Walt Harvey, whose firm and folksy touch resonated with generations of San Diego-area athletes and future coaches, passed away Feb. 7 at age 95.
A memorial will be held at noon Saturday, Feb. 22, at La Vida Real, where Harvey resided the last several years.
La Vida Real is located at 11588 Via Rancho San Diego, El Cajon Ca., 92019.
Samuel Walter Harvey was born in San Diego and attended John Adams elementary, Wilson Junior High, and graduated from Hoover in 1936.
“He never forgot a name, a face, or a particular play in a game,” said Tom Whelan, quarterback of Crawford’s 1961 championship team . “He was amazing. Even when he developed health issues we got to see him and it was a special time.”
It was a moot point for 97 years.
But when Bakersfield defeated Loomis Del Oro, 56-26, in the State Division I championship in 2013 an old dispute surfaced.
Officially the title was Bakersfield’s seventh, along with years of 1920, ’21, ’22, ’23, ’25, and ’27. State championships were not played from 1928-2005.
Bakersfield historians claim the win over Del Oro was the Drillers’ eighth championship, because San Diego High refused to play then-named Kern County Union in 1916.
But did the Hilltoppers’ default, or worse, forfeit?
San Diego coach Clarence (Nibs) Price apparently never agreed to or intended to play the unscheduled game.
Student manager Ralph Noisat is reported to have offered Bakersfield a $300 guarantee days before the Southern California final against Los Angeles Manual Arts.
Noisat, probably acting at the behest of the school’s executive committee, apparently issued a challenge, the Hilltoppers to meet Kern County Union in San Diego on New Year’s Day.
Price said no, not now. He would think about it and decide after the Southern California championship game.
Hours after the 9-0 win over Manual Arts Price said his team was “fatigued” and that the Hilltoppers would call it a day, their season complete.
The coach made plans to take advantage of the school Christmas vacation and headed for Catalina. Many players visited friends or relatives in the Los Angeles area before eventually making their way back home.
Follow the 12-0 San Diego High team, which won the Southern California title and was declared No. 1 in the U.S. by the National Sports News Service, as covered by Jack Darroch, “beat writer” for The San Diego Union.
Darroch’s view took in the inner workings of the country’s outstanding high school program and was witness to some surprising (in 21st century football dynamics) and interesting intramural politics that were part of the Hilltoppers’ memorable season.
Darroch saw it all and wrote about most of it.
Virtually forgotten but noted here were the five other football-playing squads in the County: Escondido, National City (Sweetwater), Coronado, Army-Navy, and the San Diego High reserves, known as the “Seconds.”
Fallbrook, Ramona, and Julian did not field teams.
Aug. 28—On the first day of school and of practice (San Diego High opened two to three weeks ahead of other highs in Southern California) Hilltoppers coach Clarence (Nibs) Price revealed that he would “probably play in the style used by Harvard University” in 1915.
“Harvard’s offense began with the kicking formation, which forced the defense to draw back in preparation for the kick and that opened possibilities for the end run or forward pass,” Darroch wrote.
Price finished the initial workout by sending the team on a short run around the City Stadium field and then through a session of “falling on the ball”. The runways and landing pits for track and field were full of sawdust and useful for this exercise.
The team will be much lighter than last year, but faster, said manager Ralph Noisat, a student at the school.
Sept. 4—Awaiting purchase of a tackling dummy, Price planned to work the team in “signal practice, calling of the plays, and falling on the ball.”
Sept. 5—With graduates helping, five coaches were assisting Price.
Manager Noisat was awaiting approval by the school executive committee to purchase a blocking dummy and bucking machine.
Sept. 6—Additional candidates brought the number at practice to 48. Perhaps the increase in numbers was due to a rally in the auditorium yesterday.
Sept. 7—Coronado’s Ed Suggett averaged about 35 yards a carry in an intrasquad scrimmage at the Coronado Polo Grounds, home field for the Islanders.
“The boys are showing more enthusiasm than in former years, “said captain and kicker Albert (Dabs) Madden, who predicted the Islanders would field a “crack team.”
San Diego was attempting to sign rival Santa Ana for a Thanksgiving Day game, but the Saints said they wouldn’t come unless they received a percentage of the gate receipts, plus a guarantee.
Sept. 9—The executive committee turned down an offer from East High in Salt Lake City. The Utah school wanted San Diego to foot all travel expenses.
Turnout at San Diego jumped to 68 boys, with others turned away because of lack of uniforms. No more than 38 had reported in 1915.
Sept. 12—Lincoln High of Portland proposed a Thanksgiving Day game in San Diego but projected expenses of $800 made the game unlikely.
Manager Ralph Noisat reported that he worked all weekend constructing a bucking machine and installed a rubdown table in the gym.
Sept. 13—Finally, a game. Los Angeles Manual Arts agreed to a $50 guarantee and 10 per cent of the gate receipts to play in the new City Stadium.
Admission was set at 10 cents and a game with Coronado also was scheduled.
Sept. 20—William Buck sustained a broken nose in an intrasquad scrimmage.
The executive committee allowed yell leader Bert Picketts $4 to purchase a blue and white sweater so he would be “all dolled up” for the opening game with Coronado.
Sept. 21—A game with the USC freshman was scheduled. The Hilltoppers covered travel expenses but would keep gate receipts.
Sept. 22–San Diego High spent today on ”blackboard practice”, following a tough Thursday practice that was its last before the Coronado game.
Discontent was reported to be “rampant” on campus.
A game with Santa Ana was agreed to without the consent of coach Price. It was not until two days after final arrangements were made that Price was informed of the game and then only indirectly.
Santa Ana played only for expenses in 1915. “Weaker” thus year, the Saints wrangled a 20 per cent take of the gate, a sum of about $300.
When the 1916 game was proposed it was accepted by the executive committee with one dissenting vote.
End Brick Muller, a sophomore student representative on the committee, was among those who voted for the game.
Football star Bryan (Pesky) Sprott was elected captain of the swimming team. Sprott also played basketball and would be the player-manager of the baseball team.
Sept. 23—San Diego’s starting lineup averaged 153 pounds to Coronado’s 142, but the Hilltoppers were without Brick Muller who injured his nose in practice.
Coronado advanced to San Diego’s 1 and 4-yard lines but couldn’t score as the Hilltoppers won, 19-0, in the City Stadium.
Sept. 25—Officials from the County Conference met to discuss a constitution and set up a schedule. Teams were Army-Navy, National City, Coronado, Escondido, and the San Diego “Seconds”.
Sept. 29—Price gave each player a rule book and said he would periodically quiz them on the different rules and plays.
Every play to be used tomorrow against Manual Arts will be diagrammed on the blackboard this afternoon.
Word from Los Angeles was that Manual Arts players had not been attending class, but were “living” at school and taking all of their meals there.
The Toilers toiled from 6 to 8 each morning and from 4-6 in the afternoon.
The executive committee voted $15 for Noisat and Price to tour northern schools in an attempt to schedule more games.
Sept. 30—A squad of 17 Manual Arts players arrived and were met by a delegation of Hilltoppers rooters.
Price put his players through a “mental drill and worked out every play in theory.”
Oct. 1–San Diego scored a 6-3 victory over the team from Los Angeles.
