2016:  A.J. Sisk, 82, Coached in Metropolitan League

One week before the 1969 football season A.J. (Art) Sisk resigned as coach at Hilltop High to pursue a career in publishing for the McGraw-Hill Company.

Sisk began selling textbooks to schools in the San Diego area, launching a publishing career that led to real estate on both coasts, and other ventures.

The graduate of Redlands High and Redlands University was  82 when he died recently at his home in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs.

Friends and family celebrated Sisk’s life with a memorial that was held at Nunu’s Bar and Grill in Hillcrest.

Sisk owned the popular “dive bar” that was known as Cosimo’s when it opened at 5th Avenue and Ivy Place in 1961 and was owned by former San Diego High and USC standout Cosimo Cutri.

Sisk was 29-24 from 1963-68 as Hilltop’s head coach in the Metropolitan League.  The Lancers were 6-3 in each of the ’64 and ’67 seasons.

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2016 Week 7: Western Rivals Open League Play

The Western League  race begins  this week with the season’s premier matchup to date:  No. 1 St. Augustine (5-0) plays host to No. 6 Madison (4-1) at Mesa College on Friday.

Two of the San Diego Section’s most successful coaches will be on opposite sidelines. Madison’s Rick Jackson has a 112-35-1 record in 13 seasons at the east Clairemont school. Richard Sanchez  is 71-21 at St. Augustine since 2009.

St. Augustine is ninth in the state as rated by Cal-Hi Sports.  Madison is “On the bubble”, not in the top 25.  Cathedral, No. 2 in the Union-Tribune poll, is eighth in Cal-Hi rankings, while Helix is 18th and Rancho Bernardo is on the bubble.


They’re not in the San Diego Top 10 and have received no votes, but Monte Vista’s 4-1 start is the Monarchs’ best since the 2004 team was 11-1 under Ed Carberry.

The Monarchs are coached by Ron Hamamoto, who had strong programs at University, Rancho Bernardo, and Lincoln, and whose 207 vicories in 31-plus seasons ranks eighth all-time in San Diego County.


Mater Dei was the state Division IV champion in 2015 but I pretty much dismissed their chances against North County power Mission Hills last week.  Oops.  The Crusaders ran the Grizzlies off the field, 41-14.

Because of the state’s computer-generated “power ratings”, Mater Dei will not be able to flex its muscle in the  San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, which will be open only to teams that are in Division I.   Coach Jon Joyner’s team is in D-II and can go no higher after jumping two divisions.

The power ratings determine division playoff alignments and take several factors  into consideration , including strength of schedules, previous records, etc.  Enrollment is not a factor.

The San Diego Section’s Division I power ratings (next paragraph) are much different than the  Union-Tribune poll (below):

1, Cathedral. 2, Rancho Bernardo. 3, Mission Hills, 4, Oceanside.  5, Grossmont.  6, Helix.  7, Mt. Carmel. 8, St. Augustine.  9, El Camino. 10, Madison.

Go figure.

But the season is essentially only about half over. The computer will even things out, right?

Mater Dei and Poway are 1-2 in D-II.


Winterhaven San Pasqual Valley played a rare game against a California school and dropped a 30-6 decision to Calipatria last week.

Rare?  Winterhaven is in California.

The Warriors were members of the San Diego Section from 1980-84 and posted a 5-33-2 record.  They became affiliated with the Arizona Interscholastic Association and now play mostly small Western Arizona schools.

Seems to make sense.  Winterhaven is only 3.8 miles west of Yuma and the Arizona border.  The closest California school to Winterhaven is  47 miles away in Holtville.

San Diego voting:

First-place votes in parenthesis.
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Rank Team W-L Points Last Week
1. St. Augustine (17) 5-0 260 1
2. Cathedral (7) 5-0 246 2
3. Rancho Bernardo (1) 5-0 194 4
4. Mater Dei 4-1 172 9
5. Helix 3-2 146 5
6. Madison 4-1 142 6
7. Mission Hills (2) 4-1 102 4
8. Oceanside 4-1 89 7
9. Poway 5-0 72 8
10T Grossmont 5-0 43 10T

Twenty-seven sportswriters, sportscasters, and other representatives comprise the voting panel:

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2016: Roger Lively, 77, One of Sweetwater’s Best

The first athlete inducted into the Sweetwater High Hall of Fame, Roger Lively was a standout in the major sports and a steady, vital presence in a remarkable run by the Red Devils in the 1956-57 basketball season.

