1930: Off (As in Remove) The ‘Vine!

Now wait just a grape-pickin’ minute!

Students at Escondido High were up in arms.

They did not like the term Grape Pickers or its use to describe the school’s athletic teams, although the wine-making fruit held agricultural sway in the area and the city had hosted a Grape Day Festival since 1908.

The students believed a more masculine mascot was appropriate.

They voted to adopt the cougar, which had been known  for centuries to prowl the mountain ranges  near the valley community.

MEDIA, PLEASE HEED

The school also made a request of sports writers and other members of the media to refrain from referring to Grape Pickers in print or over the radio.

Perhaps coincidentally, football at the second oldest school in the County was finally earning some respect.

The Cougars, paced by future major league baseballer Pete Coscarart; Tom Lusardi, and Ed Goddard, posted a 9-2 record although beaten, 20-6,  by El Centro Central in  the Southern California lower division championship game.

Along the way coach Harry Wexler’s North County squad tied with Coronado and Grossmont for the Southern Prep League championship.

Escondido defeated Grossmont, 31-0, and Grossmont topped Coronado, 12-7, but Coronado upset the Cougars, 20-6.

The teams were 3-1 in final standings and followed an interesting path from there.

A three-hour meeting of representatives from the three schools was held Monday, Nov. 12, at the Stanley Andrews store in San Diego.

Harry Wexler (inset) is flanked by Escondido stars Ed Goddard, left and Pete Coscarart, sixth from left, in second row).

Harry Wexler (inset) is flanked by Escondido stars Ed Goddard, left and Pete Coscarart, sixth from left, in second row).

Hosting the session was area football official and sporting goods purveyor O.W. (Junior) Todd.  Wexler, Coronado’s Amos Schaefer, and Grossmont’s Jack Mashin were in attendance.

A league rule stipulated that a playoff would have to be played Tuesday, No. 12, or Friday, Nov. 15.

In the scrambling, seemingly haphazard manner in which the CIF Southern Section selected playoff teams, it appeared that two clubs from the Southern League were eligible for the postseason.

According to The San Diego Union, Schaefer said he’d play, only if Grossmont agreed to enter the playoffs.

Mashin bailed, citing a number of injuries that depleted his squad and would preclude a game the next day.

Mashin and Schaefer finally conceded the championship to Escondido and cited curious logic:

Ed Goddard attempts tackle on Coronado's Jimmy Blaisdell, who helped Islanders upset Escondido.

Ed Goddard attempts tackle on Coronado’s Jimmy Blaisdell, who helped Islanders upset Escondido.

Grossmont had beaten Coronado the previous Friday and even if Coronado would defeat Escondido again, the Islanders’ loss to Grossmont would overshadow a win over Escondido.

That’s the way it was reported in The San Diego Sun.

ORANGE RIPE

The Cougars routed Orange County champion Orange, 52-0, that Friday in a game that was not reported as a playoff.

The first playoff apparently was against Point Loma, which represented the new City League.

Escondido moved on with a 13-6 victory over the Pointers. Next up was Banning, the Riverside County champion, and the Cougars sent the Broncos home, 46-0.

The win over Banning set up a second match with El Centro Central, beaten, 6-0, by the Cougars early in the season.

Maybe it was the long postseason, but even a partisan home crowd couldn’t help the Cougars, who dropped a 20-6 decision to the team from Imperial Valley.

THE WEXLER WAY                                                                    

Coach Harry Wexler brought the Escondido program out of the depths in which it resided for most of the previous 30 years. His teams posted a 57-32-11 record over 11 seasons from 1928-37.

Escondido’s record under five coaches from 1920 until Wexler was hired was 10-41-5. Local merchants, so taken with the Cougars’ success, closed their stores in order to see the game with rival Oceanside.

Wexler’s .624 winning percentage  is bettered at Escondido only by the standard of the legendary Bob (Chick) Embrey, who was 144-66-4 (.682).  Paul Gomes was 59-37-7 (.607) from 2001-09.

NO, NOT ME

Did Wexler, a Washington State Cougar in his undergraduate days, have something to say about the change in nicknames?

School officials said Wexler did not suggest or have anything to do with the switch.

Wexler undoubtedly had something to say about Goddard’s future.

The sophomore fullback went on to an all-America career at Washington State and was the second player taken in the 1937 NFL draft.

A Los Angeles Times reporter was so taken with Goddard’s running in a victory over USC that he coined Goddard the “Escondido Express.”

GODDARD GOES FIRST

There had been a handful of San Diego-area preps who had played professionally, notably Russ Saunders of San Diego High with the 1931 Green Bay Packers, but Goddard was the first to be drafted in the NFL.

Goddard played two seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cleveland Rams and went into teaching and coaching.  He was an assistant coach on the 1950 Fullerton High staff. The Indians upset San Diego, 20-19, in the playoffs.

SIGNS OF THE TIME

Eddie Dowling and Cinema signs of the time  featured Eddie Dowling and Betty Compson fanning the flames in new release at Spreckels Theater.

Cinema signs of the time, Eddie Dowling and Betty Compson fanning the flames at Spreckels Theater.

La Mesa was approved for daily mail delivery after the community’s Chamber of Commerce voted to increase the number of sidewalks and paving as required by the U.S. Postal Service.

The government agency also had required La Mesa to improve street lighting and provide a modern numbering system for residential and business addresses.

THEY ALL REMEMBERED

Before they passed, many retired San Diego High coaches and staff shook their heads when they spoke, often, of the game  coach Hobbs Adams’ Hilltoppers lost at Long Beach Poly in 1930.

Estimated attendance at Poly’s Burcham Field was 15,000 persons for the game that decided the Coast League championship and the league’s playoff representative.

Another 4,000 was said to have been turned away.

Hundreds of Hilltop boosters were there, having traveled by auto and train.  Some also came by boat. A vessel operated by the Los Angeles Steam Ship Company traveled at almost 25 knots and would be used on other occasions by the Cavers.

San Diegans were able to pick up a Long Beach radio station broadcast on San Diego station KGER 1350.

The Fox Theater commissioned a special cameraman to take film of the game and begin a one-week showing the day after the Thanksgiving tussle.

Radio station KSUN in San Diego also offered a play-by-play of the contest.

LUCK O’ THE JACKRABBITS!

The Jackrabbits won, 14-8, and breezed to the Southern California upper division championship.

–San Diego had 15 first downs, Poly 1.

–Long Beach’s longest gain on a running play was 4 yards.

WRITER’S LAMENT

The game story lede, in part, as sent by The San Diego Union reporter Charles Byrne:

“Although outclassed—and outclassed badly—Long Beach Poly capitalized on the “breaks” of the game to capture the Coast League championship in one of the weirdest prep school battles ever witnessed in Southern California.”

Poly’s one first down was on a pass play that turned into a 50-yard touchdown.

A Cotton Warburton punt from the end zone was blocked and Warburton recovered for a Poly safety.  Long Beach led, 8-0.

The Jackrabbits went up 14-0 after a lateral from Warburton to Ted Wilson was knocked in the air and strayed into the hands of another Poly defender, who ran 85 yards.

San Diego got on the board in the fourth quarter.  Cecil McElvain intercepted a Poly fumble and raced 20 yards to make the score 14-6.

King Hall blocked a Poly punt out of the end zone for another safety.

Poly went on to defeat Redondo Beach Redondo, 20-3, for the championship.

ROAD WARRIORS

Ted Wilson's two touchdowns were not enough in loss at Phoenix.

Ted Wilson’s two touchdowns were not enough in loss at Phoenix.

San Diego boarded a 5:15 p.m. train on Thursday for an all night ride to Phoenix.  After “resting up” the Cavers dropped a 22-20 decision to Phoenix Union and hustled to the  depot to catch the last train at 10:30 Friday night.

The team arrived back in San Diego Saturday morning.

The sluggish Cavers trailed, 15-0, at halftime but rallied as Ted Wilson scored two touchdowns and Cotton Warburton added another.

SOUTHERN GOES ALL COUNTY

The fledgling City League, numbering Point Loma, La Jolla, San Diego High’s Reserves, and the new Hoover High, meant that the Southern Prep, originally known as the County League, would become just that, a league of County squads.

The Southern Prep now listed Coronado, Sweetwater, Oceanside, Escondido, Mountain Empire, and Julian.  The last two did not field football teams but competed in other sports.

HILLTOPPERS’ BIG THREE

At one point in the preseason, San Diego coach Hobbs Adams had five, 11-man squads practicing daily.

Adams decided that assistant coach Mike Morrow would handle a group called the “Reserves”, sometimes referred to as the “Seconds”,  and Glen Broderick would continue as coach of the B’s.

Broderick’s B team was the defending Southern California champion, but the Coast League dropped its B league this season

The Little Hilltoppers forged a free-lance schedule and again prevailed in Southern California.

The B team defeated Santa Monica, 25-6, in the preliminary game to Long Beach Poly’s 20-3 victory over Redondo Beach Redondo Union  at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

As was the practice in track and field and other sports, with A, B, and C squads based on “exponents,” B footballers’ eligibility was determined by their height, weight, grade, and age.

The Reserves served as sort of a varsity minor league.   Players shuttled back and forth between the teams.

LIGHTS…ACTION….

The date was Sept. 28, 1930, when St. Augustine and Grossmont took the field in the first high school night football game under lights in San Diego County.

One day after San Diego State had played the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on the tanbark Navy Field, St. Augustine defeated the Foothillers, 25-0.

San Diego coach Hobbs Adams took his team to Navy Field for a workout later in the season before the Hilltoppers boarded a train for a game in the Nprth.

The Navy Field site at the foot of Broadway and adjacent  to Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive would be renamed Lane Field as home of the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres later in the decade.

San Diego High’s Class B team represented the school in its first night-time venture when the Little Hilltoppers traveled to Brawley.

HOOVER, THE SCHOOL, ASCENDS

September was a historic month.

On Sept. 3, Herbert Hoover High, 4474 El Cajon Blvd., in East San Diego, opened its doors to almost 1,000 sophomore and junior students.  There was no senior class.

Known as the Engineers or Presidents, students opted for school colors of Cardinal and White.

Their teams eventually became the Cardinals.

Coach John Perry, who had posted a 52-14-5 record at San Diego from 1920-26 but had left coaching to pursue additional educational credentials, came out of retirement to lead the Eastsiders.

Perry’s first call resulted in 88 candidates, remarkable, said The San Diego Union, in that there were less than 500 boys in the school’s three grades.

A total of 130 were out at  san Diego High, 50 at Grossmont, 75 at Army-Navy, and 35 at St. Augustine.

ALSO DEBUTING

San Diego had a new practice field north of the City Stadium but the rough, dirt layout prohibited intrasquad scrimmages until the team moved into the stadium and its turf playing surface.

The football team and student gym classes soon would access the stadium on a daily basis throughout the school year after an agreement was reached during a meeting of the Balboa Park Board and City Schools big shots.

For the next 30-odd years, it was easy to identify the practice field site.  Whenever news media photos were taken of the San Diego High players, the Balboa Naval Hospital would loom in the background.

The new, Crosstown Freeway of Interstate 5 opened in 1963 changed the practice landscape, as the baseball field was moved  but Cavers teams continued to practice football  there.

AGGRAVATED BATTERY

Interscholastic athletics at Fresno Edison Technical was suspended until the end of the school year June 1, 1931.

Two Technical students were charged with assaulting game referee H.L. Rowe, a resident of Madera who ruled a touchdown in favor of Kingsburg with two minutes left in the game that gave Kingsburg a 6-0 victory and setting off a riot.

About 30 Technical students were involved in the beef at the game and for creating another disturbance that night.

FOOTBALL HUB

Thirty-one former San Diego-area gridders were listed on the rosters of 12 universities.

Twelve players each were from San Diego High and St. Augustine.  Coronado had four.

The schools included USC, Stanford, California, and Oregon of the Pacific Coast Conference, plus Idaho, Tulane, Kansas, Tulsa, St. Mary’s, Santa Clara, Regis of Denver, and Columbia of Seattle.

QUICK KICKS

San Diego coach  took no chances before Wilson game.

San Diego coach took no chances against former locals.

Hobbs Adams closed practices and locked gates at City Stadium as his team prepared for visiting Long Beach Wilson and Santa Ana…the Bruins were coached by former San Diego High star Rockwell  (Rocky) Kemp, Santa Ana by former Memorial Junior High and San Diego High coach G.A. (Tex) Oliver…heavy rain forced the Hilltoppers indoors to their new gymnasium the Thursday before the Alhambra game…Grossmont had turf for the first time…”We’ve been working for a turf field for about six years, and now that we have one, it’s probably the best in the County,” said Foothillers coach Jack Mashin…Ramona, which opened in 1893, considered the fielding a  football team… coach Harold Roberts was in place, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t be on the field until 1938…Gene Miller got San Diego on the scoreboard against San Bernardino by drop-kicking a 38-yard field goal…Oceanside was constructing an  athletic facility that could hold three full-size football fields, four tennis courts, and a quarter-mile oval for track and field meets…one local writer described Grossmont as “the back country school.”…flags flew in St. Augustine’s 64-0 win over Brawley…the Saints were penalized 165 yards and the Wildcats 105…the same Brawley squad dropped a 26-0 decision to the San Diego B team the next week…

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2014: St. Augustine Goes Intersectional

With Frank Buncom IV leading the defense and explosive running back Elijah Preston propelling the offense, St. Augustine might have more good players than last season’s 11-2 team but could be hard pressed proving it.

The Saints have stayed close to home for most of  the San Diego Section’s first 54 years, but they’re stepping out this season, with road games at  legendary Los Angeles Loyola and Riverside County power Vista Murrieta.

Not to mention their annual roll in the dirt with Eastern League rival Cathedral.

The Saints have played 12 intersectional games since they attained membership in the San Diego City Prep League in 1957 and  nine since the San Diego Section was formed in 1960.

The Saints had played eight such out-of-the-area games  from 1951-56 and from 1945-50 they were members of the far-flung Southland Catholic League, competing against Los Angeles-area schools.

Their last foray against a team from outside San Diego County was a home-and-home series with Anaheim Servite, losing, 37-14, on the road  in 2005 and 23-0 at Southwestern College in 2006.

Loyola officials announced that they are bringing in extra bleachers and lights for the game with the Saints Sept. 12, marking the first after-dark home contest in school history and the first home game since 1949.

The Cubs’ home field for years has been at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys.

St. Augustine played an afternoon league game at Loyola in 1949, losing, 28-6.

A video profile of the 2014 Loyola squad by Los Angeles Times writer Eric Sondheimer can be accessed by connecting to the link below.

Football: Loyola Coach Marvin Sanders is feeling comfortable

The Saints’ intersectional history and record of 7-12-1 since leaving the Southland Catholic League after the 1950 season (games against Imperial Valley teams since 2000 not listed, as they now are in San Diego section):

YEAR OPPONENT SCORE
1951 at El Centro Central 0-13
1952 Culver City 14-6
L.A. Mt.  Carmel 12-25
1953 San Gabriel Mission 33-0
Lawndale Leuzinger 13-0
1954 at Long Beach St. Anthony 0-6
1956 at Yuma, Arizona 7-20
at Pomona Catholic 6-6
1957 at Torrance 26-6
1958 L.A. Mt. Carmel 6-40
1959 Brawley 31-7
at Gardena Serra 12-7
1960 at Redlands 6-34
1965 at Santa Barbara 7-34
1974 at Santa Barbara 18-31
1987 L.A. Salesian 7-6
1995 at Rancho Santa Margarita 6-28
1996 Rancho Santa Margarita 7-27
2005 at Anaheim Servite 0-23
2006 Anaheim Servite 14-37
Record: 7-12-1.
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2014: Intersectional Games & New Coaches

Preseason games don’t have the import of regular-season contests, which carry the prestige of potential league championships and playoff seedings, but the early intersectionals have their own realities.

Do well in these games and gain ratings.

Have high ratings and increase the possibility of state playoff invitations.

Many intersectionals will be played the week of Aug. 29, with Oceanside, Cathedral, and Eastlake serving as sites for the annual Brothers in Arms carnival.

One of those first week attractions sends St. Augustine to Oceanside in a battle of San Diego Section powers who were a combined 21-5 last season. Oceanside won the 2013 matchup, 47-28.

TEAM 2013 OPPONENT 2013 SITE
Carlsbad 9-3 Temecula Great Oak 6-5 There
Cathedral 11-2 Folsom 14-1 Home
Cathedral 11-2 Westlake Village Oaks Christian 8-3 Oceanside
Cathedral 11-2 Newbury Park 5-5 Away
Christian 12-1 San Luis Obispo Mission Prep 11-3 Away
Eastlake 10-2 Mesa Desert Ridge, Arizona 11-2 Home
Eastlake 10-2 Los Alamitos 9-3 Away
Francis Parker 10-1 Honolulu Arthur Radford 7-3 Home
Helix 9-3 Ventura St. Bonaventure 8-4 Cathedral
Helix 9-3 Loomis Del Oro 13-3 Oceanside
La Costa Canyon 7-4 Corona del Mar 16-0 Cathedral
La Costa Canyon 7-4 Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills 6-4 Home
Mar Vista 4-6 Santa Cruz Harbor 2-8 Away
Mar Vista 4-6 San Gabriel Gabrieleno 7-4 Away
Mission Hills 12-2 Provo Timpview, Utah 13-1 Cathedral
Oceanside 10-3 Mission Viejo 11-1 Home
Oceanside 10-3 Temecula Chaparral 8-4 Away
St. Augustine 11-2 L.A. Loyola 4-6 Away
St. Augustine 11-2 Murrieta Vista Murrieta 12-2 Away
Santa Fe Christian 6-5 Santa Barbara Bishop Diego 10-3 Away
Torrey Pines 6-5 Pleasant Grove, Utah 9-3 Eastlake
Valley Center 3-7 Redwood City Sequoia 5-5 Home
Westview 2-9 Avondale Westview, Arizona 10-1 Away
COACHING  CHANGES

Not all returns are in, but at least nine coaches will be debuting with their teams when presesason games begin Aug. 29.

There has been one head coaching switch.  Ron Gladnick  left Clairemont to head up the Torrey Pines program.

NAME SCHOOL REPLACED
Drew Westling Chula Vista Judd Rachow
Joe Kim Clairemont Ron Gladnick
Jon Goodman Classical Jon Burnes
John  Roberts El Camino Pulu Poumele
Tyler Hales La Jolla Country Day Jeff Hutzler
Lance Christensen Otay Ranch Anthony Lacsina
Jason Patterson Orange Glen Kris Plash
Ron Gladnick Torrey Pines Scott Ashby
Scott Catlin San Ysidro Tyler Arciaga

 

 

 

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1992: Leave it to The Bennie

They could have asked Bennie Edens.

Writers and prep experts comprising the selection panel for The San Diego Union weekly Top 10 may well have consulted the Point Loma coach.

No one could have offered more expert testimony.

The peninsula pigskin sage coached his 38th team at the Chatsworth Boulevard school and lost to the No’s. 1, 2, 3, and 7 teams this season.

Add another defeat to University City, which was 9-1 and didn’t make the Top 10, and the Pointers were beaten by five clubs with a combined record of 47 wins and three losses.

There’s more.

Poway, which eliminated the Pointers, 14-10, in the first round of the playoffs, finished with a 10-4 record.

Six teams at a combined 57-7!

The final Union regular-season poll:

RANK TEAM RECORD
1. Morse 10-0 39
2. Helix 10-0 36
3. El Camino 9-1 32
4. El Capitan 9-1 28
5. Mt. Carmel 8-1-1 21
6. San Pasqual 9-1 20
7. Kearny 9-1 13
8. Orange Glen 7-3 11
9. Torrey Pines 8-2 7
10. Castle Park 8-2 5

  St. Augustine was another 9-1 team looking up at the Top 10, as was Poway, 7-3 in the regular season.

MORSE CODE UNBROKEN

John Shacklett’s tiger had different spots this season but still claimed its second AAA title in three seasons in its fifth trip to the finals in the last six.

The Tigers of Morse were ranked fourth in the country by USA Today in 1990 when they outscored 14 opponents by an average of 46-13.

Conan Smith was three-year leader of Morse Tigers.

Conan Smith was three-year leader of Morse Tigers.

Shacklett’s 1992 squad wasn’t as explosive, averaging 29 points in another 14-0 season but allowing only an average of 6.

Crushing defense and tough, slashing running by Archie Amerson (675 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in one three-game stretch and AAA offensive player of year) and three-year veteran Conan Smith (defensive player of the year)  were staples of Shacklett’s  squad, which won a fourth  championship in six tries.

TORREY  COMES OUT OF WEEDS

El Camino was looking for its fourth straight AA title but its 15-game playoff winning streak was broken, and convincingly, 38-13, by Torrey Pines.

The Falcons survived a season in which their quarterback, Ryan Lynch, was involved in a one-game suspension controversy and was lost with an injury in the middle of the 27-21, semifinal victory over San Pasqual.

BOWS TO BURKE

Falcon Brian Batson spoke of coach Ed Burke:

“I can’t say enough about him and what he’s done for this football program.  It used to be all we’d think about on Friday nights was where the party was after the game.”

Burke, who coached the Falcons from 1980-84, returned this season and inherited a 4-6-1 team.

“I’m still in a state of shock,” said Burke, who led a program that until four weeks before  never had won a playoff game.

“This is El Camino,” Burke said to writer Ed Graney.  “This is no run-of-the-mill program.  These are people we’ve admired for a long time. To win is great.  To win this convincingly is overwhelming.”

GROSSMONT INFERS

One victory in 15 seasons against a neighborhood rival that is your essential progeny can lead to indigestion.

Two  fourth-quarter touchdowns that led to a 14-11 loss to Helix stirred acid reflux in Grossmont coach Judd Hulburt, whose postmortem included a sour observation:

“I like to refer to them as the East County All-Stars,” said Hulburt.

“They have players from (Canyon Country) Canyon, Mount Miguel, and other areas.  It’s hard to recruit speed and they certainly have it.”

Teneil Ethridge, a transfer from Mount Miguel, rushed for 74 yards in 16 carries and scored the Highlanders’ first touchdown on an eight-yard run. Quarterback Jeremy Gottlieb and Marc Baskin teamed on a 25-yard scoring pass for the winner.

COACH BACKS OFF

“Well,” Hulburt said to writer Jim Trotter two days later, “if I’m going to be on the record, I’m going to be very careful about what I say.

“I’m just saying it looks really strange that Helix gets good athletes in its program year after year.”

Hulburt denied accusing the Helix coaching staff of recruiting but said something about Helix parents and boosters proselytizing off-the-books.

ARNAIZ SCRATCHES HEAD

Highlanders reaped dividends by transfer of Chuck Cecil.

Highlanders reaped dividends by transfer of Chuck Cecil.

Highlanders coach Jim Arnaiz was nonplussed.

“I just don’t know where he’s coming from,” said the 20-season mentor of the Highlanders.  “I know what I’ve done, what our staff has done, and I know how we handle our program.  We have nothing to be embarrassed about.

“We have been known statewide as a good athletic school as well as a good academic school,” Arnaiz added.  “Yes, we’ve had some good fortune of having great players show up on our doorstep, wanting to be part of a winning tradition.”

As an example, Arnaiz noted that when Chuck Cecil’s dad was job transferred from Hanford in the San Joaquin Valley to San Diego “he researched East County.  That’s how Chuck ended up at Helix in 1982.”

Cecil’s fierce play as a linebacker and safety led the Highlanders to the AAA championship in 1982.  He went on to play and coach in the NFL.

Arnaiz had amassed 147 victories and was 12-6-2 against the Foothillers from the time of his appointment as the Scots’ coach in 1973 and 12-2-2 since 1977.

COUNCIL GOES AGAINST BOARD

The San Diego Section coordinating council unanimously voted, in the middle of the season, to return to a 16-team playoff bracket after the Section board of managers voted to reduce the number of playoff teams to 12 for this year.

The board’s decision met with criticism, partly because several concerned groups, including the coordinating council, had no opportunity to discuss the proposed reduction.

WHY THE SWITCH?

The board of managers wanted to unify playoff brackets and eliminate the first-round blowouts associated with 16-team playoffs, i.e., the top seed playing the lowest seed.

GO WEST, WILDCATS

An obscure but telling statistic to come out of the AA playoffs involved El Camino and its 24-14 victory over Kearny in  the quarterfinals.

The win was the Wildcats 12th in a row over a Western League squad in the playoffs, dating their 39-28 win over Kearny for the AA title in 1976, the year El Camino opened after splitting from Oceanside.

“I know (Western League) coaches get tired of hearing this, but we play tough football in the (Avocado League),  said Wildcats coach Herb Meyer.

COMES IN THREES

Chula Vista means beautiful view, but the Spartans’ view was anything but on this Friday night after a galling, 22-19 loss to San Diego Southwest.

–They surrendered the Metropolitan League championship after four consecutive titles.

–This, after their 36-game, league unbeaten streak came to an end the previous week in a loss to Castle Park.

–The Spartans were beaten by Southwest for the first time in seven years.

CATCH OR…?

Chula Vista coach George Ohnessorgen saw a fumble; the officials saw a completed pass.

Southwest faced a fourth-and-five midway in the fourth quarter at the Chula Vista 10-yard line. Raiders quarterback O’Brien Woods passed to Tony Diaz, who caught the pass at the three and was hit by J.J. Rosier. The ball came loose.  Southwest’s Danny Lim recovered.

Chula Vista celebrated, thinking the pass was incomplete. Game officials ruled that Diaz caught the ball and that his feet hit the ground before Diaz fumbled, making the pass a completion.

Southwest scored on the next play.

“I’m sorry for the kids that the game had to be taken away on a bad play,” Ohnessorgen said to writer Tom Shanahan, “but we made some critical mistakes and Southwest did a good job of coming back (from deficits of 13-0 and 19-14).”

Raiders coach Alan Kaylor didn’t exactly have a straight face when he told Shanahan, “It was a catch.  We’ll have to look at the films.”

San Pasqual's Mike Dolan could be experiencing thrill of victory...or agony of defeat.

San Pasqual’s Mike Dolan could be experiencing thrill of victory…or agony of defeat.

WHY BECOME A COACH?

“Sometimes I have no idea,” said Ed Burke.  “Unfortunately for me, I’m one of the weirdos who chooses to do this.”

The legendary Torrey Pines coach was addressing the question posed by Ed Graney of The San Diego Union.

Long hours, myriad logistics, and problems with players and parents are only part of a high school coach’s job.

“It gets to a point where you are validating your lifestyle around how determined 16- and 17-year-old kids are at winning football games,” said Vic Player of Lincoln.

“We sat down once, figured out how many hours we spent during the season, and the pay (actually a stipend) came out to something like 12 cents per hour,” said San Pasqual’s Mike Dolan.

The three coaches may at times have had a love-hate relationship with their profession, but they couldn’t resist the lure.

Together the three won more than 500 games in their careers.

KICKOFF CLASSIC

Four of the County’s most renowned coaches got together in the spring and came up with the idea for a season-opening doubleheader. Vista was the venue, with Herb Meyer’s preseason No. 1 El Camino squad meeting No. 2 Point Loma and John Shacklett’s No. 6 Morse Tigers taking on Craig Bell’s No. 4 Rancho Buena Vista Broncos.

An added fillip was Meyer, the County’s winningest coach (243) against Edens, No. 2 (211).

The buildup was greater.   El Camino stifled Point Loma, 20-0, and Morse ran away from RBV, 45-29.

CALL THIS A SOFT OPENING

Morse actually began the season 2,600 miles away several days earlier in Hawaii, marking its eighth consecutive lid-lifter in the islands.

The Tigers were joined by three other San Diego Section teams that took part in a 10-team carnival at Aloha Stadium.

The surfeit of games honored Shawn Akina, a 19-year-old Honolulu Punahou graduate who died of a heart ailment at the University of Utah, where he was going to play football.

The Tigers defeated Kamehameha, 22-15, in the third and final game on a Friday evening card that ended well after midnight.

Kickoff for the first game was at 6:30 p.m., Kaneohe Castle defeating Monte Vista, 6-2.

Orange Glen’s 22-20 victory over Punahou began at 9 p.m., followed by Morse at 11:30.

Lincoln fell behind, 21-0, and came up short, losing 34-24 to Kahuku the next evening.  Mountain View of Mesa, Arizona Honolulu St. Louis appeared in the final contest.

EAGLE LATE TAKING FLIGHT

Someone was snoozing.

San Pasqual’s 34-20, quarterfinals playoff win over Santana was notable for a  very slow- developing touchdown.

The Eagles’ David Villa intercepted a pass by Santana’s Doug Schultz five yards deep in San Pasqual’s end zone. Villa tucked the pigskin under his arm and began moseying off the field to give the ball to an equipment man for safekeeping.

“I was thinking about keeping the ball as a memento,” said Villa.  “But then everyone started yelling at me to run with it.”

Run Villa did, 105 yards for a touchdown and a 19-10 Eagles lead at halftime.

FOOTBALL FOR FEMALES

Addie Jacobs, a second-team, all-San Diego Section choice in girls’ soccer last year, kicked an extra point for Madison in the Warhawks’ 14-7 loss to Patrick Henry. Jacobs is believed to be the second young lady to appear and score for a local squad, joining San Diego’s Mia Lebowitz, who kicked a field goal as San Diego defeated St. Augustine, 3-0, in 1988.

Jacobs isn’t the only female on the Madison squad.  Dawn Collins also kicks for the Warhawks, as does Sheila Walsh for Clairemont.

BEST IN WEST(BROOK)

El Camino’s Bryant Westbrook was one of three players to get all 10 Pacific 10 head coaches’ votes for the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s annual “Best in the West” team.

Westbrook, who also was the San Diego Section AA defensive player of the year, was joined by running back Lawrence Phillips of Baldwin Park and quarterback Pat Barnes of Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills.

El Camino's Westbrook was one of nation's best.

El Camino’s Westbrook was one of nation’s best.

The coaches may have viewed game film of El Camino’s 14-0 victory over Carlsbad.

A  205-pound defensive back, Westbrook intercepted a pass, returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown, forced a fumble, and caught a touchdown pass against the Lancers.

Westbrook was known as a big-hitting cornerback at the University of Texas and was the fifth selection in the first round by the Detroit Lions in the 1997 NFL draft. He played seven seasons.

Westbrook was the latest future NFL standout that Herb Meyer coached at Oceanside and El Camino.

The list also included Willie Buchanon, Dokie Williams, Darron Norris, and Jayice Pearson.

‘VILLE’S VIKINGS VICTORIUS

Holtville, 44-7-1 since 1987, won its fourth straight A championship in its fifth title game in a row.  Anthony Iten passed for three touchdowns as coach Sam Faulk’s Vikings topped Mountain Empire 41-6.

QUICK KICKS

San Diego’s star was quarterback-defensive back Jacque Jones, who went on to play 10 seasons in the major leagues with 165 home runs and a  career .277 average…Tommy Casper, the son of legendary golfer and former U.S. Open winner Billy Casper, was a starting tackle for Bonita Vista and also a member of the Barons’ golf team…Grossmont’s six wins in  its 6-5 season were against teams collectively 13-39, none with a winning record…San Pasqual defeated Lincoln, 28-22, for a 4-1 postseason record against the Hornets after the teams met  for the fifth time in six postseasons…Julian whipped Francis Parker, 37-20, in the final regular-season game, then turned around the next week to defeat the Lancers, 34-14, for the 8-Man championship…San Diego High athletic director Allan (Scotty) Harris touted safety Marlin McWilson as the first Caver in 18 years to bid for a college Division I scholarship…McWilson went on to play at California…Cavers Michael Hayes (USC) and Frankie Wilson (UCLA) won schollies after the 1974 season…a preseason publication rated Lincoln’s Akili Smith among  the top 13 quarterbacks in the nation…Linebacker Tom Stehly was the seventh brother to play football at Orange Glen…one more was coming, sophomore Pat, who was on the junior varsity…attendance for the championships at Jack Murphy Stadium was 8,182…

Teams and officials weren't always at odds, as touchdown by Orange Glen's Jeff Mahaffey brings mutual agreement in 6-0 win over Escondido.

Teams and officials weren’t always at odds, as touchdown by Orange Glen’s Jeff Mahaffey brings mutual agreement in 6-0 win over Escondido.

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1991: Vista Returns to Prominence

Successive records of 4-7, 0-10, and 6-6, had turned whispers into shouts at Vista. Had Dick Haines, borrowing baseball parlance, lost the hop on his fastball?

Two state No. 1 rankings, three San Diego Section titles, and 11 league championships were a distant memory until the Panthers shot down Morse, 21-7, in the season’s third week, erasing 57-14 and 48-14 losses to the Tigers in 1990.

Morse came into the game No. 1 in San Diego County, No. 2 in Southern California, No. 3 in California, and No. 20 in the country.

From that redeeming moment the rebuilt Panthers went all the way to 13-0 before losing to Point Loma, 14-0, in the Section AAA title game.

It may have been Haines’s finest hour.

Haines overcame obstacles and returned Vista to championship level.

Haines overcame obstacles and returned Vista to championship level.

Vista’s retreat in the late ‘eighties was traced to the school district’s arbitrary and perceived gerrymandering of enrollment boundaries that favored newbie Rancho Buena Vista.

The fledgling Broncos won section titles in two of their first three seasons, corresponding with Vista’s decline.

Cries of political wheeling and dealing were heard.

REVENGE BY HIGHER-UPS?

Haines, often feisty and confrontational, wasn’t the most popular employee in the Vista School District.

“Dick felt very slighted after the split, “said Morse coach John Shacklett.  “Maybe if someone was doing something just to get him, I don’t know.”

Shacklett, speaking with Ed Graney of The San Diego Union, was a fan of his coaching rival.

“No matter what kind of talent he has been dealt, he always gets the most out of his kids,” said Shacklett.   “He loves to win, but is gracious in defeat.  He certainly has been a force.”

Haines’ son, Rik, a head coach at Redmond in Washington State and former Torrey Pines head coach, may have put it best to Graney. “Really, he’s about as steady as rain in Seattle.”

MORE OR LESS FOR MORSE?
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2014: Edward Silva, 83, Star of ’49 Pointers

Fullback Eddie Silva, who passed away recently in San Diego, where he was born, was the leading scorer in the County in 1949 and Point Loma won a championship.

Silva and Marshall (Scooter) Malcolm were touchdown twins for coach Don Giddings’ squad, which posted a 9-1-1 record and rolled to the Southern California minor division championship.

Silva scored 13 touchdowns and 78 points in 11 games. Malcolm added 11 touchdowns as the Pointers raced through the Metropolitan League, stopping only for a 13-13 tie with rival La Jolla.

Point Loma then swept through the playoffs, defeating San Dieguito, 48-7, San Jacinto, 42-12, and Bonita, 27-13.  Silva scored 4 touchdowns in the three playoff games.

Point Loma scored 330 points, with Ed Perreria, Silva, Marshall Malcolm, and Jim Dible (from left) providing the impetus.

Point Loma scored 330 points, with Ed Perreria, Silva, Marshall Malcolm, and Jim Dible (from left) providing impetus.

The Pointers’ only loss was 28-13 in the season opener to San Diego.  Silva scored one touchdown and passed to Malcolm  for the other in that game.

Silva scored twice as Point Loma beat Oceanside, 26-6, in its Metro League opening game and his 50-yard dash opened the scoring for the Pointers in a 47-7 win over Kearny.

After a 27-0 victory  over Coronado, Giddings spoke of his deep, talented team’s  two-platoon system: “Each player can concentrate his talent on either the offensive or defensive phase of his position. For this reason, twenty-two first-string players are twice as happy and fresh as eleven.”

Gene Earl of The San Diego Union offered an enthusiastic endorsement:

“The Pointer backfield of quarterback Jim Dible, backs Marshall Malcolm and Ed Perreira, and fullback Ed Silva, rolls like a well-oiled gyroscope, never a miss as they repeatedly reverse the pigskin three times from the single wing formation before stepping through the yawning holes opened by the Lomans’ forwards.”

Silva earned all-Metropolitan League and all-Southern California honors.

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2014: McFadden’s .735 Third Highest

John McFadden’s  announced decision to step down as head coach at Eastlake leaves  nine active San Diego Section coaches with at least 100 victories.

McFadden became the Titans’ head coach in 2000 and posted a record of 120 wins, 42 losses, and 4 ties in 14 seasons.

McFadden’s  .735 winning percentage is third only  to the active John Carroll of Oceanside (234-74-6, .755) and the late Birt Slater of Kearny (134-41-9, .753).

Duane Maley of San Diego was 97-19-2, .826, from 1948-59, when County schools were in the  Southern Section.

Other 100-game winners still  listed as active heading into the 2014 season: Rob Gilster (183),  Willie Matson (166), Sean Doyle (145), John  Morrison (140),  Gary Blevins (129), Chris Hauser (115), Matt Oliver (115), Jerry Ralph (111), and Mike Hastings (111).

McFadden’s teams won eight Mesa or South Bay League championships, tied for another, and earned two San Diego Section championships.

His replacement has not been  announced but John Maffei of U-T San  Diego reported that Lee Price, a longtime assistant at Eastlake, is McFadden’s likely successor.

Price was 6-5 and won the Harbor League championship at Coronado in 1992.

A complete list of 100-game winners can be accessed by linking to “Football” and Coach 100 Club on the drop down menu.

With training camps still  weeks away, eight new head coaching appointments have been announced:

NAME SCHOOL REPLACED
Drew Westling Chula Vista Judd Rachow
Joe Kim Clairemont Ron Gladnick
Jon Goodman Classical Jon Burnes
John Roberts El Camino Pulu Poumele
Tyler Hales La Jolla Country Day Jeff Hutzler
Lance Christensen Otay Ranch Anthony Lacsina
Jason Patterson Orange Glen Kris Plash
Ron Gladnick Torrey Pines Scott Ashby

 

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1969: Cavemen Dissed But Claim Title Share

The result of the Eastern League’s vote to determine its champion after a three-way tie for first was considered so egregious that even a coach of a potential playoff opponent led the shouting.

San Diego High was the selection of the league’s principals after the Cavemen finished with a 5-1 record, same as St. Augustine and Patrick Henry.

That the Cavemen were in the playoffs for the first time since 1960, following a 2-7 season in 1968, should have been enough for a collective doffing of headwear to Allan (Scotty) Harris.

FROM MARINES TO PREPS

Harris, a retired major and former coach of the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot team, took over the Cavemen’s program in 1968 and the team found its stride after a 2-3 start this season.

San Diego won the City Conference playoffs  and went on to tie County Conference titlist Escondido, 21-21, for the AA title, but not before critics, including Kearny coach Birt Slater, were heard, loudly.

One complaint was that San Diego’s closing run of victories over Crawford (57-6) and Hoover (56-7) gained too much currency with the league’s voting representatives.

Another charge was that the Eastern League schools “were punishing St. Augustine” for unproven charges of misconduct.

St. Augustine virtually had to shoot its way into the City Prep League in 1957 and some schools still chafed at the Saints’ perceived advantages of recruiting and in handling eligibility issues.

The most vocal beef was that St. Augustine’s head-to-head victory over San Diego and the Saints’ superior team statistics were dismissed.

The issue even got the attention of the San Diego Section board of managers, the ruling body of the San Diego Section.

The managers hung with the Eastern League, citing Article 24 of the CIF bylaws. The article states… “Leagues shall determine their own champions in any way they see fit, provided their methods are not contrary to the rules of the San Diego Section.”

THREE-WAY LOSSES

San Diego entered the playoffs with a 6-3 overall record and with a 21-14 victory over 6-3 Patrick Henry but with a 24-21 loss to St. Augustine, which was 8-1 and with a 7-0 loss to Henry.

EIGHT FOR POSTSEASON

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2014: Women Tracksters Star and Look to 2015

The names that figure to be shouted out in 2015 are Labrie-Smith and Johnson from Cathedral, Acolatse from Mission Hills, with maybe a raised voice by Mongiovi from West Hills.

All were underclass standouts among the women, who made the most noise on what was, at best, another average season by San Diego Section athletes, at least in comparison to most of the other nine CIF sections in California.

Junior Hanna Labrie-Smith was second in the state meet and set a Section record of :41.67 in the 300 hurdles and sophomore teammate Dani Johson ran :42.13 and blitzed  wind-aided times of  :13.81 and :13.99 in the 100 hurdles in the state meet. Johnson set a Section record with a non-wind :14.16 at the finals at Mt. Carmel.

Junior Suzie Acolatse turned in the fourth (:11.59) and seventh (:23.97) all-time fastest times in the 100 and 200. Junior Melissa Mongiovi logged :55.61 in the 400 but did not approach her personal best of :54.70 from 2013.

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji led the men and won the state shot put at 65 feet, 5 1/2 (fourth) but fouled at over 200 feet in the discus trials and did not qualify.  Ogundeji’s accepted 194-5 is sixth all-time.

The edited best marks list for 2014 was compiled by Steve Brand, for more than 40 years an expert and fan of the sport.

MEN

100 (Fully Automatic)— Brandon Lucas (Poway) 10.63 (Tie No. 16 all-time),  John Kendrick III (Morse) 10.69, Dosier (Monte Vista) 10.80, Dickens (Grossmont ) 10.82, Doan (St. Augustine) 10.84, Stinson (Helix) 10.85, Beck (Tri City Christian) 10.85, LeBlanc (University City) 10.88. Continue reading

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1938: Weird End to Vikings’ Season

Call it the case of “The Missing First Downs”.

La Jolla and Calexico engaged in a Southern California Lower Division playoff at La Jolla.

The game ended in a 6-6 tie, but The San Diego Union reported the next day that the Vikings “won”  7-6 and advanced to a championship encounter.

As Union writer Mitch Angus noted, “An extra point tossed in for an edge in first downs made gave La Jolla High school a 7-6 victory over an invading Calexico High eleven in a bitter minor league football playoff on the Jewel City gridiron.”

“The Vikings scored 13 first downs to nine for the visitors to win the game on a CIF ruling,” wrote Angus.

Headlines the next few days tell a story.

Calexico did not protest but asked CIF commissioner Seth Van Patten for clarification of the rule pertaining to tied playoff games.

38ljheadline0617140003 Van Patten sat up.

According to a Mr. Lawson, the principal at Calexico, the commissioner said that because no official record of first downs was kept  the game either would be replayed in Calexico or go down as a tie.

(Van Patten had ordered replays before.  See Calexico vs. Grossmont, 1927).

The Union conducted a review and reported that in an unofficial count of five newspapermen and “other interested parties”, La Jolla was given the edge in four first down tabulations and one was even.

La Jolla principal Clarence Johnson was out of town and could not be reached for comment. 38lj2headline0617140001

Days later the matter still was unsettled as thoughts turned to Christmas and basketball.

The game wouldn’t be replayed.

According to the Union, the head linesman assigned to the game was responsible and failed to keep a record of first downs.

The official in question was Joe Beerkle, the head coach at San Diego High.

Area coaches manned the other officiating positions. Grossmont’s Jack Mashin was referee, Morris Gross of San Diego State was back judge, and Sweetwater’s Cletis (Biff) Gardner was umpire.

The CIF Southern Section record book lists no lower division champion for 1938.

METROPOLITAN PLAYOFF OUT

There was talk of a postseason, Thanksgiving Day game for the Metro League title after Point Loma and La Jolla tied for first with 5-1 records (La Jolla beat Point Loma, 22-7, and Coronado upset La Jolla, 6-0).

A decision not to play was made after principals from each school met with coaches.

Point Loma honcho Clarence Swenson stated, “We felt it might hinder the chances of the Metropolitan League entry in the CIF minor league playoff.”

Point Loma had won league titles in 1936 and 1937 but had declined invitations to participate in the postseason.

La Jolla later won a coin flip with the Pointers to determine the league’s playoff representative against Calexico.

FIVE TROJANS FROM SAN DIEGO

USC coach Howard Jones mined the recruiting fields in San Diego with great success during his tenure as the “Head Man” at USC from 1926-40.

Five players  from San Diego were on Jones’s 1938 squad that upset undefeated Notre Dame, 13-0, then defeated a Duke team that had not been scored on, 9-0, in the 1939 Rose Bowl.38tsdtrojans0619140001

From left:  blocking halfback Joe Shell (Hoover), end Sal Mena (San Diego), guard Ben Sohn (San Diego), fullback Roy Engle (Hoover), and quarterback Oliver Day (San Diego).

WHAT DO YOU REALLY MEAN?

Coach-speak could be ponderous at best, or did sportswriters of the day just report quotes the way they wanted to hear them?

La Jolla boss Marvin Clark was quoted thusly when Clark spoke of the team’s prospects after 40 candidates turned out:

“Since we have no outstanding threat—no player capable of breaking away for touchdowns with enough frequency to be considered a menacing ball packer—we must work extra hard for our touchdowns, which means that we are not apt to be more than a good defensive (sic) team.

“The club is too small to be overly powerful, for our players will not average more than 150 pounds, and that means we will have to content ourselves with making trouble for the big fellows.

“We hope to have a good team but our prospects are not brilliant.”

La Jolla, 3-5 in 1937, improved to 8-1-1.

TOO MUCH HYPE

Coach Joe Beerkle moved from Point Loma to San Diego and one of his standout Pointers, halfback Paul (Red) Isom, followed Beerkle, accompanied by much hoopla.

The coach complimented Isom, sort of.

“They’re trying to put Red on the spot,” said Beerkle.  “He’s no flashy, triple threat man. He’s good, however.”

Isom played through  injuries and led the Cavemen with five touchdowns and 30 points.

Red guided the Cavers 70 yards to the winning touchdown in the final minutes  as San Diego defeated Phoenix Union, 19-14, on the sixth annual Homecoming weekend. The school honored graduates from the class of 1891.

The Cavers had met the Arizona squad 12 times since 1923 but the series was suspended because of travel concerns and wouldn’t be renewed until 1946.

Isom also was star on Beerkle's '37 Point Loma team.

Isom also starred on Beerkle’s 1937 Point Loma team that won Metropolitan League championship.

FAREWELL, MOORS!

Alhambra won the Coast League championship after the Cavers missed a point after touchdown in a 6-6 tie, but the Moors were ending an affiliation with the Coast that began in 1925.

Games on the road with San Diego and Hoover usually were two-day trips, sometimes three.

Ground breaking for Mark Keppel High meant a new school would open on the east side of the city, cutting into the enrollment of the largest school in Southern California.

Alhambra would join the Foothill League, made up of mostly neighboring San Gabriel Valley schools, and the Coast League would be reduced to three teams, San Diego, Long Beach Poly, and San Diego Hoover.

3 LEAGUES MEET                                                                                     

A meeting in Long Beach among the 16 Bay League, Coast and Foothill schools resulted in a realignment proposal that was adopted at a meeting at South Pasadena High in early 1939.

Representatives, including San Diego High vice principal Edward Taylor,  agreed to guarantee five league games in 1939-40 for the six Foothill, seven Bay, and three Coast League squads in football, basketball and baseball.

San Diego would play Hoover, Poly, Whittier of the Foothill League, and Compton and Inglewood of the Bay.

The Bay League’s Long Beach Wilson and the Foothill League’s Alhambra and Glendale Hoover were scheduled to be San Diego Hoover opponents.

The intersectional games would count in the teams’ league standings and hopefully revitalize the struggling Coast League.

NO PLAYOFFS URGED

Rivalries, partisanship and potential charges of bias were noted by commissioner Seth Van Patten when opponents were to be selected.

Van Patten named an executive committee that was charged with drawing up schedules.  Members of the select group did not have any connection to the schools involved.

Another recommendation that was not passed at the subsequent meeting called for the elimination of all playoffs.  The postseason apparently was not profitable and therefore not popular, but they would continue.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES Patrol Squadron 4

Seventeen bomber planes, from Navy Patrol Squadron 4, flying in formation all night, set a record for air time from San Diego to Honolulu on Sept. 7.

The planes covered the 2,150 miles in 17 hours, 17 minutes.

The trip, described politely as a “routine transfer of patrol bombers,” was made at an average speed of 145 knots, according to officials.  Converted, 145 knots was equal to 167 miles per hour.

GLOBAL WARMING, COOLING?

The San Diego temperature of 94 degrees on Oct. 2 broke the record of 88 set in 1893. Six weeks later, on Nov. 12, the temperature dropped to 18 in Descanso 25 in El Cajon and 30 in Escondido.

Tomatoes suffered in El Cajon and water froze on Palomar Mountain.

WHO’S GOING TO PAY?

The San Diego State Aztecs attended the USC-Notre Dame game in Los Angeles and then spent the night in a downtown L.A. hotel.

The next morning, after a team breakfast, graduate manager Al Morrison prepared to pay.

Morrison discovered that his wallet had been emptied of its contents. A further check revealed that currency had been removed from the billfolds of head coach Leo Calland and athletic director Morris Gross.

One other hotel guest reported that he, too, had been robbed. The Aztecs made good on the breakfast tab after returning home.

MR. TOUCHDOWN

Bobby Cifers, a triple-threat halfback from Kingsport, Tennessee, set a national high school record with 233 points in 12 games. Cifers scored 34 touchdowns and 29 PAT to break the mark of 211 set by Chicago prep Bill DeCorrevont in 1937.

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

They were  mostly former San Diego High players  and they represented the Golden Hill Gophers, who defeated the Hilltoppers’ junior varsity, 12-0.

 

Coover was on San Diego prep scene many years as player and coach.

Coover was on San Diego prep scene many years as player and coach.

COOVER OF HOOVER

Chuck Coover was a 140-pound, second-team all-Coast League end and one of many future coaches mentored by Hoover’s John Perry.

Coover coached many years in San Diego, taking on almost impossible tasks at football-barren St. Augustine (1947), Mar Vista (1952-53), and Mission Bay (1959-61), before moving to Morse.

The school South of Encanto in the city’s Skyline District opened in 1962 and Coover built the program from the ground up.  He retired after a 9-2 season in 1968.

ADVERTISING FOR PLAYERS

Joe Beerkle was desperate for backfield help and placed a faux help-wanted ad in the morning newspaper.

“Any halfback, quarterback, or fullback not regularly employed at present kindly report to the San Diego High practice field at 2:30 this afternoon for a tryout.”

Beerkle was elated when Dempsey Holder, a 180-pound halfback, transferred in from a school in the Phoenix area in Arizona.

Like some Hollywood marriages, the relationship was brief and ended unhappily for Beerkle.

Holder, who stepped in at right halfback against Long Beach Poly, was gone three weeks later, moving back to Arizona.

EVENING TO REMEMBER

The first night game at Coronado turned in a frenetic last quarter.

Coronado scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes to overcome St. Augustine, 13-6, after the Saints took a fourth-quarter lead on Les Duffy’s 100-yard punt return.

MOVIES

Film study still was in its development stage, but San Diego coach Joe Beerkle took up most of one practice say by showing the squad “slow motion pictures” of the California-UCLA game from the previous week.

Beerkle hoped the film would aid Cavers backs blocking for Red Isom.

QUICK KICKS

San Diego's Hank Newman caught pass from Red Isom and scored on 15-yard play for first touchdown against Hoover.

