Football Blog

1996: Essence of the Game

Rick : November 10, 2014 1:14 pm : Football

Virtues and moments that identify high school football:

–Overflow crowd of more than 4,000 at San Pasqual High, under Friday night lights, for neighborhood bragging rights.

–Tom Kirovski carried the ball on 24 of San Pasqual’s 28 second-half possessions and gained 173 yards as the Eagles defeated Orange Glen, 28-17, in the “Battle of Bear Valley Parkway.”

–To the winner goes the polished, wooden “Bear” trophy.

–“This is a big game, the game of our lives!” Kirovski exclaimed to Tom Shanahan of the Union-Tribune.

Kirovsky ran often and hard as Golden Eagles won "Bear."

Kirovsky ran often and hard as Golden Eagles won “Bear.”

–“It’s for the Bear,” Kirovski reverently added after scoring on runs of 4, 13, and 2 yards.

–About his workload in the third and fourth quarters, the 6-foot, 1, 190-pound junior said, “That’s my job as the fullback, run hard and knock people around.”

–Kirovski gained 18 yards in 5 carries in the first half.

–Said Orange Glen coach Rob Gilster:  “Officials killed us in the first half (when Glen led, 17-7) and San Pasqual kicked the stuffing out of us in the second half.”

The schools’ addresses are about three miles apart, on Bear Valley Parkway.


The honor of being a team captain at Orange Glen required  a little more than calling the coin toss or being the BMOC.

Nate Nyberg gets a cooling lift during a hot preseason practice, after hiking in chilly mountain air.

Nate Nyberg gets a cooling lift during a hot preseason practice, after hiking in chilly mountain air.

Nate Nyberg and 3 other captains led a summer exercise with the team that would make the Navy SEALs proud.

The Patriots hiked six miles up in the High Sierras, strapped to 40-pound backpacks, and camped in the elements for three nights, with snow on the ground.

Part of this bonding experience required the captains to sing the school fight song while standing in a near frozen lake.

“That’s the fastest I’ve ever sang (sic) that song,” Nate recounted to  Mascari-Bott.


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2014 Week 11: Revenge of the Cardinals

Rick : November 9, 2014 2:49 pm : Football

What a difference 70 years makes.

Jerry Ralph’s speedy, competitive Hoover Cardinals took a 63-0 halftime lead and then called off the jam, activated the running clock, and ran out the game against former arch rival San Diego.

The 63-point victory gave Hoover the City League championship and its first outright league title since Roy Engle’s 1963 club won the Eastern League championship by defeating San Diego, 20-7, on the final Friday night of the regular season.

Hoover’s 8-2 record tied the Cardinals for the fourth most victories in school history, matched by the 1956 (8-2) and 1986 (8-4) teams, and bettered only by the 10-2 of Willie Matson’s 1999 squad, Mike Wright’s 9-3 team of 2006, and Ralph’s 9-3 in 2013.

San Diego  fell on hard times years ago, but this latest, mercy killing is payback for the dwindling few Cardinals faithful who were around when the Cavemen destroyed the Redbirds, 72-0, in 1944.

Over the decades Hoover was on the receiving end of other San Diego blowouts, such as 48-7 (1946), 53-13 (1959), 56-7 (1969), 50-13 (1980), and 66-6 (2002).

League championships have been few and far between in the 85 seasons of Hoover football.  For years the school was known for outstanding basketball and baseball programs.

Hoover opened in 1930 and won titles in an early incarnation of the City League in 1931 and ’32.

The 1935 team, with Engle as its star runner, was 7-1-1 and won the Bay League championship.  That team’s .833 winning percentage has been equaled once, by the 10-2 of Matson’s Harbor League runner-up 15 years ago.

Ralph is ascending among the career leaders.

With a 23-10 record since 20-12 at Hoover, Ralph’s overall mark in 16 seasons at Santana, St. Augustine, Del Norte, and Hoover  is 119-67-2 for a .638 percentage, eighth highest among active San Diego Section mentors.

