Slater Howe carries the ball for Santa Fe Christian, which should benefit from a tough nonleague schedule.
The high school football season has reached its midpoint. League play kicks off today. Playoff berths will be on the line. Following is a league-by-league look at the preseason predictions and how things stand now:
AVOCADO EAST LEAGUE
Preseason prediction (first to last): Mission Hills, San Pasqual, Rancho Buena Vista, Escondido, Fallbrook
How they’ll finish: Mission Hills is No. 1 in the section; San Pasqual is No. 2. Both are 5-0. The league race will come down to San Pasqual at Mission Hills on Oct. 18.
AVOCADO WEST LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: Oceanside, Carlsbad, La Costa Canyon, El Camino, Vista
How they’ll finish: Carlsbad hosts Oceanside tonight. The winner must still get by LCC and El Camino.
Preseason prediction: Christian, University City, Coronado, Clairemont
How they’ll finish: At 5-1, Christian is the class of the league. None of the other teams is better than 2-4.
Preseason prediction: S.D. Calvary Christian, Lutheran, Classical, Foothills Christian, Julian, Borrego Springs
How they’ll finish: Classical, Julian and SD Calvary Christian have emerged as the powers. Classical is at Julian today and hosts Foothills on Oct. 25
Preseason prediction: Serra, Patrick Henry, Hoover, Morse, San Diego
How they’ll finish: At 4-1, Hoover has emerged as the favorite. The Cardinals play at Serra on Oct. 18 in a game that should decide the league title.
Preseason prediction: Santa Fe Christian, Francis Parker, Horizon, La Jolla Country Day, Bishop’s
How they’ll finish: Santa Fe Christian has played a brutally tough schedule and is 3-3. Parker is 5-0, and the other teams are 4-2. Starting today, SFC must beat Horizon, Bishop’s, LJCD and Parker to win the title.
Preseason prediction: St. Augustine, Cathedral Catholic, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Lincoln
How they’ll finish: Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa have played better than expected, but the league title should come down to St. Augustine at Cathedral on Oct. 25.
GROSSMONT HILLS LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: Helix, Grossmont, Steele Canyon, Granite Hills, Valhalla, West Hills.
How they’ll finish: Despite a 3-2 record, Helix is still the team to beat. But the Highlanders need to beat Granite Hills on Oct. 18, surprising West Hills on Oct. 25, Grossmont on Nov. 1 and Steele Canyon on Nov. 8.
GROSSMONT VALLEY LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: El Capitan, Mount Miguel, Monte Vista, Santana, El Cajon Valley
How they’ll finish: El Capitan has lived up to the preseason hype and is 6-0. The key game is tonight against Mount Miguel.
Preseason prediction: Brawley, Imperial, Calexico, Central, Palo Verde Valley, EC Southwest
How they’ll finish: Imperial is 5-0 and Brawley 4-1. The big game is Nov. 18 when Brawley travels to Imperial.
Preseason prediction: Mountain Empire, Holtville, Calipatria, Vincent Memorial, Crawford, Escondido Charter
How they’ll finish: In a league where every team has played better than expected, Crawford is 5-0. To win the title, the Colts must beat Holtville today and Vincent Memorial on Oct. 26.
METRO MESA LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: Eastlake, Olympian, Otay Ranch, Chula Vista, Bonita Vista
How they’ll finish: As predicted, the title will come down to Olympian and Eastlake on Nov. 1.
METRO PACIFIC LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: Mater Dei Catholic, Castle Park, Montgomery, Sweetwater
How they’ll finish: None of the four teams is better than 2-3, so who wins this is anybody’s guess.
METRO SOUTH BAY LEAGUE
Preseason prediction: Mar Vista, Hilltop, SD Southwest, San Ysidro
How they’ll finish: At 5-0, Hilltop has emerged as the team to beat. No other team is better than 2-3.
Preseason prediction: Army-Navy, Tri-City Christian, The Rock, Calvin Christian, Maranatha Christian, San Diego Jewish
How they’ll finish: Army-Navy is only 2-4, but has played the tougher schedule. The title may come down to Calvin at Army-Navy on Oct. 18.
Preseason prediction: Ramona, Westview, Poway, Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo.
How they’ll finish: Ramona is 5-0 and ranked No. 6 in the section. Torrey Pines is the only other team with a winning record at 3-2. Ramona is at Torrey Pines on Nov. 1.
Preseason prediction: Ocean View Christian, St. Joseph, Vista Calvary Christian, San Pasqual Academy, Warner
How they’ll finish: It’s a mystery. Vista Calvary Christian is the only team with a winning record.
Preseason prediction: Valley Center, Del Norte, San Marcos, Mt. Carmel, Orange Glen
How they’ll finish: Mt. Carmel and San Marcos are both 3-1 and have high-powered offenses. At 2-3, Valley Center needs to beat San Marcos on Oct. 18 and Mt. Carmel the following week.
Preseason prediction: Madison, Point Loma, Mission Bay, La Jolla, Kearny
How they’ll finish: Barring something crazy, the championship will be decided today when Madison plays at Mission Bay.