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Welcome to the Metro Conference website. The Metro Conference governs the high schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District plus Mater Dei Catholic High School compete in 18 men’s, women’s and coed sports in the CIF San Diego Section in the cities of National City, Chula Vista, San Ysidro, and Imperial Beach in San Diego County. We are always looking for ways to add and improve to the site. If you like, contact with comments and additions.

Grossmont vs. Metro Basketball All-Star Game Highlights – Updated Game and Slam Dunk

Special Thanks to Kevin Bear at Sports on the Side

Metro Dominates All-CIF Boys Soccer with 7 + Southwest Coach Medina


Name / School / Yr.

Branden Sanchez / Olympian / Sr.

Matt Deemer / Carlsbad / Sr.

Rafael Espinoza / S.D. Southwest / Sr.

Bryce Flores / Poway / Sr.

Tony Moreno / Scripps Ranch / Sr.

Wayde Scibilia / San Pasqual / Sr.

Luis Cardenas / Oceanside / Sr.

Tanner Caldwell / Coronado / Jr.

Cheyne Davis / St. Augustine / Sr.

Bernardo Leyva / S.D. Southwest / Sr.

Felipe Liborio / Castle Park / Sr.


Name / School / Yr.

Sam Carney / Pacific Ridge / Sr.

Logan Hess / Valhalla / Sr.

Ricardo Cervantes / Monte Vista / Sr.

Abner Alatorre / Hilltop / Jr.

David Loya / Chula Vista / Jr.

Raad Aljabi / San Ysidro / Sr.

Raul Guzman / San Dieguito / Sr.

Andrew Harris / Westview / Sr.

Thomas Mackey / Torrey Pines / Sr.

Christian Sevilla / Orange Glen / Sr.

Diego Ochoa / Coronado / Jr.

Coach of the Year: Giovanni Medina, S.D. Southwest

Southwest Raiders capture SoCal State Soccer Championship.

The Southwest Raiders, CIF San Diego Section Division I Soccer Champions, completed a historic SoCal State Championship with a 3-1 win over the Royal Highlanders in Downey today. Congratulations to Head Coach Guillermo Medina and the Raiders.

NorCal does not play soccer in the winter so they can truly take credit for a State Championship.

Photos from the Championship


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Photos by SOH Principal Lee Romero.

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From LA Daily News

Royal boys soccer team loses to Southwest in Division II regional final

By Alex Valladares, Special to the Daily News


Royal’s Dakota Aguilera jumps over Bernardo Leyva of Southwest during the Division II regional soccer final. Southwest scored the final three goals to prevail 3-1.BRITTANY MURRAY — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


DOWNEY — The Royal boys soccer team started Saturday’s Southern California Regional Division II final fast, scoring within the first 10 minutes.

But the Highlanders couldn’t keep up the pace with a more energized Southwest squad and suffered a 3-1 setback at Warren High.

Royal (25-5), which became the sixth area team to reach a regional final, showed signs of fatigue in the second half and the Raiders used their speed to take advantage.

Southwest (22-2-4), the San Diego Section Division I champion, scored three unanswered goals to win its 12th straight match.



“We were completely gassed,” Royal coach Ignacio Saldain said. “They were a very good team and they can play. We didn’t have our best passing game today. We didn’t do well with the heat. We probably pushed our bodies to the very limit. We just tried to survive out there in the second half.”

The Highlanders, who suffered a 1-0 setback to Corona in the Southern Section Division II final March 7, took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.

Daniel Gonzalez intercepted the ball on a failed clearance by the Raiders inside the box and sent a cross to Trent Madison on the right side.



Madison quickly settled the ball and sent a shot inside the left post for his 21st goal of the season.

But Southwest took control after that, using its speed up front to put pressure on the Highlanders’ back line.

“We got the momentum after the first goal,” Madison said. “They woke up after we scored. They came out flat and we pressed. We didn’t sub in the first half. Once fatigue set in, we were done.”

