Here is the lineup of games for this year’s CIF football regional championships as announced on Sunday, Dec. 3. The matchups were approved by a committee of CIF section commissioners through video conference call. If people are curious, we know our Cal-Hi Sports’ bowl boards (north and south) are looked at by CIF football officials, but we’re not working together on them. We’re making projections on what we think might happen and also make suggestions on matchups we’d like to see and why. In some cases, the CIF committee agrees and in some cases they don’t.
Note: To see our what our own lineup would have been and why, CLICK HERE for Gold Club post.
De La Salle (11-1) vs. Mater Dei (14-0) at Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State – Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Comment: This will always be CIFSS D1 champion vs. DLS unless the CIFSS D1 champion were to have a loss to a team from San Diego or L.A. City or when DLS finally loses a game to a team north of Fresno. There’s no indication either instance is going to happen anytime soon.
North: Central, Fresno (12-1) at Folsom (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Helix (12-1) at Oaks Christian (12-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Helix has a loss to Paraclete and will continue to be ranked behind the Spirits. Helix would only go higher if it beats Oaks Christian in this game because Oaks has a win over Paraclete. That being said, the win by Helix over Mission Hills was enough for that team to be in this game. Plus, it lined up the matchups nice and smooth in the next two divisions.
North: Pittsburg (8-2) at Granite Bay (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Paraclete (13-1) at Narbonne (10-3) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Our own Cal-Hi Sports projections done late Saturday had these matchups as well as the same for D1-AA. Pittsburg is the only one of the three that has never won a CIF state title.
North: Serra-San Mateo (11-2) vs. Tulare Union (13-0) at Bob Mathias Stadium – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Cajon (13-1) at Rancho Verde (12-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Again, this division was a match for us. Serra traveled last year to play Sanger in D2-A regional final and while Tulare this year is probably better we’re not in favor of making a team like Serra have to travel like that for two straight years.
North: St. Francis, Mountain View (9-4) at Manteca (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Aquinas (14-0) vs. Grace Brethren (12-2) at Moorpark College – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Grace Brethren obviously was elevated to D2-A for having an OT win over Bishop Diego even though Bishop Diego won a higher CIFSS division (D6 compared to D8). Aquinas vs. Grace should be a great game, but looking across to the NorCal side looms St. Francis and Manteca. Those two are just from traditionally much stronger leagues & playoff divisions. It would be like winner of Aquinas-Grace was going to be playing a team like Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks or Loyola in the state final. It’ll be a step up for sure.
North: Marin Catholic (12-0) at Shasta (11-1) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Quartz Hill (13-1) vs. Bishop Diego (13-1) at Santa Barbara City College – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: We have liked Quartz Hill as the strongest of the CIFSS divisional champions below D6 for the last two weeks and would have had the Rebels one division higher. They have a stronger computer ranking than Aquinas and Grace Brethren as well. Quartz Hill’s only loss to Palmdale (CIFSS D5) and beat a 12-0 team from Apple Valley in semifinals. Plus, love that win over Oxnard and then Oxnard beat Westlake the next week. Marin Catholic has played and beaten Northern Section teams in this round before.
North: Sutter (12-1) at Half Moon Bay (13-0) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Steele Canyon (10-4) at El Modena (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: A lot of the SoCal teams from after Rancho Verde and Cajon were hard to split apart and evaluate. Steele Canyon actually could have been as high as D2-A since the previously unbeaten Ramona team that it beat in the San Diego Section D2 final clearly would have been in D2-A. Sutter and Half Moon Bay started looking like a possibility last week and it’s one of those matchups that gets more interesting every time you think about it. Great communities, great teams and should be a great night.
North: Placer (12-1) at Salinas (11-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Crenshaw (10-3) at El Camino (8-5) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Both Placer and Salinas got key wins during the season over Aptos. As the CCS Open 1 champ, Salinas being this low may surprise some. But before upsetting Milpitas in that last game, the Cowboys had a computer ranking that wasn’t even close to Placer’s. There also was too much evidence to have Half Moon Bay higher on the NorCal board.
North: Milpitas (12-1) at Campolindo (10-4) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: San Joaquin Memorial (11-2) at Southwest EC (13-0) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Before getting upset by Salinas, Milpitas probably would have been slotted in to play in D2-A. Now, the Trojans are all the way down to D4-A. We saw the possibility of San Joaquin Memorial playing Southwest, but just assumed the CIF wouldn’t ask any team to travel from Fresno to the Imperial Valley or vice-versa so we picked a different lineup. They did ask and it will be the Panthers who have to take this questionable trip.
North: McClymonds (12-0) at East Nicolaus (13-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Big Bear (13-1) vs. Golden West (11-2) at Visalia Community Stadium – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: McClymonds head coach Michael Peters seemed to be lobbying to play East Nic (same team the Warriors beat in last year’s NorCal regional final) and got his wish. Getting unbeaten teams to play is always a good thing, though, and that game Friday at East Nic is the one we are going to try to attend. It’s either that or drive to Tulare (last time we tried that we got wrecked on 99) or drive to Folsom (just saw them play).
North: Bear River (10-3) at Fortuna (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Monte Vista (8-5) vs. Katella (13-1) at Western HS – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: It’s hard to get a read on these teams. Love the bracket that Bear River just navigated in the SJS, though, and this is a good spot for the Bruins. Monte Vista and Katella, however, are bigger schools in terms of demographics.
North: St. Patrick-St. Vincent (11-1) at Strathmore (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Caruthers (12-0) vs. Orange (12-2) at El Modena HS – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: These matchups were expected after all of the results came in. St. Pat-St. Vincent won the D6-A state title last year and is playing the team it beat in the state final in this year’s NorCal final on the road. Strathmore just traveled to Hilmar so it makes sense that the Spartans wouldn’t have to travel this week.
North: Galileo=San Francisco (9-2) at Rio Vista (9-3) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Huntington Park (11-3) vs. Vincent Memorial (11-2) at Calexico HS – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: These two bottom teams in both north and south brackets were fairly easy to project. The decision by Northern Section D5 champ Chester not to participate only impacted these teams. We’ll actually be in Rio Vista on Saturday, but it’ll be earlier as we’re undertaking the sad task of collecting all of the sports items that were owned by our friend Bruce McIntosh, who died last Friday at a Vacaville hospital.