One ti­tle team won’t go bowl­ing

Los Angeles Times - - Morning Briefing - ERIC SOND­HEIMER

There’s a real mess brew­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia high school foot­ball, and it’s go­ing to un­fold in De­cem­ber when it’s time to pick the CIF state cham­pi­onship bowl teams to play at the Home De­pot Cen­ter in Car­son.

Only two bowl berths are avail­able among the North­ern Di­vi­sion cham­pion, the In­land Di­vi­sion cham­pion and the Pac-5 cham­pion. That means the sec­tion com­mis­sion­ers could end up leav­ing out an un­beaten West­lake Vil­lage West­lake, an un­beaten Corona Cen­ten­nial or the Pac-5 cham­pion, Mis­sion Viejo or Ana­heim Servite, when fill­ing the berths for the Open Di­vi­sion and Di­vi­sion I bowl games.

That might pro­voke anger among fans whose team is left out.

But if the sce­nario plays out, good luck try­ing to sep­a­rate the teams.

Asked who he’d leave out, Cal­Preps.com’s Eric Maddy said, “You got me.”

Yes, strength of sched­ule would pre­vail in try­ing to fig­ure out the rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but this sea­son more than ever, go­ing un­beaten could be de­ci­sive.

Of course, it’s only the open­ing month of the sea­son, and teams still have to win a sec­tion ti­tle to gain con­sid­er­a­tion for a bowl berth.

But come De­cem­ber, some com­mis­sion­ers might want to call in sick on se­lec­tion day.

Mis­sion Viejo (4-0), West­lake (3-0), Servite (4-0) and Cen­ten­nial (3-0) truly look like elite teams. And Gar­dena Serra (4-0) isn’t far off, but be­cause the Cava­liers are listed as a Di­vi­sion II team for bowl con­sid­er­a­tion, it’s doubt­ful they’d en­ter the equa­tion for the Open Di­vi­sion game be­cause then the com­mis­sion­ers would have to leave out two teams from among the big three.

Let’s see how ev­ery­thing plays out, but don’t be sur­prised if it gets very un­com­fort­able on se­lec­tion day.

Ex­cite­ment in West­lake Vil­lage

I called West­lake Coach Jim Benkert on Satur­day morn­ing. He was meet­ing with his team. I asked whether the play­ers were ex­cited about fac­ing Oaks Chris­tian, the school less than a mile from West­lake. He said, “Hold on.” Then he asked his play­ers, “Are you ex­cited about play­ing Oaks Chris­tian?”

The next thing I know, I hear a loud, “Yes!” com­ing from my phone.

It took 11 years to get West­lake and Oaks Chris­tian to fi­nally play a foot­ball game against each other, but it’s set for 8:30 p.m. Fri­day at Oak Chris­tian. West­lake has been given 3,000 tick­ets. Oaks Chris­tian has 3,000 tick­ets. The game will air on Prime Ticket.

Oaks Chris­tian Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Jan Heth­cock said tick­ets can be pur­chased at the school’s re­cep­tion desk start­ing at 1p.m. Mon­day.

Both schools are 2-0 in the Mar­monte League. Oaks Chris­tian ex­pects to be at full strength with the re­turn of re­ceiver Jor­dan Pay­ton and tight end Dil­lon van der Wal from in­juries.

Coach Bill Redell said he will make a de­ci­sion Thurs­day as to who will start at quar­ter­back be­tween Trevor Gret­zky and Richie Harrington.

TD ma­chine

Steven Man­fro, a se­nior run­ning back from Va­len­cia, has scored 14 touch­downs in three games. Last week, Man­fro picked up his first col­lege of­fer from Wy­oming.

City show­down loom­ing

Mark down Nov. 12 on your cal­en­dar. That’s when Dorsey (4-0) and Cren­shaw (2-2) are sched­uled to meet in a reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Jackie Robin­son Sta­dium at

Ran­cho Cienega Sports Com­plex.

It should bring out both schools’ fa­mous foot­ball alumni en force. Dorsey’s two ex-play­ers at UCLA, Rahim Moore and Johnathan Franklin, are so loyal that they list as their home­town, “Dorsey, Calif.”

Golfer to watch

Tif­fany Yau, a 14-year-old fresh­man golfer at Van Nuys, made a hole in one in her first high school match ear­lier this sea­son and has con­tin­ued to daz­zle, be­com­ing the No. 1player on a team fa­vored to win the City Sec­tion girls’ ti­tle. eric.sond­heimer.latimes.com twit­ter.com/LATSond­heimer

Lawrence K. Ho

CITY TI­TLE ON THE LINE: Nel­son Spruce (20) and his West­lake team­mates will play neigh­bor­ing Oaks Chris­tian for the first time Fri­day.

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