Football Blog

2013, Week 9: Colts Like Wild Horses, Untamed

Rick : October 23, 2013 9:50 am : Football

Crawford rose to 8-0 and played a home game under lights.

Imperial’s Royce Freeman set a San Diego Section career rushing record as the Tigers went to 8-0.

San Pasqual and Ramona dropped from the ranks of the undefeated.


Crawford coach Mike Wright convinced his administration and the ruling City Conference that the Colts were more suited to an overall less demanding level of competition, thus a move from the Division IV Central League to the D-V  Manzanita.

The first night game at home was facilitated through rented lights and Crawford responded with a 35-0 victory over Calexico Vincent Memorial.

Among those in attendance was Bill Rainey, who led the Colts to an 8-0-2 record and the San Diego Section championship in 1961. Rainey was CIF player of the year. He also was the first champion in the Section track finals the previous spring with a winning time of 1:58 in the 880-yard run.


Crawford’s football field and track and field facilities will be moved across Trojan Avenue to the site of the original baseball field, which will move to the existing football and track location.

Crawford will play a road schedule in football in 2014, while construction is completed.


Imperial’s Royce Freeman played the first half in a 49-14 rout of Calexico and rushed for 135 yards in 11 carries, giving Freeman a 37-game, four-season career total of 6,778.

Freeman moved past Rickey Seale, the son of ex-Charger and Oakland Raider Sammy Seale.  Rickey rushed for 6,778 yards at Escondido from 2006-09.


Oceanside’s could have missed its kickoff with Ramona because of a traffic accident on State  78.

The usual 48-minute ride for the 39-mile trek became a two-hour marathon.

It’s all good.  Oceanside won, 42-0.

Sweetwater rushed (a  record?) 66 times for 405 yards, averaging 6.1 yards a thrust, and defeated Marian Catholic 41-14.

The Red Devils are running the ancient double wing favored by head coach Brian Hay and they’re getting used to the first-year coach’s offensive philosophy. They’ve won three in a row.


Rancho Buena Vista’s 38-36 win over San Pasqual improved the Longhorns’  record to 6-2, their best since a 6-1-1 start in 2003… the West Hills Wolfpack dropped its 16th in a row to Helix, 44-7…score was 44-0 at halftime…St. Augustine surprised Cathedral, 19-7 but the Dons still lead the series, 32-20…backup quarterback James Harwell of San Marcos passed for four touchdowns and ran for another in a 47-27 win over Del Norte…starter Will Freed has been out with a broken jaw….


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2013, Week 9: San Pasqual Ousts Mission Hills

Rick : October 22, 2013 6:24 am : Football

San Pasqual this week became the third North County team to occupy the number one position in the weekly UT-San Diego football poll.

The Eagles surprised Mission Hills, 13-10, in overtime, knocking out the Grizzlies, who had climbed to No. 1 in Week 7 after kayoing Oceanside, which had resided in first since the preseason poll.

I voted for the Cathedral, as did two others.  Eastlake also received some support, meaning three teams received first-place votes for the first time this year.

San Pasqual takes on  Rancho Buena Vista this week. The Longhorns are 5-2 but so far haven’t impressed the voting panel, earning only two points among the “others” this week.

Hoover, 5-1, before a 13-9 loss to Serra, might have had a shot at a low Top 10 position but the Cardinals lost a touchdown because of  an “inadvertant whistle”.

                          Team                         W-L              Pts.             Last                                                                                                                                                       Week                                 

1 San Pasqual (26) 7-0 301 2
2 Mission Hills 6-1 251 1
3 Eastlake (2) 6-1 237 3
4 Oceanside 5-2 212 4
5 Cathedral (3) 6-1 190 5    
6 Ramona 7-0 188 6
7 Madison 6-1 118 7
8 Helix 5-2 105 8
9 Mount Miguel 6-2 30 10
10 St.  Augustine 5-2 29

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: Grossmont, 14; La Costa Canyon, 9; Torrey Pines, 8;  El Capitan, 6; Torrey Pines, 4, Imperial, 3; Carlsbad, Rancho Buena Vista, 2 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz,; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten,; Rick Smith,; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013: Legend of McKeevers and San Pasqual’s No. 86

Rick : October 16, 2013 6:23 am : Football

Terry Monahan’s story in today’s UT-San Diego about the history of San Pasqual’s football jersey No. 86 jogged my memory.

