Football Blog

2015 Week 17, Saints No. 1 in D-II, Helix 7th in D-I

Rick : December 24, 2015 1:07 pm : Football

It’s essentially not who you beat, but who you played.

St. Augustine lost three games but was 20th in the state and No. 1 in Division II in Cal-Hi Sports‘ final 2015 rankings.

Cathedral lost five but its schedule was so difficult that the Dons earned a Cal-Hi ranking of sixth in Division II and 38th overall.

Mission Hills, No. 1 in the final Union-Tribune poll, was 11-1 but didn’t finish among Cal-Hi‘s top 50.


The Saints and Cathedral faced far more demanding, regular-season nonleague tests than Mission Hills.

St. Augustine was steeled by tough losses to Los Angeles Loyola and Vista Murrieta.

Cathedral took on Rancho Santa Margarita, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Bakersfield Liberty, and St. Augustine, among others.

The Grizzlies, ranked No. 1 for most of the season in the Union-Tribune‘s weekly poll and king in a weak North County, were no match when St. Augustine ran away to a 48-14 victory in the San Diego Section Open Division semifinals.

The Saints, although losing to Helix, 44-30, in  the Open championship, rose three spots from 23rd on Cal-Hi‘s final list.

Reliable Helix ranked seventh overall and might have become a state D-I champion had it not lost in the final two minutes, 32-28, to eventual winner Mission Viejo in the Southern California playoff.

Mission Viejo defeated San Jose Bellarmine, 24-0, for the D-1 title.


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2015-16 Week 1: Foothills Christian Meets Texas Team

Rick : December 15, 2015 8:40 am : Football

No. 1 Foothills Christian is scheduled to play  Cypress Lakes of Katy, Texas, in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona Friday. The game is to be televised on ESPN 2 at 3:30 p.m., according to Max Preps.

Other teams in the upper half of the Union-Tribune Top 10 will be into tournament play beginning Thursday.

No. 2 St. Augustine opens against Las Vegas Cimmaron Memorial or Compton in the Rancho Santa Margarita Christmas Classic.  No. 4 Cathedral takes on Carson City, Nevada, in the Tarkanian  event in Las Vegas.

El Camino, No. 3, meets host Sweetwater in the Lions Club event in National City. No. 4 Torrey Pines will be in the Grossmont Invitational.  San Dieguito and Army-Navy also are in the Santa Margarita tournament.

First-place votes in parenthesis.

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
1 Foothills Christian (9) 4-1 107 1
2 St. Augustine (1) 4-0 99 3
3 El Camino (1) 5-1 84 4
4 Cathedral 1-2 72 2
5 Torrey Pines 4-1 63 5
6 Army-Navy 5-2 53 6
7 Grossmont 4-0 31 9
8 Kearny 5-0 27 NR
9 Mission Bay 4-1 19 10
10 San Marcos 3-2 15 9

Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

NR—Not ranked.

Others receiving votes, including record: Francis Parker (4-1, 9), Vista (4-1, 8), La Jolla Country Day (5-0, 7), Christian (7-3, 5), Escondido (1-2, 4), San Ysidro (5-1, 2).

11 media representatives vote, including John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Bill Dickens, Adam Paul,; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith,; Bodie DeSilva,; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin,

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2015: 3 Area Teams To Host State Finals

Rick : December 13, 2015 10:46 am : Football

San Diego Section teams posted a 4-2 record in the Southern California playoffs (a.k.a. State  Bowl Championship Series) last week, the games hewing to a historic trend of strength in the lower divisions.

Local teams will be favored in at least three of the state championship games this week, with all kickoffs Saturday night at 6.


After a 31-30 victory in a game played amid temperatures that dropped to the mid-thirties at Hesperia Oak Hills, Rancho Bernardo will play host to Atherton Sacred Heart, which won the Northern Regional, 56-20 over Oakland McClymonds.

The Sacred Heart Bears closed with a rush to earn the Central Coast Section championship and are on a 10-1 run, 11-3 overall.  Coach Tristan McCoy’s Broncos have averaged 36 points in winning their last eight. gives the Broncos a 46.4 rating and Sacred Heart 40.8.  The visitors will be traveling about 470 miles, with at least eight hours on the road.


