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).

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2015 Week 16: Six Go For Southern California Titles

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….

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2015: Little League Legend Joe Schloss, 88

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

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

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

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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Week 13: Playoffs Week 2

Idleness breeds contempt or a drop in the ratings.

Mission Hills has fallen from ninth to 11th in Cal-Hi Sports’ state top 25, partly because the Grizzlies drew a bye in the first round of the San Diego Section playoffs last week.

Also byed last week, Helix remained 12th.  Cathedral  and St. Augustine  are on the bubble after they, too, sat out.

Under Cal Hi’s nomenclature, there are no Open division ratings, but begin with Division I and with 15 teams rated.

Mission Hills is 10th and Helix 12th in D-I.  St. Augustine is fifth and Cathedral 12th in D-II followed by  one-the-bubble Valhalla.

Ten teams are rated in D-III-V, with Bonita Vista (III), Santa Fe Christian (IV), and La Jolla Country Day (V) on the bubble.

The San Diego Section playoffs increase in interest this week after a first round in which there were few surprises and the clearing process of washing out bad teams began.

Forty-six  teams in six divisions are still alive, with 23 games scheduled.

Helix-Madison (Open), San Marcos-Oceanside (I), and Christian-Valhalla (II) match  No. 8 seeds versus No. 1 seeds in each division but probably have the most marquee value.

Does Madison, which could contend for a state championship if it were left in its natural D-IV environment, have a shot against the fast, savvy Highlanders?

Westview (5)-at Mt. Carmel (4) promises an old-fashioned, roll-in-the-dirt, backyard brawl in D-II.  The schools are very close geographically.

Imperial (5)-Santa Fe Christian (4) has a distinct intersectional flavor in D-III.  So does Calexico Vincent Memorial (3)-Crawford (2) in D-5, with the Imperial Valley schools making the long trek over the mountains.

The Rock takes on Calvin Christian for the D-VI championship.


Foothills Christian is sixth and St. Augustine 17th in Cal-Hi’s preseason top 35. Torrey Pines  and Cathedral are in the “just missed” category.

Foothills, with 6-foot, 9-inch nationally recognized T.J. Leaf, was 25-7 last season.  So was St. Augustine, which returns its entire starting five.


Fallbrook writer David Willauer reminds that Warriors under Kyle Williams were 2-9 in ’13,  6-4 in ’14, and  now are 7-4 after a  7-3 win over 5-6 Hilltop in first round of D-III…the seventh-seeded Warriors visit second-seeded Mission Bay (8-2) this week…


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1947:  The Crowds, They Kept Coming

 Hoover principal Floyd Johnson was going to hold the line.

His school was the technical host for the annual game with San Diego High in Balboa Stadium and after the throngs of recent years Johnson vowed to close sales “when the 27,000th ticket is sold.”

Johnson said that he did not want to revisit the “turmoil” attendant to the September city schools’ carnival that drew an overflow turnout estimated at 30,000.

Twenty-page program was popular .

Johnson also cited the “din and confusion” in the over-crowded facility when the San Diego Naval Air and Camp Pendleton battled in a military game that drew service personnel in droves.

Balboa Stadium had a listed capacity variously reported as from 23,500 to 25,000.

Since there were few if any reserved seats,  more than one rump often occupied those spaces, not to mention aisles, concourses, and sidelines at a carnival or San Diego-Hoover game.


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1947: Hilltoppers Are Oh, So Close!

Although at least two-touchdown underdogs, coach Bill Bailey’s San Diego Hilltoppers took a 12-0 lead into the fourth quarter of the Southern California championship game.

It would not be enough.  The Hillers sustained a third consecutive loss in the finals, following defeats of the 1925 and 1933 clubs.

Holloway's pass to Ernie Smith in end zone was covered by Santa Monica defender defenders.

Neal Holloway’s pass to Ernie Smith in end zone was covered by Santa Monica defenders.

Favored Santa Monica rallied for a 13-12 victory before 26,601 persons in the Los Angeles Coliseum in what press box observers agreed was a brilliantly played contest between two outstanding teams.

Bailey’s final game as the Hilltoppers’ coach turned on two blocked point-after attempts that opened a door through which Samohi wedged for the winning touchdown with 1:20 remaining.

