San Diego High caps storybook football season with state championship

Posted: Monday, December 17th 2018


SDHS senior Quinn O'Connor (L), Coach Charles James and team celebrate (R)

As the young men in blue and white swarmed the field and filled the crisp, chilly air with excited shouts of celebration, there was a consensus among the coaches, players, and prep sports media in attendance. "Nobody was predicting this."

San Diego Cavers head coach Charles James said he had big plans for the program when he took over in 2015, but he never imagined he'd be holding a State Championship trophy this past weekend. "I knew we were turning things around. But I didn't imagine a championship, not this soon." 

Just three years ago, the San Diego High school football program was not the talk of the town. From 2013-2016, the storied Cavers posted only four wins in as many seasons. The program struggled to even fill its roster.

Then, just as James foretold, things "turned around."

The Cavers came out of the gates strong last year, finishing the 2017 season with a 12-1 record and surprising everyone - even themselves. "Last year we weren't really expecting that," said senior Jayden Wickware. "We were taking one game at a time."

This year came with higher expectations, which were met and exceeded with Saturday's victory over Colfax High School for the CIF Division 5-AA State Championship title.

This is the first state title for San Diego High under the newer CIF format, and their first time playing for one since 1922.


The 2018 State Champion San Diego Cavers, seen here at Hodad's for their final team dinner before traveling to Colfax

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