Eighty-six has been worn  by Eagles linebackers almost every year since 1977, but since 1983 in honor of a former player who passed away.

Barry McKeever, the son of a USC all-America, wore No. 86 in 1982 and ’83 for San Pasqual and when he  played collegiately at Stanford.

But before there was 86 there was….

First, let me say that I followed the exploits of Barry father, Mike McKeever, and uncle Marlin in high school, me a student at Lincoln in San Diego and the McKeever twins all-stars in football and track and field at Mt. Carmel in Los Angeles.

They were all-Southern Section football picks, top college recruits, and among the best shot putters in the country.

Enrolling at USC the twins were part of a Trojans’ renaissance that saw USC bounce back from a 1-9 record in 1957 to 4-5-1 in ’58, and 8-2 in ’59.

Originally Mike McKeever was issued jersey No. 64 and Marlin was given No. 85.

Sometime later the USC publicist had an idea.  He put one of the twins in No. 86 and stationed him in front of a mirror.

Mike (left) and Marlin, after the change in numbers.

Mike (left) and Marlin, after the change in numbers.

The reflection from the mirror was No. 68.

Who is whom?  And which is which?

Nos. 68 (Mike) and No. 86 (Marlin) were the numbers the youngsters carried forward in their all-America and NFL careers (Barry told Monahan that he wanted to wear his father’s 68 but that number had been taken by Barry’s brother Mac, so Barry was given 86).

Mike’s NFL time was cut short by a tragic automobile accident.  Marlin went on to play 14 seasons.


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2013, Week 8: No Love for Cathedral

Rick : October 14, 2013 3:12 pm : Football

Mount Miguel crashed the Top 10 with a 42-21 victory over previous No. 1o El Capitan, but UT-San Diego‘s weekly rankings otherwise remained the same in the lead-up to Week 8.


Cathedral, which I ranked second, stayed fifth and, contrary to some other winners, did not receive more  points after a 42-3 blowout of 4-1 Scripps Ranch.

I don’t get it.  The Dons have played a tougher schedule than all of the teams above them other than Oceanside, but they’re not getting any respect, in my opinion.

Justifiably perceived North County bias in  media power outlets doesn’t appear to be in play.

Cathedral is considered “North County” (although its Del Mar address  is within San Diego’s city limits, as is Torrey Pines’, and Cathedral is part of the city’s Eastern League).

San Pasqual, 6-0 and second in the poll, obviously is outstanding.

But the Eagles haven’t had a Vista Murietta, Arizona’s Chandler Hamilton, or Gardena Serra on their schedule, as have Cathedral, Eastlake, and Oceanside. San Pasqual has had a full plate of essentially rank-and-file North County neighbors.

The first five teams’ strength of schedules (opponents’ won-loss records combined):

Team Won Lost Pct.
Mission Hills 15 21 .417
San Pasqual 16 19 .457
Eastlake 20 18 .526
Oceanside 29 9 .763
Cathedral 22 15 .595

I couldn’t elevate Oceanside despite its strength of schedule.  That 30-6 loss to Mission Hills was uncharacteristic but it couldn’t be ignored.

Place Team W-L Pts Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 6-0 310 1
2 San Pasqual 6-0 246 2
3 Eastlake 5-1 223 3
4 Oceanside 4-2 218 4
5 Cathedral 5-1 182 5
6 Ramona 6-0 178 6
7 Madison 6-1 122 7
8 Helix 4-2 110 8
9 Carlsbad 5-1   43 9
10 Mount Miguel 5-2   18

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.                                                               Others receiving votes with points: St. Augustine, 14; Grossmont, El Capitan, 13 each; Torrey Pines, 4, Imperial, Mission Bay, Hoover, 2 each; Rancho Buena Vista, 1.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz,; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten,; Rick Smith,; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.

