2017: Dave Grayson, Legendary Caver, Hornet

David Grayson, who retired before the 1971 NFL season as one of the pro game’s all-time defensive backs, passed away recently at age 78.

Grayson intercepted 48 passes from 1961-70 in the American Football League and NFL as a member of the Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders.

The 5-foot, 10-inch, 187-pounder with sprinter speed  was named to the all-time all-AFL team, the high point of a great career that began in the San Diego City Prep League.

Grayson was a starting defensive back and played fullback on the 11-0-1, 1955 San Diego High team that won the Southern California championship and was acclaimed the national high school team of the year.

Grayson (30) was co-captain of the 1960 Oregon Ducks. Teammate Len Burnett is  82 in second row, Cleveland Jones is 25 in second row, and Roscoe Cook is 98 in fourth row.  All played at San Diego High or Lincoln.

Grayson and teammate Luther Hayes transferred to Lincoln after their junior football seasons at San Diego and they put the fledgling program of coach Walt Harvey’s on the map the following year.

Lincoln posted a 5-2-1 record in 1956 and came within a few feet of tying San Diego and Hoover for first place in the City Prep League.

Grayson’s  45-yard pass interception return set up one touchdown in the season-ending, 26-19 loss to San Diego and his 36-yard option pass to a diving Leonard Burnett put the Hornets on San Diego’s eight-yard line with time running out in the fourth quarter.

Hayes gained five yards but then was stopped short of the goal line  as the game ended.

“I should have given the ball to Grayson,” Harvey said of the last play years later.

The coach’s reasoning was that the quicker Grayson, shorter and more compact than the lanky Hayes, would have been able to find space in the Cavers’ defensive line and get the Hornets into position to tie the favored Cavemen.

The 170-pound Grayson made the all-City League team on offense and was one of the premier sprinters in the County during the spring track season with a best time of 10 seconds in the 100-yard dash.

Grayson and Lincoln also posted a time of 1:29.2 in the 880-yard relay and qualified for the CIF Southern Section finals.

Grayson was a member of San Diego Junior College’s 1957 Metropolitan Conference football championship squad and teamed with Roscoe Cook, Bobby Staten, and Fred Lucas as the Knights set a national JC record of 1:25.6 in the 880-yard relay in 1958 at the West Coast Relays in Fresno.

Grayson won 100-yard dash in :10.1 in Lincoln’s dual track meet with Hoover on March 21, 1957. Others (from left) are Hoover’s Bill Stephenson and Arnold Tripp, Lincoln’s Russ Boehmke, Hoover’s Larry Fischer, and Lincoln’s Bill McCready.

Grayson then moved onto to the University of Oregon, competed in football and track, and was co-captain of the Ducks’ 1960 football squad.


Waibel was a passing quarterback for the 1943 Oceanside Pirates, who were unbeaten with a 6-0 record in the World War II-shortened Southern Prep League campaign.

Waibel was head coach at Fallbrook from 1959-64.

The often undermanned Warriors did not join the newly formed San Diego Section in 1960 and competed in the Riverside County De Anza League, winning the league title and posting as 6-3 record.


The most-valuable player in the 1955 Lions Club Baseball Tournament was lefthanded pitcher Vince Kilpela of the emerging Lincoln High program.

Kilpela signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and led the Sooner State League with 272 strikeouts in 1956.

Kilpela posted a 14-9 record for Ardmore, Oklahoma, pitching a whopping 231 innings and completing 25 starting assignments.

He also pitched at Fresno, Winston-Salem, and Billings, but a sore arm ended Kilpela’s career in 1957.



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1967-68: Mount Miguel on Mountain Top

They were cast in the 6-foot, 11-inch shadow of Bill Walton and Helix’ 33-0 team of 1969-70.

History has overlooked the Mount Miguel clubs that dominated the Grossmont League and San Diego Section in the late 1960s.

The Matadors were 25-6 in 1966-67 and 32-0 this season.

But coach Dick Ridgway’s squad did not embrace an intersectional schedule.

The Matadors won a couple December tournaments of local import and ran roughshod over area teams, eight times scoring more than 100 points.

Walton and Helix “went national”.

The Highlanders dominated the prestigious Covina Tournament, winning by 42 points in the finals against Pasadena and, in an earlier round, routing eventual Southern Section champion Long Beach Millikan by 24 points.

Walton was featured in Faces in the Crowd, a weekly feature of Sports Illustrated.

Ridgway, who played for coach John Wooden at UCLA in the early ‘fifties, employed a pressing zone defense that Wooden’s teams had perfected to domination on the collegiate level.

When not defending, Mount Miguel’s Ken Greenman, splitting Madison’s Tim Amrine (10) and Phil Edwards (44) for basket in 67-44 playoffs win, also was offensive threat, averaging 18.5 points a game,

Junior varsity graduate Ken Barstow, a 6-foot, 7-inch center, joined 6-5 forward Mike Ela and two split-second guards, Blake Mathews, and Ken Greenman, who formed the offensive and defensive attack along with forward Dave Lower.

Bill Center of The San Diego Union covered the Matadors and Walton’s Helix squads.

Which was better?

”Very close,” said Center.  “Walton was such a great athlete that I think Helix would win.”

But Center reserved a special place in his hoops hierarchy for the Spring Valley entry.

“Mount Miguel played so well together,” said Center. “It was the most fun team to watch that I covered. It was so unselfish and Mathews and Greenman were the perfect players to run his (Ridgway’s) press.”

The Matadors outscored their 32 opponents by an average score of 85.1-46.6 and set a County single-game scoring record in a 121-64 victory over Santana.  They beat Point Loma, 118-54, and scored 92 points in the last three quarters in a 111-62 win over El Cajon Valley.

Ela scored 685 points and averaged 21.4.  Greenman scored 594 and averaged 18.5.  Mathews scored 467 and averaged 14.6.

Helix, a year away from beginning its great run, was 0-4 against its neighboring rival.  The Matadors prevailed, 80-62, 86-57, and 67-56 in the regular season, and 69-55 in the CIF finals.

Oceanside got closer than anyone, bowing, 58-47, in the playoff quarterfinals after trailing, 31-28, at the half.  The Pirates, led by big Jim McCargo, Steve Waddell, and Willie Buchanon, had won 14 straight.


Point Loma coach Don Buechler tossed cold water on the idea that Mount Miguel could beat the best team in the Southern Section.

Buechler would know.  His team dropped a 118-54 decision to the Matadors and also played a powerful Northern squad.

Point Loma scheduled an unusual, late-season, nonleague home game against the 27-0 Compton Tarbabes, who would conclude a 32-0 season with the Southern Section championship a couple weeks later.

Compton easily raced past the 14-11 Pointers, 106-43, and Buechler was asked to compare the Matadors and the Northern powerhouse.

“They’re the best team I’ve seen in many a season,” Buechler said of Compton. “There is no team in our area that can match them man-for-man, rebounding, shooting, and individual defense.

“Everyone takes turns killing you.”



Mount Miguel won the Unlimited Division, 83-50, over Eastern League power Morse.  The Matadors topped Granite Hills in an earlier game, 103-38, but fell short of the record 104 by Newhall Hart against Oceanside in 1954.

Castle Park claimed the Limited Division championship, 63-56, over Chula Vista and Vista topped Fallbrook, 55-54, in overtime to win the newly created Classified Division.


Top seed Mount Miguel defeated No. 2 Lincoln, another Eastern League big shot, 69-52, after scoring 107 in one tournament game and 118 in another.


Chula Vista, which had been playing in this post-December event almost from the time the school opened in 1947, swept to four straight victories including a 73-56 decision over Santa Clarita Simi Valley in the championship game.


A free throw with 1:30 remaining in the game was what separated Long Beach Poly from San Diego in the Jackrabbits’ 63-62 championship game victory. Cavers Steve Clifford and Orie McLemore were all-tournament.


San Dieguito won its own tournament, 48-47, over Coronado.  The Mustangs posted a 4-0 record in the round-robin event, followed by Coronado (3-1), San Marcos (2-2), Poway (1-3), and Bonita Vista (0-4).

Madison’s Ron Dahms (50) is closest but Kearny’s Lee Tyler (15) gives chase. Komets’ Bruce Williams (left) and Warhawks’ Phil Edwards (44) are near, yet far.


Six-foot, 10 1/2-inch Ron Dahms scored 25 points to lead Madison to a 62-47 win over Orange Glen, which was making its second straight appearance in the finals.

Several other San Diego teams were involved.  Brawley edged Crawford, 56-55, for third place, the Colts missing Rodney Boone, who sustained a back injury the day before.

El Centro Central topped Morse, playing without Monroe Nash, home in bed with the flu, 50-46, for fifth place.  La Jolla defeated Holtville, 54-43, for the consolation title.


Despite protests from Metropolitan League coaches that their top teams, Chula Vista, Castle Park, and Hilltop, were dissed in the 16-team pairings, the postseason playoff committee approved its original seedings.

No. 1 Mount Miguel ousted 24-5 Castle Park, 64-44, in the first round and 17-8 University upset 26-3 Chula Vista, 52-50.  Hilltop upheld South Bay pride by bouncing 15-10 Clairemont, 69-51.

Hilltop (23-9) reached the semifinals before bowing to 21-10 Helix, 69-57.  Mount Miguel thumped Madison, 67-46.

The 27-5 Warhawks defeated Hilltop, 73-54, for third place.

