Picks are in: Aptos, Enterprise out

The Clayton Valley of Concord offense breaks its huddle in game vs. Concord. The Ugly Eagles are the No. 2 rushing team in the nation, according to MaxPreps. Photo: Courtesy school.

The Clayton Valley of Concord offense breaks its huddle in game. The Ugly Eagles are the No. 2 rushing team in the nation, according to MaxPreps. Photo: Courtesy school.

Eighteen teams are awarded berths into CIF bowl games with De La Salle of Concord leading the north and Centennial of Corona leading the south. The two teams that were left out in what were probably the hardest choices of the day – but possibly not the most complicated — were Aptos and Enterprise of Redding.

(Thanks to Harold Abend for contributing to this post.)

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In what is likely the last time that CIF section commissioners will meet on a Sunday in December and vote to essentially end the seasons of more than 30 football teams, this year’s slate of bowl games in Northern California and Southern California were determined.

Based on the Week 15 Cal-Hi Sports bowl game rankings, there were no surprises in the teams that were chosen, but that doesn’t mean that in those divisions in which the differences were slight – such as NorCal D2 and NorCal D3 – that it would have been a surprise if the vote went the other way.

In fact, in the last three years of the CIF bowl games, there have been 56 teams selected out of 58 that were the highest ranked teams in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings. The only two higher ranked teams in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings that didn’t get bowl game berths in that time were teams with forfeit losses (such as McClymonds of Oakland this year) or with an interpretation of criteria issue (such as El Cajon Christian last season).

This is considered to be the last such meeting because next year a new CIF bowl system is expected to be in place in which every section champion is going to play on in 13 separate divisions. The commissioners will still meet but they will basically be doing seedings and matchups instead of conducting a vote that will end the seasons of many teams.

“We hope the sections pass the proposal so this is the last year so many teams get left at home,” said Ron Nocetti of the CIF. “Each section will have to develop a policy of how to work with the new format if its passed in January.”

Here is a breakdown for each of this year’s CIF bowl game divisions:

De La Salle of Concord (13-0) vs. Centennial of Corona (12-2). Saturday, Dec. 20 at StubHub Center (Carson).

Since there is no more NorCal or SoCal regional games in the open division – which is really a shame this year because a Folsom vs. DLS matchup would be monstrous – the Spartans and Huskies will have an extra week to prepare for their fourth matchup in a CIF bowl game. DLS has had wins in 2007 and 2012. Centennial beat the Spartans in 2008. The winner of this game also without question will be the 2014 State Team of the Year.

This week’s new State 25 overall rankings are not yet out, but De La Salle is expected to take over at No. 1 with Centennial moving up to No. 2 in the aftermath of its win over previous No. 1 St. John Bosco of Bellflower.

And was there any thought about Folsom, given its record-breaking series of performances this season, going to the Open Division. “There was limited discussion but the committee felt the clear choice was De La Salle,” Nocetti said.

Grant head coach Mike Alberghini speaks to team after it completed 10-0 regular season.  Photo: Mark Tennis.

Grant head coach Mike Alberghini speaks to team after it completed 10-0 regular season. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Grant of Sacramento (14-0) vs. Folsom (14-0). Friday at Sacramento State.

Grant had to win out over unbeaten CCS Open Division champ Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton but had a strength of schedule edge. The Pacers and Bulldogs also have been eyeing each other for several months but had to wait to see if Grant was going to be D1 or D2 in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Once the Pacers were officially placed in D2, they had to win the D2 section title in order to set up the matchup with Folsom.

“Its difficult they’re not moving on,” Nocetti commented regarding Sacred Heart Prep. “They’re a good team and deserved to be on the board but after looking at the criteria and strength of schedule of all the teams on the board the vote was for Grant.”

Edison of Fresno (12-1) at Oceanside (13-0), Friday.

Yeah, there’s going to some athletes making plays on both sides of the ball in this matchup between two schools with great alumni followings. With the L.A. City Section being down and with CIFSS West Valley champ Mission Viejo having losses to teams from the Central and San Diego sections (including Oceanside), this choice probably wasn’t too difficult.

Oakdale (13-1) at Clayton Valley of Concord (14-0), Saturday.

