1977: Death Threats for Marcus Allen

The messages were not the garden variety “good luck this week,” or “see you at the game.”

“I got several phone calls threatening my life,” Marcus Allen told writer Steve Brand.  “The callers said I better not be at the game.  They didn’t say what they’d do.  They just said not to be there.  It was obvious what they meant.”

“Some people called my house and told me not to come to the game or I would get hurt,” Allen related to Jerry Froide of the Evening Tribune. “It upset my mother a lot, but I didn’t really take them seriously.  I just tried to put it out of my mind.”

The attempts at intimidation probably were nothing more than high jinks by rival school students (Patrick Henry?), safe in their cowardly anonymity.

Whatever the words, they represented the ultimate compliment to Allen.

The 6-foot, 2-inch, 190-pound senior was a once-in-a-lifetime player, a Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy who ate his Wheaties every morning and performed weekly feats of derring do for the Lincoln Hornets.

The undermanned but talented Hive went as far as quarterback Allen’s running and passing and free safety Allen’s pass interceptions and ground shaking big hits would take them.

Allen relaxed in championship mode at San Diego Stadium.

Allen relaxed in championship mode at San Diego Stadium.

WEEK 1

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | 2 Comments

1977: Old Friend in Trouble

Balboa Stadium’s days were numbered.

When construction was completed in 1915, the concrete horseshoe seating more than 23,000 was the largest municipally-owned stadium in the world, according to Don King, author of “Caver Conquest.”

The 1933 magnitude 6.3 earthquake that destroyed 230 school buildings in Southern California, including many at Long Beach Poly, resulted in the Field Act, government legislation that was specifically for schools in California.

The Field Act mandated that all pre-1930 buildings be demolished unless they were of earthquake resistant construction.

Since Balboa Stadium was owned by the City of San Diego, the edifice did not come under the Field Act.

Balboa Stadium, Thanksgiving Day, 1964, a 34,865 sellout for the Chargers' game against Buffalo.

Balboa Stadium, Thanksgiving Day, 1964, a 34,865 sellout for Chargers-Buffalo game.

But after San Diego Stadium opened in 1967, the city leased Balboa Stadium to the San Diego Unified School District, a move that put the aging facility in the crosshairs of the Field Act.

The hastily constructed second deck added in 1961 to accommodate the San Diego Chargers was found to be unsafe by earthquake standards.

By 1974 repairs were made which allowed for use of Balboa for two years, but the extension ran out and major improvements, mostly to the second deck, were not made.

A condemned Balboa Stadium soon would follow Russ Auditorium and  many campus buildings and the gymnasium at San Diego High that were bulldozed beginning in 1973.

Gov. Brown’s office ruled that only the playing field could be put to use. The Stadium became dark on Friday nights this year as City schools played elsewhere.

Lights were turned on only once, when private schools St. Augustine and University met in the “Holy Bowl”.

The end was near.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | 2 Comments

2015: Valley Center’s Gilster Nears Second Century

Rob Gilster of Valley Center moved from 11th to 9th place among all-time winning coaches in San Diego County in 2015  and needs three victories next year to gain admittance to the 200 Club.

The Jaguars’ 8-4 season  gave Gilster a 27-season record of 197-121-5 for a .618 winning percentage.  He was head coach at Orange Glen for nine seasons before beginning the Valley Center program in 1998.

Several other active coaches moved up on the all-time list of 41 with at  least 100 victories.

Mira Mesa’s Gary Blevins rose from 21st to 18th with 139 victories, Christian’s Matt Oliver from 26th to 20th with 136, Mission Hills’ Chris Hauser  from 28th to 21st with 135, and Point Loma’s Mike Hastings  from 33rd to 28th with 128.

Madison’s Rick Jackson is the active coaches leader in winning percentage at 108-34-1 (,759) in 12 seasons.

Chula Vista’s Chet DeVore is the all-time percentage leader among coaches of at least 50 games. DeVore was 44-7-1 (.856) from 1951-55.  Duane Maley is second at 97-19-3 (.828) from 1948-59 at San Diego High.

John Carroll leads in the category of  coaching continuously at one school.  Carroll, second all-time with 248 victories, had a .763 winning percentage from 1989-2014 at Oceanside.

Castle Park’s Gil Warren was 83-23-5 (.783) from 1967-77  and 70-18-1 (.792) in a second stint with the Trojans from 1992-98.  Ed Burke was 151-40 (.791) in a second go-round at Torrey Pines, 1991-2006.

QUICK KICKS

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | 2 Comments

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

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

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | Leave a comment

2015-16 Week 3: Holiday Tournaments Continue

New Year’s and league play await, but  holiday action continues, most notably with the Under-Armour event hosted by coach John Olive and the Torrey Pines Falcons.

Play begins Saturday with seven of the Union-Tribune Top 10 clubs competing.  Foothills Christian, St. Augustine, and Army-Navy are in the elite National Division.

