East County Sports

Matadors’ second title took 60 years

CIF San Diego Section Championships


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior Writer

CHULA VISTA — Coming off the school’s second CIF San Diego Section football championship in its 63-year history, the first title run by Mount Miguel High may be as interesting as any East County school.

The first noteworthy historical note: the Matadors are the lone East County programs to post winning seasons in their first years. Generating an above .500 record in Year One is usually impossible. Yet, Tom Welbaum, the program’s initial head coach, went 5-3 overall all three seasons (plus a tie in Year Three) — still considered a remarkable feat.

Year Four found Harry Johnston taking over the reins, but there were other changes. Most San Diego County schools split off from the CIF Southern Section to create the CIF San Diego Section, operating its own set of championships.

At least two schools- Fallbrook and Mountain Empire- remained in the Southern Section. Plus, the Grossmont Conference was a year away from being established, so Grossmont District schools remained the Metropolitan Conference.

The Metro was split into two divisions, but any chance for Mount Miguel to advance to postseason play was seemingly eliminated early, In the South Division opener, the Matadors were upset by Chula Vista, 19-18, for the lone victory of the season by the Spartans.

However, Mount Miguel bounced back with wins against Sweetwater, Helix, and Grossmont, forging a tie for first place. Based on tie-breakers of the day, a 6-0 triumph over Helix gave the Matadors the division crown and playoff berth in Division AA; Helix still advanced in Division AAA.

Helix met Point Loma in a semifinal contest held at Aztec Bowl, with the teams ending in a 6-6 draw. Again, based on tie-breaking procedures of the day, the Pointers gained a berth to the final but fell to Escondido.

Meanwhile, Mount Miguel hosted its semifinal against La Jolla, edging the Vikings, 7-6, when the Vikings failed on a late two-point conversion attempt.

A week later, Mount Miguel blasted host Vista, 40-13, to complete the season with an 8-2 record; the school’s 4-year composite mark rose to 23-11-1 (.671).

Other notes: the Matadors’ first two seasons were played at Helix High in 1957-58… the program was rising so fast, that scheduling non-league opponents became difficult, so Mount Miguel played road contests at Oxnard and Yuma (Ariz.).

In Year Three (1959), the first-ever on-campus home game came in Week 2: an 18-7 setback to Chula Vista.

Thus, it took 60-plus years, yet the Matadors finally gained revenge on the Spartans.

Series: With two victories this season, Mount Miguel takes the all-time lead in head-to-head meetings, 7-6. Earlier this season, the Matadors won, 49-0, thus, scored 84 consecutive points before yielding a pair of cosmetic, fourth-quarter touchdowns in Friday (Nov. 23) afternoon’s title contests, held at Devore Stadium at Southwestern College.

Chet Devore, the former president of the community college, was also the head football coach at Chula Vista HS from 1951-55 (before Mount Miguel opened in 1957).

1960 Metropolitan

Final Standings

Founded: CIF San Diego Section
Metro Conference

1960         League Overall
North Div.... W-L-T  W-L-T  PF  PA
Escondido.... 3-0-1  9-1-1 265  95
El Capitan... 3-0-1  4-3-1 162 130
Hilltop...... 1-3-0  4-5-0 122 163
ECVHS........ 1-3-0  1-7-0  92 202
Granite Hills 1-3-0  1-7-0  57 228

South Div.... W-L-T  W-L-T  PF  PA
Mount Miguel. 3-1-0  8-2-0 206 118
Helix........ 3-1-0  7-1-1 179 52
Grossmont.... 2-2-0  5-3-0 128 131
Sweetwater... 1-3-0  5-5-0 168 179
Chula Vista.. 1-3-0  1-8-0  82 171

CIFSDS Postseason Games
Point Loma 6, Helix 6, tie (at Aztec Bowl)
at Escondido 20, Point Loma 13
at Mount Miguel 7, La Jolla 6
Mount Mieguel 40, at Vista 13