Steve Bajo scored 29 points as Marian (21-6) was a 91-44 winner over 11-5 La Jolla Country Day in the Class A final.

Marian’s Steve Bajo is surrounded by coaches George Ziegenfuss (San Diego State), Phil Woolpert (University of San Diego), and Bob Kloppenburg (Cal Western) at Union-Tribune luncheon. Bajo opted for USD.


Santana defeated El Cajon Valley, 90-76, by converting 50 of 70 fouls shots.

Game officials called 72 infractions, an average of more than two a minute, including 45 against the Braves.

Seven El Cajon Valley players and three Sultans were whistled to the bench with five personals each.

The Braves converted 22 of 36 free throw attempts and would have won, 54-40, if only field goals counted.


Bizarre finish in a Western League game between University and Clairemont.

The score was tied at 62 with the Chiefs in possession when the Dons’ Kevin Madden was called for a personal foul with four seconds remaining.

Madden complained, apparently too loudly, and was additionally assessed a technical.

Clairemont’s Pat Casey missed the first free-throw in the one-and-one for the personal.

But Clairemont remained in possession as the Chiefs still had a free throw coming for the technical.

Chiefs coach Russ Cravens opted for his best player and scorer, Frank Petersen, to attempt the T free throw.

Petersen found the bottom of the net, giving Clairemont a 63-62 lead.

Four seconds still remained and the Chiefs retained possession at midcourt.

Game over?

Clairemont stunningly was called for a rules violation with one second remaining.

The Chiefs, according to student correspondent Homer Williams, were called for “a violation of the rule which requires the team ahead move the ball into an attacking area.”

Clairemont coach Cravens was outraged, lashing out at the official, who  promptly slapped Cravens with a technical.

All’s well that ended well.  University’s Dennis Kramer, who was 4 for 4 from the foul line, missed the technical freebie.


It’s a trite term overused in the modern game, but scoring was what San Diego preps did best this season.

Ten players averaged at least 20 points a game and 10 teams scored at least 63.3 points a game.  Figures unheard of as recently as 10 years before.

Monroe Nash of Morse had highest average, 24.3 points a game,

Madison’s Ron Dahms scored 706 points, third to the 737 that Crawford’s Larry Blum scored in 1962-63 and to the 736 by St. Augustine’s Tom Shaules in 1957-58.

Morse’s Monroe Nash won the scoring championship with a 24.3 average, with 608 points in 25 games.  Dahms averaged 22.06 and was edged by sophomore Paul Halupa of Bonita Vista, who scored 574 points in 26 games for an average of 22.08.

Halupa’s total represented the most ever by a 10th grade player.


Hoover’s John Havens broke two school records.

Havens’ 38 points in a 91-69 win over Granite Hills in consolation play of the Kiwanis Tournament bettered the 36 by Dick Barnes in 1944-45.

Havens, who averaged 18.4 points as the Cardinals struggled to a 9-17 record, had a season total of 478, bettering the 446 by Norris Greenwood in 1957-58.


San Diego coach Bill Standly did not take kindly to what he considered editorial impudence by the staff of The Russ, as noted by Don King in Caver Conquest.

Standly was not amused after reading a headline in the school newspaper that described a “Bush Sports Calendar.”

James (Bouncy) Moore averaged 14.2 but was better known in track and field, third in state long jump at 24 feet, 4 inches, in 1968 and national collegiate champion at University of Oregon in 1970. He had all-time best of 26-11 3/4.

After all, the coach had put together a strong nonleague and intersectional schedule as his team was defending its 1966-67 San Diego Section championship.

Standly was mollified somewhat when a Russ editor apologized and explained that the headline was a typographical error and should have read “Busy Sports Calendar.”


Helix outscored Hilltop, 24-12, in nine minutes of the second and third quarters in their 69-57, CIF semifinal playoff victory before 3,573 persons at Peterson Gym, “with sophomore center Bill Walton and forward Paul Drozd leading the way.”

Writer Bill Center elaborated:

“Walton, a spindly, 6-6 center who was brought up from the junior varsity for the playoffs, took charge around the basket, batting down two shots and grabbing three defensive rebounds, which set up Highlander scores.”

Walton also scored eight points in this first, brief appearance on the big stage, which he would command for the next several years, at Helix, UCLA, and in the NBA.


–Mar Vista led visiting Coronado, 43-22, at halftime and lost, 65-64, as the Islanders took their only lead in the game on Jim Haught’s looper with 21 seconds remaining.

–Lincoln’s Jerry Powell scored 20 points, including 10 in a row and 12 in the final seven minutes, as the Hornets topped Crawford, 64-56.

Jerry Powell, laying up against Crawford, was Lincoln standout.

–St. Augustine, 2-12, beat 12-5 Lincoln, 69-66.  Hoover, 6-12, beat 14-6 Morse, 51-48.  Crawford, 8-12, defeated 15-5 Lincoln, 56-53.

–Monroe Nash, despite 4 personal fouls, scored 19 points in the final 11 minutes as Morse beat San Diego, 72-70, in two overtimes.

–Madison jumped to 34-16 lead over Point Loma, but then was outscored, 50-32, and the teams deadlocked at 66, forcing overtime, which Madison dominated and won, 70-67.

–James (Bouncy) Moore broke free for a layup with two seconds to go in the second overtime as San Diego defeated Crawford, 75-73, after the teams deadlocked at 62 in regulation play and 66 in the first overtime.

–Helix trailed Monte Vista, 29-12, and then led, 56-39, before finally moving past Monte Vista, 68-65.  Bob Kellison and Bill’s brother, Bruce Walton, led the Scots with 13 points each.

Hilltop’s John Tschogl (left) and Chula Vista’s Bob Olson led their teams to a combined 49 wins and school scoring records.


Although eliminated in the playoffs’ first round, it was a banner year for the Chula Vista Spartans, who won their third Metropolitan League championship in five seasons under coach Larry Armbrust and tied the school record for most wins…Bob Olson scored 35 points in a 77-59 win over Coronado and broke the school record of 33 set by Koichi Yamamoto in 1956-57 and equaled by Eric Mortenson in ’65-’66…Clairemont’s Frank Petersen was the season’s single-game scoring leader with 48 points in an 85-51 win over first-year Bonita Vista…the 21st annual December Kiwanis Tournament expanded to three divisions…there now were 16 Unlimited entries, 16 Limited, and 8 Classified…the Oscar Foster era had ended at San Diego, but the Cavers still posted a 20-8 record with one returning starter (Orie McLemore) and four junior varsity graduates…Hilltop joined Mount Miguel in 100-point club with a 104-46 win over Bonita Vista as forward John Tschogl set a school record with 41 points…Tschogl played at the University of California at Santa Barbara and for two seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Philadelphia 76ers…3,075 persons attended the Saturday night playoff finals at Peterson Gym, bringing two-night attendance to almost 7,000….

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1956-57: A Red Devils Reset

Who would have thought a team that started the season with a 1-8 record and finished 10-10 would be celebrated?

Hats off to the Sweetwater Red Devils!

An eighth loss in nine games was where coach Wells Gorman’s team stood on January 6, 1957, after a 55-50, Metropolitan League opening-game loss at Helix.

But that score against Helix, the reigning and decidedly favored league champion, was a tell.

Sweetwater’s Roger Lively (center) and Bob Jordan contest Mt. Carmel’s Tom Arnerich for ball in Southernb Section playoff battle,.

Sweetwater had  found a different track, shedding the memory of an awful December. They began a run that extended deep into the CIF Southern Section Central Group playoffs.

Coach Wells Gorman, who coached the Class B squad at Coronado before moving across the bay to the National City school this season, directed the sudden and remarkable turnaround.

What followed the loss to Helix was a string of league victories as opponents floundered against the Red Devils’ tight zone defense and patient, pass-oriented offense.

Sweetwater startled favored Chula Vista, 46-31, for its first league win; punished El Cajon Valley, 48-23, suffocated Grossmont, 54-16, and got even with Helix, 51-47, in a game that ended with a near melee between players and fans on the Sweetwater court.

Roger Lively, a 6-foot, 3-inch center who affected an outer-space look with thick, prescription glasses, scored 26 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, as Sweetwater got even with the Highlanders.

Lively was joined in the starting lineup by John Dial, Jack Lensing, Bob Beardsley, and Bob Jordan, a 5-11 sharpshooting guard and blossoming star.

At 4-1 in the circuit and 5-8 overall, the Red Devils stepped out of league play and were briefly interrupted, 45-43, by City League honcho Mission Bay.

The National Citians returned to the league fray with a 56-54 win over Chula Vista on Lively’s hook shot basket with 30 seconds left and followed with a 69-31 dismissal of El Cajon Valley.

Grossmont, closing out a 4-19 season, strategized.

Helix’ Jerry Goins attempts to dribble around Long Beach St. Anthony defenders with Highlanders John Drumm (13) and Gael Barsotti (53) lurking.

The Foothillers decided to played keep away.  They held the ball after the opening jump ball and didn’t attempt a shot for the first four minutes. Guards Mickey Bruce and Larry Dearing played catch along the half-court line.

Sweetwater trailed, 3-0, at the end of the first quarter but had finally nudged ahead, 19-16, in the fourth quarter.  At that point, the ‘Devils went into their own stall and finished a 23-19 victory.


More surprises were in store.

Jordan made 10 of 14 field goal attempts and scored 22 points, the Red Devils rapped in 24 of 45 overall for 53 per cent, and shot the favored host San Diego (16-10) out of the playoffs, 57-47.

