Recruiting in the CIF-San Diego Section has been as much interesting as it has been widespread.
Among the headliners on the boys basketball front is 6-foot-3 senior shooting guard Norman Powell
, who helped lead Lincoln (San Diego)
to the CIF state Division II basketball title last winter. Powell has verbally committed to UCLA.
Another local nugget with his plans in hand is 6-3 Torrey Pines (San Diego)
guard Nick Kerr
, son of former Phoenix Suns' general manager and NBA standout Steve Kerr. The younger Kerr has cast his future with the University of San Diego.
Also notable on the CIF-SDS basketball commitment list is Parker (San Diego)
6-foot-8 power forward Eric Norman
, who says he will play his college ball at SMU.
The early signing period according to NCAA guidelines is Feb. 2.LA COSTA CANYON POST, MOUNT MIGUEL DUO TOP GIRLS RECRUITS La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)
6-foot-4 senior center Madisen Irwin has committed to the University of San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Mount Miguel (Spring Valley)
standout Danielle Miller is headed for UNLV, while her teammate and Matadors point guard Myishia Watkins has committed to Grand Canyon University. EL CAPITAN PITCHER CONYERS COMMITS TO STANFORD El Capitan (Lakeside)
junior pitcher-first baseman Troy Conyers
has verbally committed to Stanford University. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound left-hander, who was the closer for the Team USA's U16 COPABE Pan-Am AA championship team last month, said playing ball for the Cardinal has always been his goal.
"It's a dream school for the serious student-athlete," Conyers said. "I've wanted to go there since my freshman year." Arizona State, Arizona, USC, USD and San Diego State were among the others expressing interest in Conyers. GRIZZLIES VANQUISH TOP-RANKED VISTA
There is no security in being ranked No. 1. Just ask the Vista
Panthers, who dodged an upset bullet last week but were dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten when Mission Hills (San Marcos)
junior kicker Gio Garcia booted a 32-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining, sending the Panthers to a 31-28 defeat. Talk about clutch . . . Garcia's knockout boot was his first attempted kick of the season.
"Kickers are kickers. They're in their own world, so I didn't know what to expect," Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser told The North County Times. "But Gio jogged out there and did his job."SANTANA LINEBACKER GOES ON RARE SCORING BINGE
Just scoring a touchdown is a landmark achievement for most players on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. To score 14 points – two touchdowns and a safety in a single game – is all but unheard of. Records for such are obscure to say the least.Santana (Santee)
linebacker Jonathan Butler
, a 5-foot-9, 191-pound senior, generated 14 points in the Sultans' 23-8 win over Monte Vista. Butler recovered a punt snap in the end zone for a touchdown, later tackled the punter in the end zone for a safety and then returned a fumble 35 yards for a score.OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
— Grossmont (El Cajon)
senior quarterback DeSean Waters, a converted running back, accounted for 297 yards, two rushing touchdowns and one passing score in the Foothillers' win over Granite Hills. The rest of the team generated 76 yards and turned the ball over four times.
— Sophomore Tyree Robinson
of Lincoln (San Diego)
reeled in touchdown passes of 70 and 35 yards from Ta'jon Mondy as Lincoln stunned St. Augustine 27-3 in an Eastern League upset.
— Southwest (El Centro)
upset Brawley 32-27, creating a four-team logjam at the top of Imperial Valley League standings. It was the Eagles' first win over Brawley in 12 years.
— Tyrone Sauls
of Christian (El Cajon)
rushed for 155 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries in a 45-35 loss to Santa Fe Christian. Sauls finished with 208 all-purpose yards.
— Torrey Pines (San Diego)
senior quarterback John Cabot
connected on eight of 11 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Falcons overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat Ramona 45-21.
— Castle Park (Chula Vista)
senior Paul Sierra
scored four touchdowns on runs of 8, 60, 9 and 26 yards in the Trojans' 41-36 triumph over Sweetwater.
— Senior running back Tyler Gomogda
of Rancho Bernardo (San Diego)
rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in the Broncos' 41-13 victory over Westview.
— Although only 5-foot-6, 138 pounds, Escondido Charter
senior Conrad Epps
proved his might, bolting for 204 yards and one score on 17 carries against Calipatria.COMING ATTRACTIONS
It's showdown time in several leagues as two games remain in the CIF-SDS regular season. Surprising Bishop's (La Jolla)
(8-0, 2-0) tackles Horizon (San Diego)
(5-2, 2-0) for the Coastal League crown at Del Norte High, while Mount Miguel (Spring Valley)
(7-1, 2-0) – in need of a win to capture its first league flag since 1987 – hosts slow-starting El Capitan (Lakeside)
(4-4, 3-0).DICKENS' DEALINGS
Albeit the 67th annual Bell Game is still more than a week away, the Brawley
side's reserved section was sold out by Nov. 1. The game is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 – the final night of the regular season – at Warne Field in Brawley.
California's Imperial Valley Bell Game is much like Texas football. This rivalry, which began in 1921, matches Central (El Centro)
and the Wildcats of Brawley. It is commonplace for 8,000 fans to be in the stands an hour before game time. Then, by game time, they're lining the fences four deep.
There really is a bell – a perpetual trophy – that was cast more than three decades ago.
There have been 154 games (through 2009) between these two schools – reportedly the largest number of consecutive contests in the nation. The rivals played twice per season until that format was discontinued in 2004.
Games of this magnitude command pageantry to match the tradition. No matter what the stakes might be – this year's winner will likely capture the Imperial Valley League title – the annual confrontation between these longtime rivals is more than just one of those neighborhood jousts that provide the conquerer with a year's worth of bragging rights.
It's a big deal for the players, alumni, students and the community.