San Diego’s Hank Newman caught pass from Red Isom and scored on 15-yard play for first touchdown against Hoover.

A fight almost started at midfield game over possession of the game ball after  San Diego defeated Hoover, 14-0, before 16,000 in City Stadium…the ball finally was delivered to San Diego coach Joe Beerkle…San Dieguito spoiled dedication of Escondido’s new field, edging the Cougars, 7-6,  in the season opener for both team…Fallbrook, in its third season of football, welcomed a turf playing field; so did San Dieguito…Ramona won its inaugural game, 7-0 over Fallbrook…Metropolitan League rivals Oceanside and Escondido played a Thanksgiving Day nonleague game with proceeds setting up a fund for injured players…Escondido made it two in a row over the Pirates, winning, 20-0…Hoover and Tucson drew 5,000 spectators in the  Arizona city the day after Thanksgiving…the Badgers beat the visitors, 14-6…Point Loma’s ace blocking back and defensive star Jack Farrell turned 20 in the middle of the season and had to leave the team, having exceeded the CIF age limit….

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2014: Mac’s fleet 1,500 propels Ducks to title

Happy Father’s Day!

Oregon’s Mac Fleet defended his national collegiate 1,500-meter run championship with a time of 3:39.09 yesterday, helping the Ducks win their first men’s championship since 1984.

Nosing out Arizona’s Lawi Lalang, who was seeking a ninth NCAA individual championship, Fleet made a powerful stretch run in front of his parents, Dale and Jana Fleet, and  a crowd of more than 10,000 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Fleet is a name that has resonated many years in San Diego track and field circles.

Dale Fleet was the 1971 state champion for Clairemont High with a time of 8:53.8 in the two-mile run at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus in Westwood.*

Fleet is among the state's and San Diego's all-time runners.

Fleet is among the state’s and San Diego’s all-time runners.

Dale’s time, converted to meters, is 8:50.84, fourth all-time in San Diego County.

Mac ran 4:05.33 to win the state 1,600 meters as a senior at University City in the 95-degree heat at Buchanan High in Clovis in 2009.

The younger Fleet’s 1,600 meters is No. 2 all-time among area runners and his 1:50.31 for 800 meters is fourth.

Mac also is sixth in the all-time California prep rankings with a 4:02.9 mile that converted to 4:01.29 for 1,600 meters.  His 3:39.09 1,500 meters in the NCAA event converts to a 3:56.55 mile.

Fleet also won the 1,500 in 3:50.25 in 2013 at Eugene  and ran a personal best 3:38.35 last season.

*That  meet still ranks among the best ever in California.  Competition, before a crowd of more than 12,000,  was so intense and marks so outstanding  that Lincoln’s Donald Tyler, for example, ran a  :47.3 440 and finished eighth in a field of nine.

Tyler’s :47.3, converted to :47.14, has been bettered by only three San Diego runners, led by the :46.85 of Morse’s Lydell Burston  in 1996.

Dale Fleet, a San Diego school teacher, still is involved in the sport, helping out with the cross-country program at University City.

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1990: Was Morse The Number One Number One?

As far back as early 1989, Morse coach John Shacklett was able to smile through some struggles, supported by a mantra that the best was yet to come.

This after the Tigers had defeated Orange Glen, 31-28, for the 1988 AAA championship and not about the potential of the team that would reach the AAA finals again before losing, 21-7, to Rancho Buena Vista.

Shacklett was thinking further ahead, to 1990, and to Teddy Lawrence’s senior season.

Built around the explosive running and passing of Lawrence and junior running back Gary Taylor, Morse returned 29 lettermen and 18 players who started at least one game in 1989.

Rancho, El Camino, Helix, Mira Mesa, Chula Vista, Orange Glen, Oceanside, and Kearny also would be formidable. Morse met five of those teams, but only George Ohnessorgen’s Chula Vista Spartans, in the AAA semifinal, came within a touchdown.

Did this group of gifted players gathered on the 28-year-old campus at 69th Street and Skyline Drive represent the all-time, No. 1 San Diego County team?

Better than the 1955 San Diego High national championship team?

Better than the 1985 Vista juggernaut?

Or some of the Oceanside, Vista, Rancho Buena Vista, and El Camino teams that reflected the population explosion and increased talent pools in the 1970s and ‘80s in the North County?

Not to mention Birt Slater’s 1963 Kearny Komets; any of a number of Duane Maley’s other San Diego High clubs; the Helix teams coached by Jim Arnaiz and Gordon Wood, or the Sweetwaters of David Lay and Gene Alim?

The Tigers built a case for themselves, game by game, beginning in Hawaii Aug. 26.

MORSE 55, @PUNAHOU 15.

Barack Obama’s alma mater, a storied program on the islands, was no match. Teddy Lawrence rushed for 206 yards in six carries and scored on runs of 85, 42, and 67 yards and passed for touchdowns of 65, 11, and 36 yards.

A couple weeks later Punahou defeated St. Louis, Hawaii’s No. 1 team.

Running or passing, Lawrence ranks among San Diego Section's greatest.

Running or passing, Lawrence ranks among the San Diego Section’s greatest.

MORSE 28, RANCHO BUENA VISTA 14, @Mesa College

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2014: Ogundeji, Cathedral Girls Stand Out

A couple hard-knocking hurdlers from Cathedral and a shot putter from Madison furnished the star power for the San Diego Section in the boys’ 96th and girls’ 41st State high school track and field championships over the weekend in Clovis.

Doton Ogundeji of Madison, overcoming a fouled-filled, nonqualifying 163-foot effort in Friday’s discus trials, won the shot put on Saturday with a toss of 65 feet, 5 1/2 inches, matching his career best.

Ogundeji’s victory, coming in one of the meet’s final events, kept alive a streak dating to 2002 in which the San Diego Section has produced an individual winner.

Hannah Labrie-Smith finished second in the 300 hurdles with a San Diego Section record :41.67.

Labrie-Smith’s sophomore teammate, Dani Johnson, was seventh in the 100 hurdles but her time of 13,99, which followed a :13.81 in Friday’s trials, would have  broken her section record of :14.16 but each race was contested in wind over the allowable 2.0 meters.

San Diego Section athletes scored 58 points total, including Johnson’s seventh, a seventh by Tal Braude in the boys’ 3200, and Emma Abrahamson’s eighth in  the girls’ 3200.

OUTSCORED BY POLY GIRLS

What kind of season was it?

The  58 points were less than the 64 scored by the Long Beach Poly girls.

San Diego athletes earned eight medals.  By comparison, Central Section athletes, perhaps more adapted to the 100-degree temperatures in Clovis and  the surrounding San Joaquin Valley, were awarded 23 medals.

The Central Section has 131 schools, San Diego Section 123.

Labrie-Smith  and Johnson will lead the class of 2015.

Other standouts returning next season:

Sprints–John  Kendrick (Morse), :10.69, :21.99.  Suzie Acolatse (Mission Hills), 11.59, :23.97.

110 Hurdles–Devon Alvarado (Rancho Buena Vista), :14.65.

400–Melissa Mongiovi (West Hills), :55.31 (:54.70 as a sophomore).

1600–Erik Armes (Coronado), 4:13.67.

Long Jump–Jordan Miller (Oceanside), 23-8w.

State Meet Medal Winners Continue reading

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2014: Ogundeji leads Section State Qualifiers

The San  Diego Section has 16 state top 10 performances, compared with 18 two weeks ago and 11 last week as the 96th meet championships loom this weekend at Clovis’ Buchanan High.

There are many scoring opportunities for the local group after a strong finish to the San Diego Section season Saturday at Mt. Carmel, but the field at Buchanan is as loaded as ever. Some  potential point-scorers:

–Madison’s Doton Ogundeji has to be favored in the shot put and discus, with state-leading efforts of 65 feet, 5 1/2 inches, and 194-5.

Ogundeji was the only San Diego Section athlete to qualify for Saturday’s finals in two events last year.

But the pressure will be on. Matt Katnik of Bellflower St. John Bosco trails Ogundeji by an inch in the shot put and Malik McMorris of Santa Ana Mater Dei is close in the discus at 192.

–Brandon Lucas of Poway is in three events, 100 (:10.63), 200 (:21.18), and 4×100 relay (:41.45). He would have qualified in the 400 but dropped that event in the San Diego Section finals.

Lucas’ best individual event is the 200, with a fifth-best time of :21.18.  Should he qualify in all three, the Saturday night 200 final would be Lucas’ sixth race in two days.

Rumors abounded at the San Diego finals that Poway would make a state meet personnel change, Ryan Morgan replacing one of the foursome that included Will James, Tyjon Lindsey, Lance Mudd, and Lucas in the league and section meets.

–Suzie Acolatse of Mission Hills has come out of the weeds and inserted herself into the conversation  with an :11.59 100 and :23.97 200, both times representing significant improvements in the last month.

–Melissa Mongiovi of West Hills ran :54.70 as sophomore last year and finished fifth in the 400.  Her best this season is :55.61  and Mongiovi  seems to have too much left at the end of her races, but she is a technically sound and fast enough  to hang with the favorites.

–Adrian Mangoba of Vista (who?)  was laboring in 1:57.74 obscurity 30 days before the section final, but took the lead Saturday early in the second lap and no one could run him down.

Mangoba held on to win in 1:52.33, beating back the challenge of Bannon Greer of Valley Center, who ran 1:52.96.

–Hannah Labrie-Smith, Cathedral’s section record-holding 300 hurdler, was among the state leaders since April with a :42.24, but she fell to No. 8 when Southern Section hurdlers blew out some low :42s and mid :41s.

–Stephen Fahy of La Costa Canyon hopes to make a run at Bakersfield Stockdale’s Blake Haney in the 3200.

Fahy’s 8:53.5 is third best going in and Haney, undefeated in 23 races this year,  has not run close to his state-leading 8:46.80 since early April. But Haney tripled in  the Central Section finals, running 1:52.86 in the 800, 4:13.07 in the 1600, and 9:18.1 in the 3200.

San Diegans in State Top 10 Continue reading

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2014: San Diego Leaders Eye Section Finals

Were the San Diego Section trials yesterday the “proof of the pudding” for area qualifiers who now enter the two most important weeks of the season?

Section finals will be Saturday at Mt. Carmel High, followed  by the state meet in Clovis June 6-7.

While the ancient proverb may not apply, San Diego athletes did  not come close to season standards in almost every event yesterday.

Meanwhile, 12 season bests were recorded as the rest of the state competed in divisional meets.  The Central Section held its finals.

Eastlake’s Shane Martin traversed the 110 hurdles in a fully electronic :14.48 for a 2014 best.  Dalish Dozier of Mount Miguel took the lead in the girls’ long jump at 18-11.

Two significant casualties from league meets were Helix’ 4×100 relay squad, which had a hand-timed :41.8, and Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas, the section leader for most of the year with a :48.18 400.

The Highlanders were guilty of a lane violation in the Grossmont Hills finals and Thomas pulled a muscle in the Eastern finals.

If healthy this week, Thomas possibly could run a leg for the Falcons’ 4×400 relay squad, which qualified.

SAN DIEGANS IN STATE TOP 10 Continue reading

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2014: League Finals Produce State Contenders

It’s that time of year.

Fire-delayed league finals didn’t slow San Diego Section track and field athletes in their pursuit of May-June honors. Seven new state top 10 performances were recorded (see table below).

Poway’s Brandon Lucas turned a wind-assisted :10.64 100 meters and hustled to a :21.18 200 (County No. 13 all-time) in the Palomar League finals. Mission Hills Suzie Acolatse ran :11.83 in the Valley League 100.

Oceanside’s Kevin Dodds moved up in the triple jump at 48-1, with wind, while teammate Jordan Miller proffered a wind-aided 23-8 long jump.

Poway’s Charlie Bush cleared 15-9 in the pole vault  and Mt. Carmel’s Tobe Ezeokoli logged :48.16 in the Valley League 400.

Lucas and other members of  Poway’s  fine short and long relay teams sat out those events but will be action this week. Brian Thomas, the Section 400-meter leader from Scripps Ranch, scratched from the 200 after struggling to :53.87 and seventh place in the Eastern League 400.

Ill or injured, Thomas would have to get a favorable nod to be byed into the San Diego Section trials.

Although she did not break into the state’s top 10, Cathedral’s Dani White raced over the 100 hurdles in :14.28, Section No. 3 all-time, in Western finals.

White’s teammate, Hannah Labrie-Smith, No. 2 in the state 300 hurdles at :42.24,  was cut a break when Long Beach Poly’s Ebony Crear, the leader at :41.46, stumbled and fell in a Southern Section divisional meet.

Unless Crear is politicked into the Southern Section final this week, Labrie-Smith will have one less formidable  rival in the upcoming meets.

Section trials will be at Mt. Carmel Saturday.  Girls competition starts at 9 a.m., followed by the boys at 2 p.m.

State Finishers Continue reading

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2014: 48 Years After, Danielson’s Marks Still Best

Tim Danielson was convicted last week in El Cajon Superior Court of murdering his ex-wife in 2011.  His expected sentence of 50 years to life is pending.

I’d like to remember Danielson as the billiant runner who competed  for coach Harry Taylor at Chula Vista High and set San Diego Section standards in 1965-66 that still are unequaled, 48 years later.

Danielson became the second high school runner (after Jim Ryun)  to better 4 minutes in the mile in 1966 when he finished fourth in 3:59.4 behind Jim Grelle, Neil Duggan, and Dave Bailey in the San Diego Invitational of internationally-ranked runners in Balboa Stadium.

Danielson was congratulated by Spoken prep Rick Reilly, who ran 4:04.7 in same race.

Danielson was congratulated by Spoken prep Rick Reilly, who ran 4:04.7 in same race.

The 4-minute mile has been reached by high schoolers three times  since, by New Jersey’s Martin Liquori, who ran 3:59.7 in 1967; by Virginian Alan Webb, who ran 3:53.43 in 2001, and by Illinois’ Lucas Verbickas, who ran 3:59.71 in 2011.

The mile,  the most famous event in the sport’s history, is seldom run.  Its currency faded when the United States went to the metric system 35 years ago.

Danielson competed in the era of  yards and hand-timed races, but we’ve attempted to measure  Danielson’s marks as if he were competing in meters and with electronic timing.

The table below shows Danielson’s best converted efforts in his final two years at Chula Vista, including  dominance of California distance aces.  He  won back-to-back state championships,  by 10 yards in Bakersfield in 1965 and by 12 yards in Berkeley in 1966.

Today’s runners, with several evolutionary advantages, would have to hustle to keep up with him.

Event                    Mark Meet Site Date
400 49.95 vs. Escondido Escondido 04/01/66
800 1:52.50 Metropolitan League Escondido 05/13/66
1600 3:57.50n Invitational Balboa Stadium 06/11/66
4:01.70n National AAU New York 06/25/66
4:02.30n Police Games Toronto 07/23/66
4:04.60 San Diego Section Balboa Stadium 05/27/66
4:05.40 State Berkeley 06/04/.66
Golden West Sacramento 06/18/66
4:05.80n National AAU (h) New York 06/25/66
4:06.40 State Bakersfield 06/05/65
4:06.60 San Diego Section (h) Balboa Stadium 05/21/66
4:07.10 San Diego Section (h) Balboa Stadium 05/22/65
4:08.30 San Diego Section Balboa Stadium 05/28/65
3200 8:52.0 Golden West Sacramento 06/18/66
9:01.40 vs. Mar Vista Chula Vista 05/06/66

 n–nonwinning.  h–heat.

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2014: Titans Run Very Fast 4×100

Poway’s 400-meter relay team was as hot as the 100-degree  weather at the Escondido Invitational last night.

A Titans foursome of Will James, Jarod Turnage, Brandon Lucas, and Lance Mudd flawlessly passed the baton and covered the toasty, all-weather layout  in :41.62, fourth fastest time in California this year.

It is rarefied air for the Titans, whose previous best was :42.02, and for San Diego Section squads.

No County teams  have gotten under 42 seconds since a Reggie Bush-anchored Helix quartet blazed :41 flat in 2003.  At that time there had been 18 teams which had run at least :41.44.

The Section’s all-time best is :40.66 by sprinters from University City in 1998.

High schools dropped the 880-yard relay in 1968 and went to the 440 and mile races, followed by the move to 400 and 1,600 meters with the U.S. switch from yards to meters  in 1980.

The best 880-yard relay team still is the 1963 San Diego team of Walter (Budda) Blackledge, Gordon Baker, Raymond Dixon, and Charles Sanford. That group ran a perfect half mile in 1:26.3 and won the state championship at Berkeley by almost five yards.

San Diego-area teams seldom run the now metric 800 relay.

It would have been interesting to see what the U. City and Helix squads could have negotiated in the mid-distance sprint and what that group of Cavers could have achieved in the 400.

The Highlanders, in  2003 with Bush, ran a leisurely 1:28.7 at Mt. San Antonio in an infrequent attempt at the distance.

TITANS POTENTIAL RIVALS

Poway is expected to get a challenge from Helix in the upcoming section meets.  The Highlanders have a hand time of :41.8 and a :41.97 fully automatic.

According to Athletic.net, the state leader is Temecula Great Oak at :41.33.

Mission Bay is reported second in the state with  a  :41.44.  That mark seems very  shaky, although the Buccaneers, with no history of great speed, allegedly ran ran that hand-converted time in a dual meet with Kearny at Clairemont on April 18.

Other state leaders include Upland, :41.57; Los Angeles Loyola, :41.58; Gardena Serra, :41.64; Fresno Edison, :41.64, and  Long Beach Poly, :41.76.

LUCAS BURNS

Poway’s Lucas improved the section lead in the 200 meters to :21.56, tenth fastest in the state, and threw a shot across the bow at Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas and Mt. Carmel’s Tobe Ezeokoli with a :48.39 in the 400.

Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas is the section leader at :48.18.  Ezeokoli has run :48.26.

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1961: Grossmont Teams See The Light(s)

Modified Sportsmen race cars and the arrival of the San Diego Chargers may have saved night football in  the foothills east of San Diego.

Talk about unusual alliances.

Grossmont School District teams, faced with an illumination problem, played many games on the infield of the dirt track oval near the Gillespie Field airport from 1958-64.

New schools (Mount Miguel, 1957, El Capitan, 1959, Granite Hills, 1960, and Monte Vista, 1961) created an exponential need for lights on East County gridirons.

No lights, no night football. Helix and Mount Miguel were the only schools this year in the new, seven-school Grossmont League that were able to host games after dark. Cajon Speedway, formerly County Stadium, became increasingly important.

Aztec Bowl was E; Capitan coach Art Preston's turf when he starred at San Diego State, a point not lost on Vaqueros  backs Dave Phillips (15), Dennis Childers, Dave Varvel, and Leon Herzog, from left.

Aztec Bowl was El Capitan coach Art Preston’s turf when he starred at Grossmont and San Diego State, a point not lost on Vaqueros backs Dave Phillips (15), Dennis Childers, Dave Varvel, and Leon Herzog, from left.

The Speedway in North El Cajon near the future Eastbound State 52, was home for El Cajon Valley, Granite Hills, and Grossmont.

El Capitan played home games at Aztec Bowl.

BASEBALL AT GILLESPIE? 

Earle Brucker, Sr., who played and coached for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics and had a long career in the minor leagues, had baseball on his mind when he  became involved in plans to build a spring training facility for a major league team.

A plot of land next to Gillespie Field seemed destined to become the site, according to Bob Gardner, an El Cajon Daily Californian staffer who later became publicist at Cajon Speedway.

A hotel chain sought a lease from the County of San Diego to build on the land in 1955. The corporation also hoped to erect a major hotel on one of the hills west of the city. But a change in state tax laws forced the innkeepers to abandon their plan.

Brucker, according to Gardner, stepped up and acquired the lease.

“At the time the idea still was to build a ball park,” said Earle Brucker, Jr.  “After we got it built the baseball team (Detroit Tigers) decided to go elsewhere.

Race cars shared Cajon Speedway with high school football t\eams from the area.

Race cars shared Cajon Speedway with high school football teams from the area.

“Since the high schools around here didn’t have anywhere to play night football and since we were committed to put in some lights, we converted the baseball field into a football stadium,” said the younger Brucker.

A motorcycle track was installed after the first year of football. “The money we got from the motorcycles was the only income we had other than the minimal amount we got from the high schools,” said Brucker.

The struggling Bruckers soon were gifted with some good luck.

PRO FOOTBALL COMES TO TOWN Continue reading

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2014: Escondido Meet Next Up

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji continues to lead state and national shot putters and Mt. Carmel’s Derek Morton has moved in front of California 800-meter runners.

Both are expected to take on some of the nation’s best in the annual Arcadia Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Ogundeji leads the nation with a throw of 65-4 1/2 and is 10th in the U.S. and fourth in California with a 180-foot waft in the discus.

Morton took the state lead with a  1:53.60 last week in a dual meet at Westview and is fifth in the country.

The Sundevils senior showed promise last year with bests of 1:57.80 and 4:18.16 in the 1,600 meters and cranked a 1:55.65 month ago in the Mt. Carmel Field and Distances invite.

Other San Diego Section athletes who have moved into respective state Top 10′s:

Event Rank Name School Mark
300 HurdlesG 4 Hannah Labrie-Smith Cathedral :43.4
1600 MetersG 5 Emma Abrahamson La Costa Canyon 4:55.81
1600 MetersB 7 Erik Armes Coronado 4:16.32
Pole VaultG 8T Augusta Thomason Rancho Bernardo 12-0
800 MetersB 9 Bryan Alvarado Sweetwater 1:55.30
800 MetersG 9 Kelly Bernd Canyon Crest 2:15.09
200 MetersG 9T Melissa Mongiovi West Hills :24.79
Pole VaultB 9T Charlie Bush Poway 15-7
Shot PutG 10 Kiely Osby Escondido 42-10 1/2
400 MetersB 10 Brian Thomas Scripps Ranch :48.41
1600 RelayB 10 Scripps Ranch 3:20.75
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2014: Steve Brand’s April 27 List

Sprints and hurdles times are fully automatic.  Some better marks in parenthesis are hand timed. w–wind aided.

BOYS

100— Lucas (Poway), 10.81, Dickens (Grossmont), 10.82, Doan (St. Augustine), 10.84, LeBlanc (University City) 10.88, Brewer (Brawley) 10.90, Dosier (Monte Vista) 10.90, Hennie (San Marcos) 10.94, Miller (Oceanside) 10.95. STATE–Godin (Santa Ana Mater Dei), 10.36.

 200— Doan (St. Augustine),  21.76, Lucas (Poway), 21.85 (21.5), Dosier (Monte Vista),  22.01, Carson (Olympian), 22.04, Miller (Oceanside), 22.16, Dickens (Grossmont),  22.22, Mudd (Ramona), 22.23 (21.7), Kendrick III (Morse), 22.27, Ellis (Valhalla), 22.29. STATE–Godin, 21.03.

400— Thomas (Scripps Ranch), 48.18, Ezeokoli (Mt. Carmel), 48.26, Lucas (Poway),  48.73, Collins (Granite Hills), 49.1, DeHaven (Granite Hills), 49.46, Capoocia (El Capitan), 49.5, Jackson (Monte Vista), 49.5, Durall (Del Norte), 49.95. STATE–Kurtz (Brentwood Heritage), 47.35.

 800— Morton (Mt. Carmel), 1:53.60, Famolaro (West Hills), 1:54.63, Rhodes (Steele Canyon) 1:55.03, Alvarado (Sweetwater), 1:55.30, Greer (Valley Center), 1:55.49, Morton (Mt. Carmel), 1:55.65, Meza (Granite Hills), 1:55.75, Grant (Del Norte), 1:55.84. STATE–Haney, Bakersfield Stockdale, 1:51.97.

1600— Armes (Coronado) 4:12.09c, Morton (Mt. Carmel) 4:17.33, Greer (Valley Center) 4:19.16, Sinisalchi (Westview), 4:19.96, Tucker (Westview), 4:20.22, Fahy (La Costa Canyon), 4:20.32, Grant (Del Norte), 4:20.81. STATE–Corcoran, Villa Park, 4:06.

3200— Fahy (La Costa Canyon), 8:53.95 (Section No. 4 all-time), Braude (Torrey Pines), 9:06.01, Hansen (San Marcos),  9:24.54, Siniscalchi (Westview), 9:25.70, Montavo (Mt. Carmel), 9:30.15, Freeman (Carlsbad), 9:34.95. STATE–Haney, 8:46.80.

 110HH— Martin (Eastlake), 14.48, Johnson (Serra), 14.97, Goodloe (Steele Canyon), 15.02, Thibadeaux (Monte Vista), 15.12, Skillin (University City), 15.26, Alexander (Brawley), 15.27, Lachica (Mt. Carmel), 15.38, Grumbling (Oceanside), 15.42. STATE–Viltz, L.B. Millikan, 13.71.

300IH— Johnson (Serra), 39.34, Ramos (Granite Hills), 39.5, Goodloe (Steele Canyon) 39.84, Grumbling (Oceanside), 39.99, Tibodoux (Monte Vista), 40.05, Martinez (Sweetwater),  40.29, Lindsey (Poway), 40.29. STATE–Morris, Concord De La Salle, 36.94.

4x100R— Helix, 41.97  (41.8), Poway 42.02, Granite Hills 42.87, Monte Vista 43.08, Steele Canyon 43.17, Sweetwater 43.24, Rancho Buena Vista, 43.1, Oceanside 43.45, Madison 43.5, El Capitan 43.64, La Costa Canyon 43.65. STATE–Temecula Great Oak, 41.33.

4x400R— Granite Hills 3:20.46, Scripps Ranch 3:20.75, Steele Canyon 3:22.73, Mt. Carmel 3:23.07, Poway 3:23.50, Del Norte 3:24.23, Monte Vista 3:24.6, Sweetwater 3:25.43. STATE–L.A. Dorsey, 3:15.00.

 High Jump— Bush (Pow) 6-7, Arroyo (WV) 6-7, Patmon (PH) 6-6, Probe (Se) 6-6, Carson (BV) 6-5, Benson (PL) 6-5, Rettig (ECap) 6-4, Beebe (MD) 6-4, Dumas (ECap) 6-4, Podraza (SR) 6-2 ¼. STATE–Moore (Rialto Carter), 7-0.

Pole Vault— Bush (Poway), 15-7, Sones (Vista), 15-0, Wagenveld (Calvin Christian), 14-7, Zawadski (Patrick Henry), 14-6, Logan (Rancho Bernardo), 14-6, Rothweil (Rancho Bernardo), 14-2, Winters (Rancho Bernardo) 14-0, Martinez (Steele Canyon), 14-0. STATE–Johnson (Orange Lutheran), 16-8.

 Long Jump— LeBlanc (University City), 22-11 ½, Wiley (Steele Canyon), 22-7, Dodds (Oceanside), 22-5, Hennie (San Marcos), 22-4, Brooks (Patrick Henry), 22-2, Carter (Imperial) 22-1, A. Holder (Oceanside), 22. STATE–Moore (Castro Valley), 25-10w.

Triple jump— Dodds (Oeanside), 47-0 M. Holder (Oceanside), 45-4, Carter (Imperial), 45-0, Wiley (Steele Canyon),  44-11 ¾, Collins (Granite Hills), 43-10, Pritchard (Helix), 43-9 ½, Thompson (Calvin Christian), 43-7 ½, Davis (Sweetwater), 43-5. STATE–Moore (Castro Valley), 50-4 1/2.

Shot Put—Ogundeji (Madison), 65-5 ½ (Section No. 4 all-time), Braddock (Eastlake), 55-8, Wyatt (Helix), 54-10, Hendrickson (San Pasqual), 52-10, Hampton (Helix),  52-1, Basinger (El Camino), 51-0, Lecakes-Jones (Rancho Bernardo),  50-9. STATE 2: Katnik (Bellflower St. John Bosco), 65-4.

 Discus— Ogundeji (Madison), 180-2, Braddock (Eastlake), 168-0, Savage (Morse), 167-10, Hampton (Helix), 164-6, Gonzalez (El Camino,) 160-1. Black (High Tech High), 154-0, Wyatt (Helix) 151-10. STATE–Hudson (Lemoore Kings Christian), 188-7.

GIRLS

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2014: 2 State Leaders Await Arcadia Invitational

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji continues to lead state and national shot putters and Mt. Carmel’s Derek Morton has moved in front of California 800-meter runners.

Both are expected to take on some of the nation’s best in the annual Arcadia Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Ogundeji leads the nation with a throw of 65-4 1/2 and is 10th in the U.S. and fourth in California with a 180-foot waft in the discus.

Morton took the state lead with a  1:53.60 last week in a dual meet at Westview and is fifth in the country.

The Sundevils senior showed promise last year with bests of 1:57.80 and 4:18.16 in the 1,600 meters and cranked a 1:55.65 month ago in the Mt. Carmel Field and Distances invite.

Other San Diego Section athletes who have moved into respective state Top 10′s:

Event Rank Name School Mark
300 HurdlesG 4 Hannah Labrie-Smith Cathedral :43.4
1600 MetersG 5 Emma Abrahamson La Costa Canyon 4:55.81
1600 MetersB 7 Erik Armes Coronado 4:16.32
Pole VaultG 8T Augusta Thomason Rancho Bernardo 12-0
800 MetersB 9 Bryan Alvarado Sweetwater 1:55.30
800 MetersG 9 Kelly Bernd Canyon Crest 2:15.09
200 MetersG 9T Melissa Mongiovi West Hills :24.79
Pole VaultB 9T Charlie Bush Poway 15-7
Shot PutG 10 Kiely Osby Escondido 42-10 1/2
400 MetersB 10 Brian Thomas Scripps Ranch :48.41
1600 RelayB 10 Scripps Ranch 3:20.75
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2000: New Century & New Faces

There wasn’t just a millennium going on.

Wholesale league changes and the San Diego Section’s annexation of schools in the Imperial Valley were creating a new landscape.

What started in 1980 with the addition of Calipatria, Holtville, and Imperial, was complete after Blythe Palo Verde,  El Centro Central, Brawley, Calexico, El Centro Southwest, and Calexico Vincent Memorial left the Southern Section.

Winterhaven San Pasqual also joined in 1980 and Salton City West Shores became a member in 1998, but neither of those schools was in for the long run.

DID VALLEY GET SHAFT?

Not everyone was happy.

Brian Hay wondered about his new associates. The El Centro Southwest coach was miffed when his 7-3 team was left out of the playoffs and three with losing records were bracketed into D-III.

“All of the San Diego-area team reps teamed up to keep us out,” Hay told Steve Brand of The San Diego Union.  “There’s something wrong when you’re 7-3 and don’t get into the playoffs.

“Only one of the Imperial Valley teams (Brawley) made it,” Hay added.  “I’d like to see the top two teams from each league be included.”

Hay was determined:  “We’re looking for a game against a San Diego-area team next year, so this won’t happen again.”

CAN’T BEAT ‘EM? JOIN ‘EM

Hay didn’t get that game for El Centro Southwest.

He  went one better.

The Southwest mentor headed west to San Diego to become head coach at Hilltop and became a fixture in the South Bay area, moving on to Mar Vista and then Sweetwater.

OTHERS UPSET, TOO

University was in the playoffs with a 3-7 record, but Rancho Bernardo (4-6-1) and San Diego (6-3-1) received the veritable rubber key.

“They say they want the best teams playing each other, so we play marquee teams and get punished because of our record,” said Rancho Bernardo’s Ron Hamamoto.  “We’re one of 12 best teams in the County.”

The Broncos defeated Vista, 6-3, and Rancho Buena Vista, 28-27.  Those teams received first-round byes in D-I.

67 YEARS FOR METRO

The Metropolitan Conference, which started as the eight-team Metropolitan League in 1933, servicing city and county schools, became two-headed, splitting into Mesa and South Bay circuits.

Sweetwater, San Diego Southwest, Montgomery, Chula Vista, and Bonita Vista came together as the Mesa League, all with larger enrollments than their South Bay brethren.

Marian (enrollment about 450), was by far the smaller entry among Mar Vista, Castle Park, Hilltop, and Eastlake, which made up the South Bay.

The Metro split once before, in 1960, when it divided into Northern and Southern divisions as the San Diego Section began play.

SEISMIC SHAKEUP

The Central League, born in 1980, went to the Great League in the Sky (to be resurrected in 2005) and its passing was felt throughout the city.

The Western League greeted Crawford, San Diego, and Madison from the deceased Central, and Hoover, which bid bon voyage to the Harbor. Western holdovers were La Jolla, Lincoln, and Kearny.

The Eastern League, which debuted with the Western when the City Prep League divided in 1959, also was involved.

University and St. Augustine moved from the Western to the Eastern.

The parochial schools joined Morse, Mira Mesa, Paddy Henry, Scripps Ranch and Point Loma.

TAKE THIS SPLIT AND SHOVE IT

Despite attempting to level the field based on enrollment, Mesa and South Bay teams still were scheduled to play interleague games.

There were unintended consequences.

Large school San Diego Southwest (Mesa) was run off the field, 66-0, by small-school-but-traditionally-formidable Castle Park (South Bay).

“We shouldn’t have had to play this game,” Southwest coach Joe Gonzalez fumed to writer Tom Shanahan.  “We’re struggling.  We’re overmatched.  We should be in a different league.”

Gonzalez added, “Give us a couple years to turn this around, but don’t force us to play strong competition we’re not ready to play.”

In a 0-10 season the loss to Castle Park was not the most humilating.  Mesa League rival Sweetwater defeated the Raiders, 72-0.

AVOCADO-PALOMAR-VALLEY SHUTTLE

The North County Conference also was shuffling. Torrey Pines moved from the Avocado League to the Palomar and Oceanside went from the Avocado to the Valley.

This made for three, more symmetrical alignments–five-team Avocado and six-team Palomar and Valley.

BAPTISM BY FIRE

Chris Hauser’s first game as head coach at Vista was against the most storied program in California.

It was a formidable assignment, but the fiery Hauser had been preparing for the moment.

Hauser was a wide receiver and defensive back in the early 1980s for legendary Vista coach Dick Haines.

After college Hauser returned to the school as a classroom teacher, was married to a Vista graduate, coached the Panthers junior varsity from 1990-93, and was varsity defensive coordinator from 1994-99.

Hauser became head coach at Vista, his alma-mater.

Who says you can’t go home again?  Hauser returned to Vista, his alma mater, and became head coach.

The Panthers dropped a 20-14 decision to Long Beach Poly, ranked second in California by Cal-Hi Sports and third in the country by USA Today.

Hershel Dennis’ 65-yard touchdown run with 5:07 remaining clinched the victory for the visitors.

“We talked about spilling our guts and our guys spilled their guts tonight,” Hauser said to writer Mick McGrane.  “It’s neat to see them leave with a different taste in their mouth.

“They came in here pretty arrogant, thinking they were going to mow us down.  It’s great it was a close game, but I want to win.”

BUCS’ BLOCK

Mission Bay’s 13-0 season included a stiff regular-season test when the Buccaneers went to 9-0 with a 10-7 victory over Lincoln (8-1).

David Abbott, a 6-foot, 245-pound lineman, blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt by Lincoln’s Noe Gonzalez  with 5.2 seconds left.

BUSING

Although Shannon Nowden owned a car, most of Mission Bay’s football players were products of optional school choices and were bused in.

Coach Dennis Pugh said that probably 75 per cent of his team came from areas outside the Bucs’ natural enrollment boundaries.

JaJa Riley rushed for more than 1,400 yards, scored 18 touchdowns as transfer to Mission Bay.

JaJa Riley rushed for more than 1,400 yards, scored 122 points as transfer to Mission Bay.

Nowden was from the Lincoln district.  Others included JaJa Riley and Scott White (Morse), Marcus Smith and David Abbott (Hoover),  and Jared Bray and Adam Riccardulli (Clairemont).

“When we start in the fall it’s like  we have a bunch of kids moving in from out of state,” Pugh told Tom Shanahan of The San Diego Union. “These kids go through a lot to make it work.  They spend more than two hours a day on the bus.”

CHAMPIONSHIP PLUCK

Those transfers played a part in the biggest play of Mission Bay’s season.  Trailing Lincoln, 13-7, Marcus Smith pick-pocketed Lincoln quarterback Jason Swanson and raced 96 yards for a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 27-13 win in the D-III final.

“First I went for the strip and then I went for the end zone,” said Smith, who heard “dangerous” footsteps chasing him.  Then Smith took advantage of something not usually available in high school games, sccording to Steve Brand.

“I looked up at the Jumbotron (in Qualcomm Stadium) and when I saw Shannon (Nowden) take out two blockers I knew I had a touchdown,” said Smith.

PRECURSOR

North County big shot Rancho Buena Vista did not play a team from any of the Grossmont leagues  until it tested the waters in 1998, when the Broncos dismissed Granite Hills, 20-0, and West Hills, 61-28.

Craig Bell’s No. 4-ranked Vistans ratcheted it up this season, visiting No. 6 Helix.

Sophomore Reggie Bush had 157 yards in 14 carries and ran 77 yards for a touchdown that gave Helix a 34-22 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Highlanders held on for a 34-29 victory, but their fifth straight victory without loss was just the beginning.

With Bush and junior quarterback Alex Smith setting the pace, Helix rolled to a 13-0 record and beat two more North County clubs in the playoffs, Oceanside, 28-10, in the semifinals and San Pasqual in the II championship, 24-14.

Bush rushed for 1,034 yards and scored 11 touchdowns and Smith passed for 1,592 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Bush’s emerging greatness was evident in another game when he ran 80 yards for the clinching touchdown with five minutes remaining  in a 22-19 triumph over Monte Vista, which had taken a 16-0 halftime lead.

The pair of future No. 1 NFL choices made for an outstanding coaching bow for Gordon Wood, who inherited a full cupboard when Wood took over for the retiring Jim Arnaiz.

IGNORED IN PRESEASON

For awhile at least Helix was a secret, not even in preseason state Top 20.  That was not the case with Fallbrook.

After first-year coach Randy Blankenship revived the Warriors with a 7-4-1 season in 1999, Fallbrook was ranked 11th and ready to make its first serious run since Tom Pack’s 1986 team was 11-2-1 and upset Vista, 28-14, in the AAA championship.

From 1987-98 the Warriors were 45-78-2, including an 11-49 drought since 1993.

Fallbrook overcame early defeats of 28-21 at Santa Ana Mater Dei and 42-23 at Anaheim Esperanza and then ran the table to an 11-2 record that included a 50-12 victory over Carlsbad for the D-I title.

Blankenship left after the season and was replaced by Dennis Houlihan.

William kept alive the Buchanon tradition.

William kept alive the Buchanon tradition.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Willie Buchanon was an all-pro cornerback with the Green Bay Packers and completed an outstanding, 11-season career with the San Diego Chargers, but Buchanon, in his prime, would have had trouble covering his 6-foot, 5-inch son.

William Buchanan caught 84 passes in 13 games, for a 19.3-yard average and 16 touchdowns for  Oceanside this season and marked the third generation of Buchanons at the school.

Willie stood out in football and track in 1967-68 and William’s grandmother was the first Africa-American to graduate from the school in 1947.

The family lineage did not stop there.  William’s grand-uncle, C.R. Roberts, was the legendary star halfback on the Pirates’ 1951-53 squads. Roberts scored 61 touchdowns in his final two seasons.

RANCH COACH CALLS IT A CAREER

Craig Bell, who posted a record of 106-62-1 at Rancho Buena Vista and won two section championships in 14 years, retired at the end of the season.

Bell, 57, began the RBV program when the school opened in 1987.  He also was head coach at Burbank Burroughs and was 24-33-2 in six seasons at San Dieguito.

Bell, in shot taken by Charlie Neuman of The San Diego Union,  won more than 100 games in 14 seasons at Rancho Buena Vista

Bell, in photograph by Charlie Neuman of The San Diego Union, won more than 100 games in 14 seasons at RBV.

Bell told Mick McGrane of The San Diego Union that his decision was made during a summer vacation trip to Wyoming with his wife.

“I was able to relax, my blood pressure was down, my hair wasn’t falling out, and I was able to eat something other than burritos and French fries, which is about all you ever eat during football season,” said Bell.

Bell won titles in 1988 and 1989 in a  sometimes contentious tenure that was  marked by legal proceedings and a law suit against the Vista School Board.

11TH HOUR REPRIEVEHorizon logo

Actually it was eight hours before kickoff when Horizon’s 11-game forfeiture mandated by San Diego Section commissioner Jan Jessop was overturned by an appeals committee.

Horizon responded by defeating The Bishop’s, 33-20, for the Division IV championship.

The Panthers were penalized for using an ineligible player.  There also was a question of another player’s eligibility.

The committee consisted of John  Collins, Poway district associate commissioner; Mark Oschner, Rancho Bernardo athletic director, and Kamran Azimzadeh, Lakeside district deputy superintendent.

“It was a good decision,” said Bob Ottilie, one of two lawyers working on Horizon’s behalf.  “It was a good decision, a well-reasoned decision.  These kids will not suffer because of the administration.”

The Horizon player was declared ineligible for violating the so-called “eight-semester rule.” Students enrolled in school for eight semesters must receive a waiver from the San Diego Section to be eligibile for sports in their fifth year.

Horizon did not seek a waiver, said Jessop.

EXPANSION BY MILES

Granite Hills in El Cajon was the easternmost school when the section began in 1960, as Mountain Empire in Campo remained in the Southern Section for a few years.

After the first immigration of Imperial Valley schools, the  longest distances from San Diego were to Holtville (124 miles) and Imperial (133 miles).

Blythe Palo Verde, which had to make long trips in the Southern Section, was essentially in the same travel situation when it became a San Diego Section member this year.

The 104 miles from Imperial Valley League rival El Centro Central had not changed, but a Palo Verde game in San Diego would be 215 miles distant, at least three and a half hours.

Spates passed and ran with equal success for El Camino Wildcats.

Spates passed and ran with equal success for El Camino Wildcats.

SIGN LANGUAGE

El Camino’s 17th consecutive victory was fueled in part by a sign that greeted the Wildcats’ bus when it entered the Vista campus. The sign read, “The Streak Ends Here”.

“We saw that when we drove in,” said El Camino quarterback Demetrious Spates.  “That gave us a tremendous amount of motivation.  You may not like us, but don’t disrespect us.”

It was Vista that got the message.

El Camino rolled, 56-20, as Spates passed for two touchdowns to Antwaine Spann and rushed nine times for 168 yards and three scores.

A 42-25 win over Oceanside the next week was El Camino’s 18th in a row over two seasons and moved the Wildcats past Lincoln (1978-80) for the third longest winning streak in the County.

CARLSBAD CRUSH

El Camino’s streak came to a quick and decisive end. Carlsbad’s Eddie Sullivan scored on a 99-yard pass play and 97-yard kickoff return, propelling the Lancers to a 35-17 victory and a pungent observation by Wildcats coach Herb Meyer.

“We didn’t practice well all week and I coached us right into the toilet,” Meyer told Tom Shanahan of the Union.

“We’re 0-1 in the Avocado League,” said Meyer.  “That’s all that counts.  The streak and all that other stuff are for sportswriters to write about.”

El Camino finished with a 10-3 record, nosed out by Fallbrook, 27-24,  in the playoff semifinals.

ISLANDERS MAKE WAVES

Coronado won 10 games in a row for the most successful season in the school’s 86-season history.Coronado shield

The Islanders won their first seven in an 8-1 campaign in 1929 and won eight in a row in 1940, after opening the season with a 0-0 tie against an alumni squad.

Islanders coach Bud Mayfield also was part of the chorus complaining about playoff seedings.

Coronado’s reward was a seventh seed in D-III, which Mayfield described as “a kick in the teeth”.

After a bye, the Islanders were eliminated, 34-21, by Lincoln in the quarterfinals.

STRANGE TWIN BILL

It looked like a misprint: Desert Hot Springs versus Monarch High of Lewisville, Colorado…at El Camino?

The off-beat scheduling called for the two schools to be on the undercard of an opening week doubleheader featuring host  El Camino and Whitehall, Pennsylvania.

Whitehall school board bosses moved in after the game was set and declared that the Zephyrs couldn’t play a game out of state for the second consecutive season.

El Camino reconnoitered and signed to play at Rancho Bernardo.  The Palm Springs-area school and Monarch went through with their contest and played at El Camino.

AT LONG LAST

Ramona’s Jason Bash batted down a last-second pass in the end zone to preserve a 20-17 victory over Poway. Poway had been 11-0 against the Bulldogs from when it opened in 1961.

FOR WHOM BELL TOLLS

The bronze bell trophy was in the offing when San Diego Southwest had a first down on Mar Vista’s two-yard line with 50 seconds remaining. The Mariners stiffened and held on to win, 20-13, and reclaim the bell.

The bauble  had sat on the desk of Southwest  coach Joe Gonzales since the rivalry was suspended after a 32-6 Southwest win in 1993. Mar Vista moved to the Harbor League in 1994.

The teams had played for the bell since  Southwest was introduced in 1976.

Lou Coons (left) was fit to be tied by father Skip.

Lou Coons (left) was fit to be tied by father Skip.

FAMILY FEUD

Crawford more or less ended a 14-game losing streak when it tied Kearny, 14-14, in a matchup of father (Kearny coach Skip Coons)  versus son (Crawford coach Lou Coons).

We just ran out of time.  Give us another minute and we win,” said Lou.

QUICK KICKS–West Hills quarterback Troy Burner was on fire, bettering the section record by completing 88.8 per cent of his passes (32 of 36) for 346 yards and five touchdowns, including the 35-34 winner with 23 seconds left against Granite Hills…Helix gained 578 yards and averaged 9.6 yards a play in a 57-18 win over West Hills…it was the Highlanders’ most points since a 57-7 win over  Mount  Miguel in 1993…the Helix record came in a 68-0 victory over Santana in 1966…Valhalla’s 24-14 victory over Granite Hills was the Norsemen’s first on opening night since 1990 and marked the first time since 1992 they had scored more than seven points in an opener…”Field Turf”, a modern, more convenient and safer version of  the original Astroturf, was installed at La Jolla and Grossmont College…La Jolla was the first high  school in Southern California south of Ventura to use the rubbery stuff…awful loss for San  Pasqual:  Rancho Buena Vista’s Justin Nelson sneaked 1 yard for a touchdown with 16 seconds left in the game, then scrambled two yards for a two-point conversion and 22-21 defeat for Eagles…Carlsbad coach Bob McAllister opted to play a rare day game at Hoover and told his squad that the sunshine contest would be a prelude to Saturday afternoon games when they would be in college…the Lancers won, 21-0…Sean Sovacool, Fallbrook’s standout linebacker, went on to become head coach at La Costa Canyon….

Fallbrook's Sean Sovacool, tackling El Camino's Chris Williams, was future coach.

Fallbrook’s Sean Sovacool, tackling El Camino’s Chris Williams, was future coach.

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2014: Ogundeji Takes National Lead in Shot Put

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji, who made noise in the state meet in 2013, raised the decibel level to a shout  at the Sundevil Invitational Saturday at Mt. Carmel.

The all-San Diego Section football linebacker last season took the national lead in the shot put with a 65 foot, 4 ½ inch heave, almost two feet better than the reported 63-7 by Kord Ferguson of Ottawa, Kansas.

Only three other County athletes have bettered Ogundeji’s throw.

Fallbrook’s Brent Noon went 76-2 in 1990, Morse’s Darius Savage 66-3 ½ in 2006, and El Cajon Valley’s Curt Hampton 65-11 1/4 in 1974.

Ogundeji was sixth in the state shot put at 58-11 ¾ last year and was the only double-qualifier from San Diego. He was a nonscoring discus finalist at 175-2.

Meet Director Dennis McClanahan’s annual  Sundevil event is usually a barometer of the big meets in late May and early June.

Outstanding marks, including several state Top 10 efforts, were made by section athletes in what was for most the first significant meet of the season.

Hanna Labrie-Smith’s :43.4 in the 300-meter hurdles moved the Cathedral junior into second place in California behind the :43.14, converted hand time of Bakersfield Liberty’s Morganne Hill.

Labrie-Smith in 2013 came within 1/10 of Gail Devers’ 1983 San Diego Section record of :42.26.

A rare dead heat occurred in the Girls’ 3,200-meter run, when favored Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley and Irvine Northwood’s Bethany Knights were inseparable.

Each finished with times of 10:07.52, fastest in the country this year.

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2013-14: Section Overwhelmed in state playoffs

La Jolla Country Day’s 60-42 loss to Los Altos Hills Pinewood in the State Girls’ V championship last week was the final, tumbling domino in a disappointing San Diego Section season.images

Mater Dei Catholic was the only boys’ team to advance beyond the first round of the Southern California Regional and got to the Division II semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Bellflower St. John Bosco, 84-64.

San Diego Section boys teams lost 11 of 12 first-round encounters.  The girls won 6 of 14.

Mount Miguel girls reached the D-III semifinals but were beaten, 60-50, by Santa Barbara, which got to the state finals before losing to Modesto Christian, 64-55.

FARED BETTER A YEAR AGO

Local teams won 8 of 11 first-round games in 2012-13 and earned two championships, St. Augustine boys in D-III and Horizon girls in D-V. Area squads had won championships in three of the previous four years.

St. Augustine was denied the opportunity to defend its  championship and forced to play in the new Open Division.  The Saints went out early, losing to Santa Ana Mater Dei, 65-38.

La Costa Canyon, another Open Division entry, went down, 71-51, to Redondo Beach Redondo.

Criteria for the Open Division is based on a premise of  “past success” and other factors in a confusing tableau.

Why, then, should La Jolla Country Day, a traditional girls state power, be allowed to drop after elimination in San Diego’s Open division to the state D-V bracket?

That champions St. Augustine and La Costa Canyon had to play on the road in first-round games was a radical departure from other years.

Adding to confusion, the divisional nomenclature in San Diego is not the same as for the rest of the state.  Example, Kearny won the San Diego Section D-IV title but played in the D-III regional bracket, losing to La Canada St. Francis, 67-62.

ROAD TO DESTRUCTION

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2014: San Diego Legends Meet

Bill Walton and Larry Blum had more in common than just being among the crowd at the University of San Francisco’s National Invitation Tournament game recently.

Both are former San Diego Section basketball players of the year, Blum at Crawford in 1962-63 and Walton at Helix in 1969-70.

San Diego ;legends Walton and Blum.

Walton and Blum starred at area  schools.

Blum set a San Diego Section record with 737 points and had a 23.8 average in Crawford’s 24-6-1 season that concluded with a championship-game,  64-44 victory over St. Augustine.

Walton averaged 29.1 points  and scored 960 points in leading  Helix to a 33-0 season.  Helix defeated Madison, 87-72, for the title in 1969 and repeated, 70-56 over Chula Vista in 1970.

Blum went on to play at the University of San Francisco and forged a highly successful career in the business world in the Bay Area.

Even in his ‘sixties, Blum still plays fullcourt basketball 2 or 3 nights a week and has a key to the USF gymnasium.

Walton became one of the most famous basketball players in history, winning championships at UCLA and with the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics in the NBA.