Dick Horn was Santa Monica's passing wizard.

Dick Horn was Santa Monica’s passing wizard.


Until then the Hillers’ gritty defense had checked the Vikings and Dick Horn, the nation’s No. 1 high school quarterback.

Horn had completed 101 of 162 passes for 2,009 yards and 24 touchdowns as Santa Monica scored 413 points, at least 4 touchdowns every game, and  won its first 11.

The Stanford-bound signal caller was just  5 for 18 for 108 yards and one touchdown with  three interceptions against the Hillers’ adjusted 5-3-3 defense.

San Diego would tenaciously hold the lead for 46 ½ minutes despite a huge, final yardage advantage for the winners, who had 17 first downs to 4 and outgained their opponents, 328-165.

Ted Ritchey ran 44 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Ernie Smith returned one of Horn’s passes 26 yards for a score as San Diego built a 12-0 halftime advantage.

Historian Tebb Kusserow, a former Santa Monica High player and head coach, pointed out that San Diego coach Bill Bailey switched his 5-3-3 and utilized a 4-4-3, dropping end Ernie Smith into the secondary as a fourth defensive back.

“The Vikings’ bread-and-butter play was the quick slant (96 Q) to Ike Jones,” said Kusserow.   “Ernie Smith was positioned to take it away and shadowed Jones all day, effectively putting (Jones) in double coverage.”

The ploy was successful in controlling Horn’s passing,  but the Hillers’ four-man front opened a door, said Kusserow:

“Samohi was able, almost too late, to prosecute the run and (hit their) backside receivers.”

Horn finally marshaled an 88-yard, third-quarter  drive and got Santa Monica on the board with a 30-yard pass to Lynn Wallace on the first play of the fourth quarter.

A Ritchey fumble recovered by Chuck Steiner put Santa Monica in business again and the Vikings nudged 38 yards in nine plays to Bobo Lewis’ winning, one-yard smash.

Joe Brown (left) and Ted Ritchey were Hillers' main ball carriers.

Joe Brown (left) and Ted Ritchey were Hillers’ main ball carriers.

San Diego still had time.

Joe  Brown returned the kickoff 55 yards to the Vikings’ 37.  Ritchey advanced the ball to the 17. Ernie Smith then appeared open in the end zone but two Santa Monica defenders broke up Neale Henderson’s pass.

The gun sounded before San Diego could run another play.

The beaten Hillers soon began the three-hour bus ride back down U.S. 101, terribly disappointed and saying good bye to the coach who posted a 34-7 record in five seasons and had revitalized one of Southern California’s storied programs.

Bailey moved on to junior college after outstanding prep coaching career.

Bailey became head coach at San Diego Junior College and was replaced by assistant Duane Maley, a 1940 San Diego graduate who played at USC and would  continue what became the greatest era in school history.


From the Nov. 12 The San Diego Union:

“They tossed away all the storybook finishes and produced a new one of their own yesterday as Grossmont High School put over a post-game touchdown to defeat Sweetwater High, 18-13, in a wild Metropolitan League football fracas before nearly 5,000 Armistice Day customers….

“The finish of the game came amid confusion, some fist-swinging on the part of spectators, a mad stampede on the playing field that necessitated the calling of police, and the handing down of a delicate decision by the officials….”

In order:

–Sweetwater trailed, 12-6. Grossmont was driving to another, clinching touchdown with less than three minutes to play.

Art Preston, who led County with 132 points, was pivotal figure in Grossmont’s controversal victory over Sweetwater.

–Sweetwater’s Kenny Burns intercepted a pass by Art Preston and raced 90 yards to a tying touchdown.

–A “pass conversion”, Jim Miller to “Squeaky” Staffen gave Sweetwater a 13-12 lead.

–Grossmont appeared dead after the Red Devils intercepted another pass following the kickoff.

–Sweetwater could not run out the clock and gave up the ball on downs at its 46-yard line.

–The Red Devils’ surrender of possession would spark a protest in which Sweetwater coach Lloyd Bishop stormed that his team was given three downs and not four by the officials.

