Village News Reporter
Seven small middle schools and K-8 elementary schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County compete in monthly athletic tournaments with each school hosting a different sport throughout the year. The 2022-23 tournaments began Sept. 22 with the Pauma Volleyball Tournament at Pauma Elementary School, and Vallecitos Elementary School won the boys portion of the tournament.
“They played really well together. They were able to play through adversity,” said Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck.
Borrego Springs Middle School did not travel to Pauma Valley, and each of the six schools participating played each other once. “It ran well. Good sportsmanship, good competition,” said Pauma coach Jaime Lopez.
The Vallecitos boys won all five matches. Pauma Elementary School had a 2-2-1 record, including a tie with Warner Middle School of Warner Springs. Warner’s boys also finished 2-2-1, and Warner was given third place based on the tiebreaking criteria of more points scored with Pauma being designated as the fourth-place team. The Vallecitos girls had a 3-2 record for third place while the Pauma girls had a 1-4 record which was worth fifth place.
All matches were one game to 20 points, although a team had to win by at least two points. After the boys match between Pauma and Warner was completed, a scoring error was discovered, and Lopez and Warner coach Brigette Spinks agreed to have the game declared a tie.
Vallecitos had 15 boys and 11 girls. The Vikings boys obtained a 20-7 victory over Pauma, a 20-4 triumph against Cottonwood (Aguanga), a 20-14 win in the match with Julian, a 20-8 victory versus Warner, and a 20-18 win against Hamilton (Anza).
“Hamilton was the most competitive team,” Hanbeck said. The Hamilton boys finished second with a 4-1 record. Hamilton’s girls won all five matches to take first place while the Julian girls were 4-1 for second place. The Vallecitos girls were third with a 3-2 record. “They played well overall,” Hanbeck said.
A 20-5 victory over Pauma began play for the Vallecitos girls, who then defeated Cottonwood by a 20-3 score. Vallecitos and Julian were two of the three remaining undefeated girls teams when the Viking and Timberwolves played each other and Julian prevailed in that 20-18 match. Vallecitos then won a 20-8 match over Warner. Hamilton concluded the Bobcats’ girls championship and 5-0 record with a 20-15 win at the Vikings’ expense.
“The girls, they still have a chance next year because we have a lot of seventh-graders coming back,” Hanbeck said.
The Pauma girls defeated Cottonwood for their only win. Pauma’s boys defeated Julian and Cottonwood while losing to Hamilton as well as Vallecitos.
“They were gritty. They were tough against bigger schools but never quit,” Lopez said.
The next tournament will be the Vallecitos Soccer Tournament at Vallecitos Elementary School and Rainbow Park, which will take place Oct. 27 if weather permits.