The 6-foot, 11-inch Walton and 5-11 Blum hooked up last week, when Louisiana State defeated USF, 71-63, in a NIT first-round game at which Walton served as analyst on the ESPN broadcast.

As Walton said during the broadcast, “There is my good friend, Larry Blum, who set all the high school scoring records in San Diego (which Walton broke) and had a successful career at USF and after graduation he produced the world famous Haight-Asbury street sign poster and has been very successful ever since.”

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1999: Avocado League Avalanche

What a difference 50 years makes.

The population growth of San Diego’s North County coincided with the rise of the once small and remote Avocado League.

After years of  ascendancy, a punctuation mark was added this season.

As Tom Shanahan of The San Diego Union pointed out:

–Five Avocado schools ranked in the top six of the County Top 10.

–Avocado champion El Camino won the section Division I title, defeating Carlsbad in an all-Avocado final.

–Oceanside won the D-II championship.

–Five of the league’s six schools were unbeaten against nonleague opponents and posted a 32-2 record against outsiders. (La Costa Canyon, 3-7 overall and 0-5 in the league, was beaten by two North County Palomar League teams).

Cal-Hi Sports declared the Avocado League the most competitive in the state.

–El Camino was ranked third in the state behind Concord De La Salle and Hart by Cal-Hi Sports.  Oceanside was twelfth.

–Torrey Pines, with a 91-29-2 (.754) record, and El Camino, 92-36-1 (.717), had the best San Diego Section records for the decade of the 1990s.

“GOOD AS ANYWHERE”

“I came here from a strong league,” said Randy Blankenship, who coached state power Clovis West before moving to Fallbrook this year. “What made the Avocado different is we faced a college running back every week.”

October fog was a ubiquitous companion to San Diego Section teams, including Avocado League powers Carlsbad and El Camino.

Fog reared its seasonal self during the football season, as El Camino and Carlsbad players discovered.

”…In general North County football is as good as anywhere in the nation,” said Carlsbad coach Bob McAllister.

“I’m not saying we’d beat (Concord) De La Salle (winner of almost 100 games in a row), but…our top teams could play with anybody,” said El Camino’s Herb Meyer.

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2013-14: First Round: San Diego 7, Opponents 19

Wipeouts like these usually are reserved for the North Shore of Oahu.

San Diego Section boys basketball teams lost 10 of 11 games in the first round of the Southern California regional playoffs.

Girls teams helped ease the pain and won 6 of 14.

In four games in which San Diego boys teams were seeded higher their combined record was 1-3.

imagesMater Dei (29-2), the 4 seed in Division II, was the only area squad to win, defeating visiting Tustin (22-9), 59-50.

‘Dei will get a second home game Friday night when it takes on 5 seed Calabasas (28-5), which defeated Sylmar of the Los Angeles City Section, 57-54.

More negative reinforcement is expected Friday night when Open division play begins. No. 8 St. Augustine (29-3) is at 1 Santa Ana Mater Dei (31-0) and 6 La Costa Canyon (27-5) goers to Redondo Beach Redondo (24-5).

WOMEN PICK UP SLACK

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2013-14: Mavericks Return to No. 1

What goes around, comes around.

La Costa Canyon, ranked No. 1 in the first UT-San Diego basketball poll in December, is first again after vacating the top spot weeks ago.

LA-Costa-CanyonThe Mavericks defeated St. Augustine, 62-60, in the San Diego Section Open Division championship last week and received 10 first-place votes.  St. Augustine dropped to second and Mater Dei, which received three first-place votes, is third.

The first eight teams will be in Southern California playoffs beginning Wednesday. Morse, ranked ninth, and San Marcos, ranked 10th, played in the Division I final last week but were dissed by the state playoff committee.

# Team(1st place votes) W-L* Points** Last Week
1 La Costa Canyon (10) 27-5 127 5
2 St. Augustine 28-3 112 1
3 Mater Dei Catholic (3) 28-2 110 2
4 El Camino 27-4 82 4
5 Kearny 25-2 71 10
6 Torrey Pines 26-5 63 6
7 Sweetwater 28-1 53 3
8 Francis Parker 26-5 39 8
9 Morse 18-12 32 NR
10 San Marcos 21-9 11 9

**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
NR Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Orange Glen, 8; Eastlake, 6; Foothills Christian, 2.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).
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2013-14: San Diego Teams Whacked in Seedings

Talk about a kick in the pelvic region.  The new State Basketball Tournament Open Division pairings did no favors for two San Diego Section stalwarts.

The seedings and pairings were announced by the state CIF this evening.

St. Augustine (28-3) will visit Santa Ana Mater Dei (31-0), the nation’s No. 2-ranked team, Friday night, March 14.

Santa Ana Mater Dei is the top seed in the Open Division and the Saints are No. 8.

On the same evening, La Costa Canyon (27-5), seeded sixth, goes to Redondo Beach Redondo (24-5), seeded third.

La Costa Canyon, playing from behind as the fourth seed, won the San Diego Section Open championship by defeating St. Augustine, 62-60, before more than 4,000 persons  at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus on Saturday night.

The Saints were the state D-III champions last season and would have been accorded at least an even chance to repeat, but they will not get that more competitively friendly opportunity.

The Open Division includes four Southern Section squads (Mater Dei, Redondo, Riverside North, and Etiwanda), two from San Diego, two from the Los Angeles Section (El Camino Real and Westchester), and zero from the Central Section.

No San Diego Section team gets a home game until Division II. The highest seed for any San Diego Section squad is 3 by the La Jolla Country Day women.  Mount Miguel’s women are seeded fourth.

Chula Vista Mater Dei is the highest seed among men’s teams, with a 4.

Unhappiness award goes to San Diego D-I winner Morse (18-12) and IV winner Orange Glen (26-5), who are uninvited.

All divisions except Open begin play Wednesday, March 12.

First round airings:

MEN’S DIVISION  I
–No. 13 seed Torrey Pines (26-5) at 4 Lakewood Mayfair (23-6).
–No. 10 El Camino (27-4) at 7 Mission Viejo (24-7).

II
–No. 13 Tustin (22-8) at 4 Chula Vista Mater Dei (28-2).
–No. 10 Santa Ana Foothill (23-7) at 7 Francis Parker (26-5).
–No. 14 San Diego Hoover (18-11) at 3 Anaheim Canyon (28-4).

III
–No. 11 La Canada St. Francis (19-12) at 6 Kearny (25-2).
–No. 13 Sweetwater (28-1) at 4 Brea Olinda (23-10).

IV
–No. 9 Tri-City Christian (21-9) at 8 San Juan Capistrano JSerra (18-11).

V
–No. 10 Palm Springs Desert Chapel (23-5) at 7 Escondido Adventist (20-6).
–No. 12 Lutheran (16-7) at San Juan Capistrano Saddleback Valley Christian (25-6).

WOMEN’S DIVISION I

–No. 8 Mission Hills (22-8) at 9 Alhambra Mark Keppel (26-3).
–No. 13 Mt. Carmel (25-7) at 4 Fullerton Troy (22-7).

II
–No. 10 Redondo Beach Redondo (20-10) at 7 La Costa Canyon (25-3).
–No. 9 Poway (17-11) at Norco (26-5).
–No. 14 San Diego Serra (19-10) at Placentia El Dorado (26-5).

III
–No. 13 Yorba Linda (11-15) at 4 Mount Miguel (25-5).

IV
–No. 11 Fullerton Rosary (17-14) at 6 Chula Vista Mater Dei (22-8).
–No. 13 Ocean View Christian (17-3) at 4 San Juan Capistrano JSerra (21-10).

V
–No. 14 L.A. Shalhevet (19-3) at 3 La Jolla Country Day (16-11).
–No. 9 San Bernardino Aquinas (27-2) at 8 Horizon (9-18).
No. 12 Foothills Christian (17-5) at 4 Garden Grove Orangewood (23-8).

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2013-14: Game of Year Revisited

St. Augustine and La Costa Canyon, which played arguably the game of the regular season in January, go for the gold tonight.

The Saints edged the Mavericks, 79-74, as part of a Martin Luther King Day doubleheader at Francis Parker and things haven’t changed.  Expect the score to be a little lower but the intensity a little higher.

To the winner goes the San Diego Section Open Division championship.

The question that remains unanswered is where these two clubs will be placed in next week’s Southern California regionals, depending, of course, on the loser getting a bid.

Does St. Augustine stay in the Open Division or go back to D-III?  Does La Costa Canyon revert to D-1?

Two of the area’s best coaches, the Saints’ Mike Haupt and La Costa’s Dave Cassaw, will match wits again.

Tip is at 7 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.  Another big game will begin at the same time about 10 miles east, when San Diego State opposes New Mexico for the Mountain West Conference marbles.

PREDICTION

St. Augustine 64, La Costa Canyon 58.

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2013-14: Kearny Knocks Off Sweetwater

Kearny High found the key to ending Sweetwater’s great run Saturday afternoon.

Coach Carl Bronson, ably assisted by UT-San Diego sportswriter Mark Zeigler, exposed the shorter Red Devils’ lack of a low post defense.

The strategy allowed the Komets to repeatedly attack from the low block under the basket for layups and point-blank shots.

Kearny took the lead at 33-32 at the start of the third quarter and never looked back, pulling away for a 73-58 victory in the San Diego Section III finals before about 2,500 persons at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

David Moa led Kearny with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a contest that had a pin ball machine pace.

Errant passes and turnovers were routine as the Komets matched Sweetwater’s rapid, pressing style, which had worn down the Red Devils’ first 28 opponents.

Spencer Mattox  scored 19 points for Sweetwater but the hustling, high-energy senior seemed fatigued in the second half.

For the game, Mattox missed on five three-point attempts.

Kearny, now 25-2, await its seeding and opponent in the Southern California playoffs next week.

 

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2013-14: Alma Maters Beckoned Coaches

How uncommon is this?

When Kearny (23-2) meets Sweetwater (28-0) Friday afternoon the teams will be coached by alumni of their respective schools.

At stake will be the San Diego Section Division IV championship.

Historian Greg (Stats) Durrant came up with this and other nuggets as the veteran prep sports maven prepared to take in five boys’ and girls’ division finals Friday and five more Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.

Sweetwater is coached by Jesse Aguirre, class of 1985,  Kearny by Carl Bronson, class of 1983.

Both schools returned to prominence this year.

KOMETS BACK

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2013-14: Foothills Coach Not Quite Boeheim

There are 20.8 seconds remaining in the game.  Your team trails, 58-54, after battling back from a 14-point deficit.

A blocking foul is whistled on one of your players.

The frustration finally got to Foothills Christian coach Brad Leaf.

Leaf channeled his inner Jim Boeheim and was slapped with a technical.

The Knights mentor’s outburst at the officials differed from that of the Syracuse coach, who was famously double T’d and ejected late in a loss to Duke last week.

Leaf, unlike Boeheim, was not wearing a coat when Leaf came onto the court.

Sweetwater then converted  three free throws and ran out a 61-54, Division III semifinals victory over the Knights, who, adding to Leaf’s game-long unhappiness, blew several opportunities to oust the undefeated, 28-0 Red Devils.

A vocal crowd of about 2,000 nearly filled the hosts’ gym and they saw coach Jesse Aguirre’s swifties race to leads of 7-0 and 23-9.

T.J. Leaf, the coach’ 6-foot, 8-inch sophomore son,  had a good line, 22 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, and four assists.

But Leaf missed 6 of his first 7 free throws and could not get several point-blank shots to go down as the very short Red Devils, like a pack of swarming bees, harassed their taller opponents.

Leaf fouled out with 3:03 left in the game with the Knights lagging, 55-47.  Foothills manned up and closed to 57-54 but could get no closer.

Sweetwater’s Spencer Mattox scored 29 points and rebounded, dished, and stole in a pell-mell performance.  Mattox also mockingly preened for the Foothills crowd after he  drained an NBA-distance prayer  at the third quarter buzzer, increasing the Sweeties’ lead to 48-38.

Foothills surprisingly, and to Leaf’s dismay, was assigned a fourth seed in D-III, guaranteeing that it would have to meet the No. 1 Red Devils before the championship  game, which now matches Kearny and Sweetwater Friday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Leaf’s week thus began and ended on  sour notes.

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2013-14: Great Matchups in Open Final 4

There will be basketball almost every night this week in the San Diego Section.

Girls begin quarterfinals play in Divisions II, III, and IV tonight and  Tuesday night.  Boys tip Tuesday night in II, III, and IV.

Open semifinals are Tuesday and Wednesday and finals  Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.

D-V teams will play championship games Thursday evening at Sage Hill High in Carlsbad.

A look at this week’s Boys’ games:

OPEN—Two terrific semifinals matches and a potentially great final, if St. Augustine and El Camino pass their tests.

El Camino won its 20th in  a row and is 27-3 after a  105-68 romp over Lincoln (13-14), which trailed only 28-24 after one quarter.

The second-seed Warriors take on tough La Costa Canyon (25-5) Wednesday at El Camino. St. Augustine (27-2) will meet Torrey Pines (26-4) at University City High.

Ray Johnson ‘s Wildcats, coming strong after the January eligibility  of Army-Navy transfer Devin Watson, have averaged 80.2 points a game during their streak.

The Oceanside club has not lost since dropping a 77-71 decision to Sweetwater Dec. 21 and hold two February decisions over La Costa Canyon, 74-70 and 78-70.

Beating the same team three times in a row in the same season is El Camino’s test.  Cathedral could not pull off the trifecta a year ago against St. Augustine.

Prediction:  El Camino 64, La Costa Canyon 61.

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2013-14: Saints No. 1 Here, 18th in State

St. Augustine is top-ranked in the final UT-San Diego regular-season poll and is the defending state champion in Division III as playoff teams enter the homestretch of the season.

Coach Mike Haupt’s team,  29-4 a year ago, take a 26-2 record into this season’s playoffs and are ranked 18th in the state by Cal-Hi Sports.

St. Augustine finished 10th overall in the state in 2012-13.  The Saints  defeated San Francisco Sacred Heart 59-52 in overtime for the championship after Trey Kell buried three consecutive free throws to forge a tie in the final three seconds of regulation.

The two teams with victories over the Saints are Chino Hills (24-4), ranked seventh, and Lakewood Mayfair (23-5), ranked 17th.

Chino Hills holds a 66-55 win over the Saints and Mayfair beat them, 62-61, in late December in the  Torrey Pines tournament.

Should St. Augustine win the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs there is no guarantee it would revert to D-III in the Southern California alignment.  The Saints may be placed in the Open Division and be grouped with a maximum of four Southern Section Open clubs.

El Camino is 15th in D-1, Mater Dei Catholic eighth in D-II, St. Augustine third in D-III, Sweetwater sixth and Kearny ninth.  Francis Parker is “on the bubble” in D-II.  La Costa, No. 10 a week ago, dropped out of the D-II Top 10.

Cal-Hi Sports does not follow the San Diego model in identifying teams’  divisions.

1 St. Augustine (13) 26-2   130         1

2

Mater Dei

24-2

115

2

3

Sweetwater

25-0

98

3

4

El Camino

26-3

97

4

5

La Costa Canyon

24-5

77

4

6

Torrey Pines

25-4

70

6

7

Eastlake

23-5

35

8

8

Francis Parker

23-4

25

10

9

Foothills Christian

16-8

24

7

10

Kearny

21-2

22

9

**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis

Others receiving votes: San Marcos, 12;  Mission Bay, 5; Steele Canyon, 3; Calvin Christian, 1.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego correspondent);                          Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego correspondent);

Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera, Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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2013-14: Basketball’s Second Season Begins

Seventeen teams with losing records and three .500 squads  made the San Diego Section playoffs.

It doesn’t look as ridiculous as in previous years.

Pairings announced Saturday promise good games, even  in early rounds, especially considering size of brackets and number of divisions.

Only in Division II is there virtual mediocrity. Seven of the eight, first-round visiting clubs have losing records, some real bad (see Hills, Granite 7-19).

D-II clubs have a combined .503 winning percentage and overall record of 198-196.  The others reflect more success:  Open–157-65, .707; I–251-173, .592; III–260-148, .637; IV–216-166, .565; V–108-55, .662.

OPEN IS OPEN

The eight-team Open Division promises big matchups in later rounds.  Only Vista (7-20) and Lincoln (13-12) look out of place.Elcam logo

St. Augustine (26-2) and El Camino (26-3) are the Open 1-2 seeds and could meet in a blockbuster final at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion on March 8.

Eastlake (23-5) and Mission Bay (13-8) are top-ranked D-I entries, but that division looks wide-open.

San Marcos (18-8) is dangerous.  In-an-outers Poway (17-11), Carlsbad (17-11), Escondido (19-8), Westview (17-10), Helix (16-12), and Cathedral (15-10) all could make runs.

‘DEI AND PARKER

Mater Dei (24-2) and Francis Parker (22-4) should  ride to the D-II final.

Teams in the Mater Dei half of the bracket are a combined 80-103. Teams in Parker’s half are 94-92.

SweetwaterPrimaryLogoSweetwater (25-0) and Kearny (21-2) are at the top of D-III, but questions persist over Kearny’s less-than-robust list of opponents.

Foothills Christian could meet Sweetwater in  the semifinals in  the division’s most appealing contest.

D-IV lacks pizzazz, although Orange Glen (22-5) has emerged after years in the tank.  Second seed behind the Patriots is Tri-Christian (18-8), which has dropped two to D-V seven-seed Pacific Ridge.

D-V is the smallest of the small.  Escondido Adventist (18-6) is top seed.

 

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1960: For Better or (Mostly) Worse

San Diego County was “free” of the giant Southern Section and on its own, thirty-one schools strong.

The formation of the local CIF section pleased administrators and assorted education honchos who now wielded the sharp end of the stick.

Coaches and the media were ambivalent, at best.

The great competition against Northern schools and the building excitement of playoffs at foreign sites against largely unknown opponents was gone, replaced by two divisions and two weeks of watered-down postseason play.

Champion of 31 schools was not like champion of more than 300.

3  STAY PUT

Three County affiliates did not join the new section. Mountain Empire and Rancho del Campo remained in the Southern Section and usually played more easily accessed Imperial Valley squads.

Faallbrook deuceFallbrook, 0-8 in 1957 and 0-9 in ’58 as a member of the Avocado League, was not considered strong enough to compete against schools from the North County circuit.

The Warriors had joined the DeAnza League in Riverside County in 1959 and stayed there through this football season.  Their opponents were schools such as Hemet, Perris, San Jacinto, and Beaumont.

The alignment agreed with coach Al Waibel’s club, which was 3-1 in the league and 6-3 overall.

Fallbrook dropped a 32-0 decision to San Pedro Mary Star of the Sea in the first round of the Southern Section small schools playoffs.

Football at Julian still was seven years away, making 30 the actual count of football-playing schools in the San Diego Section.

San Diego fans were happy, as long as their teams were winning.

That meant that virtually every week was a celebration at Escondido High, where coach Bob (Chick) Embrey built a small school power into a major force in the new order.

The game of the year matched San Diego, at 6-2 the Eastern League champion and, by reputation, the favorite, against the 7-1-1 Cougars in the AA semifinal.

MAESTRO, MUSIC!

Escondido fired a shot across the Cavers’ bow before the kickoff.

The North County school’s pep band struck up “The March of the Olympians,” which was written for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, as the Cougars’  marched onto the field from the South end of Balboa Stadium, helmets tucked under their arms against their sides.

They could have been matadors entering the ring.

The novel approach clearly one-upped the Cavemen, who for years cowed visiting teams with their traditional entrance down the steps from the top of Balboa Stadium’s North end zone.

COUGARS IN CONTROL

Escondido’s 19-13 victory was not as close as the final score.  The Cougars outgained San Diego, 293-246, and led, 19-7, in the third quarter.

“We could have scored more, don’t you think?” enthused the jubilant Embrey.

Embrey had a shout out for center Don Clothier (left), who snapped the ball and blocked for quarterback Doug Bennett (right).

Embrey had a shout out for lineman Don Clothier (left), who was up front for quarterback Doug Bennett (right).

Embrey could not have been blamed for gloating, although that was not his intention. He was Escondido’s star player in 1944, when the Cavers beat the Cougars, 20-0, in a Southern Section playoff.

Quarterback Doug Bennett completed 6 of 9 passes for 161 yards against San Diego and, as further evidence of a changing of the guard, had the fastest man on the field.

Wingback Dave Blunt was on the receiving end of a 66-yard pass play which gave the Cougars a two- touchdown lead.

Blunt also became the first San Diego Section sprint champion the following spring, running :09.7 in the 100-yard dash and 21 seconds in the 220.

POINTERS WIN TIE

Point Loma tied Helix, 6-6, in the other semifinal and advanced because of their 13-8 advantage in first downs.

Mount Miguel, winner of five in a row since it had gone to a power ground game, in coach Harry Johnston’s words, defeated La Jolla, 7-6, and Vista beat University, 32-20, to reach the Class A, small-schools championship.

The championship games went to form.

Escondido defeated Point Loma, 20-13, before an estimated overflow crowd of 9,000 at the Cougars’ field.

Dave (left) and Bob Blunt spanned globe for Esconido Cougars.

Dave (left) and Bob Blunt spanned globe for Esconido Cougars.

Doug Bennett passed 42 yards to Dave Blunt and 4 yards to Pete Schouten and Blunt returned an intercepted pass 40 yards to give the Cougars three touchdowns and a 20-6 lead.

WHO’S A BULLY?

No one, but that was what several residents of Spring Valley thought I was calling Mount Miguel after the Matadors defeated Vista, 40-13, for the Class A title.

In my game story I made a comparison of the good big man always defeating the good little man.  And  I wrote, using a very trite and poor play on words, “Mount Miguel’s Matadors, a big, bullish Metropolitan League entry, overpowered Vista, a small tough Avocado Leaguer….”

I received telephone calls and letters from outraged Mount Miguel followers, saying I had called their team a bunch of bullies and most suggesting I should not show my face in Spring Valley, where the school was located.

Looking back, what was Mount Miguel doing in the small schools bracket?

Torge was Mount Miguel gamebreaker.

Russ Torge was Mount Miguel gamebreaker.

With more than 2,500 students, Mount Miguel was the largest school in the County.  Vista had an enrollment of about 950.

Mount Miguel and La Jolla were the two at-large teams invited to the small school playoffs after finishing second in their large school leagues and with the best second-place records.

“They were just too big and too strong,” said Vista coach Pat Mongoven.  “Maybe they’ll do something next year about those pairings.”

MATADORS’ 1-2  PUNCH

“Torge and Freeman, then comes the Screamin’!” That was how Tribune writer Roger Conlee described the Mount Miguel attack.

Russ Torge gained 146 yards in 11 carries and scored two touchdowns, including one from 71 yards.

Duane Freeman had 74 yards in 14 carries, scored once, and blocked a punt which Matador John Rea returned 19 yards for a touchdown.

Bennett passed for 17 TD's.

Bennett, behind center Jim Hundley,  passed for 17 TD’s.

DOUG VS. EZELL

Doug Bennett, who played behind Steve Thurlow at Escondido in 1959, completed 98 of 155 passing attempts for 1,577 yards and 17 touchdowns in 11 games.

San Diego’s Ezell Singleton had a sizeable advantage with 28 touchdown passes in 1958, but wasn’t that far ahead with 111 completions in 179 attempts for 1,711 yards.

Bennett averaged 10.2 yards per passing attempt and Singleton 9.6.  Singleton averaged 15.4 yards per completion and Bennett 16.1.

EXPANDING

The alignment would be for only one season, but the 10-team Metropolitan League was halved into Northern and Southern Divisions, geography be damned.

Grossmont, El Cajon, El Capitan, Escondido, Granite Hills and Hilltop formed the Northern Division. A Southern Division embraced Helix, Grossmont, Chula Vista, Mount Miguel, and Sweetwater.

The distance between division rivals Escondido and Hilltop was 36 miles.  The distance between Hilltop and city neighbor and non-division opponent Chula Vista was 3 miles.

The six schools in the Grossmont League would have their own circuit in 1961, plus the new Monte Vista High in Spring Valley.

PERSISTENCE PAYS

St. Augustine’s defense braced and stopped Point Loma on the Saints’ 19, 22, 37, 24, and one-yard lines, but the Pointers finally put the 12-6 game away with a touchdown by Curtis Mosley that ended a five-play, 27-yard drive with 1:36 remaining.

It was St. Augustine’s first loss in 14 games.

ALL-STAR GAMES AND CARNIVALS

They were abundant and they were popular.

San Diego scored its first victory in five tries over the Los Angeles City aggregation in the 12th annual Breitbard College Prep All-Star game.

The 27-12 victory, fueled by the performance of Escondido’s Steve Thurlow and San Diego High’s Richard (Prime) McClendon, came before an Aztec Bowl record turnout of 13,700.

Thurlow faked to McClendon (20) and scored against L.A. All-Stars in 27-12 San Diego victory.Thurlow faked to McClendon (20) and scored against L.A. All-Stars in 27-12 San Diego victory.

Thurlow passed for two touchdowns and ran for another.  McClendon rushed for 151 yards and ran 66 yards for a score. The local squad trailed 12-0 at halftime but wore down the Los Angeles stars with a rushing attack that netted 333 yards.

The San Diego-L.A. format replaced the Southern California-L.A. game in 1956.  The series started in 1949.

A crowd of 17,000 saw San Diego High score three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to top Kearny, 21-6, but the West defeated the East, 25-21, in the 22nd City Schools’ Carnival.

CAVERS TAKE TO AIR

Passes by the Cavers’ Lou White resulted in carnival scoring plays of 88 yards to Thomas Phillips, 22 yards to David (Dutch) Ortman, and 68 yards to Eddie Frost.

The Metropolitan League carnival featured only Grossmont District squads and drew a capacity crowd of 12,000 to Aztec Bowl.

Six teams played three, 20-minute quarters.

Mount Miguel beat El Cajon Valley, 19-0, in the second quarter after Granite Hills, teeing up for the first time, battled to a 6-6 standoff with El Capitan. Helix and Grossmont played to a scoreless deadlock in the final quarter.

Mount Miguel, Granite Hills, and Helix of the West won, 25-6.

START-UP INCONVENIENCES

Granite Hills opened its doors for the first time, minus some of the usual necessities.

The Eagles’ one “luxury” was cold showers, which preceded hot water but was an improvement over the initial conditions.

Coach Glenn Otterson’s team originally was forced to use hoses to wash off practice sweat and dirt. The players then had to take their uniforms home for a more complete cleaning and bring their own towels to school.

Lockers became available midway into the season.  Until then, the Eagles’ used a “dressing room.” As Roger Conlee wrote in the Evening Tribune, the players piled their gear in a bare, four-walled enclosure that was locked during practice.

UNIVERSITY OF…PENALTIES?

Coach Robert (Bull) Trometter’s University of San Diego High Dons dropped a 30-6 decision to Fallbrook.

Nothing out of the ordinary about that.

But the Dons had five touchdowns erased by penalties, including 4 in the game’s first six minutes.

Uni, playing a full varsity schedule for the first time, was eager to please Trometter, the highly successful former Marine Corps Recruit Depot mentor.

“I wouldn’t say it was the officials’ fault,” tactfully noted Trometter, a decorated, retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel. The coach said his players essentially were “over-eager and inexperienced,” leading to a flood of off-sides, holding, and other violations.

The Dons dropped their first three games, won their final three and earned a first-round Class A playoff berth.

NIGHT AND DAY

Rowdism, which provoked the city football carnival to be moved from evening to afternoon in 1959, was a continuing problem.

Mission Bay tacklers bring down Hoover's Ron Greenig before empty stands during afternoon game at Hoover.

Mission Bay tacklers bring down Hoover’s Ron Greenig before empty stands during afternoon game at Hoover.

Police Chief Elmer Jansen addressed several concerns for his department, including staffing and expense, and suggested switching games to daylight.

Very Rev. John Aherne, principal at St. Augustine, was spokesman for the pro-night-games group and said crowds would be down at day games and that there was no guarantee that rowdyism would not continue.

Night games continued in the city during the playoffs  after much rhetoric.

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

An  Oceanside-Carlsbad school district trustee suggested that Oceanside and Carlsbad replay their 0-0 tie.

John Prenzel proposed an investigation to determine if such a game “would be in accord with California Interscholastic Federation rulings.”

Prenzel thought a rematch under auspices of the Oceanside Lions  Club could be played on Thanksgiving Day, with proceeds going to the rival schools’ student body funds.

The game wouldn’t affect league standings, said Prenzel.

It was an idea whose time had not come. No action and no game took place.

PLACEMENTS POPULAR

Field goals were making a comeback, or rather they were being discovered.

After years in which no placements were made or attempted, at least four attempts were successful this year.  Soccer-style kicking still was a few years away.

Coronado lost to Ls Jolla, 21-10, but the Islanders’ Bob West kicked a 21-yard field goal.  San Dieguito’s Randy Simpson made a 34-yard placement in a 3-0 victory over El Centro Central.

Not to be outdone, Helix’ Bill Burnett was good from 25 yards in a 36-0 win over Grossmont and Fallbrook’s Jim Martin converted from 22 yards in a 24-14 win over Elsinore Military Academy.

SCHOLASTIC STUMBLES

City schools quarterly grades during the season meant academic casualties.

Clairemont, the consensus preseason favorite, would not win a league game and lost fullback Ron Power, one of the area’s better offensive players, to grade deficiencies.

Mission Bay was down to 24 players after first teamers Jeff Moran, Martin Brown, and Gene Scales were beaten by the books.

Lincoln lost halfback Vernus Ragsdale.  San Diego halfback George Mahaffey and tackle Billy Tyus also received the academic rubber key.

In another, unexpected move, Robert Nelson, a promising halfback at Point Loma, suddenly transferred to Lincoln.

Ron Miller was scoring pacesetter.

Ron Miller was scoring pacesetter.

HELP FOR JEFF

A practice injury left Crawford’s Jeff Greenleaf paralyzed from the waist down.  To help incur Greenleaf’s hospital bills donations were sought and the Colts met Sweetwater in a Thanksgiving Day, postseason contest at Hoover.

More than 6,000 persons were on hand as Crawford, giving an indication of what to expect in 1961, ran past the Red Devils, 33-9.

The Red Devils’ Ron Miller was held scoreless but still led the County with 13 touchdowns and 78 points. Sweetwater coach Tom Parker donated the game films to Greenleaf’s family.

IT’S SIMPLE, JUST WIN

Army-Navy coach John Maffucci described life at the Carlsbad military academy:

“We’re a boarding school and there is an advantage to having the players on campus  most of the time. When we lose, they stay in; when we win, they can go out.”

SIGNS OF THE TIME

The frontage road serving hotels in Mission Valley was renamed Hotel Circle by the San Diego City Council.

QUICK KICKS

Colts' McCorquodale was more easily known as "Corky".

Colts’ McCorquodale was more easily known as “Corky”.

Crawford coach Walt Harvey on running back Jim (Corky) McCorquodale:  “He can run, pass, punt, play defense, and block”…Corky was among the County leaders in scoring with 55 points…“We played better in the carnival (21-6 loss in one quarter to San Diego) than we did tonight (7-0 victory over Crawford),” said Kearny coach Birt Slater….Mission Bay outrushed Pomona Catholic, 258-104, and lost, 27-7…obscure name of the year: Vista halfback Joe Picchiottino (pitch-ee-oh-teen-oh)…Point Loma’s Robert Nelson scored on a 48-yard run on his first attempt as a varsity player…Glenn Forsythe returned to Ramona as head coach after one year as a journalism professor at Reedley Junior College near Fresno…defenders of San Diego’s move away from the Southern Section reminded that the AAAAA finale between Compton Centennial and Santa Barbara drew only 8,619 persons to the Los Angeles Coliseum… …St. Augustine’s 14-6 victory over San Diego was the Saints’ first ever against the Cavemen…they were 0-8-1 against Cavers teams of  different levels dating to 1926…the Saints’ Mickey Frank, 6-foot-3 and 292 pounds, was credited for an outstanding defensive performance…Helix’ defense called itself the “Untouchables”…so did San Diego’s offensive backfield…

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2013-14: Playoff Seeding and Pairings Next

Selection Saturday is just five days away.

League play wraps up this week, but all eyes are on the postseason and the ensuing rounds that lead to the state championships in Sacramento next month.

Seedings and pairings for the San Diego Section playoffs, to be waged in 5 divisions,  will come out of  Section commissioner Jerry Schniepp’s office sometime Saturday, depending on the length and volume of discussions.

With the new, Open Division format, several teams are on a collision course, including St. Augustine, El Camino, La Costa Canyon, and Torrey Pines, the favorites in an eight-team bracket that also includes Mission Hills, Hoover, Lincoln, and Vista.

Vista, at 5-20,will exit very early, but the others can make things interesting.

Eastlake is the highest ranked Division I team.  The other 15 squads essentially are lying in the weeds.  Mission Bay might be a factor.  The Buccaneers are only 12-7 but hung with St. Augustine last week, ending with a flurry of 3′s that cut the final deficit to 54-53.

D-II features Mater Dei, Francis Parker, and Steele Canyon.

Sweetwater and Kearny headline D-III, with Foothills Christian, Del Norte and Calvin Christian gaining some cred.  Calexico Vincent Memorial and Orange Glen may have the edge in D-IV.

El Camino is still fourth in this week’s UT-San Diego poll, but  the Wildcats of coach Ray Johnson have lately positioned themselves for a postseason run.

# Team (1st place votes)1 W-L Points** Last Week
1 St. Augustine (13) 24-2 130 1
2 Mater Dei Catholic 22-2 114 2
3 Sweetwater 23-0 97 3
4 El Camino 24-3 88 5
5 La Costa Canyon 23-4 87 4
6 Torrey Pines 23-4 70 6
7 Foothills Christian 16-8 28 9
8 Eastlake 21-5 26 8
9 Kearny 19-2 25 10
10 Francis Parker 21-4 24 7

**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis

Others receiving votes: San Marcos, 10; Escondido, Mission Bay, 8; Del Norte, 5; Steele Canyon, 4; Calvin Christian, 1.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
and Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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1916: The Legendary Hilltoppers

The 12-0 season, Southern California championship, and acclamation as national champions proved  just the beginning for coach Clarence (Nibs) Price and many of the San Diego High Hilltoppers.

–Price left the school after the 1917 season and made his way back to his alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, joining the staff of head coach Andy Smith in 1920.

Price was the Bears’ head coach following Smith’s death and guided the Bears to a 27-17-3 record from 1926-30, including the 1929 Rose Bowl, made famous by the wrong-way run of California’s Roy Riegels.

The 1922 Golden Bears' coaching staff. Nibs is second from left, next to Andy smith (left).

The 1922 Golden Bears’ coaching staff. Nibs is second from left, next to  head coach Andy Smith (left).

Price was head coach of the Bears’ basketball team from 1924-54.  His teams won 453 games,  seven conference championships, and went to the Final Four of the 1946 national collegiate tournament.

Perhaps most significant, seven members of the 1916 Hilltoppers were recruited by Price and played on the 1920 California squad that was 9-0, outscored opponents, 510-14, and defeated Ohio State, 28-0, in the Rose Bowl.

The Bears were known as the “Wonder Team”.  In 1953 the Helms Athletic Foundation in Los Angeles named the 1920 squad the greatest in collegiate history.

–Bryan (Pesky) Sprott was known more in college as Albert, his given name, and was the offensive catalyst for the Bears in the Rose Bowl, gaining 92 yards in 20 carries and scoring two touchdowns.

Karl Deeds, another former Hilltopper, raced 61 yards with an interception for the Bears’ final touchdown.

Sprott was star on "Wonder Team".

Sprott was star on “Wonder Team”.

Sprott scored seven touchdowns against Stanford in 1918.

A star runner in high school, Sprott was fifth in the 800-meter  run at the 1920 Olympics  in Antwerp, Belgium.

–Harold (Brick) Muller won the state high jump championship in 1918.

Muller won the state high jump and broad jump in 1919 after transferring to Oakland Technical  and was a silver medalist at 6 feet, 2 ¾ inches, in the 1920 Olympics.

Muller  threw a pass 57 yards in the air for a touchdown in the 1921 Rose Bowl.  It was said to be the longest pass in football history.

The future orthopedic surgeon was the first West Coast player to be a collegiate all-America  and won several all-time all-America honors.

Having graduated from medical school, Muller signed with a professional team, the Los Angeles Buccaneers of the fledgling American Football League, then became the team’s head coach in 1926.

Muller ranks as one of  the Bears' all-time greatest athletes.

Muller ranks as one of the Bears’ all-time greatest athletes.

For many years Muller served as the team doctor for the Bears’  athletic teams.

Walter (Dutch) Eells, Karl Engebretsen, Karl Deeds, Stan Barnes, and Olin (Cort) Majors also played for the 1920 Bears.

Barnes became a federal judge and Majors was a special assistant to the University of California chancellor.

The esteem with which the 1920 teammates were held was such that Sprott’s death in 1951 resulted in giant headlines in Bay Area newspapers.

Sprott, who was hard of hearing, did not see an oncoming freight train.  He  dodged the train at the last moment but  hit his head on the iron step of an stationary box car nearby.

Sprott  was on his lunch break from work and enjoying a favorite hobby, counting and comparing numerals on passing trains.

WHAT IS “FOOTBALL”?
Nibs Price may have asked that question when he became coach at San Diego High in 1914.

The 5-foot, 6-inch Price had been a star high school footballer in Iowa but discovered that rugby was the prevailing sport when he enrolled at the University of California.

Price had to re-learn the difference between football and rugby.  Rules of the gridiron game had changed dramatically.

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2014: Coaching Legend Walt Harvey, 95

Walt Harvey, whose firm and folksy touch resonated with generations of San Diego-area athletes and future coaches, passed away Feb. 7 at age 95.

A memorial will be held at noon Saturday, Feb. 22, at La Vida Real, where Harvey resided the last several years.

La Vida Real is located at 11588 Via Rancho San Diego, El Cajon Ca., 92019.

Samuel Walter Harvey was born in San Diego and attended John Adams elementary, Wilson Junior High, and graduated from Hoover in 1936.

Harvey, third from left in top row, was memb er of Hoover's outstanding team in 1935.

Harvey, third from left in top row, next to Roy Engle, was member of Hoover’s outstanding team in 1935.

“He never forgot a name, a face, or a particular play in a game,” said Tom Whelan, quarterback of Crawford’s 1961 championship team .  “He was amazing.  Even when he developed health issues we got to see him and it was a special time.”

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1916-2013: Did Hilltoppers forfeit to Drillers?

It was a moot point for 97 years.

But when Bakersfield defeated Loomis Del Oro, 56-26, in the State Division I championship in 2013 an old wound apparently was reopened.

Officially the title was Bakersfield’s seventh, along with years of 1920, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’25, and ’27. State championships were not played from 1928-2005.

Bakersfield historians claim the win over Del Oro was the Drillers’ eighth championship, because San Diego High refused to play then-named Kern County Union in 1916.

But did the Hilltoppers’ default, or worse, forfeit?

San Diego coach Clarence (Nibs) Price apparently never agreed to or intended to play the unscheduled game.

Twelve games were enough for Price.

Twelve games were enough for Price.

Student manager Ralph Noisat is reported to have offered Bakersfield a $300 guarantee days before the Southern California final against Los Angeles Manual Arts.

Noisat, probably acting at the behest of the school’s executive committee, apparently issued a challenge, the Hilltoppers to meet Kern County Union in San Diego on New Year’s Day.

Price said no, not now. He would think about it and decide after the Southern California championship game.

Hours after the 9-0 win over Manual Arts Price said his team was “fatigued” and that the Hilltoppers would call it a day, their season complete.

The coach made plans to take advantage of the school Christmas vacation and headed for Catalina. Many players visited friends or relatives in the Los Angeles area before eventually making their way back home.

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1916: San Diego Hilltoppers Are National Champions

Follow the 12-0 San Diego High team, which won the Southern California title and was declared No. 1 in the U.S. by the National Sports News Service, as covered by Jack Darroch, “beat writer” for The San Diego Union.

Darroch’s view took in the inner workings of the country’s outstanding high school program and was witness to some surprising (in 21st century football dynamics) and interesting intramural politics that were part of the Hilltoppers’ memorable season.

Darroch saw it all and wrote about most of it.

Virtually forgotten but noted here were the  five other  football-playing squads in the County: Escondido, National City (Sweetwater), Coronado, Army-Navy, and the  San Diego High reserves, known as the “Seconds.”

Fallbrook, Ramona, and Julian did not field teams.

Aug. 28—On the first day of school and of practice (San Diego High opened two to three weeks ahead of other highs in Southern California) Hilltoppers coach Clarence (Nibs) Price revealed that he would “probably play in the style used by Harvard University” in 1915.

“Harvard’s offense began with the kicking formation, which forced the defense to draw back in preparation for the kick and that opened possibilities for the end run or forward pass,” Darroch wrote.

The 26-year-old Price built a winner at San Diego and went with the Harvard offense.

Price utilized Harvard offense.

Price finished the initial workout by sending the team on a short run around the City Stadium field and then through a session of “falling on the ball”.  The runways and landing pits for track and field were full of sawdust and useful for this exercise.

The team will be much lighter than last year, but faster, said manager Ralph Noisat, a student at the school.

Sept. 4—Awaiting purchase of a tackling dummy, Price planned to work the team in “signal practice, calling of the plays, and falling on the ball.”

Sept. 5—With graduates helping, five coaches were assisting Price.

Manager Noisat was awaiting approval by the school executive committee to purchase a blocking dummy and bucking machine.

Sept. 6—Additional candidates brought the number at practice to 48.  Perhaps the increase in numbers was due to a rally in the auditorium yesterday.

Sept. 7—Coronado’s Ed Suggett averaged about 35 yards a carry in an intrasquad scrimmage at the Coronado Polo Grounds, home field for the Islanders.

“The boys are showing more enthusiasm than in former years, “said captain and kicker Albert (Dabs) Madden, who predicted the Islanders would field a “crack team.”

San Diego was attempting to sign rival Santa Ana for a Thanksgiving Day game, but the Saints said they wouldn’t come unless they received a percentage of the gate receipts, plus a guarantee.

Sept. 9—The executive committee turned down an offer from East High in Salt Lake City.  The Utah school wanted San Diego to foot all of its travel expenses.

Turnout at San Diego jumped to 68 boys, with others turned away because of lack of uniforms.  No more than 38 had reported in 1915.

Sept. 12—Lincoln High of Portland proposed a Thanksgiving Day game in San Diego but projected expenses of $800 made the game unlikely.

Manager Ralph Noisat reported that he worked all weekend constructing a bucking machine and installed a rubdown table in the gym.

Sept. 13—Finally, a game.  Los Angeles Manual Arts agreed to a $50 guarantee and 10 per cent of the gate receipts to play  in the new City Stadium.

Admission was set at 10 cents and a game with Coronado also was scheduled.

Sept. 20—William Buck sustained a broken nose in an intrasquad scrimmage.

The executive committee allowed yell leader Bert Picketts $4 to purchase a blue and white sweater so he would be “all dolled up” for the opening game with Coronado.

Sept. 21—A game with the USC freshman was scheduled.  The Hilltoppers covered travel expenses but would keep  gate receipts.

Sept. 22–San Diego High spent today on ”blackboard practice”, following a tough Thursday practice that was its last before the Coronado game.

Discontent was reported to be “rampant” on campus.

A game with Santa Ana was agreed to without the consent of coach Price. It was not until two days after  final arrangements were made that Price was informed of the game and then only indirectly.

Santa Ana played only for expenses in 1915.  “Weaker” thus year, the Saints wrangled a 20 per cent take of the gate, a sum of about $300.

When the 1916 game was proposed it was accepted by the executing committee with one dissenting vote.

End Brick Muller, a student representative on the committee, was among those who voted for the game.

Football star Bryan (Pesky) Sprott was elected captain of the swimming team.  Sprott also played basketball and would be the player-manager of the baseball team.

Sept. 23—San Diego’s starting lineup averaged 153 pounds to Coronado’s 142, but the Hilltoppers were without Brick Muller who injured his nose in practice.

Coronado advanced to San Diego’s 1 and 4-yard lines but couldn’t score as the Hilltoppers won, 19-0, in the City Stadium.

Sept. 25—Officials from the County Conference met to discuss a constitution and set up a schedule.  Teams were Army-Navy, National City, Coronado, Escondido, and the San Diego “Seconds”.

Sept. 29—Price gave each player a rule book and said he would  periodically quiz them on the different rules and plays.

Every play to be used tomorrow against Manual Arts will be diagrammed on the blackboard this afternoon.

Word from Los Angeles was that Manual Arts players had not been attending class, but were “living” at school and taking all of their meals there.

The Toilers toiled from 6 to 8 each morning and from 4-6 in the afternoon.

The executive committee  voted $15 for Noisat and Price to tour northern schools in  an attempt to schedule more games.

Sept. 30—A squad of 17 Manual Arts players arrived and were met by a delegation of Hilltoppers rooters.

Price put his players through a “mental drill and worked out every play in theory.”

Oct. 1–San Diego scored a 6-3 victory over the team from Los Angeles.

Oct. 3—Price announced he would work more with the Seconds team in preparation for its County Conference opener with Coronado and called off practice because of rain.

Noisat traveled North by “machine” with Frank Rudolph, manager of the Los Angeles High team.  Rudolph had visited the Hilltop in hopes of finalizing a game contract.

The Hilltoppers turned down a game with the University of Redlands since they had scheduled the USC Frosh.

The “Midgets” team  played to a scoreless tie with a squad from University Heights playground.

Oct. 6—Noisat signed a two-year, home-and-home contract with Long Beach. A  game at Pasadena also would be scheduled if the Bullpups would provide a minimum guarantee.

Oct. 7—County Conference play began with Coronado beating the Seconds, 27-0, and Escondido topping National City, 6-0, on Barr’s eight-yard run.

Oct. 9—Price kept the team practicing until darkness in preparation for the recently signed Orange squad, reputed to be the largest in Southern California and averaging 164 pounds.

Elmer Weitekamp and Werner Shurr, members of the Seconds, were promoted to the varsity, meaning they no longer could play in County Conference games.

Bob Frick, back in school, was declared academically ineligible by the faculty and would miss at least two weeks.

Oct. 10–Noisat wired $90 to Orange for expenses.  The Panthers were to arrive Friday evening.

Officers of the junior class announced that a Saturday postgame dance would be held in honor of the visitors.

Oct. 12—The Hilltoppers scrimmaged a team from representing the Mission Hills community.

Oct. 13–A ticket, in the color of and shaped like an orange, was produced by the graphic arts department and was used for admission.

Walter (Dutch) Eells scored  touchdown  in championship game against Manual Arts.

Walter (Dutch) Eells scored touchdown in championship game against Manual Arts.

San Diego students did the traditional pregame, serpentine dance down city streets before arriving back at campus.

Noisat was allowed to spend $6 to replace the worn and  recently purchased tackling dummy.

Oct. 14—The question was, how good are the Hilltoppers, now 3-0 after an 84-6 rout of Orange?

Pesky Sprott scored 5 of the 13 touchdowns.  Bill Garber scored a touchdown and drop-kicked a field goal.

Oct. 17—A final account showed that San Diego barely made expenses for the Orange contest.  An estimated crowd of only 300 was on hand, including just 4 of the 96-member faculty.

A turnout of at least 580 persons was necessary for the school to cover the expected $145 in travel and advertising expense for the game with the USC Frosh.

Hilltoppers principal Arthur Gould switched the USC contest from Saturday to Friday so that many students, who claimed to having to work on Saturday, could attend the game.

Oct. 21—The Hilltoppers were outweighed, 170 pounds to 155 per man, but defeated the first-year collegians, 10-7, as Lincoln (Abe) Frick scored their only touchdown with a 24-yard pass interception return.

Coronado smashed Army-Navy, 87-0, before a “hilarious crowd that capered along the sidelines” at the Polo Grounds.

Ed Suggett scored 7 touchdowns.

Oct. 23–Bob Frick was officially declared ineligible for the season.  Frick had given “insufficient statements” as to why he previously dropped out of school.

Oct. 24—Coronado coach George Perry was looking for a new quarterback.  His starter, Lyons, quit school yesterday to go to work in a local bank.

Oct. 28—Principal  Gould heard that many students were preparing to “ditch” school and take a special railroad car to Pasadena on Nov. 3.

Gould declared that any student going to the game would be required to remain in school after hours and double the time lost.

The principal then  switched gears after receiving permission from his Pasadena counterpart to play the game a day later on Saturday.

Some students reportedly “pouted” and were upset that Gould didn’t “consult” student manager Noisat about a change in the game’s date.

Oct. 28—San Diego Junior College, also coached by Price and located on the high school campus, defeated Fullerton JC, 7-6, in the first intercollegiate game ever played in San Diego.

Backup halfback Preston Perrenot, who also wrote about the team in the San Diego Sun, scored Hilltoppers touchdown against Whittier State School.

Preston Perrenot (left), who also wrote about the team in the San Diego Sun, scored a touchdown against Whittier.

On the same day San Diego High whipped Fullerton, 40-0, before an announced attendance of 800.

Bryan (Pesky) Sprott returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown for the Hilltoppers, who lost Karl Deeds during the game.

Deeds and Fullerton’s Johnson were ejected, Deeds for holding Johnson and Johnson  for punching Deeds.

Oct. 31—Two “female members” of the faculty voted against the eligibility of Jackson Draine, who transferred from a school in Chicago and had to repeat a class at San Diego.

Students repeating classes were not to receive credit, but school administrators determined that San Diego High came under a rule affecting all  California schools.

The rule was that a student had to pass only nine units of credit to play.

Nov. 3–Seventeen players, coach Price, manager Noisat, a writer from each of San Diego’s three daily newspapers, and a group of boosters rode on the “High School Special” to Pasadena.

Price entertained, playing ragtime tunes on his ukelele.

Passing through Oceanside the squad led out a yell for Les Gould, a “seaside Hilltop booster”, who waved as the train went by.

The train stopped in Santa Ana and team members awakened the city with a war whoop. The travelers then made their way to an overnight stop in Los Angeles.

Nov. 4—The Hilltoppers rolled past Pasadena, considered the strongest team in Southern California, 26-0, as Karl Deeds set the victory in motion with a 55-yard touchdown return of an intercepted pass.

Price’s team now was 6-0 and had outscored its opponents, 185-16.

Coronado  followed up its rout of Army-Navy with a 74-0 victory over National City. Ed Suggett’s scoring totals were not included in the game summary in the city’s three newspapers.

Nov. 11—Attendance was picking up.  About 1,000 were on hand in City Stadium as Sprott scored three touchdowns and Garber and Deeds 2 each in a 62-0 victory over Long Beach.

Nov. 14—Ralph Noisat was ousted as team manager for scholastic deficiencies.  Renwick Thompson, 1915 manager, took over.

Ed Suggett scored 4 touchdowns and ran for five points after in Coronado’s 53-0 win over the 21st Infantry team, which was part of an Army Regiment that protected the borders of California and Arizona and was stationed in San Diego.

Nov. 15—Noisat was reinstated.  Principal Gould cited an error by the committee on eligibility.