Winning at Hoover:

1931 City 3-0 1 5-3
1932 City 3-0 1 6-3
1935 Bay 5-0-1 1 7-1-1
1943 Victory 5-0-1 1 5-0-1
1956 City Prep 3-0-1 1 8-2
1962 Eastern 4-0-1 1 7-2
1963 Eastern 4-0-1 1 7-2-1
1986 Central 4-1 1T 8-4
2006 Western 4-1 1T 9-3
2014 City 4-0 1 Still competing.

The 1943 Cardinals, Hoover's lone, undefeated squad. Head coach Raleigh Holt (left) was assisted by Bob Breitbard (dark top, second row).  Stars included Eddie Crain (31), Jim Morgan (25), Frank mith (40).

The 1943 Cardinals, Hoover’s lone, undefeated squad. Head coach Raleigh Holt (left) was assisted by Bob Breitbard (dark top, second row). Stars included Eddie Crain (31), Freddie Espy (25), Frank Smith (40).


The computer spoke.

There was no outrage, just a few raised eyebrows when San Diego Section commissioner Jerry Schniepp announced pairings for the five divisions of postseason playoffs.

Winning a league championship does not have the cachet of the past.

El Capitan won a head-to-head battle with Helix, 24-17, for the Grossmont League Hills title this week, but was consigned to the top seed in Division II, while the Highlanders were the third seed in the Open.

With top clubs getting Open Division berths, the D-I bracket is beyond weak.  Point Loma (8-2), Madison and Steele Canyon, each 7-3, are the only winning teams of 12.

Open Division teams get first-round byes this week, then the bracket of eight clubs will battle for the Section championship and a possible invitation to the state playoffs.


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2014 Week 11: It’s Helix’ Turn to Scratch Head

Rick : November 3, 2014 3:44 pm : Football

A panelist who voted for Helix as the No. 1 team in the UT-San Diego top 10 in the last two polls apparently was dissatisfied and cast his vote for Oceanside this week.

Helix’ 56-10 victory over Grossmont last week seemingly was not impressive enough when compared to Oceanside’s 35-6 win over La Costa Canyon.

Oceanside is 9-0 but had seen first-place votes dwindle from 19 to 16.

Oceanside received 17 of 19 first-place votes in today’s poll, the other two going to Cathedral and Helix.

The Pirates can earn their fourth undefeated regular season since 2004 with a win over crosstown rival El Camino this week.

Cathedral (9-1) is idle, but Helix (8-1) visits El Capitan (9-0) with the Grossmont Hills title on the line, not to mention seedings and division alignments in the playoffs.

The regular seasons ends Friday for most teams.  Saturday will be the biggest day , with announcement of postseason pairings and sites and selection of the top eight teams for the Open division.

The poll vote after Week 10:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Oceanside (17) 9-0 188 1
2 Cathedral (1) 9-1 164 2
3 Helix (1) 8-1 154 3
4 El Capitan 9-0 130 4
5 Mission Hills 7-2 122 5
6 San Marcos 9-0 83 6
7 Eastlake 6-3 65 7
8 Christian 9-0 41 8
9 Sweetwater 9-0 31 10
10 Rancho Bernardo 7-2 23 NR

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Point Loma, 15; Ramona, 12; Steele Canyon, 3;  La Costa Canyon, The Bishop’s, Hoover, West Hills, Torrey Pines,  2 each; Madison, Fallbrook, Brawley, 1 each.

Nineteen sportswriters, sportscasters, and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei, Kirk Kenney, UT-San Diego; Terry Monahan, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (UT-San Diego correspondents); Bill Dickens (; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions); John Kentera, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, (The Mighty 1090); Jerry Schniepp (CIF San Diego Section); Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, (KUSI-TV); Bruce Ward (San Diego City Schools); Rick Smith (; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (Mountain Country 107.9 FM); Bodie DeSilva (; Drew Smith (

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1995: Bennie Burns as Monte Vista Begins Title Run

Rick : November 2, 2014 5:47 pm : Football

Bennie Edens was pissed.

“I don’t appreciate being embarrassed,” Edens heatedly responded to a question from Paula Mascari-Bott of the Union-Tribune.

“Playing your starters in the fourth quarter, it’s poor sportsmanship,” steamed Edens.  “I’ve been coaching forty-one years and I’ve never embarrassed anyone when they’re that far behind.  That’s wrong.”

