1919: Coronado Flexes, Hilltoppers Up, Down

San Diego High continued to transition to mediocrity from the championship squad of three seasons before and tiny Coronado mixed with the big boys.

Byron (Pesky) Sprott and five members of the Hilltoppers’ nationally-acclaimed 1916 team  now were leading the University of California’s powerful squad and coach Clarence (Nibs) Price was on the Bears’ football coaching staff.

San Diego High was on its third coach in three seasons.  Price moved to Berkeley after the 1917 campaign and Clint Evans, who coached during the flu-interrupted 1918 season, had announced his retirement and relocated to Idaho.

Ligda was coach for one season.

Ligda was coach for one season.

Vladimir Victor Ligda embarked on what would be a one-season stint as the Hilltoppers’ coach.

Ligda was  born in France of Russian descent, attended high school in Oakland, and had achieved some success in  track and field at Cal.

Ligda was introduced in an expansive article in The San Diego Union, which noted that he was a 1904 Cal graduate and had run :51.0 to win the 440-yard race in the annual big meet against Stanford.

That Ligda was incorrectly identified as “Vernon” Ligda seemed to presage a problematic tenure.


Coach Wyman Feeler’s Coronado Islanders made quick work of County League competition and looked forward to a second season in the playoffs, in the same calendar year.

Coronado had lost to Fullerton, 18-0, in a 1918 Southern California finals game that was played in March, 1919.  The CIF had managed to get two teams together three months after the normal end of the season.

The year of 1918 was notable for the Asian flu pandemic that killed more than 50 million people (at least 3 per cent of the global population) and for the end of fighting in World War I.

Some teams were able to complete seasons in January and February, others had theirs suspended, and still others were idle all season.


Coronado, which won games by scores of 74-0 and 66-0, and  was not scored on in three County League encounters, had lost only to college or service teams.

The Islanders were supposed to open the season against San Diego, but Feeler changed his mind, saying he wanted to take on San Diego at the end of the schedule.

A Hilltoppers-Islanders game did not materialize and Coronado was assigned to a CIF first-round playoff at Hollywood Harvard Military.

Harvard apparently backed out of the game, this during a time when the CIF had difficulty filling playoff brackets.  The postseason did not have the cachet it would develop in the years following.

Wyman Feeler telegraphed the Union sports department that Long Beach Poly was replacing the Hollywood school.  Poly, with an enrollment of 1,100 and many adults on its squad, would take on Coronado, enrollment 100, including 47 boys.

Feeler probably didn’t want the game, but it promised a revenue bump for the school and Feeler agreed when the CIF scheduled the contest in San Diego’s City stadium, a ferry ride and long walk from the island.

Feeler guided Coronado squad.

Feeler guided Coronado squad.

Islanders supporters in “machines” circled the streets of Coronado the night before the playoff, honking  horns, stopping pedestrians in the quiet community, and inviting all to come to a pep rally at the school, highlighted by a bonfire, speeches, and a performance by jazz musicians.

The trans-bay eleven was no match for the champions of the Los Angeles County League the next afternoon.  Poly was a 59-0 winner and then defeated Santa Monica, 21-0, in the semifinals and claimed the championship with a 47-0 victory over Fullerton.


Victor Ligda’s resume indicated in the years following graduation that he had been an assistant professor of physical education and athletic director at the University of Arizona, and assistant professor of p.e. at Berkeley.

Ligda also had been track coach at Los Angeles Manual Arts and most recently instructor of boxing and wrestling at Camp Fremont in Menlo Park.


Ligda’s sport was track and field and he made announcements during the football season that were about the spring sport, which didn’t begin until February.

Ligda created a football pentathlon, which consisted of  punting, drop kicking, placekicking, “loose” field running, a dash from one end of the field to the other, tackling, and running through hurdles placed as obstacles.

He also publicized a Stadium Day track and field carnival that was to take place in December and was coach of the cross-country team.


Grumbling was heard on the Hilltop and in the local press after a lackluster tie in the Orange League opener with Orange and a loss at Whittier.

According to Don King in “Caver Conquest,” Ligda had the team show up at Whittier 10 minutes before kickoff as punishment for some players’ “horseplay” on the overnight trip to Orange.

The Union reported that the team did not have lunch during the Whittier train trip and had to immediately change from street clothes to its moleskin uniforms.

On Nov. 1, an anonymous columnist for The Sports Mint in the Union expanded on the Hilltop football program:

“Going behind the scenes we  learn that the material this year is average, that coach Victor Ligda is a hard worker but not a top-notch football coach, for his specialty is track.

It was  pointed out that fifth-year player Elmer Langdon became involved in  coaching the team but that Ligda disapproved and requested Langdon to cease.  “Does Ligda fear Langdon is stealing his thunder?” wondered the writer.

Ligda did not endear himself to the squad after a late-game loss to Pomona, 16-14.

“It was just a piece of hard luck,” said Ligda.  “The boys ought to have had that game but they slacked up a little toward the end.”


On Nov. 5 a paragraph at the end of a midweek story absolved Ligda of alleged pettiness in regard to Langdon’s coaching the team but made Ligda seem derelict in his head coaching responsibility:

“For a couple of days last week Ligda was refereeing afternoon games and was unable to be with the team, so he asked Langdon to help him out by leading the practice for those two afternoons.  Ligda is taking full charge now himself.”

The school band played “Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here” as the Hilltoppers headed to the train station on Friday for its Saturday afternoon game  at Fullerton.

“Coach A.E. Shaver accompanied the team,” it was reported.   Ligda was to follow in a private vehicle that evening after supervising track practice.

The 35-0 loss to Fullerton was followed by a 7-0 win over Santa Ana and a 35-0 rout of San Pedro on Thanksgiving Day, giving the Hilltoppers a final record of 6-3-1, their best since the 12-0 of 1916.

The three losses were against Orange League foes and left the Hilltoppers in fifth and last place.  Issues with Ligda continued.

“The team has been handicapped in that they haven’t had a strong hand to lead them,” wrote a Union reporter.  “Coach Ligda, it is claimed, has let the players have too much their own way in running plays….”


Victor Ligda resigned at the end of the school year and took a teaching position in Hawaii, where he resided for many years.

Ligda’s experience with championship Manual Arts track teams and devotion to preparing the Hilltoppers, even during football and basketball seasons,  did not translate.

San Diego was winless in three dual meets, losing to Los Angeles, 77-37, Manual Arts, 67-45, and L.A. Lincoln, 62-50.

Coronado, with Suggett (rear, right) lined up for powerful Long Beach Jackrabbits.

Coronado, with Suggett (rear, right) lined up for powerful Long Beach Jackrabbits.


There is no record of how many touchdowns Ed Suggett scored in his long and legendary career at Coronado.

Suggett scored seven touchdowns in one game for Coronado in 1916 in  what may have been was his freshman season and probably scored at least 150 points (25 touchdowns) each in 1916 and 1917.

Individual touchdown records were of seemingly passing interest.  Reporters at games or taking results  on the telephones were more interested in starting lineups and substitutions.

Suggett Scored so often in Coronado blowouts that no official notice was given.

Touchdowns sometimes were ignored by the media, although more complete records were available for San Diego High.

For prep historians, mystery seems to always surround  Suggett.

Here was Suggett again in 1919, in at least his fourth season with the Islanders after reportedly serving in the military during World War I.

Suggett was listed as having played for the “Balboa Park Sailors,” during the war, but when?  He also was reported in the starting lineup when the Islanders met Fullerton in the 1918 championship, which was played in March, 1919.

Ed Suggett went to score more touchdowns at Whittier College, played minor pro football, and became the first coach at Compton College in 1927.


Ralph Nobel, an  Army officer in Europe, was killed in action…Nobel was head coach at San Diego in 1913…many players who saw service in the military during the war returned to high school and continued eligibility…Bob Seiben, a hurdler and sprinter for the 1917 Hilltoppers’ track team, served overseas with the Coast Artillery, as did Fred Kunzel…Long Beach placed seven players on the all-Southern California first and second teams…San Diego and Coronado had none…Five of the eight schools in the County played football…Ramona, Fallbrook, and Julian were decades away from fielding squads….

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2016: Siegler, Alvarado, Altice Lead Way in 98th State Meet

San Diego Section track-and-field entries placed in eight of 32 events at the 98th state track championships in Clovis Saturday.

–About 26 per cent of the entries scored points amid the 102-degree heat of Buchanan High.

–Out of 96 total at the beginning of Friday’s trials.

–And with no individual champion for the first time in 14 years.

It wasn’t a total loss.

Fourteen boys and nine girls produced season bests.


University City’s Allen Siegler represented to me what the state meet is all about, competition and the opportunity to improve.

Siegler took a 1600 season best of 4:14.09 into the trials and qualified fourth at 4:12.22. He was eighth in the finals, but Siegler came to compete.

The wiry senior hung tough against a demanding pace and whacked another three seconds off his best to close at 4:09.29, eighth all-time in the San Diego Section.


Devin Alvarado of Rancho Buena Vista was outstanding in the Friday trials.

Alvarado ran the sixth fastest 110 hurdles in section history, :14.06, clean with no wind.

The Longhorns’ senior an hour later raced to :37.45 in the 300 intermediates, tied for 13th all time, and contributed strongly  as the Longhorns qualified in a Section season best, 3:18.84 in the 4×400 relay.

Coming back in three events on Saturday took its toll.  Alvarado was fourth in the highs in :14.10, seventh in the intermediates at :38.26, and RBV was well out of it at 3:20.33 in the 4×400.


The rising and still developing Del Norte program of coach Chris Ruff scored its first points in a state meet since the school opened in 2008.  Michelle Altice was fifth in the discus at 146-3 and fourth in the shot at 45-1 ¼.

