San Diego Football Preseason Top 10

  1. Helix Highlanders — Helix is coming off an Open Division title in the 2015 season, but they must replace several key losses. QB Michael Austin (Cal Poly), RB Nate Stinson (Northern Arizona), WR Mekhi Stevenson (UNLV), LB Jihad Woods (Washington State), and defensive ends Forrest Hanlon (San Diego State) and Mason Vinyard (Washington State) have all moved on. Luckily for the Highlanders, they just seem to reload. The reigning CIF Defensive Player of the Year, Ezekiel Noa, returns at linebacker, with Arizona-commit Scott Young and Evan Perkins patrolling the secondary. Long time coach Troy Starr has been replaced with Robbie Owens. Owens brings with him the “No-huddle power pistol” offense, which should lead to a huge year for junior quarterback Carson Baker and a very explosive offensive unit.
  2. Madison Warhawks — Rick Jackson has several returning experienced players for this year’s squad, led by linebacker Sampson Niu (Oregon commit). The offense will feature Terrell Carter at QB with Erick BuchananIsaiah McDaniels, and Brandon Lewis (Air Force commit) at the skill positions. An appearance in the Open Division Title Game is certainly within sight for the Warhawks this season.
  3. Cathedral Catholic — QB Tate Haynes, committed to play defensive back at Boston College, returns for his second season as the signal caller and is surrounded by several weapons. Adam Eastwood returns at running back with Patrick Brown (Boston College commit) at tight end, and Jack Thompson and Je’Von Figaro at the receiver positions. The defense will be led up front by Jack Cavellier.
  4. St. Augustine — Despite losing Michael Alves (UCLA) and Elijah Preston (SDSU), the Saints return a solid core of experienced talent led by quarterback Rodney Thompson and athlete Tariq Thompson (SDSU commit). Defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart and athlete JR Justice are two of the best junior prospects in the county.
  5. Rancho Bernardo — The Broncos are coming off a D3-A State Title a season ago. QB Mark Salazar (Fresno State commit) leads the offensive attack alongside RB Milan Grice. Grice ran for 1,872 yards and 23 TD’s last year. Nine of the eleven leading tacklers from last seasons campaign are graduated, so the Broncos must find replacements on defense.
  6. Oceanside — The Pirates lose a handful of starters from last season, but they’ll have a big, physical line like always. QB Max Shuffer is a key to the Pirates having success. I expect Azizi Hearn and Jake Gerardi to have big seasons as two-way players.
  7. La Costa Canyon — The Mavericks, led by dual-threat QB Tanner Clark, return ten starters from last seasons team. Clark and RB Zach Goodkin will be relied on heavily to carry the load for LCC.
  8. El Camino — QB Jaden Casey and RB Chris Brown will be relied on to have big junior seasons as well as Dhante Hill who returns as the leading receiver. Jerry Ralph will begin his first season as the head coach of the Wildcats after rebuilding the Hoover HS program for several seasons.
  9. Mission Hills — Halfway through his high school career, QB Jack Tuttle has already received offers from some of the biggest football powers in the country. The Grizzlies lose a lot on both sides of the ball, but the addition of Eastlake transfers Josh and Chris Olave should make for a big impact.
  10. Mater Dei Catholic –The Crusaders are in good hands with Oregon commit, CJ Verdell, the most explosive player in San Diego coming out of the backfield. QB Chris Jones also returns from last years team that won a CIF State Title in Open Division – Small Schools. Their thirteen game winning streak has a good chance ton continue, leading up to their battle with Mission Hills in week six.

 

Transfer notes–

  • Mission Hills has had a very successful offseason so far, adding two transfers each in  football and basketball. Josh Olave (2017) and his brother Chris Olave (2018) have transferred in from Eastlake. They’ll add some much needed talent at the skill positions for Grizzlies QB Jack Tuttle. On the hoops side, they’ve added senior guard Ed Fenzi from Army-Navy Academy and junior forward Warren Washington from Escondido.

Recruiting notes–

  • 2018 St. Augustine Forward Taeshon Cherry has been on a roll lately, picking up offers from California, USC, Kansas, and Florida State in the last month.
  • 2017 UCLA commit Jaylen Hands was named MVP of the Adidas Global Nations Camp in Long Beach in early August. Hands played his junior season at Balboa City School.
  • 2018 Mission Hills QB Jack Tuttle used his time during the dead period to unofficially visit a couple of schools on his list; LSU, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

Phillies Tab Moniak at #1 in the MLB Draft

For the 5th time since 2000, San Diego has produced the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft. La Costa Canyon senior centerfielder Mickey Moniak, a two-time gold medalist with Team USA, was selected with the top pick by the Philadelphia Phillies.

