Preseason FB: Oside vs. Mission Hills

This is the fourth in a series of posts comparing two local rivals who both may be toward the top of the preseason state football rankings. We’ll write up what we think these teams will be like heading into the season, then we hope to see what their fans have to say through comments, reaction.

(Thanks to San Diego contributor Thomas Gutierrez for providing details on these teams)

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What The Teams Accomplished Last Season: For the 10th season in a row, Oceanside (10-3) made it to the CIF San Diego Section finals, but was outplayed by determined and talented Mission Hills. The Pirates’ season was highlighted by one of the best games of the year at the U-T Honor Bowl against the highly touted Serra Gardena. The game resulted in a close loss, but demonstrated that the Pirates could compete with top CIF Southern Section programs. Mission Hills (12-2) defeated Oceanside for the first time in school history, then won a CIF San Diego Section title in the newly created Open Division The Grizzlies showed they were a complete team by winning convincingly over Oceanside in the section final and losing in a close game to Bakersfield in the CIF SoCal Division I bowl game.

Oceanside QB Matt Romero

Oceanside QB Matt Romero

Shapshot of Oceanside: It was great news when the Pirates learned that legendary head coach John Carroll would return this season after health issues caused him to miss some games last year. The first outings out of the gate should provide a gage and challenge to prepare for a 2014 championship run, with Mission Viejo representing their biggest test at the U-T Honor Bowl. Other than a spirited 7-on-7 game a few weeks back, these two great programs (Oceanside/Mission Viejo) have never faced each other on the gridiron. The Pirates should be led on defense by one of the best defensive ends in San Diego in Tommy Woo, and Washington-bound Jordan Miller at cornerback. On the other side of the ball, improved QB Matthew Romero has developed his skill set and poise. The Pirates lost several D-1 players, including Jace Whittaker to Arizona and Elijah Holder to Stanford, but are not doing too bad this year with five D-1 prospects. Through great coaching and the fact that high school players physically change over the seasons, the Pirates replenish with size and talent on a consistent basis.

Shapshot of Mission Hills: The Grizzlies had a tremendous season last year by beating their arch-rival from Oceanside in the regular season and in the section championship game. Coach Chris Hauser, who has been a staple in the North County with Vista and now Mission Hills, will continue to produce top level teams. Top players Ricky Liuchan, Fred Warner, and QB Conner Wynn are gone, but with new quarterback Dakota Miller (who played junior varsity at Oceanside last season), the Grizzlies may not miss a beat. This left-hander shows reminisces of Mark Brunell. He can scramble and has a powerful, accurate arm. Most importantly, he plays fearlessly and illustrates confidence beyond your average junior. On defense, there is blazing speed from Martrel Holmes, who was clocked 4.49 in the 40. But it is All-State Underclass pick Dechaun Holiday that Oceanside will be most concerned about. He is being recruited by several colleges, including Florida State, Oregon and USC.

Top Players for Oceanside: OL Cedric Bigge-Duren (Washington St. commit); OL Christian Cronk (D-1 recruit); DL Tommy Woo (D-1 recruit); DB Jordan Miller (Washington commit); WR/LB Sai PaoPao (D-1 recruit).

Top Players for Mission Hills: Jr. QB Dakota Miller (D-1 recruit), DB Martel Holmes (4.49 in the 40), DB Dechaun Holiday (ESPN 4 Star recruit); DE Jared Cheatwood (D-1 recruit); TE/LB Justus Tei (D-1 recruit).

Recent History Between These Two: The last meeting in 2013 resulted in a 36-14 defeat for Oceanside in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division final. In all of the games played between these two stellar programs, however, the Pirates still lead 5-2-1. Mission Hills is still a relatively new school, but these two programs have established a rivalry that is based on competitiveness through upper echelon players and elite coaching rather than location and tradition.

Hunch As To Where Each Team Should Be Ranked In The Preseason: Both teams will be in the 1-2 or 2-3 slots for the San Diego Section to start out with Helix of La Mesa the other team that should be up there. The Highlanders are loaded with returnees and lost by just three points in the playoffs to Mission Hills last season. Both Mission Hills and Oceanside do play a stronger early schedule compared to Helix, however, so we’re currently leaning toward starting those two higher and then see what happens.

Next Preseason Duel: Westlake (Westlake Village) vs. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village).

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  1. Rdaddyloc
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s great that coach carrol is back. Also coach poumele at defensive for the Pirates when they won a bowl game is back. This team was embarrassed last CIF game but they are focused, hungrier than ever and I can’t wait.!! GO PIRATES GO..!!

    Also congrats to mission hills on last season. D. Holliday is a great young player from north county that will get to choose a college and get a great education. Go for your dreams everyone belive and make it happen.

    Good luck to all teams in 2014. I have my pick in.

  2. Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Maark: FYI. Del Norte has a San Diego address, 92127 zip. It’s sort of near Poway, but closer to Rancho Bernardo, which is next to Poway. Your Gold grapevine is terrific.
    Rick Smith.

  3. Posted February 28, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s impressing me! 🙂

  4. Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    You have the monopoly on useful information-aren’t monopolies illegal? 😉

  5. Posted July 8, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Wow David, you told that so well and what a wonderful thing you did for those girls! I felt so proud that we went to school together and going above and beyond what other's may have done, boosted my faith in how great and caring our generation is because of people like you! Kudos to your parents for raising such a great citizen!

  6. Posted July 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Haha, shouldn’t you be charging for that kind of knowledge?!

  7. Rick Smith
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Jr Justice of St. Augustine is a junior in school and apparently spells his name Jr Justice.His dad is David Justice, former big league slugger, and I think Jr is the short version of David Justice, Jr.
    Tate Haynes, the QB at Cathedral, is son of Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes.
    Question: In 2011 Sacred Heart Cathedral returned 5 fumbles for touchdowns, breaking a record that local El Camino shared. Would you, by any chance, know who Sacred Heart’s opponent was?
    Rick Smith.

  8. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    When will you run your last top 25 and top 50? I go with your ratings, so I’m holding off.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Probably Thursday.

  9. Posted January 3, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Mark: I missed FB top 25. Can you give me final rating for Cathy, Helix, and Madison?

  10. Posted March 28, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    When will you run your final baskets top 20?

  11. Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Mark: When will you run a top 50 in baskets?

  12. Rick Smith
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Today is Tuesday. Are you running a top 50 this week?

  13. Posted April 23, 2021 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    When will you run your final top 50 in football. Trivia: Cathedral has had two quarterbacks since 2015 whose dads played in NFL…Tate Haines, son of Hall of Fame Mike Haines, QB’s 15-0 club. This year’s QB, Mirer, is son of former Notre Dame and NFL No. 1 pick Rick Mirer.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted April 24, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Hi Rick,
      Released them last night right after the one team still playing had final result reported.

  14. Posted July 24, 2023 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Mark: What will be your coverage stance on Flag Football?
    Rick Smith

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted July 25, 2023 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Would love to do a lot, but limited by time and resources.
      Our coverage also is based greatly on all of our historical info and files and there’s obviously none of that in flag football. We’ll just see how it goes this first year.

  15. Posted December 15, 2023 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Mark, how soon on your final Top 50?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 15, 2023 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      You should know by now that it takes awhile after the trip to SoCal for the finals. It’ll be Friday night or Saturday.

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