Mount Miguel’s Laulauga Tasauga-Collins rallied for second in the shot put at 45-1 ½ after fouling out in the discus, with no measured throw despite coming into the meet with the best sectional qualifying mark, 167-3.


Cathedral senior Dani Johnson, whose career was so promising after she set section records of :13.86 in the 100 hurdles and :41.30 in the 300  in 2015,  qualified in both races Friday night.

Johnson, who overcame a bothersome early-season injury, ran :14.11 and :43.10 and then withdrew from the finals sometime after the trials.

There were reports that Johnson returned to Cathedral for graduation on Saturday.

Ruff’s uncle, Bruce Ruff, was the San Diego Section 440 champion for El Cajon Valley, running :48.6 in 1967…The tiny San Francisco Section (17 schools, including several that don’t participate) produced its first winner since 1983…Pamela Amaechi of Lincoln won the discus at 164-1 and was third in the shot put at 45-1 1/2 …so many runners, beaten down by a fast pace at Clovis, lost contact with the leaders, fell back, and turned in performances far below their season  bests…Friday and Saturday results, including leaders and San Diego results:



100—Brock, West Hills Chaminade, :10.43.

200—Norman, Vista Murrieta, :20.42.  8. Shaheed, Mt.C, :21.87.

400—Norman, Vista Murrieta, :45.77.

800—Cortes, Temecula Great Oak, 1:50.75. 12. Chinn, Poway, 2:00.47.

1600—Cortes, Temecula Great Oak, 4:04.61.  8. Siegler, University City 4:09.29, Section No. 8 all-time.

3200—28. Boone, Mt. Carmel, 9:33.69.  29.Pope, Torrey Pines, 9:55.14.   30. B.  Prince, Sage Creek, 9:56.55.

110 HURDLES—Anderson, Upland, :13.59.  4.  Alvarado, Rancho Buena Vista, :14.10.

300 HURDLES—Burton, Westminster La Quinta, :36.44.  8. Alvarado, R.B.V., :38.42.

4×100 RELAY—Vista Murrieta, :40.32.

4×400 RELAY—Vista Murrieta, 3:14.97.  7. Rancho Buena Vista, 3:20.33.

HJ—Carbin, Piedmont Hills Mt. Pleasant, 7-0.

LJ—Holmes, Oakdale, 25-5.  3. Battikha, St. Augustine, 23-11.  5. DeRoos, Calvin Christian, 23-7 ¾.

TJ—Osling, Lancaster Antelope Valley, 48-9 ¼. 8. DeRoos, Tri City Christian, 46-6 ½.  Battikha, S.A., 46-5 ¾.

SP—Osborn, Anaheim Esperanza, 69-10 ¾. 5. Lenford, Oceanside, 58-5.   9. Clark, Poway, 55-6 ¾.  10.  Miller, El Camino, 53-5.

PV—Gordon, Huntington Beach Marina, 16-8. 3T Brown, La Costa Canyon, 15-8.  7. Hamson, Poway, 15-8.

DISCUS—Osborn, Anaheim Esperanza, 200-10.


100—Rain Williams, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, :11.39.  8. Patterson, Rancho Bernardo, :11.85.

200—Barnes, Ventura St. Bonaventure, :23.23.  7. Patterson, R.B., :24.06.

400—Roberts, Carson, :52.28.

800—Brewer,  San Ramon California, 2:06.86.  12. Akins, R.B., 2:13.60.

1600—Gehrich, Las Flores Tesoro, 4:45.51.

3200—O’Keeffe, Davis, 10:12.02.  20. Moran, Mt.Carmel, 11:02.83. 22. Loren, Canyon Crest, 11:06.86.  24. Barrett, Westview,  11:13.13.

100 HURDLES—Davis, Agoura, :13.38.  Johnson, Cath., scratched.

300 HURDLES—Woodward, Vacaville, :40.62.  7. Bell, Steele Canyon, :42.89. Johnson, Cathedral, scratched.

4×100 RELAY—Carson, :45.06.

4×400 RELAY–Carson, 3:42.80.

HJ—Palka, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 5-9.  Snow, Carlsbad., no height.

LJ—Foster, Clovis North, 20-7 ½. 10. Stallman, Ramona, 18-2 ½.

TJ—Davis, Agoura, 42- 5 ½.  8. Nash, Calvin Christian, 38-2.

SP—Bruckner, San Jose Valley Christian, 49.5 ¾.  2. Tausaga-Collins, Mount Miguel, 45-1 ½. 4. Altice, Del Norte, 45-1 ¼.

PV—Baxter, Anaheim Canyon, 14-2.

DISCUS—Amaechi, S.F. Lincoln, 164-1.  5. Altice, Del Norte, 146-5.



100—Brock, West Hills Chaminade, :10.54.  Others:  Morgan, Poway, :10.87; Goodwin, Christian, :10.89. Stokes, Del Norte, :10.94.

200—Diego-Willams, Gardena Serra, :21.13.  7. Shaheed, Mt. Carmel, 21.84.  Others, Goodwin, Christian, :22.04. Ellis, Bonita Vista, DQ, lane violation.

400—Norman, Vista Murrieta, :47.26.  Others: Shaheed, Mt. Carmel, :48.52.  Gunter, Del Norte, :48.92.  Ellis, Bonita Vista, :48.95.

800—Hall, Davis, 1:53.33.  4. Chinn, Poway, 1:53.46. Others: D. Prince, Chula Vista High Tech, 1:55.37.  Page, Eastlake, 1:58.8

1600—Janes, Riverside ML King, 4:10.86.  9. Siegler, University City, 4:12.22. Others:  Martinez de Pinollos, Cathedral. 4:16.97. Johnson, La Costa Canyon, 4:17.53.

110 HURDLES—Anderson, Upland, :13.78.  7. Alvarado, Rancho Buena, :14.06, Section No. 6 all-time. Others:  Thomsen, Calvin Christian, :14.61.  Kleppe, Rancho Bonita Vista, :15.0.

300 HURDLES—Burton, Westminster, La Quinta, :36.61.  5. Alvarado, RBV, :37.44, tie Section No. 13, all-time. Others:  Adams, Granite Hills, :39.36. Carter. Torrey Pines, :40.07.

4×100 RELAY—Vista Murrieta, :41.33. Others:  Mt. Carmel, :41.82.  Rancho Bernardo, :42.50. Del Norte, :42.61

4×400 RELAY—Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 3:16.76.  Rancho Buena Vista, 3:18.84. Others:  Mira Mesa, 3:21.61.  Mt. Carmel, 3:28.95.

HJ—Six tied at 6-8.  Others:  Nelson, Del Norte, 6-6.  Rokach, Rancho Bernardo, 6-4. Heid, St. Augustine, no height.

LJ—Holmes, Oakmont, 24-3.  8. DeRoos, Tri City Christian, 23-0 ¾.  9. Battikha, St. Augustine, 23-0 ¼.

TJ—Thompson, Stockton Stagg, 48-5 ¾.  11.  Battikha, S.A., 46-9 ¼. 12.  DeRoos, T.C.C., 46-6  Other: Riggins, Olympian, 42-3.

SP—Osborn, Anaheim Esperanza, 69-3. 8.  Clark, Pow, 56-3.  9.  Lenford, Oside, 55-7.  12.  Miller, ECam, 54-0 ¼.

DISCUS–Osborn, Anaheim Esperanza, 194-10.  Others: Clark, Poway, 169-5.  Miller, El Camino, 166-10.  Anderson, Ramona, 161-9.

PV—Ten, including Brown, La Costa Canyon, and Hamson, Poway, qualified at 15.2.  Other: Thomsen, Calvin Christian, 14-8.


100—Rain Williams, Westlake Village Oaks Christian,, :11.49.  6. Patterson, Rancho Bernardo, :11.75.  Others:  Fletcher, Scripps Ranch, :12.11. Stallman, Ramona, :12.14.

200—Rain Williams, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, :23.0  8. Patterson, R.B., :24.17.  Others:  Simpson, Morse, :25,01.  Fletcher, S.R., :25.09.

400—Roberts, Carson, :53.15.  Others:  Kaseberg, Torrey Pines, :57.97.  Ornelas, Olympian, :58.16. White, Valhalla, :59.01.

800—Brewer, San Ramon California, 2:08. 10.  Akins, Rancho Bernardo, 2:10.14. Others:  McCarthy, Carlsbad, 2:11.37.   Robinson, La Jolla, 2:12.25.

1600—Gehrich, Las Flores Tesoro, 4:50.14. Others: Brown, La Costa Canyon, 5:03.32; Donnelly, Torrey Pines, 5:04.93. Bernd, Canyon Crest, 5:18.09.

100 HURDLES—Davis, Agoura, : 13.50.  6. Johnson, Cathedral. :14.11. Others:  Nealis, Valley Center, :14.57.   Bell, Steele Canyon, :14.64.

300 HURDLES—March, Reedley, Immanuel, :42.34.  4. Bell, Steele Canyon, :42.51. 9.  Johnson, Cathedral,  :43.10.  Others, Nealis, V.C., :46.16.

4×100 RELAY—Carson, :45.16.  Others:  Torrey Pines, :48.42.  San Diego, :49.53.  La Costa Canyon, :49.61.

4×400 RELAY—Calabasas, 3:44.71.  Others:  La Jolla, 3:53.03.  Olympian, 3:55.52.  Torrey Pines, 3:59.22.

HJ—4 tied at 5-7.  5T, Snow, Carlsbad, 5-5. Others:  Hickey, Coronado, 5-3.  Dixon, Morse, no height.

