The blog objective is to provide a record of every San Diego County high school football season from the late 1800’s through today, as many as possible given the scarcity of the information in some seasons. Each year will include a blog post narrative summary of season highlights, influential events, coaches and league officials.
A season scoring summary page accompanies each blog post. This page has game outcomes, game location, individual school information, and league affiliations and records for every team that competed that year. Some information, especially for the myriad of small San Diego County private schools, never made it into the San Diego newspapers or other publications. The Union-Tribune database has been the source of most but not all scores since 1965.
Former players, coaches, sportswriters and fans who follow San Diego high school sports are invited to contribute with comments on errors and omissions. Future seasons will be narrated and scores added as we move along.
I was a young sportswriter covering the city high schools for the Evening Tribune in the 1960s, but my preparation for this assignment began years before. As far back as high school I had shown a nerdy interest in what happened before I came on the prep scene. I’d make trips to the Central Library newspaper room and view microfilm of old issues of the Tribune and The San Diego Union and put together lists of scores.
All of this research came together when the Tribune published the “High School Football Record Book, From 1895 to 1965,” a 68-page compilation of San Diego County football scores and records made available to high schools and the general public. Forty-one schools, members of the CIF San Diego Section that was formed in 1960, were cited.
(There have been three other Tribune publications inspired by the football idea: Track and Field record books in 1965 and 1971 and the High School Basketball Record Book, “From 1945-69” by Tribune writer Bill Finley).
The 1965 football volume included a substantial contribution from the late William (Bud) Maloney, a colleague on the Union who had interests similar to mine. Maloney, a graduate of Hoover High and one of the founding members of the Hoover Hall of Fame, would visit the fifth floor “morgue” at the newspaper’s old Second Avenue address and view microfilm after concluding his 4 p.m.-1 a.m. shift on the Union sports desk.
My writing and reporting actually started in 1955 when Humberto Chacon, the sports editor of the Lincoln High Buzz, assigned me to cover the Hornets’ junior varsity football team. I had just enrolled in Mr. John DeBeck’s journalism class at the beginning of my junior year.
I later had professional positions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and St. Louis, but San Diego always was home, and I maintained an interest in San Diego’s outstanding high school sports scene.
After working in the NBA and NFL, and covering major sports events for the Tribune in a 50-year span, I retired a second time and came home for good in 2009. I now had time to address a lingering idea of more than 20 years: Reprising the 1965 football publication, this time not in print but in cyberspace.
It is an ongoing process. The San Diego Section of the CIF now numbers at least 90 schools fielding teams, including nine from the Imperial Valley. Holtville, Calipatria and Imperial joined in 1980, followed in 2000 by El Centro Central, El Centro Southwest, Blythe Palo Verde, Calexico, and Calexico Vincent Memorial.
A bow to noted historians and good friends William Swank and Don King for their initial support and research. Swank is the dean of all that relates to baseball history in San Diego and is an accomplished biographer and book writer. King is a board member of the San Diego High Alumni Association and author of “Caver Conquest“, the athletic history of San Diego High dating to the 1880s and arguably the most complete and definitive publication of its kind.
Finally, special thanks to my good friend and cyberspace mentor Henrik Jonson (see below) and to my wife, Susie, always patient, always supportive.
Rick Smith, January, 2012.
It all started when I heard my ol’ friend Rick typed his Upper Deck football cards on an IBM Selectric and faxed them to Upper Deck. I vowed from then on to keep Rick in current technology.
My personal journey started at age 9 as my sister Ann, 5, and I bid goodbye to Grandma Nora and boarded an SAS DC 3 flight to join our parents in “Amerika”. On arrival after a 16-hour trip from Gothenburg, Sweden to New York, mamma Anna and pappa Sven drove us to Chicago in their new ‘55 Chevy Bel-Air. After another Atlantic criss-cross, and a brief stint in New York and New Jersey in the early ‘sixties, the entire family finally settled in Southern California in 1966.
The Tappan Zee ‘Flying Dutchmen’ in Rockland County, N.Y., was my high school team. I may have graduated #5 of 93 in the class of ’63, but I mostly picked up pine splinters for 3 years on the football team. Weighing in at ‘hefty’ 150 pounds, and low on the depth chart behind perennial All-County performers, I nevertheless gave it 100 per cent every day as an offensive and defensive end (#33 below).
Looking back it was one of the best times of my life, as it should be, looking only forward with all dreams and aspirations intact. The camaraderie, lasting friendships, ribbing about being in the school chorus, towel snaps in the team shower, called ‘braintrust’ by non-college bound senior teammates for correcting their chemistry homework during homeroom, Atomic balm in the jockstrap, bus rides to away games, free hotdogs after home games, are all cherished memories. I know and understand why high school sports experiences are held in high esteem. I do.
Proudly holding my UCLA bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering I became a San Diego resident in 1970 at NCR, living in Scripps Ranch with Carol since 1972, now in Poway since 1987. I’ve continuously kept pace with electronics, then embedded software technology, and now with the ever-evolving tools and methods of ‘cloud’ based computing and the internet.
My long friendship with Rick gave me this opportunity to attempt mastery of website technology, creation and administration. To combine WordPress, HTML, PHP, SQL, ISP file organization and usage, and all other web-tools for an informative website for San Diego football fans is for me a naturally evolved pursuit.
Henrik Jonson, January, 2012.