As a senior, Moniak hit .476 with an on-base percentage of .540. He also hit 4 double, 12 triples, and 7 home runs while driving in 46 runs. The UCLA-signee was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the State of California.

Moniak spoke with SanDiegoPreps.com during the season.

CIF Playoff Preview

Jared Garcia–
CIF Basketball Playoff Preview
Open Division: The favorite
Foothills Christian (21-4)
The Knights are the favorites to win the Open Division title with unstoppable play
from McDonalds All-American TJ Leaf. Opposing defenses have to have a game plan
that focuses on stopping Leaf, as he is averaging 28 points 12 rebounds per game.
Senior Luis Salgado is lethal from beyond the arc, setting the San Diego record for
most 3 pointers made in a career. The Knights are battle tested, playing the top team
in the nation (Chino Hills) twice and defeating Army-Navy Academy three times.
Open Division: Top Players
TJ Leaf (FHC): Signed with UCLA. #9 ranked player in the nation (ESPN)
Tommy Rutherford (Grossmont): Signed with UC Irvine
Aziz Seck (Army_Navy): Signed with Northern Arizona
Richard Polanco (Army-Navy): Top 10 junior in the state
Jackson Strong (Torrey Pines): Palomar League Player of the Year
Jack Heller (Torrey Pines): Signed with New York University
Justin Moore (Mission Bay): Signed with Tulane
Eric Monroe (St. Augustine): Signed with Yale
Taeshon Cherry (St. Augustine): Top 20 sophomore on west coast
Zach Reiter (Poway): Sophomore averaging over 15 pts per game
Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic): 7’0 Division 1 bound junior
Division I: The favorite
El Camino (24-5)
The El Camino Wildcats proved that they can soar through the Division 1 playoffs
with quality wins over Army-Navy, Kearny, and La Costa Canyon. The only team that
could give the Wildcats trouble is Kearny, but the Wildcats defeated them 63-49 in
their only meeting.
Division I: Top Players
Johnny McWilliams (San Marcos): Signed with Fresno State
Robby Robinson (Kearny): Junior averaging over 15 pts/game
Taurus Samuels (Vista): Fourth in scoring in San Diego as a sophomore
Keegan Cummins (Escondido): 6’10 senior averaging 22 pts per game
Miles Norris (Mater Dei): Division I bound sophomore
Sean Birk (El Camino): Avocado West Player of the Year
Tim Harrison (Francis Parker): Averaging nearly 20 pts per game
Justin Davis (Morse): Signed with Cal State Bakersfield
Division II: The favorite
West Hills (20-6)
The West Hills Wolf pack are led by senior Bryce Parsons and boast a 20-6 a record
to go along with wins over Grossmont, Steele Canyon, and La Jolla Country Day. The
Wolf Pack should soar to the championship game, beating quality opponents in
Division II in the regular season.
Division II: Top Players
Reed Farley (La Jolla): One of the top junior wing guards in the west
JJ Overton (Rancho Bernardo): Lengthy combo guard is only a junior
Bruce Edwards (La Jolla Country Day): Senior averaging 14 pts/game
Ryan Langborg (La Jolla Country Day): Top freshman in San Diego
Karlton Perry (San Ysidro): 7th in scoring in San Diego county
Francisco Zazueta (San Ysidro): 8th in scoring in San Diego county
Baka Gowolo (Hoover): Senior averaging 18 pts/game
Terrence Becvar (Valley Center): 21 pts per game
Division III: The favorite
Ramona (25-3)
With wins over Valhalla and Mission Hills, look for Ramona to be in the Division II
title game. The Bulldogs are led by senior Marco Cobian and junior Blake Seits.
Division III: Top Players
Marco Cobian (Ramona): Valley League Player of the Year
Matt DeRoos (Tri City Christian): Pacific League Player of the Year
Division IV: The favorite
Brawley (19-9)
Brawley Wildcats finished 19-9 courtesy of wins over Christian, Imperial, and San
Ysidro. Various tournaments against tough competition have the Wildcats ready for
playoffs.
Division V: The favorite
O’Farrell (20-6)
The Falcons are soaring at the right time with a 7-1 league record. They are led by
freshman Derrick Carter Jr and are able to win on the road (7-1 on road).