LJ—Longmire, Rancho Verde, 20-7.  8.  Stallman, Ramona, 18-10. Others: Barnes, Olympian, 17-6. Campbell, Mt. Carmel, 17-0 ¾.

TJ—Davis, Agoura, 41-1.  11.  Nash, CalvinChristian, 38-2 ¼.  Others:  Barnes, Olympian, 37-2 ¾.  Joseph, San Diego, 36-8 ¾.

SP—Bruckner, San Jose Village Christian, 51-9.  4.  Altice, Del Norte, 43-10.  8. Tausaga-Collins, Mount Miguel, 42-0.  Other:  Tuilefano, El Camino, 40-3 ¼.

DISCUS—Bruckner, San Jose Valley Christian, 165-6.  4—Altice,  Del Norte, 146-8.  Others:  Wagenfeld, Calvin Christian, 132-4. Tausaga-Collins, M.M., no distance, 3 fouls.

POLE VAULT—2 tied at 12-6.  Others:  Wagenfeld, Calvin Christian, 11-6.  Becker, Canyon Crest, 11-6.  Myers, Poway, 11-6.


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2016: Locals Have Hopes in 98th State meet

Do well in the section finals.  Get to the state meet.  Qualify in the Friday trials.  Rest up for the finals.  Finish in the top 5 Saturday.  Get a “PR”*. Score a point or more and earn a medal.  Maybe finish first.

That’s the season goal.

Ninety-six San Diego Section entrants, less a few because of those in more than one event, will converge with qualifiers of like aspirations from 9 other state sections Friday at Buchanan High in Clovis, where temperatures of at least 100 degrees are expected.

It’s the 102nd anniversary of the state meet and the 98th year.  The event was  suspended from 1942-45 due to World War II travel restrictions.

From 1913 through 1962 athletes got their business done in one day, usually with trials in the morning and finals in the afternoon or in the evening.

The state meet went to two days in 1963,  the first  being  held at Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium.

History won’t be on the minds of locals  but they all will represent the area’s hope of continuing a tradition of at least one individual champion.

The last year in which the San Diego Section did not have a gold medalist in boys’ or girls’ competition was 2002.  The 13 consecutive years of at least one entry finishing first is in jeopardy this year.

It has been a thin season locally.

The table below reveals San Diego Section athletes who rank  in the state’s Top 10 in each event and who qualified, as recorded by athletic.net.  Most Top 10 athletes,  from here, or in other sections, will be in Clovis.

G Discus Tausaga-Collins Mount Miguel 167-3, 2nd 186-10 Bruckner, San Jose Village Christian
G Shot put Tausaga-Collins Mount Miguel 47-2 ¼, 3rd 54-7 Bruckner, San Jose Village Christian
B Long Jump Batthika St. Augustine 24-5, 3rd 25-11 ½ Holmes, Oakmont
DeRoos Tri-City Christian 23-11 ½, 9th
G 300 Hurdles Bell Steele Canyon :41.99, 4th :41.01 Woodward, Vacaville
B Pole Vault Brown La Costa Canyon 16-5, 4th 17-2 Gordon, Huntington Beach Marina
Hamson Poway 16-0, 6th
G 100 Patterson Rancho Bernardo :11.59w, 6th :11.17w Williams, Westklake Village Oaks Christian
B Shot Put Lenford Oceanside 63-3/4, 6th 71-7 Osborn, Anaheim Esperanza
B 400 Relay Mt. Carmel :41.65, 7th :40.63 Vista Murrieta
G Triple jump Nash Calvin Christian 39-9, 7th 43-2 Davis, Agoura
G 100 Hurdles Johnson Cathedral :14.02w, 8th :13.45 Robinson, El Cerrito
Nealis Valley Center :14.17, 10th
G High Jump Snow Carlsbad 5-6, T10th 5-8 ¼ Earle-Rouse, Arcata
Hickey Coronado

*–Personal record.

w–wind aided.

There undoubtedly other San Diego Section qualifiers not in the Top 10 who will improve and come home with medals.

There might be a winner in the group.

It’s what makes the state track championships one of the elite high school events in the country.

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1957: Cook and Cavers’ Great Day

Roscoe Cook, Bobby Staten, Willie Jordan, and Charles (Sugar Jet) Davis comprised a swift foursome of San Diego High athletes who surprised the field and brought home a Southern California track championship.

The biggest surprise was supplied by Cook.

Some background:

Cook entered the season as the 1956 Class B sprint titlist, having run away from the field the previous spring with best times of :09.7 in the 100-yard dash, and :21.0 in the 220.

It was expected that Cook and Staten would dominate the short races and low hurdles and that Davis, one of the city’s best quartermilers, and Jordan, a complementary sprinter, would round out a championship 880-yard relay team.

A downpour shortly after the first race canceled the Southern Counties’ Invitational at Huntington Beach High in the first week in March, delaying the usual official beginning of the season.

With no early reading on what to expect, the Cavemen then prepared for a intersectional dual meet in Balboa Stadium with powerful Compton Centennial.


Cook had never lost a race in San Diego but he was beaten in a :09.9 100 by Centennial’s tall, long-striding Preston Griffin, a newcomer to the Southern California scene.

Griffin also took the national lead with a 24-foot, 6 ¾-inch broad jump. Cook was third despite breaking a 19-year-old school record with a leap of 23-10.  Griffin’s teammate, John Blaylock, was second at 23-11 in a remarkable competition.

Cook, Staten, Davis, and Jordan (clockwise from upper left) carried San Dkiego High hopes.

Cook, Staten, Davis, and Jordan (clockwise from upper left) carried San Diego High hopes.

The final and stunning indignity came in the 220 when Griffin, jogging casually the last 15 yards, eased to a :21.6  and Cook was a well-beaten third.  Griffin also withstood a charge by Staten as Centennial won the 880-yard relay in 1:28.8 and the meet, 60 1/2-43 1/2.

Seven weeks later, Griffin blazed a :09.5 100 in a semifinals, qualifying meet and appeared unbeatable.  On the same day Cook won a heat in a season-best: 09.8 in another divisional competition at Arroyo High in El Monte.

Cook quietly also served some notice as he took the measure of  Alhambra’s Rusty Weeks, who’d run :09.6 the week before.


After the loss to Griffin, San Diego coach Birt Slater put Cook on a training regimen of repeated starts and short dashes.

Cook would spot other San Diego sprinters five yards and then try to “eat ‘em up” inside 50 yards.

Teammates who offered the competition for Cook came up with the description of the exercise.

“We believed that if Roscoe could lead Griffin after fifty yards he stood a good chance of winning,” said Slater.

Clook (left) matched big Griffin in 100.

San Diego’s Roscoe Cook (left) matched big Griffin in 100-yard duel.

Rising 4,193 feet to the East, Mt. Baldy provided the backdrop on a warm, hazy afternoon, when the top athletes arrived at Chaffey High in Ontario for the Southern Section championships on May 25.

Centennial was the prohibitive favorite for the team championship and Griffin was favored in three events, 100, 220, broad jump, plus the relay.

Cook and Griffin were side by side in the starting blocks as they took their marks for the century race.  Kearny’s Ed Buchanan was next to Griffin.


Cook broke fast out of the blocks and led Griffin at 50 yards. The San Diego runner still was in front a yard from the finish line, but Griffin closed strongly.

Officials and time keepers huddled for several moments before Cook was declared the winner in :09.4, which broke the Southern California record by Griffin a week earlier and tied the national interscholastic mark set by Cleveland’s Jesse Owens in 1933.

Staten was second to Griffin in the 220 (Cook, who did not like the longer sprint,  was fourth).  The 6-foot, 3-inch Griffin rolled down the Chaffey straightaway in :20.3 to Staten’s :20.5 and bettered the national record, but the race had a wind reading of 4.83 miles per hour, over the allowable limit of 4.473.

On a day of records and outstanding performances, the 220 was the only race determined to be over the wind limit.

Staten also tied a national record of :18.5 in the 180-yard low hurdles, although San Bernardino’s Junior Howard edged Staten by a whisker in the same time.


San Diego was leading in team scoring with 15 points entering the final event, but Centennial, which had 14 points, was favored in the 880 relay and had set a record of 1:27.1 the week before.

Cook and Davis positioned the Cavers but Jordan lost ground on the third leg.  Centennial ran into trouble when it botched an exchange.

Staten was well off the pace after he got the baton from Jordan, but Staten’s :20.8 anchor 220 caught leaders Carl Skavarna of Chaffey and Charlie Miller of Long Beach Poly.  All three teams clocked 1:27.3, but Staten reached the finish line first.

“Another coach timed Bobby in the relay,” said Slater.  “By that time I couldn’t stand up.”

After the adjustment in the scoring for the 100, San Diego still was the team champion with 19 ½ points to Centennial’s 16 ½.

Unbeaten Cerveny set Southern Section and state records in 880.

Unbeaten Cerveny set Southern Section and state records on successive weeks.


It was a stellar afternoon for area athletes.

–Mission Bay’s Jim Cerveny set a Southern Section record with a 1:53.3 victory in the 880 and would set the state record of 1:52.7 the following week in the state meet at Berkeley.

–Lincoln’s Luther Hayes edged Griffin in the broad  jump at 23-11.

–Kearny’s Ed Buchanan was third in the 100 at :09.7 and third in the 220 at :21.0. Cook was fourth in :21.1.

–Grossmont’s Jim Wade was third in the shot put at 61-5 ¾, and Kearny’s Bob Reynolds tied for third in the pole vault at 12-6.

Three days after the meet, CIF commissioner Ken Fagans announced that a review of finish line photos showed that Cook and Griffin had dead heated.

Howard’s victory over Staten was upheld, and the placings in some of the lower classes had been adjusted.  Sweetwater’s Jim Stewart was elevated to fourth from fifth in the B 220.