When we did our updated rankings on Saturday night, the Mustangs leapt from No. 5 to No. 2 with Enterprise of Redding going from No. 4 to No. 3. Previous No. 2 Concord lost to Clayton Valley to drop while previous No. 3 Inderkum lost to Oakdale. That second spot could have certainly gone to Enterprise, but the Hornets being finished and not playing made it easier to jump Oakdale higher. The commissioners also apparently agreed that Oakdale more than overcame its one loss to Sierra of Manteca by later wins over Central Catholic, Rio Linda and Inderkum.

Ridgeview of Bakersfield (12-1) vs. Redlands East Valley (13-1). Saturday at Citrus Valley (Redlands).

Some people who don’t follow the teams that closely may have been mystified why a 14-0 team from Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta didn’t get much consideration. In fact, however, a stronger case could have been made for 8-5 St. Augustine of San Diego when you study the scores of each team. Ridgeview vs. REV was the pick that made the most sense to us and the commissioners agreed. If Ridgeview doesn’t play better than it did against Dinuba, the host Wildcats could win big.

Sutter (13-0) vs. Campolindo of Moraga (14-0). Saturday at Acalanes (Lafayette).

In addition to Enterprise vs. Oakdale in D2 North, the choice in this division between Sutter and Aptos was the other doozy. For us, in doing the updated Saturday rankings, it also was different than Enterprise vs. Oakdale because in choosing Aptos we actually were flipping the teams in the rankings. That’s a move that’s more difficult to do than re-shuffling, which is what had to be done in D2 North.

Aptos came close to forcing the flip, but just not quite. Sutter also did not play this weekend, but several results did break in the Huskies’ favor, including Justin-Siena of Napa beating St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the NCS D4 final. Justin-Siena lost 49-0 to Sutter.

“There was much back and forth discussion and pertinent questions,” said CIF Football Advisory Committee Chair Jim Monico regarding the Oakdale and Sutter selections. “Both of the teams not selected were very qualified but the committee voted for Oakdale and Sutter and we can’t tell you what was on their minds.”

WR/DB Bailey Gaither is one Paso Robles player that El Capitan is going to have to worry about. Photo: Student Sports.

Bailey Gaither is one Paso Robles player that El Capitan is going to have to worry about. Photo: Student Sports.

Paso Robles (13-1) at El Capitan of Lakeside (13-0), Saturday.

There wasn’t much debate likely needed in this division except for the CIF Southern Section reps who probably know that their realigned Northern Division probably shouldn’t have been put into D3 and instead D2. There was a lot of comments that the 350-mile distance between these schools should have caused the CIF to put the game at a neutral site halfway between them. These bowl games, however, are seeded and it would be fair to have one No. 1 seed, in this case El Capitan, give up its home field due to travel concerns. And last year, remember it wasn’t exactly a short jaunt from Bakersfield to San Marcos for the D1 South bowl game.

Capital Christian of Sacramento (13-0) at Central Catholic of Modesto (10-3), Friday.

To us, the toughest choice was in D2 North and D3 South, but for those at Sunday’s meeting. this was the division that took the most time because of the forfeit losses (four of them) that were showing on the win-loss record of Oakland McClymonds, which was unbeaten on the field.

“After Central Catholic, there were a lot of teams and multiple votes but the discussion hashed it out,” Monico said. “Capital Christian finally got the six votes.”

McClymonds, which did get bowl eligible by winning the Oakland Section title, probably had the best chance of anybody to beat Central Catholic, but not enough of the commissioners would ever vote for a team with forfeits. Salesian of Richmond, which lost on the field to McClymonds but got one of the forfeit wins, was likely also strongly considered.

St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano (14-0) vs. Christian of El Cajon (13-0). Friday at Granite Hills (El Cajon).

As expected, these two unbeatens got the nod to face off. There were some at St. Margaret’s who were worried that Bishop’s of La Jolla and Liberty of Madera Ranchos, two other unbeaten teams, were poised to be chosen and frankly one of the two would have been except their enrollments for both are above 500. The only time the CIF can choose schools with enrollments above 500 in D4 is when there isn’t two below the cutoff line and this year with St. Margaret’s and El Cajon Christian there definitely were two legitimate clubs on the board.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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  1. sjs
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Why is the winner of the Open guaranteed to be the state team of the year? You look at Folsom and if they end up beating Grant and they beat Grant and lets say Oceanside and lets assume both handidly and finish 16-0, I think that is more impressive than Centennial beating DLS or vice versa, unless the game is lopsided. I could see a stronger case for Cent. than DLs since Cent. avenged loss to MD, loss by one to BG and beat SJB. However, considering Folsom would have beat CC, Grant and Oceanside and had a tougher rout through the playoffs plus an extra two games that says a lot. If Folsom has close wins against Grant and Oceanside than I could see a less compelling argument compared to DLS. Than again an extra two games is a lot.