Rafael Espinosa scored on a penalty kick in the 48th minute to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead.

Southwest added an insurance goal in the 77th minute when Brandon Mejia scored off a cross from Gabriel Alamillo, who also set up the Raiders’ first score with a cross to Jerry Mendoza in the 25th minute.



Royal, which became the first team in Marmonte League history to finish the 14-match schedule unbeaten, had its chances to score.

With his back to the goal, Anthony Manzanares flicked a shot off the crossbar in the 46th minute and Gonzalez’s shot from the left side of the box went wide in the 57th minute.

“We had opportunities in the second half but we just couldn’t put it away today,” Saldain said. “We had a great year. If you had told me in the beginning of the season that we would get all the hardware we have today, I would have been pleased. Of course, losing in the final is not ideal. I’m incredibly proud of the boys and what they accomplished this year.”

Mater Dei 45, Calabasas 43. Crusaders move to SoCal Regional Final

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San Diego Mater Dei defeated Calabasas, 45-43, after a controversial ending. Austin Smith followed a pinned shot with a tip-in, but the ruling was it happened after the buzzer.  For the Crusaders, Jaylen Hands had 18 points including an 11 point individual run in the first half. Iman Chatman provided 10 points and outstanding Senior leadership in the closing minutes. Coyotes’ Jeremy Lieberman had 11 points and seven assists. Mater Dei will face St. John Bosco, who defeated Sonora, 94-67. Daniel Hamilton and Jesus Zesati each had 23 points.,0,167639.story#ixzz2w8ieaEN9

Southwest and San Ysidro bring home the White Banners for Soccer.

South County soccer teams get their kicks with CIF finals victories

Star-News Phillip Brents | Mon, Mar 10 2014 10:48 PM

The Southwest Raiders, Chula Vista High Tech Bruins and San Ysidro Cougars soccer teams have collectively given the Metro Conference a kick, so to speak, in winning San Diego Section division titles last weekend.

The second-seeded Raiders came home with the prestigious Division I championship trophy after riding sophomore Gabriel Alamillo’s golden goal to a 2-1 triumph over ninth-seeded San Dieguito Academy.

Meanwhile, a pair of underdog teams raised the bar high in their respective competition divisions: the 12th-seeded Bruins rode the standout goalkeeping of Sierra Sanchez to upset second-seeded Helix in a 3-1 kicks-from-the-mark tie-breaker to claim the Division III girls title while the fourth-seeded Cougars rode a pair of goals from Raad Aljabi in to give third-seeded Hoover the boot, 2-1, in the Division IV boys final.

A total of nine South County teams advanced to the section semifinals, with three punching tickets to last weekend’s division finals. All three finalists emerged with victories on Saturday to make a statement for the level of the game as played south of Interstate 8.

“Through my 26 years in education, this win has to be one the highlights of my career,” Southwest principal Lee Romero said. “Not only am I excited and proud for our players, but this win mean so much to our Southwest High School community.

“We love our students, we love our community and we love our futbol. To win the way we did in overtime was incredibly exciting.”

Both Southwest and Chula Vista High Tech received berths in this week’s Southern California regional championship tournament.

The fourth-seeded Raiders (18-2-4) are scheduled to host fifth-seeded Baldwin Park (21-4-1) in a Division II quarterfinal match Tuesday at San Ysidro High School.

The eight-seeded Bruins (17-4-3) are schedule to play at top-seeded Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) in Monday’s Division III quarterfinals.

Girls semifinal matches are Wednesday while boys semifinal matches are Thursday, both at the higher-seeded team and also starting at 4 p.m.

The Division III girls final is Friday, March 14, at Warren High School in Downey. Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Division II boys final is Saturday, March 15, at Warren High School in Downey. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Cathedral (26-1-1) is the top-seeded team in the eight-team Division II boys bracket.

Division I 

The CIF title was the first for the Raiders since 2003 but not for a lack of trying. Southwest had advanced numerous times to either the quarterfinals, semifinals of finals, as in 2008 and 2009, before encountering a roadblock to victory.