Foothills, No. 1 in the latest Union-Tribune poll,  plays Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, and No. 2 St. Augustine takes on Bellevue Washington in first-round games Saturday. No. 6 Army-Navy meets Pebblebrook of Mabelton, Georgia.

No. 2 El Camino and No. 4 Cathedral will be in other major tournaments, the Wildcats in Palm Desert for the Max Preps and Cathedral near Chicago at the Proviso West event.

Brandon McCoy, the 6-foot, 11-inch Cathedral transfer from Morse, will be the featured performer in the late game against New Trier Winnetka on Saturday.  McCoy was born in the Chicago area and lived there until moving to San Diego as a sophomore.

Pairings:

Team Record Opponent Record Event
Foothills Christian 5-1 Oakland Bishop O’Dowd 4-3 Under-Armour @Torrey Pines
St. Augustine 7-0 Bellevue, Washington 5-0 Under-Armour @Torrey Pines
El Camino 7-1 Riverside J.W. North 7-1 Palm Desert Max Preps @Xaverian Prep
Cathedral 5-2 New Trier, Il. Winnetka 2-5 Proviso West @Hillside, Illinois
Torrey Pines 6-1 San Leandro 5-3 Under-Armour @Torrey Pines
Army-Navy 7-3 Mableton, Ga. Pebblebrook 7-4 Under-Armour @Torrey Pines
Kearny 7-0 Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 6-4 Under-Armour @La Costa Canyon
La Jolla Country Day 8-0 South Gate 5-3 Under-Armour  @La Jolla Country Day
San Marcos 7-3 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 4-2 Under-Armour @Escondido
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Basketball | Leave a comment

2015-16 Week 1: Foothills Christian Meets Texas Team

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, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Lisa Lane, San Diego Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | Leave a comment

2015: 3 Area Teams To Host State Finals

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.

DIVISION III-A

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.

DIVISION IV-AA

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | 2 Comments

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

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.

DOKIE DOES IT

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | 2 Comments

2015 Week 16: Helix Sweeps Final Football Poll

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 (EastCountySports.com), 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 (Partletonsports.com), Jerry Schniepp, John Labeta  (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Drew Smith (sdcoastalsports.com), Lisa Lane (San Diego Preps Insider), Raymond Brown (sdfootball.net),  (MBASports-SDFNL Magazine).
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Football | Leave a comment

2015-16 Week 0: Foothills No. 1 In Poll

Foothills Christian, No. 1 in the first Union-Tribune basketball poll, was 4-0 before being savaged by a piranha-like attack from the Chino Hills Huskies in finals of the Battle Zone Tournament at Corona Centennial Saturday night.

Final score, 106-86.

Foothills’ T.J. Leaf scored 44 points and was 21 for 27 from the field, but the Knights were swamped at the outset by  a withering, all-court press and trailed, 22-5, in  the first four minutes.

It was 40-13, at the end of the first quarter.

The El Cajon squad actually outscored the Chino Hills, 73-66, over the last three quarters, but it never really was in it, getting no closer than 18 points at 67-49.

The Huskies, aggressively rebounding at both ends of the court,  answered any attempted Foothills incursion with breakaways or some sharp three-point sniping.

Foothills Christian won its first four Battle Zone games, defeating Temecula Great Oak, 84-42, Etiwanda, 73-43, Corona Centennial, 69-61, and Temecula Rancho Christian, 96-58.

The Knights will get another chance at Chino Hills,  Max Preps‘ state No. 3-ranked team when they meet Jan. 9 in  the Sierra Canyon Super Showcase in Chatsworth.

Second-ranked Cathedral opens the season Thursday against San Francisco St. Ignatius in the Father Barry Tournament hosted by Carmichael Jesuit.

No. 3 St. Augustine is 4-0 after winning the Pasadena Rose City Classic at Maranatha Christian with a 52-50 victory over Montebello Cantwell Sacred Heart.

The Saints’ other tournament victories were 52-50 over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 58-47 over Pomona Diamond Ranch, and 62-42 over Valencia West Ranch.

 Rank (1st place votes in parenthesis)/Team/’14-15 Record/Points/Last Year

1. Foothills Christian (8)/ 24-8/ 96 / 1

2. Cathedral Catholic (1)/ 17-9/  85 / NR

3. St. Augustine/ 25-7/ 84 / 2

4. El Camino (1) / 20-6/ 54/ 9

5. Torrey Pines  / 31-4/ 49/ 3

6. Army-Navy/26-7/ 45/6

7. Escondido/23-7/34 /4

8. San Marcos /  26-4/  26 / 7

9. Grossmont/ 22-5/ 18/ NR

10. Mission Bay/21-5/ 17/ 10

NR–Not Ranked.

Points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis                                                                 Others receiving votes: Francis Parker (13 points, 19-8),  La Costa Canyon (11 points, 24-8), Kearny (10 points, 23-9), Valhalla (6 points, 22-10), San Ysidro (2 points, 16-13), La Jolla Country Day (1 point, 13-18). 

Ten sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout the county vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei (San Diego Union-Tribune), Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren (San Diego 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).

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Basketball | Leave a comment