East County Sports

No. 3 Highlanders open to improvement





Last season: 5-5 (lost San Diego CIF Division I championship game to St. Augustine, 21-20) / 3-1 Grossmont Hills League (T-1st)


Head coach: ROBBIE OWENS (4th, year)


2018: Helix got off to a rare 1-3 start but played elite teams, including a prolific Cajon High team and section rival Cathedral Catholic. Steele Canyon upset the Highlanders on the final night of the regular season, causing a three-way tie for the title. After defeating St. Augustine by three touchdowns in the regular season, the Saints avenged the loss in the section final, as Helix mishandled the snap on a deciding two-point conversion attempt. The Highlanders’ ELELYON NOA was a first-team all-section running back, while DELSHAWN TRAYLOR was a first-team all-section defensive back. Both return for their senior year.


OUTLOOK: The Highlanders are expected to be right in the mix for an Open Division playoff berth, ranked third in the section in the preseason by both the media and the computer rankings. Noa runs behind an impressive offensive line, led by 350-pounder LEANDRE RAYLE. Traylor is a two-star QB recruit heading to Army but will share time at quarterback with KAMRYN BROWN, a scout-team signal-caller who has stepped into the second quarterback role, which Owens uses to give Traylor his breaks. Scottie receivers often go overlooked because the volume isn’t needed and the passes are usually spread around. Receiver TIM CHRISTOPHER is sure to get looks at the college level, while newcomer KEIONTE SCOTT, a transfer from Las Vegas, was very impressive in camp.


SCHEDULE: The schedule is – in a word – ridiculous. The Cajon Cowboys come to La Mesa this time for the season but not with three of the top players in the entire nation, like the matchup last season in San Bernardino. The following week, Helix hosts another out-of-section opponent, getting together once again with Herriman (Utah). After meeting the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the section in successive weeks, the Scotties welcome state eighth-ranked Oaks Christian to Hart Stadium. Then it’s time for the Grossmont Hills League schedule, rated the third-toughest circuit in the county, as Helix meets two of the top three other contenders on the road.


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