The Pointers had just finished on the wrong end of a 52-0 score in their season opener, a drubbing administered by the ambitious Monte Vista Monarchs.

The response of visiting coach Ed Carberry was tepid.

“We don’t have a lot of guys to sub in,” Carberry said.  “We only have thirty-one varsity players.  We played our second string defense the entire second half.  Everybody played in the game.”


The loss was the worst in Edens’ career and represented the most points allowed since Rancho Buena Vista outscored the Pointers, 56-36, in the San Diego Section playoffs in 1989.

The Pointers had suffered only one shutout more decisive. Coronado iced them, 55-0, in 1929.

That the season opener was a home game made this one more galling for Edens.  Point Loma had been the visiting team or the game was at a neutral site in those other losses.

Edens rallied his team from a 0-4 start and was 6-5 before dropping a 36-0 decision to Escondido in the playoff quarterfinals.

But Bennie was in the sunset of his career.

The decade of the ‘eighties and 94 Point Loma victories was gone. He would retire after a 0-10 season in 1997.


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2014 Week 10: Fallbrook Fells Foes

Rick : November 1, 2014 4:02 pm : Football

Give it up for Fallbrook!

The Warriors claimed their first league title since 2003 this week with a 31-6 victory over Orange Glen.

The Valley League championship  might also get the Warriors more than a cursory look from area observers.

Quietly, almost surreptiously, Fallbrook has crept to  a 7-2 record but hasn’t received one vote of a possible 190 (19 voters each week) in the first 10 weeks of the UT-San Diego Top 10 poll.

One of Fallbrook’s losses was a 47-7 zinger to El Camino, after which the Wildcats’ season  went South.  The other was 13-8 to San Marcos, which will take a 9-0 record into its  “Discovery Bowl” city rivalry game with Mission Hills in the regular-season finale.


Fallbrook tied for first with Oceanside and La Costa Canyon in 2003 but advanced to the Divsion I final, losing to Torrey Pines, 7-3.

The Warriors were comatose from 2004-13, posting an overall record of 21-82-2 under 4 different coaches. First-year coach Kyle Williams was 2-8 in 2013, but laid the groundwork for this season’s recovery.


Zack Podraza works Friday nights.  His father works Sundays.

Quarterbacking Scripps Ranch, the younger Podraza threw for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 62-37 loss to St. Augustine. Dad Tim Podraza has been a game official in the NFL since 2008, working as a line judge.


Valhalla won the “Jamacha Helmet for its 25-24 victory over Steele Canyon…Jamacha Road runs through San Diego and El Cajon and is near the schools…Grossmont coach Tom Karlo was on the short end of a 56-10 score against Helix, but he was the Foothillers’ starting quarterback in their last victory over Helix,  28-14  in 1991…Grossmont is 0-17 against Helix since…rampaging Christian was so far ahead of University City that the Patriots were involved in a running clock in the second half for the eighth time this season…Christian’s Adrian Petty led the way in the 42-6 victory, rushing for 174 yards and 4 touchdowns, then sitting out the last two quarters….


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2014 Week 10: Oceanside Slips in Cal-Hi Top 25

Rick : October 29, 2014 1:14 pm : Football

Oceanside dropped from sixth to seventh in Cal-Hi Sports‘ weekly State Top 25.

The 8-0 Pirates, driving toward their first undefeated regular season since 2009, are joined among the state’s elite by Cathedral, which moved up to 22nd from 23rd, and Helix, which gained to 24th from 25th.

It’s been noted that Oceanside has not been as dominating in its last two games, which were Avocado West League victories over Torrey Pines, 42-21, and over Carlsbad, 28-14.

Not perfect, but still formidable.

El Capitan remained No. 1 in Division III South and Christian is No. 1 in Division  IV South.  Oceanside is fifth in D-I South.



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2014 Week 10: Oceanside Still at Top

Rick : October 27, 2014 6:31 pm : Football

There’s no room at the top in the UT-San Diego weekly poll.  Some points adjustments were noted, but the same eight teams remained in place from the previous week.

While there were no changes, Cathedral took one of Oceanside’s first-place votes.  Helix had swiped two first-place votes two weeks ago.