But not this time, not even facing overtime.

Southwest, the 2013-14 Metro-South Bay League champion, took a 1-0 lead in Saturday’s division final at Mesa College on a goal by Alfredo Adame in the 58th minute. But the Mustangs, riding a string of three upset wins in the previous rounds, including an overtime defeat of top-seeded St. Augustine in the quarterfinals, would not go away quietly.

San Dieguito Academy (9-8-5) notched the equalizer on a free kick by Tristan Norton with four minutes to play in regulation, thus sending the game into extra time.

The Raiders, however, quickly regained the momentum they had lost at the tail end of regulation play and ended matters on Alamillo’s tally with four minutes elapsed in the golden-goal period.

Goalkeeper Juan Barrera was credited with five saves in picking up the win.

Division III
Mis-seeding or simply an act of parity playing out on the pitch? Chula Vista High Tech’s never-say-die kickers will take it either way in charting their spirited odyssey through the thick of the divisional playoffs. The Bruins, seeded last in the division, upended the fourth higher-seeded team paired against them in the elimination bracket to stand alone on the sun-drenched field Saturday at Mesa College.

Stand alone with the prized championship trophy.

CV High Tech’s playoff run was ground-breaking for the school’s girls soccer program, which had never won a playoff match until this year. But the Bruins (17-3-6) served notice they were destined to make history after recording a 9-0 showing in Frontier League play and then sending home, in order, fifth-seeded Valley Center, fourth-seeded Central Union and then top-seeded Escondido Charter to reach last weekend’s CIF final.

The CV High Tech defense allowed just one goal in four playoff matches en route to winning the school’s first section title in the sport. The Bruins blanked Valley Center, 4-0, edged Central Union, 2-1, and then shut out Escondido Charter 1-0.

No goals were scored in Saturday’s division final, either in regulation or overtime, though the Bruins nearly put one in midway through the second half of regulation when Alexie Gates’ shot caromed off the crossbar.

Sanchez was credited with five saves in regulation and OT against the Highlanders (8-9-6). She stopped the final shot in the KFM tie-breaker while teammate Jessica Castro scored on the Frontier League champs’ fourth attempt to give the Chula Vista team a winning two-goal edge.

Division IV
The Cougars also played the role of spoiler in their drive to the CIF title after eliminating both top-seeded Monte Vista (1-0 in the semifinals) and the third-seeded Cardinals in the championship round.

San Ysidro (11-8-2) made the most of its opportunities in the final, taking a 2-0 lead on a head shot by Aljabi in the 20th minute and a curling shot to the far post just before intermission.

Hoover (11-10-1) scored almost immediately after Aljabi’s second goal but could not take advantage of any of its scoring chances in the second half. Luis Aparicio was credited with the Cardinal’s lone goal in the match.

The Cougars’ soccer championship builds on the successful playoff run posted by school’s baseball team in winning last spring’s Division III title.

- See more at:

High School Interscholastic Athletics vs. Club Sports – Amendment to CIF Bylaw 600

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is now considering an amendment of Bylaw 600, which would remove the restrictions on participating on non-high school teams during the high school season of the same sport. In other words, an athlete could compete for a club team and a high school team in the same season in the same sport unless the club team is being coached by any member of that sport’s high school coaching staff.

As of 2011, 26 states have eliminated this prohibition and now allow outside participation concurrent with the high school team.

According to an article in the U-T Sports by John Maffei, the discussion has found strong opinions on either side.

People are very passionate about this subject. There are strong emotions in San Diego about the negative effect on athletes changing this rule would have.

Changing the rule might force athletes to make a decision between their high school team and their club team.

The feedback we’re getting is that our section is not in favor of change.

                                                                  –CIF San Diego Section Commissioner Jerry Schniepp

Currently, for example, a high school soccer player may participate on a club softball team during the soccer season but not on a club soccer team.  The driving force behind this proposal appears to be parents who want to give their students the greatest opportunities to excel in their sports and hence, increase their exposure to college coaches who might offer them a scholarship.

