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.
IT’S ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
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.
TWO OUT OF 13
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.
|1||Foothills Christian (9)||4-1||107||1|
|2||St. Augustine (1)||4-0||99||3|
|3||El Camino (1)||5-1||84||4|
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
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, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.
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.
Calpreps.com 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.
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.
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
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.
DOKIE DOES IT
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
2. St. Augustine/ 10-3/ 214 / 3
3. Mission Hills / 11-1/ 185 / 1
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
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).
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….
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.
MARONE, WILLIAMSON, MARTINEZ
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.
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.
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.
YOU WIN SOME, LOSE SOME
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.
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
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.
22ND CHAMPIONSHIP TRIP
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.
‘BAY BOUNCE BACK
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.
BARONS RISE IN 49TH SEASON
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.
WEEK 14 REVIEW?
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…