Oct. 3—Price announced he would work more with the Seconds team in preparation for its County Conference opener with Coronado and called off practice because of rain.
Noisat traveled North by “machine” with Frank Rudolph, manager of the Los Angeles High team. Rudolph had visited the Hilltop in hopes of finalizing a game contract.
The Hilltoppers turned down a game with the University of Redlands since they had scheduled the USC Frosh.
The “Midgets” team played to a scoreless tie with a squad from University Heights playground.
Oct. 6—Noisat signed a two-year, home-and-home contract with Long Beach. A game at Pasadena also would be scheduled if the Bullpups would provide a minimum guarantee.
Oct. 7—County Conference play began with Coronado beating the Seconds, 27-0, and Escondido topping National City, 6-0, on Barr’s eight-yard run.
Oct. 9—Price kept the team practicing until darkness in preparation for the recently signed Orange squad, reputed to be the largest in Southern California and averaging 164 pounds.
Elmer Weitekamp and Werner Shurr, members of the Seconds, were promoted to the varsity, meaning they no longer could play in County Conference games.
Bob Frick, back in school, was declared academically ineligible by the faculty and would miss at least two weeks.
Oct. 10–Noisat wired $90 to Orange for expenses. The Panthers were to arrive Friday evening.
Officers of the junior class announced that a Saturday postgame dance would be held in honor of the visitors.
Oct. 12—The Hilltoppers scrimmaged a team representing the Mission Hills community.
Oct. 13–A ticket, in the color of and shaped like an orange, was produced by the graphic arts department and was used for admission.
San Diego students did the traditional pregame, serpentine dance down city streets before arriving back at campus.
Noisat was allowed to spend $6 to replace the worn and recently purchased tackling dummy.
Oct. 14—The question was, how good are the Hilltoppers, now 3-0 after an 84-6 rout of Orange?
Pesky Sprott scored 5 of the 13 touchdowns. Bill Garber scored a touchdown and drop-kicked a field goal.
Oct. 17—A final account showed that San Diego barely made expenses for the Orange contest. An estimated crowd of only 300 was on hand, including just 4 of the 96-member faculty.
A turnout of at least 580 persons was necessary for the school to cover the expected $145 in travel and advertising expense for the game with the USC Frosh.
Hilltoppers principal Arthur Gould switched the USC contest from Saturday to Friday so that many students, who claimed to having to work on Saturday, could attend the game.
Oct. 21—The Hilltoppers were outweighed, 170 pounds to 155 per man, but defeated the first-year collegians, 10-7, as Lincoln (Abe) Frick scored their only touchdown with a 24-yard pass interception return.
Coronado smashed Army-Navy, 87-0, before a “hilarious crowd that capered along the sidelines” at the Polo Grounds.
Ed Suggett scored 7 touchdowns.
Oct. 23–Frick was officially declared ineligible for the season. Frick had given “insufficient statements” as to why he previously dropped out of school.
Oct. 24—Coronado coach George Perry was looking for a new quarterback. His starter, Lyons, quit school yesterday to go to work in a local bank.
Oct. 28—Principal Gould heard that many students were preparing to “ditch” school and take a special railroad car to Pasadena on Nov. 3.
Gould declared that any student going to the game would be required to remain in school after hours and double the time lost.
The principal then switched gears after receiving permission from his Pasadena counterpart to play the game a day later on Saturday.
Some students reportedly “pouted” and were upset that Gould didn’t “consult” student manager Noisat about a change in the game’s date.
Oct. 28—San Diego Junior College, also coached by Price and located on the high school campus, defeated Fullerton JC, 7-6, in the first intercollegiate game ever played in San Diego.
On the same day San Diego High whipped Fullerton, 40-0, before an announced attendance of 800.
Bryan (Pesky) Sprott returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown for the Hilltoppers, who lost Karl Deeds during the game.
Deeds and Fullerton’s Johnson were ejected, Deeds for holding Johnson and Johnson for punching Deeds.
Oct. 31—Two “female members” of the faculty voted against the eligibility of Jackson Draine, who transferred from a school in Chicago and had to repeat a class at San Diego.
Students repeating classes were not to receive credit, but school administrators determined that San Diego High came under a rule affecting all California schools.
The rule was that a student had to pass only nine units of credit to play.
Nov. 3–Seventeen players, coach Price, manager Noisat, a writer from each of San Diego’s three daily newspapers, and a group of boosters rode on the “High School Special” to Pasadena.
Price entertained, playing ragtime tunes on his ukelele.
Passing through Oceanside the squad led out a yell for Les Gould, a “seaside Hilltop booster”, who waved as the train went by.
The train stopped in Santa Ana and team members awakened the city with a war whoop. The travelers then made their way to an overnight stop in Los Angeles.
Nov. 4—The Hilltoppers rolled past Pasadena, considered the strongest team in Southern California, 26-0, as Karl Deeds set the victory in motion with a 55-yard touchdown return of an intercepted pass.
Price’s team now was 6-0 and had outscored its opponents, 185-16.
Coronado followed up its rout of Army-Navy with a 74-0 victory over National City. Ed Suggett’s scoring totals were not included in the game summary in the city’s three newspapers.
Nov. 11—Attendance was picking up. About 1,000 were on hand in City Stadium as Sprott scored three touchdowns and Garber and Deeds 2 each in a 62-0 victory over Long Beach.
Nov. 14—Ralph Noisat was ousted as team manager for scholastic deficiencies. Renwick Thompson, 1915 manager, took over.
Ed Suggett scored 4 touchdowns and ran for five points after in Coronado’s 53-0 win over the 21st Infantry team, which was part of an Army Regiment that protected the borders of California and Arizona and was stationed in San Diego.
Nov. 15—Noisat was reinstated. Principal Gould cited an error by the committee on eligibility.
Nov. 18—Noisat was part of the game officiating crew, serving as head linesman as San Diego defeated the Whittier State School, 47-10. State was a correctional facility for boys.
Nov. 28—Plans for the Thanksgiving Day game with Los Angeles Poly included marching in serpentine formation around the stadium and through city streets, followed by a bonfire.
Students were seen bringing boxes to schools instead of textbooks.
Nov. 30—The Hilltoppers’ 41-0 victory over L.A. Poly, before a Thanksgiving Day gathering of almost 6,000 persons at City Stadium guaranteed that Ontario Chaffey would be their opponent in quarterfinals of the Southern California playoffs.
Other quarterfinals matchups paired Manual Arts against Pasadena and Fullerton against Glendora Citrus. The six teams led their respective “leagues”, which actually were districts based on geography.
Dec. 4—Price announced that the team would scrimmage only once a week through the end of the season.
Dec. 7—Price had a painted, white football for practice and kept the team on the field until “long after the moon rose over the hills.”
The executive committee voted to pay yell leader Bert Pickett’s expenses to Los Angeles for the Chaffey game, which would be played at the neutral Manual Arts field.
If at least 100 students go, Santa Fe Railways agreed to provide a special coach.
Dec. 8—Price installed an 8 p.m. curfew at the well-appointed, two-year-old Clark Hotel, located at 4th and Hill streets in downtown L.A.
“The boys are in fine shape,” said Price. “They are hard and trained to the minute and have plenty of confidence.”