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1976: Birt’s Legacy Intact as Herb Continues to Build

Rick : December 10, 2015 8:56 am : Football

Like ships passing in the night, Birt Slater and Herb Meyer were headed in the opposite direction, but their coaching paths were virtually identical.

Slater confirmed his retirement as head coach at Kearny following the Komets’ 39-28 loss in the San Diego Section championship game to Meyer’s first year, front-loaded El Camino squad at San Diego Stadium.

Each had become a head coach in 1959, Slater after an outstanding run as assistant coach and head track coach at San Diego, and Meyer at Oceanside, the school for which he played.

The victories far outnumbered the losses for Birt Slater.

The victories far outnumbered the losses for Birt Slater.

Slater finished his career with 134 victories (against 41 losses and nine ties), second at that time in County history only to the 140 wins of Escondido’s Bob Chick Embrey.

Meyer’s championship was victory No. 125 (against 44 losses and six ties), but he was not even halfway through his career, which would conclude more than a quarter-century later with a probably-never-equaled 339 triumphs.

Slater and Meyer were neck and neck in other areas of coaching achievement.  Birt’s won-loss percentage was .753 and Herb’s .731.

The championship was Meyer’s fourth (two in the small schools division) and Slater won three.

Both coaches had made five title-game appearances

Joe Najera, a tough Kearny lineman, showed a more emotional side as he wiped away a tear following loss.

Joe Najera, a tough Kearny lineman, showed a more emotional side as he wiped away a tear following loss.

Kearny was a slight favorite over the Wildcats, who numbered Meyer plus 17 lettermen who went to the new school after leading the Oceanside team that defeated Granite Hills for the 1975 title.

Seldom has a first-year entry gotten such an infusion of veteran, high-class talent.


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2015 Week 16: Helix Sweeps Final Football Poll

Rick : December 7, 2015 1:47 pm : Football

After losing their first game, 23-19, to Scottsdale Chaparral, the Helix Highlanders fell from their first-place position in the Union-Tribune‘s  opening football poll but unanimously regained the top spot in the final week of the poll following their 44-30 win against St. Augustine in the San Diego Section Open Division championship game.

The Saints  finished second and Mission Hills, the almost-season long leader, was third.                                                                                                                                                                    Team (1st place votes)/Record/Points/Previous 

1. Helix (24) / 11-1/ 240/ 2

2. St. Augustine/ 10-3/ 214 / 3

3. Mission Hills / 11-1/ 185 / 1

 4. Rancho Bernardo/11-2/ 133/5

5. Oceanside/ 9-4/ 130/ NR

6. Madison  / 8-3/ 94/ 5

7. Bonita Vista/11-2/88 /NR

8. Cathedral Catholic/ 6-5/  85 / 6

9. Mater Dei Catholic/12-1/ 64/ 10

 10. Carlsbad/  7- 4/  31 / 7

Points awarded on  10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis                                                                  Others receiving votes: Mt. Carmel (9-4, 30 points),  El Camino (7-6, 8)   Mission Bay (10-3, 5), La Costa Canyon (7-4, 4), Valhalla (9-3, 3), Point Loma (8-4, 3), Eastlake (5-6,  2), Granite Hills (9-2, 1), San Marcos (7-4, 1), Coronado (9-4, 1).

Twenty-four sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout the county vote in the weekly poll:  John Maffei (San Diego Union-Tribune), Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Jim Lindgren, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (Union-Tribune correspondents), Michael Bower (Pomerado News), Bill Dickens,Chris Davis (, Steve (Biff) Dolan (Mountain Country 107.9-FM), John Kentera, Ted Mendenhall and Bob Petinak (The Mighty 1090), Rick Willis, Brandon Stone (KUSI-TV),  Rick Smith (, Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta  (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (, Drew Smith (, Lisa Lane (San Diego Preps Insider), Raymond Brown (,  (MBASports-SDFNL Magazine).
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2015 Week 16: Six Go For Southern California Titles

Rick : December 6, 2015 3:33 pm : Football

Helix defeated St. Augustine, 44-30,  in a terrific Open Division championship game before a standing-room  crowd of at least 10,000 persons at Southwestern College and six San Diego teams qualified for Southern California championship play.

It’s a brave new world in the state CIF.

Teams will compete in 13 divisions Dec. 11-12  and 50 teams will be playing this week. Winners this week move on to the state finals Dec. 18-19.

