by Ryan Huckabone
Anyone who has followed San Diego high school football over the past decade knows that schools like Helix and Oceanside have dominated the local highlight reels with a continuous flow of stellar athletes. But there is a school with a successful football program that might slip under most fans’ radar: Madison High here in Clairemont. Over the last 10 years, the Madison Warhawks have attained the highest winning percentage (according to www.Calpreps.com) among all San Diego Unified high schools. The Warhawks, with a winning percentage of 73%, have outpaced schools like Pt. Loma, Mission Bay and Mira Mesa over the past decade. There are several factors that helped turn Madison into a local football powerhouse.
Any discussion about Madison football must start with head coach Rick Jackson. Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jackson has led his team to an overall record of 72-25, winning the league championship 7 of the last 8 years and taking the Division IV CIF championship trophy in 2010. Much of Jackson’s success is due to his commitment to his players. Jackson ensures they all eat a good meal in the cafeteria before hitting the field. He takes his team to a football camp at Fresno State University where they scrimmage against some of the state’s strongest high school teams. Finally, as a father of two small children, Coach Jackson insists his player’s language and conduct be appropriate enough that he can have his kids around the program at any time.
Another big help to the football program is the Hawks Youth Football program. The Hawks utilize Madison High as their practice site as well as their home field. Because of this, many of Madison’s incoming players have already spent countless hours on the school’s football field before they attend their first freshman class.
Success breeds success. With each winning season, the Warhawks continue to draw more prospective students to their campus. The school “choice” program has made Madison High a possibility for kids all over San Diego. With the help of TV coverage like KUSI’s “Prep Pigskin Report”, kids know which programs are most successful and want to become a part of them.
This Clairemont school’s football program deserves some recognition by the community for its accomplishments over the past decade. Congratulations Madison High’s Warhawks!