Although there had been some discussion of  wind during the day, only Griffin’s 220 was recorded as wind-aided, but Cook’s and Staten’s hopes of sharing a national record were dashed.

Dick Bank, a Los Angeles track authority, historian, and high school contributor to Track and Field News, the sport’s publication of record, challenged the operation of the wind gauge at Chaffey and refused to accept any of the  records, including the stunning :09.5 and :20.8 sprint times by Arcadia’s Tom Boswell in Class B.

Cook’s and Staten’s marks went into the record book as wind-aided.


Roscoe Cook graduated from the University of Oregon after he tied the world record of :09.3 in the 100 in 1959 and the world indoor record of :06.1 in the 60-yard dash…Cook  earned a P.H.D. in education from the University of Massachusetts and taught and counseled in the Los Angeles school district for 30 years…Bobby Staten  was senior co-captain of the USC track team in 1961 and  a collegiate standout in the low hurdles and races from the 100 to 440…Staten completed a long career in the Los Angeles Probation Department…Charles Davis acquired the nickname “Sugar Jet,” which was  a popular breakfast cereal of that name…Davis was a 48-second quarter miler at San Diego State and went on  to a career as a corporate executive in Los Angeles…Berkeley became the first Northern school since 1929 to win the state team title, scoring 22 points while San Diego and Centennial tied for second with 10 each…Griffin won the 100 in  :09.6…Doug Smith of Taft Union was second, Cook third, and Buchanan fourth, each in :09.7…Hayes won the broad jump at 23-8 1/2, Wade was third in the shot put at 60-7 3/4,  and Staten was third in the 220 in :21.4 behind Griffin’s :21.1…the morning-afternoon competition took its toll on the Cavemen…Staten pulled out of the 180-yard low hurdles trials, which were 5 minutes after the 220 heats…San Diego recovered to finish second in the relay in 1:27.2, Berkeley the winner in 1:27….

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1925:  Administrative Roadblocks Strike Hilltoppers

Competition and controversy were different words with different meanings, but they blurred in the far-flung Coast League, whose fratricidal members regularly accused their brethren of academic or residential mischief.

San Diego High was on the receiving end of a peculiar allegation that threatened to derail one of the best teams in school history.

Senior Captain Russ Saunders, the 5-foot, 9-inch, 190-pound blocking quarterback and linebacking defender, faced a charge of accepting money three years before in a boxing match that would have made Saunders a professional and ineligible for interscholastic sports.

If the curiously-timed indictment proved accurate, the Hilltoppers would be forced to forfeit nine victories and the opportunity to compete in the Southern California playoffs.

Russ Saunders was vital to San Diego's championship hopes.

Saunders was vital to San Diego’s championship hopes.

Saunders eventually was absolved of wrong doing, but not before a dizzying chain of events that took on the aura of an old-fashioned Saturday morning serial.


The intramural dustup was typical of the Prohibition-era, anything-goes Roaring Twenties, a decade when the growing CIF and its commissioner, former Escondido baseball coach Seth Van Patten, struggled to keep order.

The CIF’s rule on age limitation was only that you couldn’t play if you were 21 years old, but that meant that post-graduates and assorted roughnecks still populated the prep scene.

Coast League rivals didn’t trust each other.

Trouble began in the final regular-season game, when Bert Ritchey ran 60 yards for a touchdown that would propel the Hilltoppers to a 9-0 victory over the Santa Ana Saints in a battle of teams with 6-0 league records.

The victory, before a record City Stadium high school crowd of 15,000, clinched a second straight loop championship for coach John Perry’s squad.

With a long ride home Saturday night and all day Sunday to chew on the loss,  officials from the Northern school prepared to make a call on Monday morning and notify Coast League president and CIF playoff coordinator Harry J. Moore that they were protesting.


The complaint did not originate with us, Saints officials told Moore, but had come from three Saints fans who were said to have previously resided in Coachella and who recognized Saunders as having participated in the desert community smoker on July 11, 1922.

The Santa Ana Three, apparently so vested emotionally with the Saints’ fortunes, had returned to Coachella, and was able to produce tickets that announced the main event as being between Saunders and Herbert Miller, plus a statement from Miller’s manager.

Manager D.H. Metzler testified his boxer received $40 and that Metzler and Miller “understood” Saunders, whose family resided in Coachella at that time, to have received $25, even though professional boxing was barred in California in 1922.

With stunning eagerness, Coast League bosses convened Tuesday at league headquarters in Whittier and, after hearing the charge, informed San Diego officials they would have until 4 p.m. Wednesday to respond.


Perry and vice principal Edgar Johnston, who attended the meeting at Whittier High, returned to San Diego about midnight. The Hilltoppers would have to launch their own investigation and be at another meeting in Whittier in 16 hours.

Key playewrs for Hilltoppers included (clockwise from upper left) center Howard Eickmeyer, halfback Bert Ritchey, halfback Phil Winnek, andd fullback John Donohue.

Key players for Hilltoppers included (clockwise from upper left) center Howard Eickmeyer, halfback Bert Ritchey, halfback Phil Winnek, and fullback John Donohue.

The playoffs would begin Saturday, with Fullerton a first-round opponent for San Diego or Santa Ana.

Facing the narrow time frame, Hilltop officials swung into action.

Principal Glenn Perkins and James Saunders, the player’s father, chartered a small plane, piloted by Henry Ryan of the Ryan Flying Company.

“The tale of the trip to Coachella is an epic,” declared a front-page story in The San Diego Union:


Buffeted by winds, Ryan struggled to get the plane’s altitude above 3,000 feet, over clouds and mountains.

“After flying almost two hours, working continuously to get around clouds, Ryan was forced to drop several thousand feet through a hole in the clouds to get his bearings (and make) a landing at Hemet,” the article continued.

After refueling, the party traveled on to Indio, stopping again for gas and directions.

Friends in Coachella, apprised of the situation Wednesday morning, were waiting and prepared to assist the San Diego contingent.

Perkins, armed with affidavits in support of Saunders from the former commandant of the sponsoring American Legion post in Coachella, gave Ryan the signal to take off for Whittier at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile at Whittier High, San Diego High officials on site, including Russ Saunders, watched the sky for the sight of an airplane.  They finally spotted one that passed over and headed Northwest.

According to Caver Conquest, written by Don King, the travelers set down again at the nearest landing field in Montebello, six miles from the meeting site, with only minutes to spare.

“Sloshing through the mud of an open field to a nearby highway, Perkins and James Saunders flagged down a passing motorist, and, with the aid of a five-dollar bill, purchased a mad cap ride to Whittier,” King wrote.

Perkins presented Coast League principals with the information that proved the fight was a charity event, with neither fighter receiving money.  Saunders was cleared and San Diego continued to get ready for Fullerton.

Newspapermen were told by Harry Moore that the vote in the hectic meeting, attended and hotly contested by lawyers from both sides, was a unanimous, 8-0 to absolve Saunders.

Santa Ana honcho W.M. Clayton emphatically denied Moore’s  statement.  Clayton said he had voted against Saunders, making the tally 7-1, according to the Los Angeles Times.


The Cavers defeated Fullerton, 14-6, but Bert Ritchey, who had scored 26 touchdowns in eight games (Perry had held Ritchey out of game 9, a 33-0 victory at South Pasadena) was used sparingly against the visitors.

Ritchey had been playing with a sore knee and it threatened to keep him out of what now was a playoff season of only two games.

Covina was next up in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the championship contest, but Perry figured the Hilltoppers would have a bye after Fullerton and  not have to play for two weeks, until Dec. 19.


Chicanery was not limited to the Coast League.

Instead of playing Covina in the Los Angeles Coliseum on Dec. 19, San Diego was informed that the title contest would be played on Dec. 12 at Covina, where temporary bleachers were being constructed to accommodate a crowd of more than 4,000.

Title game program cover.

Title game advertisement in San Bernardino newspaper.

A probable attendance of at least 10,000 would have been expected at the Los Angeles venue.

Wrote a Times reporter:

“In a more or less bad frame of mind over alleged poor treatment in the matter of transferring the game from the Coliseum to Covina,  the San Diego High team was prepared to leave today for Covina….

“It wasn’t the change of venue that rankled the Hilltops so much, however, as it was the switch in date.

“The tilt was originally scheduled for December 19 but through deep and dark channels was suddenly moved up to December 12, tomorrow, and the field switched to Covina.”

Playoff coordinator Harry Moore said that Covina was being afforded the home game because the Colts  already had played three playoff contests on the road.

Al Penrose of The San Diego Sun hinted of a setup and blasted  Moore for the suspicious switch. Covina was going to the expense of  creating bleachers for a 4,000 crowd and, Penrose wrote, “neither team will make hardly more than expense money.”

With virtually no participation by Ritchey, the Hilltoppers manned up, twice stopping the Colts inside their three-yard line, but Covina had 18 first downs to 8 and the rushing thrusts of halfbacks Sleepy Don Rieke and Earl Needham continually kept the visitors on their heels.

Covina led, 13-0, in the fourth quarter before San Diego scored a late touchdown to make the final count 13-6. Covina had outplayed Cavers.

It was a sour finish for Perry’s squad and the bitterness lingered.


Wallace (Chief) Newman, a native American and former USC player, was hired by Covina this year after coaching successful teams at the Sherman Institute for Indians in Riverside.

There were rumors that at least three over-age-limit players from  Sherman  resided at Newman’s home and played against the Hilltoppers.

Another unsubstantiated report was that Covina refused an order to forfeit the title and ship the winners’ trophy to San Diego.


Coach Ladimir (Jack) Mashin was building a strong program at Grossmont.