The 6-foot, 3-inch Lively, who passed at age 77 earlier this month, played center for coach Wells Gorman’s team, which had a 1-7 record when Metropolitan League play began in January.

The Red Devils caught fire, after dropping a 45-44 decision to Coronado in the leagueopening game.

They tied for the league championship with Helix, each with a 7-1 record, Sweetwater claiming its share after a rejecting a Grossmont strategy that took the air out of the ball in the final regular-season game.

The Foothillers did not take a shot from the field until 4 minutes had elapsed and Sweetwater did not score in the game’s first 10 minutes.

Sweetwater, trailing, 3-0, after one quarter and 6-5 at the half, finally put the game away, 23-19, and won a coin flip to enter the playoffs as the Metro’s No. 1 entry.

The Red Devils’ reward was a game at San Diego High against the 16-9 Cavemen, whose frontline of Artist Gilbert, Edward Lee Johnson, and Dick (Bunky) Wiseman made San Diego a decided favorite against this Johnny-come-lately squad from National City.


Junior Bobby Jordan scored 22 points, Bob Beardsley had 14, and Lively added 12 and Sweetwater stunned the Cavers, 57-47.

Next up in the second round was another favored squad, Newport Beach Newport Harbor, with three starters back from a 1955-56 postseason entry.

Sweetwater edged the Sailors, 49-45, as Lively led his team with 14 points and converted 10 of 12 free throws.

Sweetwater then moved into the quarterfinals of the 25-team event and took on No. 1 seed Los Angeles Mt. Carmel, which boasted a 28-1 record, and 6-foot, 7-inch Alvin Claiborne, one of the top players in Southern California.

Lively and the Red Devils battled their taller rivals to a standstill, trailing only 34-33 entering the fourth quarter as the crowd at Point Loma high sensed another upset.

Lively, operating strongly against the taller Claiborne, was 7 for 7 from the free throw line and scored 11 points to Claiborne’s 12.

Sweetwater lagged only 44-41 with three minutes remaining before foul trouble and Mt. Carmel free throws pushed the Crusaders to a 49-41 triumph.

Sweetwater finished the season with a 10-10 record.  Mt. Carmel, beaten in the finals by El Monte, was 30-2.


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2016 Week 6: Many Teams Await League Openers

Mission Hills is at Mater Dei in this week’s top game as many clubs are idle, prepping for the beginning of league races next week.

Cathedral, 49-7 winner over a Bakersfield Liberty team that won the Central Section Division I title a year ago, is eighth in the latest Cal-Hi Sports rankings.

St. Augustine, which meets the Dons at Mesa College Oct. 28 in the  game of the regular season, jumped from 13th to ninth after a workmanlike, 26-14 victory over Eastlake.

I am one of the seven voters who have tabbed Cathedral No. 1 in the San Diego Union-Tribune poll for the last few weeks, although St. Augustine still gets most of the first place votes and the No. 1 ranking.

Mission Hills jumped from seventh to fourth after a 42-25 victory over Oceanside.  I haven’t been impressed with Oceanside since coach John Carroll’s last game, a stunning, 68-7 loss to Folsom in the 2014 state D-1 game.

Mission Hills has taken control of the rivalry with its North County neighbor but still is somewhat of an unknown quantity this season.

Mater Dei definitely has Grizzlies coach Chris Hauser’s attention, but the Crusaders probably do not have  the muscle to beat this big program.

Helix is the third San Diego Section squad to earn Cal-Hi Sports favor, moving from 21st to 17th this week.   Mission Hills, Mater Dei, and Rancho Bernardo are teams “on the bubble”.

The San Diego voting:

First-place votes in parenthesis.
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Rank Team W-L Points Last Week
1. St. Augustine (17) 5-0 256 1
2. Cathedral (7) 5-0 245 2
3. Rancho Bernardo (1) 5-0 207 4
4. Mission Hills (2) 4-0 184 7
5. Helix 2-2 144 5
6. Madison 3-1 140 6
7. Oceanside 4-1 128 3
8. Poway 5-0 89 8
9. Mater Dei 3-1 57 9
10T Grossmont, Valhalla 4-0 22 NR

NR–Not ranked.                                                                                                                         Others receiving votes: The Bishop’s (4-0), La Costa Canyon (3-2), San Marcos (2-1), 1 point each).