Lively got past San Diego defender Edward Lee Johnson for reverse layup and basket.

Next up were the Newport Beach Newport Harbor Tars at neutral Kearny High. Sweetwater won a tense battle, overcoming the visitors with a 15-10 fourth quarter in a 49-45 victory.

Sweetwater won at the free throw line, converting 23 of 27 attempts, with Lively making 10 of 12, and with Dial converting three to give the winners a 47-41 advantage with 2:03 left.

The Red Devils finally were eliminated, 49-41, by tall (one starter 6 feet 7, another 6-4) Los Angeles Mt. Carmel in a quarterfinals game at Point Loma.

The Crusaders (30-1), who reached the finals before losing to El Monte, 55-54, pulled away with a succession of free throws after leading 34-33, at the end of three quarters.


A weekend doubleheader in mid-December seemed to indicate a changing of the guard.

Helix defeated Hoover, 63-46, on Friday night and San Diego, 64-58, on Saturday.

The Highlanders’ parlay, against two City Prep League powers, was usually reserved for Los Angeles-area teams.

Hoover was 25-5 in 1955-56 and returned several players from the squad that finished third in the  playoffs.  San Diego’s eminence extended almost back to the days of peach baskets.

Helix, although occasionally successful against its urban neighbors, had never been so convincing.

With 6-6 Ronnie Mulder, 6-3 Gael Barsotti and vest-pocket guards John Drumm, Jerry Goins, and John Wible, the Highlanders appeared set to make a run.

Under fourth-year coach Bob Divine, the Scots had shown some muscle during a 15-8 season in 1955-56.

Although stunned in a major surprise earlier by Point Loma, 45-43, Helix had a 6-1 record going into the Kiwanis Tournament and was favored to win its second straight Metropolitan League title.

The Highlanders dismissed Point Loma, 52-40, in their opening Kiwanis game and withered defending champion Beverly Hills with 26 consecutive points in a 29-4 fourth quarter that resulted in a 61-37 victory, punctuated by Barsotti’s 25 points.


Hoover, taking charge with success on 58 per cent of 24 shots in the last two quarters, broke from a 23-23 halftime deadlock to oust Helix, 57-45 in the Kiwanis semifinals.

The Highlanders gained a share of the Metropolitan League championship with Sweetwater and met Hoover again in the playoffs after a 55-50 victory over Long Beach St. Anthony.

The Cardinals were superior again, topping their La Mesa rivals, 51-44, and closing out the Highlanders, who completed a 22-6 season, best in school history, but were an early playoff casualty for the second consecutive season.

Seven-foot Engesser, flanked by shorter teammates Bob Delgado (left) and Dave Haynes, was thorn in Hoover’s side.

Hoover (22-4) was knocked out in the next round by 24-4 El Monte, 57-54.

Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union described El Monte’s 7-foot Bill Engesser as a player “who seemed to move with great gnashing and clanking of gears.”

Engesser did not have to move much.  He took high lobs from his shorter teammates and dropped in 25 points, off-setting 19 in the second half by Hoover’s Wayne Adams, the City Prep League’s player of the year.


The 10th annual event featured 32 teams, 8 playing floors, 28 assigned game officials, and 46 total games.  All City, Avocado, and Metropolitan league squads were joined by three teams from the Southern Prep League, and St. Augustine.

At the same time, host Sweetwater’s annual Class B tournament began, with teams from Chula Vista, El Cajon Valley, Grossmont, Helix, Coronado. Mar Vista, and St. Augustine.


When four area teams, Hoover, Lincoln, Mission Bay, and Helix, reached the Kiwanis Unlimited Division round of four an all-San Diego final was assured for the first time since 1953, when San Diego defeated Hoover, 54-44.

The 22-4 Hoover Cardinals’ starting lineup, from left: coach Charlie Hampton, Wayne Adams, Norris Greenwood, Steve Evans, Tommy Dobyns, Walt Baranski.

Hoover was in the finals again but lost for the fourth time.

Upstart Mission Bay, bolstered by the transfer from La Jolla of starters Jim Anderson and Doug Crockett, and the arrival of 6-7 ½ Dave Hinds from Leadville, Colorado, nipped the Cardinals, 43-42.

Mission Bay added transfer Dave Hinds, at 6-7 1/2 the tallest player in City Prep League.

Crockett dribbled half the court after a stolen Hoover pass by Jerry Dinsmore to score the winning basket on a layup with 2 seconds remaining.

The Buccaneers also got past Hoover, 42-40, with a basket in the final eight seconds in the league opener and were 18-7 in their third varsity season but finished third in the CPL with a 7-5 record, including a late-season 50-39 loss to the Cardinals.

The sentries apparently didn’t get the memo.

The old guard maintained, as Hoover and San Diego, with a predominantly underclass starting five led by Artist Gilbert and Edward Lee Johnson, finished 1-2.


Shaules’s shooting style was effective.

Tom Shaules, a 5-foot, 8-inch, 123-pound junior guard, burst on the scene, scoring 22 points in his first game, a 44-37 win over Lincoln, and followed with 36 a week later in a 53-45 triumph over Escondido.

Shaules accelerated the trend to more offense by setting a one-season County record of 587 points.  He averaged 25.5 points and improved on the unofficial record of 474, set by the Saints’ John Cunningham in 1954-55.

Shaules averaged 33.5 with 201 points in his final six games. His 49 points in a 87-55 win over Brown Military broke the County record of 47, set by Fallbrook’s Paul Lockridge in 1951 during a 90-31 romp over Brown.

Shaules did not load up on the poor.  He also had six other games over 30, including 36 in an 86-72 defeat of Helix that reversed an earlier, 82-58 loss to the Scots.

Still campaigning as an independent, the Saints posted a 13-10 record against varied competition, a decided improvement over the 7-17 of the post-Cunningham squad in 1955-56.

St. Augustine would gain entry to the City Prep League in 1957-58 and Shaules would set additional records with his unorthodox delivery, a jump shot that featured a backward spin on the ball.


Sherman Burroughs High of Ridgecrest, adjacent the China Lake Naval Air Station, made the 224-mile trip to San Diego and the Kiwanis Tournament a rousing success.

The Burros defeated Mar Vista, 47-29, for the Limited Division championship and interrupted an Avocado League dominance of four championships in the previous five years.


Lincoln guard Bob Byrd, who missed two free throws with six seconds to play in regulation time, sent San Diego to the sideline in the Kiwanis quarterfinals when he drained a 15-foot jump shot with five seconds remaining in overtime for a 51-50 victory.


Chula Vista (12-12)  reached finals of the post-Christmas Chino tournament before bowing to Azusa Citrus and high scoring Billy Kilmer, 54-48.  Kilmer scored 17 points after 43 in an opening-round, 78-35 win over Grossmont, and 28 and 22 in the next two games.

Corona, after eliminating Mar Vista (14-15) in the semifinals, defeated Escondido (12-13), 59-44, for the consolation championship.

Helix lost to 12-0 Oxnard, 66-64, after defeating Ventura, 70-60, in the Fillmore Tournament.  The Highlanders finished third in the eight-team event, overcoming a 16-point, third quarter deficit to top Burbank Burroughs, 70-69.


Mission Bay’s zone defense never was more effective than against Lincoln (12-12).  The Hornets made one of their first 32 field goal attempts and shot 15 per cent overall, 10 for 63, in a 38-24 loss to the Buccaneers.


Fifteen players got into the game and 14 scored as Helix set a Metropolitan League scoring record in a 97-50 win over El Cajon Valley.

Oceanside emerged with an Avocado League record after an 83-48 victory over San Dieguito.

St. Augustine was a 66-32 winner at Brown Military although Tom Shaules was held to a season low 11 points.

Gael Barsotti, with Helix coach Bob Divine, added 30 points in playoffs to his season and career total.

Julian, Ramona, and Army-Navy tied for first in the Southern Prep League but Army-Navy was odd man out in coin flips to determine which teams went to the playoffs. Julian and Ramona advanced.

Oceanside (14-7) was one and done in the Southern Group playoffs after a quarterfinals, 71-57 loss to San Jacinto, which had beaten Ramona, 49-36, in the first round.  Tustin eliminated Julian, 62-45.

Rancho del Campo finished with three players on the court after 4 of the seven-man roster fouled out in a 55-32 loss to Brown Military.

There were 17 lead changes, four in the game’s final minute, before Hoover’s Wayne Adams, laboring with 4 fouls since midway of the second quarter, converted two free throws in the last five seconds to give Hoover a 51-50 win over Lincoln.

Cheerleader Beverly Svalstad urges Helix to play defense and score points in 63-59 win over Point Loma.


Julian’s Quinten Fernald led all Kiwanis scorers with 88 points in four games, the final a 45-35 loss to Hemet in the Limited Division consolation windup…also starting for Julian was Quint’s brother, Denny…Helix coach  Bob Divine missed several games in December after  contacting pneumonia…assistant coach Dave LeFever directed the early victory over Hoover…Hoover made 17 successive free throws and defeated Glendale, 47-36, and host San Diego nipped Glendale Hoover, 43-42, in a December twinbill at San Diego…switching sites, host Hoover beat Glendale Hoover, 54-25, and Glendale topped San Diego, 52-46…Lincoln was a loser, 46-33 and 53-31, in Long Beach against Wilson and Millikan…first-year Escondido coach Gene Taylor was 107-23 in the previous five years at Clifton, Arizona, 12-13 in his only season here…Chick Embrey replaced Walter West as head coach of Escondido football after West moved to Oceanside as basketball coach…Kiwanis director Darrell (Snuffy) Smith  reported that at least 60 per cent of the 400 participating players were 6 feet or taller…Mission Bay coaches Kenny Hale and Chuck Coover produced a Buccaneers “press brochure”….