The Dons gained as result of eight straight wins and a 57-22 rout of St. Augustine, while Oceanside, still undefeated, had to grind out a 28-14 victory over Carlsbad.

Christian inched up from 10th to ninth and Sweetwater was admitted to the group at 10th.

The Red Devils of coach Brian Hay, who have won 16 games in a row since 2013, actually had one less point, 18,  than last week, when they were among the “others receiving votes”.

The regular seaason ends in two weeks followed by four weeks of playoffs and possible Southern California playoff berths.

According to the San Diego Section’s intricate ratings system it appears that Cathedral and Oceanside could be on a collision course to meet in the Open Division semifinals.

Poll results after Week 9:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Oceanside (16) 8-0 187 1
2 Cathedral (1) 8-1 163 2
3 Helix (2) 7-1 155 3
4 El Capitan 8-0 131 4
5 Mission Hills 6-2 114 5
6 San Marcos 8-0 81 6
7 Ramona 7-1 78 7
8 Eastlake 5-3 58 8
9 Christian 8-0 27 10
10 Sweetwater 8-0 18 NR

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Point Loma, 16; Steele Canyon, 10; Rancho Bernardo, La Costa Canyon, 2 each; The Bishop’s, Hoover, Madison, 1 each.

Nineteen sportswriters, sportscasters, and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei, Kirk Kenney, UT-San Diego; Terry Monahan, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (UT-San Diego correspondents); Bill Dickens (; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions); John Kentera, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, (The Mighty 1090); Jerry Schniepp (CIF San Diego Section); Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, (KUSI-TV); Bruce Ward (San Diego City Schools); Rick Smith (; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (Mountain Country 107.9 FM); Bodie DeSilva (; Drew Smith (

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2014 Week 9: A Vote for Cathedral

Rick : October 26, 2014 4:34 pm : Football

Cathedral has been on a rampage and Oceanside may be losing some steam.

So Cathedral was No. 1 when I emailed my weekly Top 10 selections to John Maffei of UT-San Diego today.

The Dons ran away from St. Augustine, 57-22, in the battle of Catholic school titans last week and Oceanside gradually put away Carlsbad, 28-14.

The Pirates are still unbeaten, but have been a little off their game the last two weeks.

Oceanside is 8-0 through Week 8 and Cathedral is 8-1.  The Pirates were sixth in Cal-Hi Sports‘ most recent Top 25 and the Dons 23rd.  Helix (7-1) was 25th.

How bad were the Dons in their 55-10 loss to Folsom on the opening weekend?  Maybe not as bad as the score indicated, as preposterous as that would appear.

Folson is 8-0, the scourge of  the Sac-Joaquin Section, and has topped 55 points in five games since, including a 56-21 blowout of 24th-ranked Rocklin last week.

Maffei publishes the Top 10 poll each Tuesday.  The rest of my vote:  3, Helix. 4, El Capitan. 5, Mission Hills. 6, Eastlake. 7, Ramona. 8, Christian. 9, Point Loma. 10, tie, San Marcos and Sweetwater.


Serra topped San Diego, 35-8, but the Cavers scored their first points under coach Knengi Martin, who took over after the third game.  Martin was encouraged.  “This was the kind of energy that will lead to winning,” said the coach.

UT-San-Diego correspondent Alex Riggins asked Martin what the Cavers could achieve in 2015. “The playoffs,” she said.


Homecomings, rivalry games, and perfect weather had football fans in the mood.  Almost 7,000 packed Mesa College’s Merrill Douglas Stadium to watch Cathedral and St. Augustine.

Another 5,000 were on hand at Eastlake, where the host Titans kept possession of the bronze boot with a 45-20 victory over Bonita Vista.  Eastlake holds a 13-8-1 advantage in the series and hasn’t given up the boot since 2005.


“We’re the best 3-4 team in the county,” Torrey Pines coach Ron Gladnick said to Rick Hoff of UT-San Diego before the Falcons’ 14-0 win over El Camino.

A quick check showed nine other 11-man clubs with 3-4 records before Friday’s games: Mater Dei, Olympian, Santana, Valley Center, Del Norte, Bonita Vista, Francis Parker, Grossmont, and Carlsbad.