Twenty-seven sportswriters, sportscasters, and other representatives comprise the voting panel:

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2016: 13 Players From Here on NFL Rosters

Editor’s Note:  A couple sharp-eyed readers, Gregg Durrant and Justin Schaeffer, noticed a couple whiffs as soon as this article appeared.  I listed Tony Jefferson as a wide receiver when he is a safety and  overlooked kicker Jason Myers of Jacksonville. I should have caught the error that cited Myers as a Mater Dei/Santa Ana graduate when he is a Mater Dei/Chula Vista alum.

Editor’s Note II:  Bill Dobson, former head coach at Mountain Empire, found another error in the NFL’s list.  Alex Mack attended Santa Barbara San Marcos.

The corrected story appears below:

Thirteen San Diego Section graduates were on active, 53-man  rosters when the regular season began earlier this month, according to the NFL. There were 15 in 2015.

Helix leads all San Diego Section schools with 4 active players, Reggie Bush of Buffalo, Alex Smith of Kansas City, Levine Toilolo of Atlanta, and Jamar Taylor of Cleveland.

Florida’s Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas and Belle Glades Central lead all U.S. schools with 9.  Colton, near St. Bernardino is next with 6.  DeSoto, Texas, Cleveland Glenville, Miami Norland, and Miami Northwestern each has 5.

Florida (202) tops all states, followed by California (192), and Texas (187).  Miami is the leader among cities with 27, followed by Houston (18), Cincinnati (17), and New Orleans (15).

San Diego Section alums:

Name School College Position NFL Team
Tony Jefferson Eastlake Oklahoma Safety Arizona
Levine Toilolo Helix Stanford Tight End Atlanta
Reggie Bush Helix USC RB Buffalo
Jamar Taylor Helix Boise State Cornerback Cleveland
Jason Myers Mater Dei Marist, N.Y. K Jacksonville
Alex Smith Helix Utah QB Kansas City
Arian Foster Mission Bay Tennessee RB Miami
Kenny Stills La Costa Canyon Oklahoma WR Miami
Damien Williams Mira Mesa Oklahoma Running Back Miami
Joe Cardona Granite Hills Navy Long Snapper N.Y. Giants
Leon Hall Vista Michigan Cornerback N.Y. Giants
Brian Schwenke Oceanside California Center Tennessee
Aaron Wallace Rancho Bernardo UCLA Linebacker Tennessee


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2016 Week 5: Saints and Dons Have Each Other in Sights

St. Augustine and Cathedral  are on a collision course and, unless Madison gums up their plans, will meet for the Western League championship at Mesa College in  Week 9, the winner being the favorite for the top seed in the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs.

Cathedral showed resolve last week, overcoming Helix leads of 21-0 and 28-7 to win, 35-28,  in a series in which Helix had won 7 of the previous meetings.

St. Augustine rolled  on Otay Ranch, 41-14.  Each team is 4-0, but Cathedral has a demanding intersectional opponent this week, playing host to Bakersfield Liberty.

St. Augustine has been ahead of the Dons in the Union-Tribune Top 10 poll since taking over the top spot in Week 2,  although Cathedral has played an arguably tougher intersectional  schedule, with wins over Reno Damonte Ranch and Modesto Central Catholic, while the Saints only venture outside the area was in a victory over Los Angeles Loyola.

 Cal-Prep Sports recognized Cathedral this week, jumping coach Sean Doyle’s team from 13th to 10th in the state top 25.  St. Augustine moved from 18th to 13th and Helix dropped from 14th to 21st.  Bubble teams are Madison, Oceanside, and Rancho Bernardo.