2013, Week 7: Shine a Light on Hoover Stadium

Rick : October 12, 2013 7:55 pm : Football

The Hoover Cardinals could use the helping hand of Motel 6 maven Tom Bodett, voice of the signature “we’ll leave the light on for you.”

Night football is out at Hoover.

More’s the pity.

The Cardinals became involved in a legal action with neighboring residents and a Superior Court judge unhappily issued an injunction, forcing Hoover to play home games in daytime for the remainder of the season, maybe longer.

Hoover defeated Morse, 22-0, in their Homecoming Friday afternoon and will reschedule kickoffs for Lincoln and San Diego.

Hoover-Cardinals-2The victory improved the Cardinals to 5-1 under second-year coach Jerry Ralph, who was 6-5 last season following head coaching stints at Santana, St. Augustine, and Del Norte.

Now known as Bob Breitbard Field, Hoover’s stadium was originally constructed in the early 1930s and was one of the first fields in the area to have  lights. (Balboa Stadium, home to San Diego High, did not have lights until 1939).


The Cardinals were hosts for a Southern Section playoff against Pasadena Muir Technical and Jackie Robinson under the lights in 1935.

The crowd of more than 4,000 in Hoover’s original bleachers watched as Robinson threw a touchdown pass in Muir’s 27-0 victory.

Those wooden bleachers burned down in the winter of 1948-49. New, steel-framed seating was in place in time for the 1949 season but installation of lighting was delayed.

Hoover played two “home” games at Aztec Bowl but the remaining contests in a remarkable, 8-1 season were on the road at Coast League sites.

One 1949 game actually took place on  campus. A postseason charity contest with Grossmont that started at 10 a.m. was played to help defray medical costs for an injured Foothillers player.

San Diego was growing and the Hoover field became increasingly important in 1951 when it began a decades-long stretch of doubling as a regional venue for many schools.


Hoover’s stadium now has  an East-West footprint.  The original stadium ran south to north from the boys’ gymnasium and faced Norwood Street, which began when Meade Avenue ended at 44th Street.

It was in the old alignment that Hoover scored perhaps its greatest victory, a 20-12 triumph over San Diego in 1956 before an overflow crowd of 7,000 persons who filled both sides of the stadium and the end zones.


One leg of the second half of the regular season has been completed and seven San Diego Section teams have avoided the big haircut.

Four teams fell from the ranks of the undefeated last week, but Crawford, Francis Parker, Imperial, Mission Hills, Ramona, and San Pasqual are standing tall at 6-0.  San Diego Jewish Academy is 3-0.

Four clubs were 6-0 at this point in 2012.

Carlsbad, El Capitan, and Mission Bay fell with a thud, outscored by a combined 112-35 and becoming part of a group of 11 teams that have one loss.

Oceanside handled Carlsbad, 28-7.  Mount Miguel showed impressive force by running away from El Capitan, 42-21, and Madison, class of Division IV, walloped Mission Bay, 42-6.

Hilltop was upset by Sweetwater, 17-9.


Isn ‘t this the way it used to be?

Members of Hoover's freshmen team wereon the job.

Hoover freshmen football players were on the job.

Members of Hoover’s freshmen football team got into the spirit of community service after the Cardinals’ Homecoming game against Morse Friday.

Wearing their red  game jerseys,  the Frosh “fanned out”, according to varsity coach Jerry Ralph, pitching in to clean up and pick up in the neighborhood around the East San Diego campus.


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2013, Week 7: Grizzlies go up 3 Places

Rick : October 10, 2013 8:23 pm : Football

Mission Hills, 5-0 and rested from a week off, rose from 19th to 16th in Cal-Hi Sports‘ weekly poll and jumped from ninth to seventh in the South Division I Bowl Rankings.

