Football conference matches start, Helix rises to the top

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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.

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.

But it is Helix Charter High School that has risen to the top again. After a choppy preseason, which left Helix 4-2 going into Friday night’s match against Steele Canyon, the Highlanders revived their winning spirit and beat the Cougars, 42-0.

Helix welcomed a new head coach, Robbie Owens, following the resignation of Troy Starr at the end of last season. Starr resigned for non-football reasons after coaching at Helix for eight years, winning two CIF titles and one state bowl championship in the process. 

Owens, a Colorado native, is inheriting quite a football program. The Scotties brought home the section’s Open Division title last season in a stunning display of offensive prowess against St. Augustine, winning 44-30 in the packed venue at Devore Stadium at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. They went on to finish out this summer with a 34-1 record.

Standouts like wide receivers Rashad Scott and Scott Young, running back Ezekiel Noa and quarterback Carson Baker have shaped the team’s formidable offense this season. Friday’s homecoming game against the Cougars also saw tight end Jaylen Arnold step up, catching three touchdown passes from Baker. Scott caught a 65-yard pass, which he ran in for a touchdown and Young scored in the first quarter on a 19-yard pass from the Highlander’s sure-armed quarterback.

Helix sets itself apart from other quality programs with its history of excellence, said Owens.

“It’s the culture of the school and the tradition of Helix,” he said. “You have forty plus years of football and only one losing season. The school culture is just different from anywhere else I’ve been so when the kids are there, they want to be there whether it’s in the classroom or on the field.”

Owens said it is a tradition that reaches far and long.

“We’ve had guys like Reggie Bush and Alex Smith,” he said. “So these guys feel like they’re playing for something bigger than themselves. You have to have a great amount of pride to wear a Helix jersey.”

Helix plays at El Capitan on Friday, October 14, at 7 p.m.

Grossmont Valley League is lead by Granite Hills, who beat Santana on Friday, followed by Monte Vista, who won their first conference game against Mount Miguel. El Cajon Valley (5-1) lost to Chula Vista, 28-22. They play their first conference match this Friday against Mount Miguel.

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