First-place votes in parenthesis.
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Rank Team W-L Points Last Week
1. St. Augustine (16) 4-0 256 1
2. Cathedral (6) 4-0 238 3
3. Oceanside (4) 3-0 218 4
4. Rancho Bernardo (1) 4-0 179 5
5. Helix 2-2 153 2
6. Madison 3-1 140 6
7. Mission Hills 3-0 128 7
8. Poway 4-0 73 10
9. Mater Dei 3-1 39 8
10. Mt. Carmel 4-0 30 NR

NR–Not ranked.                                                                                                                         Others receiving votes: Grossmont (3-0, 17 points),  Valhalla (3-0, 1), San Marcos (2-1, 8), The Bishop’s (2-0, 1), Carlsbad (1-3, 1).*                                                                                    *Includes forfeit loss.

Twenty-seven sportswriters, sportscasters, and other representatives comprise the voting panel:

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2016 Week 4: Saints Win After 88 Years

Not the most significant achievement in school history, but St. Augustine celebrated.

The Saints won at Los Angeles Loyola, 17-14, last week, defeating the Cubs for the first time since Prohibition.

Okay, so it was only the eighth time the teams had faced each other in the 88 years and 89 seasons since 1928.

But the victory was the San Diego squad’s first since the series resumed in 2014.  Loyola won as the host, 42-35, two years ago and 23-20 as the visitor in 2015.

Wheel and Deal Herb Corriere was the Saints coach when the schools first got together for a 0-0 tie in 1926.


Strengthened by the addition of six San Diego High graduates who were eligible because none had reached the age of 21, the Saints defeated the Cubs, 25-0, two seasons later.

(Relations between San Diego and St. Augustine were poor during the ‘twenties, but a truce was reached after principal John Aseltine and Father O’Meara of St. Augustine issued a joint statement of athletic cooperation. Search 1928: Eligibility Showdown for Saints and Hilltoppers.)

The Saints’ victory in the  final game was the highlight of a 6-3 season, since Loyola had been 9-0 in 1927.  Despite the influx of Hilltoppers, St. Augustine had dropped its opener to San Diego, 6-2.

The local team and the Cubs did not meet again until St. Augustine, struggling in its attempt to land a league affiliation, joined the far-flung Southland Catholic loop in 1945.

All of the Saints’ league opponents were in the Los Angeles area, but at least some of the games were played in Balboa Stadium, the Saints’ home turf in those days.

The Saints were part of this long-distance alignment through the 1950 campaign.  They lost to the Cubs, 26-0, in 1945, 25-7, in 1947, 35-0 in 1949, and 27-6 in 1950.

Loyola holds a 6-2-1 lead in the series.

Heading into Week 4, St. Augustine retained the top spot in the Union-Tribune poll.


The Saints’ 248 points were one less than in  Week 3.  Maybe that was because I voted for Helix No. 1 this week and the Saints No. 2, after having the Saints on top last week.

The situation is reversed in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings.  Helix is 13th, Cathedral 14th, and St. Augustine 18th.  Madison, Oceanside, and Rancho Bernardo are teams “on the bubble.”

First-place votes in parenthesis.
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Rank Team W-L Points Last Week
1. St. Augustine (13) 3-0 248 1
2. Helix (6) 2-1 237 2
3. Cathedral (3) 3-0 218 3
4. Oceanside  (3) 3-0 195 4
5. Rancho Bernardo (1) 3-0 168 5
6. Madison 2-1 124 7
7. Mission Hills 2-0 110 6
8. Mater Dei 2-0 80 9
9. San Marcos 3-0 35 10
10. Poway 3-0 34 9

Others receiving votes: Mt. Carmel (3-0, 15 points); Grossmont (2-0, 10), La Costa Canyon (2-1, 6); Carlsbad (1-2, 5), Valhalla (2-0, 3), The Bishop’s (2-0, 1).

Twenty-seven sportswriters, sportscasters, and other representatives comprise the voting panel:

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2011: Let There Be Light

At 3:38 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, all of San Diego County and communities north to San Clemente, south to northern Mexico, and east into Arizona suddenly were without power.

Something had gone awry at a connecting station in the western Arizona desert.

A total of 1.4 million customers across the region were without electricity.

Flights were canceled at Lindbergh Field. Streets became gridlocked as traffic signals went blank. Trolleys were stopped dead on their tracks. Hospitals activated generators, and school districts announced shutdowns.

What about football, with a full schedule the next day?

Writer Kirk Kenney of The San Diego Union captured the moment and described how Poway coach Damian Gonzalez handled the situation.