Bob Byrd (left), whose basket defeated San Diego in Kiwanis tournament, is flanked by teammates Leonard Burnett, Albert (Angel) Vinson, Luther Hayes, and Bill Beatty. Not pictured is Hornets’ redoubtable forward Bob Moss.

He was better known for outstanding coaching success in football at Sweetwater and Orange Glen, but David Lay, defending against Kearny’s Glenn Smith, also played basketball at Grossmont.







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1955-56: Islanders Square Account

Coronado paid off an old debt.

Hoover’s playoff advance was halted at the foul line.

Merrill Douglas ended a great run at San Diego High.

Lincoln showed that patience pays off.

–John Kovac was a football coach who happened to come along at the right basketball time at Coronado.

The dour Kovac without prompting often recalled that he coached future professional stars Lenny Moore and Roosevelt Grier when Kovac guided the Penn State freshman team.

Relocating to San Diego’s trans-bay community in the early ‘fifties, Kovac still saw football in his future but found himself directing the Islanders’ basketball program, with stunning success.

Kovac’s teams posted a three-season, 63-13 record with players who weren’t very tall but had roadrunner speed and hounded opponents with swarming defense.

Despite starters Charlie Love, Willie Dickey, and Roger Nix returning from the 21-4 squad in ’54-55, Kovac’s preseason appraisal was loaded with typical coach speak:

“We will be very short and not nearly as fast or sharp as last year.  We hope we’re not in for a long year.”

Coronado raced through the Metropolitan League schedule, finishing 12-0 and winning by an average score of 65-40.  They were 27-1 overall, losing only to Hoover, 49-45, in an early December game.

Love, Dickey, Nix, Jon Crawford, Steve Solier, and Dennis (Swede) Grimaud, none taller than Nix’s 6-feet, 1 inch, were the principals as the Islanders won their last 25 and the CIF Southern Section Southern Group (small schools) championship.

As one of the top seeds, the Islanders had a first-round bye in the playoffs, and then blew out Tustin, 75-55, with a 28-13 fourth quarter on the neutral Sweetwater floor.

Islanders and Kovac reached heights.

They sweated out  a 55-50, semifinals victory over San Jacinto, after having  built a 34-19 halftime lead at neutral Hemet High and then seeing top scorer Roger Nix foul out midway through the second half.

(“Neutral” courts, as mandated by the CIF, meant that host teams usually played at venues close to home.  Hemet was less than three-and-a-half miles from the Tigers’ facility.)

Nix and his teammates then surprised and silenced most of the 2,300 persons in attendance at Azusa College with a 60-54, championship game victory over Citrus and high scoring Billy Kilmer.

Winning on the road was the sweetener.  Citrus had beaten Coronado, 63-58, in the finals the year before as the visiting team at Point Loma High.

Kovac left Coronado and moved to Hoover as an assistant football coach in 1956.

Two years later the transplanted Pennsylvanian joined the staff at San Diego Junior College and became the Knights’ head coach in 1961.  Kovac started the new Mesa College program and posted a 30-14-2 record from 1964-68.

–Hoover won the postseason Beverly Hills Tournament title in 1944-45 when there were no CIF playoffs because of World War II.  The East San Diego squad had not gotten this far before or since.

Three days prior to their win over Coronado, the Cardinals came from behind in the fourth quarter for a  41-39 win at Long Beach Poly, giving them victories over two of the three eventual Southern Section champions in less than a week.

Poly won the Central Group (large) playoff championship, defeating Montebello, 74-63, after the Oilers had beaten Hoover, 69-57, in the semifinals.

Hoover was 11-1 in the City Prep League and opened the postseason with a 63-52 win at Point Loma over Newport Beach Newport Harbor, which had knocked out Helix, 66-60, in the first round.

Hampton (lower right) in fourth season as coach, had 25-game winners with this group.

Next was a quarterfinals test at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa against nearby Redondo Beach Redondo.

Hoover led, 54-47, with 2:45 remaining.  Redondo went into a press.  Rex Hughes scored with 46 seconds left to forge a tie at 54.

The Seahawks stole a pass as Hoover attempted to get the ball down court after Hughes’ basket.  Traveling was called on Redondo.  Hoover inbounded again and Bill Landry saved the San Diegans with a 25-foot set shot with 15 seconds remaining for a 56-54 win.

The Cardinals were eliminated in the semifinals before an overflow crowd at Long Beach City College by Montebello and jump-shooting Jerry Pimm, whose lovely floaters and 28 points kept the Cardinals at a distance and in foul trouble.

Pimm found the range firing behind screens as Hoover’s man-to-man defenders, trying to keep up with Pimm, constantly bumped into one of Pimm’s teammates, usually center Bill Doner.

The Cardinals outscored the Oilers, 46-40, from the field, but the winners, had an 18-point advantage at the free throw line, converting 29 of 39 attempts, 10 by Pimm, and 13 by Doner.  Hoover was 11 of 23.

Larry Elliot, Hoover’s all-City forward and second-team all-Southern California selection, scored 22 points, 14 in the second half, but Elliot fouled out, as did guards Bill Landry and Walt Baranski.

Landry actually held Pimm scoreless for the game’s first seven minutes, but acquired four personals during that time.

Hoover defeated Glendale Hoover, 57-53, the following evening for third place and a final, 25-5 record.

–Lincoln, 2-18 and 6-16 with virtually the same squad in its first two seasons, reaped the fruits of their sometimes painful development, which originated with games on the Hornets’ outdoor, asphalt court and in Municipal Gym.

Coach Don Smith’s club, with City League player of the year and three-year starter Bob Mendoza leading the way, were 10-2 in the league and 20-4 overall.

A 62-46 loss to Hoover in the first round of play was erased with a 56-43 victory before a packed house in Lincoln’s new gymnasium in the second round of CPL play.

The Hornets’ foray into the playoffs started with a 62-54 win over Grossmont.

The postseason ended quickly and with finality in a 71-52 loss to Long Beach Poly, led by the  Southern California player of the year, 6-foot, 7-inch Jim Hannah.

Two busloads of Lincoln students arrived at Long Beach Jordan at halftime of the second-round contest.  Poly led, 36-23.

The seemingly awestruck Hornets were outnumbered everywhere. Poly had more cheerleaders than Lincoln had players and the Jackrabbits’ bench was a long, green and gold line.

“We were like a bunch of elementary school kids (in that environment),” said Hornets guard Brad Griffith.

–Merrill Douglas, who succeeded Bill Schutte as head coach in 1940, stepped down at San Diego High and moved across Russ Boulevard to San Diego Junior College.

Douglas, who missed three seasons serving in the military in World War II guided teams that averaged 19 wins and posted a 223-86 (.722) record in 12 seasons.

The San Diego JC Knights won the Metropolitan Conference championship in Douglas’ first season.  He also served as the school’s athletics director and took the same position when Mesa College opened in 1964.

Olympians teams and high schools eventually would play football and compete in track and field and soccer in the Merrill Douglas Stadium on campus.

–Lincoln, 2-18 and 6-16 with virtually the same squad in its first two seasons, reaped the fruits of its sometimes painful development, which originated  in 1953 when the school had no senior class and games sometimes were played  on the Hornets’ outdoor court and in Municipal Gym.

Coach Don Smith’s club, with City League player of the year and three-year starter Bob Mendoza leading the way, were 10-2 in the league and 20-4 overall.

A 62-46 loss to Hoover in the first round of play was erased with a 56-43 victory before a packed house in Lincoln’s new gymnasium in the second round of CPL play.

David Washington, rebounding against Chula Vista, and Bob Mendoza (37) were veterans enjoying success at Lincoln.

The Hornets’ foray into the playoffs started with a 62-54 win over Grossmont.

The postseason ended quickly and with finality in a 71-52 loss to Long Beach Poly, led by the  Southern California player of the year, 6-foot, 7-inch Jim Hannah.

Two busloads of Lincoln students arrived at Long Beach Jordan at halftime of the second-round contest.  Poly led, 36-23.

The seemingly awestruck Hornets were outnumbered everywhere. Poly had more cheerleaders than Lincoln had players and the Jackrabbits’ bench was a long, green and gold line.

“We looked like a bunch of elementary school kids (in that environment),” said Hornets guard Brad Griffith.


No, not Davey Crockett, but La Jolla had a couple sharpshooters by the same name. Clyde Crockett led City Prep League scores with 209 points in 12 games, a 17.4 average. Crockett’s younger brother, Doug, had 94 points and a 7.8 average.

Mission Bay’s Leroy Brandt (15.2) was runner-up to Clyde in league scoring, followed by Jim Gilchrist (14.0) of San Diego, Lincoln’s Bob Mendoza (13.6),  Willie West (13.2) of San Diego, Bill Landry (11.7) and Larry Elliot (11.3) of Hoover, and Brad Griffith (10.8) of Lincoln.

Helix’ Gael Barsotti led Metropolitan League scorers with an 18.4 average in eight games. Chula Vista’s Bill Collins (15.8), Helix’ Ronnie Mulder (15.4), and Grossnont’s Lowell Raper  (12.5)  followed.

