By DAVE THOMAS | La Mesa Courier
With summer rolling by quickly as it usually does, it should not come as a surprise that many people are focusing their attention on the upcoming football season.
At the high school level, Helix High looks for a banner season under head coach Robbie Owens.
The Highlanders went 8-5 a season ago under Owens, who is in his fourth year at the helm and 24th overall year of coaching. Helix lost in last season’s Division I CIFSD title game in overtime to St. Augustine 21-20.
La Mesa Courier recently caught up with Owens to get his take on the upcoming season.
About how many kids are you expecting out for this year’s team? Did you graduate a lot from the 2018 squad?
We will have 50 to 60 players on varsity and around 140 to 150 players in the program. We graduated 27 seniors (smallest class since I have been in program) including All-CIFSD Defensive Player of the Year and SDSU commit Michael Shawcroft.
Coming into this season, what do you see as the team’s strengths and any areas that may be challenges?
Strength is obviously we have Elelyon Noa, the best football player in San Diego. Every year we are senior-dominated, so have to replace a lot of starters. Weakness is replacing all three starting linebackers, three offensive linemen and quarterback position.
Looking at the team’s schedule, what do you see as some of the tougher games, rivalries, etc.?
Our schedule is always very top-heavy. We play the toughest schedule in San Diego to start. Cajon, Herriman (UT), Cathedral, Saints and Oaks Christian (rated third-best Southern Section School to Bosco and Mater Dei). Once we get to conference, obviously Grossmont is always going to give us their best and Steele Canyon beat us last year.
As for goals this season, what do you want to see this team accomplish when all is said and done?
Our goal is always to win a CIF Championship. We want to play in the Open Division.
Helix High School 2019 football schedule
Aug. 15: Mira Mesa – Home
Aug. 23: Cajon – Home
Aug. 30: Herriman (Utah) – Home
Sept. 13: Cathedral Catholic – Home
Sept. 20: Saint Augustine – Away
Sept. 27: Oaks Christian – Home
Oct. 4: El Capitan – Home
Oct. 11: Valhalla – Away
Oct. 18: Grossmont – Away
Oct. 25: Granite Hills – Home
Nov. 1: Steele Canyon – Away
— Dave Thomas is a freelance sports writer based in San Diego. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.