    • osde
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      The exact same could be said for Oceanside if they were to win out… making a blanket statement that the winner of CC vs DLS is the state team of the year is at least in doubt if either Folsom, Grant, or Oceanside wins a state championship… The commissioners are idiots for removing the open regionals… makes no sense at all…

      • Kmobz19
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        No its not, number 1 will be either DLS OR CENTENNIAL. Period…

        • phil60
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Agreed. There’s no way that any of those section playoffs come close to comparing with the Pac5 in overall strength of teams (just take a look at Cal Hi’s top 25). And if De La Salle beats the Pac5 champion, they certainly deserve to be No.1. De La Salle’s section opposition is not very strong. However, they are light years above that competition and their record in the state playoffs speaks for itself. Too bad Oceanside is not in the Pac5. A win over Mission Viejo this year is just not the same. And if they played De La Salle instead of Centennial, the San Diego Section would find out what the Southern Section has been dealing with over the years.

          • osde
            Posted December 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            yeah maybe… or maybe you are wrong… if their was a regional the question would be answered on the field… since their is no open regional the questions will remain…. If Grant, Folsom, or Oceanside wins the title they will be a big school going undefeated… leaving the question that maybe they were better than the DLS CC winner… whether you like to believe it or not…

          • Mark Tennis
            Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            Yes, technically there will be a question that D1 state champ (if undefeated) might be better than the Open Div champ, but to actually rank that team higher would be one of the most questionable moves ever made.

          • osde
            Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            ever? really? ok… not saying DLS or CC isn’t deserving… just saying it is questionable to not even consider an undefeated big school that will have gone through a regional and another undefeated team… and to say that there is not at least some doubt is incorrect… Not to mention their is a precedent…. Servite in 2009… not undefeated and struggled to win a D2 state title over a team missing their starting qb was named state team of the year…

          • Mark Tennis
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            Servite was not named our State Team of the Year. De La Salle was after knocking off unbeaten Crenshaw in Open Division.

          • osde
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            My mistake, for some reason I thought Servite had finished ranked number one that year.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      DLS being No. 1 if it beats Centennial is obvious.
      Centennial No. 1 if it wins because then it would have back-to-back wins over Bosco and DLS. Two losses are easily overcome. One to Mater Dei later avenged. The other by 1 pt to Bishop Gorman (which many have as No. 1 team in the nation).
      Folsom, by not being able to play DLS, simply cannot get into the No. 1 argument. We knew this months ago, which is why getting rid of the Open Division regional games was a big mistake. Folsom and DLS should be playing and so should Oceanside vs. Centennial. I get it that the regional runner-ups have been so upset watching others get to win state titles, which is why the CIF should bring the four teams to a big-time doubleheader the week before the all of the state divisional title games and cross-match those four teams. It clearly gives the No. 2 teams in each region plenty of the spotlight, creates perhaps the best doubleheader in many years for the entire USA and just don’t see why it gets zero consideration. This year, for example, such a doubleheader would pit Folsom vs. Centennial (my god, the offense in that game would be unbelievable) and then De La Salle vs. Oceanside.

  2. Beercat
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Interesting take on the El Capitan v Paso Robles ………..
    Paso Robles would of still been in the D2 bowl playoff, but then who would El Capitan play in the D3 Regional? Hanford? Come on …….. Paso Robles makes the D3 Regional legit though I do agree El Capitan should be favored. The Northern in D# is no less legitimate as El Capitan being in D3, heck, they beat one of the finalist in the SD open, Helix.

    As far as the distance, no complaints, we take them anyway they come but lets be factual ……… it’s closer for Paso Robles to travel to either of the North’s D3 Regional contenders than to drive to Lakeside to play El Capitan. No offense to El Capitan, not their choice but it is something to think about in the future. Another fact ………… 200 miles from Bako to San Marcos, Paso Robles to Lakeside, about 350 miles, a 7 1/2 hour bus ride if there isn’t traffic 😉

    • Cal 14
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The comment about the SS Northern Division being in D-III vs. D-II wasn’t about making the division legit. It was about the fact that the Northern Division is more aligned with D-II in terms of strength and school enrollments. Newbury Park would have been D-I in several of the other CIF sections, but D-III for the SS? D-III is supposed to be for small schools around 500-1200 kids.

