 2015 recruiting class at the end of June. For the Pumas last season, he led the secondary with six interceptions and was named to the all-state junior team.

DB Malik Psalms (Ayala, Chino Hills) 6-2, 175, Sr.
Despite committing to Cal back in April, it hasn’t stopped other schools from offering Psalms. One reason is because he can play corner or safety.

DB Ykili Ross (Poly, Riverside) 6-2, 185, Sr.
Playing on both sides of the ball, it’s his ability on the defensive side that has the most interest. On offense last season he caught 12 touchdown passes while also rushing for three scores. He was recently slotted at No. 45 in the Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100 Player Rankings.

P Fidel Romo (Banning) 6-2, 180, Jr.
Averaging 44.47 yards per punt last season, Romo pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line on 11 of his 30 punts. Also a member of the school’s soccer team, he had a season-best punt go 70 yards while he also made three field goals and 19 extra points.

J.J. Taylor hopes to fall into line among some other explosive players from recent years at Corona Centennial.

J.J. Taylor hopes to fall into line among some other explosive players from recent years at Corona Centennial.


RB/KR Damian Alloway (Summit, Fontana) 6-0, 190, Jr.
Starting to get Pac-12 offers and more headed his way, Alloway rushed for 720 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games last season while making 62 tackles and intercepting a pass on defense for the Skyhawks last season.

QB/RB Blake Barnett (Santiago, Corona) 6-4, 205, Sr.
After committing to Notre Dame back in November, he changed his commitment to Alabama in June as a somewhat game of QB commits trading places took place. Barnett is one of the nation’s top QB recruits and stands at No. 6 in the Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100 Player Rankings. No other Inland Empire player is higher.

QB/RB Sheriron Jones (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) 6-2, 185, Sr.
It has been barely two months since this dual threat QB committed to Florida but he already has some saying he is the future of the Gators as the starting QB next season. First, he will finish high school looking to lead the Mustangs to another undefeated Inland Valley League season.

WR/DB Keon Stephens (Etiwanda) 6-3, 175, Sr.
Named last year to the All-Inland Area first team as a safety, he had nine interceptions on the year while also contributing on offense with 41 receptions for 762 yards and seven touchdowns.

RB/DB J.J. Taylor (Centennial, Corona) 5-6, 175, Jr.
On a team filled with talent, his numbers weren’t overwhelming but he contributed in multiple ways. He carried the football, returned kicks and on defense had 37 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions.

QB/RB Brett Virgil (Heritage, Menifee) 5-11, 180, Jr.
It seems appropriate to put on the QB who led Heritage to a 13-1 record and CIFSS Central Division title. Virgil passed for 1,284 yards and 19 TDs and rushed for 669 yards with seven more scores.

(20 who just missed)

DB Phllip Afia (Chino Hills) Sr.
DB Mike Bell (Citrus Hill, Perris) Sr.
LB Matteo Biscotti (Redlands East Valley, Redlands) Jr.
QB/RB Nolan Brammer (Oak Hills, Hesperia) Sr.
LB Christian Deker-Weible (Heritage, Menifee) Sr.
WR Jacoby Herring (Citrus Hill, Perris) Sr.
RB/KR Freddie Holly (Norte Vista, Riverside) Jr.
RB Joshua Johnson (Kaiser, Fontana) Jr.
LB Malik Lawal (Chaparral, Temecula) Sr.
RB/LB Andrew Martinez (Norte Vista, Riverside) Sr.
WR Javon McKinley (Centennial, Corona) Sr.
DB Nathan Meadors (San Gorgonio, San Bernardino) Sr.
QB/DB Brad Mowbray (Arrowhead Christian, Redlands) Sr.
RB Demarco Prewitt (Paloma Valley, Menifee) Jr.
DB Cameron Powell (Upland) Sr.
PK Jake Roberts (Santiago, Corona) Jr.
DB Jihree Stewart (Centennial, Corona) Sr.
LB Evan Telliard (Poly, Riverside) Sr.
WR Aaron Young (Murrieta Valley, Murrieta) Sr.
LB Bryce Youngquist (Los Osos, Rancho Cucamonga) Sr.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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  1. Mike Fiorenza
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Wow do you have any idea of geography? The Inland Empire includes Pomona and Claremont. It does not include Victorville Hesperia Temecula or Murrieta and not likely even Moreno Valley!

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted August 12, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      It says right up front that it’s for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. I know it includes High Desert schools and that High Desert is not Inland Empire, but didn’t want to put High Desert anywhere else. Temecula, Murrieta are covered by the IE Preps web site so write to them as well.

  2. Doug Sulpacio
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    As I believe list are created to be debated. It’s curious to see Evan Tyler, moreover Taj Jones both of Roosevelt in Eastvale were not included on your list? Jones might be one of the top DB’S/KR/WR in the State, late alone the I.E.? Just google his name and pop on his reel. He’s a big play guy that plays fast and physical. Tyler average over 12 tackles per game in the tough Big VIII. Well I guess you can’t see every player. Good list overall, but glaring omission like these two raises my concerns about the credibility of your lists. I guess you can’t watch all the tapes? Thanks for your efforts.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted September 1, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      The other thing we could do is only do a preseason team with the obvious choices and not try to go deeper with more kids listed and less writeups. We know our margin for missing someone who perhaps belongs will go up, but we believe the risk is worth it. Evan and Taj probably at least should have been mentioned. The IE has a lot of great players outside of Centennial, Vista Murrieta, Chaparral and Upland. It is easy just to miss someone, although I promise by the end of the year no one will be missed. Thanks.

  3. Joe Montano
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    A lot of gr8 football players got left off this list. Too much luv for Chap Pumas who didn’t even make the playoffs! Victor Viramontes(NorcoQB), Jacob Gugliamana(ElsinoreRB), Juan Acosta(CC OT/C), Austin Cucci(Temeacal CanyonLB), and that’s just a few! Also, wit the ground games Novi an Rim have, no OL on the list at all. Cmon man!

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Easy to comment when the season is over. This was a preseason list.

  4. Posted January 7, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Ya learn something new everyday. It’s true I guess!

  5. Posted March 4, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    We’ve arrived at the end of the line and I have what I need!

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