The fall 2021 CIF San Diego Section high school football season kicks off on Friday, and there are multiple storylines to follow. From new coaches to a new playoff format to players and teams to watch, here’s everything you need to know about San Diego Section football heading into the season.
(Lead photo by Josh DaFoe)
NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT
The San Diego Section Football Advisory committee voted to use the CIF Power Rankings system to seed the teams this postseason. The chart below illustrates how teams will collect points throughout the season. The number of “power ranking” points achieved is then divided by the amount of games played to create an average.
Here are the seven reigning CIF San Diego Section football champions from 2019.
- 2019 Open Division champion: Helix
- 2019 Division 1 champion: Oceanside
- 2019 Division 2 champion: El Camino
- 2019 Division 3 champion: La Jolla
- 2019 Division 4 champion: Serra
- 2019 Division 5 champion: Francis Parker
- 2019 Division 6 (8-man) champion: Foothills Christian
TOP 10 TEAMS
SBLive’s preseason San Diego Section Top 10 was released on Monday, Aug. 16. Cathedral Catholic enters the year at No. 1.
Five other teams to watch: Helix, Poway, Steele Canyon, Otay Ranch, La Costa Canyon
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Neil Breight is the new head coach at Tri-City Christian after previously serving as the offensive coordinator at St. Augustine.
Former NFL linebacker Stephen Cooper has taken over as the head coach at Francis Parker School.
Paul Lawrence was named the head coach at University City,
Chris Holmes takes over as the head coach at Grossmont after previously coaching at Granite Hills.
Mt. Carmel hired Drew Westling as head coach after previous stops at Hilltop and Eastlake.
Jimmy Clark was named head coach at Olympian. He was previously an assistant at Chula Vista.
Mitch Donnelly was promoted to head coach at Westview after the resignation of Jason French.
Orange Glen hired assistant coach Tito Smith as head coach following Jason Patterson’s resignation.
Charles Bussey is the new head coach at Valhalla after previously coaching at La Jolla.
Brandon Harris is the new head coach at Canyon Hills. He previously coached in Arizona.
TOP REGULAR SEASON GAMES
Aug. 20: St. Augustine vs. El Camino
Aug. 20: Eastlake vs. Steele Canyon
Aug. 27: Cathedral Catholic vs. Corona Centennial
Aug. 27: Ramona vs. Rancho Bernardo
Aug. 27: Lincoln vs. Los Alamitos
Aug. 27: Eastlake vs. Poway
Aug. 27: Torrey Pines vs. San Clemente
Sep. 3: Helix vs. Mater Dei Catholic
Sep. 3: Lincoln vs. Mission Hills
Sep. 3: St. Augustine vs. Santa Margarita
Sep. 3: Steele Canyon vs. San Marcos
Sep. 10: El Camino vs. Carlsbad
Sep. 17: La Jolla vs. Mater Dei Catholic
Sep. 17: St. Augustine vs. Helix
Sep. 17: Carlsbad vs. Mission Hills
Sep. 17: Cathedral Catholic vs. De La Salle
Sep. 24: Helix vs. Servite
Sep. 24: St. Augustine vs. Mater Dei Catholic
Oct. 1: St. Augustine vs. Lincoln
Oct. 1: Torrey Pines vs. Carlsbad
Oct. 8: Otay Ranch vs. Mater Dei Catholic
Oct. 8: Helix vs. Mission Viejo
Oct. 8: Torrey Pines vs. El Camino
Oct. 8: Lincoln vs. La Jolla
Oct. 15: Eastlake vs. Mater Dei Catholic
Oct. 15: Granite Hills vs. Grossmont
Oct. 15: St. Augustine vs. Cathedral Catholic
Oct. 22: El Camino vs. Mission Hills
Oct. 29: La Costa Canyon vs. Torrey Pines
Oct. 29: Poway vs. Rancho Bernardo
Oct. 29: Lincoln vs. Cathedral Catholic