El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Phillip Brents

The Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League will host San Diego HockeyFest on Feb. 22 at the Valley View Casino Center to celebrate the return of professional hockey to the San Diego region.

The Ducks are one of five NHL franchises that have relocated their AAA development clubs to the West Coast to form a new Pacific Division in the American Hockey League.

The Ducks join the Los Angeles Kings (Ontario), San Jose Sharks (San Jose), Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield) and Calgary Flames (Stockton) to plant AHL franchises in California.

The 2014-15 high school wrestling season is winding down toward the division, section and state championship tournaments. Several East County mat men and women look to be contenders to qualify for this year’s state finals.

Upcoming is this weekend’s annual two-day tournament in Holtville.  El Capitan and Valhalla are among the 29 teams slated to compete.

Twenty-six schools attended the annual Monte Vista Invitational on Jan. 17 in Spring Valley. The Grossmont Conference was well represented with eight teams.

The Tron Hosers will make their 2014-15 American Inline Hockey League debut on Sunday, Jan. 25, with an eight-game marathon match-up against Orange County’s Revision Vanquish at the Skate San Diego rink in El Cajon.

The action is scheduled to face off at 9 a.m. and conclude with games at 4:30 p.m.

Six teams will actually be in action representing the two Pacific South Division rivals, including three from each club.

Despite the Aztecs’ loss to Navy in the 10th annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23, it was still a memorable season on Montezuma Mesa for the San Diego State University football team.

The Aztecs made their fifth consecutive bowl game appearance, a school record. SDSU also tied Fresno State for the top spot in the Mountain West Conference’s West Division standings.

The West Hills High School roller hockey team can trace its history back 17 years. The Wolf Pack has been a member of the CIF-Metro Conference since the 2005-06 season. Prior to that, West Hills competed as a club team in other leagues.

The Wolf Pack held its annual alumni challenge Dec. 27 at the Skate San Diego rink in El Cajon. The competition featured alumni and current varsity players.

With such a strong military presence in San Diego County, it seemed as if both the Navy Midshipmen and SDSU Aztecs shared equal billing as “home” teams in the 10th annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 23 at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Rams (8-5) used Southwestern College’s refurbished DeVore Stadium as a training site for the bowl game to further local ties to the team.

The 14th annual Bud Harbin Battle by the Beach wrestling tournament faced off the 2014-15 high school wrestling season for four Grossmont Conference teams Dec. 6 at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. The Grossmont Foothillers led the East County contingent with a second-place team finish in the 19-team field.

The Foothillers had five wrestlers who finished third or higher in the tournament, including four finalists, and had seven wrestlers who placed fifth or higher.

Overall, it was a good showing by Grossmont Conference teams at this year’s 96-team Barons Girls Soccer Tournament. The Valhalla Norsemen captured a runner-up finish in the top-rung Open/Premier Division bracket following a 1-0 loss to the Scripps Ranch Falcons in finals played Dec. 13 at Eastlake High School.

The tournament, now in its 34th year, is the largest and longest-running high school girls’ soccer tournament in the state.

The San Diego Section football playoffs have been scheduled at Southwestern College’s renovated DeVore Stadium this year, and East County teams have taken the spotlight.

The six-game championship series kicked off Nov. 28 with the fifth-seeded La Jolla Country Day Torreys defeating the second-seeded Vincent Memorial Scots, 42-0, to capture the Division V championship.

The final five title games are scheduled this weekend, with three featuring an East County team vying for a division championship.

Despite Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, Helix High School alumnus Alex Smith and his Kansas City Chiefs teammates are still trying to find their rhythm in the 2014-15 NFL season.

Smith, the former Highlander star and highly decorated University of Utah quarterback, led Kansas City to an amazing 9-0 start last season and an even more stunning 38-10 lead in the AFC wildcard playoff game against the powerful Indianapolis Colts and their star quarterback Andrew Luck.