The 2016 High School Varsity Football Season was a year of milestones for three local squads meriting recognition for their accomplishments.
Manzanita League sights
League Champs — Making it all the way to the San Diego Southern Section Division V Quarter Final Playoff as a number five seed, the Calipatria Hornets had to traverse Viking territory along the way and escape with a win —a feat which they had not tackled since 2009 behind the pads of Cedric Thompson and company.
On a chilly Friday November 4th, the Hornets swarmed into Holtville and lumped up the Vikings 36-7 to come away with their first ever Manzanita League Title.
Rising from ashes
Bounce-back playoff run — The Calexico Bull Dogs pulled off possibly the biggest turnaround season in their history this year.
In 2015 the program was unable to claim a single victory going 0-10. This season the Bulldogs jumped out of the kennel winning their first five non-conference games, immediately securing a spot in the postseason, and making a statement about this particular unit’s unique determination.
A volatile Imperial Valley League regular season battle tested the Bulldogs in preparation for the upcoming playoffs.
As a number seven seed matched up against the fifth seeded Palo Verde Yellow Jackets (who previously beat Calexico in the regular season 34-28), the road game appeared to be a long shot on paper.
Proving not to be a fluke, the Bulldogs ate up the Yellow Jackets 35-6 and catapulted themselves atop the record books being the first Calexico football team to ever reach a semi-final playoff.
One game away– The Southwest Eagles were the only local team to host playoff games this season and were the final standing Imperial Valley League playoff representative.
Going into the CIF Southern Section Division IV postseason as a number one seed, the Eagles had their sights locked in on the Championship and made it to within eight points of a CIF Div. IV title game appearance at City College in San Diego.
Winning in the quarterfinals and a semi-final appearance is feet which had never been accomplished by any other Eagle football squad before them.
Southwest’s explosive offense yielded them an average of 266.7 yards per game on the ground and 102.3 yards per game through the air which contributed to their 59 total touchdowns this season. On the other side of the ball the Eagle’s tormented offenses averaging 67.8 tackles per game, 15 sacks on the season, and 12 total interceptions.