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Prep football’s military salute

06/07/2013, 8:38pm PDT
By Craig Malveaux

U-T San Diego Honor Bowl in September will feature eight of California’s top teams.

Oceanside will be one of five current or former state football bowl champions competing in the U-T San Diego Honor Bowl in September.

The U-T San Diego Honor Bowl is coming to Oceanside.

The event, featuring four high school varsity football games, is a salute to the men and women of the armed forces. It’s being organized by The Honor Group, a nonprofit that helps veterans move into civilian life.

The Honor Bowl is being hosted by Oceanside, one of eight elite high school teams from California scheduled to play Sept. 6-7.

The others are Gardena Serra, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Loomis Del Oro, Upland, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Ventura St. Bonaventure and Corona Centennial. The group includes five current or former state bowl champions.

“That’s high school football at its finest,” Oceanside coach John Carroll said in a statement to The Honor Group. “There will be a tremendous amount of talent playing on the field.”

The Pirates will suit up as defending San Diego Section Division II champions.

“We’re honored to be a part of this,” Carroll said. “It’s a phenomenal cause and to be able to play a small role in it is exciting for us and our community. Having Camp Pendleton right up the road and Oceanside being a military city just seems to be a perfect fit. It’s fantastic.”

The Honor Group partnered with U-T San Diego to bring the event to Oceanside.

“The U-T is proud to be the title sponsor of this year’s U-T San Diego Honor Bowl,” said John Lynch, vice chairman and CEO of U-T San Diego. “This event gives us another exciting platform to showcase our student-athletes and support our large military community in San Diego.”

The Honor Bowl is the idea of Mark Soto, a former high school football coach with two sons serving in the military. It has been staged under different names but a similar format in other parts of the state the past few years.

“We are excited to bring this event to Oceanside,” said Soto, organizer and founder of The Honor Group. “We have been growing this event, and it has become one of the best in the nation.

“No one wants to lose these games! It makes so much sense to bring this event to San Diego County where so many of our nation’s military live and serve.”

In addition to the games, the Honor Bowl will feature military expos as fans enter the football stadium. The event also will offer a number of programs that expose high school students to the contributions and sacrifices made by those serving in the armed forces.

What: A weekend of high school football games and military expos
Where: Oceanside High School
When: Sept. 6-7
Background: Event is staged by The Honor Group to recognize the contributions of active military and veterans and to connect the men and women who’ve served in the armed forces with resources that will allow them to transition to civilian life
Phone: (760) 612-6634
Online: thehonorgroup.org
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students (can be purchased online)
Sept. 6
Oceanside vs. Corona Centennial (JV), 4 p.m.
Oceanside vs. Gardena Serra, 8 p.m.
Sept. 7
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame vs. Loomis Del Oro, noon
Upland vs. Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 4 p.m.
Corona Centennial vs. Ventura St. Bonaventure, 8 p.m.


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