East County Sports

Play Ball! Early start for Pats, Vaqs



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LAKESIDE — The state office of the California Interscholastic Federation is attempting to avoid a problem/situation which occurs in collegiate spring sports: extending the spring sports season into the summer.

In NCAA action, the softball and baseball versions of the College World Series now extend beyond Memorial Day Weekend and into June. And with area private schools concluding the semester and the school year before the San Diego Sections began, many schools simply bow out participating in postseason participation.

If you’re a graduating senior, there is no longer a reason to miss one’s final opportunity to capture a CIF championship.

Starting this week, San Diego Section schools may open the season instead of the first week of March. That translates to the earliest ballgame in East County high school softball history when El Capitan entertains Christian on Monday (Feb. 14) at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to the record-early start — since the CIFSDS moved softball to a spring sport for the 1984 season; it used to be a winter sport — both the Vaqueros and Patriots have produced some of the best pitchers ever from the region, including three that eventually played professionally.

In the “early days” of CIF sanctioned girls athletics, the Dawson sisters — Sarah and Ruth — were dominant, setting untold records for victories and strikeouts while playing at Christian for their mother, head coach Roma Dawson.

In the debut season of WPSL in 1997, Sarah Dawson was both Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year for the Orlando Wahoos.

Meanwhile, the Vaqueros produced left-hander Delanie Gourley, who went on to win a pair of Women’s College World Series crowns for the University of Florida — she was the winning pitcher in the title game during her freshman year — before moving on the U,S. National Team and the USSSA Pride of the recently-folded National Pro Fastpitch.

Four games are on tap for Tuesday (Feb. 15), almost all with 3:30 p.m. first pitches.

Christian will play on back-to-back days by hosting Valley Center on-campus at Roma Dawson Field. The others are all road fixtures: 6-time titlist Mount Miguel travels to SD-Southwest; Patrick Henry (the first-ever CIFSDS champion in 1975) heads to Mater Dei Catholic; and in the lone 4 p.m. start, El Cajon Valley goes to Lincoln.

CIFSDS Team Champions
1978 – Mount Miguel (2A)
1979 – Mount Miguel (2A)
1980 – Mount Miguel (2A)
1984 – Santana (3A)
1985 – Mount Miguel (3A)
1986 – Christian (2A)
1987 – Monte Vista (3A)
1988 – Mountain Empire (1A)
1989 – Monte Vista (3A), Grossmont (2A); Mountain Empire (1A)
1990 – Santana (2A)
1994 – Christian (Div. IV)
1996 – Christian (Div. IV)
1997 – Mount Miguel (Div. II)
1999 – West Hills (Div. I)
2000 – Christian (Div. IV)
2002 – Christian (Div. IV)
2004 – Valhalla (Div. II), Santana (Div. III), Christian (Div. IV)
2006 – Steele Canyon (Div. III)
2007 – Steele Canyon (Div. III)
2008 – Granite Hills (Div. I), Santana (D. III)
2011 – Grossmont (Div. I); West Hills (D. II)
2012 – El Capitan (Div. III)
2013 – Santana (Div. III)
2014 – Mountain Empire (Div. V)
2016 – Grossmont (Div. III); Christian (Div. IV)
2017 – Santana (Div. II)l Christian (Div. III); Mounty Migue (Div. V)
2018 – Liberty Charter (Div. V)
1976 – Helix (2A)
1979 – Santana (2A)
1980 – Santana (2A)
1981 – Mount Miguel (2A)
1983 – Granite Hills (3A)
1984 – Granite Hills (3A)
1986 – Monte Vista (3A)
1987 – El Capitan (3A)
1988 – Mountain Empire (1A)
1989 – Mount Miguel (3A), Mountain Empire (1A)
1991 – Grossmont (2A)
1992 – Granite Hills (3A), Christian (2A)
1993 – Grossmont (3A), Christian (2A)
1995 – Grossmont (Div. II)
1996 – Mount Miguel (Div. II)
2000 – West Hills (Div. I)
2001 – Christian (Div. IV)
2002 – West Hills (Div. II)
2003 – Valhalla (Div. II), Christian (Div. IV)
2005 – Valhalla (Div. III), Christian (Div. IV)
2007 – Santana (Div. IV), Christian (Div. IV)
2009 – Steele Canyon (Div. II), Santana (Div. III), Christian (Div. IV)
2010 – West Hills (Div. II), Santana (Div. III), Christian (Div. IV)
2012 – Christian (Div. V)
2014 – Valhalla (Div. II)
2015 – Granite Hills (Div.II)
2016 – Patrick Henry (Div. I)
2017 – Patrick Henry (Div. I); Steele Canyon (Div. II); Foothills Christian (Div. V)
2018 – El Capitan (Div. III)
2019 – Mountain Empire (Div. V)
2021 – Helix (Div. II)


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