Officially titled “Regional Football Championship Bowl Games”, all teams this week were “slotted (placed in divisions) based on competitive equity and respective criteria.”

It’s all about the computerized ratings system that has been in place the last couple years. Enrollment numbers, seemingly used forever, are no longer a factor in determining divisional alignment.  It’s about who you played and how you did.

Helix (11-1) advances to a game in Division I-AA on Friday at Mission Viejo (14-0).  That game is one of the two top attractions this week.  Folsom (14-0) takes on San Jose Bellarmine (12-1) Friday in  the Northern California I-AA game.

Concord De La Salle (12-1), meets Corona Centennial (14-0) for the Open Division title on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Other pairings featuring San Diego Section squads:

III-AA                                                                                                                                               Oceanside (9-4) at La Mirada (11-3).

III-A                                                                                                                                                          Rancho Bernardo (11-2) at Hesperia Oak Hills (9-5).

IV-AA                                                                                                                                                 Anaheim Canyon (9-5) at Bonita Vista (11-2).

V-AA                                                                                                                                                   Riverside Notre Dame (14-0) at Mater Dei (12-1).

VI-AA                                                                                                                                               Los Angeles Belmont (14-0) at Coronado (9-4).


Despite clearing the Southwestern College stadium after each game, the CIF smoothly ushered in the overflow crowd for the Saints-Helix finale, a game that lived up to its billing…the Highlanders broke from a 21-21 tie with a 16-point third quarter, running behind the slashing thrusts of Nate Stinson (243 yards, 4 touchdowns)…Bonita Vista’s championship was its first in the school’s 49 seasons…average margin of victory in the three Saturday finals at Southwestern was 23 points… Rancho Bernardo won its first championship since 1995 and is 21-5 in the last two seasons after a 2-19 slog in 2012-13…Mater Dei forfeited its opening game and then ran off 12 consecutive wins for its first title since 2003….


2015: Little League Legend Joe Schloss, 88

Rick : December 2, 2015 4:40 pm : Basketball, Football, Other

Joe Schloss, who  operated a North Park sporting goods business for 69 years and coached the same Little League team for 59 seasons, passed away  at age 88.

Schloss, a 1944 graduate of San Diego High, coached a legion of youngsters for the North Park Little League and both of his sons spent many years in sports.

“Joe instilled in us many of the values we carry today,” said Bob Cluck, a professional baseball lifer and 10-season major league coach who played on Schloss’ first North Park LL team in 1957 (Schloss also had coached a Jewish Community Center team for three seasons).

“He taught us ‘way more than baseball,” said Cluck.  “He taught us how to act and how to compete.”

Rick Schloss was a public relations representative for the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos and has been a prominent sports public relations practitioner in San  Diego for the last 30 years.

Gregg Schloss was a member of the Chargers’ athletic training department and worked side-by-side with his father at  A & B Sporting Goods, located near the corner of 30th Street and University Avenue.


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2015: Saints’ Victory Felt in Statewide Poll

Rick : December 1, 2015 7:32 am : Football

St. Augustine’s rout of Mission Hills in the San Diego Section semifinals created a seismic response in the state top 25 rankings as selected by Cal-Hi Sports.

The Saints jumped from On-The-Bubble status to 21st in this week’s poll and Helix, their Open Division championship-game opponent Saturday at 7 p.m.  at Southwestern College, vaulted from No. 11 to No. 8.

Wrote Cal-Hi Sports honcho Mark Tennis:

“We knew the Saints were good all along since their two toughest games despite being losses were 23-20 to the (Los Angeles) Loyola team they fall in behind in this week’s rankings and 36-34 to No. 17 Vista Murrieta.

“Now, not only do head coach Richard Sanchez and his boys get their due from us by being the highest brand new team to hit the rankings, but they get a bowl game berth if they can defeat Helix.

“The emails and Hudl links have been coming in all season about the St. Augustine players, so it’s no surprise they defeated previous No. 10 Mission Hills in their 48-14 victory…although the margin was a bit of a shock.”

Tennis’s remarks about Helix:

“The  San Diego Section Open Division top seed jumps past several teams and gets back to about where it was in the preseason rankings after a 42-14 semifinal victory over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego.

