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Articles by Phillip Brents

By Phillip Brents

For The East County Californian

The Steele Canyon High School girls cross-country team is returning to familiar territory this weekend at the California state championship meet in Fresno. But the Cougars will be treading new territory as the reigning Division II San Diego Section champions.

The San Diego State University men’s ice hockey team is off to an undefeated start; the Aztecs are led by a familiar face — one from East County.

Sophomore Isaac Miller is a second-year forward for SDSU. The 2016 Helix High School graduate scored the game-winning goal in last Saturday’s 5-4 win over the University of Southern California at the Poway Ice Arena to extend the Aztecs’ season record to 10-0-1.

Alex Smith has been criticized throughout his 13-year NFL career for his lack of zing with the football. Four weeks into the current season, Smith and his Kansas City Chiefs are the league’s lone unbeaten team.

Smith led a dramatic comeback effort to allow the Chiefs (4-0) to nip the visiting Washington Redskins, 29-20, in a nationally telecast Monday Night Football matchup on ESPN.

The youth hockey season faced off locally in late August; now it’s time for the pros to take the ice.

Kroc Center Ice, which is part of the overall San Diego Salvation Army Kroc Center complex in the Rolando area bordering La Mesa, offers a wide variety of programs, including a popular day camp, wellness center, recreation pool, education center, gymnasium, ice arena and on-site church.

East County high school cross country teams dominated the field in last Friday’s 44th annual South Bay Invitational at Chula Vista’s Rohr Park by capturing two division team championships and recording four individual division champions. 

Nearly 1,100 runners from throughout the San Diego Section competed in five divisional races.

Helix High School graduate Alex Smith continued to excel in the early going of the 2017 NFL season after leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-20 victory against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Smith took a pounding after being sacked four times by the Philadelphia defense but came through with an inspired performance in the second half by leading the Chiefs to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.

His 15-yard shovel pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 6:25 left in the game put the Chiefs in front 20-13.

The San Diego State University football team recorded one of its most meaningful wins in program history when the Aztecs defeated the 19th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 20-17, last Saturday, Sept. 16, at San Diego Stadium.

The win allowed SDSU (3-0) to jump into the No. 22 position in the latest Associated Press poll.

Prior to defeating Stanford, SDSU recorded an equally mesmerizing 30-20 win at Arizona State on Sept. 9.

Aztec head coach Rocky Long remained predictably modest after the groundbreaking win over the Cardinal.

The Valhalla High School cross country team is high stepping it after winning three division championships and placing runner-up in another at last Friday’s 23rd annual Mustang Invitational at Chula Vista’s Rohr Park.

The Norsemen swept titles in the boys and girls varsity Silver Division and also won the boys junior varsity Silver Division title. For good measure, the East County team finished runner-up in the girls JV Silver Division team standings.

Though the Chargers have departed San Diego for supposedly greener pastures in Los Angeles, Helix High School graduate Alex Smith continues to keep America’s Finest City in the NFL spotlight after leading the league with 368 passing yards in last week’s round of season opening games.

Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs earned the spotlight in Week 1 with their 42-27 defeat of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots Sept. 7 in Foxboro, Mass. 

The UC Davis football team lists two East County high school alumni on its roster: senior receiver Ryan Green from Grossmont High School and freshman defensive back Evan Perkins from Helix High School.