Fallbrook High School graduate Chris Fore was the runner-up for the Academy League’s football coach of the year.
“I’m really proud of my coaching staff for that award,” Fore said.
Fore is now the head coach of Capistrano Valley Christian High School, which plays in the Academy League of the CIF Southern Section. “The program went from 0-9 to 5-5,” Fore said. “We felt real good about the year. We lost two games in the last 30 seconds, so we were real close to being 7-3.”
Capistrano Valley Christian actually finished 5-6; after a 5-5 regular season the Eagles faced Whittier Christian in the first round of the CIF Division 13 playoffs November 17 and fell 63-20. “None of my kids had ever been in a playoff game before, so there was a lot of room for improvement this year,” Fore said.
Fore accepted the position as the Capistrano Valley Christian head football coach, and also the school chaplain, on May 2. The Eagles had finished 0-9 in 2005 and 3-7 in 2004.
“We were able to turn that program around in one year’s time,” Fore said.
The Eagles opened the season at home September 2 with a win over Tri-City Christian, which was also the first home win for any player on the team. “That was a real big deal,” Fore said.
Tri-City Christian was one of three CIF San Diego Section opponents for the Eagles this year. A September 15 loss to La Jolla Country Day ended the Eagles’ undefeated season, but the team improved to 3-1 with a September 22 home win over Midway Baptist.
The 3-1 record also gave the Eagles the #9 ranking among more than two dozen Division 13 teams. “It’s been four years since the program’s been in the top ten,” Fore said.
The Eagles’ next game was against Saddleback Valley, which was ranked #3 in Division 13 at the time and would eventually win its league. Saddleback Valley pulled out a victory, scoring the winning touchdown with 19 seconds left to play. Even with the loss, Capistrano Valley Christian was still ranked #10 among the Division 13 squads.
The Eagles then faced Ribet Academy, which was ranked seventh in Division 13. Ribet Academy was the other team to defeat the Eagles in the last 30 seconds, scoring the winning touchdown to even Capistrano Valley Christian’s record at 3-3 and knock the Eagles out of the top ten.
The Academy League schedule wasn’t much easier for the Eagles. St. Margaret’s, which is located in San Juan Capistrano, won not only the league championship but also the CIF Southern Section championship and finished with a 14-0 record. “That’s obviously kind of tough having them in our league,” Fore said.
St. Margaret’s also won the Academy League championship in 2005. The Eagles’ 2-2 league record also included a loss to Sage Hill (Newport Beach), which finished 3-1 in league competition and was ranked third in Division 13 when they faced the Eagles.
During the league season Fore’s first child was born October 29, when wife Christine delivered son Nate.
One of Capistrano Valley Christian’s league wins came against Brethren Christian of Huntington Beach. The other came against the school Fore had previously coached. That match against Linfield, a Temecula school which joined the Academy League for 2006, took place November 10 at San Clemente High School.
“It came down to us having to beat Linfield to go to the playoffs,” Fore said.
Linfield had a 7-6 lead at halftime, but Capistrano Valley Christian came back for a 35-20 victory. “We had an outstanding second half,” Fore said.
Fore had been a Linfield coach for the previous five years. He began his Linfield coaching career in 2001 as the junior varsity coach and spent 2003, 2004, and 2005 as the Lions varsity coach, reaching the playoffs all three years. In 2004 Linfield finished 10-2 and reached the CIF Southern Section semifinals, and in 2005 the Lions were 4-7 after reaching the first round of the playoffs. This year Linfield finished with a 1-9 record.
Capistrano Valley Christian, which reached the CIF Southern Section semifinals in 2002, has an enrollment of about 200 students, making it the smallest school in the Academy League.
The 2005 Capistrano Valley Christian team only lost four seniors and just two starters to graduation, and the 2006 team had 13 returning seniors.
Fore began his coaching career as a senior at Fallbrook High School. An injury prevented him from playing on the varsity, so in 1993 he coached the school’s freshman team. Fore also coached Fallbrook’s junior varsity team before moving to Temecula in 2001.
Fore moved from Ontario to Oceanside in 2006. Christine Fore was a junior high school pastor in Pomona before Nate was born. Fore’s parents still live in Fallbrook.
“Felt real, real good. We surprised a lot of people this year,” Fore said of the Eagles’ season.
“We really didn’t lose to any teams we should have beat,” Fore said. “We felt like that was a big achievement as well for the boys.”