      • Beercat
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        So that’s why El Capitan has over 1700 kids?

        Enrollment has very little to do with the grouping. They looked at the last 5 years win loss first and foremost, heck, why so you think Nordhoff and Bishop Diego got tossed under the bus.

        My point was that without the Northern being placed in D3 El Capitan would beat to death any other team placed in the Regional. Having El Capitan playing Paso Robles gives the D# legitimacy, that was my point.

        Next year this issue will be mute as there will be 13 bowl brackets so the enrollment will be more aligned which I agree is a good thing. Remember Paso Robles has been battling the Westlake’s, Bonnies, Hat’s, Valencia’s, Serra’s and Chaminade’s for the last down years ……. they were due for a break, even still there are schools will over 3,000 in the Northern Division ……… PR still prevailed, all with home grown kids, like wise El Capitain is an average size public school with home grown kids ………… great matchup for 2 deserving programs …..

        • Beercat
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          last dozen years ………..

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          The problem is that each section is allowed to handle its divisions in different ways. In the CIFSS, enrollments are not as important as competitive equity. In the CCS, enrollments are huge. Eventually, everyone will be doing its playoff divisions by competitive equity or as my uncle did them 35 years ago what he called league strength. Nelson’s mythical bowl matchups from 30 years ago are still better than the state games they have now or will have next season.

          • paul_johnson884
            Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            are your uncles old bowl match ups rules published anywhere?

          • Mark Tennis
            Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            No, I’d have to look them up. More stuff from our archives that we’ll eventually add to this site.

        • Bearcats97
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          Excellent points beercat paso has gotten screwed for years being in a cif division they had no business being in im sorry but cif is ran by some idiots shouldn’t be this hard to put schools against other evenly matched schools for some reason it has been for years. Hopefully next well change it for the better.

        • Cal 14
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Three CIF sections are about the same size: CCS, CS, and SDS. They were handled very differently, though by the CIF. The CCS and SDS each have Open Divisions, so the numbered ones really are one lower (i.e., D-I is really D-II, D-II is really D-III, etc.). As such, the CCS has one state D-I division, but two D-II divisions, while the CS and SDS each have only one D-II division. That’s a problem. They should be treated similarly.

          The CCS only has two D-III divisions, while the CS and SDS each have four. So, yes, with 1700 kids, the SDS D-II winner should also be D-II for state.

          Also, given that the SS is four times larger than all three of these, they should have at least three times more D-I divisions instead of just two.

  3. bobo216
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Not only did El Capitan beat Helix who was a Cif Finalist in San Diegos Open divison. They beat the D1 finalist Madison, and the D4 finalist Mater Dei. They also won thier league, where they are the only D2 team the rest are D1 teams, the way San Diego does it. Divisions are made by team records over a 5 year period not school size. That is why El Capitan is D2 for San Diego and D3 for state.

    • Cal 14
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Not exactly. SDS D-II should be D-II for state. See my comment above about the CCS, which is about the same size as the SDS. The SDS got to overload state D-III, while only having one D-II division (same with the CS). The CCS had to spread out its divisions amongst the three state divisions. Since the sections are all about the same size, they should be treated similarly.

      • Mark Tennis
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        San Diego was able to slide down its divisions because the CCS D1 champ with an open division is considered D2 North. CCS D3 is D3 North so San Diego D3 would then be D3 South. One of the reasons the CCS gets shut out is that there are no small private schools below 500 (like Central Catholic, El Cajon Christian) that are ever in the mix for D4 in the north.

        • Cal 14
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          Right Mark, but CCS D-II is state D-II, while SDS D-II and CS D-III (CS, not having an Open Division, so their numbers don’t slide down) are D-III. That’s where the problem lies. El Capitan won the SDS D-II title. They should be state D-II, just like Paso Robles.

  4. Jazz Bass
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    El Capitan is D2 in San Diego, but they could have played in the Open Bowl. They are not your typical small town school this season, they can play with bigger schools and compete. If Paso Robles beats them, they should have no problems with the North team ?