“Despite a season-opening loss to Arizona No. 7 and Division I (playoff) quarterfinalist Chaparral (Scottsdale), the Highlanders were considered the team to beat in San Diego despite being behind Mission Hills in these and the San Diego Union- Tribune rankings.”

Teams ahead of Helix are 1, Concord De La Salle; 2, Corona Centennial; 3, Bellflower St. John Bosco (those two play for the Southern Section title this week in a contest with “Game of the Years” expectations, according to veteran publisher Tennis).

Others in front of the Highlanders are 4, Folsom, 5, Mission Viejo, 6, Elk Grove, and 7, Santa Ana Mater Dei.


Eastside Catholic, the suburban Seattle school that defeated Oceanside, 49-13, early in the season, crashed the USA Today top 25 this week and his ranked 24th in the country…Cathedral, a young team that played against a powerful schedule, finished with a 7-5 record and Cal-Hi on-the-bubble status…Mission Hills closed at 11-1 and on the bubble.

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2015 Week 15: Coronado Scores in D-V

Rick : November 29, 2015 8:53 am : Football

Thanks to the numerous opportunities for playoff participation, Coronado, a third-place finisher in the Central League,  is celebrating its third San Diego Section championship today.

The Islanders topped Crawford of the Manzanita League, 21-7, at Southwestern College last night for the Division V title, their first since coach Dave Tupec’s team won back-to-back championships as members of the Mountain-Desert League in 1985 and ’86.

Coronado has made two other title-game appearances, in 1961 when the Roger Rigdon-coached squad dropped a 10-6 decision to Carlsbad in the small schools finale, and in 1918, when Clyde Cook’s eleven was beaten by Fullerton, 18-0, for the Southern California title.

The 1918 season concluded with the Islanders-Indians contest in March, 1919.  Football had been suspended the previous fall when millions died in the worldwide Asian flu pandemic.Coronado logo

Coach Tony Isabella, who took over in 2011 after Bud Mayfield retired following a 9-3 season, guided the trans-bay club to an 8-5 record this year.

Isabella was 9-4 in his first season but the Islanders fell into a three-season, 8-24 slump.


Football has been an up-and-down experience at the 102-year-old school.

Research before 1923 isn’t complete, but the Islanders have won 12 league championships and tied for three others in the last 92 seasons and been members of 15 leagues, some more than once.

The alignment was known as the County league until 1927, followed by a stint in the new Southern Prep from 1928-33.  The Islanders then became  charter members of the Metropolitan League in 1933 and would have had their longest run at the same address until the World War II-influenced Victory League was formed in 1943.

The trans-bay team returned to the Metro in 1946 but switched to the new Avocado League in 1954, only to make another Metro League run from 1963-72.  The short-lived Coast League was Coronado’s home from 1973-75, followed by five more seasons in the Metro.

The South Bay League, part of a inagural Metropolitan “conference”, was home from 1981-84.

Seeking a place where  dwindling enrollment numbers ensured they could compete, Coronado was travel weary but successful in 1985-86 in the Mountain-Desert circuit.

Next up was another alignment with the South Bay League in 1987 and then two seasons as an independent.

The last  25 years have been marked by stability.  The Islanders were part of the Harbor League  from 1990-2004 and since then members of the Central loop.

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2015 Week 15: Down Goes Mission Hills

Rick : November 28, 2015 2:45 pm : Football

You could hear the gasps of shock from the North County denizens who worship at the shrine of the Mission Hills Grizzlies.

St. Augustine ran away from coach Tim Hauser’s team, 48-14,  as Elijah Preston rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns before a crowd of about 6,000 at Mesa College in the San Diego Section Open Division playoff semifinals

Preston led St. Augustine's attack against Mission Hills.

Preston led St. Augustine against Mission Hills. Union-Tribune photograph by Don Boomer.

Although the Grizzlies and their 11-0 record ranked 10th among state’s top 25 as selected by Cal-Hi Sports and whose weekly successes dominated the local media landscape, the Saints were favored, based on the generally unpopular San Diego Section rating system.

The Saints were toughened by a nonleague schedule that included top 25-ranked Los Angeles Loyola and Vista Murrieta and they faced Catholic rival Cathedral in the Eastern League.

Mission Hills ‘ record was achieved against so-so North County  competition and an intersectional schedule that included less-than spectacular L.A. Crenshaw and Long Beach Millikan.