The Foothillers were 4-5 and 5-2-1 in Mashin’s first two seasons and swept to the County League title and a 7-0 record this year, earning a berth in the playoffs.

Harper of Grossmont shakes off La Jolla tackler en route to one of 3 touchdowns in 33-0 victory.

Harper of Grossmont shakes off La Jolla tackler en route to one of 3 touchdowns in 33-0 victory.

Fullerton dispatched Grossmont, 34-0, but the Foothillers didn’t conclude the season with a loss.  Mashin made a deal with the Yuma Criminals of Arizona agreeing to come over the Laguna Mountains for a season-ender.

Grossmont won, 20-0.


There seemed madness to the method of the playoffs, from which the CIF received much of its revenue and which the governing body often had difficulty filling out brackets.

Some schools just weren’t interested.

Fullerton’s loss to San Diego marked the Indians’ third consecutive week in the postseason.  The Indians played Grossmont on Nov. 19, nine days before San Diego was concluding its regular season versus Santa Ana.

Fullerton’s first game was a 13-6 win over Norwalk Excelsior, a week before it played Grossmont.

Covina’s  game with San Diego was the Colts’ fourth in the playoffs.  They also defeated San Fernando, 42-0, Santa Maria, 32-13, and Venice, 26-0.


Los Angeles Manual Arts was described in The San Diego Union as “the greatest football aggregation developed at a Los Angeles high school in recent years.”

Final score, San Diego 46, Toilers 0.


Six telephones and nearly 100 pounds of pool room apparatus for horse race betting were part of the equipment seized in a raid at the 428 McNeece Building on F Street.

Detective Sergeants Dick Chadwick and George Sears and patrolman Pat Walsh “pulled” what they called the biggest bootlegging establishment found in San Diego.

Frank O’Hara, George Williams, and James Bradley were arrested. The cops said they heard “telephones being used busily and bets made and race track information being received.’”


Work began on the grading of property at La Jolla High between Eads and Fay avenues, where the school’s football field will be located.  The present athletic field will become tennis and volleyball courts.


Sportswriters of the era routinely fostered racial stereotypes and use of slurs.

San Diego’s Bert Ritchey alternately was described as the “black phantom,” “black bullet,”, “dusky”, and even “the ball-packing gentleman of color.”

Covina coach Wallace (Chief) Newman, a native American, was known as a man “with all the craftiness and cunning which characterize his race.”


End Rocky Kemp and quarterback Russ Saunders earned all-Southern California, first-team selections.  Bert Ritchey made the second team.


Statue on USC campus honors the upper upper body of Russ Saunders.

Statue on USC campus honors the upper body of Russ Saunders.

Russ Saunders, Bert Ritchey, and Rocky Kemp went on the play at USC and Saunders’s defined and muscular physique served as the model for the famed Tommy Trojan statue on the USC campus.

“Racehorse Russ”  probably was the second San Diego-area player in the NFL (after Brick Muller of the 1926 L.A. Buccaneers, who were based in Chicago).  Saunders was a fullback on the 1931 Green Bay Packers championship squad  but forsook football and gravitated to Hollywood.

Saunders was an assistant director and production manager on more than 150 films for Warner Borthers and Burbank Studios, often working with USC teammate John Wayne .  Rocky Kemp embarked on a career in high school coaching in Long Beach and Ritchey joined the San Diego police department, retiring as a detective in 1964 and then earning his degree to practice law.


San Diego, population 145,000, was 52nd among U.S. cities but second fastest in growth to Los Angeles…San Diego was 93rd in population in the 1920 census…Glendale, which won the 1924 Southern California championship, was rudely welcomed to the ’25 season in a 42-0 loss at San Diego…Santa Ana made it a two-day trip to San Diego, overnighting Friday at the Stratford Hotel in Del Mar…Gerald (Tex) Oliver coached the San Diego B team to a 13-0 win over Huntington Park for the Southern California championship…Oliver would move on to Santa Ana in 1927, become head coach at the University of Arizona in 1933 and at Oregon in 1938…coach John Perry ordered canvas vests for Cavers runners, saying that Manual Arts players “grasped” the sweaters of Hilltop ball carriers, short circuiting 12 plays…the vests were to be tight-fitting…San Diego stayed in Fullerton the night before the game at Covina…San Diego was penalized 6 times for 100 yards, most being 15-yard holding fines, in a 7-0 win at Pasadena…Henry Ryan’s “Ryan Flying Company” became better known as Ryan Aeronautical, with offices near the Lindbergh Field airport on Harbor Drive…

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2015: Best Track Marks

It’s been a slow year in San Diego Section track and field, although business  picked up a little in the last couple invitationals, Arcadia and Mt. St. Antonio.

Two more weeks of dual meets, plus the annual Escondido Invitational, will take girls and boys competitors into league trials, the first step toward the state meet at Buchanan High in C,ovis, June 3-4.

Cathedral’s Dani Johnson, the Section record holder at :13.88 in the 100 hurdles and  :41.34 in the 300 barriers has missed almost all of the season  with injuries.

It would take a remarkable comeback at this point in the season for Johnson to return to form.  She also also ran a leg for the Dons’ 4×400 relay team that set a Section record of 3:47.63

last year.

San Diego Section marks in the state top 10 in parenthesis and state leaders:


200 :21.7 (10) Agbede Cathedral :20.41 Norman Vista Murrieta
400 :48.47 (10) Shaheed Mt. Carmel :45.51 Norman Vista Murrieta
110HH :14.47 (10) Alvarado Rancho Buena Vista :13.81 Burton LaQuinta
PV 16-4 (3) Brown La Costa Canyon 16-8 Bowler Loomis Del Oro
LJ 23-10 ¾ (5) Battikha St. Augustine 24-9 ½ White Bakersfield Ridgeview
23-7 ¼ (7) DeRoos Tri-City Christian
TJ 47-0 ¼ (8) DeRoos 49-3 1/4 Hicks Bakersfield Liberty
SP 63-0 ¾ (4) Lenford Oceanside 71-7 ¼ Osborn Anaheim Esperanza
57-2 (10) Miller El Camino
DISCUS 194-0 (4) Lenford 204-4 Osborn


800 2:11.29 (10) McCarthy Carlsbad 2:09.35 Durgy Huntington Beach
1600 4:55.66 (4) Brown La Costa Canyon 4:51.26 Bowen Sonoma Academy
100H :14.46 (8) Nealis Valley Center :13.64 Davis Agoura
300H :44.07 (10) Bell Steele Canyon :41.01 Woodward Vacaville
4×400 3:54.12 (10) LaCosta Canyon 3:49.80 Westlake Village Oaks Christian
HJ 5-6 (4T) Snow Carlsbad 5-8 Burke Riverside Poly
Hickey Coronado
Smith Mission Hills
LJ 19-0 ½ (10) Smith 20-6 ¾ Davis Agoura
SP 47-0 (3) Altice Del Norte 53-5 Bruckner San Jose Valley Christian
45-9 ½ (5) Tausaga-Collins Mount Miguel
DISCUS 160-4 (3) Tausaga-Collins 181-1 Bruckner




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1926: John Perry Steps Down From Hilltop Perch

San Diego High represented one of the best football coaching jobs in the state, but was John Perry all in?

Perry ruminated that the 1925 season, which ended in a bitter, 13-6 loss to Covina in the CIF championship game, was too long and a reason his club had let down in the title game.

That apparently was why Perry’s started practice a week later this season and moved the start of practice from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Perry took another path.

Perry took another path.

Perry also had been delayed because he was attending a summer school football class in Los Angeles taught by USC coach Howard Jones.Despite Perry’s seeming detachment, the Cavemen appeared ready to make another strong run.Superstar halfback Bert Ritchey was back for his third varsity season, joined by tackle Cy West, and several other holdovers from the 10-1 team of the year before.

Players were moving up from coach Gerald (Tex) Oliver’s B team, which defeated Huntington Park, 13-6, for the 1925 Southern California championship.

And there were incoming sophomores from Roosevelt and Memorial, teams which played for the championship of the city junior high league in                                                                

After a 27-0 victory in the opening game against the San Diego State Frosh, the Hilltoppers lost sight of the end zone. They scored three touchdowns and 29 points, total, in seven Coast League contests.

The Cavemen dropped back-to-back road games at Long Beach and Whittier but still finished with a 6-2 record.

Perry’s 52-14-5 achievement in seven seasons would not seem raise any doubt about his future as coach.


But the afternoon San Diego Sun newspaper published a story Nov. 19, 1926, the day before the Hilltoppers’ last home game against South Pasadena, that declared Perry was out as coach:

“A complete rearrangement of the coaching staff at the San Diego high school has taken place, and will go into effect at once, it was made known today.

“John Perry, who heretofore coached varsity football, becomes supervisor of physical training and director of school athletics, but will have no coaching connections with the various teams.

“John Hobbs, assistant grid coach to Perry, and in direct charge of the second team, is now head coach of the Hilltop varsity football team.”

The timing of the no-attribution, no-byline article was curious, with two games remaining on the schedule.  It looked as if Perry was being removed from his position and given a highfalutin title of reduced significance.

Key Cavers (clockwise from upper left): Bert Ritchey, John Donohue, Eddie Moeller, Tony Mason, Captain Cy West.

Key Cavers (clockwise from upper left): Bert Ritchey, John Donohue, Eddie Moeller, Tony Mason, Captain Cy West.


San Diego principal Glenn Perkins reacted with a non-denial denial the next day in the scrambling, morning San Diego Union:

“For two years there has been serious consideration of appointing Perry physical education director in charge of all athletics and naming Hobbs mentor of the varsity football squad, but to date that has not been done and it is hardly likely that it will be affected until next fall, if at all,” said Perkins.