Doug (left) and Clyde Crockett carried La Jolla banner.

Prep writers of the day did not list scoring beyond league play and Avocado and Southern League scorers, such as Coronado’s Roger Nix and others, were not listed at all.


Beverly Hills defeated Hoover, 45-42, for its second consecutive Kiwanis Tournament Unlimited Division title.

San Diego, waiting on several players still playing football, surprised Inglewood Morningside, 51-46, in the first round. Months later Morningside scored a 64-62 win over Beverly Hills for the CIF Northern Group (small) playoff title.

Mar Vista’s Larry Boyd, who earned all-Southern California second-team honors in 1954-55, scored 99 points in four games to break the tournament scoring record of 96 set the year before by Morningside’s John Arrillaga.

Boyd scored 25, but the Mariners couldn’t overcome the 19 each by Jon Crawford and Willie Dickey, who led Coronado to a 53-49 triumph in the Limited final.


Helix reportedly had 14 players on varsity and JV, standing at least 6-3.  The varsity measured 6-6 Bill Turpin, 6-5 Ronnie Mulder, and 6-5 Mel Robinson.

Tallest Metro Leaguer was Grossmont’s Lee Carick, a 6-9 reserve center.

Andy Dunn, a reserve forward at Point Loma, and Lincoln backup center Bill Beatty stood highest in the City League, each at 6-5.


Grossmont won a coin flip with Helix to determine playoff pairings after the teams tied for the Metropolitan League title…Lincoln topped the Foothillers at Hoover behind 20 points by Bob Mendoza and 14 by Brad Griffith…Helix led Newport Harbor, 17-12, after one quarter at Garden Grove High, but Ronnie Mulder was sidelined for long periods with 4 fouls…Lincoln’s first victory over San Diego in football or basketball was a 55-53 thriller in which the Hornets overcame a six-point San Diego lead in the fourth quarter…Mendoza’s two free throws, after a layup by Griffith, put Lincoln in front, 54-51, in the final minute…San Diego coach Merrill Douglas surprised Lincoln in the league opener with a zone defense that stymied the Hornets, 35-30…late-arriving football stars Willie West (guard) and Deron Johnson (center) were starters for the Cavemen…Escondido made 29 of 44 free throw attempts in a 65-59 win over Vista…the Cougars and Panthers committed 46 fouls in the 32-minute game …Coronado set an Avocado League points record in an 81-55 victory over Escondido…Helix posted the highest total in the Metropolitan League in a 79-50 conquest of Sweetwater…Coronado’s starters played all but two minutes in a 71-32 rout of Escondido…La Jolla’s George Graham set a City League Class B record with 33 points in a 68-46 win over Kearny…San Diego’s sophomore team, paced by Edward Lee Johnson’s 17.2 average, was 20-0…Vista played in the post-Christmas Banning tournament and Helix was in the Fillmore event…Chula Vista topped Bell Gardens, 50-46, for the consolation title at Chino…

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2017: 99th State Track and Field Finals

A decidedly thin year in San Diego Section track and field ended on a promising note in the 99th state meet at Clovis over the weekend.

Sophomore Karson Lippert, who came into the season with a best of: 49.77 as a freshman in the 400, crashed the big stage and will be billed as one of the state’s premier runners entering 2018.

Lippert caught fire into the second turn Saturday night at Clovis, ran down a couple rivals and his strong finish earned Lippert second place behind Zach Shinnick of Pomona Damien.

Startling was Lippert’s :46.91 clocking, second fastest in County history.

Junior Jalyn Jackson of Eastlake quietly posted a solid double, fourth in the long jump at 23 feet, 4 inches, and second in the triple jump at 48-5 1/4.

Junior McKenna Brown of La Costa Canyon was fifth in the 1600 meters and did not approach her Friday career best of 4:51.72, but Brown showed that she is a tough, savvy runner.


It was a sweltering 100 degrees with winds gusting to 20 miles an hour when the gun for the first race was heard at 6 p.m…Veterans Stadium at Buchanan  High was close to full, with hundreds more spectators lined in the end zones, bringing the crowd  total to almost 10,000…the Clovis school will be host again for the next three years…Vista’s Alia Scott (300 hurdles), LCC’s Jessica Riedman and Kristin Fahy (distances), San Dieguito’s  Kevin Ward (pole vault), and El Camino’s Nu’u Tuilefano (weights) all have another year….

Allowable wind, 2.04 meters per second.


100—Guidry, Vista Murrieta, 10.13w.  Wind, 3.8 m.p.s.

200—Cunningham, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, 21.07w. 3. Ellis, Mt. Carmel, 21.25w. Wind, 2.7 m.p.s.

400—Shinnick, Pomona Damien, 46.12.   2. Lippert, LCC, 46.91, San Diego Section No. 2 all-time to 46.85, Lydell Burston, Morse, 1996.

800— Charvet, Heritage, 1:51.07

1600—Grijalva, Fairfield Armijo, 4:08.62.  10. Chinn, Poway, 4:19.42.

3200–Bolger , San Luis Obispo, 8:53.91.  13. Prince, Sage Creek, 9:18.90.  15. Suzara, Otay Ranch, 9:22.85. 27. Paul, Mt. Carmel, 10:14.66.

110HH—Anderson, Upland, 13.33, fastest in U.S. this year, betters state record 13.39, Craddock Union City Logan, 2004.

300IH—Anderson, Upland, 36.02.

4×100 RELAY—Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 40.95.

4×400 RELAY—Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, 3:14.46.

HJ—Lee, Trabuco Hills, 6-11.  9T. Marquez, El Centro Central, 6-3.

LJ—Kettels, Berkeley St. Mary’s, 24-3 ¾.  2. DeRoos (Tri City), 24-2w.  4. Jackson, Eastlake, 23-4.

SP—Wilson, Clovis, 66-2 3/4. 11. Harris, San Diego, 53-2 1/4.

TJ—Stevenson, Temecula Great Oak, 49-7 ¾.  2. Jackson, Eastlake, 48-5 ¼. (Section No. 15 all-time).

PV—Curran, Redondo Beach Redondo, 16-10.  9. Ward, San Dieguito, 14-10.  11T. Winters, RB, no height..

DISCUS—Joyner, Pittsburg, 203-8.


100—Augustine, L.B. Poly, 11.58.

200—Augustine, L.B. Poly, 23.41w.

400—Anderson, Norco, 52.91.

800—Brewer, San Ramon California, 2:07.07.  5. Sa. Roberson, La Jolla, 2:09.38 (Section No. 8 all-time). 9. McCarthy, Carlsbad,  2:12.43.

1600—Denner, El Dorado Oak Ridge, 4:44.89.  5. Brown, LCC, 4:54.39. 11. Riedman, LCC,  4:56.66.

3200—Lane, Malibu, 10:07.33.  10. Fahy, LCC, 10:33.27.  18. Loren, Canyon Crest, 11:01.15.   23. Barrett, W’view, 11:17.68 .

100H—Davis, Agoura, 12.83w, fastest ever by high school girl.  Wind 3.7 m.p.s. 9. Smith, Miss. Hills, 14.60.

300H—Anderson, Norco, 40.31. 9. Scott, Vista, 45.28

4×100 RELAY—Gardena Serra, 46.04.

4×1600 RELAY—Oakland Bish. O’Dowd, 3:46.33.

HJ—Burke, Riverside Poly, 5-8.

LJ—Davis, Agoura, 22-1 /14w. Wind 3.2 m.p.s.

SP—Amaechi, S.F. Lincoln, 47-5 ¼. 8. Tuilefano, E Cam., 41-11 ¼.

PV—Baxter, Anaheim Cyn., 14-0. 10. Myers, Poway, 12-0.

TJ—Davis, Agoura, 42-11 ¾.

DISCUS—Anumba, Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, 177-8.

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2017: 19 Advance to State Track and Field Finals

CLOVIS–11 boys and 8 girls from the San Diego Section qualified yesterday for tonight’s 99th state track and field championships at Buchanan High.

Six, all-time County top 15 performances came amid gusty winds and a temperature in the high nineties when competition began at 5 p.m.

The breezes eventually eased and the thermometer had gradually cooled to the low eighties  when the final event was concluded near 10 p.m.

Poway’s Kayla Myers climbed to ninth all time when she cleared 12 feet, 6 inches, in the pole vault and was  one of 10 qualifiers at that height.

La Costa Canyon’s rising sophomore,  Karson Lippert, ran the 14th fastest 400 meters, closing strongly in the stretch to win his heat in :47.76.

McKenna Brown, Lippert’s teammate on the girls squad, ran smartly in a grouped pack in the 1600 meters and held on for fourth in her heat with a time of 4:51.72 that  ranks No. 12.

Brown was almost six seconds swifter than her 4:57.34 in the Section finals last week and almost three seconds better than her career best 4:55.66 in 2016.

La Jolla’s Sakura Roberson had the all-time No. 12 in the 800 with a 2:10.46 clocking.

The La Jolla girls 4×1600 relay team ran 3:53.32, which moved the Vikings to 14th  all-time, but they did not qualify.

Most impressive San Diego entry was Tri-City’s Matthew DeRoos, nursing a sore groin but outdistancing the field in the long jump at 24-4 1/4, an inch below his career best.

DeRoos, who was fifth in this event at 23-8 1/2 last year, withdrew last week from  the triple jump because of his injury and made only one other attempt in the shorter leap last night, reaching 22-10 1/2.