Dec. 9—Playing what writer Darroch described as its best game of the year, San Diego defeated Chaffey, 21-7, before a crowd generously estimated at 7,000.
Pesky Sprott caught two touchdown passes from Brick Muller and Bill Garber drop-kicked a 44-yard field goal.
Telephone operators at The San Diego Union estimated they received at least, 1,500 calls from fans wanting the game score after the result was received in the Union newsroom at 5 p.m.
Dec. 12—Calexico was offered $200 in expenses, a larger-than-usual sum, to come to San Diego for a semifinals playoff.
Price wanted no part of a game in the Imperial Valley. San Diego would have to leave two days later for a championship game in Los Angeles. The coach said it took a week to recover from a road game.
Sprott sustained a sore neck against Chaffey and would not play against the Bulldogs.
Money was taken from the football budget to pay for a Los Angeles physician, who was on duty at the Chaffey game.
Dec. 15—Calexico was averaging 25 points a game and was undefeated, but had played only four games.
Dec. 16—San Diego “easily outclassed the ‘desert rats,’” Darroch wrote of the 55-0 victory.
The Hilltoppers advanced to play Manual Arts, 47-7 winner over Pasadena and 52-0 conqueror of Fullerton, in a Wednesday championship game at Washington Park, home of the baseball Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.
Dec. 18—Sprott, idled about 10 days with a sore neck, retired for the day after an end run in practice, coming down with a bruised foot.
Manual Arts’ star player, Jim Blewett, was slowed by what was described as torn ligaments in his knee.
Dec. 19—Twenty-two Hilltoppers arrived on the noon train in Los Angeles and worked out on the turf, Washington Park field. Sprott may play but would not start, said Price.
Blewett was said to be out of a hospital and would play with a brace on his leg.
Price established a 9 p.m. curfew for the team, which again was quartered at the Clark Hotel.
Local San Diego sportsman Mouney Pfeffercorn wrote an op-ed piece in the Union that was critical of the Hilltoppers’ football administration.
“San Diego already has beaten Manual Arts and should not have to play the game in Los Angeles,” said Pfeffercorn.
“The high school needs a graduate manager trained in different tricks of arranging games and selecting officials, etc.”
In closing, Pfeffercorn seemed to exonerate Ralph Noisat.
“Unfortunately, they had too many managers (on) the ‘High’ grounds this season and had they left Noisat alone he would have done his best to come out ahead of the game.”
Dec. 20—Sprott did not make an appearance until the third quarter, with the score deadlocked at 0-0.
When Sprott took the field “the band of rooters (approximately 300 made the trip) accompanying the team from the Southern City let forth a battle yell,” wrote Darroch. “The din could have been heard from La Jolla to Dulzura.”
Sprott’s arrival “acted like an electric charge on the tired San Diego players,” wrote Howard Angus of the Los Angeles Times.
Sprott gained 23 yards in six carries, positioning Garber’s 25-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead after a drive that started at Manual’s 37-yard line.
Walter (Dutch) Eels’ 36-yard run in the fourth quarter sealed the Hilltoppers’ 9-0 victory before about 5,000 persons.
Sprott played enough to gain 53 yards in 12 carries.
Blewett was 3-for-3 for 26 yards passing, which gave the Toilers a first down on the Hilltoppers’ 13, where a field goal attempt was blocked on fourth down in the first quarter by San Diego’s Allan Sampson.
Blewett took a shot in the second quarter and did not reenter the game until the fourth quarter and, after a sack of six yards, was carried off the field.
Price nixed Noisat’s challenge to Kern County Union (Bakersfield) to play a state championship game on New Year’s Day and the Hilltoppers returned home and turned in their uniforms.
The University of Oklahoma was quick to notice that Randall, Baxter, and Seale weren’t the only San Diego Section football stars with exclamation points next to their names.
Running back Brennan Clay (Scripps Ranch), wide receiver Kenny Stills, Jr. (La Costa Canyon), and free safety Tony Jefferson (Eastlake) all took their diplomas and moved to where the wind comes rolling down the plains.
With apologies to Rogers and Hammerstein and their musical creation, “Oklahoma!”
Each San Diegan was a productive Sooner for coach Bob Stoops, whose teams don’t always recruit players west of the Rio Grande River.
Clay is eligible for the 2014 NFL draft. Stills was selected in the fifth round and was the 144th taken in the 2013. Jefferson surprisingly was undrafted but signed with Arizona.
Rushed for 2,026 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in 13 games as senior after catching 70 passes, rushing for 1,453 yards, and scoring 20 touchdowns as junior…led Sooners with 957 rushing yards and a 5.5-yard rushing average and scored 6 touchdowns in 2013…caught 16 passes…gained 44 yards in 17 carries and shook off tacklers that earned critical first down which led to fourth-quarter touchdown in Oklahoma’s 45-31 upset victory over Alabama in 2014 Sugar Bowl…a later, 12-yard run forced Alabama into early use of its timeouts….
Fierce, two-way player…led Eastlake to 2009 D-1 championship with 88 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, two fumbles forced, and recovered two fumbles…averaged 8.9 yards for 223 attempts and rushed for 1,995 yards and 27 touchdowns as senior…projected as middle-round draft choice in 2013 but was bypassed and signed as rookie free agent with Arizona Cardinals…earned roster spot after intercepting two passes and making five tackles in second preseason game against Dallas…got into all 16 games and started two at free safety…made 19 total tackles…entered NFL draft after junior season….
Caught 45 passes for 914 yards and 20.3 average and scored 10 touchdowns in last season for La Costa Canyon Mavericks… had 204 pass receptions for 12.7-yard average and scored 24 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons…made himself available for NFL draft after 2012 campaign…caught 32 passes for 20-yard average and 5 touchdowns in rookie season with Saints…son of Kenny Stills, Sr., who played at El Camino High and University of Wisconsin, was eighth-round draft choice of Green Bay in 1985, stayed 6 seasons in NFL and got into 77 games for Packers and Minnesota Vikings as defensive back….
A fourth San Diego player was Mira Mesa running back Damien Williams, who was recruited by the Sooners out of Arizona Western Junior College in Yuma. Williams left the team in 2013 after the ninth game.
Deon Randall, his jersey in tatters and his high school career at an end, walked off the Carson Home Depot Field.
“It’s a great parallel,” Randall said, “a great analogy, a great symbol to how the game went…it was a rough game.”
Randall was a warrior in the State Small Schools Bowl. He rushed for 276 yards in 36 carries and scored three touchdowns, but Modesto Central Catholic hung on for a 44-40 victory
IT’S ON ME
The Francis Parker quarterback pointed to the middle of his jersey (“It was my call”) when asked about the play that brought an end to Parker’s season.
Randall said it was his decision to check from a run to a pass on fourth down with 1:43 left in the game and Parker on the Crusaders’ two-yard line.
The receiver, Dalante Dunklin, caught the pass, but was smothered at the five-yard line. Game over.
So was Randall’s brilliant career at the little school on Linda Vista Road.
Writer Steve Brand sought out Parker coach John Morrison.
“I would never second-guess him,” said Morrison of his signal caller, who scored 70 touchdowns in his final two seasons.