Nov. 18—Noisat was part of the game officiating crew, serving as head linesman as San Diego defeated the Whittier State School, 47-10.  State was a correctional facility for boys.

Nov. 28—Plans for the Thanksgiving Day game with Los Angeles Poly included marching in serpentine formation around the stadium and through  city streets, followed by a bonfire.

Students were seen bringing boxes to schools instead of textbooks.

San  Diego's Pesky Sprott scores first touchdown in 41-0 victory over L.A. Poly. Players were issued jersey numbers for first time.

Pesky Sprott scored first touchdown in 41-0 victory over L.A. Poly. Players were issued jersey numbers for first time.

Nov. 30—The Hilltoppers’ 41-0 victory over L.A. Poly, before a Thanksgiving Day gathering of almost 6,000 persons at City Stadium guaranteed that Ontario Chaffey would be their opponent in quarterfinals of the Southern California playoffs.

Other quarterfinals matchups paired Manual Arts against Pasadena and Fullerton against Glendora Citrus.  The six teams led their respective “leagues”, which actually were districts based on geography.

Dec. 4—Price announced that the team would scrimmage only once a week through the end of the season.

Dec. 7—Price had a painted, white football for practice and kept the team on the field until “long after the moon rose over the hills.”

The executive committee voted to pay yell leader Bert Pickett’s expenses to Los Angeles for the Chaffey game, which would be played at the neutral Manual Arts field.

If at least 100 students go, Santa Fe Railways agreed to provide a special coach.

Dec. 8—Price installed an 8 p.m. curfew at the well-appointed, two-year-old Clark Hotel, located at 4th and Hill streets in downtown L.A.

San Diego High and Manual Arts players were on Jack Darroch's All-Southern California 11.  Clockwise from lower left:  Guard Cortis Majors, left halfback Bryan (Pesky) Sprott, right end Brick Muller, and quarterback Karl Deeds of San Diego.  Fullback Jim Blewett and left tackle Brockman of Manual Arts.

San Diego High and Manual Arts players were on Otto Frisch’s Spalding Sporting Goods Company All-Southern California 11. Clockwise from lower left: Guard Cortis Majors, left halfback Bryan (Pesky) Sprott, right end Brick Muller, and quarterback Karl Deeds of San Diego. Fullback Jim Blewett and left tackle Brockman of Manual Arts.

“The boys are in fine shape,” said Price.  “They are hard and trained to the minute and have plenty of confidence.”

Dec. 9—Playing what writer Darroch described as its best game of the year, San Diego defeated Chaffey, 21-7, before a crowd generously estimated at 7,000.

Pesky Sprott caught two touchdown passes from Brick Muller and Bill Garber drop-kicked a 44-yard field goal.

Telephone operators at The San Diego Union estimated they received at least, 1,500 calls from fans wanting the game score after the result was received in the Union newsroom at 5 p.m.

Dec. 12—Calexico was offered $200 in expenses, a larger-than-usual sum, to come to San Diego for a semifinals playoff.

Price wanted no part of a game in the Imperial Valley.  San Diego would have to leave two days later for a championship game in Los Angeles. The coach said it took a week to recover from a road game.

Sprott sustained  a sore neck against Chaffey and would not play against the Bulldogs.

Money was taken from the football budget to pay for a Los Angeles physician, who was on duty at the Chaffey game.

Allan Sampson kept Manual Arts off scoreboard.

Allan Sampson kept Manual Arts off scoreboard.

Dec. 15—Calexico was averaging 25 points a game and was undefeated, but had played only four games.

Dec. 16—San Diego “easily outclassed the ‘desert rats,’” Darroch wrote of the 55-0 victory.

The Hilltoppers advanced to play Manual Arts, 47-7 winner over Pasadena and 52-0 conqueror of Fullerton,  in a Wednesday championship game at Washington Park, home of the baseball Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.

Dec. 18—Sprott, idled about 10 days with a sore neck, retired for the day after an end run in practice, coming down with a bruised foot.

Manual Arts’ star player, Jim Blewett, was slowed by what was described as torn ligaments in his knee.

Dec. 19—Twenty-two Hilltoppers arrived on the noon train in Los Angeles and worked out on the turf, Washington Park field.  Sprott may play but would not start, said Price.

Blewett was said to be out of a hospital and would play with a brace on his leg.

Price established a 9 p.m. curfew for the team, which again was quartered at the Clark Hotel.

Local San Diego sportsman Mouney Pfeffercorn wrote an op-ed piece in the Union that was critical of the Hilltoppers’ football administration.

“San Diego already has beaten Manual Arts and should not have to play the game in Los Angeles,” said Pfeffercorn.

“The high school needs a graduate manager trained in different tricks of arranging games and selecting officials, etc.”

In closing, Pfeffercorn seemed to exonerate Ralph Noisat.

“Unfortunately, they had too many managers (on) the ‘High’ grounds this season and had they left Noisat alone he would have done his best to come out ahead of the game.”

Manual Arts quarterback Harold Galloway looks for receiver as San Diego defenders battle it out with Manual Arts in championship game.

Quarterback Harold Galloway looks for receiver as San Diego defenders battle  Manual Arts in championship game.

Dec. 20—Sprott did not make an appearance until the third quarter, with the score deadlocked at 0-0.

When Sprott took the field “the band of rooters (approximately 300 made the trip) accompanying the team from the Southern City let forth a battle yell,” wrote Darroch. “The din could have been heard from La Jolla to Dulzura.”

Sprott’s arrival “acted like an electric charge on the tired San Diego players,” wrote Howard Angus of the Los Angeles Times.

Sprott gained 23 yards in six carries, positioning Garber’s 25-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead after a drive that started at Manual’s 37-yard line.

Walter (Dutch) Eells’ 36-yard run in the fourth quarter sealed the Hilltoppers’ 9-0 victory before about 5,000 persons.

Sprott played enough to gain 53 yards in 12 carries.

Blewett was 3-for-3 for 26 yards passing, which gave the Toilers a first down on the Hilltoppers’ 13, where a field goal attempt was blocked on fourth down in the first quarter by San Diego’s Allan Sampson.

Blewett took a shot in the second quarter and did not reenter the game until the fourth quarter and, after a sack of six yards, was carried off the field.

Price nixed Noisat’s challenge to Kern County Union (Bakersfield) to play a state championship game on New Year’s Day and the Hilltoppers returned home and turned in their uniforms.

 

 

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2013-14: Sweetwater Runs to Fourth in Poll

Echos of Gary Zarecky’s fast-breaking teams of the 1980′s are being heard at Sweetwater, where the Runnin’ Red Devils now are 16-0 and inching higher in the UT-San Diego weekly poll.

An 82-66 victory over Morse last week was preceded by five games in which coach Jesse Aguirre’s hustlers scored at least 90 points and 100 twice.

Sweetwater defeated San Diego  Southwest, 116-30, recently, but that scoring total is only fifth all-time at the National City school, made famous by Zarecky’s relentless offensive teams.

The Red Devils defeated Coronado, 136-48, and Mar Vista, 123-54, in 1984-85, rolled a 123-48 number against San Diego Southwest and ran past Marian, 122-91, in 1983-84.

This Red Devils squad is averaging 83.7 points a game, while Zarecky’s clubs averaged 92.3 in ’84-85, 91.7 in ’82-83, and 88.4 in ’83-84.

St., Augustine and Mater Dei are running 1-2 in this week’s poll, with La Costa Canyon third.

The 18-2 Saints lost to Chino Hills, which is 17-4, and to Lakewood Mayfair, now 16-5. A more relevant evaluation of the Saints may come Wednesday night when Chino Hills meets 18-3 La Verne Damien, a 73-63 loser to St. Augustine.

Mater Dei’s two losses were in a tournament in Phoenix, where it was outscored by Capistrano JSerra, 63-48, and West Hills Chaminade, 55-47.

JSerra is 11-7 and lost its most recent game to Santa Ana Mater Dei, 69-39, ranked No. 1 in the country today by USA Today. Chaminade is 17-3 and holds a 73-61 win over Loyola, ranked twelfth nationally.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Last Week
1 St. Augustine (13) 19-2 130 1
2 Mater Dei 17-2 115 2
3 La Costa Canyon 17-4 96 3
4 Sweetwater 16-0 88 5
5 Torrey Pines 17-4 82 4
6 El Camino 18-3 70 6
7 Francis Parker 16-4 46 7
8 Eastlake 16-4 31 8
9 Hoover 14-8 19 9
10 San Marcos 13-7 11 10

**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis

Others receiving votes: Foothills Christian, 9; Grossmont, 8; Kearny, Mission Hills, Westview, 2 each.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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2013-14: Saints Unanimous No. 1 in Poll

The Martin Luther King Day doubleheader at Francis Parker produced the best game of the season, St. Augustine’s 79-74 victory over La Costa Canyon, and the Saints are unanimous choices as San Diego’s top team in the UT-San Diego poll.

Trey Kell was brilliant for the winners and scored  37 points, but the tough Mavericks hounded Kell into four turnovers in a highly-charged game in which bodies resounded as they hit the floor and the two game officials “let them play.”

UT-San Digo photographer catches Kell putting up two of his 37 points against La Costa Canyon,

UT-San Diego photographer catches Kell putting up two of his 37 points against La Costa Canyon.

St. Augustine jumped to a 27-15 lead early in the second quarter and was up 48-34 midway in the third, but  La Costa Canyon kept coming and narrowed the gap to 62-61 in the fourth.

Coach Mike Haupt’s team held serve.  The  Saints came up with  late steals and hit most of their free throws in the stretch run.

A full house at Parker included head coach Steve Fisher and assistants Brian Dutcher,  Justin Hutson, and David Valenzuela of San Diego State, and many of the local basketball cognoscenti.

TORREY WINS UNDERCARD

Torrey Pines coach John Olive sauntered along the edge of the court in front of his team’s bench, seemingly at ease despite’s Francis Parker’s  opening a 10-point lead in the first quarter.

Olive obviously knew better things were in store for his squad.  The Falcons got rolling and were up by 25 points in the second half, then geared down and cruised in with a 62-47 win over the host Lancers.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Last Week
1 St. Augustine (13) 17-2 130 1
2 Mater Dei 15-2 117 2
3 La Costa Canyon 16-3 98 3
4 Torrey Pines 15-3 85 4
5 Sweetwater 13-0 79 5
6 El Camino 16-3 76 6
7 Francis Parker 15-3 41 8
8 Eastlake 16-3 28 10
9 Hoover 13-8 18 9
10 San Marcos 11-7 14 7
**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
Others receiving votes: Foothills Christian, Grossmont, 8 each; Cathedral, Kearny, Mission Hills, 3 each; Steele Canyon, Morse, 2 each.
Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).
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2009: They Became Booming Sooners

The University of Oklahoma was quick to notice that Randall, Baxter, and Seale weren’t the only San Diego Section football stars with exclamation points next to their names.

Running back Brennan Clay (Scripps Ranch), wide receiver Kenny Stills, Jr. (La Costa Canyon), and free safety Tony Jefferson (Eastlake) all took their diplomas and moved to where the wind comes rolling down the plains.

With apologies to the Rogers and Hammerstein and their musical creation, “Oklahoma!”

Each San Diegan was  a productive Sooner for coach Bob Stoops, whose teams rarely recruit players west of the Rio Grande River.

Clay  is eligible for the 2014 NFL draft.  Stills was selected in the fifth round and was the 144th taken in the 2013.  Jefferson surprisingly was undrafted but signed with Arizona.

CLAY

Clay loomed large at Scripps Ranch.

Brennan loomed large at Scripps Ranch.

Rushed for 2,026 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in 13 games as senior after catching 70 passes, rushing for 1,453 yards, and scoring 20 touchdowns as  junior…led Sooners with 957 rushing yards and a 5.5-yard rushing average and scored 6 touchdowns in 2013…caught 16 passes…gained 44 yards in 17 carries and shook off tacklers that earned critical first down which led to  fourth-quarter touchdown in Oklahoma’s 45-31 upset  victory over Alabama in 2014 Sugar Bowl…a later, 12-yard run   forced Alabama into early use of  its timeouts….

JEFFERSON

Eastlake opponents faced Jefferson's stern countenance.

Eastlake opponents faced Tony’s stern countenance.

Fierce, two-way player…led Eastlake to 2009 D-1 championship with 88 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, two fumbles forced, and recovered two fumbles…averaged 8.9 yards for 223 attempts and rushed for 1,995 yards and 27 touchdowns as senior…projected as middle-round draft choice in 2013 but was bypassed and signed as rookie free agent with Arizona Cardinals…earned roster spot after intercepting two passes and making five tackles in second preseason game against Dallas…got into all 16 games  and started two at free safety…made 19 total tackles…entered NFL draft after junior season….

STILLS

Kenny Stills, Jr., kicks it with his dad, Kenny, Sr.

Kenny Stills, Jr., kicks it with his dad, Kenny, Sr.

Caught 45 passes for 914 yards and 20.3 average and scored 10 touchdowns in last season for La Costa Canyon Mavericks… had 204 pass receptions for 12.7-yard average and scored 24 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons…made himself available for NFL draft after 2012 campaign…caught 32 passes for 20-yard average and 5 touchdowns in rookie season with Saints…son of Kenny Stills, Sr., who played at El Camino High and University of Wisconsin, was eighth-round draft choice of Green Bay in 1985,  stayed 6 seasons in NFL and got into 77 games for Packers and Minnesota Vikings as defensive back….

A fourth San Diego player was Mira Mesa running back Damien Williams, who was recruited by the Sooners out of Arizona Western Junior College in Yuma.  Williams left the team in 2013 after the ninth game.

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2009: No Neon in This Deon

Deon Randall, his jersey in tatters and his high school career at an end, walked off the Carson Home Depot Field.

“It’s a great parallel,” Randall said, “a great analogy, a great symbol to how the game went…it was a rough game.”

Randall did it all at Francis Parker...

Randall did it all for Francis Parker…

Randall was a warrior in the State Small Schools Bowl.  He rushed for 276 yards in 36 carries and scored three touchdowns, but Modesto Central Catholic hung on for a 44-40 victory

IT’S ON ME

The Francis Parker quarterback pointed to the middle of his jersey (“It was my call”) when asked about the play that brought an end to Parker’s season.

Randall said it was his decision to check from a run to a pass on fourth down with 1:43 left in the game and Parker on the Crusaders’ two-yard line.

The receiver, Dalante Dunklin, caught the pass, but was smothered at the five-yard line.  Game over.

So was Randall’s brilliant career at the little school on Linda Vista Road.

Writer Steve Brand sought out Parker coach John Morrison.

“I would never second-guess him,” said Morrison of his signal caller, who scored 70 touchdowns in his final two seasons.

“I wanted him to make those decisions,” the coach added.  “If that’s what he decided, it was the right call.  He’s not just a great athlete but he’s very smart—heady.  I’d never question his call, never.”

DISAPPOINTMENT IN 2008

A year before Randall scored 40 touchdowns and rushed and passed for more than 3,000 yards in a 12-1 season.

It wasn’t enough.

Parker was bypassed for the State Bowl Series when Capistrano St. Margaret, undefeated at 13-0 and riding a 42-game winning streak, was selected.

Parker had averaged 52 points a game and was convinced it could beat any Division V team.

A YEAR LATER

To get to a state bowl game the Lancers would have to defeat St. Margaret, either in the eyes of the selectors or in head-to-head competition.

Parker and St. Margaret agreed to play the second week of the season in a quaint stadium with an all-weather field and a view of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The game wasn’t that close.  Parker opened a 28-13 lead and won convincingly, 28-20.  Randall raced 86 yards for one touchdown and passed 29 yards to Roland Jackson for another.

“I thought we did a great job on Randall except for two or three plays, but great players make you pay on those plays,” said Tartans coach Harry Welch.

....and Randall is a standout at Yale.

…and caught 85 passes and averaged 5.3 yards per rush for Yale Bulldogs in 2013.

Randall took his  football  East to Yale  and was a star in 2013.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder was the Bulldogs’ leading receiver with 85 catches for a 9.3 average and 8 touchdowns, and  scored three rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.3 yards for 33 attempts.

A greater achievement for Randall came during the team’s season-ending awards dinner. He was named captain of the 2014 team, the 137th in Yale’s storied history.

UNDEFEATED MISMATCH

Valley Center was 8-0, ranked sixth in the San Diego Section, and awaiting a visit from Oceanside, No. 1 in Southern California among D-1 squads and fourth in the state.

The Jaguars didn’t score until 23.4 seconds remained in the game and could amass only 40 total yards as the Pirates won, 45-0.

Heeding coach John Carroll’s command to “read the keys and get off to a fast start,” Noah Tarrant returned an intercepted  pass  for a touchdown on Valley Center’s third play and raced  12 yards with a botched punt for another touchdown in the first quarter.

The Pirates led, 24-0, after 12 minutes.

Noah Tarrant scores touchdown for Oceanside in State Championship game against San  Jose Bellarmine Prep.

Noah Tarrant scores touchdown for Oceanside in State Championship game against San Jose Bellarmine Prep.

ANOTHER TITLE ROMP

Oceanside never looked back.

Coach John Carroll’s Pirates rolled past Ramona, 52-6, the following week, a season after the Bulldogs “upset” the Pirates in a 33-33 tie.

Helix was a 26-10 victim in the San Diego Section II championship and Oceanside overcame a 13-3, second-quarter deficit at Carson to defeat San Jose Bellarmine Prep, 24-19, in the State D-I title game, ending the season with 17 consecutive victories and unbeaten in 39 games.

“Other Oceanside teams may equal this (two championships in three years), but no one will ever beat it,” said Carroll.

FACIAL WEAR

Reggie Bush had his San Diego hometown area code 619 penciled onto the eye black he affected at USC.

Escondido’s Ricky Seale also wore taped eye black, honoring “Aunt Jackie”, according to Don Norcross of The San Diego Union. “Aunt” was on one eyeblack, “Jackie” on the other.

Aunt Jackie was Ricky’s father’s sister, who died in 2008.

Seale honored his late aunt.

Seale honored his late aunt.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

“After a Pop Warner game she told me, ‘I can’t wait to see you play in the big time,’” Ricky remembered.  “Yet she was the type of person, she knew when I wasn’t trying the hardest and she told me.”

That wasn’t very often. The son of Sammy Seale, a 10-year NFL player (4 with the Chargers), who became an NFL college scout, Ricky went on to set the San Diego Section career rushing record, although finishing his prep career on crutches.

Seale injured his left knee in the second quarter after gaining 55 yards in 13 carries in a 35-14, semifinal playoff loss to Eastlake.

Seale had 6,690 career rushing yards and was the only San Diego Section athlete to surpass 6,000 yards. He moved on to play at Stanford University.

DUELING RUNNING BACKS

On the night Ricky Seale rushed for 404 yards against San Pasqual, Kenneth James, Jr., of Mt. Carmel rushed for 424 against Westview, breaking the record of 410 by Escondido’s Darrick Jackson in 2003.

BAXTER BLOW OUT

Dillon Baxter made a promise as a ninth grader when he joined the Mission Bay varsity.

“I told him I’d get him a ring,” Baxter said before he gave coach Willie Matson a hug.

Baxter fulfilled his promise by almost single handedly knocking out Valley Center in the Buccaneers’ D-IV championship, 48-17 victory.

Baxter delivered on promise to his coach.

Baxter delivered on promise to his coach.

The 6-foot, 205-pounder rushed for 384 yards in 26 carries and scored seven touchdowns.  Along the way Baxter erased Tyler Gaffney’s year-old season rushing record and tied the Section record with 7 touchdowns.

Baxter’s touchdowns were on runs of 6, 21, 9, 92, 87, 1, and 46 yards.

Baxter finished with 2,974 rushing yards in 13 games.  Gaffney had 2,866 in 14.  Baxter came close with 52 season touchdowns but Gaffney held on the record, having scored 56 in 2008.

The Mission Bay quarterback set a state record with 76 rushing and passing touchdowns, burying the record of 64 by Ventura St. Bonaventure’s Tyler Ebell in 2000. Baxter’s 919 career points and 481 points this season also set state records.

A brilliant career start was short circuited in Baxter’s second year at USC and was followed by a brief stint at San Diego State. He finished his collegiate career in 2013 at NAIA Baker University in Kansas.

BEWARE OF THE SHADOW

Ray Herring’s response to a question from writer Steve Brand on why Herring continued to run so hard after he broke into the clear on a 91-yard interception return:

“I saw a shadow and thought someone was after me, but it was my own shadow.”

Herring also teamed with quarterback Dillon Baxter as Mission Bay ran past Point Loma, 49-27.

Baxter accounted for his almost usual 300 yards in total offense, but Herring shared the spotlight with four catches of Baxter passes for 132 yards, including touchdowns of 59 and 51 yards, and intercepted two passes.

RING THE BELL

Writer Don Norcross’ game account captured the moment and the tapestry of the annual Imperial County “Bell Game” between El Centro Central and Brawley.

The 9-1 Central Spartans won, 23-18, and now trail Brawley (7-3), 41-24-1 since the Bell was first rung in 1944.

Bell tolls for El Centro's Silvia Soriano (left) and Elena Williams.

Bell tolls for El Centro’s Silvia Soriano (left) and Elena Williams.

However, the rivalry goes back to 1921, and until 2004, the Spartans and Wildcats teed it up for desert bragging rights twice a year.

Norcross pointed out that fans began lining up outside Cal Jones Field in El Centro at 2:30 p.m.

By 5:30 a crowd of 6,000 had filled  the stands and the fire marshal warned that the game wouldn’t start until the aisles were cleared.

Booster Club sales at El Centro normally grossed about $2,500, but upwards of $10,000 worth of merchandise is realized on this night.

MARKETING PAYS OFF

A total of 450 “Bell Game” T-shirts, at $12 apiece, was sold to students and the boosters used the $4,600 profit to buy “Bell Game” black jerseys for the Spartans.

El Centro players didn’t see the jerseys until they returned to their locker room after warmups.

WHISTLE BLOWERS FROM LONG DISTANCE

Members of the San Diego County Officials’ Association worked the Bell game, instead of representatives from the Imperial County association.

San Diego official Jacob Whittler explained that a perceived bad call could result in recriminations for a local official making the call.

Aggrieved fans could boycott the official’s business and “they’d know where his house is,” said the San Diego arbiter.

WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME

A  minute remained in the first half of the Castle Park-Chula Vista season opener when the stadium public address reminded students that progress reports would be coming the following Tuesday.

The announcer was drowned out by a chorus of boos.

“Who invited this guy to the party?” wondered writer Kirk Kenney.

It was a party for Chula Vista, which routed its neighborhood rival, 41-10.

POISON THREAT

Arsenic is believed to have been around since the Bronze Age, but it was 2,500 years later when discovered at Carlsbad High.

Mode of transportation in background, Carlsbad's Connor Sodano stretches after Lancers arrived at Westview.

Mode of transportation in background, Carlsbad’s Connor Sodano stretches after Lancers arrived at Westview.

The school was being renovated in 2008 and excess levels of the poison element were discovered in a routine soil check.

Swede Krcmar Field, named after the original Lancers coach, was condemned.

The team was forced to play all games in ’08 and ’09 away from its campus, with home designations at La Costa Canyon in ’08 and El Camino and Oceanside this year.

Carlsbad was 7-6 in 2008 and 3-8 this season.

The Lancers’ theme song might have been the 1961 Ray Charles  favorite, “Hit the Road, Jack”.

TOP THIS

When St. Augustine coach Richard Sanchez heard that Carlsbad had played away from home for 22 consecutive weeks, Sanchez remarked, “Twenty-two games? We haven’t had a home game since 1922.”

The Saints’ 7 ½-acre site in North Park has no football field.  Their “home” games usually are at Mesa College, Southwestern College, or Balboa Stadium.

4.1 MILES & 47 YEARS

That was the distance and that was how long neighboring schools Morse and Mount Miguel had waited to play a regular-season game.

Referee Mike Parsa flips coin with historic implication at Morse-Mount Miguel game.

Referee Mike Parsa flips coin with historic implication at Morse-Mount Miguel game.

It was an eight-minute drive from Morse’s Skyline Drive campus to Jamacha Road to Blossom Road, site of the Mount Miguel facility in Spring Valley.

But the teams met only once, in the 1987 playoffs, after Morse opened in 1962.

The Tigers played 500 regular-season games before they visited Mount Miguel in the opening game of the 2009 season.

No specific reason could be offered as to why the teams had not met.

The stars apparently never were aligned.

Mount Miguel is a County school and Morse is in the city.  The schools had other rivalries. Schedules conflicted.

A game was to be played at Mount Miguel in 2003 but canceled and forfeited by Morse when a school official was warned that undesirables would be present with weapons.

Mount Miguel dedicated its new turf field with a 35-14 victory.

AND ANOTHER ONE

Mount Miguel didn’t stop there.  The Matadors defeated Helix for the first time since 1987, giving the rivalry spoils, a Scottish Claymore sword, a new address after the 44-21 win.

DON’T CROSTH ME

Quote Cathedral’s 6-foot-5, 307-pound Alex Crosthwaite, headed for California-Berkeley:  “I just want to kick someone’s (behind).  If I don’t pancake the guy I’m blocking, it’s not a complete block for me.”

WHO WRITES HIS STUFF?

Writer Don Norcross enjoyed the announcements by Scripps Ranch’s public address announcer Will Bailey, an English teacher at the school:

“Keep the car in neutral, grandma.  There’s flags on the field.”

“Break out your caliper, your abacus, your slide rule, and your yardstick.  Time for a measurement.”

PIRATES CATCH JACKRABBITS

Oceanside  scored a rare San Diego Section victory when the Pirates knocked off Long Beach Poly, 14-7.  The Jackrabbits fell to 1-3, having also lost to No. 2 Ventura St. Bonaventure and No. 4 Anaheim Servite.

La Costa Canyon, No. 2 in San Diego, defeated Rancho Santa Margarita, 28-14,  and Vista, No. 4, in   was hammered by Mission Viejo, 41-17, in other  matchup’s with Southern Section powers.

BOUNCE BACKS

Mar Vista had not beaten Castle Park since 1988 and, after dropping the Trojans from its schedule from 1994-2000, the Mariners began a decade in which the average score was 43-7 in Castle Park’s favor.

Enter Danny Salazar.  The Mariners’ senior kicker booted field goals of 46, 42, and 35 yards as Mar Vista lashed back at its South Bay neighbor, winning, 23-0.

Another long wait was over at Valhalla, which claimed the Grossmont South championship. The 14-7 victory over Steele Canyon was the Norsemen’s first league title in the school’s 35 years.

Valhalla held on for the win after a game official ruled “no catch”, nullifying a 35-yard passing gain which would have put the Cougars on the Norsemen’s 7-yard line with 1:20 remaining.

Valhalla safety Hansell Wilson told Bill Dickens of The San Diego Union that “we both had our hands on the ball, but I was able to strip it loose…the ref made the right call.”

QUICK KICKS—Eastlake was one of 10 playoff teams making its first appearance in the finals…the Titans spent part of the day shooting a team picture at Qualcomm Stadium…Clairemont forfeited its opener to La Jolla when 12 players were busted for breaking school rules and the Chieftains didn’t have enough players…Grossmont beat Otay Ranch, 16-14,  on Chance House’s 19-yard field goal with 5.2 seconds remaining, one year after the Foothillers missed a 40-yard field goal on the last play that would have won at Otay Ranch…the West Hills pep band’s timing was curious…it played Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust!”, after the Wolf Pack had just fumbled and lost a second-quarter kickoff and with Valhalla leading, 20-0 on its way to 48-7…West Hills unveiled its new, two-tone, all-weather field but again the timing was not good…Steele Canyon beat the Wolf Pack 48-23, in the inaugural game…Point Loma blocked two field goals and sacked El Capitan quarterbacks nine times in a 9-7 victory despite a 10-0 record, Eastlake did not receive a first-round playoff bye in D-IV….Mission Bay (10-0) and Valley Center (9-1), more established programs which played tougher schedules, warranted byes in the opinion of the selection committee…

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2013-14: Powell Has Moved on and Lincoln Struggles

Lincoln could have used Norman Powell last night at St. Augustine, but Powell is busy rising  at UCLA under first-year coach Steve Alford.

It should have been expected.

There’s a connection between Powell and Alford.

That was apparent three years ago at a Lincoln-St. Augustine game in the Saints’ old Daugherty Gym.

The date, Feb. 15, 2011.

Alford, then coaching New Mexico, arrived in town for a game the next day at San Diego State.

The coach first took in the afternoon contest between the Hornets and Saints.

Powell is key Bruin.

Norman Powell is a key Bruin.

Alford was there to see Powell, who didn’t disappoint,  dunking and breaking away for 35 points on 14 of 19 shooting from the field, harassing the Saints on defense, and leading Lincoln to an 85-53 victory.

Powell didn’t go to New Mexico. He chose UCLA, but it wasn’t until Alford’s arrival on the Westwood campus this season that the 6-foot, 4-inch junior emerged.

Powell scored a season high 19 points earlier this week and was a stout defender as the No. 25 Bruins scored a 69-56 victory at No. 21 Colorado and put themselves firmly in the hunt for Pac-12 Conference and posteason honors.

“I don’t hang my hat on the offensive end,” Powell told a Los Angeles Times reporter. “Defense, defense, defense, defense.  That’s what coach tells us every time we go out to play a game.”

Alford had another view:  “Norman is a load when you give him freedom in the post and on drives to the basket.”

Meanwhile, Lincoln was woeful  in the Western League rivals’ first 2013-14 meeting.  The Saints entertained a full house  of mostly purple-clad fans and dismissed the Hornets, 70-45, after running to a 45-17 halftime lead.

BARNBURNER IN CARLSBAD

Tommy McCarthy drained a three-point looper with 1.3 seconds remaining to give La Costa Canyon a 54-52 victory over visiting Torrey Pines in a battle of North County honchos.

La Costa Canyon, ranked third in the U-T San Diego poll, and top-ranked St Augustine will meet Monday evening at Francis Parker in the feature of many Martin Luther King holiday games around the San Diego Section. The undercard  matches  No. 4 Torrey Pines and the host  No. 8 Lancers.

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2013-14: Bennie Edens Basketball Classic?

Amid the flourishing mid-season “shootouts” is Point Loma High, among the increasing number of schools hosting all-day, nonleague “showcase” games.

The contests don’t always turn out to be showcases, because games often have to be scheduled a year in advance and teams’ fortunes change, ebbing and flowing for myriad reasons.

The Pointers call their  annual event Saturday, January 18,  the “Bennie Edens Basketball Classic.”

Let’s try that again.

The “Bennie Edens Basketball Classic”.

Yes, that’s what it’s known as.

Edens, who passed away in 2008,  was an outstanding coach at Point Loma from 1955-97.   His teams won 243 football games, second highest total in San Diego Section history.

Bennie never  blew a whistle, diagrammed a  play, or called a time out in  a high school basketball game.  At least not on the varsity level.

The Edens name still resonates, but a more likely coach to honor in the basketball context probably would have been  Hilbert Crosthwaite, who holds a singular distinction among all Point Loma hoop mentors.

Crosthwaite’s 1959-60 Pointers came out of the weeds to win the Southern California AA championship, the last by a local team before the San Diego Section became reality the following year.

Crosthwaite moved on after the championship run to coach the San Diego Junior College team  and took the Knights to the 1962-63 state championship game, losing to Fresno City, 76-69, and finishing with a 25-5 record.

The San Diego State graduate coached at Point for 11 seasons, from 1947-48 to 1951-52 and for five seasons beginning in 1954-55.  His overall record at Point Loma was 116-116 and his last squad was playing at that pace for most of the season.

The Pointers tied coach Jim Poole’s Kearny Komets for first in the Western League but were only 12-10 overall when they launched their playoff run.

The Pointers won their opening game at Hemet High against Beaumont, 32-24, then defeated  Yucaipa at Redlands University, 55-23.  They followed by knocking off Rosemead Bosco Tech, 54-37 and Lompoc, 54-40, quarterfinals and semifinals games at home, and San Marino, 52-36, in finals at Los Angeles State.

That Point Loma probably was the school with the largest enrollment in the AA division was not lost on the straight-shooting Crosthwaite.  “We had everything to lose.” he said.  “We couldn’t have walked out of here unless we won.”

Winning Pointers, back row from left:  Larry Moore, Mike Dolphin, Dick Walden, Doug Lawrence.  Front: Winston Yetta, Don Sadas, reading newspaper account, and coach Hilbert Crosthwaite.

Winning Pointers, back row from left: Larry Moore, Mike Dolphin, Dick Walden, Doug Lawrence. Front: Winston Yetta, Don Sada, reading newspaper account, and coach Hilbert Crosthwaite.

Crosthwaite and forward Winston Yetta didn’t have to walk.  They were paraded around the court after the victory on the shoulders of the other Pointers before a crowd of about 5,200.

As Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union said, paraphrasing Winston Churchill,  who spoke after the British Royal Air Force had defeated the more heavily armed German Luftwaffe in World War II: “Winston (Winnie) Yetta enjoyed his finest basketball hour here tonight, collecting 22 points….”

The 6-foot Yetta was joined in the starting lineup by 6-1 Don Sada, 6-2 Larry Moore, 6-0 Mike Dolphin, and 6-0 Doug Lawrence, or 6-6 1/2 Dick Walden.

Meanwhile, action was slow in the UT-San Diego Top 10 last week.  Francis Parker dropped a 53-52 decision to 21-0 Brentwood Buckley and went from sixth to eighth. Eastlake replaced Poway at 10th.

Hoover, apparently gaining traction, elevated to ninth after victories of 71-65 over Serra and 73-65 over Woodland Hills Taft.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Previous*
1 St. Augustine (9) 14-2 121 1
2 Mater Dei Catholic (2) 14-2 118 2
3 La Costa Canyon (1) 15-2 105 3
4 Torrey Pines 13-2 91 4
5 Sweetwater (1) 12-0 67 5
6 El Camino 13-3 60 6T
7 San Marcos 11-4 48 8
8 Francis Parker 14-2 47 6T
9 Hoover 10-7 14 10
10 Eastlake 15-3 9 NR

*Last week.
**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Cathedral, 6; Foothills Christian, Grossmont, 5 each; Mission Hills, 4; Escondido, 3; Steele Canyon, 1.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego correspondent);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office); Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com); Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com); Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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2013: San Diego Teams Land 4 in First 25

No state champions, but there were four San Diego Section teams in Cal-Hi Sports‘ final, overall top 25.  It was a good year.

San Diego tied for second with the Sac-Joaquin Section in number of top 25 squads from the 10 state sections.

Mission Hills (11-2) was 11th,  Oceanside (10-3) 13th.  St. Augustine and Cathedral, each 11-2, were 24th and 25th, respectively.

The vast Southern Section placed six of the first seven teams and 11 of the top 25.  St. John Bosco was 16-0 and number one after a 20-14 victory over No. 2 Concord De La Salle in the  Open Division championship.

De La Salle was the only North Coast Section squad in the top 25.

No. 6 Folsom was the highest of the four from the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Other sections with ranked representatives included the Central Coast (2) and the Central (1) and Los Angeles City (1).  The Northern, San Francisco, and Oakland Sections were blanked.

San Diego teams  in Cal-Hi Sports‘  top four divisions were 11-6 in intersectional games but  1-2 in arguably the season’s three biggest.

Oceanside was beaten 50-39 by Gardena Serra (13-1), which finished No. 4 overall.  Mission Hills lost a state playoff, 35-28, to No. 10 Bakersfield (13-2). Cathedral defeated No. 26 Vista Murrieta (12-2), 35-28.

Cal-Hi Sports‘ state rankings by its traditional format of five divisions:

DIVISION I

1–Bellflower St. John Bosco.  10–Oceanside.  11–Eastlake.

II

1–West Hills Chaminade.  3–Mission Hills.  8–San Pasqual.

III

1–Newport Beach Corona del Mar.  2–St. Augustine.  3–Cathedral.  11–Mission Bay.  13–Madison.

IV

1–Modesto Central Catholic.  3–Christian.

V

1–Le Grand.  9–Holtville.

SOUTH D-I

1–Bellflower St. John Bosco.  7–Mission Hills.  9–Oceanside.  10–Eastlake. 13-Cathedral.   14–San Pasqual (10-2).

SOUTH D-II

1–West Hills Chaminade.  4–St. Augustine.  12. Mission Bay (12-2).  14–Madison (9-2). 19–Christian (12-1).

SOUTH D-III

1–Newport Beach Coronado del Mar. 14–Sweetwater.

SOUTH D-IV

1–Bakersfield Christian.  (no San Diego Section teams)

FREEMAN, PATRIOT COACH HONORED

Imperial’s Royce Freeman was state medium schools player of the year and Christian coach Mike Ward was state small schools coach of the year.

Freeman, who set a San Diego Section career rushing record with 7,601 yards in four seasons and who rushed for 2,819 yards in 2013, is the fourth San Diego Section medium schools player of the year in the last six.

Others include Madison’s Pierre Cormier, 2012; Mission Bay’s Dillon Baxter, 2009, and Cathedral’s Tyler Gaffney, 2008.  Gaffney and Baxter were overall state players of the year.

Ward, who guided Christian to a  12-1 record and the San Diego Section D-III championship, also was coach of the year in 2011.  A previous winner was Ramona’s Glenn Forsythe, who led the Bulldogs to an 11-0 record and the Southern Section smallest schools championship in 1958.

 

 

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2013-14: South Bay Teams Make Noise

Rumblings out of the South Bay have become a roar.

Mater Dei Catholic and Sweetwater barged into the upper half of the ratings in the U-T San Diego poll this week.

Mater Dei, a 26-7 squad and Southern California Division  IV regional semifinalist in 2012-13, is no surprise, posting a 12-2 record and losing only to San Juan Capistrano JSerra and West Hills Chaminade, two schools from higher divisions.

The second-ranked Crusaders received two first place votes and their 118 points are only one less than top-ranked St. Augustine.

Sweetwater’s Running Red Devils went from  unranked to No. 5.

At 12-0, the Red Devils are the only unbeaten team in the top 10 and adamantly made their intentions known in a 91-56 victory over a regarded Poway club last week.

The Red Devils are in their fourth season under coach Jesse Aguirre, who took over a team that was 0-23 in 2009-10.  the Red Devils were  13-11, 17-12, and 12-13 in Aguirre’s first three seasons.

SAINTS RECOVER

Despite two losses in the Under Armour Tournament at Torrey Pines during the Christmas break, St. Augustine  stayed on top.

The Saints regrouped with a 73-63, home victory over La Verne Damien, which was 13-1 coming into the game.

The Saints were muscled in a 66-55 loss to Chino Hills and beaten, 62-61, by a mid-level Lakewood Mayfair squad in the Torrey Pines event.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Last Week
 1 St. Augustine (8) 13-2 119       1

2

Mater Dei Catholic (2)

13-2

118

6

3

La Costa Canyon (2)

13-2

107

2

4

Torrey Pines

13-2

93

T3

5

Sweetwater (1)

12-0

67

NR

6

Francis Parker

12-1

54

9

7

El Camino

12-3

54

9

8

San Marcos

11-4

53

5

9

Poway

9-5

14

10

10

Hoover

7-6

7

T3

**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
NR Not ranked.
Others receiving votes: Lincoln, Cathedral Catholic, 6 each; Foothills Christian, 5; Mission Hills, Grossmont, 3 each; Escondido, Eastlake, 2 each.
Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego correspondent);
Bill Dickens, Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).
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2013-14: Saints Hold off Damien

St. Augustine saw an 18-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to 4 but finally put away La Verne Damien, 73-63, as a full house of about 800 persons nervously looked on at St. Augustine Saturday night.

Trey Kell had 22 points for the winners but it was six free throws in the final 38.7 seconds by sophomore Martin Tombe that got the Saints over the finish line against the resilient visitors, who were 13-1 coming in.

St. Augustine, which led 41-25 at halftime and 50-32 midway in the third quarter, improved to 13-2.

Damien formerly was Pomona Catholic and is the alma mater of baseball slugger Mark McGwire and former San Diego State quarterbacks Dennis Shaw and Dan McGwire.

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1922: Student Gives Newspaper Inside Scoop

San Diego High had an unusual relationship with The San Diego Union.

Student Alan McGrew, who also served in a business position as the “Temporary Football Manager of San Diego High School,” was the de facto Hilltoppers beat writer for the newspaper.

McGrew filed daily reports on the Hilltoppers, the headline sports attraction in the city. He also provided  inside information on coach John Perry’s team along with up-to-date messages on scheduling.

Who the Cavemen were playing and where often was the question of the day, as money guarantees were negotiated and games agreed to on virtually a moment’s notice.

McGrew’s access to the team was apparent on the pages of the Union:

–A player reported to be smoking on a downtown street and who admitted his “guilt” when quizzed before the entire team was suspended by coach John Perry for the opener with Sweetwater and lost half of his letter-earning, game quarters participation.

Youthful Perry laid down the law.

Youthful Perry laid down the law.

–Perry had established an 8 p.m., be-at-home curfew with retirement by not more than an hour later.  The only evening players would be allowed to stay out “late” was after a game, when curfew would be at 10 p.m.

According to McGrew the team voted unanimously to abide by the Perry Rules.  The third-year head man  was 24, not much older than his players.

UNBEARABLE VICTORY

McGrew’s San Diego High bias also was obvious. The intrepid high school correspondent was one unhappy camper after the Hilltoppers’ 6-3 victory over Sweetwater in the season’s opening game.

Expecting a rout, McGrew was forced to acknowledge a stunningly difficult outing.

“The local players were taken off their feet by the county gang,” wrote McGrew.  “They were dazed, it appeared.”

McGrew continued.  “Possibly some of the players were unstrung, the game being the first of the season, and when they discovered the Sweetwater team had all kinds of  power (they) went to pieces.”

Sweetwater had been 0-3 against the San Diego varsity, losing, 54-6 in 1915, 65-7 in ’20, and 40-0 in ’21.

Fullback Charles Williams drop-kicked a 25-yard field goal to give coach Herb Hoskins’ Red Devils a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Clockwise from left, Hilltoppers' aces Norton Langford, Coney Galindo, Rex Driver, Kenny Zweiner.

Clockwise from left, Hilltoppers’ aces Norton Langford, Coney Galindo, Rex Driver, Kenny Zweiner.

Norton Langford scored to put the Hilltoppers ahead, 6-3, later in the quarter, after which San Diego was stymied by the determined National City squad.

The following week, under a story without byline, the writer hadn’t yet moved on, still unhappy and describing the Sweetwater game as a “catastrophe”.

RED DEVILS NO PUSHOVERS

Sweetwater opened as National City High 1907 and, according to available records, played football in 1910.

For the first 11 years, including the 1913 season when they didn’t field a team, the Red Devils were 10-24-3, according to infrequent newspaper reports.

Hoskins took over in 1919 and was 5-9-2 in his first three seasons, but the Red Devils won the four-team County League with a 5-0-1 record this season and manned up once more in the playoffs against San Diego.

Sweetwater thrived under Hoskins.

Sweetwater thrived under Hoskins.

The Cavemen this time prevailed by a 13-6 score, but Sweetwater had established itself as a credible program.

The Red Devils were 33-16-5 under Hoskins from 1922-27 and made three playoff appearances.

NO ROOM FOR HERB?

Writer Jess Puryear pointed out that Hoskins apparently had not been considered after the Sweetwater mentor showed interest in filling a position that opened on the San Diego coaching staff.

Hilltoppers basketball coach A.E. Shaver had left after the 1921-22 school year.

RESEMBLING EARLY MAN

San Diego High historian Don King corrected a story which promoted many different versions over the years.

How did the name Cavemen evolve?

In 1921 the football team dressed in dingy quarters beneath the 400 building on campus, King wrote in Caver Conquest, the 1993  history of San Diego High athletics.

There was only one entrance to the dressing room and that was through a long, dark tunnel that supposedly looked like that of a passageway to the caves used by our earliest ancestors, King noted.

Vintage San Diego High Caveman sticker.

Vintage San Diego High Caveman sticker.

Alden Ross, a reporter for the school newspaper (and a future member of the 1922 squad), was standing outside the players’ entrance when the  the squad exited for a game and was struck by the similarity to cave dwellers of the past.

Ross referred to the “Cavemen” in the next issue of The Russ.

“Cavemen” caught on and was used thereafter along with “Hilltoppers”and “Hillers.”

When girls began participating in the 1970s, the name was officially amended to “Cavers,” to correct gender inequity, said King.

PREGAME HYPE?

USC Freshmen coach H.W. Hess, responding when asked in a telephonic interview with  San Diego writers if there were “any stars who have been showing up” on the Trobabes’ squad:

“There are no stars, but eleven men on the team…and they’re all rotten,” declared the coach.

San Diego coach John Perry said he expected his squad “to be fighting all through the game (but) I do expect to be beaten by more than forty points.”

Interest in the USC team was such that the frosh’s pregame meal was assessed:  two poached eggs and a cup of tea.

The freshmen, featuring many 1921 prep stars from throughout the state, prevailed, 21-0.

THE LONGEST TRIP

According to one writer, 19 players and two coaches traveled to Bakersfield by automobile. Presumably more than one automobile.

Alan McGrew wrote that the team was scheduled to leave  at 8 a.m. on a Friday morning for  an 11-hour trip by “stage”.

Travel would include 48 miles on what was known as the Ridge Route, beginning at the Castaic Junction and featuring switchbacks and sudden  turns over the mountains north of Los Angeles.

Climax to this sometimes dangerous stretch was the Grapevine, a six-mile down grade that took travelers from 4,233 feet to the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, passing native grapevines growing on the hills near Fort Tejon.

WHY?

In this still developing period of motorized conveyance (passenger railroad travel was not available to or from Bakersfield), why schedule a game so distant and so difficult to reach?

Alan McGrew pointed out that “almost every school south of the Tehachapi pass had received letters seeking games from Hilltop management, but refused.”

San Diego High was feared in the North, particularly around Los Angeles, said McGrew. Scheduling the defending state champion would curtail some of the criticism about Perry’s perceived reluctance to schedule strong opponents.

There was some history with Bakersfield.  The Hilltoppers declined an invitation to play a state championship playoff with the Drillers after San Diego had posted 12-0 record and won the Southern Section championship in 1916.

Hilltop coach Clarence (Nibs) Price sensed his team was fatigued and was not interested in a long trip.

Price did schedule the Drillers in 1917, when the school known as Kern County Union High came south and was beaten by the Hilltoppers, 18-7.

This year’s  result was different.  Dwight (Goldie) Griffith’s Drillers, who were rumored to play some adult roughnecks from the neighboring oil fields, scored a 32-0 victory.

Age limits were nonexistent.  San Diego’s outstanding lineman was Al Scheving, who would be 21 when he graduated in June, 1923.

“I was only eighteen  months older than my team captain,” coach John Perry told writer Jim Trinkle in 1954.

TWO GAMES IN TWO DAYS

Without a league and of  independent classification, San Diego was required to have  five victories against high school competition for inclusion in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Scheduling was madcap.

With the SCIF postseason beginning in a week, the Cavemen were pressed to play two high school games in two days.

John Perry shrugged when it was suggested that no prep team in California had ever been asked to meet  such a challenge.

The  Hilltoppers teed up at 9:15 a.m. Friday in City Stadium, where they defeated the 7-2 Whittier Cardinals, 26-0, then followed at 12:30 the next afternoon with a 41-0 victory over weak Anaheim, against which Perry employed only four varsity starters.

Students were all for the doubleheader.  They were dismissed from school Friday to watch the game.

The Hilltoppers were fortunate not to have to travel for the Anaheim contest, which originally was scheduled in the northern community but was moved to San Diego because of an Armistice Day parade in Anaheim.

HOW MANY GAMES?

Don King’s Caver Conquest listed 14 games on San Diego High’s schedule, as did the first Evening Tribune Prep Football Record Book, published in 1965.

According to The San Diego Union of November 30, 1922,  the Cavemen had played 17 games and, after meeting  Santa Ana, Gardena and Bakersfield, would finish the season with a stunning total of 20, their record being 14-5-1.

NFL teams don’t play that many, unless they’re a wildcard team that plays in the Super Bowl.

The line between scrimmages and games was blurred in The San Diego Union.  

A midseason excercise with Sweetwater was loosely described as a game but also as a “practice.”  The Cavemen played five “games” with teams from military institutions and seven “games” in 13 days from late September to early October.

Games with military squads were common for San Diego-area teams.

COEDS SHUN HILLTOPPERS

San  Diego’s playoff with Santa Ana matched not-so-friendly rivals in a series that dated to 1905. The Cavemen claimed the Orange County school’s students and players were the poorest losers in the state.

“Besides ‘razzing’ the players on the street  and at the hotel where the team was lodged, the girls at a public dance in Santa Ana refused to dance with the San Diego boys,” reported Alan McGrew.

According to historian Don King, “Santa Ana fans threw soda pop bottles and ripe fruit as Kenny Zweiner ran 65 yards with an intercepted pass for a touchdown.”

Coney Galindo raced 35 yards for another score in a 12-0 victory that elevated the Hilltoppers into the Southern California finals against Gardena.

The winners rushed for 112 yards, Galindo leading with 50 yards rushing, and completing a 17-yard pass.

ROCKY TOP

Perry remembered years later what it was like to practice on the “Rock Pile,” and to play on a dirt surface in City Stadium.

“We weren’t allowed to practice in the stadium, but had to go across the highway by the horse barns,” said Perry.  “Before working out we’d try to get all the rocks we’d kicked up the previous day out of the way.”

The stadium layout would be sprinkled, then rolled before each game.  “There wasn’t any grass and it was as hard as concrete,” remembered the coach.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Future World War II hero aviator Lt. James Doolittle left Jacksonville, Florida at 7:30 p.m. Pacific  time and hoped to land at Rockwell Field, located on Coronado’s North Island, at about 4 p.m. the next afternoon.

The 18 1/2-hour flight included a fuel stop in San Antonio, Texas.

SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS!

Back to School at Lion Clothing.

Back to School at Lion Clothing.

Two-pant tweed sports suits were available for $19.65, Shoes for $6.50, and caps for $2.50 at Lion Clothing Co., Fifth Avenue at E Street.

National City High, renamed Sweetwater, moved to a new location on Highland Avenue at the South end of National City, serving approximately 325 students from Chula Vista and as far south as San Ysidro.

Construction of Grossmont’s permanent campus on the hill overlooking El Cajon Valley was almost complete, with 350 students listed as having enrolled.

San Diego High pupils paid student dues of .75, plus they were required to make a $4 deposit to assure return of textbooks at the end of the school year.

Students were required to purchase locker padlocks that were available from San Diego merchants.

Incoming freshmen received a 128-page “manual”, detailing all activities and regulations at the school.

THERE WERE PERKS

Prospective San Diego High players were feted in a banquet at the San Diego Hotel the night before the first practice.

Team leader Norton Langford addressed the players on the “value of close association and the necessity for no petty jealousy (apparently a problem the last couple seasons, along with questions of soft scheduling and Perry’s not coaching ‘fundamentals’).

Langford said he hoped to “see a game up North” at the end of the season “for the state championship and with San Diego returning victorious.”

