Spring 2021 FB & State Records

This was the only team from the 2019 season – Corona del Mar of Newport Beach – that was added to the state record book with a 16-0 record. Should a 5-0 or 6-0 team from this spring be added onto the same list? Photo: Mark Tennis.

To say it is going to be complicated regarding the addition of any teams or players to the all-time state football records during and after the upcoming (and very shortened) 2021 spring football season is an understatement. But given what these student-athletes and coaches have gone through to give them the chance to play, we’ll certainly take some extra steps as well. This includes adding average per game listings at the bottom of many categories plus every undefeated team (5-0 or 6-0) to all-time list of state’s unbeaten teams.

Note: The Cal-Hi Sports state record lists on this site are not official, but the CIF doesn’t have them and neither does any other media source. We have them because one person (our founder, the late Nelson Tennis) spent more than 30 years of his life compiling all of them in many sports, not just football. The actual record lists and many articles we’ve written inspired by them are part of our Gold Club subscription to this web site. They are completely up to date for football entering the 2021 spring season. To become a member, CLICK HERE.


(We’ll do this writeup in a Q & A format)

How will you differentiate in future state record lists between this spring’s scheduled games and the upcoming regular fall season for 2021?
It will have to be 2021 Spring and 2021 Fall for some categories but for others we will simply list the most recent season first. There will be no listing for 2020. Asterisks also will be used in some places.

What if a team doesn’t lose a game this spring? Will that still count as an undefeated season?
While that may be a little disrespectful to a team from 2019 like Corona del Mar of Newport Beach, which tied a state record by going 16-0 en route to winning the CIF D1A state championship, yes it will count. There have been instances of schools from many years in the past that also played a limited number of games because of outside forces, especially those schools that were playing during World War II. We actually have separate Northern and Southern California lists of every unbeaten high school football team going back more than 100 years. For those lists, we only included the ones with a five-win minimum. For this spring, we’ll keep it with a five-win minimum but may add more depending on circumstances. It gets more muddy for any team that is lower than that because we’re not as sure of the results we have from some of those years in the 1910s or earlier. The bottom line is that if these kids and coaches put in all of these hours in order to even play a shortened season, they certainly deserve to have an unbeaten season count in the record books if it matches other totals already listed. And besides, it’s not like there are separate lists of teams with the best records for a single season in state history. Teams like Corona del Mar 2019 have a permanent spot there to single them out more than the 5-0 or 6-0 squads.


Central Catholic head coach Roger Canepa once directed team to four straight state titles. He needs just one more win to reach 250 for his career. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Does a league championship from this spring count?
This will depend strictly on each league. We already know of course there will be no section, regional or state championships. We won’t check for every league, but for those schools that already have a significant number of league championships in their histories (examples Bakersfield, Dos Palos, De La Salle of Concord, Centennial of Corona and more) we will be reaching out to those schools to see if that particular league is going to credit that particular school. Schools in the Bay Valley Athletic League of the CIF North Coast Section are all playing a five-game league-only schedule and it’s been decided that the league title will be officially recognized. “In the BVAL, we want to make the games meaningful and give the kids something to celebrate when they do well,” said Nate Smith, athletic director at Heritage of Brentwood.

Even with a limited number of games, will any coaches be able to notch milestone wins?
According to our state records, which lists everyone with 200 reported varsity wins within the state, there are none that will be getting close to 300 and we don’t know for sure for anyone who is close to reaching 200. We do know that there are two head coaches in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section — Roger Canepa from Central Catholic of Modesto and Terry Logue from Bear River of Lake of the Pines — who are currently showing with 249 wins and would only need one more to reach 250.

Will any state records be counted just as they always have?
Of course. All single-game totals will certainly be tracked and added where they qualify. This would be the same for teams and individuals. All wins for categories such as best records of the decade and most all-time wins also will just be added on as normal. Once the short season is completed (looks like April 17 for all of the schedules we’ve seen so far), we’ll go through everything so all categories are updated prior to the start of the 2021 fall season.

Is there any way for season totals for a team or player to go into the book?
At first, with teams only getting in four, five or six games, that would seem impossible. We do have averages per game figured out, however, in all of our printed record books. For scoring averages per game for one team this spring, for example, if any were to come close to the average of 55.8 for Bakersfield in six games in 1920 then it would be added at the bottom of the current season scoring list as a note. The same approach would be applied for individual categories. Examples there include averaging five TDs scored per game, five to six TD passes per game, an average of 140 yards receiving per game and an average of 2.5 interceptions per game for a defensive player.

QB Tyler Buchner is shown playing for Bishop’s of La Jolla during 2019 season. Photo: IrishSportsDaily.com.

What about individual career records?
Any players who have already left for college and therefore won’t have a senior season added to their totals will be missed the most. Tyler Buchner had 4,474 yards passing with 1,610 yards rushing in just the 2019 season at Bishop’s of La Jolla, but never played a snap at Helix of La Mesa (the school he was planning to play for last fall) and has now graduated and left for Notre Dame. He’ll be missed for all future career records but could get early playing time for the Irish. The same is true for a quarterback like Miller Moss, who started as a freshman at Loyola (Los Angeles), then played two years at Alemany (Mission Hills) and was slated to start at powerhouse Mater Dei (Santa Ana) last fall. Who knows what kind of senior season he might have had with all of that talent surrounding him? Like Buchner with Notre Dame, Moss already is at USC and he never played a snap for the Monarchs. The flip side that could come into play for career records is four years down the road since there could be a high number of freshmen playing on varsity teams his spring. They’ll have freshman varsity totals added on to their later seasons.

Finally, what about State Teams of the Year and all-state teams?
Yes, there will be all of the usual postseason honors that we’ve done for nearly 40 years despite the low number of games. Players still will have had the equivalent of half of a normal regular season to evaluate. That’s not the same as last spring with baseball and softball when many teams didn’t reach close to one-third of their regular season schedules.
As for State Team of the Year, we’ve already thought about one nightmare scenario due to the low number of games. What if the big three of Mater Dei, St. John Bosco of Bellflower and Servite of Anaheim were all to end with one loss and in effect a three-way tie? MD and Bosco are still the top two teams in the state to start up the 2021 spring season and Servite isn’t far behind. Depending on the scores of the games involved and other scores, there may not be any way to avoid having a three-way tie at the top of the final state rankings as well. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.

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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