2017 Week 3:  Cavers Finding It Fun Again

Baby steps to others are leaps and bounds at San Diego High.

Save for a 13-8-2 record by the Keir Kimbrough-coached squads in 2010 and 2011, the Cavers have endured stretches of apathy and losses that extend into the misty past.

San Diego is 32-109-3 since 2002 and have had 12 winning seasons in the last 48, dating to 1970.

Shan Deniston’s 1974 club, led by the great running back, Michael Hayes, was 6-3 and tied for the Western League championship with Clairemont.

The Cavers have not finished that high since.

Which gives rise to their 2-0 start this season under coach Charles James, who took over the downtrodden program and was recipient of several kicks to the pelvic region in the 1-9 and 2-8 seasons of 2015 and ’16.


San Diego has scored 82 points in 28-7 and 54-7 wins over San Diego Southwest and Francis Parker.

Such offensive fireworks haven’t been witnessed since…better take a seat…since the heyday of legendary Duane Maley and the fearsome Cavemen of the 1950s.

Maley’s 1958 squad scored 84 points in its first two games, defeating Kearny, 25-0, and La Jolla, 59-0.

The 82 points in the first two games of the 2017 team have been bettered in only four other seasons by the squads originally known as the Hilltoppers, in 1945, 1925, 1920, and 1919.

The Cavers face 2-1 Montgomery this week in what looks like an even matchup, one more challenging than the first two.

Whatever lies in store for the Cavers and James, who has roots at University City and Morse, it’s still a nice way to start the season.


Parris Pisiona, 12-12 since 2015, is out at El Cajon Valley.  He was replaced by the school’s vice principal before a 32-21 win over Clairemont.

The mysteries surrounding the tenures of Jerry Ralph at El Camino and Hans Graham at Castle Park drag on as the coaches remain in limbo.

Neither Ralph nor Graham has coached a game this year.


Beat Casteel High of Phoenix-area Queen Creek this week and Monte Vista coach Ron Hamamoto will tie Helix’ Jim Arnaiz for seventh place among all-time County coaches with 213 victories…Arnaiz held sway at Helix for 27 seasons, 1973-99…Hamamoto, beginning in 1985,  spent 11 years at University, 11 at Rancho Bernardo, 4 at Lincoln, and is in his sixth season with the Monarchs…Mission Hills’ Chris Hauser, who started at Vista in 2000, won his 144th game last week over Desert Hills of St. George, Utah, and is tied with Escondido’s legendary Bob (Chick) Embrey for 18th…San Ysidro, 3-0 for the first time since the school opened in 2004, steps up in competition at Calexico Vincent Memorial, also 3-0 and 18-7 under David Wong since 2015…Damon Baldwin’s Ramona Bulldogs will try to become 4-0 for the first time since 2014 when they begin Palomar League play against visiting Rancho Bernardo….

The Union-Tribune Week 3 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (22) 2-0 274 2
2. Madison (4) 3-0 247 3
3. Helix (2) 1-1 244 1
4. San Marcos 3-0 171 6
5. Carlsbad 3-0 153 7
6. Torrey Pines 2-1 101 9
7. El Camino 2-1 76 4
8. The Bishop’s 3-0 71 10
9. Cathedral 1-2 50 NR
10. Lincoln 2-1 49 5

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

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Ramona (3-0, 44 points), La Costa Canyon (3-0, 44), Oceanside (2-1, 9) St. Augustine (1-2, 9), Christian (3-0, 4), Eastlake (2-1, 3), Grossmont (2-1, 1).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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