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San Diego Section football: 10 breakout players during first half of 2023 season

El Camino's Carson Howard has helped the Wildcats average 42 points per game during their first five games

The 2023 high school football season has hit the midway point in the San Diego Section and it's time to take a look at some of San Diego's top players who have used the first half of the season to make a name for themselves.

Here are 10 players who have had breakout performances in the first half of the 2023 football season.

(Players are listed in alphabetical order)

Cody Bigley, 2024 WR, Grossmont: In Bigley’s first season playing high school football, he’s posted video game-like numbers. In five games, he’s reeled in 38 catches for 739 yards and leads the San Diego Section with 10 touchdown receptions.

Carson Diehl, 2026 WR/DB, La Jolla: Diehl has stepped in as a sophomore and become the leading receiver while catching passes from his older brother Jackson. He’s caught 21 passes for 323 yards and a touchdown and has been a playmaker on defense with five interceptions and a forced fumble through five games.

Joshua Dixon, 2024 WR, University City: In five games, Dixon has as many touchdowns as he had receptions during the 2022 season. He’s averaging 108 receiving yards per game, averaging over 28 yards per catch to go with six touchdown receptions.

Carson Howard, 2024 QB, El Camino: Howard has surpassed last season’s passing touchdown total in less than half the games as a senior. He’s thrown 12 touchdowns and one interception during El Camino’s current four-game winning streak and is averaging 217 passing yards per game, up from 122 per game as a junior.

Parker Johnson, 2026 WR/DB, St. Augustine: Johnson has played many roles for the Saints this year in his second varsity season. In five games this year, he’s scored four times on the ground, averaging over eight yards per carry. He’s also caught a touchdown, thrown a touchdown, grabbed two interceptions and has returned nine kickoffs for the Saints.

Munir Kassa, 2025 LB, Lincoln: Kassa has stepped up as a pass rusher for the Hornets, totaling 31 tackles, nine sacks and a forced fumble through five games. He had three sacks against St. Bonaventure and had four sacks in a shutout against Cajon.

Donald Reed III, 2025 RB, Lincoln: Reed saw limited carries each of the past two seasons while playing behind Roderick Robinson. He’s flourished in the first six games of the season for the Hornets, rushing for 443 yards and six touchdowns, averaging over eight yards per carry.

Dominic Silva, 2024 RB, Valhalla: Silva has already passed his rushing total from 2022 in half of a season. In a week two victory over Mar Vista, Silva rushed for 304 yards on 30 carries and scored seven touchdowns.

Jake Sweeney, 2024 RB, Torrey Pines: Sweeney tore his ACL, MCL and PCL in last season’s playoff game against Cathedral Catholic. He’s returned this season to average seven yards per carry and has posted back-to-back games of more than 125 rushing yards.

Jayden Wade, 2025 WR/DB, San Diego: Wade has been a bright spot for the Cavers offense this season, reeling in 18 passes for 420 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also been a contributor on defense with 19 tackles.

(Feature photo by Justin Fine)

-- Bodie De Silva | | @sbliveca