Eight South County high school football teams won their season openers last Friday -- that's a significant number any way one chooses to look at it. South Bay pride was evident and more of it could be on display this coming weekend.
The winners were Castle Park, Eastlake, Hilltop, Mar Vista, Montgomery and Southwest from the larger enrollment Metro Conference and Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy and Ocean View Christian Academy among the area’s smaller enrollment schools.
Castle Park (Hans Graham), Hilltop (Cody Roelof), Calvary Christian (Gene Rheam) and Ocean View (Ron Lowenthal) all made their respective new coaches a winner in their first games.
Eastlake remains the only South County school ranked among the section’s top 10 teams, with the Titans moving up to No. 3 in the weekly San Diego Sportswriters/Sportscasters poll following their dramatic 24-21 victory over visiting Moorpark on a 41-yard field goal by Marcelo Urrutia with nine seconds to play.
Hilltop (33-10 over visiting University City), Montgomery (45-20 over host El Cajon Valley) and Calvary Christian (48-0 over visiting Irvine Crean Lutheran) all won by lopsided scores.
Mar Vista recorded a 32-20 win over visiting El Cajon Christian while Castle Park doubled the score — 28-14 — over visiting Kearny.
Southwest won its season opener for the first time in six years after edging host Anza Hamilton 25-18.
Meanwhile, Ocean View (formerly Midway Baptist) started a new era under its new name with a 10-6 victory over visiting St. Joseph.
The down side
Officially, the score was 8-6 or South County teams in last weekend’s season openers. Teams taking it on the chin included a young Chula Vista squad (40-0 loss to visiting La Costa Canyon), a young Sweetwater club (49-14 loss at San Juan Hills), a young San Ysidro team (38-13 loss to visiting Granite Hills) and a young Mater Dei Catholic unit (38-7 loss at Santa Fe Christian). All were not necessarily huge surprises.
Meanwhile, a promising Otay Ranch squad lost, 28-16, at Wildomar Elsinor while a Bonita Vista team that many consider a prime challenger for the Mesa League title dropped a 28-7 decision to a tough out-of-town opponent in Whittier La Serna.
The Olympian Eagles, a team looking to spread its wings even wider this season after advancing to last year’s Division IV quarterfinals, kicks off its 2010 season with a road match-up Friday at Granite Hills. Both teams use the same nickname.
For those expecting to catch last Friday’s Granite Hills-San Ysidro game at sundown, they were in for a surprise: the game was switched to a 3:30 p.m. start because the San Ysidro school no longer has lights at its stadium. Ditto for Otay Ranch.
A hazardous flaw was recently discovered in the light poles installed at both schools and they had to come down. The only trouble was that the company that originally installed them has since gone out of business.
San Ysidro is countering the problem by playing one of its remaining scheduled home games at a neutral site, another home game at 3:30 p.m. and its final two home games under portable lights.
Otay Ranch coach Anthony Lacsina said he was hoping his team could play under portable lights. Nothing has been announced yet, as the Mustangs play their opening three games of the season on the road