–Head linesman Raleigh Holt was adamant that the decision to turn the ball over to Grossmont was correct, pointing out that confusion was possible after Sweetwater had been penalized “several times” during the drive for delay of game.

–Time running out, Grossmont was on Sweetwater’s 40-yard line.  Art Preston threw a long, incomplete, fourth-down pass to Ellis Craddock.

–Ball game?

–Field judge Mike Morrow ruled pass interference on Sweewater at the Red Devils’ 11-yard line.

–Spectators, not seeing Morrow drop his flag, believed the game was over and swarmed the gridiron.

–The honest Sweetwater game timer ruled that Preston‘s pass was in the air when the timekeeper’s pistol fired to signal end of game.

–The game could not conclude on a defensive foul. Grossmont was given an additional play.

Sweetwater backed coach Lloyd Bishop (with quarterback Joe Reeves) and protested to Metropolitan League.

Sweetwater backed coach Lloyd Bishop (with quarterback Joe Reeves) and protested to Metropolitan League.

–National City Police with patrol vehicles were forced to clear the field of spectators.

–A semblance of order was restored.

–Sweetwater partisans were shocked and then enraged when Preston began a running play to his right, then stopped and passed across the field to Craddock, alone in the end zone.

–Craddock caught Preston’s pass for the winning touchdown and the Foothillers headed, quickly, to their buses.

–Police remained on site until the field and stands were clear.

–Newspaper telephone operators were flooded with calls from the South Bay.

–The Metropolitan League’s “board of directors” and representatives of all member teams met on Saturday, four days later,  at the San Diego YMCA.

–The bosses were there to  address a formal letter of protest  from Sweetwater principal F.M. Chase to league president Dave Austin, principal at La Jolla.

(The meeting took place the day after Point Loma blanked a flat and dispirited Red Devils team, 19-0, for Sweetwater’s second loss in less than a week).

–Metro bosses upheld the Grossmont victory by a vote of 5-4.

Prez. Austin declared that “there was insufficient evidence to sustain the protest.”

–The vote was after officials failed to approve a motion that game officials had erred and had allowed Sweetwater  only three downs in the disputed series that preceded Grossmont’s winning touchdown.

–The motion failed by a vote of three “no” and two “yes”.  Four voters abstained.

–Taken into consideration was the submitted evidence of a radio broadcast of the game and written statements by game officials (including linesman Holt), coaches and sports writers assigned to the contest.

–Possibly sensing additional protests or forthcoming legal action, the board announced “termination of its responsibility in the matter.”


The Grossmont victory in the 30th renewal of a rivalry that began in 1920, came in a season in which the Foothillers would not compete for a Southern California minor division championship despite an overall,  9-1-1 record.

Fallbrook rolled behind Glen Crawford, who was all-Southern California.

The playoffs began Nov. 29, before the Metro had completed its eight-game schedule.

San Diego High played only seven regular-season games,  but most Metropolitan League clubs played at least 9 and some 10 or 11.  Coronado finished with an overall record of 6-4-1.

Grossmont dropped a 31-13 decision to Hoover in what amounted to a postseason game among the County’s second and third best teams.


That’s a question often posed about the avocado, sometimes while enjoying a guacamole dip.

It’s a fruit and probably the  most identified symbol of Fallbrook, the North San Diego County enclave that is an unofficial home to the native tree of Mexico.

U.S. 395 winds through the Avocado groves near the community, which was enjoying a postwar boom in football.

Coach Fred Stone’s Fallbrook High squad, 7-1 in 1946, raced to eight consecutive victories and the Southern Prep League championship this season.

The Warriors lost the first  “Avocado Bowl” contest, sponsored by the local Quarterback Club,  14-7, to Torrance on Thanksgiving Day.

Two days later the tired and undermanned Warriors fell to Laguna Beach, 20-6, in the Southern Section minor division playoffs, but their 15-3 record over two seasons was in sharp relief to Fallbrook’s short gridiron history.

The school opened with 20 students in 1893 and didn’t field a team until 1937.


Results of games often (usually) were unreported in San Diego newspapers but available information revealed only 12 Fallbrook victories in the eight seasons before the school of less than 250 students found success.

