What started in the hazy heat of August is headed into the rainy evenings of autumn. The 2016 regular season of high school football draws to a close this week.
While some of the teams in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area will advance to the CIF-SS playoffs starting on Nov. 11, most will be concluding their schedule this week. For most seniors, it’s the last time they will put on the pads and helmet and play tackle football.
So with that in mind, here’s a look at that “last” week and see how things stand with local gridiron warriors.
Two local teams have locked up at least a tie for their league titles. Edison (8-1 overall) is unbeaten in Sunset League play. If the Chargers defeat Huntington Beach (4-5) this week, they will be the undisputed SL champs. Garden Grove (7-2) is unbeaten in Garden Grove League action, and a win over surprising La Quinta (7-2) would give the Argonauts their sixth straight Garden Grove League title.
In the Empire League, things are a bit more complicated. Valencia and Tustin are tied for the lead with 3-1 EL records, with three teams – Pacifica, Cypress and Kennedy – tied for third at 2-2. In head-to-head play, the Tillers knocked off the Tigers, but this week’s schedule of Cypress vs.Valencia could mess tangle that sitch.
The Golden West League is almost as intriguing. Santa Ana (9-0) is atop the GWL at 3-1, but if Westminster (5-4, 3-1) can upset the Saints that could lead to a three-way knot among Santa Ana, Westminster and Segerstrom.
In the Sunset League, things are a bit more settled. Edison is a heavy favorite this week over Huntington Beach (4-5, 2-2) and should be polishing their trophy come Saturday. The really interesting matchup will pit Newport Harbor (6-4, 4-1) against Los Alamitos (6-3, 3-1).
We will have the final regular season standings next Monday, along with the CIF pairings.
Our High Five going into the final week of the regular season looks like this: Edison still on top, and the rest of the pack shuffled. Pacifica – on the strength of a tough schedule and an earlier big win over Garden Grove –rises into second, with Grove in third, Huntington Beach fourth and Los Amigos fifth.
On the bubble would be La Quinta and Westminster, along with Orange.
On the cross country front, both the Pacifica boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are headed to the CIF Prelims set for Nov. 12. In the Empire League finals, the Mariner boys placed third and the girls took second.
Jacob Smith, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton, won the boys individual title. Emily Leeb took fourth in the girls’ race.
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