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SAN DIEGO SECTION BASKETBALL : 2-A Boys : Oceanside's City Rivalry Is Renewed

March 06, 1987|CHRIS ELLO

OCEANSIDE — This seaside community was united when Herb Meyer coached football and Bill Christopher coached basketball there in the early 70s.

But when the enrollment increased, a satellite campus was built in the spring of 1972.

By 1976, funds became available and the satellite campus--Oceanside East--became El Camino High.

"If nothing else, it gave everybody in town something to talk about," said Meyer, who coached football for 18 years at Oceanside before moving east with the new school in 1976. Meyer is athletic director and football coach at El Camino.

"It used to be the city of Oceanside versus the world. Now, people take sides," he said.

The community will be divided again Saturday afternoon when Oceanside and El Camino meet for the second consecutive season in the San Diego Section 2-A boys' basketball final. Tipoff in the San Diego Sports Arena is 4:30 p.m.

Last year, El Camino--coached by Ray Johnson--defeated Oceanside in the final, 61-35. El Camino's victory put an end to Oceanside's two-year reign as 2-A champion. Oceanside teams coached by Christopher won the title in 1982, 1984 and 1985. Either Oceanside or El Camino--or both--has appeared in the 2-A championship in each of the last six years.

"Looking at that, it scares you to think how good Oceanside would be if there was still only one school and we had all of this talent under one roof," said Christopher, Oceanside athletic director. "We might be talking about a few state titles."

Because the schools have split, however, a more realistic goal is the city championship. Oceanside beat El Camino two out of three times during the regular season.

"These kids are all friends outside of school," Christopher said. "And you know yourself, you always look forward to competing against your best friends. And you always try your hardest."

Christopher himself was trying his hardest this week to give Oceanside a slight advantage. Each year, a bank in Oceanside presents the City Football Championship trophy to the winner of the Oceanside-El Camino football game. El Camino has dominated in recent years, but Oceanside won this year.

"My boosters have been getting on me to go over and pick it up," Christopher said. "I was thinking of having the trophy presented during halftime of Saturday's game. The El Camino people kind of nixed that idea."

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