Let the discussion begin.








2014 Week 9: What Did Oceanside Do Wrong?

Rick : October 20, 2014 12:18 pm : Football

You win your last four games by combined points of 168-21  and lose votes?

That’s what happened to Oceanside (7-0) in this week’s  UT-San Diego poll.  The Pirates, who defeated Torrey Pines, 42-21,  remained on top,  but it wasn’t unanimous.

No. 3 Helix (6-1) claimed two first-place votes.

Cathedral, ranked second with a 7-1 record and a victory over Helix, must be scratching its head. The Dons won their sixth in a row, routing Lincoln, 48-0.

Helix has scored 167 points in the last month.  Oceanside has had four consecutive outings of 42 points each, while Helix has scored 42 in each of three games and 41 in the other.

Poll result after Week 8:

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Oceanside (17) 7-0 188 1
2 Cathedral 7-1 163 2
3 Helix (2) 6-1 154 3
4 El Capitan 7-0 125 4
5 Mission Hills 5-2 110 5
6 San Marcos 7-0 84 6
7 Ramona 6-1 75 7
8 Eastlake 4-3 49 8
9 Steele Canyon 6-1 29 NR
10 Christian 7-0 26 10

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes:   Sweetwater, 19; Point Loma, 11; The Bishop’s, 2; West Hills, Rancho Bernardo, Vista, El Camino, 1 each.

Nineteen sportswriters, sportscasters, and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei, Kirk Kenney, UT-San Diego; Terry Monahan, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (UT-San Diego correspondents); Bill Dickens (; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions); John Kentera, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, (The Mighty 1090); Jerry Schniepp (CIF San Diego Section); Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, (KUSI-TV); Bruce Ward (San Diego City Schools); Rick Smith (; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (Mountain Country 107.9 FM); Bodie DeSilva (; Drew Smith (


2014 Week 8: Hast(ings) Makes No Waste

Rick : October 18, 2014 4:47 pm : Football

U.S. citizens have elected 11 Presidents since 1946, but Point Loma hasn’t gotten with the program.

The Pointers have had three head coaches in the 69 seasons since World War II.

Count ‘em.

Don Giddings replaced Bill Maxwell in 1946 and guided fortunes on Chatsworth Blvd., through 1954, succeeded by Bennie Edens, who didn’t hang up his whistle  until after the 1997 campaign.

Hastings Has Pointers in right direction.

Mike Hastings, who grew up on Point Loma and whose father taught and coached there and whose older brothers played for Edens, is a University alum  and played on teams coached by Ron Hamamoto.

After playing defensive tackle at Cal Poly of San Luis Obispo, where his roommate was Pointers grad Steven Cota, who starred on Edens’ 13-0 team of 1987, Hastings began working his way  home.

After coaching at Morro Bay, Hastings joined his father, Bill Hastings, as an assistant under Edens in 1993.

Now in his 17th season as head coach, Mike Hastings had made his mark.

The Pointers defeated La Jolla, 35-31, in the battle for The Shoe this week and are 7-1, their best record at this juncture since 2006 and headed for the postseason.

Hastings’ clubs have made 13 consecutive playoff appearances, and the victory was his 120th.  That tied Hastings for 28th all-time in San Diego County with Gene Alim and John McFadden, who also earned 120 victories.  Christian’s Mike Oliver won his 121st this week.


Jaylen Griffin gained 260 yards on eight carries and blew out touchdown runs of 78, 80, and 31 yards as Point Loma rushed for 332 in a 35-10 first half.

La Jolla’s second half surge had the Pointers perspiring.

“We persevered,” Hastings told Jim Lindgren of UT-San Diego.  “We really had to suck it up at the end.”


Hastings’s high school coach, Ron Hamamoto, now in his third season at Monte Vista after winning at University, Rancho Bernardo, and Lincoln, has guided the Monarchs to a 4-3 record and the 45-10 win over Santana this week  was the 199th victory of Hamamoto’s career.

Hamamoto’s 200th will place the Long Beach Poly graduate with seven others who have crossed that threshold: Herb Meyer (339), John Carroll (241), Bennie Edens (239), John Shacklett (229), Gill Warren (217), Ed Burke (215), and Jim Arnaiz (213).