CART BEFORE HORSE

San Diego players favored a rematch in the state playoffs with Bakersfield, rather than  participate in a so-called national championship game.

The Cavers received challenges from the Amarillo Golden Sandstorm of Texas, Twin Falls, Idaho, and a team in St. Louis.  Coach John Perry postponed any decision until after the Gardena contest.

LOVE THAT GRASS

Gardena, which won at Bishop, 31-0, the week before,  was accorded an edge by the San Diego media because it had played on the Bovard Field turf  gridiron at USC.

Whatever advantage Gardena possessed disappeared in the fourth quarter, when the Cavemen trailing, 14-12, scored 19 points to win 31-14.  Coney Galindo ran for three touchdowns and scored another on an intercepted pass.

HERE COME THE DRILLERS

San Diego accepted a challenge to play Bakersfield in a state playoff, but only if the game was played in the City Stadium.  In a telegram to Bakersfield officials, McGrew said the Cavemen were “not in condition for another trip.”

The Drillers agreed.

The journey south was easier on the visitors, who were reported to have “passed through Los Angeles” and were spending the night in Santa Ana after practicing at Whittier College.

Transported in two motor coaches, Bakersfield arrived in San Diego on the day of the game.

The Cavemen battled in vain before about 6,000 City Stadium fans who represented the largest turnout in school history, according to the Union, although the 1917 game drew a reported 10,000.

Part of he crowd of 6,000 watched action near San Diego goalline.

Part of he crowd of 6,000 watched action near San Diego goalline.

It was 17-0 before Ed Ruffa scored a touchdown in the final two minutes to send the Hilltoppers home 17-6 losers.

READ IT AND WEEP

That was the lead on The San Diego Union account of the Cavemen’s 106-6 victory over Army-Navy.  The writer also suggested that flags would be at half mast at the Pacific Beach academy.

Nothing out of the ordinary about that, but in the second paragraph it was noted that the Cadets fully expected to win and to qualify for the Southern California playoffs!

Coach Paul Jones, who exuded such confidence before the game, was slightly off the mark.

Contributing to the carnage was a rule of the day:  Teams scoring touchdowns received the ensuing kickoff, i.e., Army-Navy kicked off after every San Diego touchdown.

QUICK KICKS—By contract with the CIF and Santa Ana, expenses were provided for  18 players when the Cavemen took the train north for the second of three semifinal playoff contests, but coach John Perry traveled a squad of 23… San Diego High was not the only team to play games on back-to-back days…Grossmont sustained a 40-7 loss to the Hilltoppers, then went out the next day and dropped a 7-6 decision to the sailors from the U.S.S. Rapahannock…when writers referred to a team concentrating on its ground game, it was described as “straight football”…passing, infrequently used,  was just that, passing…The San Diego Union published the roster of San Diego High and players’ numbers before the game with the USC Freshmen…24 players were numbered from 1 to 25, with only jersey No. 2 omitted… …Escondido was greeting “a whole set of husky Indians from the backcountry,” according to the Union… County League teams Escondido, Sweetwater, and Grossmont were considered “backcountry”…”The Winning Play,” an article that appeared in Redbook magazine, was read to the team by San Diego coach John Perry before it took the field against Gardena…sweater and Letter Day at Sweetwater was attended by the entire student body, which honored the County League team as Herb Hoskins awarded monograms to 15 players….

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2013: Freeman Sets Scoring Pace

Royce Freeman of Imperial scored 43 touchdowns and 258 points in 12 games to lead the San Diego Section for the third year in a row and finished sixth in the state, according to unofficial statistics provided by Max Preps.

Freeman amassed 39 touchdowns and 3 two-point conversions for  240 points in 2011 and 36 touchdowns and 216 points in 2012.

Freeman scored 111 touchdowns in three seasons for Tigers.

Freeman scored 118 touchdowns in three seasons for Tigers.

Edgar Segura of Mendota in the Central Section was the 2013 state leader with 57 touchdowns and a total of 358 points.

Andrew Brown of Ripon Christian of the Sac-Joaquin Section, had 335 points, followed by Rashaad Penny of Norwalk, Southern Section, 320. Tre Watson of Corona Centennial, Southern Section, was fifth with 306.

Freeman also ended his career with the sixth highest single-season performance in the San Diego Section.

Evan Fisher of Julian scored 342 points in eight-man football in 2001, followed by Tyler Gaffney of Cathedral, 336 (’08); Dillon Baxter, Mission Bay, 324 (’09); Zay Shepard, Brawley, 276 (’04), Dionne Grigsby, San Pasqual Academy 8, 262 (’04), and Freeman.

San Diego Section 2013 leaders:

Player Team Games TD PAT 2Pt FG Pts
Royce Freeman Imperial 12 43 0 0 0 258
Clayton Bowler Holtville V 13 27 0 0 0 162
J.T. Barnes Grossmont 12 13 64 0 2 150
Brandon Alexander San Pasqual Academy 8 7 23 0 0 0 148
Thai Cottrell Oceanside 13 22 7 1 0 141
Justin Santa Maria Calvary Christian S.D. V 9 19 0 12 0 138
Riley Racciato Classical V 10 23 0 0 0 138
Jose Ramirez Calvary Christian Vista 8 7 20 0 4 0 128
Damonte Holiday Hoover 11 21 0 0 0 126
Isiah Olave Eastlake 12 21 0 0 0 126
Jimmie Hill Mar Vista 10 21 0 0 0 126
Tim Clow St. Joseph 8 8 19 0 5 0 124
Elijah Preston St. Augustine 11 20 0 0 0 120
Isaiah Capoocia El Capitan 12 19 0 0 0 114
James Harwell San Marcos 14 7 53 0 6 113
Ray Lyons Crawford 10 18 0 1 0 110
Bulla Graft The Bishop’s 10 17 0 3 0 108
Chris Moliga Cathedral 11 18 0 0 0 108
Tony Miro Santa Fe Christian 10 18 0 0 0 108
Dan McManus West Hills 12 6 29 0 14 107
Nareg Skakarian St. Joseph 8 8 12 34 0 0 106
Damian Ramirez Blythe Palo Verde 12 17 0 1 0 104
Jesse Brookins Francis Parker 11 17 0 1 0 104
Ben Lomibao Mount Miguel 10 17 0 0 0 102
Isiah Henne San Marcos 14 17 0 0 0 102
Manny Rodriguez Olympian 11 17 0 0 0 102
Carlos Campos San Ysidro 10 15 8 0 0 98
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2013-14: Saints Now 10-0 and on 24-0 Run

saints logo deuceSt. Augustine is 10-0  and has a 24-game winning streak after a 65-49 victory over the host team in the first annual Rancho Santa Margarita Tournament today, climaxing a 4-game run through the Orange County event.

The Saints beat Trabuco Hills, 62-61, Seattle Prep, 79-60,  and Alta of Sandy, Utah, 63-56, in earlier games.  Santa Margarita was 7-0 before taking on coach Mike Haupt’s North Park sharpshooters.

Trey Kell led the top-ranked San Diego Section team with 26 points.  Eric Monroe and Danny Caya had 11 each and Martin Tombe  10.

The Saints, ninth in California and 30th in the country in Max Preps‘ ratings,  now gear up for the Under Armour post-Christmas tournament and draw scoreboard blinking Chino Hills in their opening game at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 26 in the Torrey Pines gym.

Chino Hills is 7-2 and averaging 79 points a game.

The Huskies most recently dropped a 65-63 decision to Etiwanda, ranked fourth in California and 10th in the country by Max Preps. Chino Hills also holds a 121-102 decision over tough Rancho Cucamonga.  Both games were in the Inland Empire Classic at Ontario Colony.

St. Augustine has not lost since dropping a 62-59 decision to Cathedral on Jan. 24, 2012. The Saints won their last 14 in a run that took them to the State III championship and a final record  of 29-4 in 2012-13.

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2013: 38 Coaches Are Members of Club 100

La Jolla Country Day’s Jeff Hutzler, who stepped down recently, became the 37th coach in the San Diego Section to have a career total of at least 100 victories.  Jack Mashin of Grossmont recorded 125 victories in the Southern Section.

Twelve active coaches have 100 or more (see complete list here):

Oceanside's Carroll tops all.

Oceanside’s Carroll tops all.

John Carroll (234-74-6, .755), Ron Hamamoto (195-122-4, .614), Rob Gilster (183-112-5, .618), Willie Matson (166-117-6, .585), Sean Doyle (144-77, .652), John Morrison (140-60-3, .697); Gary Blevins (129-90-4, .587), John McFadden (120-42-4, .735), Chris Hauser (115-54-2, .678), Matt Oliver (115-56-3, .670), Jerry Ralph (111-65-2, .629), and Mike Hastings (111-74-4, .598).

Hutzler, whose Torres finished 5-6 this season, posted a  101-37 record and .732 winning percentage from 2002-13,  joined a select group that is led by Herb Meyer, who was 339-148-15 for a .690 percentage from 1959-2003 at Oceanside and El Camino.

Other 100-game winners include Bennie Edens (240), John Shacklett (229), Gil Warren (216), Ed Burke (215), Jim Arnaiz (213), Dick Haines (194), Carl Parrick (190), Mike Dolan (165), Bob Woodhouse (146), Chick Embrey (144);

Gene Edwards (136), Birt Slater (133), Bob McAlister (132),  Steve Sutton (131), Craig Bell (130), Walter (Bud)  Mayfield, (129), Ladimir (Jack) Mashin (125), Mike David (122), Gene Alim (120); John Bishop (117), Chris Hauser (115), Brad Griffith (112), Vic Player (111), George Ohnessorgen (103), and Dave Lay (102).

Carroll (.755) is first among all San Diego Section coaches, active or retired, in winning percentage and with 100 victories. Birt Slater (.747) is second to Carroll in percentage. Ohnessorgen (.745), Lay (.741), McFadden (.735), Hutzler (.732), Arnaiz (.726), Burke (.720), Warren (.707), Alim (.701), and Bishop (.701) round out the Top 11.

Ties are factored in as half games won and half games lost.

The highest winning percentage in the history of high school football in San Diego is .841 by San Diego’s Duane Maley, whose record in Southern Section competition from 1948-59 was 97-19-1.

Bill Bailey, who coached at Point Loma in 1942 and at San Diego from 1943-47, posted a career record of 40-8-1, 827.

The comprehensive list of Win, Lose, Tie records of all 100-game winners.

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2013-14: Saints Switch Places With Mavericks

The season’s first showdown came in the Horsman Invitational at  West Hills and the tournament championship and this week’s No. 1 ranking went to St. Augustine.

Trey Kell fired from three-point range and, driving to the hoop, twisted around Torrey Pines defenders to score 28 points and lead the Saints to a 60-55 victory in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Torrey Pines went to the foul line 17 times in the first three quarters.  St. Augustine did not make its first visit until early in the fourth quarter.  The Saints led throughout and had opened a 42-33, third-quarter advantage.

La Costa Canyon, the preseason number one, dropped a 61-59 decision to Hoover, then rebounded with a 74-50 win over the Cardinals.

Mater Dei was off to a fast start, then fell to Capistrano JSerra, 63-48, and West Hills Chaminade, 55-47, in the Catholic Cup Challenge in Phoenix.  The Crusaders defeated St. Mary’s of Phoenix, 74-60, in the same event.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Last Week
1 St. Augustine (11) 6-0 128 2
2 La Costa Canyon (2) 5-1 117 1
3 Hoover 5-2 90 3
3 Torrey Pines 5-1 90 5
5 San Marcos 5-1 56 8
6 Mater Dei Catholic 6-2 51 9
7 El Camino (2) 4-2 46 4
8 Foothills Christian 2-1 41 41
9 Francis Parker 4-1 31 7
10 Poway 3-2 30 NR

* Last year
**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
NR Not previously ranked.

Others receiving votes: Lincoln, 15; Escondido, 6; Valhalla, Cathedral, 5 each; Mission Hills, El Cajon Valley, 1 each.

Thirteen sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego correspondent);
Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com);
Andrew Smith (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack Cronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
and Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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2008: He Scored 56, Count ‘em, 56 Touchdowns!

That Tyler Gaffney led Cathedral to a State championship and scored a record 56 touchdowns in 14 games only reinforced the notion that this was a year of the running back.

Thirty-one San Diego Section players rushed for at least 1,000 yards and none were more productive than Gaffney, Escondido’s Ricky Seale, and Madison’s Robbie Rouse.

NORTH-SOUTH RUNNER

The 6-foot, 1-inch, 215-pound Gaffney was a power runner and long distance threat.  Third and short, fourth and goal, or from far outside the redzone, Gaffney was the package.

In 2013, when a group of San Diego writers selected the all-time, all-San Diego County squad, Gaffney was one of three, first-team running backs, joining Oceanside’s C.R. Roberts (1953) and Lincoln’s Darrin Wagner (1987).

Gaffney sheds St. Mary's tackler en route to winning touchdown in State III championship game.

Gaffney sheds St. Mary’s tackler en route to winning touchdown in State III championship game.

Gaffney also was named state player of the year for 2008, selected by the respected Cal-Hi Sports.

“Tyler Gaffney is Justin Green and Demetrious Sumlin (earlier star backs for the Dons) rolled into one,” said Cathedral coach Sean Doyle.  “He’s physically the best back I’ve ever had.”

Gaffney rushed for 324 yards in 33 carries and scored 6 touchdowns in a 58-32, regular-season victory over 5-0 Lincoln.

That monster performance, however, was not close to being the story of Gaffney’s season.

OUTSCORES SCRIPPS RANCH HIS OWNSELF

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2013: North County, City Take 4 Top Spots in Final Grid Poll

Win or lose Saturday evening, coach Chris Hauser’s Mission Hills Grizzlies are an almost unanimous choice as the No. 1 2013 football team in the San Diego Section.

The final Top 10 poll of the season was voted on after conclusion of the  five San Diego Section championships.

The Grizzlies will host the Central Section champion Bakersfield Drillers in a State Bowl Series Southern California Regional playoff.

If Mission Hills wins, the San Marcos squad will play for a Division I state championship against either San Mateo Serra or Loomis Del Oro at the Home Depot Center in Carson the following week.

Two Eastern League teams, Cathedral and St. Augustine, finished third and fourth, respectively.  The Saints also received a first-place vote.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Mission Hills (30) 12-1 308 1T
2 Oceanside 10-3 244 1T
3 Cathedral 11-2 232 9
4 St. Augustine (1) 11-2 204 7
5 San Pasqual 11-2 204 5
6 Eastlake 10-2 149 3
7 Helix 9-3 121 5
8 Ramona 10-2 72 8
9 Mission Bay 12-2 47 NR
10 Madison 9-2 29 6

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR: previously unranked
Others receiving votes: Christian, 22; Carlsbad, 20; Rancho Buena Vista, 8; Sweetwater, San Marcos, 5 each; Holtville, El Capitan, Imperial, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County voted in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Lisa Lane, Andrew Burer,
and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan, Tom Saxe, and Rick Hoff (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Craig Elsten, and Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090);
Jerry Schniepp and John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, and Jake Fadden (KUSI-TV);
Bruce Ward (San Diego City Schools);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Steve (Biff) Dolan and Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain);
Jeff Kurtz (NFHSnetwork.com; Ernie Martinez (XTRA Sports 1360);  and
Nick Pellegrino.

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2013-14: La Costa Canyon Opens on Top

The discussion already is in full swing.  Who’s No. 1?

The U-T San Diego preseason basketball poll has La Costa Canyon No. 1 and St. Augustine No. 2.

North County bias by a majority of the voters aside,  I’ll take the Saints.  Call me South-of-Highway-56-biased, at least for this vote.

Saints Coach Mike Haupt, 330-173 in 18 seasons, guides the state’s defending Division III champions, 29-4 in 2012-13 and returning, among others, four-star San Diego State commit Trey Kell.

La Costa Canyon, 28-6 last season, was eliminated by Westlake, 66-64, in the Southern California playoff quarterfinals in D-II.

The Mavericks opened with a 56-46 victory over Poway earlier this week.  St. Augustine has beaten Serra, 70-47, and Santa Fe Christian, 80-38.

A top 10  adjustment should already be in the works. El Camino, No. 4, was edged by No. 6 Foothills Christian, 74-71, and unranked Poway topped Foothills, 72-70.

In other action:

No. 9 Mater Dei has been the busiest with wins over Chula Vista, 78-55; Rancho Buena Vista, 83-43; Castle Park, 66-33; Patrick Henry, 63-40, and Grossmont, 55-49.

No. 8 San Marcos eased up in the second half but still rolled over Castle Park, 102-18. Cathedral, No. 10, defeated Patrick Henry, 69-48.

Hoover, No. 3, topped Vista, also No. 10, 61-55.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L* Points** Previous*
1 La Costa Canyon (6) 28-6 111 6
2 St. Augustine (4) 29-4 94 1
3 Hoover 31-6 88 3
4 El Camino (2) 26-7 87 7
5 Torrey Pines 20-10 67 NR
6 Foothills Christian 20-15 50 NR
7 Francis Parker 16-12 46 NR
8 San Marcos 27-6 43 NR
9 Mater Dei Catholic 26-7 32 8
10t Cathedral Catholic 29-5 38 5
10t Vista 15-13 38 NR

*Last year
**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
NR Not previously ranked.

Others receiving votes: Westview, 7; Escondido, Mission Bay, 5 each; Lincoln, Helix, 3 each; Eastlake, 2; Serra, Oceanside, Canyon Crest, 1 each.

Twelve sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll:
John Maffei, Craig Malveaux and Don Norcross (U-T San Diego);
Terry Monahan (U-T San Diego stringer);
Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com);
Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions);
John Kentera and Jack ronin (The Mighty 1090);
John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section office);
Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com);
Jodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com);
and Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.tumblr.com).

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2013: Bakersfield is Stranger in These Parts

BakeSan Diego High first played Bakersfield, then known  as Kern County Union High, in 1917.

The Drillers, who play at Mission Hills Saturday night in a State Southern Regional playoff, were last seen in this area in 1952.

San Diego holds a 6-5, all-time advantage over the Drillers, the Cavemen having won the last five meetings.  Hoover and Grossmont each is 0-1.

Bakersfield and Long Beach Poly rank 1-2 in most wins by a California prep team.  The Drillers won their 776th  with a 60-21 victory over Clovis North and clinched their 36th Central Section championship.

The school opened in 1893 and is still located at its original site in the middle of the city.  Its 2,800 students represent the largest enrollment in the city but the school’s 25-acre site is the smallest.

All-time results with teams from the San Diego area:

Year Opponent Score
1917 @San Diego 7-18
1922 San Diego 32-0
1922 @San Diego 17-6
1938 @San Diego 21-0
1939 @San Diego 13-6
1940 San Diego 35-13
1946 @San Diego 7-13
1947 San Diego 0-25
1948 @San Diego 0-31
1949 San Diego 12-14
1950 San Diego 7-19
1950 Grossmont 38-7
1952 @Hoover 33-13

Bakersfield’s second victory over San Diego in 1922 was a state playoff. San Diego had won the Southern California championship a  week before with a 31-14 victory over Gardena.

The CIF dropped  state playoffs in 1926 and didn’t renew the series until 2006.

Mission Hills will be the first San Diego Section team involved in a playoff with a school from another section since Mountain Empire dropped a 34-26, decision to Claremont in 1965.

Mountain Empire had remained in the Southern Section in 1960, when other San Diego County schools formed their own section, and didn’t become a member of the local group until 1969.

CHRISTIAN’S SEASON ENDS WITH NO BID

A Superior Court judge in San Diego sided with the state CIF and the CIF San Diego Section and denied a lawsuit by Christian.

The Patriots claimed a bylaw in CIF rules would allow them to move down to Division IV in the State Bowl Series.

The Patriots, who cited their enrollment of less than 500 students as basis for the action, won the San Diego Section III title but the Section declared them D-II for state playoff consideration.

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2013: Mission Hills In; Christian Waits

One San Diego team is in the State Bowl Southern Regional playoffs and another will learn its fate Monday.

Mission Hills (12-1) was invited to play host to the Central Section champion Bakersfield Drillers (11-2) Saturday night, Dec. 14, in Division I.

Christian, which defeated San Marcos, 19-7, for the San Diego Section III title, filed suit to be considered as a D-IV entry in the state playoffs.

A hearing is scheduled in  San Diego Superior Court Monday.

The  winner  of Mission Hills-Bakersfield will take on either the Central Coast’s San Mateo Serra (11-2) or the Sac-Joaquin’s Loomis Del Oro (12-2), which play in the North Regional.

The Grizzlies solidified their standing as the San Diego Section’s best team with a 36-14 win over Oceanside in the Open Division final.  Bakersfield defeated Clovis North, 60-21, for the Central Section I title.

Bakersfield’s two losses were early in the season to Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 51-50, and Long Beach Poly, 27-7.  Mission Hills was beaten, 13-10, in overtime by San Marcos.

A CHEER FOR CHRISTIAN

Coach Matt Oliver has presided over four San Diego Section championship teams and had two others advance to the finals in his 15 seasons at Christian,  but no title was more satisfying than this.

The Patriots (12-1), enrollment less than 400, defeated San Marcos (9-5), enrollment more than 2,200, by a score of 19-7 in the D-III championship at Mesa College.

Paris Miller drove  the Patriots’ offense with 217 yards in 28 carries and a 12-yard touchdown run.  Sebastian Swift led the defense with 10 tackles, a quarterback sack, two interceptions (one returned 45 yards for a touchdown), and recovered a fumble.

RED DEVILS CLOSE FAST

Sweetwater (9-4), which lost four of its first five games, won its eighth in a row, longest streak for the school since 1986, and its first championship since 1984, scoring late to defeat  Monte Vista (7-6), 7-0, for the D-IV title.

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1950: As Powell Goes, So Go Cavers

This team may have been the best of all coached by Duane Maley at San Diego High, but the Cavemen lost two of their best players and five reserves as practice started and their best player at the most important time of the season.

They came up short in the Southern California playoffs.

Starting halfback Darnes Johnson and tackle Ed Wallace were gone before the first scrimmage. Johnson was the team’s leading ball carrier and a :09.9 100-yard sprinter who anchored the Hillers’ rapid 880-yard relay team in the spring. Wallace was an experienced lineman who saw  playing time in 1949.

UNCLE SAM BECKONS

Halfbacks Richard Reel, Paul Brooks and Mickey Hall, end Howard Simpson, and guard Calvin Rayford joined Johnson and Wallace, also literally hauled out of school and ordered to report to National Guard units at Fort Rosecrans on the Point Loma peninsula.

The Korean War erupted on June 25, 1950, when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. American ground troops aided the South Korean cause.

The seven National Guard Cavers were called to duty to help take the place of those deployed.

Maley soon learned there would be no “education deferments.” The only  games the players would be playing were war games.

The players had joined the National Guard in high school partly because each earned as much as $10 for every meeting attended, a handy sum for teenagers of the era. Active duty was expected to be in the future, after graduation.

Deep and fast, San Diego overcame the personnel losses and stormed through the new City Prep League to finish the regular season with an 8-0 record.

But disaster struck in game 7.

Powell was best of best.

Powell was best of best.

End Charlie Powell, who would be named Southern California player of the year, sustained a bruised kidney after taking a knee in his back during a 58-12 romp over Kearny, the poorest team on the schedule.

Of all the games to lose the star player in Southern California and arguably the best in the country! San Diego went into the Kearny game with an overall 29-pound weight advantage, 184-155. The Cavers led 27-0 after one quarter and 58-0 after three.

Powell did not play the following week against La Jolla, the original  thinking that he would be available for the opening round of the playoffs. Medical reports indicated a more serious injury.

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 225-pounder, a marvelous player who excelled in 4 sports (the only athlete in school history to earn 12 varsity letters in three years) , including track and field (he held the school shot put record of 57 feet, 9 1/4 inches, for 31 years) and baseball in the spring, was declared out several days before the first-round game at Fullerton.

No mystery. No intrigue. No wait for a game-time decision. Powell not only missed the game but also almost half of the basketball season.

San Diego Police detective Bert Ritchey, star of 1925 and 1926 teams. chats up Charlie Powell, star of 1950 Cavers.

San Diego Police detective Bert Ritchey, star of 1925 -26 teams. chats up Charlie Powell of 1950 Cavers.

CAVERS QB TOPPED POWELL’S FLAG TEAM

Without Powell San Diego still was favored by a touchdown over the 7-1-1 Fullerton Indians.

Without “Ness” Johnson the Cavemen still had explosion.

Frank Johnson and Harold Espy combined for 20 touchdowns. Chuck McDairmant was completing 57 per cent of his passes and had thrown for more than 800 yards.

McDairmant’s play at quarterback was a final, important ingredient. Completing his second season as starter, McDairmant’s eight-game total was 47 completions in 83 attempts for 810 yards and 12 touchdowns.

At one point during the season McDairmant was averaging 10.27 yards per pass. Evening Tribune  writer Jerry Brucker was moved to compare the Hillers’ signal caller to the Los Angeles’ Rams’ Norm Van Brocklin, the NFL leader at 9.28 yards per pass.

McDairmant had been a relatively anonymous end on the Hillers’ 1948 sophomore team, but Maley moved him to quarterback the following spring and the junior-to-be won the job.

McDairmant (27) and Hillers teammates missed  big Powell.

McDairmant (27 in first row) and Hillers teammates missed big Powell.

McDairmant also had some “cred”, although that term did not become a part of the social lexicon until years later. The Horace Mann Junior High team of McDairmant, Terry Heselius and Bruce Dietrick had won the three-man City touch football championship by defeating the Memorial triumvirate of Powell, Espy, and Darnes Johnson.

NATIONAL ANTHEM, THEN NO GAME

The loss of Powell was just one of Maley’s concerns. The coach was uneasy before the 8 p.m. Friday kickoff at Fullerton High. A dense fog was rolling in, blanketing much of Orange County.

Players on both teams were ghost-like figures in a surreal pregame warmup, rhythmically appearing and disappearing. “I couldn’t see the holder or the kicker I was snapping the ball to,” remembered center Fred Thompson, looking back 60 years later on one of his most disappointing experiences.

Famed cartoonist Willard Mullin cotributed cover to 1950 carnival program.

Famed cartoonist Willard Mullin contributed cover to 1950 City Schools’ carnival program.

To Maley’s almost disbelief, the stadium public address announcer declared a weather postponement, the first in CIF Southern Section playoff history, after the national anthem.

The Cavers were forced to spend the night in Fullerton.

“It was crazy, the way the coaches worked it out,” said Thompson. “There must have been forty-five or fifty players who made the trip.  They had us spread out all over Fullerton. I spent the night with 5 or 6 other players in the fire station. I slept on a cot. We were awakened every time there was any activity by the firemen.”

THE LONG WAIT 

A long morning wait on Saturday preceded the 2 p.m. kickoff. Forces seem to be working against the Cavemen.

And why, with an 8-0 record, was Maley’s  squad the visiting team? Against an opponent that had a loss (19-0 to South Pasadena) and a tie (0-0 with Whittier) before winning six in a row? With an oddly timed coin toss nine days before the game to determine where the teams would meet, especially since Fullerton still had a regular season game on its schedule?

Conspiracy theorists cited another example of perceived CIF Southern Section bias. The Southern Section numbered almost 200 schools, the great percentage of which were at least 100 miles north of San Diego, the so-called “Border Town”.

Fullerton proved a tough, worthy opponent.

Expected to grind it out and try to maintain ball-control, the Indians struck twice with touchdown passes in the third quarter after a 6-6 deadlock in the first half. San Diego answered with touchdowns each time but a missed extra point in the fourth quarter left the Cavers short. Final score, 20-19.

WHAT ELSE?

Had the Hillers made the conversion and the game ended 20-20, San Diego would have advanced to a second-round bye, having more first downs than Fullerton. That CIF rule would come into play again in 1955, when the Cavers met Anaheim in an epic semifinal playoff.

The last indignity came late in the game. An apparent 15-yard touchdown run by Frank Johnson that would have put the San Diego in front, 25-20, was erased because of a rarely called rule infraction.

A San Diego lineman was penalized because his foot was lined up inside the foot of the lineman next to him.

“We had scored and I had my hand up to signal for the huddle (for the extra point),” Thompson recalled. “Then I heard the referee scream, ‘Illegal formation!’ I had no idea what was going on. I saw the referee go over to the sideline to explain the penalty. Maley was beside himself.”

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Front sports page of newspaper said it all.

Front sports page of newspaper said it all as growing city consolidated school teams.

Hoover principal Floyd Johnson, the San Diego representative on the CIF Southern Section executive committee, was in Los Angeles in February, 1950, for a weekend meeting at which the new San Diego City Prep League was formed and the Metropolitan League was realigned.

The City League would consist of San Diego, Hoover, and Grossmont, holdovers from the Coast League; and La Jolla, Point Loma, and Kearny, former Metropolitan League entries.

Metro membership went to Sweetwater, Chula Vista, Coronado, Oceanside, Escondido and Mar Vista, which became the 22nd County school, opening its doors with a temporary campus near the Brown Field air station.

The Southern Prep presented the same lineup as in 1949. Mountain Empire, in distant Campo, was given a “passive” membership. Its representatives would attend league meetings and the Redskins would abide by SPL rules, but they played a limited league schedule.

Brown Military also remained in the SPL but would not play San Dieguito. St. Augustine, as usual, was not a factor, wearily traipsing to and from schools in the far-flung, Los Angeles-dominated Southland Catholic League.

The Saints would mount a strong campaign for admittance to a San Diego league later in decade. And what a decade it would be! From 1950-59 San Diego High was 85-15, the best record of any school in California. More significant, 10 new schools were welcomed as San Diego County nudged toward a divorce from the Southern Section.

MUSTANGS ROAM WITH REID

San Dieguito was more fortunate in the Minor Division playoffs. Riding the heavyweight thrusts of Bud Reid, who finished the season with 16 touchdowns, the Mustangs defeated Metropolitan League co-champ Escondido, 13-0, then followed with wins at Brawley, 33-20, and over Palm Springs, 12-0.

Bud Reid was San Dieguito's touchdown man.

Bud Reid, outrunning Escondido defenders, was San Dieguito’s touchdown man.

Mustangs supporters were only slightly assuaged. They continued to be miffed at what they saw as disrespect for the school’s athletic program and lack of consideration when the re-leaguing of the 21 San Diego County schools took place earlier in the year.

San Dieguito wanted to sit at the big table, in the Metropolitan League, but was consigned to the weaker Southern Prep League.

Mar Vista, located in the supposedly more geographically suited South Bay and opening in September, 1950, would give the Metropolitan League its desired six teams, although Mariners games wouldn’t count in the league standings the first year.

San Dieguito, in the North San Diego County Encinitas community, claimed its second straight SPL title with a 4-0 record and outscored league rivals Army-Navy, Ramona, Fallbrook, and Vista, 142-19.

HOW GOOD WERE POWELL AND CAVERS?

It’s no surprise Charlie Powell was the Southland player of the year despite playing only 6 1/2 games and,  with Powell healthy, the Cavers arguably were one of the top teams in the state.

Powell played running back, pass-catching end, and defensive end and could turn a game either way.

The tall, graceful Powell astounded the crowd of more than 8,000 in Bakersfield by running down and making an open field tackle on halfback Hal Morgan, a 49-seconds quarter-miler and one of the fastest athletes in the San Joaquin Valley.

Morgan, who gained 40 yards on the play and reached the Cavers’ 10-yard line,  was injured on the tackle and did not return. Powell also ran for a first down with a bad snap from punt formation.

Powell was all over the field in win against San Joaquin Valley power.

Powell was all over the field in win against San Joaquin Valley power.

The Cavers had brought the game to the 6-0 Bakersfield Drillers, scourges of the CIF Central Section, after a five-hour bus ride.

Hal Espy scored on the first play of the game with a 72-yard dash.  San Diego held leading rusher Bill Fanning to 19 yards and the Cavers eased to a 19-7 victory over coach Homer Beatty’s club, which was  averaging 32.3 points and wreaking havoc from Fresno to the Grapevine on U.S. Highway 99.

As Bakersfield Californian writer Eddie Lopez noted, “Never before in all six of their previous games have the Drillers faced such dazzling speed, beefy forwards, and devil-may-care gambling  as illustrated by the visiting Cavers.”

PRINCIPALS, BUTT OUT!

Local observers generally were pleased with the alignment of the new San Diego leagues, with some reservations. Evening Tribune sports editor George T. Herrick did not like the idea that league games were scheduled by draw, coordinated by school principals.

Herrick suggested coaches would have done a better job. The schedule “pitted traditional teams against each other too early in the year,” said Herrick, who pointed out that every city school except La Jolla claimed its lowest attendance in several years at home games.

Particularly galling, said Herrick, was the scheduling of San Diego and Hoover in the league opener at Aztec Bowl as a Hoover home game.  The game drew 10,000 in the 11,500-seat stadium at San Diego State, not far from the Hoover campus. Attendance was half that of the 1949 game at Balboa.

City League officials, when announcing the schedule, indicated they wanted to minimize traditional rivalries. Point Loma and La Jolla, old antagonists from the Metro League, also were paired in a City League opener.

Evening Tribune  writer Jerry Brucker reported that CPL bosses felt the San Diego-Hoover game had gotten “too big” and needed to be deemphasized.

Tradition also took a back seat when San Diego High’s acclaimed Sergeanettes did not perform. A new rule prohibited the band and drill teams of visiting schools from participating in pregame or halftime ceremonies.

WEST WINS 12TH CARNIVAL

The pageantry and precision of ancillary groups was appreciated by the official crowd of 20,526 persons which turned out for the 12th annual City Schools football carnival.

The West of San Diego, Point Loma, and La Jolla, defeated the East of Kearny, Hoover, and Grossmont, 18-8 in a perfect, East-West geographical alignment of three, 15-minute quarters.

Point Loma’s Marshall (Scooter) Malcolm returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown against Grossmont and La Jolla’s Oscar Ruiz scored two touchdowns against Kearny. San Diego and Hoover were scoreless.

LIGHTS, FINALLY

Hoover at last introduced its new lighting system as 4,500 showed to watch the Cardinals tie San Bernardino, 14-14.

New lights had been purchased in time for the 1949 campaign but were late arriving and the Cardinals played the ’49 schedule on the road.

La Jolla installed new lights at Scripps Field on campus. Point Loma erected concrete bleachers, and Kearny acquired land to enlarge its athletic plant.

COACHES DISSED

The Breitbard Athletic Foundation announced that a “San Diego Board of Football” had been formed. Writers Gene Earl and John McDonald of The Union;  Jerry Brucker and Tom Stansberry of the Tribune, and F.W. (Bill) Whitney of the Breitbard Foundation would select the all-City and all-Metropolitan League teams.

Coaches would be asked only to fill out ratings cards on opponent players the Monday following games The writers would analyze and make choices, supposedly removing selection politics and coaching agendas.

WELCOME TO COACHING, COACH

Head coach Gerry Spitler summed up the first season at Mar Vista: “A few weeks ago we were greeted by thirty-five boys, five of whom lettered in junior varsity football at Chula Vista; a practice field full of rocks, and a coaching staff (Bob Ganger, baseball, and Don Smith, basketball) new to the game.”

Players walked the field before the first practice, picking up rocks and using their helmets as buckets. A student contest resulted in the naming of the school and its teams (Mariners) and colors (green and gold).

Mar Vista students attended classes at the abandoned Naval Air Base at Brown Field near the U.S-Mexico border while the new school was being constructed.

Sweating through an opening-game, 26-0 loss at Corona,  Spitler declared, “The first quarter was the longest in my life!” Mariners players committed numerous penalties resulting in a 49-minute opening period.

WITHER, BREITBARD GAME?

The summer’s second annual College Prep game, matching all-Los Angeles against all-Southern California, was won by the city team, 27-7, before 15,000 in Balboa Stadium.

Several days later game founder Bob Breitbard announced that there would not be a third game between recent high school graduates.   The popular contest had been a financial loser, said Breitbard.

La Jolla’s Sid Davis scored the losers’ only touchdown with an 88-yard kickoff return in the last minute.

QUICK KICKS

Harvey, flanked by Omer Ruiz (left) and Ted Christiansen became head coach at La Jolla in 1950.

Walt Harvey, flanked by Omar Ruiz (left) and Ted Christiansen became head coach at La Jolla in 1950.

Compton defeated Fullerton 26-14 for the SCIF championship… San Diego won its opening game 14-2 over Long Beach Poly before 9,000 at Long Beach Veterans’ Memorial Stadium in  a renewal of a  preeminent Southern California rivalry…the Cavers and Jackrabbits met 30 times between 1910 and ’41 but they had not played since 1944…La Jolla, under new coach Walt Harvey, and Point Loma, led by the veteran Don Giddings, proved to be able replacements for teams from the Coast League…Point Loma beat Hoover and hung in against San Diego… Hoover played Glendale, Arizona, and San Diego played Glendale, California… the Cavers averaged almost 11 yards a carry and hammered Glendale with 323 yards on the ground… Frank Johnson had 151 yards in 9 carries, Eddie Duncan 79 in 8, and Hal Espy 88 in 6…Powell ran 63 yards on an end-around for a touchdown and scored on pass plays of 27 and 69 yards in the 33-21 victory over Point Loma…all of Grossmont’s home games were in Aztec Bowl... the Kearny Komets scored only 21 points and were 0-5 in the City League, prompting criticism of their inclusion in the new lineup… Hoover had two players named Bill Reed, one a guard, the other a fullback, no relation…head coach Hal Smith was a one-man staff…he did not have an assistant coach…with two touchdown passes to Hal Espy against Fullerton, San Diego’s Chuck McDairmant finished with 14 in nine games…St. Anthony forfeited to St. Augustine after discovery that the Long Beach school had scheduled Newport Harbor on the same night… fiery Hoover coach Bob Kirchhoff promoted several sophomores to the varsity and slashed the number of players dressing for home games after successive losses to San Diego and Grossmont… part of the Cardinals’ problem was a season-ending shoulder injury to halfback Don Bonatus, one of the area’s best… led by fullback Jim Frankson, Sweetwater outgained Escondido 390 yards to 90 and lost, 12-6…Lee Bogle’s team at Grossmont was known as Bogle’s Boogiemen…Harry Sykes of Coronado scored a touchdown in the final game against Montebello and finished with 100 points, seventh highest total in County history….    

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2013: Season May Not Be Over

Is a state bowl game series game  in the offing for a San Diego Section team?

Cal-Hi Sports is suggesting that Mission Hills could meet the winner of  tonight’s Southern Section, Vista Murrieta-Corona Centennial Division I championship contest.  Such a game would take place on  the weekend of Dec. 13-14 and be a Southern California playoff prelude to a state championship game.

St. Augustine, Cathedral, and Holtville also are in the mix.  Any  of the 5 Section champions are eligible, but most will be on the outside looking in. 

The Saints have not turned in their equipment and will be watching to see who wins the Southern Section Division II matchup between Gardena Serra and West Hills Chaminade.

Holtville, which won D-V, is an 11-1 possibility in D-IV. There is no D-V playoff.

Cathedral is a D-1 longshot but administered the only loss in 13 games for Vista Murrieta.

A caveat to much of this is which Southern Section winners will go into the Open Division and which will be in D-I. 

Meanwhile, Christian has taken legal action to  place the Patriots in a D-IV bowl series game.  Christian has less than 500 students and, according to state CIF bylaws, that automatically means Christian is D-IV.

Playoff pairings throughout the state this year were determined by “past success” and not by enrollment.  Christian thus is in the San Diego Section D-III title game tomorrow night against San Marcos, which has a student body of more than 2,200.

San Marcos is favored and a Christian loss could make a D-IV state playoff berth and the law suit agajnst the San Diego Section and State CIF somewhat academic.

Christian is represented by attorney Bob Ottilie, who has won previous battles against the high school federations.

The games are tonight. The politics will follow soon after.

 

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2013: Cathedral & San Pasqual Both Winners

So shocked were San Pasqual defenders they just watched.

Cathedral’s Jack Onstott ran 98 yards with an intercepted pass and brought a stunning conclusion to the Division I, San Diego Section championship game.

It was the most thrilling finish since…since Auburn beat Alabama with a 99-yard field goal return a week ago.

But Cathedral’s three-overtime, 37-31 victory over the school from Southeast Escondido was just as sudden and more final and maybe a little more emotional.Cathedral

Onstott, just a junior, has next season to look forward to.

But the Dons’ linebacker ended this season and the careers of many players on the field at Qualcomm Stadium, seniors on both sides of the ball who most likely strapped on a helmet for the last time.

Scoreboard be damned, both teams were winners.

Remember it, guys, and take the experience with you through life.

ADMISSION SLOW, AS USUAL

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2013: Championship Predictions…er, Guesses

Imperial’s dream run and Crawford’s miracle run each came to an end…with a thud.                                                                                                                                                   

The Tigers of the Imperial Valley were no match for St. Augustine in the San Diego Section Division II semifinals, losing 56-12, despite a good performance by Royce Freeman.

Crawford, which had stepped down a division and rekindled success of years past, was ambushed 42-6 in the D-V championship by Holtville, a team the Colts had beaten 21-14 in the regular season.

Such is life in the postseason.

Five championships will be determined this week, three tomorrow at Qualcomm Stadium. Two more are scheduled Saturday at Mesa College.

OPEN DIVISION, 5 P.M.

Is there a possible California bowl series bid in the offing for either Oceanside (10-2) or Mission Hills (11-1)? 

Probably not, but hopefully.

The Grizzlies whacked Oceanside 30-6 during the regular season, but most pundits, including me, have sided with the Pirates.

As we see it:  Oceanside, 34-24.

DIVISION I, 2 P.M.

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2013: Warren Vinton, 89, Led Helix in ‘Sixties

Warren Vinton, who helped Helix establish itself as an athletic force as San Diego schools moved to form their own CIF section, passed away in Murrieta in Riverside County recently at age 89.

Vinton  posted a 25-9-1 record as the Highlanders’ head coach from 1964-67, winning two Grossmont League championships and taking his team to the San Diego Section title game in 1966.

The University of California at Santa Barbara graduate joined the coaching staff at Helix in 1956, when coach Tom Welbaum guided the Highlanders to an 8-1 record and a berth in the Southern Section playoffs.

Vinton (cnter) was joined at a 1967 practice with assistants Tom Feeser (left) and Bill White.

Vinton (center) was joined at  1967 practice by assistants Tom Feeser (left) and Bill White.

When Welbaum relocated to start the new Mount Miguel program in 1957, Vinton remained as college teammate Dick Gorrie became head coach.

After posting a 39-21-2 record in seven seasons, Gorrie was named head coach at Santa Ana Junior College and was succeeded by Vinton.

Vinton stepped down after the 1967 season but remained on the Highlanders’ faculty until his retirement in 1989.

A  La Mesa resident for 56 years, Vinton was remembered by Helix graduate and San Diego Evening Tribune sportswriter Roger Conlee, who covered the Highlanders during one of the most successful eras in school history.

“Warren was a contrast, more cerebral, less rah-rah than the charismatic Gorrie,” said Conlee.   “He had a droll sense of humor and a keen knowledge of football, especially the defensive side of the game.”

Vinton was tall, Gorrie much shorter.  Both handsome, they crafted an image of Helix football that was hip and almost glamorous compared to their Grossmont League brethren.

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2013: Open Semifinals & III, IV, and V Quarterfinals

Ailing John Carroll, still not fully back from a late-season health scare,  wasn’t about to go hyperbolic.

After all, Carroll has won 233 games  in  25 seasons at Oceanside.

U-T San Diego writer Don Norcross wanted to know if the Pirates’ rally from 23 points behind at the half to a 33-30 Open Division playoff victory over Eastlake was the greatest..

“No, thank God, we’ve done it before,” said Carroll, “but (it was) the best this year.  Fantastic!”

Recovering Carroll stayed cool.

Carroll”s 247th career victory was result of Oceanside’s return from 30-7 halftime deficit.

History and tradition must mean something.

TITANS COULDN’T FINISH

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2013: D-I & II Quarterfinals: No. 8 Beats No. 1

Props to the Open Division, which delivered the games the CIF hoped for in a terrific week of San Diego Section playoffs.

But Oceanside’s stunning comeback, which ousted Eastlake, 33-30, and Mission Hills’ grinding, 24-21 win over Helix were just part of  competitive, late November action.

And at most venues there was the accompaniment of a calendar visitor,  rain and chill.

It started Thursday night with  Divisions I and II quarterfinals.

BUCCANEERS SAIL ON MATSON LINE

–Mission Bay, now 11-1 but the No. 8 seed in D-II, rallied in the last three minutes, then weathered a last-second field goal attempt to knock out Madison, the No. 1 seed and the state’s defending D-III champion.

Matson and Buccaneers advanced to D-II semifinals.

Matson (in earlier game) and Buccaneers advanced to D-II semifinals.

The 21-18 victory, coming on Andre Petties-Wilson’s 12-yard touchdown  catch of Nicholas Plum’s pass with 2:50 remaining, was the 161st in coach Willie  Matson’s 24-season career as a head coach.

Matson, a Kearny graduate, was head coach at Mission Bay from 1984-85 (5-15), then served from 1987-93 at Kearny (49-32-1) and logged  logged six seasons, 1996-2001,  at Hoover (38-28-2).

His  last nine years have been Mission Bay redux (69-35-3)  and few, if any, of the coach’s 161 victories (including one San Diego Section title), were more dramatic or satisfying.

Only six weeks before the Buccaneers were on the short end of a 42-7 score against Madison in the teams’ Western League opener.

FREEMAN FREES IMPERIAL

–El Capitan  took its 10-1 record and 44-point scoring average over the mountains to the Imperial Valley and became Imperial’s 11th straight victim, 49-42.

The Tigers’ Royce Freeman rushed for 218 yards in 36 carries and scored three touchdowns to raise his season total to 43.

Imperial, undefeated and with an average winning margin of 46-14, was behind 35-21 at halftime.

Freeman finally put the Tigers ahead for the first time with a 13-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-three with 5:52 remaining in the game.

The Tigers, the 3 seed, now take on No. 2 St. Augustine in the semifinals at Mesa College next Wednesday.

RBV RETURNS TO PROMINENCE

–It took awhile for people to start taking notice of Rancho Buena Vista, which was 4-35-1 from 2007-11.

The Longhorns, seeded fifth in D-II, showed some unexpected muscle in blowing out 4 seed Mount Miguel, an 8-2 team, 50-10, and this followed a regular-season, 38-36 win RBVcrestover San Pasqual, top seed in D-I.

The Vista school’s comeback began when Paul Gomes, who was 59-37-7 in nine years at Escondido, took over the program in 2012 and immediately improved the Longhorns from 0-10 to 6-6.

Gomes had left Escondido after the 2009 campaign to take a job on the staff of Rancho Santa Margarita’s Harry Welch.

Note: results and pairings for next week’s games can be accessed by going  to the  “Scores” link on the home page, then visiting the drop-down menu “by year”.

 

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2013, Week 12: Favorites Ease Through Round 1

The seeding panel of mostly former coaches did its job.

There were almost no upsets in any of the six rounds on the opening Friday of the San Diego Section playoffs.

None, except in the ubiquitous and maligned Division IV, where 11 seed El Centro Southwest (3-7) defeated six seed Montgomery (4-6), 10-7, and 10 seed Clairemont (4-6) upset 7 seed La Jolla Country Day (5-5), 28-14.

LOSERS THINNED OUT

Seventeen losing teams and eight with .500 records comprised 25 of the 64, opening-round qualifiers.

There are  six losing teams and three .500 teams remaining as  quarterfinals take place in D-II, III, and IV, and semifinals in the Open and V divisions on Nov. 21-22.  Seven with non-winning records still are alive in  D-IV.

The Open Division semifinals are just what the CIF San Diego Section hoped for:  two big matchups, Helix at Mission Hills and Oceanside at Eastlake.

Division I is yet to shake out, but Carlsbad (4)-Grossmont (5) and Ramona (2)-Mt. Carmel (7) could be interesting.

IMPERIAL’S ROLLS ROYCE

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2013: Is Eastlake Underrated?

Cal-Hi Sports honcho Mark Tennis continues to build a case for Eastlake as the San Diego Section’s No. 1 team, although the 31 members of the U-T San Diego voting panel have re-installed Oceanside as No. 1, followed by Mission Hills.

Eastlake is third.

Answers should be forthcoming in the Open Division playoffs, which begin tonight.  Eastlake and Oceanside could meet in next week’s semifinals.

Eastlake is ranked 12th in Cal-Hi Sports’ latest poll, followed by Mission Hills, which rose from 20th to 14th, and Oceanside, back in the poll at 25th.

“Bubble” teams included Helix and Madison.  Cathedral did not get a call, its loss to St. Augustine three weeks ago a collective kick in the pelvic region.

“Based on our assessment of their record and the who beat who, a young Eastlake is our top dog until someone from the CIFSDS beats them,” wrote Tennis.

Tennis then made a more interesting observation.  “If the boys from Chula Vista were the top seed in the San Diego Union-Tribune (sic) poll, they would most likely be a Top 10 team (in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings).

Eastlake’s only loss in a 9-1 season was to Chandler Hamilton 28-17, in the season’s opening game.  Hamilton is a Top 10 team in Arizona.

THE BOWLS

Eastlake is sixth in the newsletter’s South Division I ratings  for State Bowl consideration. Madison is fifth and St. Augustine seventh in D-II.  Francis Parker and Christian are 1-2 in D-IV.

HOOPS

Cal-Hi Sports is not particularly impressed with San Diego Section basketball teams.  Not one was in its preseason Top 10.  La Costa Canyon is 22nd, El Camino (with standout guard Jason Watson transferring from Army-Navy) 26th, and St. Augustine 35th.

Foothills Christian and Hoover are on the bubble.

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2013, Week 12: Oceanside, Mission Hills Deadlock

Oceanside and Mission Hills reached the end of the 10-game regular-season race in a flatfooted tie, each earning a first-place rating after they deadlocked with 276 points in the UT-San Diego poll of sportswriters and sportscasters.

Coach Chris Hauser’s Grizzlies, who shocked Oceanside, 30-6, in the regular season, are the top-seeded team in the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, created this year to place teams not by enrollment but by records and past success.

The criteria also is in place for Divisions I-V and means that teams will be moved up and down in future playoff seedings.  As an example, Crawford, 10-0 and favored in D-V this season, could automatically move up a division in 2014.

Mission Hills takes on No. 8 Steele Canyon (3-7) in the first round.  Second-seeded Eastlake, which finished third in the poll, meets No. 7 Poway (4-6).  Oceanside, seeded third, gets No. 6 Torrey Pines (6-4)  and fourth-seeded Helix takes on No. 5 La Costa Canyon (7-3).

If seeding goes to form, a blockbuster semifinal looms, Mission Hills meeting Helix and Eastlake battling Oceanside.

The playoff seeding meeting was anchored by a group of mostly retired coaches.  The coaches (seeding) and media (poll), not surprisingly, didn’t agree on Open Division placements, although they were in step regarding top seeds in D-I and  II.

As the  games begin the U-T‘s group will be on hiatus, with a final poll conducted after the playoffs.

