The California Interscholastic Federation announced this year’s bowl matchups this morning, and there were very few surprises. Here’s the list.
Open Division: De La Salle (13-0) vs. Servite-Anaheim (14-0)
Division I: Palo Alto (13-0) vs. Centennial-Corona (14-0)
Division II: Folsom (13-1) vs. Serra-Gardena (14-0)
Division III: Escalon (13-1) vs. Madison-San Diego (12-1)
Division IV: Brookside Christian-Stockton (12-0) vs. Bishop’s School-La Jolla (13-0)
I think things shook out about as we expected. Cal-Hi Sports had switched their final rankings today to put Cardinal Newman, the NCS Division III champ, in the top spot for the Division III north bowl berth, but the commissioners decided to go with Escalon, the Sac-Joaquin Section champ. So, I’m sure that will be the decision discussed when we have a conference call later today.
As for the top game, De La Salle returns to the Open Division game looking to defend its title. DLS and Servite have never played, and it should be a fantastic week of lead-up into what should be a great game.
“That was one of their goals, to get back there, so they’re excited,” De La Salle defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. “It’s nice to have two guys like Dylan Wynn and Blake Renaud, who’ve been in the trenches and who know how tough these Southern California teams are.”
Of course, as De La Salle heads south, a couple local teams will stay home despite qualifying for bowl consideration. One is McClymonds, which went 12-0 and won the Oakland Section. The Warriors were a Division II team due to the new classification criteria the CIF uses (the entire Oakland Section was Division II because of the wide range of enrollments in the section), and were passed over in favor of Sac-Joaquin Section champ Folsom.
“I think it’s just unfortunate for the kids, being that we were one of the top teams in Northern California,” McClymonds coach Curtis McCauley told Jimmy Durkin. “But we’re not going to let the possibility of one game taint our season. We had a great season, our kids are winners and I’m so proud of them.”
Concord, winner of last night’s thrilling Division II contest with Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park, also did not make it in Division II. NCS Division IV champ Salesian also qualified but was not selected. Salesian is a Division III school for bowl purposes.