Helix Claims Open Division Title Behind Stinson’s 5 TD’s

Jared Garcia–

The Helix Highlanders (10-1) took on the St. Augustine Saints (10-2) at Southwestern College for the Open Division CIF title.

As the first quarter came to an end, the Highlanders lead 14-7 with 2 touchdown runs from senior Nate Stinson.

The Saints tied it up early in the second quarter, as junior quarterback Rodney Thompson powered in the end zone from the 2-yard line. Thompson scored again off the QB sneak to give St. Augustine a 21-14 lead. Helix quarterback Michael Austin would not be outplayed, as he ran 8 yards into the end zone to tie the game up at 21 at halftime.

After a Saints interception, Nate Stinson caught the short pass and sped for 76 yards to give Helix a 28-21 lead in the 3rd quarter. After another Helix touchdown, the Highlander defense forced a safety to take a commanding 37-21 lead.

On the following kickoff, the Saints recovered a fumble that led to a 9-yard touchdown run from Elijah Preston to inch the Saints closer.

At the start of the 4th quarter, the Saints kicked a field goal to trail 37-30. Neither Helix nor the Saints were able to score on their following possessions. Stinson rushed for a 52 yard touchdown to seal a 44-30 victory for the Highlanders.

Stinson, a Northern Arizona commit, led the Highlanders with 335 total yards and 5 total touchdowns.

“I couldn’t have done it with out the O-line, and they fought hard today,” Stinson said. “It’s a blessing to win a CIF title because we worked really hard and it all payed off.”

Helix quarterback Michael Austin finished the contest with 2 touchdowns and 160 total yards.

“Winning this championship is the greatest feeling. It feels great to send the seniors and Coach Starr out on top as the best team in San Diego county,” Austin said.

Playoff Predictions– Championship Edition

Open Division:

Saturday, December 5th, 2015. Southwestern College, 7:00pm

#1 Helix vs. #2 St. Augustine: How will each defense attempt to contain to of the county’s best backs in Elijah Preston and Nate Stinson?

SCORE PREDICTION: Helix 34-28

Division 1:

Friday, December 4th, 2015. Southwestern College, 7:00pm

#1 Oceanside vs. #3 El Camino: The Pirates are peaking at the right time.

SCORE PREDICTION: Oceanside 31-17

Division 2:

Saturday, December 5th, 2015. Southwestern College, 3:30pm

#2 Rancho Bernardo vs. #4 Mt. Carmel: The Sundevils gave up 45 points to the Broncos earlier this season. What changes?

SCORE PREDICTION: Rancho Bernardo 38-24

Division 3:

Saturday, December 5th, 2015. Southwestern College, 12:00pm

#1 Bonita Vista vs. #2 Mission Bay: The two best running backs in the county facing off?

SCORE PREDICTION: Bonita Vista 41-35

Division 4:

Friday, December 4th, 2015. Southwestern College, 3:30pm

#1 Mater Dei Catholic vs. #3 Bishops: The rematch will be closer, but can Bishops win?

SCORE PREDICTION: Mater Dei Catholic 31-24

 

PLAYOFF RECORD: 44-9

Spotlight on Derrick Clark

Jared Garcia–

Mission Bay running back Derrick Clark has made plenty of highlight plays for the Bucs this year, from leaping over defenders to throwing touchdown passes. Clark will take his talents to Cal Berkeley next season.

“Cal was the perfect fit for me because of academics. I have always been great in the classroom, so Cal was the right fit for me,” Clark said.

Clark also excels at baseball, hitting .398 with 5 home runs as a junior last season. When asked if he would play at Cal, Clark said it is a possibility.

Derrick Clark possesses a potent combination of speed, power, and athleticism. His skills will certainly translate into the next level, as he can run by defenders, jump over them, or run through them.

“It’s hard to tackle someone that’s 200 pounds, so I value my power. This offseason I’m going to work on my speed because it never hurts to get faster for the next level.”

Out of necessity, Clark played quarterback last year but ran the ball on most of the plays. At Cal, he figures to play running back, but he is not ruling out playing in the slot or even playing some receiver.

“Whatever Cal wants me to do, I’ll do it to help the program.”

Clark hopes to become the next NFL product from Cal, with alumni that include Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Desean Jackson, CJ Anderson, and Tony Gonzalez.

Mission Bay rallies from behind to reach CIF finals

Jared Garcia–

The Mission Bay Buccaneers hosted the Valley Center Jaguars in a Division 3 showdown. The Jags started out strong, leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 21-6 with 2 minutes before halftime.