Impact on Player Participation

Will participation in club sports affect the athlete’s participation on their high school team?  Here is an example of a worst case scenario for high school athletics from Chicago:

Leanne Mueller has precious memories of playing varsity soccer at Hoffman Estates High School in the 1980s: the cheers of classmates from the bleachers, bonding with teammates on long bus rides, clipping articles from the local paper about the team’s big wins.

But when her 16-year-old son decided three years ago to not even try out for the Schaumburg High School soccer team, she realized how times have changed. A standout who began playing club soccer in grade school, Christopher Mueller told his parents he thought he would get more out of year-round participation at Sockers FC Chicago, an elite soccer academy in Schaumburg.

And this summer, before his senior year started, Christopher accepted a scholarship to play soccer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Be true to your school? Athletes have options by Vikki Ortiz Healy, Chicago Tribune August 14, 2013


Impact on Academic Performance

Will athletes involved in both club sports and high school sports get lower grades?  According to the CIF, statistics show that athletes get higher grades during the seasons in which they participate in sports.

It is up to the parents to help their students budget their time.  Parents and students alike know that very few athletes receive college scholarships without proof of quality performance in the classroom.

The Lousiana High School Athletic Association presents a clear contrast between the benefits of Club Sport vs. High School Athletics:

The mission of high school athletics is for the student-athletes to be successful, to gain information, knowledge and skills they can apply in problem solving and to become better citizens in the classroom and in their daily lives. If there is no educational value inherent within our programs, then we have no business providing sports in a high school setting.

— Lousiana High School Athletic Association


Cost of Participation in Club Sports

The cost of participation in high school athletics is minimal especially in California.  Unlike many other states, California schools and districts are prohibited from charging fees for participation. Club Sports, on the other hand, can cost many hundreds up to thousands of dollars a year.

In an article  $4,000 for Youth Baseball: Kids’ Sports Costs Are Out of Control,  by Sarah Butler, one parent delineates the costs for one season:

In fees alone, we are looking at $1,500. That includes uniforms and what we have to pay for each tournament. That does not include the park fees. Just this weekend it cost me $35 to get into my own baseball park for the tournament we hosted. It’s $5 for each adult and $3 for each kid for every single day you go — it doesn’t matter that I’m the parent driving my player there, I still have to pay. This upcoming weekend we’ll spend several hundred dollars on hotel rooms, food and gas. In July we’ll head to Panama City, Florida, for an entire week to play baseball. That is also not included in the cost and is essentially our summer vacation. You also need to factor in costs for baseball bats (we went through two last year, approximately $450), cups, chest shields, you name it!

In our district, many parents can afford these costs but many cannot.  These basic differences show up geographically between the schools on either side of I-805.  This exacerbates the issues of competitiveness and inequality that our athletes have to overcome as they face schools with students of different economic abilities.

Impact on School Competitiveness

Currently, it is difficult if not impossible for either the district or the CIF-San Diego Section to prevent a student from attending the high school of his or her choice.  Therefore, it becomes apparent that certain sports at some schools are much more successful on a regular basis than those at other schools.  Formal Recruiting by coaches is prohibited.  That said, informal approaches by athletes, family and fans happen.  Now, add to that the desire for members of a club team which represents a large geographic area to enroll at one particular school with an eye to hanging some banners.

Impact on the health of athletes

One impact of this rule is that the athletes will face greater risk of injury, especially those injuries caused by overuse and fatigue.  The counter-argument is that active athletes will get hurt anyway so the numbers will not increase.  For baseball and softball specifically, though, will there be any consideration of limiting the combined innings pitched?


Between now and May 2, when the CIF makes a final decision, we will deal with the vehement arguments and strong opinions on both sides of this issue.  But, as educators, we are bound to serve the desires of our clients, the students and their parents.  In this author’s opinion that makes the outcome of this issue inevitable.  In 2014-15 and beyond, we will have to deal with athletes participating in club sports and high school sports concurrently.