Point Loma’s victory was for the Shoe Trophy that has been in play most years since 1948.

Mt. Carmel and Poway reinstated the Kiwanis Cup challenge, which started in 1975 but was on hiatus since 2012. The Sundevils won, 24-14, and for the first time since 2006.

Carlsbad took an 11-10 series lead over La Costa Canyon with a 27-26, overtime vistory and possession of the Rotary Cup.

San Pasqual knocked off undefeated Orange Glen, 21-6, in the battle of Bear Valley Parkway and for the hand-carved wooden “Bear” trophy.

Both schools are located on Bear Valley Parkway in Escondido, four miles apart.


It was Homecoming Week throughout the San Diego Section and Hoover had one of the nicest presentations.

The Cardinals began with NFL-style player introductions, followed with the national anthem sung by the school choir, and a blazing opening quarter.

Serra’s ponderous Conquistadors could not keep up with the Jerry Ralph’s small, cat-quick Redbirds, who bolted to a 27-0, first-quarter lead and a romped, 50-0.

The tone was set when Hoover’s George Jones bolted 44 yards for a touchdown on the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage.

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37 Responses to Football Blog

  1. Billy Ervin says:

    Nothing about that 1979 Morse High Tigers break away backfield QB Keith Magee.
    RB Dino Babers, RB Billy Ervin, FB mark Kennedy, who made the Tribune athlete
    of the week……1978* 79 Tigers finished 11-1 and is not recognized……how can I find my

  2. John Carter says:

    I just read about this website from this morning’s paper in Nick’s column, what a great find! I played on Kearny’s 1973 undefeated CIF Champioship team, and our 1973-74 basketball team was undefeated and CIF champions as well. I’ve always wondered if there has ever been a year where both football and basketball teams were undefeated and champions in San Diego County history? Thank you for all your work with high school sports history over the years!

    • Rick says:

      I thanked Nick. And I thank you. I don’t think there have been undefeated football and basketball teams at the same school.
      It’s just too tough a double. Undefeated football teams are more common. I’ll do some research.

  3. Buzz Ponce says:

    Interesting overview on St. Augustine for this upcoming season. Frank Buncom IV, however, is a cornerback, not a linebacker. His grandfather, as I know you are aware, was the original number 55 for the San Diego Chargers and is in the team’s Hall of Fame. Very interestingly, the other iconic number 55 for the Chargers — Junior Seau — has a nephew on St. Augustine’s team that also plays linebacker. Quinn Seau and Buncom IV have roots that parallel the greats in Chargers history. You can read a chapter on Buncom IV and Quinn Seau’s similarities in my book, “Finding Frank: Full Circle in a Life Cut Short.”

    • Rick says:

      I missed on Buncom IV’s position, but I don’t think he’s a cornerback. He’s more of a “monster” in that he’s all over the field, almost a strong safety. I’ve heard of your book. I also interviewed Frank Buncom, Jr., after Chargers games when I was a sports writer at the Evening Tribune. Nice man. Tragic ending.

  4. holly bryant says:

    1978 — Dan Henson was the coach at Christian
    2007 — Grossmont was 2-1 for 2nd place (West Hills was 3-0)

    • Rick says:

      Thank you for the info on Christian’s coach in 1978.. I could not find coaching listings for some schools in late seventies, as the CIF San Diego office does not have directories for those years. I also corrected the Grossmont-West Hills standings. For some reason the 5 teams in the Grossmont North played only three league games instead of four, so there’s no round-robin format.

  5. Absolutely awesome site. I just discovered it by accident right now. Love it. I am 2nd generation born, raised, played and coached in the South Bay of San Diego. I have always loved the CIF-SDS history. I’ll be spending a lot of time (I already have spent a lot) surfing this site.
    Thank you,

    Justin J. Schaeffer
    Resource Teacher
    Head Football Coach
    Murrieta Mesa High School
    (951) 677-0568 ext. 6421

    GO RAMS!!!!!
    Character, integrity and hard work breed opportunity.
    see us at

    • Rick says:

      Thanks for the very kind words, coach, and for subscribing. We have an article going today on three San Diego Section championship games yesterday.

