Show­down resched­uled

St. John Bosco vs. Mater Dei among games resched­uled on ac­count of light­ning.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Eric Sond­heimer eric.sond­heimer@la­ Twit­ter: @lat­sond­heimer

Un­usual weather adds to sus­pense of high school “game of the year” as games across South­land also post­poned.

At just past 6:20 p.m. on Fri­day, there was a loud boom and a f lash of light­ning near Santa Ana Sta­dium.

A light­ning bolt had struck a tree out­side the sta­dium. Play­ers were in­structed to leave the field. Soon there was pour­ing rain, and fans who had started to gather in the stands for the Trin­ity League show­down be­tween No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei and No. 1 Bellflower St. John Bosco scat­tered for cover.

As if the game of the year in high school foot­ball needed to gen­er­ate any more ex­cite­ment, this rare South­ern Cal­i­for­nia weather out­burst added to the sus­pense.

Un­for­tu­nately, the light­ning per­sisted and the game was called off just be­fore 8 p.m.

It has been resched­uled for 7 p.m. Satur­day at Santa Ana Sta­dium. It will be tele­vised on Fox Sports West.

“This stinks,” St. John Bosco coach Ja­son Ne­gro said dur­ing a meet­ing on the field among game of­fi­cials. “It’s some­thing we can’t con­trol, but the safety of par­ents, play­ers, spec­ta­tors is most im­por­tant.”

What hap­pened on Fri­day might be un­prece­dented in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia high school foot­ball his­tory. The light­ning storm spread from Or­ange County to Los An­ge­les County, forc­ing other high school foot­ball games to be halted and resched­uled.

“This is from the depart­ment of the bizarre,” said Cal-Hi Sports ed­i­tor Mark Ten­nis, who came from North­ern Cal­i­for­nia for the Mater Dei-St. John Bosco game.

The light­ning caused de­lays and can­cel­la­tions across the South­land, with the Or­ange Lutheran-San Juan Capis­trano JSerra game post­poned un­til 10:30 a.m Satur­day.

Fans of the Trin­ity League can watch a dou­ble­header on Satur­day like base­ball.

San Cle­mente will play Capis­trano Val­ley at 10 a.m. Satur­day.

One rea­son for the can­cel­la­tions is a na­tional rule that you have to wait 30 min­utes af­ter hear­ing thun­der or see­ing light­ning. The rain stopped on Fri­day but light­ning con­tin­ued.

Five City Sec­tion games were post­poned — Pal­isades-Venice, Car­son-Gar­dena, Fre­mont-View Park, Cren­shaw-Hawkins and San Pe­dro-Ban­ning. The VenicePal­isades game will re­sume at 4 p.m. Satur­day at Venice with the Gon­doliers lead­ing 10-0.

“Safety for the stu­den­tath­letes and fans is of ut­most im­por­tance,” said City Sec­tion sports in­for­ma­tion di­rec­tor Dick Dor­nan, who was at the Pal­isades-Venice game. “The de­ci­sion to post­pone the game by the Venice ad­min­is­tra­tion was the right move.”

The out­come of the Mater Dei-St. John Bosco game will pretty much wrap up the No. 1 seed for the South­ern Sec­tion Divi­sion 1 play­offs that be­gin next month.

The los­ing team will prob­a­bly have to face cur­rently un­beaten Corona Cen­ten­nial in the semi­fi­nals. Cen­ten­nial has given the Braves and Monar­chs prob­lems in re­cent years. Cen­ten­nial won Divi­sion 1 ti­tles in 2014 and 2015.

Of course, that’s per­haps look­ing too far ahead. Each team has two league games left. But first the light­ning has to end in usu­ally sunny South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

‘This stinks. It’s some­thing we can’t con­trol, but the safety of par­ents, play­ers, spec­ta­tors is most im­por­tant.’ — Ja­son Ne­gro, St. John Bosco coach, on the post­pone­ment of the Braves’ game against Mater Dei

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