Scott Webb and Jim Arnaiz weren’t joined at the hip. It was more like at the leg.
Together three varsity seasons at Helix High, they would be inducted together into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2005.
Webb quarterbacked the Arnaiz-coached Highlanders to a 12-1 season and the San Diego Section AAA championship in 1982.
The championship in Webb’s only season as a starter was not necessarily more than what he accomplished as a sophomore and junior, seasons in which Webb may have gotten into the game for a dozen or so plays as Jim Plum’s backup.
While Plum set passing records, Webb made his way into the record book and took on a national profile as the best high school placekicker, ever.
He also was the Highlanders kicker as a senior, concluding his career with 207 points after touchdowns and 29 field goals.
Cincinnati Bengals coach Paul Brown was so distrustful of placekickers that Brown turned his back at the snap of the ball when one particular specialist attempted a field goal.
The Helix coach did not suffer from such anxiety.
Grossmont League opponents believed that touchdowns counted for six points at every school but Helix. “For us, it’s seven points because of Scott Webb,” Arnaiz said in an interview with The San Diego Union’s Steve Brand.
“It’s a comforting feeling knowing he’s there,” Arnaiz told Brand. “He becomes a real weapon in close games.”
“(The pressure of) kicking never affected Scott,” said Arnaiz. “He was an outstanding kicker as a young kid, plus he was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) and a good golfer.”
In a 29-0 victory over Granite Hills, Webb did something normally seen only in NFL games. He kicked field goals of 37, 37, 37, 39, and 49 yards for a national prep record and added two extra points for a total of 17.
Webb kicked 120 points after touchdown. He booted 33 in a row as a sophomore before missing a meaningless conversion in the 1980 Section championship game, then made 45 of 46 attempts as a junior and 42 of 43 in 1982.
“Scott has received most of his notoriety as a kicker, but the thing we’re so pleased about is his complete development as an athlete,” the coach said in another interview. “(Before) I think he sort of felt like he was on the fringe because he only kicked.”
Arnaiz won 215 games in his 28-season career, which spanned from 1973-99. After an 11-20 start from ’72-’75, followed by a 4-4 season in 1976, Arnaiz’ program kicked into high gear.
The former Cal Poly-Pomona athlete, who grew up in the Imperial Valley and played four sports at Imperial High, posted a 200-58-15 record and .781 winning percentage in his last 21 seasons.
With Webb kicking and eventually playing quarterback, the Scots enjoyed a 34-4 run in 1980 (12-0), ’81 (10-3), and ’82 (12-1).
Many of Webb’s San Diego Section kicking records would be broken. Inflated scoring and Webb-inspired kickers pushed others in front, but Webb remained near the top in several categories.
Arnaiz would line up Scott against all of them.