  6. Bob Dexter says:

    I thought it might have been a misprint. Thanks, Rick for checking -still an impressive offensive show by La Jolla.

    • Rick says:

      Impressive indeed, Bob. The 63 points is a La Jolla record for one game, surpassing a romp in which it whacked Kearny, 61-20, in 2002. Last week’s win also ties a 57-0 rout of Coronado in 1990 for largest point differential. Adding to that, back in the heyday of Dan Berry and Butch Taylor the Vikings beat San Dieguito, 57-7 in 1961,. Those are the three highest scores in school history. La Jolla has been punishing U. City for years, including 56-7 in 2012.

  7. Bob Dexter says:

    I saw a score from last Friday. There were no details just the line score. At the end of 3 quarters La Jolla and University City were tied 0-0. The final was La Jolla 63, University City 6. High school quarters I believe are 12 minutes. How did La Jolla score 9 touchdowns in 12 minutes? (9 one play drives?) Does anyone have details on this game?

    • Rick says:

      I wondered about that, too, but a check with Jesse Kearney at UT-San Diego revealed that the actual score by quarters was La Jolla, 19-20-10-14–63 and U. City, 6-0-0-0–6. Sixty-three points in one quarter? That’s 9 touchdowns and 9 PAT attempts and 3 PAT in 12 minutes I suppose anything’s possible. Perhaps it’s happened in 8-man or 6-man. Thanks for writing, Bob.

  8. Jasen Boyens says:

    Orange Glen has gone the way of Sweetwater, Morse, Lincoln; victims of changing demographics over time. For OG it all started to fall apart when Valley Center HS opened, and the Patriots lost all those corn-fed farm boys! So many good players came out of VC, as evidenced by Rob Gilster’s sustained success with the Jaguars. Orange Glen was also victimized by the Escondido School District, whose board members were largely Escondido HS alums – implementation of a free-for-all transfer policy within the district, intended to bolster the Cougars’ fortunes. Despite the courageous Early family’s laudable decision to keep Andy and Austin home at OG, in hopes of bolstering Patriot fortunes, the football program remains decrepit. Dick Disney was a great man whose impact on many lives, including my own, continues through the decades.

    • Rick says:

      Jasen, very interesting comments. You could add several other city schools to that mix. Orange Glen did have it going. I think there have been 3 or 4 NFL players, Salisbury, Lenny McGill, I think, and maybe a couple others.

  9. BoyensJC says:


    Thought you might find this photo [ed: of the OG QB club] interesting;

    We had some pretty good quarterbacks come through Orange Glen for a spell there in the late 70’s through the early 1990’s. Lead by Salisbury, of course, but Doug Disney (and his older brother, Rick), Jon Mitchell, and Cree Morris were all San Diego CIF.

    • Rick says:

      What’s happened with Orange Glen football? Patriots had it going back then. I remember Dick Dinesy as an all-star at Point Loma, then later as an assistant for Chick Embrey at Escondido before he opened O.G. Last I heard Sean Salkisbury was in radio in Chicago. Thanks for writing.

      • Buzz Ponce says:

        Dick Disney also was the first varsity football coach at San Marcos High School when it opened in 1961, following his stint at Escondido HS with Chick Embrey. He was at San Marcos (which was then in the Escondido Union HS District) until Orange Glen launched in 1962-63. He was an incredible coach, and an incredible person. After his retirement at OG, he was elected to the Escondido Union HS District Board of Trustees where he served until his death in 1997.
        RIP, Coach Disney.

      • Rick says:

        I met Disney when he assisted Chick with the 1960 team that won the first San Diego section championship. I always wondered how he got to Escondido, considering he was a big name in high school in the city at Point Loma. thanks for writing, Buzz.

  10. Bob Dexter says:

    Rick, Thank you for the kind comments. Coach Leslie was definitely the right man to get our program going. That 1971 season was a lot of fun!

  11. Bob Dexter says:


    Regarding your article on the best defenses in history, the 1971 Patrick Henry Patriots went 11-1 outscoring the opposition 267-53 an average of 4.4 points. We had 5 shutouts and never allowed more than 8 points in any one game. We lost to Grossmont 8-7 in the championship game but it was a great season.