“I wanted him to make those decisions,” the coach added. “If that’s what he decided, it was the right call. He’s not just a great athlete but he’s very smart—heady. I’d never question his call, never.”
DISAPPOINTMENT IN 2008
A year before Randall scored 40 touchdowns and rushed and passed for more than 3,000 yards in a 12-1 season.
It wasn’t enough.
Parker was bypassed for the State Bowl Series when Capistrano St. Margaret, undefeated at 13-0 and riding a 42-game winning streak, was selected.
Parker had averaged 52 points a game and was convinced it could beat any Division V team.
A YEAR LATER
To get to a state bowl game this season the Lancers would have to defeat St. Margaret, either in the eyes of the selectors or in head-to-head competition.
Parker and St. Margaret agreed to play the second week of the season in a quaint stadium with an all-weather field and a view of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The game wasn’t that close. Parker opened a 28-13 lead and won convincingly, 28-20. Randall raced 86 yards for one touchdown and passed 29 yards to Roland Jackson for another.
“I thought we did a great job on Randall except for two or three plays, but great players make you pay on those plays,” said Tartans coach Harry Welch.
Randall took his football East to Yale and was a star in 2013.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder was the Bulldogs’ leading receiver with 85 catches for a 9.3 average and 8 touchdowns, and scored three rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.3 yards for 33 attempts.
A greater achievement for Randall came during the team’s season-ending awards dinner. He was named captain of the 2014 team, the 137th in Yale’s storied history.
Valley Center was 8-0, ranked sixth in the San Diego Section, and awaiting a visit from Oceanside, No. 1 in Southern California among D-1 squads and fourth in the state.
The Jaguars didn’t score until 23.4 seconds remained in the game and could amass only 40 total yards as the Pirates won, 45-0.
Heeding coach John Carroll’s command to “read the keys and get off to a fast start,” Noah Tarrant returned an intercepted pass for a touchdown on Valley Center’s third play and raced 12 yards with a botched punt for another touchdown in the first quarter.
The Pirates led, 24-0, after 12 minutes.
ANOTHER TITLE ROMP
Oceanside never looked back.
Coach John Carroll’s Pirates rolled past Ramona, 52-6, the following week, a season after the Bulldogs “upset” the Pirates in a 33-33 tie.
Helix was a 26-10 victim in the San Diego Section II championship and Oceanside overcame a 13-3, second-quarter deficit at Carson to defeat San Jose Bellarmine Prep, 24-19, in the State D-I title game, ending the season with 17 consecutive victories, unbeaten in 39 games, and ranked third in the state with a 14-0 record by Cal-Hi Sports.
“Other Oceanside teams may equal this (two championships in three years), but no one will ever beat it,” said Carroll.
Reggie Bush had his San Diego hometown area code 619 penciled onto the eye black he affected at USC.
Escondido’s Ricky Seale also wore taped eye black, honoring “Aunt Jackie”, according to Don Norcross of The San Diego Union. “Aunt” was on one eyeblack, “Jackie” on the other.
Aunt Jackie was Ricky’s father’s sister, who died in 2008.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
“After a Pop Warner game she told me, ‘I can’t wait to see you play in the big time,’” Ricky remembered. “Yet she was the type of person, she knew when I wasn’t trying the hardest and she told me.”
That wasn’t very often. The son of Sammy Seale, a 10-year NFL player (4 with the Chargers), who became an NFL college scout, Ricky went on to set the San Diego Section career rushing record, although finishing his prep career on crutches.
Seale injured his left knee in the second quarter after gaining 55 yards in 13 carries in a 35-14, semifinal playoff loss to Eastlake.
Seale had 6,690 career rushing yards and was the only San Diego Section athlete to surpass 6,000 yards. He moved on to play at Stanford University.
DUELING RUNNING BACKS
On the night Ricky Seale rushed for 404 yards against San Pasqual, Kenneth James, Jr., of Mt. Carmel rushed for 424 against Westview, breaking the record of 410 by Escondido’s Darrick Jackson in 2003.
BAXTER BLOW OUT
Dillon Baxter made a promise as a ninth grader when he joined the Mission Bay varsity.
“I told him I’d get him a ring,” Baxter said before he gave coach Willie Matson a hug.
Baxter fulfilled his promise by almost single handedly knocking out Valley Center in the Buccaneers’ D-IV championship, 48-17 victory.
The 6-foot, 205-pounder rushed for 384 yards in 26 carries and scored seven touchdowns. Along the way Baxter erased Tyler Gaffney’s year-old season rushing record and tied the Section record with 7 touchdowns.
Baxter’s touchdowns were on runs of 6, 21, 9, 92, 87, 1, and 46 yards.
Baxter finished with 2,974 rushing yards in 13 games. Gaffney had 2,866 in 14. Baxter came close with 52 season touchdowns but Gaffney held on to the record, having scored 56 in 2008.
The Mission Bay quarterback set a state record with 76 rushing and passing touchdowns, burying the record of 64 by Ventura St. Bonaventure’s Tyler Ebell in 2000. Baxter’s 919 career points and 481 points this season also set state records.
A brilliant career start was short circuited in Baxter’s second year at USC and was followed by a brief stint at San Diego State. He finished his collegiate career in 2013 at NAIA Baker University in Kansas.
BEWARE OF THE SHADOW
Ray Herring’s response to a question from writer Steve Brand on why Herring continued to run so hard after he broke into the clear on a 91-yard interception return:
“I saw a shadow and thought someone was after me, but it was my own shadow.”
Herring also teamed with quarterback Dillon Baxter as Mission Bay ran past Point Loma, 49-27.
Baxter accounted for his almost usual 300 yards in total offense, but Herring shared the spotlight with four catches of Baxter passes for 132 yards, including touchdowns of 59 and 51 yards, and intercepted two passes.
RING THE BELL
Writer Don Norcross’ game account captured the moment and the tapestry of the annual Imperial County “Bell Game” between El Centro Central and Brawley.
The 9-1 Central Spartans won, 23-18, and now trail Brawley (7-3), 41-24-1 since the Bell was first rung in 1944.
However, the rivalry goes back to 1921, and until 2004, the Spartans and Wildcats teed it up for desert bragging rights twice a year.
Norcross pointed out that fans began lining up outside Cal Jones Field in El Centro at 2:30 p.m.
By 5:30 a crowd of 6,000 had filled the stands and the fire marshal warned that the game wouldn’t start until the aisles were cleared.
Booster Club sales at El Centro normally grossed about $2,500, but upwards of $10,000 worth of merchandise is realized on this night.
MARKETING PAYS OFF
A total of 450 “Bell Game” T-shirts, at $12 apiece, was sold to students and the boosters used the $4,600 profit to buy “Bell Game” black jerseys for the Spartans.
El Centro players didn’t see the jerseys until they returned to their locker room after warmups.
WHISTLE BLOWERS FROM LONG DISTANCE
Members of the San Diego County Officials’ Association worked the Bell game, instead of representatives from the Imperial County association.
San Diego official Jacob Whittler explained that a perceived bad call could result in recriminations for a local official making the call.
Aggrieved fans could boycott the official’s business and “they’d know where his house is,” said the San Diego arbiter.
