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Photo Gallery: Mariners Steamroll Southwest 56-0 to Win The Bell, League Championship

Coach Brian Hay earns Chargers Coach of the Week honors as the Mariners prepare for the playoffs with a six-game winning streak led by a potent ground attack.

Mar Vista High School ran to a 56-0 win over crosstown rival Southwest on Friday night to win the Metro South Bay League championship, secure a spot in the CIF Division III playoffs and win The Bell.

The Bell has been awarded to the winner of the game between the two teams since 1981. Mar Vista hadn't won a league championship since 1986.

"They got it from an old ship at a salvage yard," said Ethan Charles, an ASB adviser.

Playoff seedings and matchups will be announced Saturday afternoon, with opening-round games on Nov. 19. The top four seeds earn a bye.

The Mariners' season began 1-3 but ended with a six-game winning streak.

Coach Brian Hay was awarded Coach of the Week honors by the San Diego Chargers and was presented with a $1,500 check for the team and school to use for equipment.

Senior players were also acknowledged at the start of the game and cheerleaders honored at halftime.

The Mariners played without their star running back, Rommel Cooper, who ranked third in the county in rushing yards entering the week but did not play due to an ankle injury. That didn't stop the Mariners from scoring eight touchdowns and maintaining their place as one of the top ground attacks in San Diego County.

"We ended up going to the playoffs last year and didn't do well, but we had a lot of returning juniors," said Ruben Gonzalez, who scored three touchdowns. "We had that 1-3 start but we just kept fighting and fighting." 

Mar Vista won The Bell the two previous seasons and had possession of it during most of the 1980s. It was kept in a trophy case for a time then moved to the coach's office.

"Me and Coach Hay have been at this together the last five years," said offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Wesley Charles. "We've always had maybe not great talent, but good, and there was an attitude shift that started last year.

"Everybody was pulling in their own direction, but we came together."

Mitchell D. McKay November 13, 2010 at 04:55 PM
All Hail the Green & Gold!..On Mar Vista!! Go Mariners!!!! Class of 1976 - the Ancient Mariner
Fayette (Davis) Driskell November 29, 2010 at 07:44 PM
YEH MARINERS!!! I remember sitting in the stands freezing, screaming till hoarseness set in, lungs went dry, throat was raw, & head was pounding, but did we care? NOPE.the nite I'm referring to was our Homecoming, 1962, we played our greatest rival, Chula Vista of whom we had NEVER beaten.well, this nite was different, we BEAT the pants off them..and being the proud team they were, did not take defeat well..During the nite over the weekend, some of their "proud" Senior players came over to visit us..they demolished our Senior Lawn that we had worked so hard on, which was another first for MVHS..since kids don't know how to keep quiet, word got out who had done it, & Mr. Small paid the principal of CVHS a "personal" visit. The guys in question had to come back to MVHS, but wasn't a fun trip this time. During school hours, they had to completely re-store our lawn to its original site, did we heckle them, yeh, a little, did we enjoy it, OH YEH!!!.and they were off the CVHS team the rest of the year.So, Mariners, hold that bell HIGH, shine & polish it, look at it, smile at it, & hold your team high..it has a new home just like our "anchor" did, & has been brought back home to regain its MVHS status. We have Henry Vargas & a few other Mariners to thank for this one, it was removed, they searched till they found it, went after it, & brought it "home"..

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