East County Sports

Local Notebook: Patriots in the Pros

2022 LOCAL PROS

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON — A look around at professional athletes and coaches with roots in the East County, this time with a flavor slated towards Christian High School:

American Football

Danny Mitchell

Remember when the National Football League owned/operated NFL Europe?

In 2021, some of those ballclubs, and others, joined the new European League of (American) Football. Former NFL Europe squad Frankfurt Galaxy is the defending champion.

But look who’s in first place this season.

Elevated following four decades in the Austrian Football League (15 titles in 37 seasons), the Vienna Vikings are in front after capturing their first eight contests.

The Vikes’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach is Danny Mitchell, the former Christian High School football coach and athletics director.

This isn’t Mitchell’s first trip abroad, previously coached in Europe with the Osnabrück Tigers and the Carlstad Crusaders in Sweden. Mitchell turned the 2017 Crusaders into a scoring powerhouse, averaging 55 points per game.

He returned to America in 2018, In 2019, Mitchell coached at Bishop’s School in California, where his offense averaged 56.1 points per game. His then starting quarterback Tyler Buchner led the entire United States with 81 touchdowns and 6,084 yards in offense.

The Bishop’s were then coached by former Christian High standout quarterback Joel Allen, who won exactly 100 games with the Knights before moving on to Point Loma.

Mitchell took over the Christian program following the retirement of Matt Oliver, one of the CIF-San Diego Section’s all-time winningest coaches. Mitchell posted a pair of winning seasons, last season advancing to the CIFSDS playoffs before falling to top-seeded Mira Mesa — their Eastern League rival — in the Division 2 quarterfinals.

Danny Mitchell

Yes, the Vikings wear purple, gold and white uniforms, just like their NFL counterparts in Minnesota. We hope Mitchell enjoys schnitzel.

For what it’s worth, Mitchell’s family owns a German shepherd.

UPDATE: The unbeaten record of the Vienna Vikings is no more. The defending champion Frankfort Galaxy won, 42-8, in Germany on Sunday (Aug. 14).

Post-Mitchell

Patrick Bugg

With the resignation of Mitchell, the new Christian High football coach and director of athletics is Patrick Bugg, a member of the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Fame.

Bugg, an assistant with the Patriots last season, played for the Colonels from 2003-06, becoming a two-time All-America selection as a tight end.
Only six other EKU players have twice gained All-American status, thus, he was elected to the school’s Hall in 2019.
Following his graduation, Buff played Arena League football and was a member of the Spokane Shocks’ championship and runner-up teams in 2008 and 2009.
He also served as a second-class Petty Officer in the United States Navy, stationed in San Diego — thus starting his local ties to the community.

WNBA

DiJonai Carrington

DiJonai Carrington, daughter of Christian High girls basketball coach Vicki Carrington, has again reached the WNBA playoffs.

On Sunday (Aug. 14), the WNBA regular season concluded, with her Connecticut Sun downing the Minnesota Lynx, 90-83, to finish second in the East Division and. The Sun will be seeded third for the postseason.
Following a first-round series, anticipate meeting th East champion and second-seeded Chicago Sky in the semifinals. The top seed is the Las Vegas Aces.
Carrington, 24, played her college ball at Baylor, leading the Bears to the Elite 8 after becoming the Big 12 Sixth Woman of the Year. She later graduated from Stanford. Locally, she played for her mom at Horizon Christian.

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