East County Sports

Football: Postseason news, notes



Prep Football News & Notes

  • -Helix’s Jessee migrates to Big 10
  • Granite’s Benitez on CalHiSports Watch List
  • Matadors pair up for all-state consideration
  • Soemthin’ to Cheer about


From staff and wire reports

Helix senior quarterback Ryland Jessee

Jessee remains in Green

EAST LANDING, Mich. – One nice thing about the “portal” that NCAA athletes may utilize is to change schools and be immediately eligible. The same thing holds true for high school student-athletes after they signed their original Letter of Intent.

Taking the advantage of the situation id Helix High quarterback Ryland Jessee.

Instead of maintaining to play for Utah State of the Mountain West Conference, Jessee enjoyed the fruits of a stellar season with the Highlanders by gaining several more substantial offers, electing to change and play for the new coaching staff at Michigan State.

The announcement was first made on Spartan Nation, the official social media site of MSU Football — READ MORE HERE — declaring the prospect as one of the most surprising and pleasant signees

Jessee, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, is a 3-sport standout, plus he could remain at Michigan State as a defensive back or even an outside linebacker depending his his development.

Jessee threw for 5,599 career yards in completing 60.4 percent of his passes. His career-bets was for 303 yards against Grossmont as a junior, which led to the Utah State signing. But with great improvement and finishing just inches behind Granite Hills for a pair of GHL titles, schools from across the country inquired about the future Division I prospect.

Fantastic Frosh

Zach Benitez

STOCKTON – CalHiSports, recognized for more than 50 years as the leader in coverage of high school athletics in the Golden State, announced its list of 2023 freshman football players on the website’s Futures Forecast.

Topping the list on offense is Granite Hills quarterback Zach Benitez, who helped the Eagles estend their East County record winning streak to 21 games in capturing the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship.

Although Granite Hills (12-1 overall) eventually fell to Mission Viejo in the Southland
championship game f the CIF State playoffs, Benitez produced one of the performances by a frosh in Grossmont Conference and East County football history.

Benitex threw for 2,291 yards and 24 touchdowns, getting intercepted a mere four times on 176-of-275 passing (.640). His totals could’ve been higher except for several games which became blowout victories and a running clock was utilized.

The top single-game effort might be considered a 275-yard passing effort against Steele Canyon, when he also passed for a season-best 4 touchdowns. However, by pass percentage, it will be hard to beat an 88.9 percent effort (16-of-18) against Grossmont.

However, the bottom line is winning, as Benitex closed the season with victories over Helix for the Grossmont Hills League championship (44-43 in overtime) and Grossmont (to complete an undefeated regular season), then a pair of 1-point CIFSDS playoff triumphs over Carlsbad (46-45 in OT) and Lincln (27-26).

Read the complete article on CalHiSports HERE.

Matadors pair among state finalists

Matthew Barton, quarterback, Mount Miguel

SPRING VALLEY – Mount Miguel High has learned that two members of its Grossmont Valley League champion football team has been named for consideration to the 2023 All-California state football team.

Listed among the nominees by CalHiSports is quarterback Matthew Barton and wide receiver Jeremiah Castilo. Both are seniors.

The host of other East County athletes are also on the list, including Helix senior running back Kevin Allen.


– Compiled by Nick Pellegruno, ECS Senior Writer

Eagles Cheer

The Granite Hills High cheerleading squad captured the 2023 CIF San Diego Section championship for 2023 / Phosupplied to by CIFSDS