Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can turn out attention to what really counts: the concluding week of league play for high school basketball. With the exception of the Golden West League, all the boys’ races are still up for grabs. On the girls’ side, the situation is a little different, with the GWL chase still complicated.
Here’s a quick rundown on how the title battles stand. First, for boys.
Garden Grove League: Bolsa Grande (7-1) has the edge on Santiago (6-2), with Garden Grove (5-3) a long shot. The key game will probably be on Thursday with Santiago at Bolsa, but only if the Matadors can get past the Argonauts on Tuesday.
Golden West League: Ocean View (8-0) has already locked up the GWL crown. Battling for second will be Segerstrom and Westminster (5-3).
Sunset League: Edison leads the pack at (8-0) with Los Alamitos (7-1) a game back. They’ll clash on Thursday in the Viking gym.
And for girls, it looks like this …
Empire League: Tustin (7-1) leads Kennedy (6-2). As with the boys, they’ll face off on Thursday.
Garden Grove League: La Quinta (6-2) has the edge, but Garden Grove (5-3) and Bolsa Grande (5-3) are close behind. A key game on Thursday is Grove at LQ.
Golden West League: Segerstrom and Ocean View (both 7-1 in league) are deadlocked at the top. They will collide on Thursday at the Seahawk gym.
San Joaquin League: Fairmont Prep and Orangewood Academy go into the final week with 5-1 records. They won’t meet again in league. The Spartans tied the race up with a 47-46 win last week over Fairmont.
Sunset League: The two leaders – Los Alamitos (7-1) and Huntington Beach (7-1) won’t meet this week and likely will finish in a tie for the crown.
THEY SLANG THE RUNNER TO THE TURF
As people of words, sports writers enjoy noting the passing of old athletic jargon and the development of new “slanguage.” Here are some terms we’ve noticed coming and going in football.
Red Dog: This is what is now called a blitz.
Tackling in space: Used to be called “an open-field tackle.”
Setting the edge: Used to be getting to the outside, or containment.
Deep ball: What used to be called a “bomb.” A really deep ball with the game on the line is a “Hail Mary,” even for Protestants.
Hang time: The interval between when the punter boots the ball and when it lands. This used to be a big deal with announcers on the premise that how long the pigskin spent aloft heavily influenced the success of punt coverage (the kicking team’s ability run down field and crunch the heck out of the opposing kick returner). Announcers rarely mention it any more, maybe because defenders have become so quick that most punts result in a fair catch.
The protocol: Or, more completely, the concussion protocol. The diagnostic steps taken when a player – usually a quarterback – gets hit in the head and looks dizzy. Used to be called “they really rang his bell.”
Mobile: The ability of a quarterback to avoid being tackled. Used to be called “scrambling.”
Pooch kick: A ball booted softly to make a return difficult. Used to be called a “squib kick.” Still used a bit.
Give himself up: A quarterback slides feet-first to avoid a real tackle and jeopardized a ratings loss due to injury of a star. Used to be called “being a sissy.”
YAC: This is my favorite. It’s relatively new in widespread use, and refers to yards after a catch. So if a receiver catches a 50-yard pass that consists of a 5-yard throw and a 45-yard run, the 45 is his YAC.
Soccer-style kicker: Just about every kicker in the NFL these days. Obsolete.
The Push: Formerly illegal, but now integral to any running play inside the 5-yard-line. Heavy offensive linemen try to shove their ball-carrier across the goal line, even though, let’s face it, he’s been stopped deader than Julius Caesar. Used to be known as “cheating.”
WE WERE HALF RIGHT
In last week’s column, I predicted that the Atlanta Falcons would upset the New England Patriots and win the
Super Bowl. Well, if you turned the TV off at halftime with the score 21-3 in favor of Matt Ryan’s team, I was right. I was even more right at 28-3.
So even though the Pats staged the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history and won 34-28 in a thriller in overtime, I can take some consolation in the excitement of the game. It looked to many of us that the Falcons ran out of gas in the second half, especially on defense.
To put it another way, they were half-fast. Which is what my prediction turned out to be.
Monday Morning Coach is written by Pete Zarustica.