2017: Week 11:  Hats Off!

A doffing of the fedora to the 16, playoff-bound teams that won league championships:

Avocado Mission Hills 10-0 2013
Central San Diego 10-0 1960*
City University City 9-1 2012
Coastal The Bishop’s 9-0 2016
Eastern Lincoln 8-2 1991+
Grossmont Hills Helix 9-1 2016
Grossmont Valley Granite Hills 8-2 2016
Imperial Valley El Centro Southwest 10-0 2010
Manzanita Calexico Vincent Memorial 8-2 2002#
Metro Mesa Otay Ranch 7-3 NA^
Metro Pacific Montgomery 7-3 NA^^
Metro South Bay Hilltop 6-4 2013
Pacific Maranatha 6-3 2014**
Palomar Ramona 10-0 2013
Valley Valley Center 9-1 2016
Western St. Augustine 7-3 2015++

*Tied for Eastern League championship, 1974.

+Tied for Eastern League championship, 1994.

#Won championship as member of Desert League; tied for Manzanita championship, 2016.

^First championship since school opened in 2004.

^^Tied for Mesa League championship, 1986.

**Tied for championship as member of Ocean League, 2014.

++Won championship as member of Eastern League.

Not included:  Eight-man and Independent squads.


Playoff selections have stirred emotions for as long as most people can remember.

In a simpler time, league champions and, sometimes, second-place teams were included.

Then the playoffs began to expand and expand and expand…and expand.

Coaches were drafted to make selections. Complaints of bias and oversight were as common as if the media or school bosses were making the choices.

Then a few years ago came the ratings system, which took into account team performances over a multi-year period.

The ratings are out, replaced this season by a combination of  formulas developed  by Max Preps and Cal Preps.com, two nationally recognized sites recommended by coaches.

Sixty-four of the San Diego Section’s 80-odd teams playing 11-man football have postseason dates on their calendars.

It was inevitable that stinko teams would be included, winless Bonita Vista (0-10), among several others.

“There is no perfect formula to determine the seeds, but I think this is very close to right,” said CIF honcho Jerry Schniepp to writer John Maffei.

Tell that to Brawley (6-4) and Morse (5-5), two schools that were left out, despite long playoff traditions and  success, apparently because they had insufficient strengths of schedules.


I like what legendary Herb Meyer said about the playoffs to writer Steve Brand in 1998, after Meyer declined a playoff invitation for his sub-.500 El Camino team:

“If you’re upright and can take a breath you’re in the playoffs these days.  It’s a joke. The playoffs should be a reward for having a good season and I certainly don’t consider 3-6-1 a good season.”


It was such when Valley Center defeated Monte Vista, 51-10, in the regular-season ending game.

The victory was the 214th in Jaguar coach Rob Gilster’s career.  He’s now tied with, you guessed it, Monte Vista’s Ron Hamamoto for seventh place on the all-time list.


TEAM 2016 2017 COACH
San Diego 2-8 10-0 Charles James
El Centro Central 3-8 9-1 David Pena
Kearny 3-8 8-2 Will Gray
Montgomery 3-7 7-3 Sanjevi Subbiah
Otay Ranch 4-8 7-3 Lance Christensen
Ramona 5-6 10-0 Damon Baldwin
Crawford 3-7 6-4 Mike Wright


The Bishop’s Mozes Mooney has 65 career touchdown receptions, one less than the state record, set in 2000 by Earvin Johnson of L.A. Cathedral and tied last week by Murrieta Valley’s Marquise Spiker…Mooney and Spiker both will  have opportunities for more in the playoffs…Mission Hills moved from 16th to 11th in Cal-Hi Sports’ weekly top 50…Helix climbed to 24th from 29th and Ramona from 50th to 48th…San Marcos is on the bubble,., Mission Hills, on top since Week 3,  finished the regular season No. 1 locally, with voting suspended from now until the end of the postseason….

The Union-Tribune Week 11 poll:

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (24) 10-0 276 1
2. Helix (4) 9-1 256 2
3. Ramona 10-0 216 3
4. La Costa Canyon 7-3* 163 7
5. San Marcos 8-2 144 4
6. The Bishop’s 9-0 140 6
7. St. Augustine 7-3 99 9
8. Madison 8-2 88 8
9. Torrey Pines 6-4 82 5
10. Lincoln 8-2 20 NR

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

*Forfeit loss.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Valley Center (9-1, 18 points),  Eastlake (8-2, 12) El Centro Southwest (10-0, 10), San Diego (10-0, 4),  Otay Ranch (7-3, 2), Grossmont (7-3, 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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