Mission Hills logoThe improvement is partly because of the victory over Oceanside before last week’s bye and some stumbles by other clubs in the state.  The Grizzlies figure to dine on the Escondido Cougars Friday night as Week 7 gets under way.

Other San Diego Section powers continue to languish in the ubiquitous group of “Teams on the Bubble.” Included are Cathedral (4-1), Helix (3-2), Oceanside (3-2), and Ramona (5-0). Oceanside, with losses only to the No. 4 and No. 16 teams, was dissed and not included.

Carlsbad (5-0), Cathedral, Eastlake (5-1), Helix, and Ramona are South Bowl bubble teams.


MadisonMadison, the defending State D-3 champion went from ninth to seventh in the D-II South Bowl handicap, with St. Augustine remaining 13th.  Imperial (5-0) is on the bubble. Monte Vista (3-3) gained some regard by getting a bubble mention in D-III.

Francis Parker benefited from Christian’s loss to Mission Bay in Week 6, climbing from fourth to third in D-IV, while Christian dropped from second to fifth.  Santa Fe  Christian, La Jolla Country Day, and The Bishop’s are on the bubble.

Cal-Hi’s division placements are not necessarily the divisions in which San Diego Section teams will participate in  the postseason.

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2013, Week 7: Top 10 Static, but Curious

Rick : October 7, 2013 7:37 pm : Football

There was no change from 1-10 in the UT-San Diego’s Top 10 as several teams enjoyed a Week 6 bye.

San Diego Section teams begin the turn for home and the postseason with league play beginning this week.

Sometimes it pays to take that busman’s holiday.

No. 2 San Pasqual picked up seven votes despite its bye and No. 5 Cathedral lost 10 votes despite a 42-13 victory over Morse.


Other teams also profited from the hiatus. Oceanside’s sabbatical resulted in 12 more votes for the Pirates and El Capitan gained 13.

However, Ramona took the week off and was rewarded with seven less votes and idle Carlsbad emerged with 14 fewer and Helix with 1 less.

Making sense was No. 3 Eastlake, up 7 votes after a 52-14 rout of Sweetwater,  and No. 7 Madison gaining 15 points after a 41-6 victory over Mira Mesa.

The ranks of “others receiving votes” continued to thin, shrinking from nine to seven. Most prominent was heretofore undefeated Christian.  The Patriots were eighty-sixed after a 24-21 loss to Mission Bay.

Place Team W-L Pts Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 5-0 310 1
2 San Pasqual 5-0 236 2
3 Eastlake 5-1 221 3
4 Oceanside 3-2 211 4
5 Cathedral 4-1 185 5
6 Ramona 5-0 179 6
7 Madison 5-1 120 7
8 Helix 3-2 104 8
9 Carlsbad 5-0   83 9
10 El Capitan 6-0   37 10

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: St. Augustine (5), Grossmont (5), Mission Bay (3), Mount Miguel (3). La Costa Canyon (2), Imperial, Torrey Pines, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, UT-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, UT-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz,; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski, The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten,; Rick Smith,; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.
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2013, Week 6: Komets to Leave Home

Rick : October 6, 2013 12:32 pm : Football

Birt Slater Field on the Kearny High campus is going to be dug up and a new field will be in place by 2014.

The Komets will play their remaining three, 2013 home games at Madison, versus Clairemont, Point Loma, and La Jolla.

In tribute to the legendary coach, who was 89 when he passed away Sept. 3, Komets coach Kenny Nears hoped the team could turn out in the final game against Lincoln in Kearny’s vintage, striped uniforms, which had been outlawed by the National Federation of High School associations.

Ed Imo, in old stripes in 1973.

Ed Imo, in old stripes, 1973.

The white stripes on the maroon jerseys had to be modified, as did the maroon stripes on the white jerseys. The stripes had to be of a certain width and length.