Helix lost an opening game to Scottsdale Chaparral, which went 9-3 in Arizona, and was denied another opportunity when Upland (8-4) pulled out of a second intersectional because of a scheduling conflict.


The Highlanders, 8-13 in title games since the San Diego Section was formed in 1960, will be favored when they take on the Saints in the championship Saturday night at Southwestern College.

Scots coach Troy Starr is 1-3 in the final game but went all the way in Division II and won a state championship, 35-24, over Loomis Del Oro in 2011.

St. Augustine is 4-7 in championship games and coach Richard Sanchez is 2-1, having won in D-II in 2013 and D-I in 2014.


Willie Matson’s Mission Bay Buccaneers, 8-0 to start the season, had been left for dead following losses of 41-0 to Point Loma in Week 9 and 64-7 to Madison in Week 10.

The Pacific Beach eleven won its first playoff and followed with  a taut, 31-28 victory over Valley Center in the semifinals to  find themselves in the D-III finals against Bonita Vista.


Bonita Vista, leading, 49-7, had to play only until 6:51 was left in the third quarter when officials halted play and declared a forfeit by the Imperial Tigers.

According to Union-Tribune correspondent Don Norcross, several Imperial players left their bench area and fights began near the Bonita Vista bench. A CIF representative said officials have the discretion at that point to end the game.

Coach Chris Thompson, a longtime assistant at Mira Mesa, is building a program at Bonita Vista, which opened in 1967 and which has experienced more losing seasons than winning.

The Barons’ 10-2 record, after a 5-6 mark in Thompson’s first season in 2014, is their best since the 2005 club was 10-2.

Thompson touted Greg Bell as the best running back in the San Diego Section (better than Helix’ Nate Stinson or St. Augustine’s Elijah Preston?) and Bell backed up his coach.

Imperial wouldn’t argue with Thompson’s assessment.

Bell had 302 yards rushing and scored on runs of 2, 87, 55, and 9 yards.

It was a long ride home for Imperial, which saw snowflakes dropping on I-8 as it headed over the Laguna Mountains.


I was in Connecticut for Thanksgiving with my Eastern family: daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons, and mother-in-law,  had no wi-fi access and didn’t post a review from the quarterfinals.  Meanwhile, Christmas will be here with youngest daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons.

Greetings of the season to all.


Mt. Carmel, which ousted top seed Valhalla, 27-14,  and Rancho Bernardo, only six miles away, will roll in the dirt in D-II…the Sundevils and Valhalla were joined at birth…each school opened in 1975…La Jolla Country Day and Coronado will have at it in D-V and The Bishop’s meets Mater Dei in  D-IV…Calvin Christian of Escondido won the so-called Commissioner’s Cup by putting it to The Rock of Point Loma, 68-8, for the eight-man title…Helix’ 42-14 victory over Cathedral was signaled when quarterback Michael Austin ran a 55-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown on the Highlanders’ first play…St. Augustine sophomore JR Justice collaborated with St. Augustine teammate Jacob Baker on an 89-yard scoring play in the Saints’ Week 14, quarterfinals win over Eastlake…Justice, son of former major league baseball slugger Dave Justice, will succeed Rodney Thompson at quarterback when Thompson graduates after the 2016 season…most dramatic play of Week 14 was a 47-yard, field goal by Kevin Boermeester with 0.18 remaining to give Cathedral a 24-21 win over Carlsbad…

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37 Responses to Football Blog

  1. Billy Ervin says:

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

  2. John Carter says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  3. Buzz Ponce says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  4. holly bryant says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

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

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

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

    • Rick says:

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

  6. Bob Dexter says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  7. Bob Dexter says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  8. Jasen Boyens says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  9. BoyensJC says:


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

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

    • Rick says:

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

      • Buzz Ponce says:

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

      • Rick says:

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

  10. Bob Dexter says:

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

  11. Bob Dexter says:


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

    I became aware of your great website from Henrik.

    • Rick says:

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

  12. malcolm pusey says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  13. Rick says:

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

    • Mark Monroe says:

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

  14. Mark Monroe says:

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

  15. Todd Tobias says:

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

  16. John Walker says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  17. Albert Oliver says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

  18. Richard Houk says:

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

    • Rick says:

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

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