#

Team (1st)

W-L

Pts*

Last Week

1

Oceanside (13)

8-2

276

1

1

Mission Hills (12)

9-1

276

2

3

Eastlake (5)

9-1

263

3

4

San Pasqual (1)

9-1

204

4

5

Helix

8-2

188

5

6

Madison

9-1

160

6

7

St. Augustine

8-2

118

7

8

Ramona

9-1

88

9

9

Cathedral Catholic

8-2

73

8

10

Mount Miguel

8-2

38

10

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes: Carlsbad, 6; El Capitan, 4; Imperial, 3; Grossmont,  2; Mission Bay, Hoover, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 12: Playoffs Begin In 6 Divisions

We must be in an era of entitlement.

How else can you explain that 64 of 97 San Diego Section teams were invited to participate in the playoffs?

And 25 don’t even have winning records.

Seventeen losing teams and eight with .500 records are in.

They’ll vie for 6 divisional championships.

Sixty of 96 teams, including seven with losing records, made the five-division postseason in 2012.

Division IV this year includes one winning team out of 12, Sweetwater’s 6-4 Red Devils.

La Jolla, with a 4-6 record, gets a first-round bye.

El Cajon, 2-8 with a record of 0-4 and a negative point differential of 191-7 in the Grossmont Valley League, is in the IV playoffs!

ADDITIONAL BRACKET

The CIF created an Open Division this year in hopes of getting the elite teams competing in one bracket.  “Only” two losing teams, 3-7 Steele Canyon and 4-6 Poway are in the Open Division.

The top seeds are Mission Hills (9-1), Open; San Pasqual, 9-1, D-I; Madison, 9-1, D-II; Francis Parker, 10-0.  D-III; Monte Vista, 5-5, D-IV, and Crawford, 10-0, D-V.

FIRST ROUND CHOICES

Best first-round matchups:

Open–La Costa Canyon (5) at Helix (4).

DI—None.

DII—Brawley (9)  versus Mission Bay (8) at site to be determined. Scripps Ranch (10) at West Hills (7).

DIII—The Bishop’s (7) at Morse (10).

DIV—None.

DV—Army-Navy (5) at Blythe Palo Verde (4-6).

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2013, Week 11: How Mighty Have Fallen

San Diego High’s football program has bottomed out.

The Cavers forfeited to Hoover on the Monday before the Friday game this week.  The reason given was that they had less than 20 players and unable to field a full squad.

There was a time when that many running backs turned out for football at San Diego High.

San Diego’s fall from the heady decade of the 1950s, when the Cavers’ 85-15 record was the best in California and their 1955 team was acclaimed national champion, followed  the retirement of Duane Maley after the 1959 season.

San Diego experienced its first winless season in 53 years just two seasons later, going 0-6-2 in 1961 (they were 0-5-1 in 1908, 0-10 in 1984 and 1997, and 0-9 in 2013).

The Cavers have had some successful records since Maley’s retirement and were 7-4 as recently as 2011 but the decline has been steady, with only 16 winning seasons in the last 54, compared with 49 in the first 66.

34-YEAR WAIT FOR HILLTOP

“It feels like a five-thousand pound elephant has been lifted from our shoulders,” Cody Roelof told U-T San Diego reporter Kevin Farmer.

“Our kids have been so close the last four years,” said Roelof, who guided the Hilltop Lancers to their second-ever league championship and first since Stan Canaris coached the Lancers to a 9-1 record and the Metropolitan League title in 1979.

Hilltop edged Mar Vista for the Metro South Bay title, 18-15, on a play suggested by Roelof’s players.

Eschewing a field goal, which could have tied the game and necessitated overtime, the Lancers took their chances on fourth down at the five-yard line with four seconds remaining.

Hilltop quarterback Daniel Sanchez pitched a handoff to Drake Madarang, who followed lead blocker Luis Hernandez into the end zone for the winning score.

ALL ABOARD AIR LAWRENCE

Grossmont’s Anthony Lawrence set records for career passing yardage (8,502) and pass completions (652) and is two short of the career record for touchdowns (91) .

The Foothillers will be in the playoffs after an 8-2 regular season.

QUICK KICKS

Mt. Carmel could have won its first league title since 1994 but lost to Del Norte, 35-28, and shared the  Valley League gonfalon with Del Norte and San Marcos…after beating Torrey Pines, 27-0, in the “Beach Bowl,” La Costa Canyon running back Kevin Mann was moved to declare to U-T San Diego reporter Kirk Kenney, “This is the biggest rivalry, I think, in sports.”…after digesting the profoundness of Mann’s pronouncement, Kenney anointed the La Costa concession department with the rare five belches on his five-belch scale…2013 state shot put and discus qualifier Dotsun Ogundeji returned a fumble 58 yards for a Madison touchdown in its 28-7 win over Point Loma…”We kept our eyes up and our heads on a swivel,” said Warhawks defender Sam Vermillion, describing Madison’s approach to Point Loma’s “fly sweep” offense…Helix’s 14-13 victory over Steele Canyon marked Troy Starr’s 200th career win…Starr  is 61-12-1 since 2008 with the Highlanders….

 

 

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1948: High School Football is No. 1!

A small item in The San Diego Union revealed that the Coliseum Arena in San Diego would be dark on Sept. 24.

A scheduled boxing card  was called off, because the promoter didn’t want to compete for gate receipts with the annual City Schools’ football carnival.

The carnival, kickoff to the high school season, was so popular with the city’s sports fans that even events as unrelated as professional boxing matches deferred to the preps.

It was the way we were in 1948.

Kearny band members give cheerleader Beverly ull a lift (left), while Marilym Harness of San Diego High leads a cheer at ninth annual City schools' football carnival.

Kearny band members give cheerleader Beverly Dull a lift (left), while Marilyn Harness of San Diego High leads a cheer at 10th annual City schools’ football carnival.

Television had arrived but had yet to change American  entertainment habits. The NFL’s popularity was in the formative stage, and major league baseball was a game played at least two time zones and 1,800 miles to the East.

THE CROWDS, THEY KEPT COMING

Football attendance in San Diego, beginning with the Carnival, still was at levels that would be considered unattainable just 10 years into the future.

The pomp, pageantry, and action of the carnival drew an estimated overflow crowd of 27,000, about as much as attended the 1947 Hoover-San Diego game, but less than the all-time record of 30,000 at the 1946 carnival.

San Diego outscored Hoover, 21-0, in its 15-minute debut and the Hillers and West compatriots La Jolla and Point Loma defeated the East contingent of Grossmont, Hoover, and Kearny, 28-2.

San Diego High had the largest home attendance, but Grossmont, ousted from the Metropolitan League because of increasing enrollment, proved to have a strong following as the third local member of the Coast League, joining San Diego and Hoover.

The Foothillers and Cavers played before 11,500 in their Coast League game at Balboa Stadium, and the Foothillers and winless Hoover drew 6,000 to Aztec Bowl.

Hoover, with no chance to win, helped San Diego draw 15,000 to Balboa Stadium for the annual renewal of the city rivalry, and 6,000 overflowed the Hoover stadium (before a stands-destroying fire) for a game with San Bernardino.

There was an overflow crowd of 5,000 at La Jolla for the Vikings’ Metropolitan League showdown with Coronado, and a jam-packed crowd of 3,000 saw host Vista win its Southern Prep title-deciding encounter with San Dieguito.

Eight-thousand were on hand at Ramsaur Stadium in Compton for San Diego’s big Coast League contest with Compton.

The numbers were up everywhere.

I SAY VEESTA, YOU SAY VISTA

The Spanish word is correctly pronounced with  an “e” emphasis, but no one in the distant North County community was interested in  linguistics.

Not the way the local football team was playing.

The Panthers outscored four Southern Prep League opponents, 148-0, and defeated San Dieguito, 20-0, for the league championship on the Nov. 11 Armistice Day, later named Veterans’ Day.

Jack Goddard and Vista's ground attack reined in San Dieguito Mustangs.

Jack Goddard and Vista’s ground attack reined in San Dieguito Mustangs.

The Panthers met Tustin in a one-game, Southern Section Minor Division Southern Group playoff.

The Tillers trailed the host Panthers, 13-7, at the half but rallied to win the title 20-13.

But Vista’s 294 points in nine games,  the most scored by a County team since the 1945 San Diego team of coach Bill Bailey had 385 points in nine games, made the Panthers more popular than their bigger North County neighbors, Oceanside and Escondido.

MALEY APPOINTED COACH AT HILLTOP

San Diego High had a new coach.  Bill Bailey resigned to become head coach at the neighboring Junior College and was replaced by Duane Maley.

Maley was a 1939 graduate of San Diego and played collegiately at USC.

Maley’ first team was 7-0-1 in the regular season, and then felt the pain of  the first of several disappointments in the Southern California playoffs.

TOO MUCH JOHNNY O

The Cavers were beaten by Long Beach St. Anthony, or rather fullback Johnny Olszewski, 20-12, in a first-round game at Long Beach Wilson.

The 185-pound Olszewski, destined for an All-America career at California and a 10- season stint in the NFL, battered the Cavemen with pile-driving rushes, inside and outside, averaging 7.8 yards, gaining 187 yards in 24 attempts, and scoring two touchdowns.

St. Anthony led 20-6 in the waning moments when the Cavers’ Neal Henderson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown.

Olszewski eliminated Ontario Chaffey the following week with touchdown runs of 80, 65, 41, and 22 yards, but was injured in the first quarter and out of the championship game versus Santa Barbara.

St. Anthony and Santa Barbara tied, 7-7, but the Saints were awarded the championship trophy with a 16-12 advantage in first downs.

TRY THESE ON

There would be a Labor Day weekend holiday for the rest of the citizenry, but no rest for new coaches Duane Maley of San Diego or Bob Kirchhoff of Hoover.

On Saturday Maley was in the school gymnasium issuing equipment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Six miles away in East San Diego, Kirchhoff was doing to same thing, but pulled the plug at 3 p.m.

TARGET DATE: 1950

Hoover principal Floyd Johnson disclosed that San Diego may have its own league of city schools by 1950.

Officials from Coast, Metropolitan, and Imperial Valley schools discussed the possibility at a meeting Johnson chaired.  A City Prep League would include San Diego, Hoover, La Jolla, Point Loma, and Kearny.

A sixth school, the projected Southeast High, would join the others.  That school turned out to be Lincoln, which opened as a junior high, grades 7-9, in September, 1949.

The Presidents, as they were first known, became the Hornets and fielded a varsity team for the first time in 1954.

0-10 MISERY

The penalty gods wouldn’t cut a break for the Sweetwater Red Devils.

Lloyd Bishop’s National City squad appeared to have snapped a 0-5 streak, leading 7-6 and intercepting a desperate Coronado pass as the final gun sounded.

Sweetwater, however, was off side.  The infraction put the ball on the Red Devils’ 12-yard line. From there the Islanders’ Jim Voit swept end for a touchdown.

Kurt Storch kicked the point after and Coronado left the field with a 13-7 victory.

The reeling Red Devils ran the table in reverse, losing all 10 games.

LOVE THAT HOOK AND LADDER

For 46 minutes Grossmont and Pasadena staggered to a 0-0 deadlock.  You could hear the snores of 3,000 attendees in the cavernous Pasadena Rose Bowl.

Suddenly, the game changed.  On second down from the Foothillers’ 44, quarterback Phil May arched a pass in the flat to Hal Norris on the 50-yard line.

Kenny Whitcomb was trailing Norris, who lateraled to Whitcomb, who juggled the ball, fumbled, then picked the ball up on a bounce and raced to the end zone.  Foothillers won, 6-0.

NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND

With Hoover virtually comatose, the San Diego-Grossmont game was billed as a battle for the “City Championship,” although the Foothillers’ campus had an El Cajon address.

St. Augustine coach Dave DeVarona was not pleased when he read the headline over the story written by Gene Earl.

Grossmont battled manfully against favored San Diego, which pulled out a 13-7 victory.

DeVarona, who saw the game, kept his counsel, but a couple weeks later, after a 25-0 victory over Grossmont, DeVarona reminded Earl that the Saints also resided in the city and hinted that his club could beat San Diego.

Charlie Davis has only one defender to shed as he scored first touchdown ibn San Diego's 39-7 win over Hoover.

Charlie Davis has only one defender to shed as he scores first in San Diego’s 39-7 win over Hoover.

There would be no San Diego-St. Augustine clash.

In the teams’ only other contest against a common opponent, San Diego lost to Long Beach St. Anthony, 20-12, in the Southern Section playoffs, a week after St. Anthony put a 64-33 whipping on the Saints.

BLAZE AT HOOVER

A fire, suspicious in  origin according to Fire Department officials,  destroyed Hoover’s grandstand, forcing the Cardinals to hit the road, starting with a “home” day game in Aztec Bowl against Pasadena Muir.

A new structure was ready for the Cardinals in 1949 but would not have lights, forcing the Redbirds to continue traveling.

It would be 1950 before the Cardinals played a home night game on their campus field.

QUIRKY RULE

Hoover’s Del Teter boomed a punt that went 55 yards in the air, over the heads of San Diego players, and teammate Jack Roznos downed the ball on the Cavers’ one-yard line.

Teter’s 78-yard kick could not be downed inside an opponent’s 10-yard line, according to a statute in the rule book of the day.

San Diego got the ball on its 20-yard line.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Ream Field’s 11th Naval District football team in Imperial Beach, boasting a 3-1 record, was forced to cancel football in the middle of the season because of an outbreak of polio.

Floyd Buchi, the team’s starting quarterback, died four days after being diagnosed with the disease.  Midshipman Fritz Krauth, a starting end, also fell ill and was rushed to Navy Hospital in Balboa Park with fever and muscle pain.

NEW NAME FOR JUNIOR COLLEGE

In action by the student council, San Diego Junior College adopted “Knights” as its athletic mascot name, replacing the unflattering “Jaybirds”.

QUICK KICKS

Long Beach Wilson had six touchdown plays negated by penalties but still took Hoover apart, 56-0… rare is the game won by a field goal, but that’s how Army-Navy defeated Fallbrook…Jim Salisbury’s 35-yard placement with 42 seconds left in the game pushed the Cadets past the Warriors, 3-0… Jim Voit averaged 10.4 yards and rushed for 120 of Coronado’s 138 total yards in an opening-game, 12-6 loss to St. Augustine…35 San Diego players, plus coaches and staff flew to Phoenix Saturday afternoon at 2 and returned that night…the Saints were in the Pasadena Rose Bowl for the Southland Catholic League carnival… St. Augustine outscored  Santa Monica St. Monica’s, 20-0, in a 10-minute exercise…teams played six, 10-minute quarters…starting at end for the  Cavers: sophomore Charlie Powell, 6-2, 225 pounds…for three years, Powell excelled in downfield blocks, intercepted passes, touchdown catches, and touchdown runs…the “Imperial Valley Shuttle”, which ran for years, saw Cowboy Ken Maynard move on from Calexico to assist Lee Bogle at Grossmont…Walt Harvey was in his second year at La Jolla after serving in 1946 at Holtville, where Harvey coached all sports and drove the school bus to games…Bill (Red) Burrows joined the San Diego staff after apprenticing  at San Diego County Mountain Empire…La Jolla’s Jay Gutowski also was identified in press reports as “Ray” Gutowski and “Gay” Gutowski…his brother Bob was a world record holder in the pole vault in the late 1950s…Oceanside defeated Fallbrook, 20-19, in the season’s final game, dubbed the “Avocado Bowl”…six different Cavers, Charlie Davis, Curtis Everett, Neal Henderson, Granville Walton, Fred Davis, and Jim Mellos, scored touchdowns and Frank San Fillipo kicked four extra points in the 39-7 rout of Hoover…two other Cavers touchdowns were called back because of penalties….

 

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2013, Week 11: Oceanside No. 1 Again, Barely

Oceanside is back on top in the U-T San Diego football poll, despite losing 30-6 to Mission Hills, the No. 2 team, a few weeks back.

I voted for Oceanside.  My thoughts were as conflicted as the total points separating Nos. 1 and 2.

Oceanside compiled 276 points and 12 first-place votes following its 43-0 blowout of La Costa Canyon last week. Mission Hills followed with  12 first place votes and 275 points after a 31-14 victory over Rancho Buena Vista.

Oceanside had one more second-place vote than the Grizzlies.

It seems the U-T panel may have awarded the Pirates more style points for their win.

Oceanside and Mission Hills could settle it all if they meet again in the Open Division playoffs.

Other potentially attractive rematches won’t happen because several of the Top 10 teams are in different playoff divisions.

# Team W-L Pts Last Week
1 Oceanside (12) 7-2 276 2
2 Mission Hills (12) 8-1 275 1
3 Eastlake (6) 8-1 264 3
4 San Pasqual (1) 8-1 214 4
5 Helix   7-2 186 5
6 Madison 8-1 165 6
7 St. Augustine 7-2 118 7
8 Ramona 8-1 80 9
9 Cathedral Catholic 7-2 72 8
10 Mount Miguel 8-2 49 10

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes: Carlsbad, 5; El Capitan, 4; Imperial, 3; Torrey Pines, 2; Grossmont, Mission Bay, Hoover, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 10: Red Devils & Cardinals Roll

Football is fun again at Sweetwater and Hoover is traveling in style.

Sweetwater whipped Castle Park, 28-7, for its fourth victory in a row and a 5-4 record.  The Red Devils had not won 4 straight since 1996 and have not been 5-4 since 1998.

Hoover is a 7-game winner for only the 12th season in the 84 since the Cardinals first teed up the pigskin.  They also collected a rare double, defeating old rivals Lincoln and Morse for the first time in the same season.

HIVE, TIGERS SHUFFLE CARDS

Hoover is only 13-29-1 against Lincoln since 1954 and 8-14 versus Morse since 1962.

There were several years in which Hoover played only one of the teams and years in which the squads were in different leagues and did not meet at all.

The somewhat itinerant  Hockervillers have been in eight different leagues (some with the same names but different schools) since 1954:  City, 1954-58; Eastern, 1959-75; Western, 1976-80; Central, 1981-92; Harbor, 1993-99; Western, 2000-09; Central, 2010-11, and City, 2012-13.

EIGHT SOUNDS GREAT

The  Cardinals now are 7-2 with only ancient and now impotent rival San Diego remaining on the regular-season schedule.

A Hoover win next week would give the Redbirds eight victories, a feat accomplished only by the squads of 1954, ’56, ’86, ’98, ’99, and ’06.

Even in the cascading torrent of watered-down playoff invitations, Sweetwater hasn’t competed in the postseason since 2004.  Hoover will make its second consecutive appearance under second-year mentor Jerry Ralph.

QUICK KICKS

Serra’s Hunter Correll lofted  a pass with 2.7 seconds remaining and Calvin Crockett caught the throw for a 53-yard touchdown  as the Conquistadors came from behind to shock Morse, 21-15…Ramona’s is supposed to be leaving the Palomar League  after four seasons and the Bulldogs claimed their first league championship with a 24-21 win over Torrey Pines…after a 42-0 victory over Valley Center, San Pasqual still was hurting from the 38-36 upset loss to Rancho Buena Vista in Week 9…”We had a emotional and mental breakdown in that game,” Eagles coach Tony Corley said of his team’s first defeat…Oceanside coach John Carroll, hospitalized during the week because of dizziness, watched from the press box as the Pirates took La Costa Canyon to the woodshed, 43-0….

 

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2007: Oceanside’s 10th and First Titles

Oceanside became the first San Diego Section team to participate in the state playoffs, which resumed in 2006 after an 80-year hiatus.

The Pirates (11-1) of coach John Carroll, who won Carroll’s fourth San Diego Section championship and Oceanside’s 10th overall, were chosen to represent the South in the Division II championship against 13-0 Novato.

Two opponents, two different worlds.

The Pirates represented the tough fiber of a Marine Corps town, hewn by the DNA from nearby Camp Pendleton. The Hornets were a North Coast Section team located in a leafy Marin County enclave about 30 miles beyond San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

The schools shared a curious geographical thread. Each was located within a stroll of the legendary, original U.S. Highway 101, although separated by more than 500 miles.

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

The triumphant Pirates posed for a team picture at Carson's Home Depot Center.

The triumphant Pirates posed for a team picture as scoreboard said it all at Carson’s Home Depot Center.

Bigger, with more team speed, the Pirates struggled.  After taking a 7-0 lead they trailed 14-7 at the half before rolling to a 21-0 second half and 28-14 victory.

“I think it was too easy (Oceanside’s early lead),” Carroll said.  “Those guys came to play.  I think we lost our edge for awhile.”

“Maybe it was the underestimation of them,” receiver Frankie Zimmerman said.  “They came out so hard and you have to give them credit for that.”

Novato was no chump.  The Hornets were 12-1 in 2006 and 11-2 in 2005 and were riding a winning streak of 25 games.

Oceanside had trailed at halftime only once in 12 games.  “That was our worst first half of the year,” said Zimmerman, who caught a 22-yard pass from Jordan Wynn for the Pirates’ first score.

FIRST GAME STUMBLE

Oceanside’s great season got off slowly as it was beaten, 28-20, by Helix in the season opener.

The Pirates had another tough game the next week but defeated La Costa Canyon, 27-20.

Oceanside didn’t know it then but it would meet the Mavericks again in the San Diego Section semifinals with its season on the brink.

BAD WEATHER AND PLAYOFFS

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2013, Week 10: Mission Hills On Top…For Now

The suddenly topsy turvy UT-San Diego football poll saw another change at the top this week after last week’s No. 1, San Pasqual, took a surprising haymaker from Rancho Buena Vista and fell , 38-36.

Mission Hills, upset two weeks ago by San Pasqual, quickly filled the void.  The Grizzlies smashed Fallbrook, 61-21.

Meanwhile, Oceanside is lurking.  The Pirates had 11 first place votes to Mission Hills’ 12 but added a more impressive victory to their resume, rudely ushering  Ramona out of the undefeated ranks, 42-0.

While Oceanside lurks, Eastlake lies in the weeds.Eastlake logo

Coach John Mc Fadden’s Titans of east Chula Vista won their seventh straight game and scored eight-first place votes after a workmanlike, 27-0 win over Bonita Vista.

What does it all prove?

There are no great teams in the San Diego Section this season, just some very good ones.

                      Team                              W-L               Pts.      Last Week

1 Mission Hills (12) 7-1 275 2
2 Oceanside (11) 6-2 271 4
3 Eastlake (8) 7-1 270 3
4 San Pasqual 7-1 200 1
5 Helix 6-2 171 8    
6 Madison 7-1 165 7
7 St. Augustine 6-2 113 10
8 Cathedral 6-2 71 5
9 Ramona 7-1 63 6
10 Mount Miguel 7-2 50 9

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Torrey Pines, 21; Grossmont, 17; La Costa Canyon, 12; Rancho Buena Vista, 10; Imperial, 4; El Capitan, 3.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.

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2013, Week 9: Colts Like Wild Horses, Untamed

Crawford rose to 8-0 and played a home game under lights.

Imperial’s Royce Freeman set a San Diego Section career rushing record as the Tigers went to 8-0.

San Pasqual and Ramona dropped from the ranks of the undefeated.

NEW CORRAL

Crawford coach Mike Wright convinced his administration and the ruling City Conference that the Colts were more suited to an overall less demanding level of competition, thus a move from the Division IV Central League to the D-V  Manzanita.

The first night game at home was facilitated through rented lights and Crawford responded with a 35-0 victory over Calexico Vincent Memorial.

Among those in attendance was Bill Rainey, who led the Colts to an 8-0-2 record and the San Diego Section championship in 1961. Rainey was CIF player of the year. He also was the first champion in the Section track finals the previous spring with a winning time of 1:58 in the 880-yard run.

NEW CORRAL, CONT.

Crawford’s football field and track and field facilities will be moved across Trojan Avenue to the site of the original baseball field, which will move to the existing football and track location.

Crawford will play a road schedule in football in 2014, while construction is completed.

EYE OF THE TIGER

Imperial’s Royce Freeman played the first half in a 49-14 rout of Calexico and rushed for 135 yards in 11 carries, giving Freeman a 37-game, four-season career total of 6,778.

Freeman moved past Rickey Seale, the son of ex-Charger and Oakland Raider Sammy Seale.  Rickey rushed for 6,778 yards at Escondido from 2006-09.

THE LONGEST RIDE

Oceanside’s could have missed its kickoff with Ramona because of a traffic accident on State  78.

The usual 48-minute ride for the 39-mile trek became a two-hour marathon.

It’s all good.  Oceanside won, 42-0.

Sweetwater rushed (a  record?) 66 times for 405 yards, averaging 6.1 yards a thrust, and defeated Marian Catholic 41-14.

The Red Devils are running the ancient double wing favored by head coach Brian Hay and they’re getting used to the first-year coach’s offensive philosophy. They’ve won three in a row.

QUICK KICKS

Rancho Buena Vista’s 38-36 win over San Pasqual improved the Longhorns’  record to 6-2, their best since a 6-1-1 start in 2003… the West Hills Wolfpack dropped its 16th in a row to Helix, 44-7…score was 44-0 at halftime…St. Augustine surprised Cathedral, 19-7 but the Dons still lead the series, 32-20…backup quarterback James Harwell of San Marcos passed for four touchdowns and ran for another in a 47-27 win over Del Norte…starter Will Freed has been out with a broken jaw….

 

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2013, Week 9: San Pasqual Ousts Mission Hills

San Pasqual this week became the third North County team to occupy the number one position in the weekly UT-San Diego football poll.

The Eagles surprised Mission Hills, 13-10, in overtime, knocking out the Grizzlies, who had climbed to No. 1 in Week 7 after kayoing Oceanside, which had resided in first since the preseason poll.

I voted for the Cathedral, as did two others.  Eastlake also received some support, meaning three teams received first-place votes for the first time this year.

San Pasqual takes on  Rancho Buena Vista this week. The Longhorns are 5-2 but so far haven’t impressed the voting panel, earning only two points among the “others” this week.

Hoover, 5-1, before a 13-9 loss to Serra, might have had a shot at a low Top 10 position but the Cardinals lost a touchdown because of  an “inadvertant whistle”.

                          Team                         W-L              Pts.             Last                                                                                                                                                       Week                                 

1 San Pasqual (26) 7-0 301 2
2 Mission Hills 6-1 251 1
3 Eastlake (2) 6-1 237 3
4 Oceanside 5-2 212 4
5 Cathedral (3) 6-1 190 5    
6 Ramona 7-0 188 6
7 Madison 6-1 118 7
8 Helix 5-2 105 8
9 Mount Miguel 6-2 30 10
10 St.  Augustine 5-2 29

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Grossmont, 14; La Costa Canyon, 9; Torrey Pines, 8;  El Capitan, 6; Torrey Pines, 4, Imperial, 3; Carlsbad, Rancho Buena Vista, 2 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013: Legend of McKeevers and San Pasqual’s No. 86

Terry Monahan’s story in today’s UT-San Diego about the history of San Pasqual’s football jersey No. 86 jogged my memory.

Eighty-six has been worn  by Eagles linebackers almost every year since 1977, but since 1983 in honor of a former player who passed away.

Barry McKeever, the son of a USC all-America, wore No. 86 in 1982 and ’83 for San Pasqual and when he  played collegiately at Stanford.

But before there was 86 there was….

First, let me say that I followed the exploits of Barry father, Mike McKeever, and uncle Marlin in high school, me a student at Lincoln in San Diego and the McKeever twins all-stars in football and track and field at Mt. Carmel in Los Angeles.

They were all-Southern Section football picks, top college recruits, and among the best shot putters in the country.

Enrolling at USC the twins were part of a Trojans’ renaissance that saw USC bounce back from a 1-9 record in 1957 to 4-5-1 in ’58, and 8-2 in ’59.

Originally Mike McKeever was issued jersey No. 64 and Marlin was given No. 85.

Sometime later the USC publicist had an idea.  He put one of the twins in No. 86 and stationed him in front of a mirror.

Mike (left) and Marlin, after the change in numbers.

Mike (left) and Marlin, after the change in numbers.

The reflection from the mirror was No. 68.

Who is whom?  And which is which?

Nos. 68 (Mike) and No. 86 (Marlin) were the numbers the youngsters carried forward in their all-America and NFL careers (Barry told Monahan that he wanted to wear his father’s 68 but that number had been taken by Barry’s brother Mac, so Barry was given 86).

Mike’s NFL time was cut short by a tragic automobile accident.  Marlin went on to play 14 seasons.

 

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2013, Week 8: No Love for Cathedral

Mount Miguel crashed the Top 10 with a 42-21 victory over previous No. 1o El Capitan, but UT-San Diego‘s weekly rankings otherwise remained the same in the lead-up to Week 8.

Except.

Cathedral, which I ranked second, stayed fifth and, contrary to some other winners, did not receive more  points after a 42-3 blowout of 4-1 Scripps Ranch.

I don’t get it.  The Dons have played a tougher schedule than all of the teams above them other than Oceanside, but they’re not getting any respect, in my opinion.

Justifiably perceived North County bias in  media power outlets doesn’t appear to be in play.

Cathedral is considered “North County” (although its Del Mar address  is within San Diego’s city limits, as is Torrey Pines’, and Cathedral is part of the city’s Eastern League).

San Pasqual, 6-0 and second in the poll, obviously is outstanding.

But the Eagles haven’t had a Vista Murietta, Arizona’s Chandler Hamilton, or Gardena Serra on their schedule, as have Cathedral, Eastlake, and Oceanside. San Pasqual has had a full plate of essentially rank-and-file North County neighbors.

The first five teams’ strength of schedules (opponents’ won-loss records combined):

Team Won Lost Pct.
Mission Hills 15 21 .417
San Pasqual 16 19 .457
Eastlake 20 18 .526
Oceanside 29 9 .763
Cathedral 22 15 .595

I couldn’t elevate Oceanside despite its strength of schedule.  That 30-6 loss to Mission Hills was uncharacteristic but it couldn’t be ignored.

Place Team W-L Pts Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 6-0 310 1
2 San Pasqual 6-0 246 2
3 Eastlake 5-1 223 3
4 Oceanside 4-2 218 4
5 Cathedral 5-1 182 5
6 Ramona 6-0 178 6
7 Madison 6-1 122 7
8 Helix 4-2 110 8
9 Carlsbad 5-1   43 9
10 Mount Miguel 5-2   18

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points: St. Augustine, 14; Grossmont, El Capitan, 13 each; Torrey Pines, 4, Imperial, Mission Bay, Hoover, 2 each; Rancho Buena Vista, 1.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 7: Shine a Light on Hoover Stadium

The Hoover Cardinals could use the helping hand of Motel 6 maven Tom Bodett, voice of the signature “we’ll leave the light on for you.”

Night football is out at Hoover.

More’s the pity.

The Cardinals became involved in a legal action with neighboring residents and a Superior Court judge unhappily issued an injunction, forcing Hoover to play home games in daytime for the remainder of the season, maybe longer.

Hoover defeated Morse, 22-0, in their Homecoming Friday afternoon and will reschedule kickoffs for Lincoln and San Diego.

Hoover-Cardinals-2The victory improved the Cardinals to 5-1 under second-year coach Jerry Ralph, who was 6-5 last season following head coaching stints at Santana, St. Augustine, and Del Norte.

Now known as Bob Breitbard Field, Hoover’s stadium was originally constructed in the early 1930s and was one of the first fields in the area to have  lights. (Balboa Stadium, home to San Diego High, did not have lights until 1939).

JACKIE ROBINSON STARRED

The Cardinals were hosts for a Southern Section playoff against Pasadena Muir Technical and Jackie Robinson under the lights in 1935.

The crowd of more than 4,000 in Hoover’s original bleachers watched as Robinson threw a touchdown pass in Muir’s 27-0 victory.

Those wooden bleachers burned down in the winter of 1948-49. New, steel-framed seating was in place in time for the 1949 season but installation of lighting was delayed.

Hoover played two “home” games at Aztec Bowl but the remaining contests in a remarkable, 8-1 season were on the road at Coast League sites.

One 1949 game actually took place on  campus. A postseason charity contest with Grossmont that started at 10 a.m. was played to help defray medical costs for an injured Foothillers player.

San Diego was growing and the Hoover field became increasingly important in 1951 when it began a decades-long stretch of doubling as a regional venue for many schools.

FIELD TAKES SHARP TURN

Hoover’s stadium now has  an East-West footprint.  The original stadium ran south to north from the boys’ gymnasium and faced Norwood Street, which began when Meade Avenue ended at 44th Street.

It was in the old alignment that Hoover scored perhaps its greatest victory, a 20-12 triumph over San Diego in 1956 before an overflow crowd of 9,000 persons who filled both sides of the stadium and the end zones.

AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN

One leg of the second half of the regular season has been completed and seven San Diego Section teams have avoided the big haircut.

Four teams fell from the ranks of the undefeated last week, but Crawford, Francis Parker, Imperial, Mission Hills, Ramona, and San Pasqual are standing tall at 6-0.  San Diego Jewish Academy is 3-0.

Four clubs were 6-0 at this point in 2012.

Carlsbad, El Capitan, and Mission Bay fell with a thud, outscored by a combined 112-35 and becoming part of a group of 11 teams that have one loss.

Oceanside handled Carlsbad, 28-7.  Mount Miguel showed impressive force by running away from El Capitan, 42-21, and Madison, class of Division IV, walloped Mission Bay, 42-6.

Hilltop was upset by Sweetwater, 17-9.

LENDING A HELPING HAND

Isn ‘t this the way it used to be?

Members of Hoover's freshmen team wereon the job.

Hoover freshmen football players were on the job.

Members of Hoover’s freshmen football team got into the spirit of community service after the Cardinals’ Homecoming game against Morse Friday.

Wearing their red  game jerseys,  the Frosh “fanned out”, according to varsity coach Jerry Ralph, pitching in to clean up and pick up in the neighborhood around the East San Diego campus.

 

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2013, Week 7: Grizzlies go up 3 Places

Mission Hills, 5-0 and rested from a week off, rose from 19th to 16th in Cal-Hi Sports‘ weekly poll and jumped from ninth to seventh in the South Division I Bowl Rankings.

Mission Hills logoThe improvement is partly because of the victory over Oceanside before last week’s bye and some stumbles by other clubs in the state.  The Grizzlies figure to dine on the Escondido Cougars Friday night as Week 7 gets under way.

Other San Diego Section powers continue to languish in the ubiquitous group of “Teams on the Bubble.” Included are Cathedral (4-1), Helix (3-2), Oceanside (3-2), and Ramona (5-0). Oceanside, with losses only to the No. 4 and No. 16 teams, was dissed and not included.

Carlsbad (5-0), Cathedral, Eastlake (5-1), Helix, and Ramona are South Bowl bubble teams.

WARHAWKS MOVE UP

MadisonMadison, the defending State D-3 champion went from ninth to seventh in the D-II South Bowl handicap, with St. Augustine remaining 13th.  Imperial (5-0) is on the bubble. Monte Vista (3-3) gained some regard by getting a bubble mention in D-III.

Francis Parker benefited from Christian’s loss to Mission Bay in Week 6, climbing from fourth to third in D-IV, while Christian dropped from second to fifth.  Santa Fe  Christian, La Jolla Country Day, and The Bishop’s are on the bubble.

Cal-Hi’s division placements are not necessarily the divisions in which San Diego Section teams will participate in  the postseason.

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2013, Week 7: Top 10 Static, but Curious

There was no change from 1-10 in the UT-San Diego’s Top 10 as several teams enjoyed a Week 6 bye.

San Diego Section teams begin the turn for home and the postseason with league play beginning this week.

Sometimes it pays to take that busman’s holiday.

No. 2 San Pasqual picked up seven votes despite its bye and No. 5 Cathedral lost 10 votes despite a 42-13 victory over Morse.

Strange.

Other teams also profited from the hiatus. Oceanside’s sabbatical resulted in 12 more votes for the Pirates and El Capitan gained 13.

However, Ramona took the week off and was rewarded with seven less votes and idle Carlsbad emerged with 14 fewer and Helix with 1 less.

Making sense was No. 3 Eastlake, up 7 votes after a 52-14 rout of Sweetwater,  and No. 7 Madison gaining 15 points after a 41-6 victory over Mira Mesa.

The ranks of “others receiving votes” continued to thin, shrinking from nine to seven. Most prominent was heretofore undefeated Christian.  The Patriots were eighty-sixed after a 24-21 loss to Mission Bay.

Place Team W-L Pts Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 5-0 310 1
2 San Pasqual 5-0 236 2
3 Eastlake 5-1 221 3
4 Oceanside 3-2 211 4
5 Cathedral 4-1 185 5
6 Ramona 5-0 179 6
7 Madison 5-1 120 7
8 Helix 3-2 104 8
9 Carlsbad 5-0   83 9
10 El Capitan 6-0   37 10

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: St. Augustine (5), Grossmont (5), Mission Bay (3), Mount Miguel (3). La Costa Canyon (2), Imperial, Torrey Pines, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, UT-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, UT-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski, The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 6: Komets to Leave Home

Birt Slater Field on the Kearny High campus is going to be dug up and a new field will be in place by 2014.  The Komets will play their remaining three, 2013 home games at Madison, versus Clairemont, Point Loma, and La Jolla.

In tribute to the legendary coach, who was 89 when he passed away Sept. 3, Komets coach Kenny Nears hoped the team could turn out in the final game against Lincoln in Kearny’s vintage, striped uniforms, which had been outlawed by the National Federation of High School associations.

Ed Imo, in old stripes in 1973.

Ed Imo, in old stripes, 1973.

The white stripes on the maroon jerseys had to be modified, as did the maroon stripes on the white jerseys. The stripes had to be of a certain width and length.

The rule, which had been on the books several years, essentially mandates  that home teams wear dark jerseys and visiting teams white jerseys.

Kearny’s predominant stripes supposedly posed a visual problem for officials calling games, although that has been disputed by members of the San Diego County Officials’ Association.

David Moa, in 2013 stripes.

David Moa, with no stripes on  shoulders, 2013.

Lincoln defeated Kearny, 18-16, and the Komets’ request to wear the old uniforms was denied by school officials, citing the existing rule.

PRISON BARS

Several reasons have been given as to why Slater went to the stripes in 1961, his third season as head coach.  A popular story told by Slater is that he became enamored of the uniforms worn in a college game Slater was watching on television.

Slater never would state publicly what he told me probably 40 years ago.

“I love those stripes…they remind me of prison bars,”said Slater, who was a tough-minded, challenging coach.  “You look tough in them.  You feel tough.  Of course, you have to play tough.”

As Larry Shepard, quarterback of the 1963 San Diego Section championship team, remarked in a stirring testimonial at Slater’s memorial, with one of the old jerseys hanging from the podium:

“They gave our team and our community an identity, which we didn’t have.”

SANTA FE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLED

Santa Fe Christian’s opponent was as long on talent as the identity of the man after whom the school was named when it opened in 1959.

Santa Barbara Bishop Diego, in honor of Bishop Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, the first bishop of the diocese of the two Californias in 1840, hammered the Eagles Saturday afternoon, 34-3.

On a hot, windy Santa Ana day, on which temperatures were near the nineties at the coastal campus in Solana Beach, Bishop Diego enhanced its top rating among the state’s small schools in the competitive Division IV.

The Eagles were on the shorter end of a 13-8 score in 2012 at Bishop Diego.

Entering  Week 6 games, Christian and Francis Parker ranked No. 2 and No. 4, and Santa Fe Christian was No. 8 in Cal Hi Sports’ State Bowl South rankings.

Christian was edged by Mission Bay, 24-21, and fell out of the undefeated ranks at 5-1.  Francis Parker, 4-0, remained unbeaten after a bye.

But ‘Fe coach Jon Wallace told writer John (‘Fei) Maffei, “We don’t look at ratings, ours or theirs. Our goal is to win the Coastal League and the San Diego Section title….”

The real racing begins next week for many teams throughout the section, with the beginning of league play.

QUICK KICKS—Six of UT-San Diego’s Top 10 were idle last week…No. 3 Eastlake slammed Sweetwater, 52-14; No. 5 Cathedral drubbed Morse, 42-13; No. 7 Madison  whacked Mira Mesa, 41-6, and No. 10 El Capitan beat Granite Hills, 55-14…Army-Navy inaugurated football at its new facility and was on the wrong end of a 49-0 thumping by The Bishop’s…a 49-0 victory at Tri-City Christian was the 100th victory at La olla Countrfy Day for coach Jeff Hutzler…he’s 100-33 with the Torreys..

 

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2013, Week 6, 10 Changes in Top 10

The weekly UT-San Diego football poll went through a topsy-turvy Week 5, beginning with Oceanside’s loss to Mission Hills,  and flip-flopping all the way down to El Capitan’s high-powered Vaqueros, making their bow in the Top 10.

I differed on a few of the vote’s results.

My essential disagreement with colleagues was over No. 2.  I had Cathedral.  They went for San Pasqual.

San Pasqual opponents have a combined 11-12 record.  Cathedral’s is 13-8.

Consensus was for Eagles.

Consensus was for Eagles.

I weigh heavily San Diego teams’ performances against those out of the area, essentially from Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties.

Cathedral was upset by a strong, local Helix squad but measured Vista Murrieta, the Los Angeles Times‘ No. 4-ranked club coming in to the Broncos’ match with the Dons, who beat the Riverside County power, 35-28.

Cathedral also took on what appeared to be an elite challenge in its season opener when the Dons signed Jordan High, a 2012 state champion from Sandy, Utah.  The Dons won 38-6 and Sandy has struggled since, posting a season record of 3-3.

My associates apparently don’t think much of my applications.  They voted Cathedral low enough that the Dons are fifth this week.

San Pasqual is 5-0 against Torrey Pines, Del Norte, Mt. Carmel,  Poway, and La Costa Canyon.

No knock on the Eagles, who have passed every test, but Cathedral has lined up against far more formidable opponents.

I like Cathedral.

I like Cathedral.

 

Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 5-0 310 2
2 San Pasqual 5-0 229 4
3 Eastlake 4-1 218 5
4 Oceanside 3-2 199 1
5 Cathedral 4-1 195 6
6 Ramona 5-0 188 9
7 Madison 4-1 105 8
8 Helix 3-2 103 3
9 Carlsbad 5-0 97 10
10 El Capitan 5-0 24

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: St. Augustine (12), Grossmont (8), Mission Bay (6) Christian (5), Mount Miguel (3). La Costa Canyon (2), Imperial, Hilltop, Torrey Pines, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 5: Down Goes Oceanside!

Corporate shakeups have nothing on the expected  San Diego Section football poll next week.

Numbers 1, 3, and 7 were beaten and Cathedral rocked Southern Section rankings when it handled visiting No. 4 Vista Murrieta, 35-28.

Mission Hills, which sat second in the UT-San Diego poll behind Oceanside since Week 1, hammered the Pirates 30-6 before more than 5,000 roaring spectators at the San Marcos school.

I have voted the Grizzlies No. 1 since the start of the season, but with less confidence each week as Oceanside began to roll and overcome a haunting loss to Gardena Serra.

Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser, despite a rather manic sideline persona, coaches a tough defense that reflects his energy.

The Grizzlies intercepted four passes and recovered two fumbles.

Maybe most impressive was the Mission Hills kicker, Esteben Senteno.  He offered an NFL-like performance with field goals of 50, 47, and 27 yards, and bombed a 62-yard punt.

DONS AVENGE

I often see a Cathedral assistant coach in the Starbucks near my home in Scripps Ranch.  This week the coach and I visited about the Dons’ upcoming game against Vista Murrieta.

The coach wanted me to believe the Dons were in a very good position to reverse a closer-than-the-score-indicated, 21-10 loss to the Broncos on the road in 2012.

Considering that Vista Murietta had won its first three games by scores of 66-28, 52-13, and 69-21 and was fourth in the L.A. Times’ poll of Southern Section and L.A. City teams, I thought Cathedral was a longshot.

“After last year the returning players were confident we could play with them,” said Dons coach Sean Doyle.

“Rankings are rankings,” Doyle told writer Steve Brand.  “Are they better than Oceanside or Mission Hills?  Who knows, but we knew they were good coming in.”

But for a loss to Helix a week before, the Dons would have been undefeated.

Cathedral contributed to the loss by coming away without a score after virtually renting a suite inside Helix’ 10-yard line in the fourth quarter.

BULLDOGS BARKING

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2013: Don Hegerle, 82, Player and Coach

Don Hegerle, a leader and playmaker for 1950s San Diego State basketball teams and who later coached at Escondido High, passed away on Sept. 9.

Hegerle, 82, was a fast, slashing guard who fearlessly drove to the basket and fired jump shots for one of the best teams in Aztecs history.

 Hegerle is the third  second player to coach George (Ziggy) Ziegenfuss.  Clockwise from left other 1955-56 players are Rich Gehring, Al ordquist, Tony Pinkins, Ray Woodmaansee, Jim Sams, Bob Adams, Danny Newport, Archie Rambeau and Noel Mickelson (in front of Hegerle).

Hegerle is  second player to right of coach George (Ziggy) Ziegenfuss. Clockwise from left other 1955-56 players are Rich Gehring, Al Nordquist, Tony Pinkins, Danny Newport, Jim Sams, Bob Adams, Archie Rambeau, John Hannon, Ray Woodmansee, and Noel Mickelson, in front of Hegerle.

He was a vital player on the 1955-56 Aztec team that overcame three straight losses at the start of the season and went on to post a 23-6 record.

Hegerle averaged 10.9 points and scored 315 points, third highest on the team, which was paced by Tony Pinkins (18.1) and Danny Newport (14.7).

The Aztecs earned a berth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament in Kansas City by defeating Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, 93-69, Pasadena Nazarene, 78-62, and Humboldt State, 91-63.

After enduring a 30-hour trip to the Midwest by rail, the Aztecs’ opening contest following a first-day bye had a 10:30 a.m. tipoff.  They defeated Alderson-Broaddus of Philipi, W.Va, 77-64.

San Diego State’s season came to an end in another contest that began the next morning.  The Aztecs were eliminated by Gustavus-Adolphus of St. Peter, Minnesota, 69-60.

Hegerle, who played high school football, basketball, and baseball at Point Loma, was head coach at Escondido for five seasons before going into administration.

The 1957-58 team, paced by brothers Toby and Steve Thurlow and Jim Gabbard, posted a 20-11 season  and tied for the Avocado League championship.

Hegerle’s overall record with the Cougars was 73-50.

A lifelong basketball fan, Hegerle’s favorite team became the University of San Diego Toreros.  His son-in-law is Ky Snyder, athletics director at USD.  Snyder’s wife, Sue, was a standout in track and field at San Pasqual and later the women’s volleyball coach at USD.

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2013, Week 4: D-III Battle Shaping Up

Three traditional strongholds among the San Diego Section’s smaller schools are a combined 12-0 and staking their turf in Division III.

Christian, Francis Parker, and The Bishop’s each is 4-0.  Christian, of the Central League, will take on the Coastal League’s The Bishop’s in Week  5 in a possible, midseason playoff preview.

One of three 4-0 teams.

Christian is one of three 4-0 teams.

Christian was ranked second in Southern California by Cal-Hi Sports going into this week’s games, behind Santa Barbara Bishop Diego.

Parker was fifth and The Bishop’s ninth.

The Patriots  have outscored their opponents,  185-16. Their victories are 42-0 over San Luis Obispo Mission Prep, 42-0 over Santana, 66-3 over El Cajon Valley, and 35-13 over Ontario Christian.

Mission Prep (3-1) has rebounded and was seventh in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings before a 24-6 win over Santa Monica St. Monica this week.

Parker, which has outscored its opponents, 166-52, defeated Santana, 52-13, and The Bishop’s edged Coronado, 20-17. The Knights have a 144-65 edge in their scoring.

Other D-III teams that could make noise under the San Diego Section’s new playoff format include Hoover, Coronado, and Santa Fe Christian.

PIRATES UNLOAD ON TITANS

Oceanside’s 61-0 victory over Poway was the worst defeat for the Titans since a 61-0 loss to Orange Glen in 1978.

Oceanside has topped 61 points five times in its 87-year football history:

1998 Hoover 70-7
1952 San Dieguito 67-6
2002 Ramona 62-6
1969 L.A. Pater Noster 62-14
2008 Orange Glen 62-6

 

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2013: Helix Among Leaders in NFL Players

The Helix Highlanders had four graduates on NFL rosters when teams reached the 53-man limit earlier this month.

Scots alums include running back Reggie Bush of Detroit, quarterback Alex Smith of Kansas City, cornerback Jaemar Taylor of Miami, and tight end Levine Toilolo of Atlanta.

A total of 16 players from the San Diego Section made NFL roster at cutdown:

Name Position High School NFL Team
Russell Allen Linebacker Vista Jacksonville
Khalif Barnes Tackle Mount Miguel Oakland
Reggie Bush Running Back Helix Detroit
Arian Foster RunningBack Mission Bay Houston
Leon Hall Cornerback Vista Cincinnati
Ryan Lindley Quarterback El Capitan Arizona
Bear Pascoe Tight End Granite Hills N.Y. Giants
David Quessenberry Tackle La Costa Canyon Houston
Brian Schwenke Center Oceanside Tennessee
Alex Smith Quarterback Helix Kansas City
Kenny Stills Wide Receiver New Orleans La Costa Canyon
Jaemar Taylor Cornerback Helix Miami
Levine Toilolo Tight End Helix Atlanta
Jimmy Wilson Safety Point Loma Miami
Kellen Winslow, Jr. Tight End Scripps Ranch N.Y. Jets
Will Yeatman Tackle Rancho Bernardo Miami

NORLAND AND ST. THOMAS AQUINAS LEAD

Helix is among 14 other U.S. schools tied for third in NFL contributions.

Norland of Miami and St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale lead with 6 players. Pahokee, Florida, has 5.

The next 15, with 4  each:

Helix; Southlake Carroll, Texas; Colton; Concord De La Salle; Cincinnati Bishop Elder; Belle Glade Glades Central, Florida; Greenwood, South Carolina; Long Beach Poly; Mission Viejo; North Miami Beach; Houston North Shore; Sherman Oaks Notre Dame; Piscataway, New Jersey; Rock Hill, South Carolina; Austin Westlake, Texas.

LOUISIANA HAS MOST WITH LEAST

California leads with 225 players, followed by Florida, 186; Texas, 184; Georgia, 95; Ohio, 74; New Jersey, 63; Lousiana, 62; Pennsylvania, 58; South Carolina, 54, and Virginia, 50.

Louisiana has one player for every 73,119 residents.  South Carolina is second with one for every 85,655, and Mississippi  third with one for every 92,728.   California is not in the top 10.

Miami, with 24, is the hometown with the most players, followed by Houston (16), and Detroit, 14.

Information is provided annually  by the NFL communications department.

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2013, Week 5: Decks Cleared for Oceanside-Mission Hills

North County’s game of the year is  Friday night, when  Oceanside and Mission Hills, ranked 1-2 in the UT-San Diego football voting, will roll in the dirt for more than just neighborhood bragging rights.

Mission Hills (4-0), which  became a San Diego Section force under former Vista coach Chris Hauser, seeks its first-ever win over John Carroll’s Pirates (3-1).