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME
A minute remained in the first half of the Castle Park-Chula Vista season opener when the stadium public address reminded students that progress reports would be coming the following Tuesday.
The announcer was drowned out by a chorus of boos.
“Who invited this guy to the party?” wondered writer Kirk Kenney.
It was a party for Chula Vista, which routed its neighborhood rival, 41-10.
Arsenic is believed to have been around since the Bronze Age, but it was 2,500 years later when discovered at Carlsbad High.
The school was being renovated in 2008 and excess levels of the poison element were discovered in a routine soil check.
Swede Krcmar Field, named after the original Lancers coach, was condemned.
The team was forced to play all games in ’08 and ’09 away from its campus, with home designations at La Costa Canyon in ’08 and El Camino and Oceanside this year.
Carlsbad was 7-6 in 2008 and 3-8 this season.
The Lancers’ theme song might have been the 1961 Ray Charles favorite, “Hit the Road, Jack”.
When St. Augustine coach Richard Sanchez heard that Carlsbad had played away from home for 22 consecutive weeks, Sanchez remarked, “Twenty-two games? We haven’t had a home game since 1922.”
The Saints’ 7 ½-acre site in North Park has no football field. Their “home” games usually are at Mesa College, Southwestern College, or Balboa Stadium.
4.1 MILES & 47 YEARS
That was the distance and that was how long neighboring schools Morse and Mount Miguel had waited to play a regular-season game.
It was an eight-minute drive from Morse’s Skyline Drive campus to Jamacha Road to Blossom Road, site of the Mount Miguel facility in Spring Valley.
But the teams met only once, in the 1987 playoffs, after Morse opened in 1962.
The Tigers played 500 regular-season games before they visited Mount Miguel in the opening game of the 2009 season.
No specific reason could be offered as to why the teams had not met.
The stars apparently never were aligned.
Mount Miguel is a County school and Morse is in the city. The schools had other rivalries. Schedules conflicted.
A game was to be played at Mount Miguel in 2003 but canceled and forfeited by Morse when a school official was warned that undesirables would be present with weapons.
Mount Miguel dedicated its new turf field with a 35-14 victory.
AND ANOTHER ONE
Mount Miguel didn’t stop there. The Matadors defeated Helix for the first time since 1987, giving the rivalry spoils, a Scottish Claymore sword, a new address after the 44-21 win.
RARE IS THE DAY…
…that teams play to an 11-7 final score. When Fallbrook won at El Camino by that score it was only the third time in San Diego County history that a contest ended with that point total.
Madison defeated the host Hoover Cardinals in 1995 and Point Loma won at Fallbrook in 2007.
DON’T CROSTH ME
Quote Cathedral’s 6-foot-5, 307-pound Alex Crosthwaite, headed for California-Berkeley: “I just want to kick someone’s (behind). If I don’t pancake the guy I’m blocking, it’s not a complete block for me.”
WHO WRITES HIS STUFF?
Writer Don Norcross enjoyed the announcements by Scripps Ranch’s public address announcer Will Bailey, an English teacher at the school:
“Keep the car in neutral, grandma. There’s flags on the field.”
“Break out your caliper, your abacus, your slide rule, and your yardstick. Time for a measurement.”
PIRATES CATCH JACKRABBITS
Oceanside scored a rare San Diego Section victory when the Pirates knocked off Long Beach Poly, 14-7. The Jackrabbits fell to 1-3, having also lost to No. 2 Ventura St. Bonaventure and No. 4 Anaheim Servite.
La Costa Canyon, No. 2 in San Diego, defeated Rancho Santa Margarita, 28-14, and Vista, No. 4, was hammered by Mission Viejo, 41-17, in other matchup’s with Southern Section powers.
Mar Vista had not beaten Castle Park since 1988 and, after dropping the Trojans from its schedule from 1994-2000, the Mariners began a decade in which the average score was 43-7 in Castle Park’s favor.
Enter Danny Salazar. The Mariners’ senior kicker booted field goals of 46, 42, and 35 yards as Mar Vista lashed back at its South Bay neighbor, winning, 23-0.
Another long wait was over at Valhalla, which claimed the Grossmont South championship. The 14-7 victory over Steele Canyon was the Norsemen’s first league title in the school’s 35 years.
Valhalla held on for the win after a game official ruled “no catch”, nullifying a 35-yard passing gain which would have put the Cougars on the Norsemen’s 7-yard line with 1:20 remaining.
Valhalla safety Hansell Wilson told Bill Dickens of The San Diego Union that “we both had our hands on the ball, but I was able to strip it loose…the ref made the right call.”
QUICK KICKS—Eastlake spent part of the day shooting a team picture at Qualcomm Stadium the day of the playoff finals…the Titans defeated Vista, 21-14 for the D-I crown…Clairemont forfeited its opener to La Jolla when 12 players were busted for breaking school rules and the Chieftains didn’t have enough players…Grossmont beat Otay Ranch, 16-14, on Chance House’s 19-yard field goal with 5.2 seconds remaining, one year after the Foothillers missed a 40-yard field goal on the last play that would have won at Otay Ranch…the West Hills pep band’s timing was curious…it played Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust!”, after the Wolf Pack had just fumbled and lost a second-quarter kickoff and with Valhalla leading, 20-0 on its way to 48-7…West Hills unveiled its new, two-tone, all-weather field but again the timing was not good…Steele Canyon beat the Wolf Pack 48-23, in the inaugural game…Point Loma blocked two field goals and sacked El Capitan quarterbacks nine times in a 9-7 victory.. despite a 10-0 record, Eastlake did not receive a first-round playoff bye in D-IV….Mission Bay (10-0) and Valley Center (9-1), more established programs which played tougher schedules, warranted byes in the opinion of the selection committee…
No state champions, but there were four San Diego Section teams in Cal-Hi Sports‘ final, overall top 25. It was a good year.
San Diego tied for second with the Sac-Joaquin Section in number of top 25 squads from the 10 state sections.
Mission Hills (11-2) was 11th, Oceanside (10-3) 13th. St. Augustine and Cathedral, each 11-2, were 24th and 25th, respectively.
The vast Southern Section placed six of the first seven teams and 11 of the top 25. St. John Bosco was 16-0 and number one after a 20-14 victory over No. 2 Concord De La Salle in the Open Division championship.
De La Salle was the only North Coast Section squad in the top 25.
No. 6 Folsom was the highest of the four from the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Other sections with ranked representatives included the Central Coast (2) and the Central (1) and Los Angeles City (1). The Northern, San Francisco, and Oakland Sections were blanked.
San Diego teams in Cal-Hi Sports‘ top four divisions were 11-6 in intersectional games but 1-2 in arguably the season’s three biggest.
Oceanside was beaten 50-39 by Gardena Serra (13-1), which finished No. 4 overall. Mission Hills lost a state playoff, 35-28, to No. 10 Bakersfield (13-2). Cathedral defeated No. 26 Vista Murrieta (12-2), 35-28.
Cal-Hi Sports‘ state rankings by its traditional format of five divisions:
1–Bellflower St. John Bosco. 10–Oceanside. 11–Eastlake.
1–West Hills Chaminade. 3–Mission Hills. 8–San Pasqual.
1–Newport Beach Corona del Mar. 2–St. Augustine. 3–Cathedral. 11–Mission Bay. 13–Madison.