Gonzalez apparently had no problem getting  the word to his players about the status of the next day’s game at La Costa Canyon, according to Kenney.


Before the season, Gonzalez made the Titans’ varsity and JV players follow him on twitter @coachgonzopoway.

“The kids all laughed at me,” Gonzalez said.  “They thought it was a joke.”

But Gonzalez’ tweets kept everyone in the loop during the blackout and into the morning afterward.

Gonzo tweets:

Thursday, 9 p.m.:  “School is canceled tomorrow. No idea on game yet.”

Thursday, 10 p.m.: “Football games will be decided in the morning. Compete!”

Friday, 8 a.m.:  “Hang tight.  No word yet this morning.”

Friday, 11:01a.m.:  “We have not gotten the word to play. There is no official decision.”

Friday, 11:07 a.m.:  “It is now official.  Game on!”                                                                  

Electricity was restored at 4:30 the next morning, approximately 13 hours after the failure, and life gradually was returning to normal.

Poway defeated the host La Costa Canyon Mavericks, 28-14, that night.

Keeping with the spirit of the moment, a La Costa Canyon cheerleader participated in the halftime banner run-through by carrying a candle, in the shape of a light bulb.


Writer Jim Lindgren noted that at one point in 1973 vocalist Vicki Lawrence hit the top of the record charts with “The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia.”

In San Diego the lights did go out on Skyline Drive, 38 years ago.

Morse and other city schools were advised by Education Center bosses that night football was out.

Rowdyism, a fact of life on the high school circuit for many years, was cited and football became an afternoon sport.

Night games eventually returned and schools in recent years began adding lights to their stadiums.

Luminosity was part of the $15 million ball park that Morse unveiled on its campus this year.

One problem, Kearny dimmed the glow by defeating the Tigers, 35-20, in the first game under the stars.


A first-week, 21-14 stumble against Eastlake was all that kept Helix from a perfect season.

The Highlanders rolled off 13 consecutive victories and won the State Division II championship by defeating Loomis Del Oro, 35-24.

Helix outgained the Sacramento-area team known as the Golden Eagles, 384-272, and led, 28-10, at halftime.

The growing state playoffs included 6 teams in three divisions.

Helix had gotten such a head of steam late in the season that a D-II quarterfinals playoff in San Diego actually ended with a running clock.

Although penalized 12 times, the Scots walloped Torrey Pines, 44-7 and followed with a 21-0 win over Mission Hills the next week and beat Oceanside, 44-7, for the championship.

There was the usual uncertainty about availability of Qualcomm Stadium, where the San Diego Section finals were held.

The get use of the San Diego Chargers’ home field, the CIF was forced to implement an unpopular playoff schedule that resulted in three games in 10 days for the finalists.


Oceanside was 11th, Helix 15th, and Eastlake 40th in the preseason Cal-Hi Sports poll.  Helix rose to fifth in the final selections, Poway to 18th, and Cathedral to 33rd.

The final Union-Tribune poll had Helix, Cathedral, and Poway 1-2-3.


Between teaching classes in Advance Placement Literature and Theory of Knowledge, Walter (Bud) Mayfield found time to coach football at Coronado.

Mayfield hung up his whistle after the season, closing his career on a 70-32 rush over the last 10 years, representative of the  Islanders’ best run since the Amos Schaeffer-coached teams of 1926-33 went 45-10-5.

Mayfield was at the trans-bay helm for 23 of his 31 seasons, with time out for stints at University, Anaheim Servite, and Santa Ana Mater Dei, and finished 130-119-4 overall.

Two other prominent coaches also left the scene.

Dave Lay moved from assisting at Valley Center to a similar position at Mesa College.  Lincoln’s Ron Hamamoto also left for an assistant position at Mesa.


Carlsbad coach Thadd McNeal never will forget his first victory.  The Lancers defeated San Diego, 36-35, with a two-point conversion with no time remaining.

The winning score was set up on a 39-yard, flea-flicker touchdown pass play on the final snap of regulation play.

Carlsbad hired McNeal, who quarterbacked there in 1985, after McNeal posted a 45-15 record in five seasons as head coach at Lynwood.