    I became aware of your great website from Henrik.

    • Rick says:

      Bob: The writer posed a question involving only “championship” teams. I researched from that angle but should have taken it further and included all teams. A one-point loss to Grossmont doesn’t dim the luster of that 1971 Patrick Henry club. Coach Russ Leslie got the new school up and running very quickly. The Patriots reached the San Diego Section finals in their third varsity season and were in the finals three times from 1971-74.

  12. malcolm pusey says:

    Great info. But I would like read tidbits for every season. How about a list of the greatest players (by position), teams and coaches of all time?
    I am just trying to help.

    • Rick says:

      Malcolm, great idea. I have been thinking somewhat along those lines. I guess I would start with Charlie Powell at one of the ends although he played fullback one year at San Diego High. Jack Mashin and Duane Maley would be near the top of my coaches’ list, but I’m first concentrating on the yearly reviews and the yearly scoring leaders. Are you related to Duane Pusey, 13-foot pole vaulter at Grossmont in 1949?

  13. Rick says:

    Mark: I’m not familiar with Jimmy Anderson. Ernie Zampese’s son, Ken, is on the Bengals staff and graduated from University High. I think Dante Scarnecchia played at Cal Western, later USIU.
    I see Lenny arevalo at breakfast every Thursday, so tell me his story and I’ll surprise him. Were you with Shacklett and Mendoza at Morse?

    • Mark Monroe says:

      Len’s story is set in 1973 the first year Jimmy Anderson was hired to teach at Morse and coach the defensive line for Shack. While the two of them were out for a jog around the neighborhood Jim asked Len “where do you see yourself in 10 years” Len replied “here @ Morse, I like what I am doing, why where are you gonna be?” Jim says ” I am going to be coaching in the NFL” and he still is as one of the longest tenured assistant coaches in the NFL. Coach Anderson is the innovative mind behind the warm up Morse would do before and after games known as “Tiger Jays” A tradition that has lasted from 1974 to 2011. Len can tell you the story about Dante. Bob, Len and I recently had lunch with Coach Anderson and Len told that story. Yes I had the pleasure of working with Coach Shack, Mendoza and Arevalo at Morse for 24 years. It was kind of weird working there since I graduated in 1971 and knew them as my idols. Thanks for the reply, Coach Monroe.

  14. Mark Monroe says:

    Wow great job! I worked at Morse for 24 years and have a story Len Arevalo likes to tell about Cincinnati running back coach Jimmy Anderson and New England line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Interested?

  15. Todd Tobias says:

    Great stuff, Rick! I will be reading daily. I bet I’ll find some good crossover stuff for potential AFL stories!

  16. John Walker says:

    Will you be adding a section for All-CIF and All-League players. The reason I’m asking is because I was a 2nd team All Eastern League linebacker for Patrick Henry in 1984 and I lost the newspaper clipping.

    • Rick says:

      John: I’m trying to get these narratives written for each year, plus finding scoring leaders for every year. In time I hope to get to the “all” teams. Thanks for writing.

  17. Albert Oliver says:

    Hi Rick. I played in the 1961 Lincoln/ Saints game losing 13 to 6 to Lincoln.
    Your parents Doug & Jane knew mine Al & Virginia Oliver ( Both Dads in the fishing industry).
    Just wanted to say hi.
    Still live in San Diego..( El Cajon).
    Al Oliver…12/07/2012

    • Rick says:

      Al: Good to hear from you. I see Ron Cota and John Nettles often. I think that was the game in which John made a one-handed catch. Willie Shaw and Vernus Ragsdale combined for about 225 yards rushing in that game.

  18. Richard Houk says:

    Just discovered your wonderful site (thanks to Don Norcross). It is wonderful to see a comprehensive listing of San Diego County’s proud history. I was a part of the 1965 San Dieguito Mustangs and noticed that you may have the wrong score entered for the San Dieguito/Poway game. I believe San Dieguito won, 19-14. It is entered correctly on San Dieguito’s record but not Poway’s. Thank you for putting all of this together!

    • Rick says:

      Richard: The score has been corrected. Game played Sept. 24, 1965. I’ll come up with the scoring summary and send. Thanks for commenting.

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