Statement and Analysis of Bylaw 600 from CIF State

Club Sport vs. High School Athletics from Louisiana High School Athletics Association

The high cost of youth sports

By 10:14 AM

$4,000 for Youth Baseball: Kids’ Sports Costs Are Out of Control,   SARAH BUTLER, MONEYWATCH April 29, 2011,


Mar Vista Mariners – Scholarship Athletes Kristin Gendreau, Jimmie Hill, and Andres Preciado

Eastlake Titans – Boys Soccer off to Sreat Start

Just do it — Titans capture SoCal Classic

From the Star-News – Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 17 2014 01:50 PM

The Eastlake High School boys soccer team kicked off the 2012-13 season on a high note but couldn’t match its promising start. The Titans are back at it again, and hope to finish the second half as strong as the first in 2013-14.

“Eastlake has never won a league championship before — putting a banner up is our main goal,” EHS second-year coach Jason Renfro said.

The Titans served notice they may be a team to contend with after winning the 12-team boys elite bracket in the recent 19th annual Southern California Classic. Eastlake defeated Newport Harbor, 3-2, in the championship game Dec. 30 in Oceanside to cap a 4-0-1 showing in the tournament and a 7-2-2 start to the season.

It’s a step up for the program, according to Renfro.

“This is the first year that Eastlake has had a freshman team,” the EHS coach said. “We have 65 kids in the program. Last year we had 45. We’re maintaining a positive atmosphere in the school. One hundred kids try out and we’re keeping 65 and not 45. It’s proven that kids do better in school if they have an incentive to stay in school. It’s only going to get better.”

The Titans kicked off tournament play Dec. 27 with a 1-0 victory against Desert Vista from Phoenix. Oscar Hernandez scored the game’s lone goal in the second half while Jose Cervantes was credited with the shutout win.

The bracket featured four three-team pools, meaning Eastlake only needed a tie in its next match against Fallbrook to advance to the tournament playoffs. The Titans tied the Warriors 1-1 on a goal by Hernandez.

Eastlake faced West Hills in the quarterfinals and captured a 2-0 victory on goals by Julio Huerta and Adrian Romo and another shutout goalkeeping performance by Cervantes.

The Titans advanced to the semifinals against Arcadia and it took two overtimes to decide a winner as the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation. The overtime format featured two 10-minute periods. The Titans scored the game-winner with eight minutes left in the second OT period.

Naeem Muhammad tapped in the game-winning goal between the legs of the Arcadia goalkeeper to cap a dramatic victory. Cervantes was once again solid in the net with the shutout win.

The two pool games took place on Dec. 27 and the quarterfinal and semifinal playoff matches took place Dec. 28.

The Fallbrook match ended after 10 p.m. and the Titans had to return to North County the following morning for an 8 a.m. match against West Hills.

In the final against Newport Harbor, the teams played to a 1-1 halftime standoff before Eastlake punched in a pair of goals to go up 3-1.

Muhammad made the score 1-0 Titans early on while Luis Banuelos scored the 2-1 go-ahead goal and Josue Cueva slipped a shot under the crossbar to make it 3-1.

“Newport Harbor scored again but we held them off to get the win,” Renfro said.

Banuelos leads the team with six goals while Cueva has scored three goals and Hernandez, Muhammad and Adolfo Garcia-Soriano have each scored two goals.

Cervantes has allowed six goals in eight games with three shutouts to go with an 0.835 goals-against average.

Twenty players are rostered on this season’s varsity team, including 12 seniors.

“We have a heavy senior class,” Renfro said. “We had a good start to the season with three wins and one tie. We dropped a couple of games (3-1 to Mira Mesa and 4-3 to Chula Vista High Tech) but came back after Christmas to win the tournament.

“We had a couple of injuries but brought up two players from the junior varsity team to help us. It shows the depth we have in the program. This showed the strength and character of the team. I tell the kids that we’re only as good as the last player on the bench.”