Mt. Carmel junior Quoi Ellis was the area’s other heat or field event winner, smoothly running a windless :21.30 in his 200 heat for No. 15 all time.



100—Heat 1:  Guidry, Vista Murrieta, 10.49w. 5. Goodwin, Christian, 10.74.  Heat 2:  Cunningham, Moreno Val. Rch. Verde, 10.39.  Heat 3: Hampton, Yucaipa, 10.44.  3. Ellis. Mt. Carmel. 10.66. Heat 4: Allen, Tulare, 10.53w.  6. McElroy, Morse, 10.88.

200—Heat 1:  Ellis, Mt. Carmel, 21.30*.  5. Gunter, Del Norte, 21.92. Heat 2:  Hampton, Yucaipa, 21.19.  2. Lippert, LCC, 21.81. 3. Huerta, RBV, 21.89. Heat 3: Cunningham, Moreno Val. Rch. Verde, :21.20.

400—Heat 1:  Shinnick, Pomona Damien, 47.14.  3. Dean. Mira Mesa, 48.80. Heat 2: Bowens, L.B Poly, 47.45.  4. Gunter, Del Norte, 48.62. Heat 3:  Lippert, LCC, 47.76* (Section No. 14 all-time).

800—Heat 1: Weaver, Elk Grove Franklin, 1:54.83.  7. Page, Eastlake, 1:57.35. Heat 2: Scales, San Jose Bellarmine, 1:53.88.  7. Hurlburt, Coronado, 1:55.69. Heat 3: Charvet, 1:55.01.  5. Chinn, Poway, 1:55.55.

1600—Heat 1: Grijalva, Fairfield Armijo, 4:14.4.  3. Chinn, Poway, 4:14.91*. 12. Stanford, LCC, 4:24.33. Heat 2—Renken, Claremont, 4:16.03.  9. Barr, SR, 4:21.69.

110HH—Heat 1:  Anderson, Upland, 13.44w. 5.Saikhon, El Centro S’west, 14.59. 6. Baker, RB, 14.72. Jordan, Steele Cyn, 15.09.   Heat 2: Samuel, Moreno Val. Rch. Verde, 13.93. Heat 3: Lightfoot, Kimball, 13.77.

300IH—Heat 1:  Anderson, Upland, 36.87.  Heat 2: Easter, Eastvale Roosevelt, 36.74.  Heat 3: Samuel, Moreno Val. Rch. Verde, 37.32.  6. Farmer, RB, 40.53. Heat 4: Rubio, Los Alamitos, 37.41. 4.  Saikhon, El Centro S’west, 39:51.   6. Shine, W’view, 40.37.

4×100 RELAY—Heat 1:  Lancaster Paraclete, 41.56 (Moreno Val. Rch. Verde, 41.15, disqualified, lane violation).  9. Olympian, 42.74. Heat 2:  Westlake Vill. Oaks Christ., 41 8. 8. Rancho Bernardo, 42.80. Heat  3: Antelope, 41.52.  5. Morse, 42.06.

4×400 Relay—Eastvale Roosevelt, 3:15.63.  Heat 2:  L.B. Wilson, 3:17.32. 8. Del Norte, 3:27.48.  Heat 3:  Studio City Harv.-West., 3:16.50.  5. RB, 3:22.48. 7. Olympian, 3:25.35.

HJ—Eight qualified at 6-5.  9T.  Marquez, El Centro Central, 6-3*. McEwan, RBV; Dumas, El Capitan, No height.

LJ—DeRoos (Tri City), 24-4 1/4w*. 4. Jackson, Eastlake, 23-4*.  9. Sample, RBV, 22-11 ¼*. 17. Farmer, RB, 21-11 ¼.  24. Hull-Littlejohn, Olympian, 20-9 ¾.

SP—Wilson, Clovis, 61-3 ¾.   11. Harris, San Diego, 55-3*.  20.  Woods, Steele Cyn. 49-3 ½.
PV—Eight qualified at 15-4.  10T. Ward, San Dieguito; Winters, RB, 14-10. Sperry, RB, No height.

TJ—Stevenson, Temecula Great Oak, 47-7 ½.  11. Jackson, Eastlake, 46-0 ¼*. 19. Ruth, O’side, 43-4 ¼. 25. Bornes, San Marcos, 41-10 ½.

DISCUS—Otal, Oak Park, 206-11.  18. Navarrette, El Capitan, 158-01.  20. Smith, El Camino, 147-5.  21. Hernandez, E Cam. 147-5.


100—Heat 1: Nowling, Calabasas, 11.52w. 6.  Dougan, Mt. Carmel, 12.29. Heat 2: Reed, Gardena Serra, 11.52w.  7. Yarbrough, Fallbrook, 12.35. Heat 3: Augustine, L.B. Poly, 11.57.  Heat 4: Wilson, Bakersfield Stockdale, 11.75.  4.  Hickey, Coronado, 12.01.

200—Heat 1:  Roberts, Carson, 23.61. Heat 2:  Augustine, L.A. Poly, 23.58w.  6. White, Valhalla, 25.20.  Heat 3: Reed, Gardena Serra, 23.68.  8. Salongo, Mira Mesa, 25.54.

400—Heat 1: Anderson, Norco, 53.73 . 5. Firsching, Cathedral, 56.12. 7. Noble, Olympian, 56.91. Heat 2: Roberts, Carson, 53.96.  6. McFarland, Eastlake, 57.17. Heat 3:  Surrell, Newark Mem., 53.90.

800—Heat 1: Brewer, San Ramon California, 2:09.12.  Heat 2:  Sakura Roberson, La Jolla, 2:10.46*.  2. McCarthy, Carlsbad,  2:11.36*. Heat 3: McIntosh, Loomis Del Oro, 2:09.84.  5. Sierra Roberson, La Jolla,  2:13.93.

1600—Heat 1: Skahill, Mtn. View St. Francis, 4:52.47.  7.  Riedman, LCC,  4:57.33*.  Heat 2—Denner, El Dorado Oak Ridge, 4:51.29. 4. Brown, LCC, 4:51.72* (Section No. 12 all-time). 11. Watkins, LJCD, 5:14.93.

100H—Heat 1: Davis, Agoura, 13.31.    5. Oliver, Mira Mesa, 15.18. Heat 2—Robinson, El Cerrito, 13.36. Heat 3—Woodward, Vacaville, 13.44w.  4. Smith, Miss. Hills, 14.25*. 6. O’Donnell, LCC, 15.01.

300H—Heat 1: Anderson, Norco, 42.17.  3.  Scott, Vista, 43.67*.  4. Thomas TP,  44.86.  Heat 2:  Woodward, Vacaville, : 41.99. 4. Mattson, Sage Creek, 45.11.  Heat 3:  Robinson, Manhattan Bch. Mira Cos., 41.94.

4×100 Relay—Heat 1:  Carson, 45.81.  7. Scripps Ranch, 48.81. Heat 2:  Oakland Bish. O’Dowd, 46.80.  Heat 3:  Gardena Serra, 46.39.  7. La Jolla, 48.44.  8. San Marcos, 48.62.

4×1600 RELAY—Elk Grove Sheldon, 3:46.47. 4. La Jolla, 3:53.32. (Section No. 14 all-time). Heat 2: Fairfield Armijo, 3:48.98.  6. Poway, 3:58.96. Heat 3:   Quartz Hill, 3:46.66. 7. Olympian, 3:54.97.

HJ—11 qualified at 5-4.  13T, Cany, TP; Hickey, Coronado, 5-2. Smith, Miss. Hills, No height.

LJ– Davis, Agoura, 20-8 ½.  18. Smith, Mission Hills, 17-9. 19.  Beckham, O’side, 17-8.  20. Cross, Steele Cyn., 17-6 ¾. 27. Campbell, Mt. Carmel, 17-2.  30. Zappia, Val. Ctr. 16-11 ¼.

SP—Amaechi, S.F. Lincoln, 47-5 ½.  10. Tuilefano, E Cam., 41-8*.  17. Lagoy, RB, 38-4. 20. Coronado, U. City, 37-0.

PV—10 qualified at 12-6, including Myers, Poway* (Section No. 8 all[-time).   23 Burkhardt, Del Norte, 11-6.  Cervantes, Poway, No height.

TJ—Davis, Agoura, 43-4.  16. Beckham, O’side, 37-10 ¼.  24. Scott, Gompers, 36-9 ¾. 27. Cany, TP, 36-4 ¾.

DISCUS—Amaechi, S.F. Lincoln, 174-7.  16. Tuilefano, El Cam. 131-5. 19. Lacy, G. Hills, 125-0. 20. Devore, West Hills,125-0.

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1952-53: Gehring Leads Way to Hoop

Football, basketball, baseball, and track and field, the majors, remained seasonal sports for the best athletes, who usually participated in at least three.

Single-sport concentration and club teams were a half-century away, but a change was taking place in high school hoops this season.

There were many more games in which the competing teams scored at least 100 points.  Winning totals in the fifties and sixties were becoming common.

Sixty or more points were scored by the winning team in 19 games, compared to 4 in 1951-52.

Those 60-plus outbursts the season before had involved losing teams from tiny or barren programs: Brown Military (2), San Diego Vocational, and Julian.

City Prep League and Metropolitan League squads showed the way and Rich Gehring and the Escondido Cougars were in the vanguard.

The Cougars mounted a late-season run to tie Chula Vista and then defeated the Spartans, 53-51, in a Metro title-deciding playoff for their first league crown since 1938-39.