Perkins added that “Should the position ‘director physical education’ be created Perry can have it if he chooses and undoubtedly Hobbs will be named varsity football coach.”

Perry responded with a flowery no comment and Hobbs ducked the issue.  “How could I assume control of the varsity football team now when I have called varsity basketball practice for Monday afternoon?” said Hobbs.


The Sun article may have been premature but Perry did step down later and become a P.E. coach and head of the athletics department.  He would stay away from football until starting the program at the new Hoover High in 1930.

The Sun also was correct about the “rearrangement” of the coaching staff.

Hobbs became head football coach and remained in charge of basketball.  Dewey (Mike) Morrow began a legendary career, replacing Perry as baseball coach, and Glenn Broderick took over the track program.

The 1927 Russ yearbook editor's vision of San Diego High coaches (clockwise from top): John Perry, Dewey (Mike) Morrow, John Hobbs, Glenn Broderick.

The 1927 Russ yearbook editor’s vision of San Diego High coaches (clockwise from top): John Perry, Dewey (Mike) Morrow, John Hobbs, Glenn Broderick.


Despite the loss to Whittier, the Cavers still were in the Coast League title hunt when they went to Long Beach, where a controversial play prompted Perry to protest the game.

Principal Glenn Perkins a day later would say there would be no protest.

Trailing, 3-0, Perry told referee Arthur Badenoch, the head coach at Inglewood, that San Diego end Schoettler was going to “hide out” near the Cavers’ sideline on the play following the third-quarter kickoff.

The stratagem worked, John Donohue teaming with Schoettler on a 65-yard scoring pass play.

Uh oh!  Penalty flag.

Badenoch had noticed a Long Beach player offside on the kickoff, according to press reports.  The referee asked San Diego captain Eddie Moeller if the Hilltoppers wanted the penalty or the ball.

Moeller took the ball.  San Diego lined up and Donohue and Schoettler combined to apparently put the visitors in front, 6-3.

Badenoch nullified the play.  The whistle had not been blown to begin play after the referee and Moeller, the San Diego captain, had discussed options.


Twenty-five years later, at a San Diego homecoming, Perry had a different recollection.

“It worked okay, for (Schoettler) caught the ball and scored in spite of the fact that he was detected by Long Beach,” Perry told George Herrick of the Evening Tribune.

“However,” Perry added, “our enthusiasm was dampened when the umpire announced Long Beach had called time out.  It was the only time in my 31 years of coaching that I ever protested a game.”

The coach recalled that the Cavers tried the play again, but a Long Beach defender deflected the pass into the hands of a teammate, who ran 50 yards for a score in Poly’s 10-0 victory.


Two weeks into practice, the Cavers’ stock went up when quarterback Jimmy Meeks and end Laurie Hall transferred in from Hollywood High and were reported to have moved into San Diego’s enrollment district.

Meeks had set a national record of :15.1 in the 120-yard high hurdles, finished second in the 220 lows, and anchored the Sheiks to a national record of 1:29.9 in the 880-yard relay at the state meet in Palo Alto the previous spring.


Meeks entered the opening game in the second quarter but was benched in the second half after he was penalized for “slugging” a San Diego State player.

Days later it was learned that Meeks and Hall had been bounced at Hollywood because they violated a state interscholastic rule by becoming members of a school fraternity.

Santa Ana, which filed a protest in 1925, claiming that Hilltopper Russ Saunders had boxed professionally, alerted Coast League bosses.

“We shall place our cards on the table and let league officials act,” said principal Perkins, who thought the rule was unfair and wasn’t sure it would hold up in a court of law.

Meeks and Hall were out.


Tex Oliver, the ex-Hilltop B coach and track mentor, now was head coach at Santa Ana. The Saints still were unhappy about another protest apparently submitted by San Diego.

Santa Ana wanted Harvey Durkee reinstated. Durkee had played in a practice game in 1925 after not having completed a semester of attendance following a transfer from Huntington Beach.

The few minutes in the ’25 game was declared a full season by the Coast League after Durkee left school, then returned in February, 1926, and completed a full semester thinking he’d be eligible in the Fall.

Durkee and Santa Ana officials were told the player was out of eligibility.  Perry also claimed that Durkee transferred without changing his home address and therefore would be ineligible for a full year.


Perry’s last game as coach and Oliver’s first against his former boss was a 9-7 success in overtime for the visiting Cavers, but there were no huzzahs from the San Diego media.

Wrote Charles Savage of the Union:

“…Oliver’s speedy Saints team reversed the San Diegans dizzy; battered their way through the heavy San Diego line for 15 first downs, and worked the ball within the shadows of the visitors’ goal five times only to lose the ball on fumbles.”

Savage  ended with this zinger:

“The San  Diegans didn’t display any more fighting spirit here today than they have at any time this season.  In fact, their showing could not have been much worse.  And San Diego has displayed some poor football this season.”

A Southern California championship in 1922, two Coast League titles in the league’s four years, and a .768 winning percentage since 1920 apparently were not enough.

Perry couldn’t be blamed for taking a step back.


The Pantages and The San Diego Sun newspaper invited members of the football teams of San Diego High, St. Augustine, and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to a showing of “One Minute To Play.”

The silent movie (talkies still were a few years away) starred Harold (Red) Grange, the all-America halfback from the University of Illinois who had signed with the NFL Chicago Bears.

Grange, playing the role of “Red Wade”, shook off an injury, came into the game with one minute to play, and scored the winning touchdown.

When not punching each others, Coronado officials studied artist concept of bridge from San Diego to island. The bridge was an idea whose time had not come.

When not punching each other, Coronado officials studied artist’s concept of bridge from San Diego to transbay island. The bridge was an idea whose time had not come.


Politics in Coronado, the sleepy community across San Diego Bay, made for angry bedfellows.

The city auditor decked the city manager, twice, in a fist fight outside City Hall and then dropped the manager again a few days later in the street in front of the building after tempers flared during a contentious meeting of the town’s honchos.

All members of the fire and police departments either were fired by the Coronado board of trustees or resigned.  The fistic proficient city auditor, was fired and the city recorder resigned.

A new city Marshal was appointed and said gentleman along with a trustee was sued for $25,000 for assault after expelling an angry attorney from the meeting.

The attorney, struggling with the two officials, claimed to have strained  ligaments in his shoulder.

Typical of the Keystone Cops-like events was the firing in the morning of a police boss, who was reinstated in the afternoon…and then immediately resigned.


Captain Bert Rojas (lower left) and coach Cy Walton (inset) led Mountain Empire's first football team.

Captain Bert Rojas (lower left) and coach Cy Walton (inset) led Mountain Empire’s first football team.

Although he was in and out of games and hampered by a back injury all season, Bert Ritchey was second-team all-Southern California, perhaps a nod from the media selectors who chose Ritchey for a third-team spot despite Bert’s leading Southern California with 25 touchdowns in 1925…captain and tackle  Cy West also earned second-team honors…Perry talked about scheduling a game for Christmas or New Year’s Day with Phoenix Union…this would have been at least three weeks after the season ended and did not happen…Mountain Empire had 12 males on campus in Buckman Springs, 20 miles east of El Cajon…11 were on the football team and the other was the coach, Cy Walton…378 Alhambra supporters made reservations on the steamship S.S. Ruth Alexander out of Los Angeles and arrived the morning of the Moors’ game with San Diego…Alhambra was coached by Charlie Church, who would briefly be the Hilltoppers’ boss in 1928…word from the North was that Church was scrimmaging his charges two hours a day and had taken the team on a two-week trip to the High Sierras in the summer…Point Loma and Mountain Empire, which opened in 1925, joined the County League as varsity members and Oceanside, fielding its first  squad, made for an eight-team circuit..Escondido, 4-4 under first-year coach Amner Petty, posted its first nonlosing season since 1919 and its first league victory since 1921…Sweetwater was 7-0 in County play but dropped a 13-2 decision in the first round of the playoffs at El Centro Central….

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1923: Writer Takes Shots at San Diego Coach

John Perry was 29-10-2 with a winning percentage of .738 in four seasons as San Diego High coach.

But that wasn’t good enough for one sportswriter on San Diego’s largest daily newspaper.

A crushing midseason, 26-0 loss to Long Beach Poly was followed by a disinterested, 13-0 victory over Coast League doormat Whittier.

“The wreck of the Hesperus didn’t have a thing on the disaster of the Cavemen,” wrote Alan McGrew of the Poly game, taking a page from Greek mythology.

McGrew, no Damon Runyan, was The San Diego Union beat man covering the Cavemen and regularly found fault with Perry’s stewardship, very unusual for the era.

The young San Diego High graduate was especially peevish in his account of the Whittier contest:

“…the team had no fight and players seemed to take the ‘I don’t care attitude.’  Coach John Perry seemed to be as bad as any of the players.”

McGrew said the starting backfield “was like four moving dead men.”

“Coach John Perry should receive a good part of the responsibility for the poor showing,” McGrew continued. “Since the Long Beach game he has lacked enthusiasm just as much as many of the players.”

McGrew thought the Cavers should turn in their uniforms if “the high schoolers intend to finish the season in the same miserable manner they played yesterday.”


Principal Glenn Perkins and Perry scheduled a postseason game for charity against the Phoenix Coyotes, billed as champions of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas.

More than 8,000 persons saw the game but no score in San Diego-Phoenix meeting.

More than 8,000 persons saw the game but no score in San Diego-Phoenix meeting.

William Richardson, the California governor, was going to attend and a large crowd was expected, proceeds going to the football fund at the Hilltop and to buy 50 uniforms for members of the band.

There would be a three-week layoff between the Whittier and Phoenix tussles, so Perry called John Nichols, his former Coronado coaching colleague, and booked a home contest against Nichols’ Oxnard squad.