1–Modesto Central Catholic. 3–Christian.
1–Le Grand. 9–Holtville.
1–Bellflower St. John Bosco. 7–Mission Hills. 9–Oceanside. 10–Eastlake. 13-Cathedral. 14–San Pasqual (10-2).
1–West Hills Chaminade. 4–St. Augustine. 12. Mission Bay (12-2). 14–Madison (9-2). 19–Christian (12-1).
1–Newport Beach Coronado del Mar. 14–Sweetwater.
1–Bakersfield Christian. (no San Diego Section teams)
FREEMAN, PATRIOT COACH HONORED
Imperial’s Royce Freeman was state medium schools player of the year and Christian coach Mike Ward was state small schools coach of the year.
Freeman, who set a San Diego Section career rushing record with 7,601 yards in four seasons and who rushed for 2,819 yards in 2013, is the fourth San Diego Section medium schools player of the year in the last six.
Others include Madison’s Pierre Cormier, 2012; Mission Bay’s Dillon Baxter, 2009, and Cathedral’s Tyler Gaffney, 2008. Gaffney and Baxter were overall state players of the year.
Ward, who guided Christian to a 12-1 record and the San Diego Section D-III championship, also was coach of the year in 2011. A previous winner was Ramona’s Glenn Forsythe, who led the Bulldogs to an 11-0 record and the Southern Section smallest schools championship in 1958.
San Diego High had an unusual relationship with The San Diego Union.
Student Alan McGrew, who also served in a business position as the “Temporary Football Manager of San Diego High School,” was the de facto Hilltoppers beat writer for the newspaper.
McGrew filed daily reports on the Hilltoppers, the headline sports attraction in the city. He also provided inside information on coach John Perry’s team along with up-to-date messages on scheduling.
Who the Cavemen were playing and where often was the question of the day, as money guarantees were negotiated and games agreed to on virtually a moment’s notice.
McGrew’s access to the team was apparent on the pages of the Union:
–A player reported to be smoking on a downtown street and who admitted his “guilt” when quizzed before the entire team was suspended by coach John Perry for the opener with Sweetwater and lost half of his letter-earning, game quarters participation.
–Perry had established an 8 p.m., be-at-home curfew with retirement by not more than an hour later. The only evening players would be allowed to stay out “late” was after a game, when curfew would be at 10 p.m.
According to McGrew the team voted unanimously to abide by the Perry Rules. The third-year head man was 24, not much older than his players.
McGrew’s San Diego High bias also was obvious. The intrepid high school correspondent was one unhappy camper after the Hilltoppers’ 6-3 victory over Sweetwater in the season’s opening game.
Expecting a rout, McGrew was forced to acknowledge a stunningly difficult outing.
“The local players were taken off their feet by the county gang,” wrote McGrew. “They were dazed, it appeared.”
McGrew continued. “Possibly some of the players were unstrung, the game being the first of the season, and when they discovered the Sweetwater team had all kinds of power (they) went to pieces.”
Sweetwater had been 0-3 against the San Diego varsity, losing, 54-6 in 1915, 65-7 in ’20, and 40-0 in ’21.
Fullback Charles Williams drop-kicked a 25-yard field goal to give coach Herb Hoskins’ Red Devils a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Norton Langford scored to put the Hilltoppers ahead, 6-3, later in the quarter, after which San Diego was stymied by the determined National City squad.
The following week, under a story without byline, the writer hadn’t yet moved on, still unhappy and describing the Sweetwater game as a “catastrophe”.
RED DEVILS NO PUSHOVERS
Sweetwater opened as National City High 1907 and, according to available records, played football in 1910.
For the first 11 years, including the 1913 season when they didn’t field a team, the Red Devils were 10-24-3, according to infrequent newspaper reports.
Hoskins took over in 1919 and was 5-9-2 in his first three seasons, but the Red Devils won the four-team County League with a 5-0-1 record this season and manned up once more in the playoffs against San Diego.
The Cavemen this time prevailed by a 13-6 score, but Sweetwater had established itself as a credible program.
The Red Devils were 33-16-5 under Hoskins from 1922-27 and made three playoff appearances.
NO ROOM FOR HERB?
Writer Jess Puryear pointed out that Hoskins apparently had not been considered after the Sweetwater mentor showed interest in filling a position that opened on the San Diego coaching staff.
Hilltoppers basketball coach A.E. Shaver had left after the 1921-22 school year.
RESEMBLING EARLY MAN
San Diego High historian Don King corrected a story which promoted many different versions over the years.
How did the name Cavemen evolve?
In 1921 the football team dressed in dingy quarters beneath the 400 building on campus, King wrote in Caver Conquest, the 1993 history of San Diego High athletics.
There was only one entrance to the dressing room and that was through a long, dark tunnel that supposedly looked like that of a passageway to the caves used by our earliest ancestors, King noted.
Alden Ross, a reporter for the school newspaper (and a future member of the 1922 squad), was standing outside the players’ entrance when the the squad exited for a game and was struck by the similarity to cave dwellers of the past.
Ross referred to the “Cavemen” in the next issue of The Russ.
“Cavemen” caught on and was used thereafter along with “Hilltoppers”and “Hillers.”
When girls began participating in the 1970s, the name was officially amended to “Cavers,” to correct gender inequity, said King.
USC Freshmen coach H.W. Hess, responding when asked in a telephonic interview with San Diego writers if there were “any stars who have been showing up” on the Trobabes’ squad:
“There are no stars, but eleven men on the team…and they’re all rotten,” declared the coach.
San Diego coach John Perry said he expected his squad “to be fighting all through the game (but) I do expect to be beaten by more than forty points.”
Interest in the USC team was such that the frosh’s pregame meal was assessed: two poached eggs and a cup of tea.
The freshmen, featuring many 1921 prep stars from throughout the state, prevailed, 21-0.
THE LONGEST TRIP
According to one writer, 19 players and two coaches traveled to Bakersfield by automobile. Presumably more than one automobile.
Alan McGrew wrote that the team was scheduled to leave at 8 a.m. on a Friday morning for an 11-hour trip by “stage”.
Travel would include 48 miles on what was known as the Ridge Route, beginning at the Castaic Junction and featuring switchbacks and sudden turns over the mountains north of Los Angeles.
Climax to this sometimes dangerous stretch was the Grapevine, a six-mile down grade that took travelers from 4,233 feet to the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, passing native grapevines growing on the hills near Fort Tejon.
In this still developing period of motorized conveyance (passenger railroad travel was not available to or from Bakersfield), why schedule a game so distant and so difficult to reach?
Alan McGrew pointed out that “almost every school south of the Tehachapi pass had received letters seeking games from Hilltop management, but refused.”
San Diego High was feared in the North, particularly around Los Angeles, said McGrew. Scheduling the defending state champion would curtail some of the criticism about Perry’s perceived reluctance to schedule strong opponents.
There was some history with Bakersfield. The Hilltoppers declined an invitation to play a state championship playoff with the Drillers after San Diego had posted 12-0 record and won the Southern Section championship in 1916.
Hilltop coach Clarence (Nibs) Price sensed his team was fatigued and was not interested in a long trip.