Coached by Jim Ahler, who had success at Hoover after World War II, Escondido started slowly, 2-5 in mid-December, but warmed following the Kiwanis Tournament and Christmas Holidays.

Chula Vista, the usual Metro League boss and annual Southern California small schools contender, was 6-0 until Gehring scored 23 points and teammate Don Portis 20 as the visiting Cougars defeated the Spartans, 62-50, and reversed a 42-38 loss in the league opener.

Gehring, with hands on knees, next to Ahler, led Cougars’ late-season run .

Escondido won its last seven league games and caught Chula Vista in the standings, both finishing at 11-3, as Gehring averaged 22.1 points.

Gehring’s 25 led a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind,  triumph over Chula Vista before more than 1,000 persons at San  Diego State three days after the regular season ended,

Escondido trailed by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter before Gehring’s basket and two free throws iced the victory after the Spartans tried to freeze a lead in the final two minutes.

Gehring, who averaged 22.8 points in his final 10 contests,  followed with 28 points in a 53-47, CIF small schools’ playoff victory over Calipatria and 20 points in a semifinals, 54-45 loss to Hemet.

The burly, 6-foot, 5-inch center also played end in  football and was the Metro League’s hurdles champion in the spring.


Gehring set a school record with 35 points in a 74-44 win over San Dieguito and averaged 18.4 with 258 points in 14 league games.

The outburst against the Mustangs was the difference in a points battle with Vista’s Ed Myers, who averaged 17.2 with 241 points in circuit play.

Gehring, who led the County with 440 points (17.1) for the 16-9 Cougars,  was almost matched in the CPL by Point Loma’s sharpshooting Ronnie Robertson, who scored 377 points in 22 games (17.1) and led the Pointers to the major CIF playoffs.

Robertson was force for Point Loma.

Helix’ Jerry Hurst nudged Robertson for the CPL scoring championship, scoring 221 points in 12 games and averaging 18.4 to Robertson’s 214 (17.8).

San Diego’s Willie Pitts averaged 15.6 points and was third in league play, topped by a 34-point effort (16 field goals, 2 free throws) when the Cavers set a school single-game scoring record in an 80-40 win at Grossmont.

Not to be outdone, Hoover got into the scoring trend, defeating Grossmont, 72-45.

Grossmont also was easy pickings for Robertson, who had 34 points in a 55-38 victory.

Chula Vista’s Lavon Baker (15.0) scored 210 points in league play and was third behind Gehring and Myers.  Oceanside’s Dick Whaley (14.3) had 200.


Beverly Hills defeated Grossmont, 74-51, setting a Kiwanis Tournament record of 125 points. Two teams had scored 109 points each in 1949.

Beverly Hills forward Dick Eiler, who moved south after attending the University of Utah and became head coach at Clairemont in 1960-61, set a single game record of 30.

Eiler’s four-game total of 85 bettered the mark of 72 by Kearny’s David Miramontes in 1950.

San Diego stunned Santa Monica with a 28-point third quarter in a 57-49 victory. Samohi outscored the Cavemen, 37-29, in the three other eight-minute periods


Pitts provided offense for Cavemen.

For the first time the tournament featured an all-San Diego final.

Paul Darrock’s 21 points, aided by 10 each from Dale Luther and Bob Hetzler, led the La Jolla to an overtime, 54-49 victory over San Diego on the Cavers’ floor. Tom Cofield had 20 and Ellsworth Powell 12 for San Diego.

A starting forward for La Jolla was Bob (Bones) Gutowski, who set a world track and field record of 15 feet, 8 inches, in the pole vault in 1957 while competing for Occidental College in Eagle Rock.


The 24-team tournament began on Thursday and did not end until Monday.

With Sunday off, Beverly Hills and others had a chance to visit San Diego tourist attractions.  Living at the Marine Corps Recruit Base allowed the visitors to get by on expenses.  Beds and meals were free.


San Diego dropped a December game to Long Beach Poly, 47-39, although Poly, the home team, had 25 personal fouls to 11 for the Cavers, who outscored the Jackrabbits, 23-9, at the free-throw line but were outscored from the field, 38-16.


Chula Vista and Escondido resolved their Metro League title deadlock with a playoff, because only one team would be invited to the eight team smalls schools postseason.

CIF small schools playoffs were divided into two, eight-team groups, Northern and Southern.

San Diego and Point Loma each finished with 9-3 CPL records and both qualified for the large, Central Group 24-team tournament.

CPL president Lawrence Carr of San Diego High  conducted a telephonic vote after the final Friday night games and league bosses gave the No. 1 nod to Point Loma, which twice defeated San  Diego.

Chet DeVore of Chula Vista has caught-with-hand-in-cookie-jar look, while colleagues Don Smith and Bob Ganger of Mar Vista (from left), seem disinterested as trio enjoyed  repast for coaches at Kiwanis Club pre-tournament luncheon.

The Pointers were byed into the 16-team second round against Colton, which had eliminated Point Loma, 44-36, in 1951-52.

The Pointers (17-9) dropped a 48-39 decision to the Yellowjackets at the same venue, San Bernardino Junior College, as the previous season and by an almost identical score difference.

San Diego (17-7) went out in the first round, beaten at Anaheim, 50-39.


Dick Bogenrife of Midway, Ohio, scored 120 points in a 137-47 victory over Canaan.  Midway coach Dick Strasburg said he “had planned for several games to turn him loose.”

Perhaps coincidentally, Bogenrife’s onslaught came three days after Mel (Fatty) Frye of Clarington set a state record with 80 points.


San Diego High’s single-game scoring record had stood since 1916-17, when the Hilltoppers defeated Escondido, 76-25, although a more significant victory was in a 1935-36 playoff game against Huntington Beach, which the Mike Morrow-coached Hillers outscored, 73-45…Ramona’s Bruce Furman, all of 5 feet, 1 inch, was a favorite of Kiwanis spectators…Mar Vista’s Glenn (junior) and Al Maisey (senior) were the only brothers in the CIF Southern Section to start every game…Hoover’s 11-12 record under first-year coach Charlie Hamption, was its poorest since before World War II…Kearny was 7-5 and third in the CPL and its 16-7 record was best in school history….

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2017: Tracksters Warm Up With Weather

Top performances in  seven events and 79 efforts earning 2017 top  10 distinction highlighted 11 league championships last week in San Diego Section boys’ and girls’ track and field competition.

Qualifiers from those meets will meet at Mt. Carmel High Saturday in Section trials.  Finals are scheduled at the same site on May 27, followed by the state meet in Clovis June 2-3.

The girls were the most aggressive, with the 4:57.08 in the 1600 meters by La Costa Canyon sophomore Jessica Riedman in the Avocado West finals at Canyon Crest leading the way.

Other elevated efforts came from the San Marcos 4×100 relay squad (:48.30), El Camino 4×1600 relay squad (3:59.76),  pole vault, 12-4 by Poway’s Jazmine Scott, and discus, 145-06 by El Camino’s Nu’u Tuilefano,.

Boys’ bests were the :10.64 in the 100 meters by Christian’s Benjamin Goodwin and  24-foot, 5 ½ inch long jump by Tri-City’s Matthew DeRoos.

DeRoos maintained his state lead  and Goodwin moved into 10th place among the state’s short sprinters.

A trio from Morse, although off state top 10 pace, turned in promising times in the Western League meet at University City.

Phillip McElroy ran: 10.70 in the 100 meters and: 21.84 in the 200, trailing teammates Richard Benson (:21.74) and Shamar Martin (:21.74).  Along with Rayvon Benson, the Morse 4×100 team ran: 42.68, below its seasonal best of :42.32.

The Morse sprinters, off those times, should be much faster in the short relay in the next couple weeks when the competition heats up.

The boys’ 400 is warming to a potentially big event, with sophomore Karson Lippert, running a comfortable :48.49 last week and with a Section No. 17 all-time best and state 2017 No. 4 ranking of :47.83,  the favorite but others are zeroing in.

Del Norte’s DeAngelo Gunter, competitively comatose since running :48.64 in March, got back on point with a :48.78 in the Palomar finals.  Morse’s Richard Benson ran :48.52 in the West.

San Diego Section athletes in among state top 10’s:


Event Name Mark State
800 Roberson, La Jolla 2:11.28 (5) 2:07.90, Brewer, San Ramon California.
300 Hurdles Scott, Vista :43.79 (10) :40.41, Anderson, Norco.
High Jump Hickey, Coronado 5-6 (9T) 5-10,  Hamm, Bakersfield Stockdale
Long Jump Scott, Gompers 19-1 (10T) 21-8 ¾, Davis,  Agoura


100 Goodwin, Christian :10.64 (10) :10.32, Cunningham, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde
400 Lippert, La Costa Canyon :47.83 (4) :47.32, Bowens, Long Beach Poly.
800 Chinn, Poway 1:53.21 (4) 1:50.64, Scales, Bellarmine Prep
Barr, Scripps Ranch 1:53.8 (8)
1600 Barr 4:14.51 (10) 3:59.80, Teare, Alameda St. Joseph
Shot Put Hardan, San Marcos 58-1 ¾ (9) 66-5 1/2 , Wilson, Clovis Buchanan
Long Jump DeRoos, Tri-City 24-5 ½ (1) 23-11 ½, Enoch, Yucca Valley
Hull-Littleton, Olympian 23-9 ¾ (4)
Olave,  Mission Hills 23-6 (9)
Triple Jump DeRoos 47-2 ½ (4) 50-4, Stevenson, Temecula Great Oak
Jackson, Eastlake 46-8 (7T)


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1951-52: Six of Significance

1) Point Loma’s almost rags-to-almost-riches season ended with a call from Uncle Sam.