The Titans were scheduled to return to action with a non-league game Thursday at Mar Vista and will host San Diego in another non-league match on Jan. 10. Eastlake kicks off Metro-Mesa League play Jan. 22 with a game at Mater Dei Catholic.

Sweetwater Red Devils – CIFSDS Division IV Football Champions

Red Devils’ trick play is pure magic

12/07/2013, 7:57pm PST
By Alex Riggins, Special to the U-T

Sweetwater running back throws only pass of the game, resulting in only TD of the game.

Sweetwater running back Raven Middleton, whose pass resulted in the only touchdown of the game, looks for a hole against Monte Vista.

The Division IV football championship was a rematch of a game earlier this season in which Monte Vista beat Sweetwater without either team completing a pass.

On Saturday at Mesa College, the teams combined to throw just one pass. It turned out to be the biggest play of the game.

Sweetwater defeated Monte Vista 7-0 when running back Raven Middleton threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior wingback Antonio Garcia on a trick play on third-and-short late in the fourth quarter to deliver Sweetwater its first championship in 29 years.

“We had set that play up all week and kind of knew we were going to do it,” Sweetwater coach Brian Hay said. “It’s a gutsy call, but it was the right call at the right time.”

Seven points is the fewest for any football championship game listed in the San Diego Section record book.

Going into the final quarter, Sweetwater (9-4) and Monte Vista (7-6) had struggled to find any sort of success with their potent running games.

But on Sweetwater’s winning drive, an unlikely hero stepped up for the Red Devils — Middleton. The junior had made his mark on the game defensively, helping to shut out a Monte Vista offense that had scored 34 points in the teams’ first meeting.

Offensively though, Middleton had just 13 yards rushing until the Red Devils’ final two drives. On the touchdown drive, Middleton converted a third-and-long with a 20-yard run. Later in the drive he picked up a first down with a 3-yard run on third-and-2.

On third-and-inches at the 15, Middleton got the ball again, but instead of trying to rumble for another first down he lobbed the game’s only pass to the end zone. Garcia — Sweetwater’s best runner who had been bottled up all game — hauled in the pass with a defender closing in on him. It was the only score the Red Devils would need.

“My coach put his faith in me, and I didn’t want to disappoint him,” Middleton said. “But the thing was, I knew one was going to bust eventually and we were going to find a way to score.”

Following Sweetwater’s touchdown, Monte Vista turned the ball over on the Monarchs’ third lost fumble of the night. The Red Devils converted one first down to ice the game.

Sweetwater lost two fumbles and missed a 38-yard field goal attempt. But those mistakes were forgotten when Garcia caught Middleton’s winning touchdown pass.

“It’s the best feeling of my life,” Garcia said. “This is the best day of my life.”

CIFSD Football Playoff Summaries – Hilltop, Sweetwater in Semi-Finals

Week 1

11/15 @ 07:00 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Bonita Vista 7 7 0 0 14
Granite Hills 14 14 0 0 28

The Bonita Vista Barons football team lost Friday’s away playoff game against Granite Hills by a score of 28-14. Box Score


11/15 @ 07:00 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Castle Park 0 0 0 0 0
University City 0 14 0 6 20

The Castle Park Trojans football team lost Friday’s away playoff game against University City by a score of 20-0. Box Score

11/15 @ 07:00 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
El Cajon Valley 0 0 0 7 7
Mater Dei Catholic 14 22 13 6 55

The Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders football team won Friday’s home playoff game against El Cajon Valley by a score of 55-7. Box Score

The Montgomery Aztecs football team lost Friday’s home playoff game against Southwest by a score of 10-7. Box Score

Week 2

11/22 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Oceanside 7 0 7 19 33
Eastlake 21 9 0 0 30


Pirates’ resilience a tale of too gritty

By Don Norcross12:14 A.M.NOV. 23, 2013
Although Oceanside trailed Eastlake by 23 points at halftime, Pirates QB Matthew Romero said, “I knew after we scored our second touchdown we could win.” Oceanside won 33-30.
Although Oceanside trailed Eastlake by 23 points at halftime, Pirates QB Matthew Romero said, “I knew after we scored our second touchdown we could win.” Oceanside won 33-30. — Earnie Grafton

CHULA VISTA — As Oceanside High’s football team walked off the field at halftime of its San Diego Section Open Division semifinal against Eastlake on Friday night, the Pirates’ fate looked as bleak as the coal-black sky.