Oceanside holds a 5-0-1 advantage in a series that has been played regularly since 2009.

The teams tied 10-10 in 2011 and Oceanside has  beaten the Grizzlies in Section finals in 2007 and 2010 and in the semifinals in 2009.  The Pirates have had an average scoring advantage of 31-12 and outscored their Highway 78 rivals 185-76.

Another big game will match Cathedral and Southern Section power Vista Murrietta.

The Broncos, Riverside County’s premier team and a high-level Southern Section power, have victories of 66-28 over Downey, 52-13 over Yucaipa, and 69-21 over Redlands East Valley.  Cathedral is 2-1 and figures to be Murrietta’s biggest test in the regular season.

The Top 10 still is the same at the top, but San Pasqual (4-0), and Eastlake (3-1) have been coming on.

Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Oceanside (25) 3-1 304 1
2 Mission Hills (6) 4-0 292 2
3 Helix 3-1 227 4
4 San Pasqual 4-0 180 5
5 Eastlake 3-1 159 8
6 Cathedral 2-1 140 6
7 St. Augustine 3-1 127 7
8 Madison 3-1 92 3
9 Ramona 4-0 83 9
10 Carlsbad 4-0 71 10
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2013: Ramona Legend Gary Mayer, 72

Gary Mayer, who led a 1958 Ramona High team that raced to an 11-0 record and won the Southern California small schools championship, passed away at age 72  on Sept. 19 in Rialto, where he had resided since 1966.

Mayer scored 25 touchdowns and scored 43 points after touchdown in 1958 for a total of 193 that ranked as the second highest ever by a San Diego County athlete, one point behind the 194 that Oceanside’s C.R. Roberts scored in 1953.

Bulldogs rolled with Mayer.

Bulldogs rolled with Mayer.

Mayer was the 1958 Southern California small schools’ player of the year as the Bulldogs outscored their opponents, 514-53, and defeated Needles, 26-21, for the title.

Mayer was selected to play in the annual Breitbard College Prep football game, in which all-stars from San Diego County played a team of all-stars from the Los Angeles City Section in 1959.

Ramona was a premier team among schools with less than 500 enrollment, winning two Southern California championships under coach Glenn Forsyth and reaching the finals three times while posting a 42-4 record form 1954-59.

Mayer went on to play at Colorado State and San Bernardino Junior College but his career ended after a succession of injuries.

Gary’s brother, Grant, was the second leading scorer in the San Diego Section in 1961 with 15 touchdowns and 98 points.

A memorial service for Gary Mayer will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 27 at Montecito Memorial Park, 3520 E. Washington Street, in Colton.

A webpage for those who wish to leave memories and express their feelings has been established at Legacy.com and here:
http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/DignityMemorial/guestbook.aspx?n=gary-mayer&pid=167056389

 

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2013, Week 4: Still Oceanside and Mission Hills at Top

Oceanside (24), Mission Hills (6), and San Pasqual (1) all received first-place votes in balloting after for the Week 4 CIF San Diego Section football poll.

Ramona, at 9, and Carlsbad, at 10, are new to the top 10.

Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Oceanside (24) 2-1 301 1
2 Mission Hills (6) 3-0 267 2
3 Madison 3-0 238 3
4 Helix 2-1 224 5
5 San Pasqual 3-0 154 8
6 Cathedral 2-1 141 4
7 St. Augustine 2-1 132 7
8 Eastlake 2-1 89 10
9 Ramona 3-0 76
10 Carlsbad 3-0 43

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Rancho Buena Vista (16), Grossmont (13), Mt. Carmel (6), El Capitan (5), La Costa Canyon (4), Christian (2), Hilltop (1), Mission Bay (1).

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2013, Week 4: Freeman Joins Imperial Icons Arnaiz, Thomas

Royce Freeman is about to become the most famous Imperial High athlete and eventually perhaps its most notable alumnus.

Freeman is the Imperial Tiger.

Freeman is the Imperial Tiger.

Freeman ran for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 42-21 victory over Sweetwater and is nearing the San Diego Section career rushing record.  Freeman has 5,638 yards.  Rickey Seale of Escondido set the record in 2009 with 6,694.

Prominent graduates from the Imperial Valley School include Robert Thomas, a linebacker at UCLA who was a No. 1 draft choice of the NFL St. Louis Rams in 2002, and Jim Arnaiz, a 1958 graduate and  four-sport star who went on to play at Cal Poly-Pomona and become an all-time coach in San Diego County, winning 212 games at Helix.

WEIRDNESS OF POLLS

So much for Poway in the Top 10.

The Titans took a down-the-smokestack, direct hit last week, losing to rising San Pasqual, 45-7, and will undoubtedly exit the U-T San Diego poll, which appears on this site tomorrow.

Although Poway, a Division II finalist a year ago and a reputed program, didn’t make the preseason Top 10 poll, I looked at its 17-7 victory over La Costa Canyon in the opener and was one of those who voted the Titans ninth last week.

Maybe I put too much credence in the win over La Costa Canyon, usually a formidable North County squad.  We’ll find out more about the Mavericks this week when they meet San Clemente.

We’ll also learn more about Cathedral this week.  The Dons take on Vista Murrietta, a tough, intersectional foe from Riverside County.

Results of the voting for this week will be on the site tomorrow.

My ballot for the Week 4 poll:

1–Mission Hills (3-0). Collision looms on California Highway 78, Grizzlies and Oceanside in Week  5.
2–Oceanside (2-1).  Nice bounce back win against Temecula Chaparral.
3–Madison (3-0).  Passing all tests so far.
4–Helix (2-1).  “A year away?”  Tell it to Cathedral.
5–Eastlake (2-1).  Rebuilding?  Maybe they’re reloading.
6–Cathedral (2-1).  Had more players dressed than home team.
7–San Pasqual (3-0).  Destroyed  2012 Division II finalist.
8–St. Augustine (2-1). Abused little brother Marian.
9–Ramona (3-0).  Damon Baldwin-coached Bulldogs are sharp.
10–Hilltop (3-0).  Improved to 13-43 in all-time series with Chula Vista.

HELIX BURNER SHRUGS OFF CRAMPS

Jalen Davis scored on a 60-yard punt return and on a 61-yard fumble and made a gorgeous, over-the-top catch for an  interception  as Helix defeated Cathedral 21-14.

Davis also came off the field on four occasions to be stretched out for apparent cramps, which didn’t slow the feisty, wideout-defensive back who is one of only 12 seniors the Highlanders listed for their game with the Dons.

QUICK KICKS

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2006: If You Can Beat Them, Join Them

Nick Pascarella delivered the cruelest rejection.

The Carlsbad running back rushed for 125 yards in 12 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Lancers pulled away from Rancho Bernardo to win, 40-16.

Pascarella punished his former team.

Pascarella punished his former team.

The same Rancho Bernardo which Pascarella attended and who was a member of the Broncos team that defeated the Lancers 24-21 in 2005.

The Broncos held a 16-14 lead in a frantic first quarter when Pascarella reminded his former teammates of who’s who with a 52-yard touchdown gallop that gave Carlsbad a 20-16 edge at the end of the quarter.

“There was some tension since I moved and a lot of them were doing some talking,” Pascarella told Kevin Gemmell of The San Diego Union.

Some of the talkers “are still my best friends,” noted the Carlsbad senior.

STAYS FOCUSED

Pascarella was not thrown off stride.  “I just had to let it go,” he said.   “This was our homecoming and business is business.”

Business was so good for Pascarella and coach Bob McAllister’s Lancers that they rolled to their second successive San Diego Section I championship with a 43-6 victory over Poway.

Pascarella personally escorted Carlsbad to D-1 finals, when he rushed for 315 yards and scored 6 touchdowns in a 63-21, semifinals rout of Escondido.

“I think Nick owes his offensive line a steak dinner,” said McAllister.

MORE TRANSFERS

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2013: Services Set for Football Legend Birt Slater

A memorial service for William (Birt) Slater, legendary Kearny High football coach, will be held in the Kearny gymnasium on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at 1 p.m.

Slater, 89, passed away recently after a long illness.

Slater was head coach at Kearny from 1959-76, posting a record of 132 victories, 45 losses, and 9 ties for a .734 winning percentage.  His teams made 15 playoff appearances, were in the San Diego Section finals five times, and won 3 championships.

Slater was an assistant football coach at San Diego High from 1953-57, a period in which the Cavers posted a 45-8-1 record.  He also was coach of the 1957 San Diego track team that upset favored Compton Centennial to win the Southern California championship.

San Diego High’s 1955 team posted an 11-0-1 record, won the Southern California championship, and was declared national champion.

A more detailed account of Slater’s career can found in the article  “1959: “Birt, Are You Crazy?”

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2013, Week 3: Leaders Continue to Hold Sway in U-T Poll

Oceanside gave up one first-place vote to Mission Hills, Poway made the top 10 after being idle in Week 1, and San Pasqual moved up.

All was almost quiet on the U-T San Diego prep football front.

The only significant changes took place in the “Others” category, which thinned out from a total 14 teams receiving votes in Week 2 to 8 this week.

Oceanside and Mission Hills are on a collision course.  They’ll meet in a Week 5 wrapup of the nonleague season.

Oceanside’s hard-fought, 50-39 loss to Gardena Serra last week may  have dimmed the Pirates hopes for action beyond the San Diego Section season, but it’s too early to rule them out.

  Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Oceanside (22) 2-0 302 1
2 Mission Hills (8) 2-0 271 2
3 Madison 2-0 238 3
4 Cathedral 2-0 214 4
5 Helix 1-1 183 5
6 Grossmont 2-0 154 6
7 St. Augustine 1-1 104 7
8 San Pasqual 2-0 96 8
9 Poway 1-0 50
10 Eastlake 1-1 46 10

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                           Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Carlsbad (28), Mount Miguel (11), Rancho Buena Vista (10), ), Ramona (8), La Costa Canyon (7), Mission Bay (3), El Capitan (2),  Serra (1).

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego); Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents); Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090), Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 2: Oceanside Falls in Heat of Night

We made five big mistakes,” Oceanside coach John Carroll revealed to the U-T San Diego’s John Maffei, “and nearly every one of them was because of cramps.”

In the high heat of an Oceanside evening, Carroll’s Pirates took a 39-36 lead well into the fourth quarter when a couple lapses were turned into touchdowns by the nimble and swift Gardena Serra Cavaliers.

The visitors, who rank among the country’s top teams, didn’t wilt in the heat or from the glare and noise of a jammed Simcox Field gathering.

The 50-39 loss will haunt Carroll, who pointed out that his team was well hydrated.  The Gardena quarterback “handled the ball about a 100 times (actually about half of that number) and never cramped,” the Oceanside mentor noted.

“I don’t get it,” Carroll told Maffei.  “We played one of the best teams in the country.  We had the lead with 3:30 to play but cramps killed us.”

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

The Cota family’s football lineage goes back more than 50 years, but Adrian Bueno did something at Ramona that eluded his grandfather and uncle.

Bueno, a senior cornerback seeing extended varsity action for the first time, returned an intercepted pass 45 yards for a touchdown, although the Point Loma dropped a 21-19 decision.

Bueno’s grandfather, Ron Cota, was an all-San Diego Section linebacker at St. Augustine in 1961 but never scored a touchdown.  Bueno’s uncle, Stephen Cota, was a second-team, all-San Diego Section linebacker on Point Loma’s undefeated 1987 team, and never reached the end zone.

100 POINTS IN A HURRY

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2013: Sage Creek Football Decision Criticized

BY GARY MARSHALL

The new Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad is beautiful. The back-to-back baseball/softball diamonds and tennis courts are woven into a school complex that blends smoothly into the canyon hillside. It is a tribute to our community.

The facility that excited me the most was the new football stadium, with its sharply lined synthetic turf field, towering light standards and concrete stadium bleachers — all book ended by big yellow goal posts.

Official logo of Sage creek Bobcats.

The Bobcat of Sage Creek High.

My reason for the excitement is that I played many high school sports — football, basketball and track — and then played college football at West Point. My son played high school football, then played football for an Ivy League college. We lived a part of the American dream. Football was tough emotionally and physically. Coupled with academics it was a real character builder.

Inspired about football in the neighborhood, I approached Sage Creek Principal Cesar Morales to see if I could help with the freshman football team. Big surprise — no football. The school offers 18 other sports, but, again, NO FOOTBALL!

Why is there a football stadium, but no football?

To date, the explanation is that Carlsbad’s school board was modeling the footprint of Canyon Crest/Torrey Pines high schools and San Dieguito/La Costa Canyon high schools. There, only one school in the district has football, supposedly creating a more “comfortable academic environment” at the non-football school.

Motivated to hopefully change the school board’s thinking, I sent “The Boys of Fall” video to Superintendent Suzette Lovely and each board member. The video demonstrates what dreams and experiences students forfeit by removing football. The superintendent and all board members are women, so my hope in having them view the video was to show how the emotion and spirit of football, like no other sport, can be transmitted to students, faculty and the community.

However, all subsequent conversations with school administrators came with the vibe that football is a potential negative and Sage Creek High School would be “a more comfortable experience” without it.

My point to them was that football is the most popular sport in the United States and is a foundational standard of the American high school experience. It teaches emotional and physical toughness, team play and responsibility.

Trying to protect students by creating an academic conclave is a mentality that weakens student experience.

In order to get an expert opinion, I contacted Ed Burke, the head coach I assisted for six years at Torrey Pines High School. Ed coached for 43 years and is in the California Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The football stadium at Torrey Pines High was renamed Ed Burke Stadium in his honor.

Coach Burke and I attended the Aug. 14 school board meeting. We were scheduled next to last of 40 discussion items and given five minutes. Ed eloquently explained that in 43 years he taught many subjects and coached nearly every sport. He said, “Football is by far the greatest school experience a young man can have.”

Our suggestion to the school board was to start gradually with a freshman/junior varsity team for fall 2014. Fielding a team would logically answer to the taxpaying community the question of why build a million-dollar football stadium. Lastly, each board member was given a sheet with 42 reasons a Sage Creek football program would provide a more complete and improved school experience. The board was asked if there was any discussion.

The answer from each board member was silence. No discussion. No committee to evaluate a future program.

These types of decisions, by a select few, are a microcosm of America, where comfort and protection trump individual responsibility, hard work, and endeavors that create stronger citizens.

Are these decisions moving America in the right direction?

The school board owes an explanation to the community as to who made the decision to have a football stadium and no football. The school board also owes an explanation on how it was vetted and why the community was so poorly informed.

The above appeared on the op-ed page in the Sept. 7, 2013, UT-San Diego. The author is  a 1965 graduate with academic honors from Hoover High who has  a long and distinguished background in athletics.  Marshall was a starting quarterback on the football team and also started in basketball and lettered in track and field at Hoover. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where one of Marshall’s  coaches was Bill Parcells and his freshman basketball coach was Bobby Knight, both coaching legends.  Marshall’s football roommate was Gary Steele,  who became the first African-American letterman in football at Army. Steele is the father of ESPN anchor Sage Steele and Baltimore Ravens public relations executive Chad Steele.

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2013: Birt Slater, Famed Coach at Kearny & San Diego

I was informed this morning that Birt Slater, the legendary coach at Kearny and San Diego High, had passed away yesterday afternoon , Sept. 3, 2013.

I hope to soon have more information to pass along.

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2013, Week 2: Oceanside Remains No. 1.

Oceanside, unapproachable in the first half and approachable in the second half of a 47-28 win over St. Augustine, picked up additional support in this week’s UT-San Diego prep football poll.

The Pirates, who led 28-0 at halftime against the Saints, will need all hands on deck for all four quarters this week when they play host to Southern Section power Gardena Serra.

Oceanside out-polled Mission Hills, 23 first-place votes to 7, and scored 302 points to the Grizzlies’ 281.  Biggest improvement went to Cathedral, which jumped from sixth to third after a 38-6 victory over Utah power Sandy Jordan.

  Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Oceanside (23) 1-0 302 1
2 Mission Hills (7) 1-0 281 2
3 Madison 1-0 221 3
4 Cathedral 1-0 212 6
5 Helix 0-1 171 4
6 Grossmont 1-0 139 7
7 St. Augustine 0-1 98 5
8 San Pasqual 1-0 67 T10
9 La Costa Canyon 1-0 59 9
10 Eastlake 0-1 39 8

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                                    .

Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Poway (38), Carlsbad (31), Ramona (27), Mount Miguel (13), Rancho Buena Vista (11), Olympian (9), Patrick Henry (5), Del Norte (2), Steele Canyon (2), El Capitan (2),  Steele Canyon (2). Valhalla (2), Brawley (1), Vista (1).

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer,    U-T San Diego); Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, UT-San Diego correspondents); Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090), Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 1: Cathedral K.O.s Utah Giant

Oceanside, Helix, Mission Hills, Cathedral, and Eastlake, five of the San Diego Section’s best, posted a combined, 3-2 record and scored a couple impressive, intersectional victories in the Under Armour Brothers in Arms San Diego Classic games on the season’s first weekend.

Most impressive was Cathedral’s 38-6 victory over Sandy of Jordan, Utah, ranked 25th in the country by Max-Preps and No. 1 in Utah.Cathedral

The Dons pounded the Beetdiggers with a rushing attack that gained 285 yards and averaged 4.8 yards for 59 attempts.

No. 2 Mission Hills, with only 136 total yards, handled Desert Vista of Phoenix, 13-0, on a suffocating afternoon at Cathedral.

The Grizzlies muted the Thunder, ranked seventh in Arizona, holding the visitors to 123 yards.

Hamilton of Chandler, Arizona, ranked in the top 30 nationally, managed the heat more effectively, sweeping to a 28-0 halftime lead and holding off Eastlake, 28-17.  The  Huskies outgained the Titans, 383-174.

Honolulu Punahou, with famous alum and Chargers rookie Manti Te’o watching, used a goalline stand to stop Helix 10-6.

Coach John Carroll’s Oceanside Pirates took a 28-0, second-quarter lead on St. Augustine in a battle of the section’s No. 1 and No. 5 teams and rode out a 47-28 victory.

Oceanside gets its biggest test in several years this week when it plays host to Gardena Serra, ranked anywhere from second to eighth in some national polls.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

It was St. Augustine’s home game, but the sign at the snack bar on the Northeast corner of the stadium said, “Mesa College Concessions,” with prices listed.

A smiling group of apparent Mesa students taxed the capacity of the concession stand, although it didn’t open for business until minutes before kickoff, after a couple long lines had formed.

Following a 10-minute wait I was told the hot dogs were on the grill but they weren’t available until after kickoff.

Channeling their inner “What, me worry?”, the part-time vendors were not stressed.  They probably were thinking about their postgame plans.

Meanwhile, St. Augustine personnel were aggressively hawking a football yearbook and logoed apparel.

The Saints’ side of the field was filled with about 3,000 followers, plus another 500 or so who were socializing behind the upper row of the Mesa bleachers.

Oceanside had about 600 persons on its side.  The rest may have been home awaiting next week’s big one with Serra Gardena or didn’t want to battle I-5 traffic during Friday rush hour.

QUICK KICKS—El Capitan scored 70 points, marking the 58th time that plateau has been reached, dating to 1920, when the Vaqueros shutout Peace River of Alberta, Canada…70 points has been achieved on 13 other occasions…in what must have been a record, San Diego Section teams were involved in 54 games in Week 1…San Diego County teams were 9-5 against all intersectional opposition….Julian and Borrego Springs, now annually meeting in a nonleague game at the start of the season and playing a Citrus League contest later, engaged in another “Battle of Banner Grade”, with Julian winning 46-26 and improving its overall series record to 33-9 since 1967…

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2013: Oceanside Ranked Eighth in State

High school football has become all about ratings in California.

Cal-Hi Sports is out with its first poll of the 2013 campaign and already has Concord De La Salle representing the North in the State Open Division championship game, probably against Corona Centennial,  Bellflower St. John Bosco, or Gardena Serra.

Oceanside Logo 160x160Serra comes South in Week 2 to meet Oceanside, pride of the San Diego Section.  With the local section adding an Open Division this year, Oceanside and others are eligible to play in the State Open Division Bowl.

But if coach John Carroll’s Pirates lose to Serra, or anyone else, they will be eliminated from State Open Division consideration, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

It will be one and out.

Cal-Hi Sports has ranked Oceanside No. 8 in California, behind  De La Salle, Centennial, St. John Bosco, Serra, Long Beach Poly, and Vista Murrieta.

Mission Hills is ranked 30th, Helix 34th, and Madison 49th, among other San Diego entries.

In the breakdown by divisions, Oceanside is fifth in D-I South, Mission Hills 18th and Helix 20th.

Madison is ninth in D-II and St. Augustine 14th.  Hoover is 10th in III, with Santa Fe Christian sixth and Francis Parker seventh in IV.

Oceanside has some important business to take care of before it confronts Serra.  The Pirates visit pugnacious St. Augustine  at Mesa College in a big opening game Friday, Aug. 30.

 

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2013: U-T San Diego Preseason Poll

 

  Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2012 Record Points* Last Year
1 Oceanside (19) 12-1 288 1
2 Mission Hills (9) 7-4-1 251 5
3 Madison (3) 14-1 208 4
4 Helix 10-3 197 6
5 St. Augustine 11-2 180 8
6 Cathedral 0-10# 179 9
7 Grossmont 9-3 87  –
8 Eastlake 10-3 56
9 La Costa Canyon 7-4-1 38
10 San Pasqual 7-5 35  –

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                                     #Cathedral record was 8-2 before forfeits.

Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Ramona (27), Patrick Henry (17), Lincoln  (16), Carlsbad (13), Brawley (113), Rancho Buena Vista (12), El Norte (11), Point Loma (5), Valley Center (5), Mount Miguel (5), Olympian (4), Mar Vista (5), Steele Canyon (1), El Capitan (1), Vista (1).

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, UT San Diego); Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, UT San Diego correspondents); Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports.com; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz, playonsports.com; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090), Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten, 619sports.net; Rick Smith, Partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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1960-2012 Who Had the Best Defense?

A reader submitted that a Torrey Pines team coached by Ed Burke should be considered as having the all-time best defense among San Diego Section championship teams.

Burke’s 2003 Falcons posted a 12-1 record, defeated Fallbrook, 7-3, in the Division I finals, scored 369 points, and allowed their 13 opponents only 69 points, an average of 5.3 points a game.

We researched the points allowed of  more than 160 San Diego Section champions in all 11-man divisions since the section was formed in 1960. By our calculation Torrey Pines ranks ninth.

However, we eliminated the 1978 Christian team that allowed only 1.7 points in 10 games; number 6 Coronado, and number 8 Julian.  Those teams played on a level much lower than Torrey Pines’.

The revised list, showing only five teams above the Falcons:

1–Herb Meyer’s 1984 El Camino Wildcats, who were 13-0, outscored opponents 401-48, and allowed  3.7 points a game.

2—Walt Harvey’s 1961 Crawford team that was 8-0-2, and outscored opponents 182-40 for a 4.0 defensive average.

3—Vic Player’s  Marcus Allen-led 1977 Lincoln Hornets, who were 12-0-1 and had a 373-54 scoring advantage, their opponents averaging 4.2.

4—Gene Alim’s 1983 Sweetwater squad that was 13-0 with a 354-64 scoring edge and a 4.9 defensive average.

5—The 1984 Sweetwater Red Devils, who allowed 5.0 points while posting a 13-0 record with a scoring difference of 448-65.

However, Torrey Pines’ 2003 squad still looks pretty good.

High school offenses  have continued to evolve  each year as teams have passed more often and offenses have spread the field, putting increased pressure on defenses.

From 1985 through 2012 no other championship team had a defensive scoring average  of better than 6.0.  Morse was 14-0 in 1992 and gave up 84 points, a 6.0 average.

 

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2013: All-Time San Diego County Football Teams

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Position

Name

School

Year

Quarterback

Ezell Singleton San Diego

1958

Running Backs

C.R. Roberts Oceanside

1953

Tyler Gaffney Cathedral Catholic

2008

Darrin Wagner Lincoln

1987

Receivers

Patrick Rowe Lincoln

1986

Art Powell San Diego

1954

Line

Jack Harrington Rancho Buena Vista

1988

Lincoln Kennedy Morse

1987

Steve Riley Castle Park

1968

Robbie Coffin Mira Mesa

1983

Steve Vieria Carlsbad

1999

Athletes

Deron Johnson San Diego

1955

Charlie Powell San Diego

1950

Reggie Bush Helix

2002

Bill Fudge El Capitan

1970

 FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

Position

Name

School

Year

Line

Ed Imo Kearny

1973

La’Roi Glover Point Loma

1991

Tamasi Amituani Vista

1988

Arthur Smith Lincoln

1963

Linebackers

Junior Seau Oceanside

1986

Pisa Tinoisamoa Vista

1998

Greg Slough Point Loma

1964

Travis Hitt Grossmont

1971

Secondary

Marcus Allen Lincoln

1977

Willie Buchanon Oceanside

1968

Monte Jackson St. Augustine

1970

Eric Allen Point Loma

1982

Athletes

David Grayson  Sr. Lincoln

1956

Dokie Williams El Camino

1977

Darnay Scott Kearny

1990

Kicker

Noel Prefontaine El Camino

1991

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1915-2013: About the Track and Field Marks

I have reprinted Steve Brand’s 2012 track and field annual (2013 is being updated as this is written).

Steve and I have shared an equal love of high school track for many years.  My newspaper, the Evening Tribune published the first annual in 1965 and another was published in 1971.

Chula Vista's Tim Danielson was on cover in 1971.

Chula Vista’s Tim Danielson was on cover in 1971.

I attempted to list the top 50 performers in each  standard event, plus the leaders in other infrequently run events.

The research was a labor of love for me and I was thankful that my newspaper thought enough of the effort to publish my findings.

I left the newspaper business in 1972, at about the time Steve Brand arrived at The San Diego Union.

All marks from 1973 forward were compiled by Steve (probably 95 per cent  came after Brand took over the lists). I would be responsible for those before 1972.

Rancho Bernardo's Molly Grabill was featured in 2011.

Rancho Bernardo’s Molly Grabill was featured in 2011.

Brand has kept the all-time and yearly lists alive, verifying, authenticating, running down performances that weren’t published in the newspaper.  He has listed thousands of performances.

As track and field evolved, keeping and updating an annual list became more challenging.

Yards were replaced by meters when the United States went to the metric system. Age-old hand timing (just what it means, timed by the hand on a stopwatch) gave way to automatic timing.

You could wait up to an hour or more for results at major track meets in the past. With automatic timing,  results now are available as soon as the last runner crosses the finish line.

Dirt and crushed granite tracks were replaced by all-weather layouts. Diet and training became more important.

Steve Brand has kept pace with all of this and I hope he continues.  I’ll be around to help.

(The 1915 date in the title represents the first year of the California state meet, although marks were kept further back.  Leslie Dana of San Diego High was reported to have run a 10.1 100-yard dash and covered 440 yards in :51.6 in 1913).

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1915-2013 Girls’ State Meet Champions

100m 1984 Gail Devers Sweetwater 11.51
1974 Janice Wiser La Jolla 10.8y
200m 2000 Monique Henderson Morse 23.19
1974 Janice Wiser La Jolla 24.2y
400m 2001 Monique Henderson Morse 51.34
2000 Monique Henderson Morse 50.74
1999 Monique Henderson Morse 52.87
1998 Monique Henderson Morse 53.41
800m 1986 Laura Chapel University City 02:08.7
1600m 2009 Sammy Silva Our Lady of Peace
1993 Milena Glusac Fallbrook 4:50.8
1989 Kira Jorgensen RBV 4:49.5
1988 Kira Jorgensen RBV 4:49.5
1987 Kira Jorgensen Vista 4:46.0
1986 Darcy Arreola Grossmont 4:45.1
3200m 2010 Molly Grabill Rancho Bernardo 10:20.3
2003 Claire Rethmeier San Pasqual 10:27.3
1993 Milena Glusac Fallbrook 10:42.7
1992 Milena Glusac Fallbrook 10:28.6
100 Low Hurdles 1984 Gail Devers Sweetwater 13.41
300 Low Hurdles 1991 Erin Blunt San Pasqual 43.02
400m Relay 1977 Crawford 46.14y
High Jump 2007 Whitney Sisler La Costa Canyon 5-10
1987 Lynn Patrick Serra 5-10
1978 Sue McNeal Carlsbad 5-10 1/4
Pole Vault 2010 Kortney Ross Westview 13-6
2009 Kortney Ross Westview 13-4
2008 Emily Mattoon Rancho Bernardo 12-6
1999 Kathleen Donoghue Rancho Bernardo 12-8 1/4
1998 Tracy O’Hara Rancho Bernardo 12-8
Long Jump 1983 Gail Devers Sweetwater 19-6
1981 Chris Mose El Cajon Valley 18-10 1/4
Triple Jump 1994 Tamieka Porter Orange Glen 38-11 1/2
1998 Andria Booker El Camino 40-0 1/4
1997 Andria Booker El Camino 40-0
Shot Put 2011 Breana Jemison Carlsbad 45-10 1/4
1975 Kathy Devine Mission Bay 42-3 3/4
1974 Kathy Devine Mission Bay 47-4 ½
Discus 1986 Tracy Crawford Southwest 156-2
1976 Kathy Middleton Poway 134-5
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2013: Boys’ All-Time Best Performances

 

100m

10.30 Riley Washington Southwest 1992
10.42 Reggie Bush Helix 2002
10.45 Vince Williams University City 1996
10.45 Darron Norris El Camino 1984
10.46 Ike Okenwa Morse 1998
10.49 Paul Turner University City 1993
10.51c (9.61y) David Russell Henry 1977
10.53 Kevin Shields San Diego 1981
10.54h Paul Day Kearny 1982
10.54hc (9.4y) Elijah Jefferson Crawford 1974
10.55 Joe Cooks Mission Hills 2009
10.55 Bryant Eubanks El Camino 1995
10.56 Maurice Patterson Oceanside 2007
10.59 Lamont Long University City 2000
10.59 Stephen Hayes University City 1999
10.59 Darnay Scott Kearny 1991
10.60 Jared Pickering Rancho Bernardo 2011
10.60 Dax Danns Helix 2005
10.63 Justin Freeman Carlsbad 2010
10.63 Dylan McCloskey El Camino 2012
10.64 Jamal Alston RBV 2008
10.64h Patrick Rowe Lincoln 1987
10.64hc (9.5y) Ed Buchanan Kearny 1958
10.64hc James Milton Morse 1972
10.64hc Kipperr Bell Henry 1979
10.65 Scott Hammond Lincoln 1992
10.65 Devon Ward UniversityCity 1998
10.65 Derrell Hutsona Helix 2003
10.66 R.J. Oliver Escondido 1999
10.66 Evan Gray Poway 2012
10.67 Blake Frazier UniversityCity 2001
10.67 Mike Roberts Henry 2000
10.67 Troy Kuretich San Pasqual 1981
10.67 Raymond Ethridge Crawford 1987
10.68 Bassim El-Sabawi Torrey Pines 2010
10.70 Kiyoshi Moody Castle Park 1989
10.70 Teddy Lawrence Morse 1990
10.71 Glen Reyes Orange Glen 1989
10.73 Shamone Fletcher Mira Mesa 2010
10.73 Fiat Johnson Serra 2002
10.73 Larry Miles Crawford 1999
10.74hc (9.6y) Arnold Tripp Crawford 1959
10.74hc Vernus Ragsdale Lincoln 1962
10.74hc Charles Sanford San Diego 1963
10.74hc Lanard Morris Lincoln 1972
10.74hc Bruce Girasole Madison 1972
10.74hc Ron Edmerson Lincoln 1975
10.74hc Michael Patrick Lincoln 1976
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1915-2013: Boys’ State Meet Champions

100 meters 1992 Riley Washington Southwest 10.30
1977 David Russell Henry 9.61y
1974 Elijah Jefferson Crawford 9.8y
1973 Elijah Jefferson Crawford 9.6wy
1929 Jimmy Willson San Diego 9.8y
200 meters 1977 David Russell Henry 20.97y
1941 Glen Willis San Diego 21.7
1929 Jimmy Willson San Diego 21.4y
400 meters 1979 Tony Banks Morse 47.28
1946 Norm Stocks San Diego 49.3y
1929 Irvine (Cotton) Warburton San Diego 49.6y
800 meters 2012 Alex Monsivaiz Army-Navy 1:51.3
2008 Charles Jock Mission Bay 1:51.6
2005 Jesse O’Brien San Pasqual 1:53.7
1988 Mark Senior Mt Miguel 1:51.4
1966 Terry Rodgers Hilltop 1:51.5y
1964 Bob Hose Madison 1:51.1y
1957 Jim Cerveny Mission Bay 1:52.7y
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2013: Boys’ San Diego Section Records

Event Mark Name School Year
100m 10.3 Riley Washington Southwest 1992
200m 20.97 Ike Okenwa Morse 1998
400m 46.85n Lydell Burston Morse 1996
800m 1:50.15n Shyan Vaziri Scripps Ranch 2011
1600m 4:04.04*(n) Terry Cotton El Cajon 1972
3200m 8:41.8* Thom Hunt Patrick Henry 1976
110HH 13.86 Reggie DePass Montgomery 1997
300IH 36.25 Jeff Hunter Granite Hills 2001
4x100m 40.66 Long, Ward, Hayes, Douglas University City 1998
4x400m 3:10.8 Jones, Carter, Pinson, Burston Morse 1996
High Jump 7-2 Frank Schiefer Madison 1979
Pole Vault 16-8 Derek Scott El Camino 2005
Long Jump 25-5¼ Doyle Steel San Diego 1966
Triple Jump 52-0 Von Ware RBV 1994
Shot Put 76-2 Brent Noon Fallbrook 1990
Discus 212-1 Darius Savage Morse 2006

n–nonwinning.

*–Hand time converted from yards.

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2013: Girls’ All-Time Best Performances

100m

11.43 Jasmine Gibbs El Camino 2012
11.51 Gail Devers Sweetwater 1984
11.56 Jackie Thompson Lincoln Prep 1973
11.61 Monique Henderson Morse 2000
11.65 Jolanda Diego El Camino 2004
11.69 Jenna Puterbaugh Santa Fe Christian 2010
11.71 Tenille Stoudenmire Rancho Bernardo 2009
11.84 Akiba McKinney Monte Vista 1995
11.84hc (11.7y) Judy Reed Crawford 1978
11.87 Alicia Lowery Morse 2003
11.89 Kortney Ross Westview 2010
11.9 Tashia McKinney Monte Vista 1990
11.92 Angela Sullivan Serra 1991
11.93 Velisa Harris Morse 1983
11.94hc (11.8y) Vicki Belser Vista 1977
11.94hc Chris Herring Morse 1978
11.94hc Janice Wiser La Jolla 1978
11.96 DeCola Groce Morse 1997
11.97 Ellen Jones Mt Miguel 1981
11.98 Miche Scott El Camino 2012
11.98 Sparkle Anderson Serra 2003
11.99 Zakirrah Beverly USDHS 2001
11.99 Kunesha Miller Morse 1994
12.03 Kim Matthews Morse 1987
12.04 Mandy Ross Christian 2006
12.04h April Freow Morse 1985
12.04h Charlotte Zepherin Morse 1980
12.06 Chris Cooksey Hoover 1981
12.08 Ashley Rhodes Mt Miguel 1986
12.09 Alexis Ferebee Mission Bay 2012
12.09 Yolanda Fitch Morse 1987
12.09 Angela Kimmey University City 1989
12.1 Rashauna Amos E.C. Southwest 2004
12.1 Aja Wheeler University City 2005
12.1 Suzie Acolatse Mission Hills 2012
  Continue reading
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2013: Girls’ San Diego Section Records

100m 11.43 Jasmine Gibbs El Camino 2012
200m 23.16 Monique Henderson Morse 2001
400m 50.74 Monique Henderson Morse 2000
800m 02:08.0 Lesley Noll Mt. Carmel 1985
1600m 4:41.71 (n) Alli Billmeyer Torrey Pines 2011
3200m 10:18.9 Alli Billmeyer Torrey Pines 2011
100H (30’) 13.41 Gail Devers Sweetwater 1984
100H (33’) 14.13 Danielle Littleton Vista 2009
300H 42.26 Gail Devers Sweetwater 1983
4x100m 45.94* Young,  Reed, Gaston, Lovelady Crawford 1977
4x400m 3:49.12h Rankin, Henderson, Groce,  Garner Morse 1996
High Jump Whitney Sisler La CostaCanyon 2007
Pole Vault 13-6 Kortney Ross Westview 2010
Long Jump 20-7 Gail Devers Sweetwater 1984
Triple Jump 41-8¼ Jackie Anderson Mount Miguel 1987
Shot Put 46-10¼ Aiga Marie Taumua Sweetwater 2001
Discus 162-0 Lori Parker Ramona 1986

Legend
(n) Non-winning mark.
(h) hand time converted

(*) Converted to metric time from yard time
NOTE: All section records must meet National Federation guidelines

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2013: Mission Hills Our Choice in Preseason Poll

Chants of “We’re number one!” followed by “Why aren’t we number one?”  will be heard in a few days when UT-San Diego’s first football Top 10 will signal that games are just days away.

With a little help from UT-San Diego’s John Maffei, who emailed  his annual request with some brief team rundowns a few weeks ago, here goes:

(2012 records in parenthesis)

2013

Team

2012

1

Mission Hills (7-4-1)

5

2

Oceanside (12-1)

1

3

Cathedral (0-11)*

9

4

St. Augustine (10-3)

8

5

Helix (10-2)

6

6

Poway (10-3)

2

7

Madison (14-1)

4

8

San Pasqual (7-5)

nr

9

Ramona (8-5)

nr

10

Del Norte (6-6)

nr

*8-3 without forfeits.

WHY THE GRIZZLIES?

Coach Chris Hauser’s San Marcos-based team struggled early last year with a killer schedule but it brings back 10 starters, including veteran presence at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and placekicker.Mission Hills logo

The Grizzlies won the summer’s North County passing tournament, defeating Oceanside, and believe they have at least four Division-I prospects.

EARLY DELIGHTS

Some teams have lined up impressive, outside  opposition, led by Oceanside’s monster nonleague schedule: @St. Augustine (Mesa College), Gardena Serra, Temecula Chaparral, Poway, and @Mission Hills.

Cathedral will be host school to four other San Diego teams as part of the Under Armour “Brothers in Arms” classic involving more than 40 teams nationally, with games in California, Maryland, and Louisiana.

Play begins Aug. 29 and extends through the weekend.

Games at Cathedral:

Eastlake versus Chandler Hamilton of Arizona.

Mission Hills versus Phoenix Desert Vista.

Helix versus Honolulu Punahou.

Vista versus Whittier La Serna.

Cathedral versus Sandy of Jordan, Utah.

Gardena Serra versus Corona Centennial.

Helix  takes on the legendary Buff ‘n Blue of Honolulu Punahou, one of the country’s top teams and one with a legendary history.  Punahou already owns a 24-14 victory over Honolulu Mililani.

The two Arizona schools are among the best in that football-fertile state.  Cathedral will play a team that was No. 1 in Utah with a 12-1 record in 2012 and Vista, hoping to rebound from a 2-8 record that was the Panthers’ worst since 1988, meets the defending Del Rio League champion from the Southern Section.

QUICK KICKS–Del Norte may be ready to make a run in  its fourth season, having  improved from 2-8 in 2010, to 4-7 and 6-6…the Nighthawks return 16 starters, including their quarterback and a 1,200-yard rusher…Del Norte is in its third season under coach Leigh Cole…Helix should be very good but pundits in the foothills say the Highlanders are a year away from doing  big things…Cathedral returns nine starters and newcomers from a 10-0 junior varsity squad…Madison’s defending state Division III champions will be one of the most watched clubs…the Warhawks lost a lot but 11 starters are back and so is quarterback Kareem Coles…Brawley will get contributions from a 10-0 JV team and 11 starting veterans…

 

 

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2005: A Contentious Season

–Playoff divisions were increased.

–At least two programs were rocked by  ineligibilities.

–Game officials came under fire.

–A brawl between Helix and Mount Miguel resulted in a referee’s suspension and a “double forfeit”.

WEAK SHALL INHERIT

The San Diego Section playoffs were increased to five divisions, marking the first time since a fourth division was added in 1979.

Lousy teams with no chance of winning prevailed again.

In 1959, the last year San Diego was in the CIF Southern Section, there were playoff  brackets of 16 teams each in the upper and lower divisions and eight teams in the Small Schools.

Five of the of the 29 schools in San Diego County, including San Diego, Chula Vista, Mar Vista, Kearny, and Ramona, comprised 14.5 per cent of the Southern Section’s 40 postseason spots. There were about 300 schools from Atascadero south.

You had to earn your way into the playoffs.

San Diego and Ramona won championships, which meant a lot, but so did just making the playoffs.

COME ONE, COME ALL

Fifty-seven of 88 San Diego Section teams, almost 65 per cent of schools playing football and not including those in eight-man leagues, were included in the new, five-division alignment.

Eastern bloc countries would approve of this form of socialism.

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1954: Bulldogs’ Bite Felt in Foothills

Ramona High, in business since 1894 but sans football until 1938, was emerging.

Nestled at 2,200 feet between Mount Woodson and Iron Mountain in San Diego’s East County, the Bulldogs had quietly plugged along in relative mediocrity for 15 years, save for the 6-1 season of Charlie Snell’s 1940 squad.

Ramona suddenly posted a 7-0 record under new coach Glenn Forsyth this season, steamrollering through a variety of competition that included teams from the  Southern Prep League and earning a name among Southland small schools.

The Bulldogs were unscored upon until the final game, when they posted a 26-13 victory over a first-year Mission Bay varsity that had played a mostly junior varsity schedule.

Forsyth was a quiet Midwesterner who didn’t raise his voice.

“He was one of the finest men and finest coaches I have known,” said David Farmer, a 1956 graduate who went on to a long and distinguished career in journalism.

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Forsyth was “so modest and soft spoken that you had to strain to hear him, whether on the field, in the classroom, or in a school assembly,” Farmer remembered.

ErnieTrumper was Bulldogs standout.

Ernie Trumper was Bulldogs standout.

The Bulldogs heard their coach.

Among  victories were routs of 51-0, 47-0, and 45-0 over league rivals Brown Military, Army-Navy, and Mountain Empire, respectively.

Statistics were missing from two early-season wins, 13-0 over San Juan Capistrano and 6-0 over Imperial, so the exploits of Ronnie Blakeley and Ernie Trumper are only partially known.

1-2 TOUCHDOWN PUNCH

Blakeley was at least the second highest scorer in the County with 12 touchdowns and 72 points in five games, including 6 touchdowns against Brown Military.

Sophomore  Trumper followed Blakeley with  10 touchdowns and 60 points in five games. Hoover’s John Adams led area runners with 108 points in 10 games.

The Bulldogs qualified for the Southern California small-schools playoffs but did not participate.

They would make even more explosive statements beginning in 1955. The Bulldogs were entering an era that still resonates in the Ramona Valley.

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1954: South Bay Dynasty

Chet DeVore had his mind fixed on another distant journey and a notion called  the “Spin T”.

DeVore eyed title.

DeVore’s goal was second title.

“We expect a tough game from an aggressive, well-coached team,” DeVore said of coach Gus Headington’s 10-1 El Centro Central squad and its uniquely designated offensive formation, “but we took one long ride home with a beaten team this year and we don‘t plan to do it again.”

The blue-and-white-clad Spartans of Chula Vista would meet the blue and white Spartans of “The High,”  the locals’ designation of Imperial Valley’s oldest school.

At stake:  championship of the CIF Southern Section lower division. Chula Vista was trying to repeat after a 12-6 victory over Brawley in the 1953 finals.

DeVore was prescient.

Although they trailed 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, the visitors rolled to a 34-12, fourth-quarter advantage and cruised to a 34-19 victory.

Spin T or no Spin T.

Defensive end Larry Armbrust kept constant pressure on Central quarterback Larry Shaw, interrupting Shaw’s timing in the formation, which called for the quarterback to take the ball under center, then wheel and effect a spinning move before giving the ball to  a predetermined ball carrier.

Shaw faced further grief from Chula Vista defenders Larry Erwin, Wayne Cassity, Carroll Clowers, and Bob Erwin.

The victory was Chula Vista’s 11th in a row since a 13-7 loss at Torrance in the season opener.

Defeats were becoming few and far between at Chula Vista.

The Spartans’ record since the last two games of DeVore’s first season in 1951 was 33-2. They had not lost since the 1952 playoffs.

I DARE YOU

Teams throughout the country had been leaving the single and double wings and installing various T formations in the last few years.  Chula Vista ran the ground-chewing Split T favored by college powerhouse Oklahoma and others.

McLean, scoring against St. Augustine, was threat from anywhere on field.

McLean, scoring against St. Augustine, was threat from anywhere on field.

Grossmont  coach  Phil Morell was so sure Chula Vista would not pass that the Foothillers’ mentor sent his team out with a nine-man defensive line before a crowd of 4,650 at Helix that included a large group of Spartans’ supporters.

Chula Vista’s running game did not suffer.

Jim McLean ran 61 yards for a touchdown on the Spartans’ third play and 91 yards for a score on Chula Vista’s next possession.

McLean’s 180 yards in 7 carries averaged 25.7 per attempt.  Jim Damron added 35- and 59-yard touchdowns runs and Don Schmautz raced 58 yards for a score.

Chula Vista ran off with its third straight Metropolitan League championship with a 31-14 victory.

SPARTANS OWN THIS AWARD

Dave Erwin and...

Dave Erwin…

Larry Armbrust and Larry Erwin were named linemen of the week and fullback Don Schmautz and halfback David Erwin were backs of the week in the Metropolitan League after the Spartans dismissed Sweetwater 41-7 in the final-regular season game.

...and Don Schmautz were vital to Chula Vista's offense.

…and Don Schmautz were vital to Chula Vista’s offense…

No surprise there.

Spartans Vernon Sanna, Carroll Clowers, and Bob Lansky had been previous linemen of the week and Dave Erwin, player-of-the-year Bob Franklin, and Jim McLean had won back-of-the-week awards chosen by The San Diego Union.

“We like to think we have eleven good players, not just one or two great ones,” said DeVore.

CAN’T SHAKE THEM

...to quarterback Bob Franklin, Metropolitan League player of the year.

…as was quarterback Bob Franklin, Metropolitan League player of the year.

Oceanside couldn’t beat Chula Vista when the Pirates had the great C.R. Roberts and were in the Metropolitan League with their rivals 50 miles down U.S. 101.

Roberts was gone this year, but so was Oceanside.  What goes around doesn’t always come around.

The Pirates moved into the new Avocado League this season  but were forced to play Chula Vista in a first-round playoff.

Chula Vista eliminated John Simcox’s team 32-7.

JACK AND THE ARGONAUTS

A semifinal game with Garden Grove proved a pesky challenge, for awhile.

The usual overflow crowd of 5,000 at the Spartans stadium sat through 125 yards in penalties, six fumbles and five pass interceptions by both teams.

The Argonauts’ Jack Hart, who played left halfback in a Split T formation, moved to tailback when the visitors moved to a spread formation.

Hart was a nettlesome presence when he ran and passed the Orange County squad to a 6-0 lead in the second quarter.  The Spartans solved Hart’s code thereafter,  intercepting four of his passes.

Chula Vista was leading 19-6 in the third quarter when the visitors’ Jim Dunivin executed a hidden ball play. Dunivin appeared to fake a handoff to Don Hosmun then roll and seemingly look for a pass receiver.

Hosmun kept the ball and ran 50 yards for a score as Spartans defenders pursued Dunivin.

COMPETITION UPGRADE

With two straight championships the Spartans would look for a bigger challenge in 1955.  They would be moving into the playoffs major division.

 

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1954: Cavemen Come of Age

Duane Maley, his voice hoarse, his body soaked from an impromptu shower by the coach’s shouting, celebrating players, stood amid the bedlam of the San Diego High sideline in Balboa Stadium.

“My kids played the best football game I’ve ever seen,” said Maley after the gritty, 7-0 victory over the 7-0 Hoover Cardinals in the biggest regular-season game in the history of either school.

Jubilaant Cavers hoisted sinning coach Duane Maley.

Jubilant Cavers hoisted winning coach Duane Maley, who described victory as “best…game I’ve ever seen.”

“It was strictly a team job,” Maley told Jerry Brucker of the Evening Tribune.  “All our guys played their best ball.  We beat Hoover up the gut (151 yards rushing), where they’re toughest.”

Only weeks before the headlines in San Diego newspapers seemed to say it all:

“Cavemen, At Long Last, Lose Favorite’s Role”

“Cave Fortunes At Low Ebb”

The latter referenced a stunning, 25-0 defeat in the second game of the season against a middling Pasadena squad the Hillers had annually pushed around when the schools were members of the Coast League.

The Bullpups, who had dropped their opener to Compton, 28-0, scored in every quarter and stunned the visitors from the Border City.

Gumina threw for 11 touchdowns and completed 56 per cent of his passes.

Gumina threw for 11 touchdowns and completed 56 per cent of his passes.

San Diego had won or shared City Prep League titles since the circuit was formed in 1950, but the 7-3 team of 1953 had graduated virtually everyone and that team had made an unexpectedly early departure from the playoffs, spanked by Anaheim, 21-7.

At 1-1 (the opener was a 7-2 victory over visiting Lynwood) Duane Maley’s team appeared ready to be had, especially after Hoover opened with a 34-20 win over Santa Monica, the reigning, two-time Southern California champion,  and followed with a 20-0 victory at San Bernardino.

Non-letterman Art Powell made all-Southern California.

Non-letterman Art Powell made all-Southern California.

The Cavers’ three lettermen were end-linebacker Deron Johnson, who had been promoted from the junior varsity in ’53, halfway through his sophomore season; fullback Joe Banks, and halfback Don Strickland.

HERE COME POWELL, GUMINA, AND WEST

Maley and his assistant coach, Birt Slater, talked about what needed to be done on the long bus ride back to San Diego after the loss at Pasadena.

They hadn‘t yet proved themselves but junior halfback Willie West and junior quarterback Pete Gumina were going to be stars, as would end Art Powell, Charlie’s younger brother.

Halfbacks James Grady and Leonard Kary,  center Henry Wakefield, tackles Tom Collins, A.C. Mills, and  Dick Szakacs, guards Wayne Melvin and Don Hiler, fullback Eldridge Cooks, and others till now unknown, also would have to develop.

Maley and Slater spent the weekend looking at their team’s now uncertain future but with their eyes fixed on a destination game against Hoover, six weeks down the road.

GENERATING MOMENTUM

Essentially routine victories of 39-19 over La Jolla and 32-0 over Lincoln got the Hillers back on track.  They moved to 4-1 with a 28-6 win over Point Loma that took on some added cachet considering the Pointers had scared Hoover before bowing 20-13.

San Diego didn’t put Kearny away until the fourth quarter of a 26-13 exercise but they climbed to 6-1 with a 41-19 victory over old punching bag Grossmont as Gumina passed for three touchdowns and had two others dropped.

