East County Sports

Helix Softball hosts ‘St. Patrick’s Week’ celebration



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LA MESA — Already the lone green-clad program in the Grossmont Conference, the Helix Highlanders softball team will host a series of night games, by coincidence to be held around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Better, maybe it should be called St. Patrick’s Week?

“We are having more night games because people enjoy playing under the lights in a great facility,” said Damon Chase, the school’s athletics director, and vice-principal. “This isn’t a fundraiser, just a simple way to change things up a bit.”

While the balance of East County high schools elect to play at 4:30 p.m, the Highlanders have selected a series of three ballgames, all starting at 6 p.m.

The string of contests are on the following dates Sat., Mar. 19, vs. Olympian; Tue., Mar. 22, vs Escondido; and Thurs., Mar. 24, vs. Torrey Pines.

Scotties head coach Darren Emery is enthusiastic about the direction to a prime-time line-up.

“Teams enjoy playing under the lights, Emery noted. “We get requests for more and more night games every year.”

In the past, Helix home games at night have included a barbecue, with players and coaches from all Grossmont District welcomed to attend following the conclusion of their own games each scheduled day.

For many, hosting night games can leave many “green with envy.”

“These are not fundraisers or ‘special’ events,” the coach added, “But we appreciate getting coverage.”

In addition, starting after the typical 9-to-5 business day allows many parents who typically are unable to attend now can watch their child in action.

Along with the three selected contests to be played under the lights, Helix (7-3 overall) holds the possibility to host a tournament contest this Saturday (Mar. 12), with opponent and time to be announced depending on pool-play results.

Notes: Since restrictions on the pandemic are slowing, there has also been talk about the traditional Santee Series between West Hills and Santee high schools to return to a neutral site at SportsPlex in Santee. Foothills Christian, which plays its home contests next door at Town Center Community Park (the grounds for Santee ASA youth softball), could also be included.


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