Oceanside trailed the Titans by 23 points. The Pirates had been dominated. They had been embarrassed. Their mood in the locker room?

“Frustrated,” said head coach John Carroll. “Disappointed in themselves.”

Carroll’s thoughts?

“Fix it,” he said.

If only your neighborhood mechanic were so handy. In a stunning comeback, Oceanside rallied to defeat Eastlake 33-30 on Jackson Koonce’s 19-yard field goal with 4.5 seconds to play.

Koonce yanked off his helmet, sprinted to midfield and was mobbed by seemingly every white-jerseyed Pirates player. The celebration drew a 15-yard penalty.

No matter. Koonce squib kicked, Eastlake returned the ball, lateraled a couple of times, the play died and the Pirates lived on.

An Eastlake player, out for the season with an injury, walked out of the press box, sobbing uncontrollably.

In the middle of the field, Oceanside’s players, fans and coaches jumped up and down, chanting, “We’re going to the Q! We’re going to the Q! We’re going to the Q!”

That would be Qualcomm Stadium, where on Dec. 2 the Pirates will face rival Mission Hills, a 24-21 winner over Helix. It’ll be a dandy of a rematch, Mission Hills having thumped Oceanside 30-6 back in September.

Charles Dickens penned “A Tale of Two Cities.” This was a tale of two halves.

On Eastlake’s first play from scrimmage, Isaiah Strayhorn burst up the middle and sprinted 80 yards to a touchdown.

“It feels good to start out that fast,” said Strayhorn on the sideline. Then he prophetically added, “There’s a lot more game to play, sir.”

An interception on Oceanside’s ensuing possession positioned Eastlake on the Pirates’ 19. Strayhorn up the middle again, touchdown again. The game was less than four minutes old and Eastlake led 14-0.

“They don’t want it all day, Isaiah,” a sideline spectator yelled to Strayhorn. “All day.”

The Titans added two more TD runs, a safety and at intermission the Pirates were staring at a 30-7 deficit. Eastlake had ground and pound 265 yards rushing.

At halftime, one of Oceanside’s most famous alums, Willie Buchanon, said, “I am stunned. They are not tackling. They aren’t executing. They’re doing too much complaining. They just need to settle down and play.”

Ninety minutes before kickoff, lightning lit up the sky, thunder cracked in the distance, rain pelted the field. And the damp conditions may have played a factor in Oceanside’s comeback.

Eastlake’s punter dropped a snap, setting up Thai Cottrell’s 3-yard TD run with 2:48 to play in the third quarter. Matthew Romero hit Cottrell on a 4-yard TD pass. It was 30-22 following a two-point conversion with 9:30 to play.

Next possession, a one-play, 72-yard “drive,” Romero to Mikah Holder. Another two-point conversion. Tied at 30.

Then, then the winning drive. Pirates take over at the 50 with 1:28 to play. Five-yard penalty. Illegal motion. Intentional grounding. Second-and-22 from the 38. Eighteen-yard completion to Holder. Nine yards to Cottrell. First down.

 Mugshot of Don Norcross

Don Norcross


The Eastlake Titans football team lost Friday’s neutral playoff game against Oceanside by a score of 33-30. Box Score

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Despite trailing Eastlake (Chula Vista, Calif.) 23 points, Oceanside (Calif.) came back strong to notch a 33-30 win over Eastlake (Chula Vista, Calif.) Saturday.
After nabbing the lead on a touchdown run by Isaiah Strayhorn, the Titans went into halftime with a 30-7 lead. The Pirates took the lead to win the game on a field goal by Jackson Koonce in the fourth quarter.