Price did schedule the Drillers in 1917, when the school known as Kern County Union High came south and was beaten by the Hilltoppers, 18-7.
This year’s result was different. Dwight (Goldie) Griffith’s Drillers, who were rumored to play some adult roughnecks from the neighboring oil fields, scored a 32-0 victory.
Age limits were nonexistent. San Diego’s outstanding lineman was Al Scheving, who would be 21 when he graduated in June, 1923.
“I was only eighteen months older than my team captain,” coach John Perry told writer Jim Trinkle in 1954.
TWO GAMES IN TWO DAYS
Without a league and of independent classification, San Diego was required to have five victories against high school competition for inclusion in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Scheduling was madcap.
With the SCIF postseason beginning in a week, the Cavemen were pressed to play two high school games in two days.
John Perry shrugged when it was suggested that no prep team in California had ever been asked to meet such a challenge.
The Hilltoppers teed up at 9:15 a.m. Friday in City Stadium, where they defeated the 7-2 Whittier Cardinals, 26-0, then followed at 12:30 the next afternoon with a 41-0 victory over weak Anaheim, against which Perry employed only four varsity starters.
Students were all for the doubleheader. They were dismissed from school Friday to watch the game.
The Hilltoppers were fortunate not to have to travel for the Anaheim contest, which originally was scheduled in the northern community but was moved to San Diego because of an Armistice Day parade in Anaheim.
HOW MANY GAMES?
Don King’s Caver Conquest listed 14 games on San Diego High’s schedule, as did the first Evening Tribune Prep Football Record Book, published in 1965.
According to The San Diego Union of November 30, 1922, the Cavemen had played 17 games and, after meeting Santa Ana, Gardena and Bakersfield, would finish the season with a stunning total of 20, their record being 14-5-1.
NFL teams don’t play that many, unless they’re a wildcard team that plays in the Super Bowl.
The line between scrimmages and games was blurred in The San Diego Union.
A midseason excercise with Sweetwater was loosely described as a game but also as a “practice.” The Cavemen played five “games” with teams from military institutions and seven “games” in 13 days from late September to early October.
Games with military squads were common for San Diego-area teams.
COEDS SHUN HILLTOPPERS
San Diego’s playoff with Santa Ana matched not-so-friendly rivals in a series that dated to 1905. The Cavemen claimed the Orange County school’s students and players were the poorest losers in the state.
“Besides ‘razzing’ the players on the street and at the hotel where the team was lodged, the girls at a public dance in Santa Ana refused to dance with the San Diego boys,” reported Alan McGrew.
According to historian Don King, “Santa Ana fans threw soda pop bottles and ripe fruit as Kenny Zweiner ran 65 yards with an intercepted pass for a touchdown.”
Coney Galindo raced 35 yards for another score in a 12-0 victory that elevated the Hilltoppers into the Southern California finals against Gardena.
The winners rushed for 112 yards, Galindo leading with 50 yards rushing, and completing a 17-yard pass.
Perry remembered years later what it was like to practice on the “Rock Pile,” and to play on a dirt surface in City Stadium.
“We weren’t allowed to practice in the stadium, but had to go across the highway by the horse barns,” said Perry. “Before working out we’d try to get all the rocks we’d kicked up the previous day out of the way.”
The stadium layout would be sprinkled, then rolled before each game. “There wasn’t any grass and it was as hard as concrete,” remembered the coach.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Future World War II hero aviator Lt. James Doolittle left Jacksonville, Florida at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time and hoped to land at Rockwell Field, located on Coronado’s North Island, at about 4 p.m. the next afternoon.
The 18 1/2-hour flight included a fuel stop in San Antonio, Texas.
SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS!
Two-pant tweed sports suits were available for $19.65, Shoes for $6.50, and caps for $2.50 at Lion Clothing Co., Fifth Avenue at E Street.
San Diego High pupils paid student dues of .75, plus they were required to make a $4 deposit to assure return of textbooks at the end of the school year.
Students were required to purchase locker padlocks that were available from San Diego merchants.
Incoming freshmen received a 128-page “manual”, detailing all activities and regulations at the school.
National City High, renamed Sweetwater, moved to a new location on Highland Avenue at the South end of National City, serving approximately 325 students from Chula Vista and as far south as San Ysidro.
Construction of Grossmont’s permanent campus on the hill overlooking El Cajon Valley was almost complete, with 350 students listed as having enrolled.
THERE WERE PERKS
Prospective San Diego High players were feted in a banquet at the San Diego Hotel the night before the first practice.
Team leader Norton Langford addressed the players on the “value of close association and the necessity for no petty jealousy (apparently a problem the last couple seasons, along with questions of soft scheduling and Perry’s not coaching ‘fundamentals’).
Langford said he hoped to “see a game up North” at the end of the season “for the state championship and with San Diego returning victorious.”
CART BEFORE HORSE
San Diego players favored a rematch in the state playoffs with Bakersfield, rather than participate in a so-called national championship game.
The Cavers received challenges from the Amarillo Golden Sandstorm of Texas, Twin Falls, Idaho, and a team in St. Louis. Coach John Perry postponed any decision until after the Gardena contest.
LOVE THAT GRASS
Gardena, which won at Bishop, 31-0, the week before, was accorded an edge by the San Diego media because it had played on the Bovard Field turf gridiron at USC.
Whatever advantage Gardena possessed disappeared in the fourth quarter, when the Cavemen trailing, 14-12, scored 19 points to win 31-14. Coney Galindo ran for three touchdowns and scored another on an intercepted pass.
HERE COME THE DRILLERS
San Diego accepted a challenge to play Bakersfield in a state playoff, but only if the game was played in the City Stadium. In a telegram to Bakersfield officials, McGrew said the Cavemen were “not in condition for another trip.”
The Drillers agreed.
The journey south was easier on the visitors, who were reported to have “passed through Los Angeles” and were spending the night in Santa Ana after practicing at Whittier College.
Transported in two motor coaches, Bakersfield arrived in San Diego on the day of the game.
The Cavemen battled in vain before about 6,000 City Stadium fans who represented the largest turnout in school history, according to the Union, although the 1917 game drew a reported 10,000.
It was 17-0 before Ed Ruffa scored a touchdown in the final two minutes to send the Hilltoppers home 17-6 losers.
READ IT AND WEEP
That was the lead on The San Diego Union account of the Cavemen’s 106-6 victory over Army-Navy. The writer also suggested that flags would be at half mast at the Pacific Beach academy.
Nothing out of the ordinary about that, but in the second paragraph it was noted that the Cadets fully expected to win and to qualify for the Southern California playoffs!
Coach Paul Jones, who exuded such confidence before the game, was slightly off the mark.
Contributing to the carnage was a rule of the day: Teams scoring touchdowns received the ensuing kickoff, i.e., Army-Navy kicked off after every San Diego touchdown.
