El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Phillip Brents

Success at the San Diego Section track and field championship meet can be measured in two ways: high placement in the state qualifying heats and/or high placement on the divisional awards platform. East County student-athletes scored high marks in both areas at last Saturday’s finals at Mt. Carmel High School.

Granite Hills High School boys volleyball coach Pete Phillips likes the new competition-tiered structure of the San Diego Section playoffs. His Eagles have certainly performed admirably through the two opening rounds in the Division II field.

Fifth-seeded Granite Hills aced visiting 12th-seeded University City in three games in first-round play on May 12 and spiked host fourth-seeded Hilltop in four games Friday, May 15, in quarterfinal-round play.

The Steele Canyon High School track and field team displayed its scoring potential by winning both the boys and girls Blue Division team championships at this year’s Mustang/Phair Co. Relays held April 25 at Otay Ranch High School.

Steele Canyon won the boys team title with 107 points to out-distance runner-up Otay Ranch (86 points) and third place Eastlake (84 points); the Lady Cougars racked up 119 points to top the girls field ahead of runner-up Eastlake (100 points) and third place Otay Ranch (91 points).

The San Diego Section released its winter sports all-section teams March 28, followed by a winter sports recognition gala broadcast from the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum April 2 on KUSI-TV.

It was a star-studded 2014-15 winter sports campaign for several prominent East County student-athletes and teams, most notable among them Foothills Christian High School junior T.J. Leaf, who was named the San Diego Section boys’ basketball Player of the Year.

The Granite Hills High School boys’ lacrosse team predates the sport’s formation at the San Diego Section level. Perhaps then, it’s been no surprise that the Eagles have annually counted themselves among the top teams not only in the Grossmont Conference but in the section as well.

This year appears no different, according to head coach Spencer Sabin, a 1999 GHHS alumnus.

 The 2014-15 interscholastic term marks the second season for sports such as football, girls’ volleyball, boys and girls’ basketball, boys and girls’ soccer, and boys and girls’ lacrosse, and the third season for such sports as baseball and softball, that have employed a new competition-based scheme for post-season competition within the San Diego Section.

There’s just something about playoff hockey that doesn’t compare to regular season play. Teams that sputter throughout the season somehow turn it on when it matters most.

Such was the case with the West Hills High School roller hockey team in Tuesday’s opening round of the CIF-Metro Conference Kiwanis Cup championship playoffs. The Wolf Pack skated to a rather mediocre 3-15 record during regular season play in the midst of a proverbial rebuilding year.

When Steele Canyon High School wrestling coach Dan Kida required hospitalization for a medical condition over the Valentine’s Day weekend, his wrestlers responded in nothing less than championship form.

Specifically, team leaders J.R. Fischer and Colin Forman dedicated their performances at last Saturday’s San Diego Section Division II championship tournament at San Ysidro High School to their coach, who lay in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit at Grossmont Hospital.

San Diego Section wrestlers will embark on their first stop on the road to next month’s state championship tournament by competing in Saturday’s upcoming divisional finals.

A select number of wrestlers from each of four divisional tournaments will advance to the section’s two-day Masters state qualifying meet Feb. 27-28 at Southwest High School in El Centro.

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.