2) Hoover’s 11-1 ride through the City Prep League and 23-win campaign stalled after an 11-point lead in the playoffs.

3) Helix, without a gymnasium, or a campus, did not play like a first-year team.

4) Chula Vista made the small schools finals again.

5) San Diego High took a back seat despite winning the Kiwanis Tournament and surprising in Beverly Hills.

6) A St. Augustine player brought new meaning to term basketball doubleheader.

Taking them in reverse:


Don McElhaney, a guard on the Saints’ Class B team, was pressed into action for the varsity game with La Jolla.

McElhaney, according to writer Gene Earl’s “High Line” column in The San Diego Union, started and went all the way in a 44-23 loss.

Not finished, McElhenny also started went all the way in the B game, a 37-26 loss to the Vikings, said Earl.

Two, probable 32-minute games in one day, equivalent to more than three overtimes in the NBA!


The 16-8 record, third-place, 7-5 finish in the CPL, a 55-33 loss to Long Beach Poly in December, and the broom from Hoover, 40-35, and 42-41, overshadowed some strong performances by San Diego.

The Hillers won the Kiwanis Tournament, defeating St. Augustine, 52-35, riding out overtime victories of 38-35 over Inglewood and 41-38 over Beverly Hills, and became an unexpected winner in the finals, 50-43 over Santa Monica after Samohi knocked out Hoover, 40-35.

The Cavers’ in-and-out CPL campaign was interrupted in midseason by the Beverly Hills Tournament.

San Diego’s Carl Beyrer and Chuck Pappert (from left) augmented tough-around-the-hoop Tom Cofield (middle).

The Cavers rebounded from their earlier loss to Poly, winning, 56-43, and defeated Huntington Beach 49-48, ending the Oilers’ 18-game winning streak.

San Diego was beaten in the semifinals the next day by Long Beach Wilson, 37-36, before coming back to top Ventura, 52-41, for third place.


Chet DeVore, who took on added responsibility as Chula Vista’s football coach in September, guided the Spartans into the Southern California finals again.

The Spartans raced to an 11-1 Metropolitan League record and were 16-11 overall but couldn’t repeat their 1950-51 championship.

A 41-32 win over Southern Prep champ Ramona in the first round was followed by a win over Hemet that snapped the Bulldogs’ 17-game winning streak, but Claremont, a loser to the Spartans in ’51, won the rematch, 34-33.


It could be said that Grossmont tolerated the arrival of first-year Helix.

The Foothillers were forced to share their campus with Helix students while the new school was being constructed on University Avenue in La Mesa.

Nor could Grossmont athletic personnel have been happy with the necessary, new enrollment boundary.

Grossmont standouts Noel Mickelsen and Chuck Lehmkuhl resided in the Highlanders’ district.

Another inconvenience was basketball coach Ralph Chaplin’s also moving with his star players.

The Highlanders became heroes to all other first-year teams when they edged El Monte, 35-32, for the Kiwanis Limited Division title and were a credible 6-6 in the CPL and 16-7 overall.

A final indignity came when the Highlanders swept two league games from the their big brothers at Grossmont.


Point Loma coach Hilbert Crosthwaite whistled the Pointers’ first practice in October, determined to improve on the 5-17 record in 1950-51 and pondering his future.

A few weeks later Crosthwaite, a Lt. Cmdr. in the Navy Reserve, received orders to report on Jan. 1 to the Brooklyn Naval Yard submarine command in New York.

Point Loma coeds are agog as action gets close. La Jolla’s Don Clark and Pointers’ Dave Gibson (behind Clark) scramble for loose ball.

Crosthwaite subsequently was able to receive a deferment until the end of the Pointers’ season, in which they were 10-2 in the CPL and with a 41-21, late-season victory over Hoover.

Point Loma’s finish earned a CIF playoff berth.


The military wasn‘t interested in the Southern Section’s postseason or Point Loma’s first-ever appearance.

Crosthwaite headed to his Korean War assignment after the Pointers’ final regular-season game, a 31-30, upset loss in overtime to La Jolla that robbed the Lomans of a co-championship with Hoover.

B team mentor Ed Thomas coached a 43-36 playoff loss to Colton, leaving Point Loma with a 19-7 record.


Hoover, sailing along at 17-1 in February, with a 38-37 win over closest pursuer Point Loma, was rocked by the Pointers, 41-21 but still finished earned its first league title since 1946-47.

The Cardinals outscored Ontario Chaffey, 17-7, in the final quarter to win, 41-31, in the first round of the playoffs and took a 27-16, halftime lead over 26-4 Fillmore in a quarterfinals test at San Diego High.

Hoover’s 23-win rotation usually was comprised of (from left) Fred Forster, Bob Metzler, Harry Harrison, Dick Pomeroy, Ray Woodmansee, Ron Wiebe, Bill Hinchy, and Boice Brooks.





Hoover ace Fred Forster fouled out midway in the third quarter after scoring 12 points.  Fillmore gradually caught the Cardinals at 42 as regulation play ended.

The Flashes outscored the Cardinals, 5-0, in overtime and secured a 47-42 win. Hoover closed with a 23-3 record.


Growing in stature each year, the fourth annual Kiwanis Tournament attracted a record 26 teams, 10 more than in 1950-51.  San Diego High and local Kiwanis clubs co-sponsored the mid-December event.

The larger field was split, with 16 teams in an Unlimited Divisions and 10 in a Limited Division for schools with enrollment of 400 or under.

La Jolla opened a new gymnasium and the Vikings’ new digs were a welcome addition. Other hosts were Point Loma, Hoover, and Kearny, which played at the Linda Vista Community Center.

The trend to midseason tournaments, longer than the one-day “classics”  that evolved with the millennium 50 years later, continued with St. Augustine taking part in the Los Angeles Mt. Carmel event and Point Loma and San Diego in the two-day Beverly Hills card.

Also on the calendar was coach Hal Niedermeyer’s annual Coronado Tournament for Class C and D clubs, plus the Santa Monica event for Class B squads that included Hoover, and a postseason foray at Vista for Southern  Prep League squads.

Point Loma went out early at Beverly Hills, losing to Ventura, 44-41. Julian upset Ramona, 35-32, for the Vista championship.

Coach Chet DeVore and his Metropolitan League champion Chula Vista Spartans (from left): Fred Armer, Lavon Baker, Carl Palmer, Jerry Stallard, Bob Neely, Jim Beasley, Stu Nodever, Dick Steiner.


Class B teams from Chula Vista and San Dieguito forfeited four victories each because of a “clerical error” in adding exponents (height, weight, age).  A number of players became ineligible for their B teams and were “scaled” to varsity.

The teams actually used over-exponent players in five games, but the Chula Vista-San Dieguito game was declared no contest.  The Spartans fell from 10-0 to 6-3 and San Dieguito from 8-2 to 4-6.  Escondido, 8-2, backed into the championship


Helix’ Noel Mickelson was the CPL leader with 150 points, a 12.5 average  for 12 games. Hoover’s Bob Metzler was next with 149 and Helix’ Chuck Lehmkuhl third with 147.

San Diego’s Tom Cofield had 127 points in 11 games and View PostCofield’s 281 overall made for a 12.2 average.


Hoover and Point Loma were part of a playoff doubleheader at San Bernardino Junior College…St. Augustine’s Dougherty Gymnasium opened on Dec. 3, 1951, with a St. Augustine victory of 56-36 over Grossmont…San Diego coach Merrill Douglas was sidelined with the flu, so assistant Duane Maley coached the Hillers at the Beverly Hills tournament…Grossmont and Point Loma postponed a game because it was in conflict with a dinner honoring the Pointers’ football team…Fred Forster’s free throw in overtime pushed Hoover past San Diego, 42-41…Coronado, led by John Hannon and Harry Sykes, split with Chula Vista in the Metro League but the 6-0 Islanders lost 54-52 to 1-6 Escondido, led by Don Portis and Rich Gehring…Ramona, led by Billy and Bobby Bivens, defeated Julian, 35-32, for the Vista championship….

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2017: George (Bud) Milke, Legendary South Bay Coach

Bud Milke was on the bench as a head coach for 500-plus basketball games in his career, more than half at Mar Vista High and Castle Park, and rolled with the deathless prose of Grantland Rice:

“For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name, He marks—not that you won or lost—but how you played the game.”

Milke, who passed recently at near 90, was a standout in football and basketball at San Diego State and embarked on a five-decade run as coach at two South Bay high schools and as a coach and administrator at Southwestern College.

Milke retired in 1992 after holding numerous positions at Southwestern, including nine seasons as basketball coach, beginning in 1964-65.

His first coaching position was in 1953-54 at Mar Vista, where Milke’s teams, seldom with a player taller than his 6 feet, 4 inches,  were 148-118 in 10 seasons, including five in which the  Mariners finished second or higher in the Metropolitan League.

Milke moved to Castle Park High in 1963-64, stunning Metro League observers when the first-year Trojans posted a 23-7 record and won the league championship.

Milke’s son, George, Jr., a longtime figure in South Bay education circles, was a baseball star at Mater Dei, pitched at USC, and was named the outstanding player of the 1974 College World Series.

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