The rule, which had been on the books several years, also essentially mandates  that home teams wear dark jerseys and visiting teams white jerseys.

Kearny’s predominant stripes supposedly posed a visual problem for officials calling games, although that has been disputed by members of the San Diego County Officials’ Association.

David Moa, in 2013 stripes.

David Moa, with no stripes on  shoulders, 2013.

Lincoln defeated Kearny, 18-16, and the Komets’ request to wear the old uniforms was denied by school officials, citing the existing rule.


Several reasons have been given as to why Slater went to the stripes in 1961, his third season as head coach.

A popular story told by Slater is that he became enamored of the uniforms worn in a college game Slater was watching on television.

Slater never would state publicly what he told me probably 40 years ago. “I love those stripes…they remind me of prison bars,”said Slater, who was a tough-minded, challenging coach.  “You look tough in them.  You feel tough.  Of course, you have to play tough.”

As Larry Shepard, quarterback of the 1963 San Diego Section championship team, remarked in a stirring testimonial at Slater’s memorial, with one of the old jerseys hanging from the podium: “They gave our team and our community an identity, which we didn’t have.”


Santa Fe Christian’s opponent was as long on talent as the identity of the man after whom the school was named when it opened in 1959.

Santa Barbara Bishop Diego, in honor of Bishop Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, the first bishop of the diocese of the two Californias in 1840, hammered the Eagles Saturday afternoon, 34-3.

On a hot, windy Santa Ana day, on which temperatures were near the nineties at the coastal campus in Solana Beach, Bishop Diego enhanced its top rating among the state’s small schools in the competitive Division IV.

The Eagles were on the shorter end of a 13-8 score in 2012 at Bishop Diego.

Entering  Week 6 games, Christian and Francis Parker ranked No. 2 and No. 4, and Santa Fe Christian was No. 8 in Cal Hi Sports’ State Bowl South rankings. Christian was edged by Mission Bay, 24-21, and fell out of the undefeated ranks at 5-1.  Francis Parker, 4-0, remained unbeaten after a bye.

But ‘Fe coach Jon Wallace told writer John (‘Fei) Maffei, “We don’t look at ratings, ours or theirs. Our goal is to win the Coastal League and the San Diego Section title….”

The real racing begins next week for many teams throughout the section, with the beginning of league play.


Six of UT-San Diego’s Top 10 were idle last week…No. 3 Eastlake slammed Sweetwater, 52-14; No. 5 Cathedral drubbed Morse, 42-13; No. 7 Madison  whacked Mira Mesa, 41-6, and No. 10 El Capitan beat Granite Hills, 55-14…Army-Navy inaugurated football at its new facility and was on the wrong end of a 49-0 thumping by The Bishop’s…a 49-0 victory at Tri-City Christian was the 100th victory at La Jolla Country Day for coach Jeff Hutzler…he’s 100-33 with the Torreys… 

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2013, Week 6, 10 Changes in Top 10

Rick : September 30, 2013 3:46 pm : Football

The weekly UT-San Diego football poll went through a topsy-turvy Week 5, beginning with Oceanside’s loss to Mission Hills,  and flip-flopping all the way down to El Capitan’s high-powered Vaqueros, making their bow in the Top 10.

I differed on a few of the vote’s results.

My essential disagreement with colleagues was over No. 2.  I had Cathedral.  They went for San Pasqual.

San Pasqual opponents have a combined 11-12 record.  Cathedral’s is 13-8.

Consensus was for Eagles.

Consensus was for Eagles.

I weigh heavily San Diego teams’ performances against those out of the area, essentially from Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties.

Cathedral was upset by a strong, local Helix squad but measured Vista Murrieta, the Los Angeles Times‘ No. 4-ranked club coming in to the Broncos’ match with the Dons, who beat the Riverside County power, 35-28.

Cathedral also took on what appeared to be an elite challenge in its season opener when the Dons signed Jordan High, a 2012 state champion from Sandy, Utah.  The Dons won 38-6 and Sandy has struggled since, posting a season record of 3-3.

