High school sports

Hey, it’s not just football playoff time

JAKE LESLIE of Pacifica High’s boys’ water polo team. The Mariners will open CIF-SS playoff action Tuesday (today) against Don Lugo (Randall Roma photo).

The “second season” of fall high school sports is upon us. The girls’ volleyball playoffs of the CIF-SS are already underway, and football will be starting this Friday.

But those aren’t the only autumn athletic CIF contests on the slate of action. Boys’ water polo play in Divisions 2 and 7 will start on Wednesday and in other divisions on Tuesday (today).

Here are the first round polo contests for teams in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Stanton-Westminster area.

  • Division 3:Tesoro at Edison.
  • Division 4: Don Lugo at Pacifica.
  • Division 5:Glendale at Ocean View.
  • Division 6:Western at Lakeside; Los Amigos has a bye.
  • Division 7:Cabrillo/Long Beach at La Quinta; Saddleback at Rancho Alamitos.

Back on the land …

Cross country teams don’t have match playoffs like football and water polo do, so they decide the champs in a different way.  The CIF-SS prelims and championship finals will be held at the Riverside City Cross Country Course in Riverside on three dates in November.

Championship preliminaries in Divisions 2 and 3 will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, while Divisions 1, 4 and 5 competing on Saturday, Nov. 10. The championships will be on Saturday, Nov. 17.

And back on the gridiron …

A few notes on local prep football ….

  • Only two of our local teams are seeded (ranked in the top four) in their divisions. Western is third and Ocean View is fourth in Division 11.
  • Only two locals made it as at-large entries and they are Huntington Beach in Division 6 and Ocean View (D-11).
  • The latter result reflects the slight weirdness of four-team leagues like the Pac 4 and Big 4. Win two games and you’re a league champ; lose one and you’re – if you’re lucky – at-large team. You can even do both at once!
  • Efforts to even things out between powerful and less-successful programs had some mixed results in those foursomes. In the Big 4, the top two-teams – Garden Grove and Segerstrom – had combined records of 17-3, while the bottom two – Marina and Westminster – were 3-17.

In the Pac-4, you have a three-way tie for the title among OVHS, Western and Laguna Beach going 25-5 and Godinez limping in at 2-8.

  • No system is perfect, but it does seem like four-team leagues present some unique challenges to parity.

A deep pass to …?

The New York Times in its Oct. 29 edition reported that participation in high school football is in decline across the nation.  The peak was 1.14 million boys playing in 2009, down to 1.03 million in 2017. Concern about brain injuries from concussion are believed to be a principal cause of the drop. Numbers are falling for other sports as well, but not as sharply. In Jersey City – where the article is centered – high school flag football is flourishing while some schools have to cancel games for the tackle football teams because of a lack of players.

Prep Sport Spotlight appears on Tuesdays during the high school athletic year.




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