The Yellowjackets reportedly had posted a 7-0 record, but the competition was against teams from small, neighboring Ventura County farming communities.


McGrew went on the offensive again.

“Although it has been the general impression that the Oxnard Union High would be ‘pickings’ for the local high school eleven, the San Diego coach claims the northern squad will give the Hilltops plenty to worry about.”

McGrew had gotten to the point of sometimes not even referring to Perry by name.


“Perry has been inclined to blame sportswriters for his troubles.  First he did not want them to praise the work of his team, declaring that praise was bad for the players.

“Then he did not want the work of the team to be harshly criticized.  That, too, he thought was very bad.  Just what (Perry) wanted was hard to figure out.”

McGrew added that the Cavers would have been better served in 1920 had they hired a coach who had college playing experience, which Perry didn’t.

“At any rate the fact remains that all San Diego High can claim under Perry’s coaching this year is the championship of San Diego County (the Cacers defeated Sweetwater, 33-8).”


Oxnard “looked like a kindergarten squad opposing eleven giants,” wrote McGrew.

The Yellowjackets were on the trampled end of a 77-0 San Diego stampede, highlighted by 11 successful points after touchdown and three touchdowns by probably the smallest varsity player in school history.

Firpo (Shorty) Bethauser, 4-feet, 4 inches, 116 pounds, if you believe the tape measure and scale, scored three touchdowns and was joined in the end zone by six other teammates.

On this day, the writer couldn’t criticize Perry’s coaching or the play of the team:

“Oxnard had no business being on the same field with the Hilltoppers, but this should not take credit away from the high schoolers. With (Coney) Galindo again calling signals. the team oozed with pep, fight, and aggressiveness.”

The season ended with a 0-0 tie against Phoenix, but despite the scoreless result, the teams’ combined 24 punts, and 120 yards in penalties, McGrew declared that “the crowd was lifted by thrilling plays and many long gains.”


Up from Calipatria in the Imperial Valley, out of the University of Montana, came Ladimir Mashin the new athletic coach at Grossmont.

Mashin was better known as”Jack”, an easy cognomen for a man who was easy to know and respect.

Mashin would coach all teams and soldier through the Great Depression and World War II.

Mashin watches over his first team.

Mashin watches over his first team.

He retired from football as the winningest coach in County history after 25 seasons and a 9-1-1 campaign in 1947.

Mashin concentrated on track and field and tutored some of the finest dual meet and invitational teams in Southern California, turning out Grossmont distance runners and weight throwers who ranked among the best in the country.

Grossmont would be 4-5 this season, but championships were on the horizon.

Mashin had 17 winning seasons and finished football with a career record of 125-66-19, a .640 winning percentage.  The Foothillers won or tied 24 games in a row from 1932-34.


John Perry and principal Glenn Perkins attended a meeting the first of September in Santa Ana, where San Diego High became a member of the Tri-County League.

Other schools were Long Beach Poly, Pasadena and Whittier from Los Angeles County and Orange County entries Fullerton and Santa Ana.

A couple weeks later the CIF announced that the alignment would be known as the Coast League and, with exception of the 1941-45 period, the Coast would be San Diego’s home until the San Diego City Prep League was formed in 1950.

San Diego and Poly, which first played against each other in 1910, would be enduring members of the so-called “T.N.T. League”.

The other  schools came and went and newcomers replaced them,  but the  circuit always was respected as being as strong as any in the state.

The Hilltoppers had been members of a Coast League alignment with Poly, Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Whittier in the 1920-21 school year, but, while participating in most sports, they were an independent in football.


General admission to all Coast League games was .50.  All funds derived from advance sales were to go to the school selling the tickets.  Expenses of the games were to be deducted before there was a split of gate receipts.

Perpetual trophies would be offered in all sports with each school annually contributing $25 to the bauble fund.

Officers of the league were Harry J. Moore of Long Beach (also state CIF representative), president; R. O’Mara, Pasadena, vice president, and H.A. Hammond, Santa Ana, secretary and treasurer.


Coach Herb Hoskins’ Red Devils competed in the shadow of San Diego for years, but, despite a 33-8 loss to the Hilltop team in the season opener, won the County League with a 6-0 record, compiled a 7-3 mark overall, and earned a Southern California playoff bid.

San Diego captain Ed Giddings affected gas-mask style face guard with nose attachment for the Cavemen's first game against Sweetwater. No record of whether Giddings continued wearing piece in subsequent action.

San Diego captain Ed Giddings affected gas-mask style face guard with nose attachment for first game against Sweetwater. No record of whether he continued wearing piece in subsequent action.

Sweetwater upset Orange, 7-0, in a quarterfinals game but were beaten, 27-7, by Long Beach Poly in the semifinals.

Sweetwater often was a San Diego opponent in the first game, but Hoskins and Perry dickered over financial terms this year.

Perry, as coach of the home team, offered a $100 guatantee to the Red and Gray-colored squad from National City.  Hoskins wanted a 50-50 share of the gate receipts.

“I can get a Northern team to come to San Diego for as much as Sweetwater wants,” said Perry.  “My club’s as good as any Northern club,” countered Hoskins.

The game was played but no result of the bargaining was published.


Ages of San Diego High players were from 15 (Phil Winnek) to 20 (Coney Galindo, John Fox, and Howard Williams).  Al Schevings was 21 when he graduated in June, 1923.

Galindo, Fox, and Williams would have another year of eligibility in 1924.  Rules eventually would change, such that a youngster could not be 19 years of age before Sept. 1 of his senior year.


End Barkham Garner of Sweetwater was on  the all-Southern California first team.  End Jim MacPherson of San Diego and center Otis of Sweetwater were on the second team.


Neal Anderson, auto mobile editor of The San Diego Union, embarked on a unique trip.  Anderson, riding in a Nash Touring car, covered the 572 miles of San Diego County roads and highways in 18 hours, leaving the Nash showroom floor at the Shaw agency at midnight and arriving back at 6 p.m that day.


San Diego’s Ed (Carburetor) Caballero intercepted 5 passes in one game and threw  five interceptions in another…Whittier’s joining the league allowed San  Diego to fill an open date late in the season…San Diego’s trip to Stanford not only was disappointing  but long…the team took the train to Los Angeles and then boarded the Lark for the 470-mile overnight ride to San Francisco…the Cavemen, who played on the dirt surface of City Stadium, complained of the slippery, grass gridiron on the Palo Alto campus, resulting in numerous fumbles and a reported nine first-half injuries…the Cavers hit the rails again for an early-morning ride to an afternoon game in Fullerton…San Diego road games usually were of two days’ duration…Hal Fitzpatrick,  Al Schevings, Eddie Ruffa, and Bob Perry, members of San Diego’s 1922 championship squad, were on the San Diego State varsity…the Montezuma Mesa school numbered only 160 boys in the entire enrollment…Schevings left and later was on the squad at USC…a midweek Sweetwater game with Fleet Air was called off because rules restricted the airmen from leaving their base on North Island….

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2015-16: Foothills 3rd, Cathedral 14th

There were no state championships, but it was a solid season in San Diego Section  basketball.

Foothills Christian, behind McDonald’s all-star T.J. Leaf, was third in the state in Cal-Hi Sports‘ final boys Top 40 rankings.

Cathedral ranked 14th and St. Augustine 23rd.

The 2015-16 finish showed marked improvement  over the 2014-15 Cal-Hi rankings, in which St. Augustine was 23rd, Torrey Pines 24th, and Foothills Christian 36th.

Foothills gained  currency when it defeated Santa Ana Mater Dei, 50-44, in the Southern California quarterfinals before bowing to Chino Hills, 82-62.

Chino Hills (35-0) won the state championship and is national champion, according to all major polls.

Foothills lost its first game to the San Bernardino County squad in December, 106-86, but came closer than any California school when it dropped an 85-83 decision to the Huskies in January.

A basket by Leaf had put the Knights ahead, 83-82, with 13.3 seconds remaining.

3 IN TOP 20

Mission Hills was seventh in the girls, followed by La Jolla Country Day at No. 10 and Bishop at No. 19.

La Jolla Country Day was 15th and Mission Hills 30th in the final 2014-15 rankings.

The last state champions were in St. Augustine boys and Horizon girls in 2013-14.


A highlight of next season is expected to be The Bishop’s Destiny Littleton’s pursuit of the state career scoring record.

Littleton averaged 35.7 and scored 1,178 points this season, giving her a three-season total of 2,934.  San Diego’s Charde Houston set the California record with 3,837 from 2000 to 2004.


Cathedral rose as high as 10th in the Cal-Hi poll after an 82-80, overtime win against Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, but fell following a 72-56, semifinals loss to Torrance Bishop Montgomery…St. Augustine was 17th before dropping a 68-55,  semifinals game at Encino Crespi…Charde Houston played four seasons at Connecticut and is in her ninth WNBA season as a member of the New York Mercury…despite the CIF’s desired “competitive equity,” the Southern Section dominated the  regionals…the San Diego, Los Angeles, and Central  came up short, as all 12 boys and girls division winners were from the Southern Section….

How Cal-Hi Sports viewed San Diego Section squads:


Top 40 Foothills Christian 25-5 3
Cathedral 21-7 14
St. Augustine 24-8 23
Torrey Pines 26-5 37
I St. Augustine 8
Torrey Pines 15
II Mission Bay 21-9 17
Army-Navy 21-11 19
III Kearny 31-4 9
IV El Camino 29-7 4
*Grossmont 23-8
*San Marcos 22-8
V Bonita Vista 21-13 12
*Mission Vista 16-13


Top 20 Mission Hills 29-4 7
La Jolla Country Day 24-6 10
The Bishop’s 25-8 19
I The Bishop’s 6
Torrey Pines 22-9 15
II Mount Miguel 21-12 17
III Eastlake 26-7 13
*Horizon 19-13
IV *La Costa Canyon 23-10
V Grossmont 25-6 13
*Escondido Adventist 23-5

*Honorable Mention.