This year’s team was fired offensively by all-Southern California selection Glen Crawford, who scored at least 10 touchdowns, and backfield running mate Morris (Dude) Hedrick.

Despite the postwar boom, Stone stepped down after the season and Fallbrook would enter into another period of mediocrity.


Convair’s XC-99, the world’s largest airplane, made its second flight Dec. 3 and was airborne over the San Diego area from 12:05 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. carrying a larger takeoff load than on its maiden flight 10 days earlier.

The XC99 flies the friendly skies of San Diego.

The XC99 flies the friendly skies of San Diego.


City playgrounds bosses announced plans to construct new restrooms, new concession stands, and a new press box for Balboa Stadium.


A Guernsey cow from Lakeside set a record for milk and butterfat production. “Natalie” produced 11,600 pounds of milk and 675 pounds of butterfat, highest total ever in the Herd Improvement Division of the American Guernsey Cattle Club.

Former San Diego High football and baseball standout Johnny Ritchey, accompanied by brother and former Hilltoppers star Bert Ritchey (left), is congratulated by Padres owner Bill Starr (center) and coach Mike Morrow (right) after  becoming Pacific Coast baseball league’s first Africa-American player.. 


New rules were in force at the ninth annual City Schools’ carnival, played before an overflow, standing-room crowd estimated at a hyperbolized 30,000 to 32,000 in Balboa Stadium.

There were kickoffs at the start of each, 15-minute quarter. In the past, when teams left the field, the new teams played from where the ball had last been spotted.

Randy Epps scored touchdown for La Jolla in one of the season-opening carnivals.

Randy Epps scored touchdown for La Jolla in one of the season-opening carnivals.

The East of San Diego, La Jolla, and Kearny defeated the West of Hoover, Point Loma, and outsider Sweetwater of the Metropolitan League, 12-6.

St. Augustine, coached by former Hoover standout Chuck Coover, was outscored, 12-0, in one quarter by Santa Monica St. Monica in the Southland Catholic League carnival at Hollywood’s Gilmore Stadium.

Not to be left out, Brown Military Academy took part in the Imperial Valley League carnival in El Centro.


Writer Ken Bojens suggested that, with so many high school, college, and military teams fielding teams, the crowded Balboa Stadium schedule could use a break.

Bojens suggested San Diego preps use the stadium on all other week nights than Friday, as was being done in San Francisco, according to Bojens.

The Union columnist must have been thinking ahead.

A few weeks later the Southern Section playoffs began and San Diego was scheduled to play Saturday night in the Stadium against Los Angeles Cathedral.

The Hilltoppers agreed to move their game to Friday night to allow San Diego State and Santa Barbara State on the stadium turf Saturday  night.

To accommodate all, San Diego JC and East Los Angeles JC agreed to move their Metropolitan Conference game from Saturday afternoon to Friday afternoon.


Bob Miller (35) wasn't enough for Hoover, upset by Point Loma, which was shocked by Chula Vista.

Bob Miller (35) wasn’t enough for Hoover, upset by Point Loma, which was shocked by Chula Vista.

The upset of the season came when Chula Vista defeated big and established Point Loma in the Spartans second-ever game, 15-7, on a 95-yard pass interception return by Terry Shaw.

Point Loma had just scored a major surprise of its own, defeating Hoover, 18-13.


Big crowds at the football carnival, Hoover-San Diego, and any of the numerous military facilities’  games prompted another  suggestion by Ken Bojens:

“It might be a good idea for city fathers to begin looking to the near future and formulating plans to enlarge Balboa Stadium,” said Bojens.  “By the end of the season there will have been a half-dozen turnaway crowds.”

Balboa Stadium would be made larger 14 years later, from its original 23,500 seats to 34,500, when the Chargers moved South from Los Angeles.


Hoover end Bill McColl and San Diego tackle Bob Van Doren made the all-Southern California first team.  Fallbrook halfback Glen Crawford earned second-team honors and San Diego halfback Ted Ritchey was on the third team.

The 6-foot, 4 inch, 210-pound McColl, one of the city’s all-time great athletes, also was all-Southern California in basketball, went on to become a collegiate all-America at Stanford University, and played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.

Duane Maley and Bill Bailey (from left behind second row) took the 1947 Hilltoppers to southern California finals.

