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GROSSMONT 3-A LEAGUE : Grossmont Set to Test Helix’s Skill

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Fact: Grossmont moves up to 3-A this year, having swapped places with El Capitan.

Question: Can the Foothillers play with the big boys?

Answer: The Foothillers are the big boys. No team in either league is as huge.

Fact: Helix outscored its opponents, 263-23, in 1990.

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Question: Can Helix duplicate that feat?

Answer: No. But it might increase the margin. No team can match its so-called skill personnel.

Fact: Helix plays at Grossmont Oct. 28.

THE RACE Top contenders: Helix (9-2 in 1990), Grossmont (6-3-1).

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Could surprise: Mt. Miguel (6-5).

Hoping for improvement: Granite Hills (4-7), Monte Vista (1-9).

Other game of the year: Grossmont at Mt. Miguel, Nov. 8. Should Grossmont “upset” Helix in the game, the Foothillers would still have to get by Mt. Miguel.

THE PLAYERS The Man: Gregg Wilbur, the latest in a long list of standout quarterbacks at Helix, figures to be the one to watch this year. The reason: “Strong arm, second year experience in our system, and he’s a real competitor,” said Coach Jim Arnaiz, who has also tutored Jim Plum, Jeff Hammerschmidt and Rob Ippolito over the years.

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Who will fill Gary Walton’s and Brandon Sanders’ shoes? Walton, a defensive end, and Sanders, a cornerback, were primary reasons for Helix’s six shutouts in 1990. Both received scholarships; Walton to UCLA, Sanders to Arizona. Johnna Schrock, Ponci Ramirez and T.C. Carter will attempt to soften the loss of Walton, and Keith Harrison, Andreal Climon, Phil Giordano and Ed Messina will start in the secondary. “We won’t be able to replace a guy like Gary Walton,” Arnaiz said, “but I like our secondary.”

Others to watch on offense: Earl Bryers, a three-year starter and the league’s 1990 co-player of the year, needs only 111 yards to become Mt. Miguel’s all-time leading rusher. He was fifth in the county last year with 1,243 yards. Grossmont running back Jason Eskridge, a three-year starter, gained 954 yards in 6 1/2 games and will have Ken Loncar (6-6, 275), Jason Palmer (6-5, 250), Brian Hewitt (6-2, 245) and Aaron Bolin (6-3, 230) to block for him. At Helix, linemen T.C. Carter and Eric Moe will help give receivers Climon, Kenny Carter, Adam Bright and Chris Baker time to break free.

Other to watch on defense: Grossmont junior nose guard Mike Sangiorgi is 5-10, 220, and he bench presses over 400 pounds. In track, he throws the shot and runs the 100-meter dash. Also, the league is loaded with good linebackers: Matt Friend and John Avalos at Helix; Matt Jones and Peter Wilson at Grossmont; Beasher Randel and Robert Crayton at Mt. Miguel; Tim Howe and Robert Adside at Monte Vista; and Jamy Reynoldson and Pat Bowers at Granite Hills.

THE INTANGIBLES

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QB Reunion: Every team has its starting quarterback back, sort of. Wilbur, Tom Karlo (Grossmont), Jim Rodgers (Mt. Miguel), Tom Fordham (Granite Hills) and Howard Williams (Monte Vista) are all returning. Williams, however, will play linebacker, giving way to John Acosta, a junior. Acosta also is the Monarchs’ kicker and made a 43-yard field goal Aug. 31 in 28-9 loss in Hawaii.


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