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Articles by Phillip Brents

The Santana High School football team was making its first appearance in the San Diego Section football championships since 2011 and expectations were high, especially after the third-seeded Sultans roared to leads of 7-0 and 14-7 in the first quarter.

But the fourth-seeded La Jolla County Day Torreys and their record-setting quarterback Braxton Burmeister had other ideas as they rallied with 24 unanswered points to defeat the Sultans, 35-24, last Friday at Southwestern College’s DeVore Stadium.

The San Diego Section will hold its divisional football championship games this weekend at Southwestern College’s DeVore Stadium in Chula Vista. Among the 10 teams vying for titles are three East County squads: the Helix Highlanders (Open Division), Christian Patriots (Division III) and Santana Sultans (Division IV).

Third-seeded Santana (8-4) will take on the fifth-seeded La Jolla Country Day Torreys (10-3) and record-setting quarterback Braxton Burmeister on Friday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m.

Helix High School alum Alex Smith’s stock had to rise considerably with the NFL Kansas City Chiefs following the Chiefs’ dramatic 30-27 overtime victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in a key AFC West contest on NBC-TV’s national broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” on Nov. 27.

The win kept Kansas City (8-3) within one game of the division-leading Oakland Raiders (9-2) and promoted the Chiefs to the No. 1 wild card slot among AFC teams. Denver fell to 7-4 in the AFC West standings.

It’s a race that high school cross-country runners have penciled on their calendars months in advance. Last Saturday’s San Diego Section championships at Morley Field did not disappoint for a number of elite East County runners who will now be making the trek to this weekend’s state championship meet in Fresno.

The El Capitan High School girls volleyball team finished its 2016 season Saturday, Nov. 19, two rounds deep into the Southern California regional playoffs. The Lady Vaqueros finished the season with a 25-5 overall record and San Diego Section Division III championship.

Two weeks after returning from a concussion, Helix High School alumnus Alex Smith helped guide the visiting Kansas City Chiefs to a last-second 20-17 victory against the 2016 Super Bowl finalist Carolina Panthers in a National Football League non-conference game on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The win raised the Chiefs' record to 7-2 on the season and a tie atop the AFC West standings with the idle Oakland Raiders.

San Diego State University’s football team thumped the University of Hawaii, 55-0, in the Aztecs'; annual homecoming game Nov. 5 in front of 41,644 fans at Qualcomm Stadium to officially clinch a berth in the Mountain West conference’s upcoming championship game. It marks the second consecutive year the Aztecs will make an appearance in the conference championship game after defeating Air Force to win last year’s MW title game.

The San Diego Sockers improved their early season record to 2-0 thanks in part to the timely goalscoring of the team’s East County iron man, midfielder Anthony Medina. The Valhalla High School alumnus scored two fourth quarter goals to lift the Sockers to an 8-4 victory against the Dallas Sidekicks in a game played Nov. 5 at the Valley View Casino Center and, in the process, keep the team’s record unblemished on the season.

With a 7-1 start to the season, the San Diego State University football team is treading on history. The Aztecs are off to their best start since the 1977 season when the team finished with a 10-1 record playing as an independent.

That 1977 team remains the only team in school history to end the season included in the Division I national rankings – 16th in the AP poll and 19th in the UPI poll.

Attacking midfielder Anthony Medina has earned accolades as the iron man of the San Diego Sockers. He celebrated his return to the team by scoring a pair of goals in a 12-1 Major Arena Soccer League victory against the Turlock Express on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Valley View Casino Center.

One of the original members of the Sockers’ revival squad in 2008, the Valhalla High School alumnus is entering his eighth season with the team.