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Score not the story in passing tournaments

07/01/2013, 7:55pm PDT
By John Maffei

Notebook: Wrestling, tennis college commitments; local player on USA Field Hockey team.

Helix coach Troy Starr's Highlanders won last weekend's La Costa Canyon Semper Fi Tournament.

Everyone involved said summer high school passing tournaments aren’t real football.

“Still, you can learn an awful lot about your team in these things,” Helix coach Troy Starr said after his Highlanders beat Mission Hills 28-27 on Saturday to win the 16-team La Costa Canyon Semper Fi Tournament.

LCC coach Sean Sovacool and assistant Casey Sovacool enlisted 15 Marine Corps volunteers to help at the event. Michael Sovacool, Sean and Casey’s father and a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, presented the trophies.

“You learn who likes to compete,” Starr said. “You can see who’s athletic, who’s a leader, who’s a follower. So events like this are important.”

On a day when the temperature soared above 100 degrees on LCC’s artificial turf, Helix beat Mission Hills (28-20) to start the day, then beat El Capitan (29-14) and Rancho Buena Vista (32-12) in pool play.

The Highlanders beat La Costa Canyon in the semifinals before defeating Mission Hills in the title game. Helix had eight interceptions in the last two games.

Highlanders sophomore defensive back Jihad Woods was named the tournament’s MVP. Starr singled out quarterbacks Josh Harris and Mike Austin as well as receiver/defensive back Jalen Davis.

“It was brutally hot, but we played hard and competed in every game,” Starr said.

Mission Hills was playing without quarterback Connor Wynn and linebacker Ricky Liuchan, who were given the day off by Grizzlies coach Chris Hauser.

“One tournament a summer I like to go without some key guys so I can get a good look at the other kids,” Hauser said.

Hauser singled out wide receiver/linebacker Zach Harbin, a transfer from San Pasqual, as a player who impressed on Saturday.

El Capitan beat San Marcos 35-14 to win the consolation bracket title.

The last big passing tournament of the summer, hosted by El Camino and Oceanside, is set for July 19-20.

Wrestlers commit

Seven Palomar College wrestlers have committed to colleges.

Eddie Estevez (Otay Ranch), who placed second in the state at 125 pounds, has accepted a scholarship offer to Cal State Bakersfield, which is a member of the Pac-12 in wrestling.

Michael Joseph (Patrick Henry), who was third in the state at 165, and Chris Bascon (Mt. Carmel), who was sixth in the state, will wrestle for Moorhead State in Minnesota.

Emilio Rivera (San Marcos), third in the state at 135, and Robert Mata (Escondido), seventh in the state at 157, will wrestle for Concordia of Minnesota.

Jacob Dunning (Steele Canyon), fourth at 149, and Simon Olguin will wrestle at San Francisco State.

Cowboys tennis

Oceanside sisters Megan and Morgan McCray, who attended Classical Academy in Escondido, have signed to play tennis at Oklahoma State.

Megan is a five-star recruit who is ranked No. 10 in the nation by the Tennis Recruiting Network and No. 3 in California.

Morgan is a three-star recruit who is ranked No. 30 in California.

With the McCrays and girls from Japan and Spain, Oklahoma State’s recruiting class was ranked No. 4 in the nation.

USA Field Hockey

Kelsey Harbin (Stanford/San Pasqual) has been named to USA Field Hockey’s Under-21 National Team that will play in the Junior World Cup from July 24 to Aug. 4 in Germany.

A third-team All-American as a sophomore at Stanford, Harbin is one of only two Californians on Team USA.

Allison Swartz (Cal/Scripps Ranch) and Courtney Hendrickson (Cal/San Pasqual) were also at the U-21 tryouts at Old Dominion University but were not named to the team that will play in Germany.

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