Despite scoring seven points in the third, Oceanside still trailed by 16 points going into the fourth quarter. But 19 points in the fourth helped OHS pull out the victory.

The Pirates didn’t take the lead for good until the the fourth quarter when Koonce kicked a field goal.

Eastlake came in surrendering 9.5 points per game this season. EHS had a hard time against Oceanside’s offense, which entered the game scoring 34.1 points per game.

The defeat comes as a step back for Eastlake, which notched a 41-7 victory over Poway in its previous outing.

Hilltop grinds out OT win over Hoover

11/22/2013, 11:47pm PST
By Kevin J. Farmer, Special to the U-T

Lancers had the perfect game plan, especially on a muddy field.

CHULA VISTA — It turned out to be the perfect game plan, especially on a muddy field.

Third-seeded Hilltop (11-1) used a powerful ground game and tenacious defense to advance to the San Diego Section Division III semifinals with a thrilling 13-6 overtime victory over visiting Hoover (8-4) on Friday.

“We had a lot of respect for them (Hoover) and heard they have one of the best defensive lines in the county, but we knew if we pounded it, sooner or later we’d have our chance,” said senior running back Jake Madarang, whose team will face Christian in Wednesday night’s semifinal.

That chance came midway through the fourth quarter when linebacker Jared Akers, who earlier recovered a fumble, picked off an attempted Hoover screen pass and returned it to the Cardinals 25.

“Our coaches told us the linebackers had to stay with the backs and look for the screen and he threw it right to me,” Akers said.

Five plays later, Madarang carried it in from the 2 to tie the game at 6-6 and set up overtime.

In the extra period, Hilltop got the ball first and in four plays Madarang took it in from the 4.

It was all up to the Hilltop defense. Two long incompletions and two scrambles by Cardinals quarterback Daevon Bazzo failed to pick up a first down and the game ended.


The Hilltop Lancers football team won Friday’s neutral playoff game against Hoover by a score of 13-6. Box Score


The Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders football team lost Friday’s neutral playoff game against La Jolla by a score of 63-21. Box Score


11/21 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Cathedral Catholic 21 8 14 0 43
Olympian 0 0 7 0 7

The Olympian Eagles football team lost Thursday’s neutral playoff game against Cathedral Catholic by a score of 43-7. Box Score



11/22 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Clairemont 0 0 0 0 0
Sweetwater 14 14 7 0 35

The Sweetwater Red Devils football team won Friday’s neutral playoff game against Clairemont by a score of 35-0. Box Score



By alex riggins special to the u-t 12:01 A.M.NOV. 23, 2013

Sweetwater 35, Clairemont 0

NATIONAL CITY — Following Friday night’s Division IV quarterfinal playoff game, Sweetwater head coach Brian Hay and his assistants had a slight disagreement about when the school had last won in the playoffs.

Whether it was 1997 or 1999 remained undecided among them, but the point was clear — it had been a long time.

The wait for playoff success ended on Friday night as Sweetwater rushed for five touchdowns and played stingy defense to beat Clairemont 35-0 and advance to the semifinals.

“The defense played great ball; they were very disciplined,” Hay said of a unit that held Clairemont to just 99 total yards.

It was the sixth straight win for Sweetwater (7-4), which started the season 1-4 before sweeping its way to a Metro-Pacific League championship.

Sweetwater’s Angel Reyes opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run to finish a drive that began when Sweetwater recovered a muffed punt by Clairemont (5-7). On the first play of the next drive, Reyes took a handoff and raced 74 yards for a touchdown.

Not to be outdone, Antonio Garcia scored on a 91-yard touchdown the next drive.

“Our O-line did a fabulous job all season,” Garcia said. “It feels great to get to the semifinals. We practiced so hard and have put in so much hard work.”