El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

The terrible truth of high school football is that only one team gets to win the very last game. After a long, hopeful season, Helix Charter High School has finally joined the throngs of teams to hang up their jerseys for the year, just shy of glory.

Runner up for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division Championship, second seeded Helix (10-3) lost their title match against first seed Cathedral Catholic High School (13-0) on Dec. 3.

Not all wins are pretty, but the Helix Highlanders will take whatever they can get. And on Nov. 18, they got their first playoff win of the season from the Valhalla Norsemen.

The home game, which came after a bye week, was also their second consecutive game against the Norsemen, who they beat 40-13 on November 4. Their playoff win was 14-0.

Valhalla’s head coach Charles Bussey said he the team really stepped up, despite the eventual loss.

Steele Canyon’s Cougars left their paw prints all over West Hills High School on Saturday, November 12, 2016, sweeping the Grossmont Conference Finals in all four boys and girls JV and varsity categories. 

Both Steele’s varsity boys and girls ran in wins 56-points over their nearest competitor, Grossmont, and the JV boys pulled out a nail-biter, taking first from Valhalla by one point. 

Three generations of water polo were represented at Grossmont’s pool on Thursday, November 3. On one side, Valhalla’s head coach Kent Houston stood with eagle-eyes, checking each play of his mostly-underclassmen team during the intense final game against the undefeated Foothillers. On the other side, Grossmont’s head coach Clint McLaughlin, who happens to be one of Houston’s own former Norseman, urged his team on in an aggressive stand against their rivals, enveloped in a sea of blue and orange banners. 

For a quarter of century, Helix Charter High School has proudly displayed a musket trophy in their halls, representing the rivalry between the Highlanders and their across-town neighbors, the Grossmont Foothillers. The musket, which has not been on Grossmont grounds since 1991, will stay with Helix for another year.

On Friday night, Oct. 28, the county poured into Helix stands to watch the long-awaited rivalry match commence.

It has been 26 years since Grossmont High School’s football team has beaten Helix. This season’s Foothillers are ready to change that.

Warming up with a 41-0 win against Steele Canyon on Oct. 21, the Foothillers are undefeated and remain just a hair above Helix, last year’s Open Division champions, in the Grossmont Hills League.

Mount Miguel’s match against West Hills last week was a tale of two water polo programs. 

Prowling their way into the Matador’s pool on Thursday, Oct. 13, brimming with confidence and carrying a season of successes, the West Hills Wolfpack was ready for a good game. They are fighting for the top spot with Helix and have their sights set on winning league and championing the CIF meets that will follow.

Grossmont football leagues ushered in conference play on Oct. 7, with packed stands, homecoming celebrations and a few incredible games, promising an exciting season.

Valhalla and Grossmont High Schools both entered their conference matches in the Grossmont Hills League undefeated, making their wins against West Hills and El Capitan on Friday their sixth consecutive victories this season.

Sultan seniors are having a good season.

Holding a 4-2 record in nonconference play, Santana’s football team seems to have a stellar force of veteran players, not the least of which is senior running back Bobby Wallace.

On Friday night, Sept. 30, under the white lights of Santana High School’s football field, Wallace broke the school career rushing record with a total of 2,362 yards, the last 210 of which he got in 25 carries during a game against Mar Vista.

Grossmont Foothillers senior Rileigh Dunning and Foothills Christian senior Kacey Butrovich have one thing in common: they run fast.

And on Sept. 23, they ran together in the South Bay Invitational at Rohr Park in Chula Vista, California.

Dunning comes from a large program at Grossmont with 37 highly motivated girls. Butrovich runs for a small school in El Cajon; she is their only varsity competitor.