QUICK KICKS—San Diego High dropped its ninth-grade, freshmen class when two junior highs, Roosevelt and Memorial, opened…the schools had grades of 7, 8, and 9…by contract with the CIF and Santa Ana, expenses were provided for 18 players when the Cavemen took the train north for the second of three semifinal playoff contests, but coach John Perry traveled a squad of 23… San Diego High was not the only team to play games on back-to-back days…Grossmont sustained a 40-7 loss to the Hilltoppers, then went out the next day and dropped a 7-6 decision to the sailors from the U.S.S. Rapahannock…when writers referred to a team concentrating on its ground game, it was described as “straight football”…passing, infrequently used, was just that, passing…The San Diego Union published the roster of San Diego High and players’ numbers before the game with the USC Freshmen…24 players were numbered from 1 to 25, with only jersey No. 2 omitted… …Escondido was greeting “a whole set of husky Indians from the backcountry,” according to the Union… County League teams Escondido, Sweetwater, and Grossmont were considered “backcountry”…”The Winning Play,” an article that appeared in Redbook magazine, was read to the team by San Diego coach John Perry before it took the field against Gardena…Sweater and Letter Day at Sweetwater was attended by the entire student body, which honored the County League team as Herb Hoskins awarded monograms to 15 players….
Royce Freeman of Imperial scored 43 touchdowns and 258 points in 12 games to lead the San Diego Section for the third year in a row and finished sixth in the state, according to unofficial statistics provided by Max Preps.
Freeman amassed 39 touchdowns and 3 two-point conversions for 240 points in 2011 and 36 touchdowns and 216 points in 2012.
Edgar Segura of Mendota in the Central Section was the 2013 state leader with 57 touchdowns and a total of 358 points.
Andrew Brown of Ripon Christian of the Sac-Joaquin Section, had 335 points, followed by Rashaad Penny of Norwalk, Southern Section, 320. Tre Watson of Corona Centennial, Southern Section, was fifth with 306.
Freeman also ended his career with the sixth highest single-season performance in the San Diego Section.
Evan Fisher of Julian scored 342 points in eight-man football in 2001, followed by Tyler Gaffney of Cathedral, 336 (’08); Dillon Baxter, Mission Bay, 324 (’09); Zay Shepard, Brawley, 276 (’04), Dionne Grigsby, San Pasqual Academy 8, 262 (’04), and Freeman.
San Diego Section 2013 leaders:
|Clayton Bowler||Holtville V||13||27||0||0||0||162|
|Brandon Alexander||San Pasqual Academy 8||7||23||0||0||0||148|
|Justin Santa Maria||Calvary Christian S.D. V||9||19||0||12||0||138|
|Riley Racciato||Classical V||10||23||0||0||0||138|
|Jose Ramirez||Calvary Christian Vista 8||7||20||0||4||0||128|
|Jimmie Hill||Mar Vista||10||21||0||0||0||126|
|Tim Clow||St. Joseph 8||8||19||0||5||0||124|
|Elijah Preston||St. Augustine||11||20||0||0||0||120|
|Isaiah Capoocia||El Capitan||12||19||0||0||0||114|
|James Harwell||San Marcos||14||7||53||0||6||113|
|Bulla Graft||The Bishop’s||10||17||0||3||0||108|
|Tony Miro||Santa Fe Christian||10||18||0||0||0||108|
|Dan McManus||West Hills||12||6||29||0||14||107|
|Nareg Skakarian||St. Joseph 8||8||12||34||0||0||106|
|Damian Ramirez||Blythe Palo Verde||12||17||0||1||0||104|
|Jesse Brookins||Francis Parker||11||17||0||1||0||104|
|Ben Lomibao||Mount Miguel||10||17||0||0||0||102|
|Isiah Henne||San Marcos||14||17||0||0||0||102|
|Carlos Campos||San Ysidro||10||15||8||0||0||98|
La Jolla Country Day’s Jeff Hutzler, who stepped down recently, became the 37th coach in the San Diego Section to have a career total of at least 100 victories. Jack Mashin of Grossmont recorded 125 victories in the Southern Section.
Eleven active coaches have 100 or more (see complete list here):
John Carroll (234-74-6, .755), Ron Hamamoto (195-122-4, .614), Rob Gilster (183-112-5, .618), Willie Matson (166-117-6, .585), Sean Doyle (144-77, .652), John Morrison (140-60-3, .697); Gary Blevins (129-90-4, .587), Chris Hauser (115-54-2, .678), Matt Oliver (115-56-3, .670), Jerry Ralph (111-65-2, .629), and Mike Hastings (111-74-4, .598).
Hutzler, whose Torres finished 5-6 this season, posted a 101-37 record and .732 winning percentage from 2002-13, joined a select group that is led by Herb Meyer, who was 339-148-15 for a .690 percentage from 1959-2003 at Oceanside and El Camino.
Other 100-game winners include Bennie Edens (240), John Shacklett (229), Gil Warren (216), Ed Burke (215), Jim Arnaiz (213), Dick Haines (194), Carl Parrick (190), Mike Dolan (165), Bob Woodhouse (146), Chick Embrey (144);
Gene Edwards (136), Birt Slater (133), Bob McAlister (132), Steve Sutton (131), Craig Bell (130), Walter (Bud) Mayfield, (129), Ladimir (Jack) Mashin (125), Mike David (122), Gene Alim (120), John McFadden (120), John Bishop (117), Chris Hauser (115), Brad Griffith (112), Vic Player (111), George Ohnessorgen (103), and Dave Lay (102).
Carroll (.755) is first among all San Diego Section coaches, active or retired, in winning percentage and with at least 100 victories. Birt Slater (.747) is second to Carroll in percentage. Ohnessorgen (.745), Lay (.741), McFadden (.735), Hutzler (.732), Arnaiz (.726), Burke (.720), Warren (.707), Alim (.701), and Bishop (.701) round out the Top 11.
Ties are factored in as half games won and half games lost.
The highest winning percentage, minimum 40 games, in the history of high school football in San Diego is .856, earned in the Southern Section by Chula Vista’s Chet DeVore from 1951-55. San Diego’s Duane Maley is second with a Southern Section record of 97-19-3, .828.
Bill Bailey, who coached at Point Loma in 1942 and at San Diego from 1943-47, posted a career record of 40-8-1, .810.
The comprehensive list of Win, Lose, Tie records of all 100-game winners.
That Tyler Gaffney led Cathedral to a State championship and scored a record 56 touchdowns in 14 games only reinforced the notion that this was a year of the running back.
Thirty-one San Diego Section players rushed for at least 1,000 yards and none were more productive than Gaffney, Escondido’s Ricky Seale, and Madison’s Robbie Rouse.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 215-pound Gaffney was a power runner and long distance threat. Third and short, fourth and goal, or from far outside the redzone, Gaffney was the package.
In 2013, when a group of San Diego writers selected the all-time, all-San Diego County squad, Gaffney was one of three, first-team running backs, joining Oceanside’s C.R. Roberts (1953) and Lincoln’s Darrin Wagner (1987).
Gaffney also was named state player of the year for 2008, selected by the respected Cal-Hi Sports.
“Tyler Gaffney is Justin Green and Demetrious Sumlin (earlier star backs for the Dons) rolled into one,” said Cathedral coach Sean Doyle. “He’s physically the best back I’ve ever had.”
Gaffney rushed for 324 yards in 33 carries and scored 6 touchdowns in a 58-32, regular-season victory over 5-0 Lincoln.
That monster performance, however, was not close to being the story of Gaffney’s season.
OUTSCORES SCRIPPS RANCH HIS OWNSELF