San Marcos missed a two-point conversion and trailed Orange Glen, 31-30 with 1:30 remaining in the game, but the Knights recovered the ensuing on-side kickoff.

Christian Gomez’ 28-yard field goal on the final play of the game gave San Marcos a 33-31 victory.


Eighth-ranked San Pasqual scored 10 points in the final 2:39 and tied No. 4 Poway, 17-17, with a 40-yard field goal on the final play.


Gil Warren won his 200th game against Sweetwater, the school at which he got his start.

Warren was a wingback on the 1958 Red Devils squad that was 7-3-1 and reached the semifinals of the Southern California playoffs before bowing to Santa Monica, 34-20.

Warren became the seventh San Diego-area coach to win 200.

Herb Meyer, with 338 victories, ranked third all-time in the state.  Bennie Edens followed Meyer with 238, with John Shacklett (229), Jim Arnaiz (212), and John Carroll (211) also in the select group.


San Diego’s game at Morse was called in the second quarter after Cavers quarterback Khari Kimbrough sustained a  broken leg that required surgery.

San Diego athletic director Ty Guzik described a “very emotional scene” on the Morse gridiron.

Tension enveloped the stadium when there was a delay in attending to Kimbrough, the son of Cavers coach Keir Kimbrough. Because of the delay a second ambulance had to be summoned.

The game, scoreless at the time of the injury, was declared no contest.


San Diego Jewish Academy defeated Los Angeles Milken, 25-8.  Mark Wetzel, coach of the San Diego team, said the game was the first tackle football contest between two Jewish high schools.


Classical defeated Capistrano Valley Christian, 82-67, a common basketball score.

Except the game was eight-man football.

A total of 149 points.

A lot, but not enough to set a record.

St. Joseph (96) and Lutheran (74) scored 170 points in 2008 for the San Diego Section standard.

San  Diego High holds the 11-man record of 137, having defeated Army-Navy, 130-7, in 1920.

The closest any 11-man teams have come to the Cavers’ outburst were Rancho Bernardo (71) and West Hills (48) in 1999.


Seldom in their 62 seasons have the Mar Vista Mariners created a noise that could be heard beyond their Imperial Beach city limits.

The Mariners averaged about one winning season every decade and had won 1 of 10 playoff games since 1950, but they rolled out a vintage Winged-T attack this season that could be felt all over the South Bay region.

The Mariners went 11-2 and defeated city power St. Augustine, 42-28, in the quarterfinals of the Division III playoffs.

As Jim Lindgren of The San Diego Union reported, the Mariners rushed for 355 yards and had scoring drives of 11, 12, and 15 plays.

“It’s the number one offense in the history of high school football,” said coach BrIAn Hay.  “We use it because it fits our people.”

The fit was so snug the Mariners rushed for almost 5,000 yards, but their season came to an end in the semifinals in a 40-8 loss to Olympian.


Reintroductions were in order before Chula Vista “avenged” a playoff loss to Escondido with a 30-0 victory.

Escondido had beaten the Spartans, 13-7, in the playoffs, 43 years earlier, in 1968.


A drunk driver was charged in an auto accident that killed four players from Grande Prairie Composite High in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The  school, known as the “Comp”, was the visiting team for a game at Santana just three weeks before.


San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral returned five fumbles for touchdowns in a 56-6 victory over St. Ignatius.  The Oakland-area Emeryville squad in 1974 and El Camino in 1978 had shared the record.

The Wildcats returned four fumbles for scores in a 33-13 win over Fallbrook.


Football was going uptown at La Costa Canyon, where seat backs were installed and concession stands were equipped with closed-circuit television.  What’s next, luxury suites?


Ninety-eight of 120 San Diego Section schools fielded teams.  Eight in 8-man, 18 each in Division I-IIII, 16 in IV, and 19 in V.

Twelve of the 98 head coaches had been on the job for more than 10 years.  Twenty-five coaches were reported in their first year, 6 in their second, and 15 in their third.


Hilltop’s Omar Hernandez, who quarterbacked the Lancers to six straight victories after a 0-3 start, was known as Houdini.  He escaped Castle Park defenders to score two touchdowns and kicked a 52-yard field goal in a 23-7 victory.


