Monday, August 16, 2021

Prep Football: The top team in each city entering the 2021 season

Inspired by a recent CBS Sports article listing the top college football teams in each state, here are our top teams from each city in the San Diego Section that features more than one football program. Our list is based on recent head-to-head matchups and team success.

City (# of Teams) - School

Calexico (2) - Vincent Memorial Scots

Vincent Memorial ended its shortened spring 2021 season with a 40-0 rout over their inner-city rival Calexico Bulldogs. The Scots have won the last four games and hold a 4-2 lead in the series that started in 2004.

Carlsbad (3) - Carlsbad Lancers

The Lancers are not only running the city it was named after, but they have also been one of the top teams in the sections over the last three seasons with two straight Open Division berths and a 5-0 finish during the spring. While Carlsbad has won the last three games in the series, La Costa Canyon isn't too far behind and will have a shot to regain the crown on October 22nd.

Chula Vista (8) - Eastlake Titans

While Mater Dei Catholic enters the season with one of the most talented rosters in the county, the road to Chula Vista supremacy still runs through Eastlake, who is coming off their third straight Metro-Mesa League title. Otay Ranch is also a team to watch for following a successful run during the spring.

El Cajon (6) - Granite Hills Eagles

The defending Grossmont-Hills League champions ended one of their best seasons in team history as not only the top team in El Cajon but all of East County. With a full season ahead, the Eagles will be tasked with defending their city crown against Valhalla and Grossmont and a much as an anticipated rematch with Helix at the end of the regular season that could decide the league title.

El Centro (2) - Central Spartans

The Spartans have been the top team in the Imperial Valley for the last few seasons and have won their last two meetings over Southwest-El Centro. The Eagles enter the new campaign looking to earn their first winning season since 2017, the last time they beat Central.

Escondido (5) - San Pasqual Golden Eagles

San Pasqual is currently riding a 17-game winning streak against teams they share the city with, including 11 straight wins over Orange Glen and six straight wins over Escondido.

La Jolla (3) - Bishop's Knights

This may be a controversial pick due to La Jolla's success over the last two seasons, including a run to the state championship followed by a 5-0 finish this past spring. However, in four previous meetings, Bishop's have won all four, which is why we chose them instead of the worthy Vikings. Lucky for us, the two teams will battle it out this Friday in their first meeting since 2019, where the Knights came away with an 18-9 victory. While La Jolla Country Day isn't scheduled to face La Jolla, they will have an opportunity to end an eight-game losing streak over Bishop's later in the season.

Oceanside (2) - El Camino Wildcats

While Oceanside has won nine of the last ten matchups, the crown belongs to El Camino until the two teams meet again during the regular-season finale on October 29th. The spring season game was canceled, giving the Wildcats an extra year of bragging rights coming off a 28-24 win in their last meeting in 2019.

San Diego (27) - Cathedral Catholic Dons

Following a dominant spring, which ended with a 5-0 record and a total score of 223-14, the Dons enter the new campaign as not only the top team in America's Finest City but the entire San Diego Section. They were also ranked 24th in the nation by SB Live Sports. Lincoln, who was the last team from the city to defeat Cathedral, will have their shot when they meet in the regular-season finale for a matchup that could decide the Western League crown. Meanwhile, the Dons will open their schedule up the road when they face Del Mar Heights rival, Torrey Pines.

San Marcos (2) - Mission Hills Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have won the last two Discovery Bowls by a landslide, while San Marcos is seeking its first winning season since 2018.

Santee (2) - West Hills Wolfpack

The Wolfpack reclaimed the Mayor's Cup this past spring after knocking off previously undefeated Santana 20-7. West Hills has won the last seven of eight meetings in the series and will see their arch-rivals again on October 22nd.

Spring Valley (3) - Steele Canyon Cougars

The Cougars have never lost to Mount Miguel and have won seven of the previous eight meetings against Monte Vista, including a 27-18 victory in their previous matchup last spring. Steele Canyon isn't scheduled to face neither team this season.

Vista (3) - Vista Panthers

The Panthers won their last two meetings over Rancho Buena Vista by a combined score of 100-16 and will attempt to make it three straight on October 22nd.

Teams that have their city to themselves:

Blythe - Palo Verde Valley
Brawley - Brawley Wildcats
Calipatria - Calipatria Hornets
Coronado - Coronado Islanders
Fallbrook - Fallbrook Warriors
Holtville - Holtville Vikings
Imperial - Imperial Tigers
Imperial Beach - Mar Vista Mariners
La Mesa - Helix Highlanders
Lakeside - El Capitan Vaqueros
National City - Sweetwater Red Devils
Pine Valley - Mountain Empire 
Poway - Poway Titans
Ramona - Ramona Bulldogs
Solana Beach - Santa Fe Christian Eagles
Valley Center - Valley Center Jaguars

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