  5. Macktyson
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    In D1, Fresno is about 300 miles away from Oceanside so they are in the same boat, I expect Edison to make that drive down there and come home with the W as well.

  6. Mike
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Wow I really cant believe Enterprise got jumped. I’m so sick of hearing that the SJS is so good. After watching the Oakdale game on Saturday I was not impressed and thought there is no way, one of those teams can be considered over Enterprise. I cant wait for the changes next year so teams cant be voted out by people who have never seen teams play. This was a big mistake I’m at a loss of words on how horrible this decision was.

    • Joe
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      It was great to see Enterprise step up and play a SJS team this year in Vacaville. Unfortunately for them, they got beat and it wasn’t close. No reason to knock the SJS when you already lost to them. I hope Enterprise beats them next year and gets a spot.

      Bottom line. If you want to play in Regional/State games, schedule at least one out of section game against a strong team and most importantly beat them!

  7. EHS4life
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Next year is going to be great you win your the Champ.

  8. Bearcats97
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen el cap and paso play should be a great game just don’t understand how a committee can seed one team over the other and they probably have never seen either one of them play not sure y they couldn’t have just met in the middle somewhere but it is what it is now just hope paso can have a lot of fans who can make the drive to support the team I know I’m gonna be there

    • Beercat
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Rooter bus(es) in the planning ……….

  9. Stan
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Can’t believe two things: 1) Bowl games are not played on a neutral field, unlike section championships!! 2)Central Catholic, a team that had only beaten 1 team with a winning record in regular season, (Aside from Manteca, foes they beat had a combined record of 15-45) gets to host an undefeated team!!

    • Bill
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Have you taken a look a the Golden Empire League, of which Capital Christian is a member? Not exactly a league of iconic programs.

      • Stan
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        True, but are they any worse than the teams that Central beat in their own league? Capital Christian had two wins over a ‘quality’ opponent, Modesto Christian, who beat Div I and Div II teams. Those were MC’s only losses. Losing to good teams trumps beating lesser teams? How does that make sense?

        • Bill
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          I hear what you are saying. However, if you want to discuss MC’s only two losses, you may want to take a look at the Trans Valley league. It was as bad as I have seen it in several years. The only possible quality win MC had was over Escalon and they had a down year. To compare the bottom half of the VOL to the bottom half of the GEL is not time well spent. As challenged as Weston Ranch and Lathrop are, the bottom half of the GEL is, unfortunately, not good. At the end of the day, we will find out Friday night who is the best team. If Capital Christian is the best team, then they will win in Modesto. If not, then it’s a long drive back to Sacramento.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      So you would seriously seed the SJS D6 champion ahead of Central Catholic (3-time D4 champion in SJS)? Cap Christian I don’t believe got out of the first round last time it was in SJS D4 (lost to Placer). I agree that bowl games should be at neutral field, though, and not at home sites. I think it’s just got too hard for the CIF state office to run it that way. The state office does do cross-country, girls volleyball and then football bowl games in consecutive weeks.

  10. Terry Logue
    Posted December 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed reading all these comments. It is always the same regardless of the school or Division. If you didn’t get a bowl game, you are upset, and disappointed. If you got selected, you deserved it. If you didn’t get selected, you had a weak schedule, if you got selected, you were “on paper” clearly the better team. Thank goodness, the games are not played on paper or on the computer. Our school got passed over, and I can sincerely sympathize with all the other schools that are not getting a chance to settle it on the field, like they did in their Section championship games.

    If they don’t expand next year, they should do away with it, or clarify by enrollment which schools at least are eligible for which divisions. Also, a scoring rubric should be put in place. Is it better to lose to a much bigger and better opponent, or score 50 or 60 against far inferior talent and be undefeated.

    The greatest team sport in the world is football. No one can “predict” who will beat who based on scores of games. There are so many factors that go into a game, some are controllable, and some are not controllable. All every team can ask for is a chance to settle it on the field. Unfortunately, under the current system that is impossible. So, you will have teams on the outside complaining and teams that got selected happy with the process. The hardest part is to be told you are “not good enough”, yet you can’t do anything about it. To those teams who got in, congratulations, I am sure you deserve it, but to those who are like us, (Bear River Div III North) and were told you weren’t good enough, we will have to live to fight another day and another battle. Terry Logue, Co-Head Coach

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