Cathedral’s 17-3 victory over St. Augustine increased the Dons’ lead to 31-19 in the Holy Bowl series…Sweetwater announced plans to construct a new football stadium at a cost of $2.2 million…Patrick Henry had to play all but one of its games in a 3-7 season on the road because of a delay in the resurfacing of the Patriots’ stadium field…Mt. Carmel coach John Anderson is uncle of Poway wideout Teddy Anderson…St. Augustine was 6-0 for the first time since 1970…the Saints’ Seamus McMorrow tied the section record with a 58-yard field goal and won a postseason all-star game in Carson with a 45-yard field goal after setting up the winner with a successful onside kick…McMorrow also ran 26 yards with a fake punt….

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2016: Dick Coxe, 95, Coached Many Champions

There was not a track and field event in which Dick Coxe did not have expertise, but he probably preferred the grueling discipline of cross country.

Friends and former athletes will honor Coxe with their recollections of the demanding, straight-shooting and compassionate mentor in a celebration of his life on Sept. 18 from 1-4 p.m. in the Captain’s Room of Marina Village, 1936 Quivera Way, San Diego, 92109.

Coxe, who recently passed  at age 95, coached 30 years at area high schools Mar Vista, Sweetwater, and Lincoln, and at San Diego Junior College and Mesa College

“He had champions in events ranging from distance, jumps, relays, weights and sprints (as a college volunteer assistant at Hoover in 1952, Coxe even coached pole vaulters),” remembered Mesa distance runner Rich Cota.

“Dick Coxe was organized, structured, and focused,” said Cota.  “He took great pride in having well-rounded dual meet teams. To him, this proved your coaching ability.  Plus, there was a winner and a loser.”

Mesa's first-year championship track squad. Front row, from left: Raymond Dixon, Pete Folger, Bob Oliver, Jerry Crites, Jimmy Fox, Doug Wright, Harold Moore, Ronald Ivory. Middle row, from left: Bob Hose, Dennis Christian, Dave Roman, Bill Trujillo, Rudy Knepper, Larry Rinder, George Watson, Frank Valenti, Jim Eddington. Top row, from left: Rex Ellis, Steve Lees, Bob Odom, Bob Millar, Howard Butler, unidentified, Ken Krause, Coxe.

Mesa’s first-year, 1965 championship track squad. Front row, from left: Raymond Dixon, Pete Folger, Bob Oliver, Jerry Crites, Jimmy Fox, Doug Wright, Harold Moore, Ronald Ivory. Middle row, from left: Bob Hose, Dennis Christian, Dave Roman, Bill Trujillo, Rudy Knepper, Larry Rinder, George Watson, Frank Valenti, Jim Eddington. Top row, from left: Rex Ellis, Steve Lees, Bob Odom, Bob Millar, Howard Butler, unidentified, Ken Krause, Coxe.

The graduate of Hoover High and San Diego State developed, among dozens of others, 1972 Olympic long jump bronze medalist and 1976 Olympic gold medalist Arnie Robinson at Mesa, where Coxe’s  teams produced 15 state and 4 national community college champions from 1964-65 through 1981-82.

His first-year programs in 1964-65 at the school on Kearny Mesa won the Pacific Southwest Conference and state cross country championships in the fall and the conference track championship the following spring.

“I know I’m biased,” Cota said, “but I believe Coach Coxe thought his greatest accomplishment was winning the state cross-country title in ‘sixty-four, our first year.”

Included among Coxe’s  standouts were Bob Hose, who set an American community college record of 1:48.3 in the 880; Wesley Williams, and James King, who went on to become world-ranked 440-yard intermediate hurdlers.

Williams, who won the state 300 intermediate hurdles championship in 1967,  claimed  the National AAU indoor 600-yard title in 1974 and ’75 and King was the Pan American games winner in 1975.

Williams anchored the state mile relay championship quartet in 1968.  King was leadoff man in 1968 and the first runner on the title-winning 1969 foursome.

Bill Trujillo was a state individual champion in 1964 and

Coxe was an active observer at Mesa during retirement.

Coxe was an active supporter of Mesa programs in retirement.

Mesa’s mile relay squad of Bill Millar, Jay Elbel, Wes Williams, and Harold Moore set a national community college indoor record of 3:20.9 in the inaugural 1966 San Diego Indoor Games.

