When the Chino Hills and Ayala high football teams take the field tonight (Aug. 24) for the 16th Battle for the Bone game, both teams will do so with heavy hearts.
Chino Hills High offensive line coach Phil Busch, who also coached at Ayala High for 10 years during his career, died of a massive heart attack Aug. 15 at his Chino Hills home, said Chino Hills High head coach Chris Stevens.
“It’s with a very heavy and broken heart, that we say goodbye to a wonderful human being, husband, father, and coach,” Coach Stevens said. “I had the privilege of coaching with Phil for the last two years, and he was the consummate assistant coach. He loved football but loved his athletes even more. He was a family man with an unshaken faith. We will miss him greatly.”
Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Ayala High, 14255 Peyton Drive, Chino Hills. A sold-out crowd is expected.
Coach Stevens said a moment of silence will take place in Coach Busch’s honor before tonight’s kickoff. Balloons will be released after the coin flip and a post-game prayer between Ayala and Chino Hills high players, coaches and school staff is planned.
Stickers honoring Coach Busch will also be placed on the helmets of Chino Hills High players.
“He has impacted so many lives through his warm and inviting personality, sense of humor, and a quiet charisma that was infectious to all he came in contact with,” Coach Stevens said. “I will miss him greatly. He was an example to all on how a coach should carry himself both in season and out.”
Coach Busch served as Chino Hills High’s defensive line coach in 2018 and moved to offensive line coach before this season.
Funeral services were held Friday at Chino Valley Community Church in Chino Hills.
Battle for the Bone history
Chino Hills High holds an 11-4 advantage in the Battle for the Bone series. Ayala won last year, 14-10, to break an eight-game losing streak to the Huskies.
Ayala and Chino Hills have started the season against each other every year since 2015. No game was played in 2014.
Previous scores: 2018, Ayala, 14-10; 2017, Chino Hills, 24-21; 2016, Chino Hills, 19-7; 2015, Chino Hills, 31-0; 2014, no game; 2013, Chino Hills, 52-28; 2012, Chino Hills, 49-34; 2011, Chino Hills, 40-17; 2010, Chino Hills, 36-8; 2009, Chino Hills, 14-7; 2008, Ayala, 18-17; 2007, Ayala, 19-10; 2006, Chino Hills, 42-21; 2005, Chino Hills, 20-7; 2004, Chino Hills, 21-16; 2003, Ayala, 21-17.