The Bucs, however, turned to their playmakers to inch closer. Quarterback Jaiden Correa hit Niegil Harness-Anderson and running back Derrick Clark hit Jhavari Ransom to keep the Bucs in the game, trailing 21-13 at halftime.

As the third quarter expired, Correa found Jhavari Ransom for a 47-yard touchdown connection. The 2 point conversion was good, and the game was tied at 21 entering the fourth quarter.

Valley Center’s Andrew Navarro plowed into the end zone give the Jaguars a 28-21 lead with 6:40 to go in the final quarter. On the next drive, Derrick Clark ran into the end zone from 10 yards out to tie the contest at 28 with 5:41 left.

“I was telling everyone in the huddle to calm down and I told the linemen that I believe in them, so it was easy to drive down and score,” Clark said after the game.

The Jags turned the ball over on downs and Efrain Senties kicked a field goal to give the Bucs a 31-28 advantage. Valley Center’s first passing play was intercepted by Myles Dumas to seal the victory for the Bucs.

“The game was on the line and the chance to go to the championship game was on the line, so I had to make that play,” Dumas said. “We compete very hard and our coaches get us ready, so we will be prepared for next week.”

The Mission Bay Bucs will play for the Division 3 CIF championship at Southwestern College next Saturday against Bonita Vista.

Preston, Saints Power Through to Southwestern

Mesa College–

Led by senior RB Elijah Preston’s 264 rushing yards, putting him over the 7,000 career yard mark, the Saints dismantled a previously unbeaten Mission Hills squad. The Grizzlies had their chances early, missing a 19-yard field goal, muffing a punt at midfield, and turning it over on downs in the red zone on a botched snap.

Preston ran for 9.4 yards per carry, while scoring three times on the night. Junior quarterback Rodney Thompson added 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The Grizzlies showed the ability to move the all early, with sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle finding Justus Te’i for significant gains through the air. Senior running back Nehemiah McFarlin who had been having a breakout season was held in check throughout the night. BYU-bound athlete Troy Warner made some great plays despite being clearly hobbled by a few injuries. He was on the receiving end of a five-yard slant for a touchdown and then in the 4th quarter made a great leaping catch on a ball from Tuttle, broke loose from his defender and went 70 yards into the end zone.

The Saints will now get their opportunity to face Helix, unbeaten since their week 1 loss to Chaparral (Az.) in the CIF-SDS Open Division Championship next Saturday night at Southwestern College.

Week 3 Playoff Predictions

Open Division:

#4 Cathedral Catholic vs. #1 Helix: What changes can the Dons make from the early season blowout?

SCORE PREDICTION: Helix 35-13

#3 Mission Hills vs. #2 St. Augustine: Extra motivation for the undefeated Grizzlies who have to head on the road?

SCORE PREDICTION: Mission Hills 27-23

Division 1:

#4 Point Loma vs. #1 Oceanside: The Pointer have outscored their opponents 123-7 the last three games. Can that continue?

SCORE PREDICTION: Oceanside 27-17

#7 Steele Canyon vs. #3 El Camino: El Camino skidded their way into the playoffs, can they win at home to make the title game?

SCORE PREDICTION: El Camino 28-20

Division 2:

#4 Mt. Carmel vs. #1 Valhalla: Can the Norsemen slow down Lucas Johnson?

SCORE PREDICTION: Mt. Carmel 24-16

#6 Otay Ranch vs. #2 Rancho Bernardo: The Broncos are showcase a balanced attack and are at home.

SCORE PREDICTION: Rancho Bernardo 28-10

Division 3:

#5 Imperial vs. #1 Bonita Vista: What can the tigers do to contain the Baron’s athletes?

SCORE PREDICTION: Bonita Vista 38-13

#3 Valley Center vs. #2 Mission Bay: Will the home field advantage be the key for the Bucs?

SCORE PREDICTION: Mission Bay 35-18

Division 4:

#4 Mar Vista vs. #1 Mater Dei Catholic: The Crusaders have been dominant.

SCORE PREDICTION: Mater Dei Catholic 35-13

#3 Bishops vs. #2 University City: Can the Centurions repeat last month’s performance?

SCORE PREDICTION: University City 23-20

Division 5:

#1 Coronado vs. #2 Crawford (@ Southwestern College): Can the Colts get the running game going?

SCORE PREDICTION: Coronado 28-21

LAST WEEK: 18-4

PLAYOFF TOTAL: 35-7