Granted, it’s still early in the stretch run for basketball commitments, but the pursuit for Hoover High 6-foot-9 senior junior Angelo Chol continues at a fever pitch.
Leading contenders for high school basketball’s premier shot blocker include Alabama, Arizona State, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
"Every school has offered a scholarship at this point except for North Carolina," said Hoover High coach Ollie Goulston. "Every head coach has been out to see Angelo, with the exception of (UNC) coach (Roy) Williams, who is working on arranging to come out this winter."
Chol does not have a favorite at this point and will not commit prior to the fall or spring of his senior year after he takes his official visits. He will take this winter to watch and evaluate all the schools on his list and their individual situations.
"We are currently working on arranging unofficial visits throughout the year," Goulston said.
Cross country: Rancho Bernardo junior is solid gold
Molly Grabill won the individual sweepstakes race of the 62nd running of the Mt. SAC Invitational in a time of 16 minutes, 41 seconds. That is the sixth-fastest clocking on the 2.9-mile course.
Grabill left the field in her wake, including Jessica Ton of Xavier College Prep (Ariz.), a three-time FootLocker National finalist. Grabill and Ton pushed each other through a 5:16 first mile, but by the top of Reservoir Hill, the third major incline on the rugged course, Grabill was riding a 15-second advantage.
"You think of big races and you think of state (championships), you think of Mt. SAC," Grabill told The North County Times.
Football: Granite Hills glad to see Hunter go away
Don't fault the Granite Hills defense for planning a graduation party for Mount Miguel senior running back Derall Hunter. They want him to leave town.
In the last two years, the Eagles have watched Hunter score 62 points against them, including 24 in Friday night's Mount Miguel homecoming 38-21 victory.
It was worse a year ago for the Eagles when Hunter tallied 38 points. The two-year breakdown is 10 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion.
"He's torn us apart in the last two years," said Eagles coach Randy DeWitt. "I've never seen him run backwards. He just keeps coming."
'Darth' Vader helps Knights snap lengthy league losing streak
Quarterback Sebastian "Darth" Vader scored two touchdowns, while the Knights defense collected six sacks and two interceptions as San Marcos broke a 25-game league losing streak with a 31-17 nod over Westview.
Running back Royce Barber (118 yards on eight carries) and Vader (84 yards on 12 carries) led the San Marcos attack that saw seven different ball carriers team up for 334 yards on the ground.
New life at Oak Park
After missing the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons last year, the Oak Park Eagles scored 21 unanswered points in the second half and took a giant step toward postseason play with a 31-14 victory over Santa Clara in a Tri-Valley League game at Hueneme High.
Other top performances
— USC-bound Dillon Baxter of Mission Bay rushed for 314 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries as the Buccaneers buried Hoover 48-14. He also threw a pair of touchdown passes.
— Mira Mesa senior tailback Damien Williams proved to be a workhorse for the Marauders with 265 yards on 32 rushes against Cathedral Catholic.
— Escondido’s Ricky Seale rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries against Fallbrook.
— El Capitan stalwarts James Gallivan and Dominic Prouty have combined for 13 interceptions in eight games for the Vaqueros.
— Senior linebacker Sam Zimmer of Cathedral Catholic logged 18 tackles against Mira Mesa.
— Coronado scored 42 points in the first quarter, led by Kodie Englehart's three touchdowns, in a 70-0 rout over Crawford.
— Ernie Hicks of Otay Ranch scored four TDs against Hilltop.
— La Costa Canyon (7-0) travels to Escondido (6-0-1) in a battle of two of the San Diego CIF aces. Another noteworthy game pits Spring Valley Mount Miguel (5-2) at Steele Canyon (5-2) in a game that could displace perennial power Helix as the Grossmont South League champion.
The 'Wildcat' formation is the latest fad in high school and college football. It's really nothing fancy or all that tricky. Bottom line is it's a direct-snap version of a double-wing offense that goes directly to a running back, who then has to decide whether to throw the ball or run.
But wow, the hoopla. Just the mention of the word 'wildcat,' and fans regard it as something special. That's OK. Anything that titillates fans is a bonus. There has been much conjecture about the origins of the Wildcat offensive scheme. NFL Quarterback Michael Vick has claimed to be "the originator" of the Wildcat offense. However, some claim it is named for the Wildcats of West Genesee High School, where Miami Dolphins assistant coach Steve Bush once worked.
Others claim that the offense was created by double-wing guru Hugh Wyatt, a longtime coach in the Pacific Northwest. Wyatt, coaching the La Center (Wash.) High School Wildcats, published an article in Scholastic Coach magazine in 1998, where he explained in detail his offensive system.
Many other high school football programs across the United States run or have in the past run similar schemes. Many also give credit to University of Florida coach Urban Meyer for creating the original concept of the spread formation, which would later become the Wildcat formation.
Just how effective this "new" fad technique can be is probably overrated in my opinion. Defenses simply aren't that dumb.
Bill Dickens, a sportswriter in the San Diego area for 41 years, is a lifetime member of the Major League Baseball Writers Association. He has also been a beat reporter covering the San Diego Chargers, the San Diego Padres as well as covering San Diego State sports and high school athletics. Dickens can be reached at email@example.com.