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Articles by Colin Grylls

One Friday night every year, the sidelines at Santana football games get packed as tight as the stands for the Mini Sultans Cheer Clinic.

This year, 89 kids ages three to 13 joined the cheerleaders for a week of practice that culminated in a halftime show during Santana’s game against Mar Vista.

Kelsie Kester, 13, said she has performed in plays before, but looking up at the packed stands at halftime was something else.

“I was nervous at first, but once you got into the feeling of cheering and having team spirit it was pretty fun,” Kester said.

Santana’s athletic trainers have had a busy season.

Already starting wide receiver Sean Iverson at quarterback, the Sultans lost a couple more players in their 27-13 loss against Mar Vista.

“We’ve got some guys dinged up,” head coach Tim Estes said. “We had a dislocated shoulder and a concussion tonight, and we’re hoping the dislocated shoulder will be OK.”

Foothills Christian fully embraces the pageantry of high school football.

Before its game against Hesperia Christian at Junior Seau Sports Complex last Friday, the Knights greeted the 8u Grossmont Warriors on the field. Each pee-wee player sprinted alongside a high schooler, touching a shiny steel helmet before lining up for the national anthem.

Nothing seemed unusual until Foothills Christian (3-1) and Hesperia Christian (3-0) each sent eight players onto the field for the kickoff.

One way or another, the matchup between the top two teams in Division III was going to end when Christian trotted out its offense to go for two in double overtime against No. 2 Monte Vista.

Patriots senior running back Javier Jimenez took a toss and ran around the right side of the line, diving into the endzone to seal the 22-21 win.

“I knew I had to get in there, there was no other way,” Jimenez said. “I wasn’t gonna stay short but I got in there, forced my way in there.”

Mount Miguel is not a favorite to win the Grossmont Valley League this year, but quarterback Jacob Laverdiere’s flash of brilliance shows they might be in consideration by the time he graduates in 2021.

Laverdiere torched Valhalla for 368 yards and four touchdowns in the Matadors’ 25-13 road win on Friday, Aug. 31.

“It’s a learning process for me,” Laverdiere said. “I’m so young I can learn so much.”

There was no fight, no pushing and no shoving after Christian senior punt returner Matt Armijo dove on a dropped punt and swallowed a late hit against El Capitan last Friday.

Instead of responding with closed fist, senior running back Alexander Gonzalez used his open hands to take a swing pass from senior quarterback Owen Easley 61 yards as time expired in the quarter, setting the Patriots up with first-and-goal on the Vaqueros’ 10-yard line.

Disco-patterned vests shimmered in the setting sun as Polyester Express taught the crowd how to do “The Hustle” at the ninth annual Concert at the Lakes on Friday, July 27, 2018.

Put on by the Rotary Club of Santee-Lakeside and the Santee Lakes Foundation, Rotary Club president Elana Levens-Craig said the concert is their biggest fundraiser of the year.

When Grossmont senior Tyler Parent stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the sixth inning of Friday’s CIF San Diego Section Division I baseball championship, a pair of young Madison fans standing on the deck above the Foothillers’ bullpen debated what would happen next.

“Just look at him,” said a boy who could not have been older than 12. “There’s no way he’s going to hit it.”

The other kid disagreed.

“No, he’s going to ground out to third to force a double play,” he said.

To be frank, Santana didn’t have a good regular season. The Sultans went 7-19 (4-8 Grossmont Hills) and were seeded 12 — out of 12 Division I teams — in the CIF San Diego Section Championships.

Now they’re one win away from playing in the final.

“We had it in us the whole time,” junior Brandon Glowacki said. “It was just a matter of finally coming together.”

Standing just outside the locker room at Victory Field in Indianapolis with slicked-back hair and a honeycomb-patterned tattoo running up his right arm, Steven Brault looks more like a rock star than a pitcher on the cusp of the big leagues.

That’s because he is.