Christian is tucked away in the far reaches of East County, the last “metro” freeway stop along interstate 8 freeway. Many around the section may not be paying much attention to the football team or athletic program. But the small private Christian school with 388 students continues to prove that they can win against larger private schools and even the bigger public schools.
Sweetwater head coach Brian Hay turned a struggling Mar Vista program around and looked to be content at the Imperial Beach school until Sweetwater came knocking and Hay couldn’t resist the challenge of bringing back the rich tradition to the National City school. Hay knew they always had some talent but just needed the right coaching to bring the Red Devils back to the promise land.
In the ten years of Mission Hills football only once have the Grizzlies missed the playoffs, in 2005. Mission Hills has reached the semifinals every year since 2006 and this year Mission Hills routed Oceanside 30-6 and was ranked # 1 in the county after the victory. But all of that was white noise to the focused Grizzlies who wanted to take home their first CIF title.
This CIF title game will go down as arguably the greatest finish in football championship history. # 1 seed San Pasqual and nine-time CIF champion Cathedral needing triple overtime to decide the champion at Qualcomm Stadium which ended in a 98-yard interception return.
The Saints season in some ways was already complete, a victory over Holy Bowl archrival Cathedral 19-7 in the regular season. But CIF hardware tends to rise above all else and St. Augustine was able to raise their fourth CIF trophy after a runaway 49-0 shutout over Mission Bay at Qualcomm Stadium.
November is time for the fall season playoffs as water polo and football crown champions. Fake extra points, punts and multiple blocked punts show the excitement of special team plays.
With a team made up of players who play other sports year around the Holtville Vikings (11-2) were able to avenge an earlier loss to Crawford (12-1) and easily defeat the Colts 42-6.
Grid-hoopster Royce Freeman broke the section football career records in rushing yards, touchdowns and points scored. But it is Freeman’s performance on the field that is most amazing. And Freeman can throw the ball and punt the ball; sounds a lot like Helix’s Reggie Bush ’03. Except Royce Freeman has the size to be an every down back.
Last year Cathedral defeated Bishop’s 8-7 in OT for the D3 title and this year early on it looked like the Dons and Knights would need OT to decide the CIF title game. The Dons and Knights are league rivals, with Bishop’s (21-9, 3-3) established as a perennial San Diego power and Cathedral (26-3, 6-0) in the past few years establishing themselves as a perennial power.
Falcons’ Dayne Barton missed the entire regular season due to injury and returned for the playoffs and he admitted that he was not in game shape. But clearly Barton was in game shape for the CIF section championship as he scored a game-high four goals against Mt. Carmel in the 7-2 Scripps Ranch win.
ESPN released their high school basketball TV schedule for the 2013-14 season and one California team is on the slate, Mater Dei (Santa Ana). The 12-game schedule includes 21 different teams with two teams appearing more than once, Whitney Young (IL) appearing three times and Montverde Academy (FL) appearing twice.
Yesterday 145 student-athletes signed their National Letters of Intent at the San Diego Hall of Champions, the fifth year the Hall of Champions have hosted the signing party. Last year 85 signed at the signing party.
October is Homecoming month and on Hoover Homecoming game they had to play their first day game of the year because a judge ruled that the school had not properly funded the lights.
1,380 combined offensive yards in one game and a school record for most rushing yards are included in the best moments caught on film for August/September. A 95-yard kickoff return for a TD and a 96-yard TD run are the two longest plays that ended in the endzone. Helix had a punt block and return for a TD against Punahou.
San Diego is a destination city for top prep tournaments on the west coast for two primary reasons. First, the weather is much better than Arizona, Nevada and northern California. Secondly, San Diego is a one-day drive or hour-long plane trip for Arizona, Nevada and most northern California schools. Which makes a tournament trip to San Diego long enough to be a bonding experience for teams but short enough not to tax a team’s finances or schedule too much.
STAT UPDATE: State # 2 Centennial and # 13 St. Bonaventure combined for a state record 1,393 offensive yards in the U-T Honor Bowl at Oceanside. Centennial racked up a Southern section record of 886 offensive yards while St. Bonnie had 507 yards. Cal-bound Tre Watson ’14 led the way for Centennial with a school record 466 yards rushing on 37 carriers while scoring seven TDs.
MaxPreps will be adding local coverage to their national high school coverage with metro areas that will provide “hyper-local coverge”. San Diego, which was launched yesterday, will be one of 40 metro areas to be added over a four-week period. The metro pages will include news, photos, videos, team rankings and player stat leaders among other local content.
The football championships will return to Qualcomm Stadium this year thanks to the San Diego Chargers. The top three divisions, open, D1 and D2 will play their title games on Monday, December 2 while the semifinals will be Wednesday, November 27; the day before Thanksgiving.
The U-T Honor Bowl is this weekend at Oceanside with all eight teams ranked in the state top 50. Host Oceanside plays in the marquee game vs. Serra (Gardena) at 8 pm on Friday while Saturday has a great triple-header of teams from outside San Diego. Of the eight teams playing five are current or former state bowl champions.
State # 1 Serra (Gardena, CA) jumped to a quick 21-0 lead over Arizona # 5 Desert Ridge (Mesa, AZ) at the inaugural Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic and it looked as though a running clock would be deployed. But back-to-back bad snaps by Serra, with one directly resulting in a Desert Ridge TD changed the game entirely and for the remainder of the game the Cavaliers had to grind out a 28-22 season opening win.