A scholarship in Coxe’s name is being established at Mesa College, c/o Simone Sherrard, 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, 92111.

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2016 Week 3: Are Wildcats on Way Back?

El Camino was 58-81 through 2015 after Herb Meyer took his 339 career victories and walked into the coaching sunset in 2001.

Jerry Ralph is the Oceanside school’s fourth coach since Meyer stepped down and may have the Warriors positioned to end a run of mediocrity.

El Camino has had 4 winning seasons following Meyer, whose brilliant career started at Oceanside in 1958.

The Wildcats last week led Rancho Bernardo, the defending state Division III-A champion, 10-0, in the third quarter and 17-14 in the fourth, but a couple disastrous turnovers opened the door.

The Broncos of coach Tristan McCoy, playing at home before 5,000 blue-clad and logo-appareled loyalists, snatched the opportunity and pulled out a 28-17 victory.


Ralph was 16-17 in three seasons at Santana, 78-32-2 in nine at St. Augustine, 2-8 in a startup program at Del Norte, and 27-19 at long-dormant Hoover.

Can he do it at El Camino, where the tide rolled back to neighborhood rival Oceanside after the millennium?

Ralph, who holds the San Diego County record with five different head-coaching appointments, obviously learned as he moved along his coaching track.

Go where you can win.

Ralph’s best move may have been exiting Del Norte after one season (the Nighthawks have an all-time record of 24-44).

Legendary mentor Ed Burke, 243-95 at King City, Taft Union, San Dieguito, and Torrey Pines, may have said it best when he spoke with Ralph of the pain that usually accompanies a first-year school playing a varsity schedule:

“It’s something you will never forget and something you will never do again,” Burke said.

El Camino is a place where Ralph can win.


Poway’s 43-19 win over Mount Miguel was the 100th of coach Damian Gonzalez’ career.  Gonzalez is the 42nd locally to earn that many victories.

Valley Center defeated Brawley for the 198th victory in Rob Gilster’s coaching career.

Gilster was 63-43-3 from 1989-97 at Orange Glen, then opened Valley Center in 1998, and is 135-74-2 with the Jaguars.

Gonzalez, is 82-60-1 since 2004 at Poway, following a stint at Army-Navy, where Gonzalez was 18-22-2 from 1997-00.

Calipatria defeated visiting Maranatha for coach Mike Swearingen’s first win in 12 seasons.

Swearingen was 55-50-1 at Imperial and El Centro Southwest before going on hiatus after the 2005 campaign.


San Diego Section teams were 3-1 last week and are 7-6 overall in principal intersectional games.

Coronado dropped a 26-12 decision to Sun Valley Village Christian.  Cathedral topped Modesto Central Catholic, 28-25. Eastlake whipped Lake Forest El Toro, 41-21, and Helix beat Concord Clayton Valley, 13-0.

3 IN TOP 20

My weekly vote in the Union-Tribune Top 10 is different than the overall poll below, but is similar to that of  Cal-Hi Sports.

My No. 1 is Cathedral, followed by Helix, and St.Augustine.  Cal-Hi Sports  chose Cathedral No. 13 in its top 25, with Helix 19th, and St. Augustine 23rd.

Bubble teams include Rancho Bernardo, Oceanside, and Madison.


First-place votes in parenthesis.
Points awarded on basis of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Rank Team W-L Points Last Week
1. St. Augustine (14) 2-0 249 1
2. Helix (6) 1-1 231 2
3. Cathedral (4) 2-0 218 3
4. Oceanside  (2) 2-0 189 4
5. Rancho Bernardo (1) 2-0 173 5
6. Mission Hills 1-0 111 6
7. Madison 1-1 95 7
8. Mater Dei 2-0 80 9
9. Poway 2-0 33 NR
10. San Marcos 2-0 20 NR

Others receiving votes: Mt. Carmel (2-0, 15); Grossmont (2-0), El Camino (1-1), 11 each; La Costa Canyon (1-1, 10); Carlsbad (1-1), Eastlake (1-1), 4 each; Olympian (2-0), Valhalla (2-0), Santa Fe Christian (1-1), 1 each.

Twenty-seven sportswriters, sportscasters, and other representatives comprise the voting panel:

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