Duane Maley and Bill Bailey (from left behind second row) took  1947 Hilltoppers to Southern California finals.


Gene Earl, who covered the high school beat for The San Diego Union, took the field and played right end for the St. Augustine alumni in its year-end game against the Saints’ varsity…card stunts were brought back after a wartime lapse, according to Jerry Brucker of the Evening Tribune,  and were presented by the San Diego cheering section at halftime…the cards featured a blue San Diego High castle on white background in addition to displays honoring San Diego and Hoover…Hoover and Muir kicked off at the unusual time of 5:45 p.m. in the Pasadena Rose Bowl…the Cardinals and Mustangs had argued over game sites before agreement was reached…Brown Military coach Eddie Olds was on the roster of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL in 1946 and then hooked on with the San  Diego Bombers of the Pacific Coast League…the Breitbard Athletic Foundation and auto dealer Guarantee Chevrolet footed the bill to film the San Diego Hoover game that would be shown to Monday morning quarterbacks and at school assemblies…Hoover’s Bob Miller, who scored 120 points, topped only by the 132 of Grossmont’s Art Preston, was on fire against Northern opponents…Miller had five touchdowns in a 38-15 win over San Bernadino and 4 more in a 44-18 rout of Long Beach Poly….

What catches your eye? The pass intercepted by Point Loma against Kearny or the two coeds in background strolling into the game after kickoff. Yoto Takeshita picked the pass from Dick Pedrin to Bob Walke, while Point Loma's Pete Simmons (10) arrived to support Takeshita.

What catches your eye? The pass intercepted  by Point Loma against Kearny, the coeds in background strolling in after kickoff, or the two figures atop the bluff? Yoto Takeshita picked the pass from Dick Pedrin to Bob Walke, while Point Loma’s Pete Simmons (10) arrived to support Takeshita.


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2015: Week 12, Grizzlies are No. 1 and No. 3

Undefeated Mission Hills was an almost wire-to-wire, regular-season winner in the Union-Tribune writers’ poll, but the Grizzlies are seeded only third behind Helix and St. Augustine in the Open Division of the San Diego Section playoffs, which begin this week.
Power ratings, introduced three years ago,  base a team’s strength on a number of factors,  most visible of which is strength of schedule.
Mission Hills and other teams in the eight team Open don’t begin play until the quarterfinals round on Nov. 20.  These matchups will give the playoffs some added cachet:
No. 1 Helix vs. No. 8 Madison, 2 St. Augustine vs. 7 Eastlake, 3 Mission Hills vs. 6 La Costa Canyon, and 4 Cathedral vs. 5 Carlsbad.
High seeds in other brackets also receive byes in the first round, which begin this Friday night.  Action and anticipation will pick up next week.
Week 12 poll after 11 weeks of games:
# Team (1st place votes) Points W-L Previous
1.  Mission Hills (16) 231 10-0 1
2. Helix (8) 222 8-1 2
3. St. Augustine 187 8-2 3
4. Madison 136 8-2 7
5. Rancho Bernardo 123 8-2 6
6. Cathedral Catholic 100 6-4 9
7. Carlsbad 57 7-3 NR
8. La Costa Canyon 56 7-3 4
9. San Marcos 37 7-3 NR
10. Westview 36 7-3 5

NR–Not ranked. Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Others receiving votes (record & points in parenthesis): Mater Dei  (9-1, 27), Bonita Vista (8-2, 25), Valhalla (8-2, 15), Oceanside (6-4, 14), Grossmont (8-2, 11), Mission Bay (8-2, 10), Poway (5-5, 9), Granite Hills (9-1, 8), Christian (7-3, 4), Santa Fe Christian (9-1, 2), Point Loma (7-3, 2), Eastlake (5-5, 1).

24 Media and CIF representatives vote each week: John Maffei (U-T San Diego), Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Jim Lindgren, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (U-T San Diego correspondents), Bill Dickens, Chris Davis (East County Sports.com), Steve (Biff) Dolan,  (Mountain Country 107.9 FM), John (Coach) Kentera, Ted Mendenhall, 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), R. Pena, C. Smith and Montell Allen (MBASports-SDFNL Magazine).

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