CARDINALS SOLID FAVORITES

San Diego had come a long way from 0-25, but oddsmakers probably would have made Hoover at least a seven or eight-point favorite in the rivals’ upcoming title showdown.

The Cavers were ready when Grady signaled their intentions by returning the opening kickoff to his 37-yard line, stopped  by John Adams, who made an ankle-top tackle.

James Grady is stopped on opening kickoff by Cardinals' John Adams.

James Grady is halted on opening kickoff by Cardinals’ John Adams.

From there it was a back-and-forth struggle that wasn’t decided until the Cavers’ Joe Banks nudged over for the game’s only touchdown with a little more than six minutes to play.

THEN LAS VEGAS AND LONG BEACH WILSON

The  victory was challenged by a chorus of Hoover complaints about the game officials, but they were drowned out by the euphoria of  San Diego’s victory in this rare role as an underdog.

The Cavers weren’t finished.  They went to 8-1 the next week at home with a 26-13 triumph over the 7-2 Las Vegas Wildcats, Nevada’s top team, and then opened the playoffs at home with a 26-13 victory over Long Beach Wilson.

Wilson, beaten three times with a 5-3 record, led the Cavers 13-7 with seven minutes remaining in the game.  Touchdowns by West, Cooks, and Kary finally vaulted the Cavers past the pesky Bruins.

Leonard Kary breaks free from Wilkson defender Ray San Jose to score San Diego's final touchdown in 26-13 win.

Leonard Kary breaks free from Wilson’s Ray San Jose to score San Diego’s final touchdown in 26-13 win.

Next up would be a quarterfinal test at Santa Monica, which had rebounded from the loss to Hoover and was 7-2, seeking its third straight champiomship.

Trouble loomed.

Deron Johnson sustained a broken hand and Leonard Kary suffered a fractured ankle against Wilson and were done for the season. Art Powell came down with a broken toe on the last play of the game but would play.

Santa Monica held on to win 14-13 as Vikings supporters flooded the field  at the end of the game, more relieved than anything else.

Quarterback Lee Grosscup converted 10 of 15 passing attempts for 148 yards and a touchdown and kept the Cavers on their heels.  The Vikings won the yardage battle 344-273, but the visitors rushed for 238 yards and were in position to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 14-13 (a fumbled snap nullified one point after touchdown attempt on a field wet from recent rain), the Cavers began from their 20-yard line, where Gumina pitched to Banks, who lateraled to Willie West.

West weaved 60 yards downfield to the Vikings’ 20, then lateraled to the trailing Gumina, who finally was downed on the 12.

Three plays later the Cavers were back on the 14.

Gumina passed to Alden Kimbrough, Deron Johnson’s replacement.  Kimbrough juggled the ball in the end zone, then saw the ball squirt from his hands.

Santa Monica rode out the clock.

Despite the loss, Maley noted that  no team of his “had started with so little and come so far.”

The Cavemen already were thinking ahead to 1955.

SIGNS OF THE TIME

Halloween rascals were not out in force, according to County sheriffs, but don’t tell that to Escondido principal Guilford (Bud) Quade.

Inventive vandals hurled light bulbs filled with paint, damaging Quade’s automobile, and “grease bombs” were tossed at his home.

This Bud definitely wasn’t for the Cougars’ boss.

HORNETS’ GYM APPROVED

The San Diego Board of Education accepted the low bid on construction of an auditorium-gymnasium at the new Lincoln High after having delayed action when the bid turned out to be $12,409 in excess of the estimate.

Chamco Construction won the bid at $378,669, which reconciled at  $13.46 a square foot.  The same contractor won  a bid for a similar gymnasium-auditorium at Mission Bay for $10.10 per square foot.

Assistant superintendent George Geyer suggested accepting the Lincoln offer because it would take a year to redesign the building and call for new bids.

PIGSKIN OR RUBBER…NO MATTER

Oceanside won the inaugural Avocado League championship by virtue of a 0-0 tie with old rival Escondido on a field left sloppy from rains.

The teams had prepared for an off track by introducing an easier-to-grasp rubber football, similar to that used by teams from the Eastern part of the country when  bad weather hits in the late fall.

Escondido assistant Bob (Chick) Embrey, Bill Stewart, Larry Cope, and head coach Walt West (from left) inspect rubber ball.

Escondido assistant Bob (Chick) Embrey, Bill Steward Larry Cope, and head coach Walt West (from left) inspect rubber ball.

 

But as Union writer Dave Gallup pointed out, fumbles and intercepted balls were caused by a slick ball.

Escondido had 93 yards total offense, Oceanside 31.

SORRY, WRONG NUMBER!

Lincoln halfback Sam Goldstein was The San Diego Union City Prep League back of the week after he led the Hornets to their first ever victory with two touchdowns in a 19-0 victory at Escondido.

Small problem. Actually, two or three.

As noted in a much smaller story the next day:

Goldstein didn’t scored on a 35-yard pass-run play with quarterback “Don” Seeley or on a 75-yard pass play later in the game.

Doyle Seeley was the quarterback in question, but it was Percy Campbell who threw the two touchdown passes.

And it was halfback Charlie Cox who scored the touchdowns.

The Union declared the mistaken identity on Goldstein-Cox was due to a switch in jersey numbers.

But what about Don, er, Doyle Seeley and Percy Campbell?  They didn’t change jersey numbers.

22-POINT LOSS AN IMPROVEMENT

Grossmont’s 41-19 loss to San Diego wasn’t a moral victory, or was it?

–Grossmont was winless in 11 games against Cavers’ varsity dating to 1922, the season which ushered in the series with a 40-7 San Diego victory.

–The teams didn’t meet again until 1943.  From that season through 1949, Grossmont was outscored 128-7 in five losses.

–Grossmont was on the punished end of a 67-0 score in 1953.

–Eight of San Diego’s 11 wins were by shutout.

–The 19 points scored against the Cavemen this season almost equaled the 21 Grossmont had scored in the previous 33 seasons.

Grossmont  also had a 1-4-1 all-time record against San Diego’s Reserves, B teams, or the split squad of the World War 1942 season.

FUTURE CHARGERS

First-year Compton Centennial was a surprising winner in the Southern California playoffs, defeating Glendale Hoover 12-6.  Single-wing tailback Paul Lowe completed a  50-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game for the victory.  Lowe and defensive back Charlie McNeil were stars on early San Diego Chargers teams.

Santa Monica and Compton, teams which eliminated San Diego and Hoover, were themselves beaten in the semifinals.  The Cavers and Cardinals still ranked among the best of the 227 schools competing in the CIF Southern Section.

QUICK KICKS—Don Giddings was the veteran Point Loma coach…Don Giddings also was the name of the horse that ran out of the money at Jamaica Racetrack on Long Island, N.Y….Ray Blasingame, Point Loma’s 1953, all-league end, was an all-league fullback in 1954…21,000 persons were in Balboa Stadium as the East (La Jolla, Hoover, Kearny) topped the West (Lincoln, Point Loma, San Diego),  18-13, in the CPL carnival…6,000  jammed Spartan Stadium in Chula Vista for the Metropolitan League carnival, matching the Grossmont school district league schools against the Sweetwater district…the Avocado League got into the carnival spirit two weeks into the season, when 4,000 filled Escondido’s new stadium to watch the inland schools, Escondido, Fallbrook, and Vista, defeat the Coastals, San Dieguito, Oceanside, and Coronado, 21-13…San Diego’s Art Powell wore jersey number 49, same as worn by brother Charlie five seasons before…Mar Vista, enrollment 410, bailed from the Metropolitan League and would go into the Avocado loop in 1955…the Split T formation favored by college powerhouse Oklahoma was en vogue…La Jolla finally gave up the single wing for the Split T under second-year coach Frank Smith….University of California coach Lynn (Pappy) Waldorf was guest of honor and speaker when the North Park Kiwanis honored the Hoover and  San Diego squads with a postseason dinner at the Imig Manor Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard….

California coach Pappy Waldorf broke bread with Hoover's John Adams (left) and San Diego's Deron Johnson.

California coach Pappy Waldorf broke bread with Hoover’s John Adams (left) and San Diego’s Deron Johnson.

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1954: Coronado’s Fallen Officer

Frank Greene had spent much of his life around a football field or in law enforcement when he was shot and killed at age 43 on Oct. 12, 1954.

Greene set the standing California high school record of 80 points in one game when he scored 11 touchdowns and 14 points after in a 108-0 Coronado victory over Sweetwater in 1929.

Coronado police Lt. Frank Greene.

Coronado police Lt. Frank Greene.

Greene, whose  death came 25 years and two days after his  feat, was a lieutenant on the Coronado police force, working the graveyard shift with Richard Lutsey, a Navy shore patrolman.

Newspaper reports said Greene had received a tip that a robbery was planned to take place at the Mexican Village Restaurant on Orange Avenue.

It was 1:25 a.m. when Greene and his partner noticed with suspicion a 1947  Ford sedan and signaled for the vehicle to pull over as it drove slowly down Coronado’s main thoroughfare.

…”THEN THE SHOT”

Three men were in the vehicle.  Greene approached the driver’s side and asked, ‘Where are you going?’” and motioned the occupants to step from the car.

“The fellow sitting next to the driver got out right away,” said Greene’s partner, shore patrolman  Lutsey.  “The passenger was facing me when the lieutenant made some remark, like he was insisting on identification papers from the driver.”

A moment or two passed.  “Then it happened,” said Lutsey.  “”I heard a slight scuffle and then the shot.”

Greene fell backward.  He probably was dead when he hit the pavement, from a bullet that entered below Greene’s right cheek and lodged in his neck.

The shooter, Roberto Rodriquez, 27, and Rafael Gruber, 22, a passenger in the backseat, fled.  Benjamin Brozowski, 39, who sat next to Rodriguez, was held at the scene by Lutsey.

KITCHEN EMPLOYEES

All three worked in the Hotel del Coronado kitchen as dishwashers, although Brozowski also was described as a “salad man.”

A manhunt involving peace officers from Coronado, San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, the Naval Air Station, and National Guard resulted in arrests of all three within 31 hours.

Officers went house to house, helicopters were deployed along beaches and the Coronado ferry slips were guarded. The community of 12,500 residents was sealed off.

Captured suspect Rodriguez is taken to Coronado police station.

Captured suspect Rodriguez is taken to Coronado police station.

Rodriguez was found huddled in the attic of the Hotel del Coronado annex.

Gruber had escaped to Tijuana by traveling on foot 10 miles down the beach on the ocean side of the Silver Strand, Coronado’s only outbound (and blocked)  road.

Gruber turned himself in at San  Ysidro after reading in a Tijuana newspaper that he was accused of being the shooter.

Rodriguez was tried and sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder and given consecutive sentences for conspiracy to commit robbery and for possession of a gun by a felon.  Rodriguez had been in and out of prison since his teenage years.

Brozowski was given a life sentence for murder and five years to life for conspiracy to commit robbery. Gruber received five to life for robbery conspiracy.

MOCKS JUDGE’S ADMONITION

Rodriguez smiled and waved when the sentence was pronounced by Superior Court Judge John Hewicker, who criticized the jury’s decision, believing Rodriguez should have gotten the gas chamber.  A juror said the jury vote was 11-1 for death.

Gruber, who had testified against the other two defendants, attempted to hang himself while in the San Diego City Jail.  He said he feared prison and “friends” who would seek revenge on Rodriguez’ behalf.

Greene was dangerous runner for Coronado's once-beaten Islanders in 1929.

Greene was dangerous runner for Coronado’s once-beaten Islanders in 1929.

Greene is the only Coronado policeman killed in the line of duty.  He was active in the community as a founder of Coronado’s Little Theater and as a coach of the semipro Coronado Colts football team.

Greene had been screen tested by the RKO Radio Pictures studio.

PLAYED AND COACHED

Greene handed off to teammate in 1934 Chicago Cardinals publicity photo.

Greene handed off to teammate in 1934 Chicago Cardinals publicity photo.

Greene received all-America honorable mention as a kicker and single wing blocking quarterback under the legendary “Gloomy” Gus Henderson at Tulsa University.

Greene played  for the Chicago Cardinals of the NFL in 1934-35 and was a player-coach with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the American Football League in 1936.

Greene scored 164 points for the 8-1 Coronado Islanders, whose only 1929 loss was to Southern California champion Long Beach Poly, 20-7.  He held the school season scoring record for 74 years, until J.R. Roggin bettered the mark in 2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1954: “A Play That Will Live in Infamy”

Hoover principal Floyd Johnson was thinking of making a change when he met with football coach Bob Kirchhoff before the 1954-55 school year.

Johnson desperately wanted to beat Cavers.

Johnson desperately wanted to beat Cavers.

Johnson was dissatisfied.  A 1953 season that began with much promise was sullied by a 4-4-1 record that included a 39-0 loss to rival San Diego High.

Johnson would retire after the 1955-56 school year. He had been at Hoover since it opened in 1930 and had guided the East San Diego school as it  became one of the most respected academically and athletically in Southern California.

The Cardinals had their share of victories against San Diego High in all sports but football.

After an 0-8 beginning in 1948, Kirchhoff had built a strong program, including a 28-13 win over the Cavers in 1949.  Five successive losses followed.

“Floyd Johnson hated San Diego with a passion,” said a rival coach who remembered Johnson as a powerful community figure who would sit on the players’ bench during basketball games and walk the sidelines at football games.

After 0-8 in 1948, Cardinals were 33-19-1 under Kirchhoff.

After 0-8 in 1948, Cardinals were 33-19-1 under Kirchhoff.

Johnson posed a direct question to Kirchhoff:  “Are we going to beat San Diego this year?”

Kirchhoff, aware of his tenuous position, was confident:  “Yes, we’ll beat ‘em.  We have the team to do it this year.”

Hoover was returning more than 30 players and a letterman at every position.

Johnson would give Kirchhoff one more chance.  “If we don’t win it, I’m going to make a change,” the principal promised.

Rumors had circulated that Kirchhoff’s line coach, Herbert (Hub) Foote, a 1941 Hoover graduate, would be the next coach.  Foote thought he had a promise from Johnson.

But events that began a couple years before would work against Foote…and Kirchhoff.

Stan Williamson, the coach at San Diego’s Naval Air team, had completed a military deployment and was returning to his pre-Korean War job as head football coach at Santa Barbara State.

The Gauchos’ football and baseball  coach since 1950 was Roy Engle, who would be out of a job.

Engle was Hoover hero.

Engle was Hoover hero.

Engle was a Johnson favorite.

Engle scored the Cardinals’ first touchdown against San Diego and was the pivotal figure of their first victory over the city rivals when Engle led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive and 7-6 victory over the Hilltoppers in 1935.

After graduating from USC, Engle returned to Hoover.  He was the 24-year-old head coach of the 1942 baseball team that was led by future major leaguer Ray Boone and won the Southern California championship.

Engle now returned to Hoover a second time in 1953, appointed by Johnson to teach science and biology.  Kirchhoff’s coaching assistants were Bill Mathie, Don Henson, and Hub Foote.

It was with this backdrop that the Cardinals and Kirchhoff  embarked on the 1954 campaign.

CARDINALS OFF FAST

–Hoover passed its first test, a big one.  The Cardinals fell behind 13-0 at Santa Monica, then rolled to a 34-20 victory over passing ace Lee Grosscup and dealing the two-time defending SCIF champion Vikings their first loss since 1952.

–Point Loma, middle of the road but tough, also took a 13-0 lead, but  John Adams, the 6-foot, 2-inch, 215-pound fullback who was the prized recruit in Southern California prep circles, and quarterback Gene Leek brought the Cardinals back to a 20-13 victory.

John Adam s evades excuse-me tackle attempt by La Jolla's Bill Tunney.  Adams completed 45-yard run for touchdown.

John Adams ignored excuse-me tackle attempt by La Jolla’s Bill Tunney and stormed 45 yards for touchdown.

–Adams, a member of Hoover’s City League-champion 880-yard relay team could cover 100 yards in 10 seconds.

Adams bruised  La Jolla for three touchdowns and 160 yards rushing and ran his Southern California-leading scoring total to 101 points in a 27-0 victory.

(Adams’s La Jolla thrusts were preceded by  equally explosive efforts in routs of Kearny, 45-0, St. Augustine, 66-0, and Pasadena Muir, 39-14).

Kirchhoff designed a play Adams and Gene Leek (center) would take into the big game.

Kirchhoff designed a play Adams and Gene Leek (center) would take into the big game.

–Hoover now was 7-0 and its destiny, and Kirchhoff’s future as a football coach, would be decided against the 6-1 San Diego Cavemen.

–A crowd of more than 15,000, largest in the series since 1949, turned out on a damp evening and braced for the most compelling battle in the history of the heated  rivalry.

(Although contested in Balboa Stadium, on the San Diego campus, the game was the feature of Hoover’s Homecoming Day).

–The Cardinals and Cavers sparred through the first half, Hoover stopping San Diego on its seven-yard line in the second quarter, while Hoover did not strike beyond San Diego’s 37 until the third quarter, when the game changed.

–On third down from the Cardinals’ 29 halfback Dan Bonetti raced to the 35, then lateraled to big Adams, who sped down the sideline, headed for a touchdown.

–San Diego’s Leonard Kary made what Jim Trinkle of The San Diego Union described as a “desperate, diving tackle” on the 2-yard line after Adams’ 63-yard run.

–San Diego linebacker Tom Collins stopped Adams at the one-foot line on the next play .

HOLDING AND NO PASS INTERFERENCE

–Trinkle wrote:  “The next two maneuvers—in the mind of Hoover coach Bob Kirchhoff—will live in infamy in Hockerville.”

–Denny Hill crossed the goal line at right tackle but Hoover was penalized for holding, pushing Hoover back to the 15.

Kirchhoff contended the penalty was called after Hill scored and should have been assessed on the subsequent kickoff, which meant that Kirchhoff was misreading the rule book or the newspaper report was inaccurate.

You can’t have a holding penalty on  a scoring play, count the touchdown, and then assess the penalty.

–The next play was a pass into the end zone from Leek to John Vanderlinde.  “If there was interference it wasn’t detected by the officials,” wrote Trinkle.

Did San Diego's Art Powell (49) foul Hoover's John Vanderlinde on pass play in end zone.

Did San Diego’s Art Powell (49) foul Hoover’s John Vanderlinde on pass play in end zone?

–A photograph of the play was in the column next to Trinkle’s report on the front page of the Union‘s sports section.  The right arm of San Diego’s Art Powell is clearly inside the left arm of Vanderlinde’s.

–The official on the play was Jack Garner, a friend of Kirchhoff’s who worked with Kirchhoff and former Hoover player George Stephenson as part of the chain crew at Chargers games for more than 20 years.

–“He told me, ‘How could I make the call in that situation against San Diego  High?’” Kirchhoff said years later.

–Joe Banks pushed over from the one-yard line with 6:16 to play for the game’s only score, set up by Pete Gumina’s 25-yard completion to Powell.

–Hoover moved to the Cavers’ 12 late in the game, but tackle Don Hiler sacked Leek for a 16-yard loss and and the Cardinals were done.

Hiler made big defensive play for Cavers.

Hiler made big defensive play for Cavers.

–The favored Redbirds were beaten on the scoreboard and in the statistics.  San Diego led, 9-5, in first downs and in total yardage, 238-127. Adams had 103 yards in 16 carries.

Willie West led San Diego with 118 yards in 13 carries.  Leek was 0 for 7 passing and Gumina completed 5 of 9 for 87 yards.

–Hoover beat neophyte Lincoln 14-7 in its final regular-season game the next week.

The Cardinals’ sonambulent performance was partly influenced by Kirchhoff’s  playing the game under wraps, with scouts from potential CIF Southern Section playoff opponents on hand.

–Leading 12-0 at halftime, Hoover dropped a 20-18 decision to Compton in a first-round playoff  shrouded in fog at Hoover the next week.

–The fog was a sadly prophetic omen for Kirchhoff, who had coached his last game and would be replaced by Engle.

(Adams ended the season with 17 touchdowns and 108 points but  scored only one touchdown in the season’s final 3 games).

Bob Kirchhoff coached again, accepting the position of track coach when Clairemont High opened its doors in 1959. Clairemont stunned heavily  favored Point Loma and the Chieftains won the Western League dual meet championship.

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2013: Kenny Hale, 90, Played and Coached Basketball

Kenny Hale, one of the last surviving members of San Diego State’s 1940-41 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics basketball championship team, passed away at age 90.

A 1938 San Diego High graduate, Hale eventually went into coaching and had winning records at Hoover and Mission Bay.

Frank Schiefer starred on Hale's Mission Bay teams.

Frank Schiefer starred on Hale’s Mission Bay teams.

Led by superstar Bill McColl, Hoover was 20-8 in Hale’s first season as coach and second in the Coast League in 1947-48.

Hale’s last team at Hoover was 23-3 in 1951-52 and won the City Prep League with an 11-1 record.

Hoover’s overall record under Hale was 76-45, with other years of 9-11, 10-16, and 14-7.

Kenny took over the new Mission Bay program in 1954-55 and built a winner before retiring from coaching after the 1957-58 campaign and going into administration.  Hale later  was principal at Horace Mann Junior High.

Hale’s record with the Buccaneers was 53-45.  They were 8-16 and 10-16 in the first two seasons and then got rolling with successive seasons of 17-7 and 18-6.

The Buccaneers won the prestigious, 32-team San Diego Kiwanis Tournament in 1956-57 and 1957-58.  They tied for second in the City Prep League in each of the last two seasons.

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1936: A Changing and Uncertain Landscape

–Point Loma was beginning the most successful run in school history.

–Bank and creditors foreclosed on the Garnet Avenue property in Pacific Beach on which San Diego Army and Navy Academy had been a fixture since 1910.

–School districts sprung up in Encinitas and Vista, creating a revamped Southern Prep League and an enrollment shortfall at Oceanside.

–Hoover became a member of the big league.

–President  Franklin Roosevelt swamped Kansas governor Alf  Landon, who received only 3 electoral votes,  and won re-election as the nation, and the world,  staggered through  a seventh year of the Great Depression.

POINTERS CHANGE DIRECTION

Point Loma, which began competing in maroon and gold in 1926, was an undistinguished 32-31-7 overall in its first 10 seasons.

1936 Pointers charged the camera and to undefeated season.

Coach Joe Beerkle’s Pointers charged the camera and to undefeated season.

One of the seasons included the 6-4 record of first-year coach Joe Beerkle in 1935.  Beerkle was just beginning.

An  undefeated, 6-0-1 1936 campaign was to be followed by an 8-0 in ’37, which resulted in Beerkle’s being elevated to the head job at San Diego High in 1938.

Charlie Wilson replaced Beerkle and kept the team pointed in the winning direction through most of 1940.  The Pointers’ record for almost five seasons was 32-1-4, as many wins as in their first 10.

Point Loma’s streaky history is full of other distinctive eras: 25-4-3 from 1949-52 under Don Giddings, 23-4-4 from 1965-67 with Bennie Edens at the helm, and 62-20-2 under Edens, 1981-87.

ARMY-NAVY IN ARREARS

Col. Thomas Davis, who founded the San Diego Army and Navy Academy boarding school 26 years before, was caught in the economic shutdown and forced to vacate the Pacific Beach property.

The determined Davis regrouped in Carlsbad later in the year and formed the Davis Military Academy at the abandoned Red Apple Inn.  Thirty-seven cadets enrolled.

The Army-Navy property in Pacific Beach was sold to John Brown University and would be renamed Brown Military Academy in 1937.

Davis Military Academy also would change names, going back to The San Diego Army and Navy Academy in 1938.

In 1944 the “San Diego” was dropped from the name of the Carlsbad school.  There has been no change since.

FAR-FLUNG CIRCUIT

Army-Navy, despite the foreclosure and change in leadership, played a limited football schedule as it moved from the Metropolitan League to the returning Southern loop.

The Southern, known as the County League in the 1920s, had been on hiatus since 1933, when the Metropolitan League was born and took all of the Southern schools.

Restructuring this season resulted in an eight-team alignment of very small programs, beginning near the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad and stretching East to Campo, almost 80 miles away in the Laguna Mountains.

3 TO PLAY TOUCH FOOTBALL

Students from Vista and San Dieguito broke off from Oceanside to create two new high schools.

Others Southern Prep League members included Fallbrook, Julian, Mountain Empire, Ramona, Davis Military, and Army-Navy.

A five-game league schedule was released, with only the games of Fallbrook, San Dieguito, and Vista counting in the standings.

Fallbrook High, in existence since 1893, was playing football for the first time.

Ramona, Julian, and Mountain Empire also had been around a long time, but were going to play only a version of two-hand touch football.

The schedule was reaffirmed in late September, but there is no newspaper record of Davis Military’s playing a game.

OCEANSIDE  ‘PIRATED’

Vard Hunt, who replaced Blanchard Beatty as Oceanside coach after Beatty’s squad posted a school-record, 8-2 season, didn’t like the question regarding the Pirates’ chances in 1936.

“With the loss of fifteen lettermen, the enrollment dropping from 540 to 343, you ask me that question?” replied Hunt. “I’ll be able to put a team on the field that will in no way compare to last year’s.”

Hunt’s squad was a strong 5-2, but no match for the league’s elite, 7-1-3 Escondido or 6-0-1 Point Loma.

The game of the season between Escondido and Point Loma ended in a 0-0 tie.

The peninsula team backed into the championship the following week when, their season complete, the Pointers watched as Escondido was tied by Grossmont, 0-0.

COUGARS TIE & LOSE

Point Loma, as would become its custom, declined an opportunity to participate in the Southern California playoffs.  After yet another tie, 13-13 with El Centro Central, Escondido’s season ended in the first round of the playoffs.

The host Spartans scored a touchdown with 40 seconds remaining in the game, then kicked a point after to tie the score 13-13.  The Spartans moved on to the Lower Division semifinals by virtue of a 12-5 advantage in first downs over the Cougars.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION ?

A trip from hell was worth it to the sleepy Hoover Cardinals, who boarded a bus at about 5 a.m. for a 135-mile ride to Beverly Hills.  Falling behind 13-0 in the first five minutes, the somnambulant Cardinals rallied to win 14-13.

The victory ended a contentious week.

As part of their alignment in the Bay League, the Cardinals and Normans played “home-and-home” games each season.  Hoover won 18-0 at home in 1935.

It was accepted that if either were to change leagues they’d still meet in the second year of the home-and-home, which meant a 1936 game at Beverly Hills.

The Los Angeles team wanted to back out after Hoover moved from the Bay League to the Coast League this year.

The Normans were coached by ex-San Diego State mentor Walt Herreid.

Herreid early in the week of the scheduled game placed a telephone call to Hoover coach John Perry and told Perry the Normans’ field was “torn up” (from recent rains) and suggested a cancellation.

A DEAL’S A DEAL

Herreid also told Perry he wasn’t satisfied with the split of the gate receipts, which Herreid felt favored the visitors.

Perry and Hoover principal Floyd Johnson wanted no part of Beverly Hills’ stalling and insisted on getting the game in.

The Cardinals already had a rainout with Redlands at Hoover.

Herreid finally cut to the chase and told the Hoover representatives that his team didn’t want to play on the scheduled Saturday because they’d “miss seeing college games in the afternoon.”

Beverly Hills finally backed down, after the Cardinals said they would play the game at a time of Beverly Hills’ choosing, which was 10:30 a.m.

Topping off the victory, the Hoover squad motored to the Los Angeles Coliseum and took in the USC-Oregon game later in the day.

CARDINALS COASTING

Coach John Perry was returning to the Coast League and Hoover was stepping up, in its seventh season of football.

After posting a 7-1-1 record and winning the Bay League in 1935, the Cardinals advanced to the most prestigious circuit in Southern California and were in the same league for the first time with San Diego High.

The Cardinals were 5-0-1 against Beverly Hills, Inglewood, Long Beach Wilson, Santa Monica, and Redondo Beach Redondo the previous year.

Although facing a much tougher schedule, “We won’t end up in last place,” declared Perry.

Well, John got that right, but he wasn’t celebrating.

Hoover was  1-4 versus  Long Beach Poly, San Diego, Long Beach Wilson (also moving from the Bay League) Alhambra, and Santa Ana, which the Cardinals defeated 7-2.

Perry and San Diego High coaching rival Glenn Broderick greeted more than 160 athletes as the two schools opened practice under a hot Labor Day sun, a week before classes began.

Tackle Trimble wanted to be in backfield.

Tackle Trimble wanted to be in backfield.

Both coaches mulled the idea of switching two of their most important players.

Don Trimble, a 225-pound tackle and the Cardinals’ only returning letterman  starter, wanted to handle the ball and play in the backfield.

Sohn also  wanted to play, in Cavers' backfield.

So did Cavers’ Sohn.

So did Ben Sohn, San Diego’s 230-pound all-Coast League tackle.

Each player lined up differently during the first few days of practice but then returned to their respective dominant positions.  Sohn made all-Southern California.

KEEPING TIME

Windy, cool weather and occasional wet skies kept the San Diego-Hoover attendance to 12,000, but fans were treated to the presence of a giant electronic game time clock, purchased with funds collected by San Diego students.

Sal Mena (striped helmet between two Hoover defenders) scored 2 touchdowns in San Diego victory.

Sal Mena (striped helmet between two Hoover defenders) led the way in San Diego victory.

A  newly organized Hilltoppers girls drill team and Hoover’s girls tumbling squad performed along with bands from the two schools and the sponsoring Elks Club.

Elks Club official (left) chats up head coaches Glenn Broderick and John Perry and assistant coaches Dewey (Mike) Morrow of San Diego and Lawrence Carr and Wos Caldwell of Hoover (reading second from left to right).

Elks Club official (left) chats up head coaches Glenn Broderick and John Perry and assistant coaches Dewey (Mike) Morrow of San Diego and Lawrence Carr and Wos Caldwell of Hoover  (second from left to right).

The Cavers got got the most response from the scoreboard, winning, 19-7, as Sal Mena, a transfer from El Paso High in Texas, scored two touchdowns.

Hoover principal Floyd Johnson (left) and San Diego boss John Aseltine flank Elks Club honcho at luncheon buildup to city "Civil War" football battle.

Hoover principal Floyd Johnson (left) and San Diego boss John Aseltine flank Elks Club honcho at luncheon buildup to city “Civil War” football battle.

AZTEC NEWCOMERS FILL BREECH

Muir Tech of Pasadena cited a conflict in dates and bailed out of the opener with San Diego.  Glenn Broderick quickly called San Diego State freshman coach Charlie Smith and scheduled a game the same week.

The big, favored Frosh numbered several members from both the 1935 San Diego and Hoover squads, which played a memorable game in which Hoover scored a 7-6 victory.

Broderick’s polished team defeated the Frosh, which had practiced only a week and that against the Aztecs’ varsity, 7-0.

POLY VICTORY NOT ENOUGH

San Diego’s 7-2 victory over Long Beach Poly was its first over the Jackrabbits since 1933 and it represented Poly’s first home game loss since 1928.

San Diego’s chances for a Coast League championship were erased when the Cavemen dropped a 14-7 to Alhambra and were tied by Long Beach Wilson, 6-6.  Poly rallied to win the league title and defended its Southern Section championship.

CORONADO BOSS STEPS DOWN

Schaefer had .680 win percentage.

Schaefer had .680 win percentage.

A.E. (Amos) Schaefer retired to administration at Coronado after the season.

Schaefer became the Islanders’ principal and eventually the school district superintendent.

The Islanders were only 2-5 in 1936 but Schaefer’s 11-season stand included nine  consecutive first or second-place finishes in the Southern Prep and Metropolitan leagues from 1926-34.

Known for driving defensive coaches to the brink with an offense featuring double and triple reverses, Schaefer’s teams fashioned a 54-24-5 (.680) record.

 

CULTURAL EXCHANGE?

San Diego arrived in Arizona a day early to play Phoenix Union for the seventh consecutive season against its intersectional rival.

The Hilltoppers visited the  campus, were welcomed into classrooms by teachers and students,  invited to take part in a class discussion and to give short talks about their high school.

Joe Savage’s 94-yard run put San Diego in front and the Cavemen  went on to defeat Phoenix Union, 27-0, before 8,000 persons.  The 135-pound Savage, said Mitch Angus of The  San Diego Union, “is bringing back memories of former Hiller greats Cotton Warburton, Russ Saunders, and Ambrose Schindler.”

Glenn Broderick drove from San Diego a couple weeks earlier to sign a contract for the game and to scout the Coyotes when they played Santa Barbara.

No word on whether Broderick took a side trip to Tucson, 80 miles away, to visit relatives. Broderick attended Tucson High.

MENA MEANDERS

The game at Phoenix was not a new adventure for San Diego halfback Sal Mena.  He was a member of  Texas’ El Paso High Tigers, who  played Phoenix in 1935.

Mena proved to be an outstanding transfer for the Cavemen.  Mena made the second all-Southern California team and went on to USC, three seasons later being one of five San Diegans to play for the Trojans in the 1939 Rose Bowl versus Duke.

Mena’s Trojans teammates included Joe Shell and Roy Engle (Hoover) and Ben Sohn, and Ambrose Schindler (San Diego).

IRON BULLDOGS

Ed Covington must have had a mixup in schedules, although that didn’t deter the veteran Calexico coach.  Or maybe this was the way Covington was preparing his team to defend its Imperial Valley League championship.

The Bulldogs made the long trip from the Imperial Valley and defeated Sweetwater 13-2 on Friday afternoon, hung around Friday night, and returned Saturday afternoon to shut out Army-Navy, 13-0.

BITE-SIZED

Oceanside’s Billy Meredith lost a tooth in a midweek practice collision, then retrieved the errant incisor, and walked over to the student manager.  “Here,” said Meredith, “keep this for me.”

13-0 or 19-0?

Dick Longtin scored three touchdowns and a point after in Hoover’s 13-0, season-opening win over Burbank…

…you’re right, the math doesn’t work.

Actually, Longtin’s touchdown at the end of the first half lasted only through the intermission. Game officials notified those in attendance at Hoover at the beginning of the third quarter that the half ended before the touchdown.

Where’s the timekeeper?

SIGNS OF THE TIME

–A well-traveled stretch of “Roller Coaster Road”, as El Cajon “Avenue” was known to most San Diegans, was scheduled to be paved from Texas Street to Euclid Avenue. The Daley Corporation submitted a winning bid of $283.000.

–The local “Hard of Hearing Club” held an open house at 3843 Herbert Street, Hillcrest. Many in the group did not hear about the event.

A typewriter and clarinet apparently were not enough for thieves, who returned two weeks later to the Lakeside home of R. G. Denlinger.  The thieves moved out most of the home’s furnishings, while the  family was attending a movie, according to deputy sheriffs.

QUICK KICKS

There now were 113 schools and 18 leagues in the CIF’s Southern California section…Bob Breitbard was a 180-pound offensive lineman at Hoover, destined to become a Cardinals coach and the head coach at San Diego State before embarking on a career in sports, beginning with the creation of the Breitbard Hall of Fame in 1946 and the San Diego Hall of Champions in 1961…end Al Perroddi was late to fall practice at San Diego, staying out of school to deliver ice…players weren’t the only late arrivals…assistant coach Lawrence Carr was returning from a European vacation after coaching La Jolla to a 9-0 record in 1935 and then moving to Hoover…Grossmont coach Jack Mashin and Coronado mentor Hal Niedermeyer attended the Summer Olympics in Berlin…”American sportsmanship throughout the games was of the highest type,” said Mashin…unknown pranksters lit several firecrackers that startled the Hoover crowd during the first quarter of the Redbirds’ opener with Burbank…Hoover’s game with Redlands was postponed because of rain, and then canceled when the Cardinals’ field still resembled a swimming pool after heavy rains…Grossmont players were guests of the La Mesa Masons, who showed a film of the 1936 Stanford-Southern Methodist Rose Bowl game…Warren and Duncan Wexler, sons of Escondido coach Harry Wexler, started for dad at halfback and quarterback, respectively…Long Beach Wilson’s Norman Standlee, a future NFL star and member of Stanford’s 1941 Rose Bowl champion, scored three of the Bruins’ four touchdowns against Hoover and punted out of bounds on Hoover’s half-yard line…the punt was 76 yards from scrimmage and 85 from launching point…Dave Gonzalez’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Menlo Martinez on the final play of the game gave Sweetwater a 12-6 victory over St. Augustine… the Red Devils’ victory was due largely to the play of Dunbar, 240-pound tackle who “steamrollered his side of the line in determined fashion,” according to the San Diego Sun report…Sweetwater introduced a 50-member band in full uniform when it met Calexico…Joe Savage  ran 80 yards for a touchdown and threw for two as the San Diego topped Santa Ana 19-6….

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2004: Another Championship Run for Oceanside

John Carroll got some good news the day before his Oceanside Pirates were to meet Carlsbad for what would be the title-deciding game in the Avocado League.

Coach John McFadden of Eastlake called Carroll and told the Oceanside mentor that Eastlake had used an ineligible player in the 23-19, season-opening victory over the Pirates.

Instead of an 8-1 record, the Pirates were 9-0 the next night after they defeated Carlsbad, 17-7, in the annual battle of North County titans at Swede Krcmar Field, named after the e Lancers’ first coach.

Carlsbad was ranked No. 1 in the County and had come into the game with an 8-0 record.

The forfeit “is a win on paper, but that’s all it is,” said Carroll, downplaying the issue. The coach had his eye on  another target, a seventh trip to the big stadium in Mission Valley.

OCEANSIDE  ON MOVE

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2013: Some Locals Stood Out at Clovis

San Diego Section athletes in both genders stepped up in the Saturday finals of last week’s state track and field championships.

The college-like campus at Clovis’ Buchanan  High was a wonderful venue for the 95th Boys’ championship and 40th Girls’ meet and drew more than 17,000 persons over two days.

Saturday’s finals began under a late-afternoon sun, in heat that reached 100 degrees, and after many from the local contingent of 90 entries were  eliminated  in Friday’s trials.

My Saturday favorites:

1–Hannah Labrie-Smith, Cathedral Catholic.  She revealed a strong competitive edge when the sophomore battled back from a potentially disastrous mid-race crisis.

Leading coming into the homestretch turn, Labrie-Smith was thrown off stride when she struck a hurdle and fell back to fifth place.  Composing herself, Hannah knocked off two runners near the finish line  and nudged into third place in :42.58, after coming within 1/10 of a second of Gale Devers’ 1984 Section record of :42.26 on Friday.

2–Poway’s 4×400 relay team.  San Diego teams almost never post a good time in this event before the Section finals or, more often,  the state trials.  Maybe it’s because coaches are trying to win dual meets and enter their best runners in multiple events each week.

Poway was sixth in  a very strong field but its time of 3:15.78 was almost six seconds better than what it was running a month ago.  The Titans overcame a terrible pass on the first exchange.  They had virtually lost contact with the field halfway into the second lap but rallied and finished with the 13th best 4×400 in Section history.

3–Alex Grigoriev, Rancho Bernardo.  At one point Grigoriev was running in 11th place but he didn’t panic, climbing the hill to third  with a career best  of 1:51.61, No. 8 all-time in  the section.

4– Dotun Ogundeji, Madison.  I feel that winning a state championship is not always the ultimate. Ogundeji has to feel good about himself.

An unheralded junior, Ogundeji was the only local athlete to qualify for two finals events.

A two-way lineman on Madison’s 2012 State III championship football team, Dotun added more than a foot to his previous best, coming in at  58-11 3/4 for sixth in the shotput and was out of the money in the discus but still managed an excellent 175-2.

5–Melissa Mongiovi, West Hills.  She let the field get too far ahead but blazed a finish that got Mongiovi a fifth-place medal.  Melissa’s 54.70 400 meters is No. 7 all-time in San Diego and she has two more years and enough time to get over the habit of  having too much left at the finish.

6–Brenden Song, West Hills.  The San Diego Section’s only gold medalist, Song won the discus by three inches at 188-8 after finishing second in 2012 and third in Friday’s trials.

7–All of the others who got to Saturday and earned medals or came up with personal bests.

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2013: Steve Brand’s Final Top 10

Includes State Meet, May 31-June 1.

BOYS

100—(Fully automatic) Brown (Valhalla) 10.76, Smith (Mount Miguel) 10.80, Ardis (La Costa Canyon) 10.81 (10.70w), S. Pater (Mt. Carmel) 10.83, Molton (Hilltop) 10.84, Doan (StA) 11.07 (10.84w, Lucas (Poway) 10.85 (10.78w), Lewis (San Marcos) 10.88, Le (Scripps Ranch) 10.93, McNair (Morse) 10.94, Mayberry (Francis Parker) 10.94.  Southern California & State–Muhammad (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), 10.22aw.

200—Ardis (La Costa Canyon) 21.35, Lucas (Poway) 21.55, Lewis (San Marcos) 21.95, Molton (Hilltop) 21.96, S. Pater (Mt. Carmel) 22.03, Gross (Poway) 22.05, Brown (Valhalla) 22.09, Morgan (St. Augustine) 21.9, Doan (St. Augustine)  22.18, Gibson (Olympic) 22.20, Ricks (Valley Center) 22.20, Thomas (Scripps Ranch) 22.20. Southern California & State–Muhammad (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame) 20.73.

400—Thomas (Scripps Ranch) 47.82, Howard (Steele Canyon) 48.65, Grigoriev (Rancho Bernardo) 49.54, Gronotte (Westview) 49.63, Dehaven (Granite Hills) 49.67, Smith (Eastlake) 49.88, Ozenbaugh (Poway) 49.89, Johnson (Helix) 49.91. Southern California & State–Kurtz (Etiwanda) 46.53.

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2013: Cathedral Sophomore Chases Devers

CLOVIS—Twenty-one of San Diego’s 90 entries qualified yesterday for this evening’s 95th State track-and-field championships at Buchanan High.

In arguably a mediocre season for the San Diego Section, a strong season finish is possible.

The state meet is the event in which winning is not always more important than improving on a personal best or setting a section record. The trials were satisfying enough.

Sophomore Hannah Labrie-Smith of Cathedral Catholic had the third-fastest effort in the 300-meter hurdles but her time of :42.27 was one-tenth of a second off Gail Devers’ section record.

Labrie-Smith should draw a good lane assignment tonight as she challenges one of the oldest records in the books, set in 1984 by Sweetwater’s future Olympic hurdles champion.

The meet was more than two hours old before Labrie-Smith became the first San Diego Section entry to record a season best.  She bettered her 100-meter time with a nonqualifying, wind-okay :12.2.

Alex Grigoriev of Rancho Bernardo is positioned for a run in the 800 meters.  He finished strongly in his heat, running career best of 1:51.90, second fastest qualifying time behind the 1:51.6 of Bakersfield Ridgeview’s Ivan Gonzalez.

Otay Ranch’s Carina Gillespie ran 2:11.10 for the second fastest girls 800.

Christian Freeman of Carlsbad dropped out of 1,600 to devote to the 3,200 tonight.  He has the fastest qualifying time going in, 9:03.51.

Poway’s boys 4×400 relay team is in a loaded field and seeded only ninth tonight, but the Titans ran 3:17.43, an improvement of almost four seconds in the last month.  They’ll probably have go well under 3:17 to earn a medal.

Other  possibilities include Brendan Song in the discus and Sydney Rush-Dunigan in the long jump.  Song’s 194-4 is the best throw in the state this year but the West Hills senior hasn’t hit that mark since April and was fourth in qualifying yesterday at 184-1.

Point Loma’s Rush-Dunigan, seemingly always struggling to find a good launch point, overcame five consecutive fouls (including three last week in the section meet) and reached 24-0 ½ to qualify third on the final jump of the competition.

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji was the only double qualifier, eighth in the discus at 173-6 and 10th in the shot put at 56-11 ¾.

BOYS

100– Muhmmad (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), 10.40. (nonqualifier) Ardis (La Costa Canyon), 10.86. Doan (St. Augustine), 10.90. Lucas (Poway), 10.90.

200— Muhammad (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame).  9.  Ardis (La Costa Canyon), 21.66. (nonqualifier) Lucas (Poway), 21.75.  Lewis (San Marcos), 22.41.

400— Parish (Etiwanda), 47.16.  (nonqualifier) Thomas (Scripps Ranch), 48.44.  DeHaven (Granite Hills), 50.43. Ozenbaugh (Poway), DQ, false start.

800— Gonzalez (Bakersfield Ridgeview), 1:51.60.  2—Grigoriev (Rancho Bernardo), 1:51.91.  (nonqualifier) Hernandez (Helix), 1:54.07.  Senese (Mt. Carmel), 1:54.94.

1600— Haney (Bakersfield Stockdale), 4:13.05. (nonqualifier) Morton (Mt. Carmel), 4:21.70.  Sweet (Point Loma), 4:22.47.  Sindel (Mt. Carmel), 4:24.12.

110HH— Morris (Concord de la Salle) :13.92.  (nonqualifier) Hartinger (San Pasqual) 14.46. Nelson (Del Norte) 14.87. Kenney (Carlsbad), 14.99.

300IH– Sicard (Gardena Serra), 37.30.  7–Howard (Steele Canyon),  37.99. (nonqualifier) Nelson (Del-Norte), 38.88. Hartinger (San Pasqual), 39.79.

4×100 Relay– Gardena Serra, 41.01.  (nonqualifer) Granite Hills, 42.47; Mt. Carmel, 42.84. Helix, 43.06 DQ, lane violation.

4×400 Relay— Gardena Serra, 3:13.68.   9. Poway, 3:17.43.  (nonqualfier) Mt. Carmel, 3:20.31, DQ, lane violation.  Steele Canyon 3:20.55.

HJ—Started at 6-5.  Eleven qualified at 6-7.  (nonqualifier) Williams (Mission Hills), no height.  Benson (Point Loma), NH.  Bush (Poway), NH.

PV—Started at 14-6.  Twelve cleared 15-5  3/4, including Law (Otay Ranch).  (nonqualifier) Bush Poway (14-6).  K. Pater (Mt. Carmel), no height.

LJ— Jackson (Gardena  Serra), 24-7 ¼.  3–Rush-Dunigan (Point Loma), 24-0 ½.  10—Adair (Rancho Bernardo), 22-11.  (nonqualifier) S. Pater (Mt. Carmel), 19-5.

TJ— Moore (Castro Valley), 49-0 1/4.  (nonqualifier) Jackson (Mount Miguel), 45-2 ¾.  Dodds (Oceanside), 43-8 ¾.  Tuff (Steele Canyon), 42-5 ¼.

SP– Patterson  (Encino Crespi), 62-8. 10.  Ogundeji (Madison), 56-11 ¾.  (nonqualifier) Braddock (Eastlake), 53-2.  Santos (Imperial), 53-2.

DISCUS– Taylor (Newport Beach Newport Harbor), 189-11. 4—Song, West Hills, 184-1.  8—Ogundeji (Madison), 173-6. (nonqualifier) Savage (Morse). 151-2.

GIRLS

100— Washington (L.B. Poly), 11.48.  (nonqualifier) Acolatse (Mission Hills), 11.98.  Labrie-Smith (Cathedral), 12.12.  Lawson (Eastlake), 12.22.

200—Washington (L.B. Poly) 23.39.  (nonqualifier) Mongiovi (West Hills), 24.97.  Johnson (Cathedral), 24.91.   Zlatic (La Jolla), 25.27.

400– Dorner (Rancho Cordova Cordova),  53.12.  7. Mongiovi (West Hills),  55.61.  (nonqualifier) Hernandez (Mt. Carmel),  56.69.  Armitage (Clairemont),  57.57.

800— Smith (Clovis North), 2:10.63.  2. Gillespie (Otay Ranch), 2:11.10.  9.  Sammer (Rancho Bernardo), 2:12.28. (nonqualifier) Harbison (Westview), 2:14.54.

1600– Hiltz (Aptos),  4:50.7. (nonqualifier) Emma Abrahamson (La Costa Canyon), 4:58.06.  Bernd (Canyon Crest), 5:01.6.  Ellie Abrahamson (La Costa Canyon), 5:12.65.

100IH— Wallace (Castro Valley), 13.49. (nonqualifier)  Labrie-Smith (Cathedral), 14.46.  Johnson (Cathedral), 14.70.  Hancock (La Jolla), 14.85.

300LH— Miller (Temecula Great Oak), 41.60.    3. Labrie-Smith (Cathedral), 42.27 (Section No. 2 all-time).  8.  Hancock (La Jolla), 43.17.  (nonqualifier) Lyons-Walker (Morse), 44.37.

4X100 Relay– L.B. Poly, 45.57.  Nonqualifier—Cathedral, 48.06.  Morse, 48.59. Mission Hills, 50.77.

4×1600  Relay– Piedmont Hills, 3:44.47.   (nonqualifier) Carlsbad, 3:54.04.  La Jolla, 3:55.37.   Bonita Vista, 3:57.94.

HJ—Twelve  cleared 5-6.  (nonqualifier) Curry (University City), 5-3 ¾.  Rowlett (Carlsbad), 5-3 ¾.  Yates (Rancho Buena Vista), no height.

PV—Eleven cleared 11-10, including Tolda (Cathedral).  (nonqualifier) Farr (Patrick Henry), 11 4 ¼.  Jackson (Ramona), no height.

LJ—Corrin (N. Hollywood Harvard-Westlake), 20-8.  8.  Zlatic (La Jolla), 18-4 ¾. (nonqualifier) Dozier (Mount Miguel), 17-2 ¾. Muhammad (L.J. Country Day), 15-5.

TJ– Wallace (Castro Valley), 40-10 ¾.  10—Cole (Del Norte), 38.0 ½.  (nonqualifier) Noiseaux (Eastlake). 35-9 ½. Van (Steele Canyon), 35-8.

SP—Scarvelis (Goleta Dos Pueblos), 51-11.  8.  Ward (Hoover),  41-11 ¾.  9.  Walker (Rancho Bernardo), 41-6 ½.  (nonqualifier) Sierra (El Capitan), 38-10 ¾.

DISCUS—(leading qualifier) Okwelogu (Clovis West), 170-6.  9—Smith (Helix), 136-10.  (nonqualifier)  Osby (Escondido), 124-3.  Zaybree (Scripps Ranch), 121-5.

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2013: Pat Shea, 73; Mission Bay and Chargers

Pat Shea, a starting right guard on the San Diego Chargers’ 1963 American Football League championship team and a legendary Mission Bay High athlete,  passed away in Encinitas recently at age 73.

Youthful Shea as Mission Bay star in 1958.

Youthful Shea as Mission Bay star in 1958.

Shea won the 1958 CIF Southern Section heavyweight wrestling championship for the Buccaneers and was  the ’58 City Prep League track championships shot put winner with a best of 55 feet, 9 1/4 inches.  At that time Shea’s mark was the third best ever by a city schools athlete.

Shea played in the annual Breitbard Foundation College Prep All-Star game featuring players from San Diego County versus Los Angeles City and was a lineman at San Diego Junior College  before moving on to the University of Southern California.

Shea recalled his days with the Chargers and at Mission Bay in classmate Bill Swank’s acclaimed book about the beach-area school, “Gold Leather Helmets – Black Hightop Shoes”:

“When I th