My associates apparently don’t think much of my applications.  They voted Cathedral low enough that the Dons are fifth this week.

San Pasqual is 5-0 against Torrey Pines, Del Norte, Mt. Carmel,  Poway, and La Costa Canyon.

No knock on the Eagles, who have passed every test, but Cathedral has lined up against far more formidable opponents.

I like Cathedral.

I like Cathedral.


Team/1st Place Votes in ( ) 2013 Record Points* Last Week
1 Mission Hills (31) 5-0 310 2
2 San Pasqual 5-0 229 4
3 Eastlake 4-1 218 5
4 Oceanside 3-2 199 1
5 Cathedral 4-1 195 6
6 Ramona 5-0 188 9
7 Madison 4-1 105 8
8 Helix 3-2 103 3
9 Carlsbad 5-0 97 10
10 El Capitan 5-0 24

*Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes with points in parenthesis: St. Augustine (12), Grossmont (8), Mission Bay (6) Christian (5), Mount Miguel (3). La Costa Canyon (2), Imperial, Hilltop, Torrey Pines, 1 each.

Thirty-one sportswriters, sportscasters and administrators vote each week, including:  John Maffei, Craig Malveaux, Dennis Lin, Don Norcross, Lisa Lane, and Andrew Burer, U-T-San Diego; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Bill Dickens, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, U-T-San Diego correspondents; Nick Pellegrino, East County; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (107.9 FM The Mountain); Jeff Kurtz,; Ernie Martinez, XTRA Sports 1360; John Kentera, Jack Cronin, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, Jordan Carruth, Bobby Wooldridge, Mark Chiebowski (The Mighty 1090;  Rick Willis, Brandon tone, Jake Fadden, KUSI-TV; Craig Elsten,; Rick Smith,; Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta, CIF San Diego Section, and Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District.

2013, Week 5: Down Goes Oceanside!

Rick : September 28, 2013 9:46 am : Football

Corporate shakeups have nothing on the expected  San Diego Section football poll next week.

Numbers 1, 3, and 7 were beaten and Cathedral rocked Southern Section rankings when it handled visiting No. 4 Vista Murrieta, 35-28.

Mission Hills, which sat second in the UT-San Diego poll behind Oceanside since Week 1, hammered the Pirates 30-6 before more than 5,000 roaring spectators at the San Marcos school.

I have voted the Grizzlies No. 1 since the start of the season, but with less confidence each week as Oceanside began to roll and overcome a haunting loss to Gardena Serra.

Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser, despite a rather manic sideline persona, coaches a tough defense that reflects his energy.

The Grizzlies intercepted four passes and recovered two fumbles.

Maybe most impressive was the Mission Hills kicker, Esteben Senteno.  He offered an NFL-like performance with field goals of 50, 47, and 27 yards, and bombed a 62-yard punt.


I often see a Cathedral assistant coach in the Starbucks near my home in Scripps Ranch.  This week the coach and I visited about the Dons’ upcoming game against Vista Murrieta.

The coach wanted me to believe the Dons were in a very good position to reverse a closer-than-the-score-indicated, 21-10 loss to the Broncos on the road in 2012.

Considering that Vista Murietta had won its first three games by scores of 66-28, 52-13, and 69-21 and was fourth in the L.A. Times’ poll of Southern Section and L.A. City teams, I thought Cathedral was a longshot.

“After last year the returning players were confident we could play with them,” said Dons coach Sean Doyle.

“Rankings are rankings,” Doyle told writer Steve Brand.  “Are they better than Oceanside or Mission Hills?  Who knows, but we knew they were good coming in.”

But for a loss to Helix a week before, the Dons would have been undefeated.

Cathedral contributed to the loss by coming away without a score after virtually renting a suite inside Helix’ 10-yard line in the fourth quarter.


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36 Responses to Football Blog

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. Todd Tobias says:

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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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