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1920: Welcome, Grossmont!

A new school or one recycled?

Grossmont High opened this year, located on what was known as the Riverview campus in Lakeside.

It would be two years before the school moved to the top of the Grossmont Summit, overlooking the El Cajon Valley, where it sits today.

But was Grossmont really a new school in 1920?

On the school’s 90th anniversary in 2010, “The Fountain of Hope” was remembered in a campus publication:

“The class of 1916 donated a drinking fountain made of granite from a local quarry and inscribed ‘Class of 1916’ to the old El Cajon Valley Union High School.”

Grossmont's fountain has long history.

Grossmont’s fountain has long history.

The El Cajon Valley High we know today didn’t open  until  1955, when it drew much of the student population from Grossmont, which had been home to students from as far east as Pine Valley, 25 miles away.

The early-century El Cajon Valley High is not even a footnote in local prep sports history, but a team with the designation “El Cajon” played games against San Diego High in 1902, 1904, and 1907.

According to Don King, San Diego High historian and author of Caver Conquest, the 1904 game was against the El Cajon Town team.  The ensuing contests were noted as being against the town’s high school.


Grossmont’s first graduating class numbered 37 students.  There were 11 faculty members with an enrollment of about 150 in four grades.

The athletic teams didn’t become known as the Foothllers until 1921, but Grossmont fielded a team this season, under coach J. Howard Becker, and didn’t score a point in four games against schools that became their County League rivals.

One of those opponents was Sweetwater, an emerging South County school Grossmont would play every season through 1960 except 1941 and ’52.


Army-Navy had a 5-0 record.  San Diego High (4-1) had just been run off Burcham Field, beaten, 51-0, by the 5-0 Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits.

Did Army-Navy have a chance?


New coach John Perry addressed a school assembly the day before the Hilltoppers would meet coach Paul Jones’ Cadets.

San Diego stalwarts (clockwise from upper left): John Hunter, Howard Williams, Lawrence Hall, Roy Richert, coach John Perry, and Richard Knowles.

San Diego stalwarts (clockwise from upper left): John Hunter, Howard Williams, Lawrence Hall, Roy Richert, coach John Perry, and Richard Knowles.

Perry said no team in the United States could beat San Diego by the score Long Beach had mustered and that was by a fluke, which the writer of the story did not reveal and which begged the question, how could a 51-point loss be determined “by a fluke”.

“Furthermore,” said Perry, “San Diego is still in the running (for the Southern California championship) and with the addition of new forms of offensive and defensive playing, which the team has adopted since the defeat at the hands of the Northern city, we expect to take a little revenge on the innocent Army-Navy men.”

The Hilltoppers rained 19 touchdowns on their sadly outmanned opponents.

Although a touchdown by Army-Navy’s Brick Crowell tied the game, 7-7, the score was 26-7 after one quarter, 75-7 following a 49-point second quarter, and 103-7 after three.

The final count was 130-7.

Did Perry run up the score?

His squad numbered only 24 with just a handful of reserves. The teams played 15-minute quarters and rules of the day meant that Army-Navy kicked off after each touchdown.

San Diego’s John Hunter scored 7 touchdowns and added 15 points after for 57 points.  Nine other Cavemen scored touchdowns.

The only team in state history to score more points in one game was Santa Rosa in a 141-0 victory over St. Helena in 1924.

To prevent such runaways CIF sections eventually installed “mercy’ rules and running clocks, usually when one team was ahead by 40-45 points.

Hunter’s point total was bettered in San Diego County only by the 80 points Frank (Toady) Greene scored in a 108-0 victory over Sweetwater in 1929.


The CIF, established in 1913, increasingly found its desired role of friendly, neighborhood cop to 90-plus schools devolving into that of a high school vice principal in charge of discipline.

The Cavemen’s game at Long Beach triggered a major dispute between the governing body and one of its members.

While 8,000 mostly Jackrabbits faithful (about 300 San Diego supporters made the 4-hour trip north) cheered as their team punctuated the victory with 28 fourth-quarter points, Poly officials received a telegram inviting the team to play Englewood High of Chicago.

Football game photography was evolving but still a work in progress.. Union cameraman captured action in San Diego's 56-3 victory over Loyola College of Los Angeles.

Football game photography was  a work in progress. Union cameraman captured action in San Diego’s 56-3 victory over Loyola College of Los Angeles.

The ambitious Chicago squad wanted to play the coast school for what Englewood officials described as a national championship game on Christmas Day.  Poly bosses immediately wired back that they accepted.


CIF secretary Seth Van Patten told Poly administrator Harry J. Moore that Long Beach was required to compete in the 10-team Southern California playoffs and in a possible state title contest.

According to CIF rules, teams were supposed to turn in their gear once they completed play in Southern California or on the state level.

Despite the shellacking, San Diego was a likely semifinals opponent for Long Beach, if the teams won earlier playoffs.

The CIF determined postseason invitations were for schools that had at least three wins over “representative” opponents.


San Diego had qualified for the postseason invitation after victories over Los Angeles Franklin, Fullerton, and Orange.

The Cavers defeated Van Nuys, 81-0, in a quarterfinals contest on the same day that Poly advanced with a 55-0 victory over Los Angeles Poly.

John Perry wanted no part of a second game in Long Beach.  Principal Harry Wise told the CIF that San Diego would play the game only at a neutral site, preferably at Pomona, a good distance from the Jackrabbits’ base.

After defeating L.A. Poly, Long Beach gave the CIF the figurative middle finger salute and pulled out of the remainder of postseason.

The scrambling CIF then gave San Diego a day’s notice that it would play in the semifinals against L.A. Poly, despite the Mechanics 0-55 score against Long Beach.

San Diego led most of the game after John Hunter’s 25-yard field goal, but the Mechanics scored a touchdown in the last five minutes to win, 7-3.

L.A. Poly’s reward was a berth in  the finals, in which it lost to Santa Monica, 49-0.


The game with Englewood never was played, but Long Beach accepted another challenge from the high school in Everett, Washington.

The Everett Seagulls defeated the Jackrabbits, 28-7.


The CIF announced that Poly was being “kicked out”.  Not suspended, but “kicked out,” no longer in the federation.

The punishment didn’t last long.  The Jackrabbits were back in the fold for basketball season.

But the bumbling CIF wasn’t so easy on the San Diego High baseball team, which defeated Cleveland East Tech in a two-game, “national championship series” the following spring.

The baseball Cavemen were hit with a judgment in the 1921-22 school year, barred from playing against high school teams for one season and suspended from the Southern California playoffs.

Pfeffercorn, holding boxing trophy, was football referee until retiring in 1925.

Pfeffercorn, holding boxing trophy, was prominent San Diego sportsman.


Local banking executive and football referee Mouney Cassar Pfeffercorn convened a meeting at the First National for representatives from the high schools and service football teams.

“There are many football officials here but almost everyone has a different interpretation of a rule,” said Pfeffercorn, who noted that problems were cited by out-of-town teams, which complained that local flag throwers incorrectly interpreted some rules.

Born in Austria in 1883 and a naturalized American citizen in 1908, Pfeffercorn was active on many sporting fronts in San Diego in the first half of the 20th century.

Officiating pay generally was $10 for referee and $7.50 each for umpire and linesman.  A fourth official, on request, received $5.


Robert Clark and Justin Bennett of San Diego will be out of the Franklin game “unless they can dig up more credits”, reported The San Diego Union, The article also reported that  “Howard Williams, Chalmers McKenzie, and Harold (Hobbs) Adams also are reported  behind in their studies and will  not play Saturday.”


Six weeks into the school year, San Diego High listed 2,370 students, making it one of the largest high schools in the country, according to the Evening Tribune.

City elementary schools reported enrollment of 9,000, although daily attendance was at least 1,000 fewer.  “An appeal is made to the parents of the city to make the attendance of every child as punctual and regular as possible,” said a City Schools statement.


Football was king but not the only sport at the Grey Castle.  A class of beginners in swimming started, a chess club was in competition, and tennis was popular. Girls interscholastic basketball was due to begin.


Team captain Lawrence Hall sustained a broken nose before the opening of practice when he dived off the high board at a plunge in Del Mar and struck the bottom of the pool.

Hall was recuperating when he engaged in a medicine ball exercise with a teammate a week later and the ball struck Hall in the face.

Hall sustained a second “busted beezer” and was on  the sidelines for another three weeks.


A 21-7 loss to Sweetwater was the first for Coronado against County League competition since a 47-0 defeat by Escondido in 1914.  The Islanders had won 16 in  a row and not been scored on by their suburban competition.


Guard Gordon Thompson and back John Hunter of San Diego made the all-Southern California second team,  Poly’s Jim Lawson was player of the year.


Missing the Van Nuys playoff with wrist and shoulder injuries cost John Hunter a shot at Byron (Pesky) Sprott’s school record of 156 points in one season, set in 1916…Hunter played only eight games but had 18 touchdowns, 24 points after, and a field goal for 135 points…Seth Van Patten, a former baseball coach at Escondido, was elected CIF Secretary…John Perry’s idea of giving his San Diego players a respite from the humdrum of practice was a 2 ½-mile “dogtrot” to and from the nearby Golden Hill Playground…Perry admonished his gridders before the Long Beach trip to “play hard but not dirty  and do not bet on the game”…San Diego’s 81-0 playoff win over Van Nuys was called in the fourth quarter because of darkness….


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