Monday, December 19, 2011

California State Bowl Game

On Friday and Saturday nights, the California Interscholastic Federation (C.I.F.) hosted their Sixth Annual Bowl Championship High School Football Bowl Games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

As I stated in my previous post, these five Bowl games attempt to match the best team in Southern California against the best squad from Northern California based on a combination of perceived strength and enrollment.

While trying to decide which ten schools deserve to be in these games is no easy task, once selected it is "GAME ON!"

Friday night saw two new State Champions crowned.

In Division IV, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (15-0) defeated Le Grand (12-1) by a score of 34-13.

That afternoon's contest was followed by the Division I game. In that high scoring affair, Santa Margarita (13-2) edged San Jose Bellarmine (12-2) by virtue of a last second score winning 42-37.

The Saturday's slate of games began with the Division III game which again was hotly contested. Fresno's Washington Union (14-0) beat Moraga Campolindo (14-1) in another close one 21-16.

The Division II game was again close as La Mesa Helix (13-1) got by Loomis Del Oro (13-2) 35-24.

That brings us to the big finale, the Open Division Bowl Game. The theory is that this game, very arguably, features the two best teams in the state regardless of enrollment.

The picks this year for this prestigious game were Concord De La Salle and Westlake.

My original plan was to stay at home and watch this game unfold in the warm comfort our family room as it was being aired live on television. About four days before kickoff I received a phone call from a former Westlake player, Craig Weisman, about going to the game with him. It turns out that I was at one time the Head Football Coach at Westlake (1978-88) and Craig was one of our really good linemen in those days. After a lot of coercion on Craig's part, I finally agreed to go to the game with him and another ex-Warrior great, Bill Fisher.

I am glad I did.

L. to R., Bill Fisher, Craig Weisman, me,
Gary Wellman and Sue Wellman

Once at the game, we ran into the Wellman clan. Gary was also a player for us at Westlake and his mother Sue was one of our top two booster Moms, Molly Slavin being the other.

Gary's big brother Glenn was probably the best back I coached at Westlake and his son Bradley is a starting CB/WR for this year's C.I.F. Southern Section, Northern Division Champions. He was destined to play a very good game on both sides of the ball on this cool evening.

In all of the excitement I didn't get a picture of Glenn.


Jason Raciti

It was great to see Jason at the game, he was a manager for us for a couple of seasons and is now a very successful fashion photographer.

We also saw Derrick Schmucker, Chris Kreibehl and Larry Freed at the game. All in all it was a great night to reminisce about the good old days.

Meanwhile, back at the game . . .

A Good Memory

In a show of great sportsmanship, no this is not a post-game handshake, it is a pre-game handshake.

Back in early September, undefeated Westlake opened their season with a game in Northern California against eventual Division II Bowl game participant Loomis Del Oro. Westlake handed Del Oro their only loss of the year in overtime 30-27 until their loss to Helix minutes before this picture was taken,.

Even though they had just lost, the Del Oro players in yellow jerseys were all lining up to wish their former opponents good luck as they warmed up.


As for the Open Division Bowl, it was no contest. De La Salle was an easy victor over a very good Westlake squad.

De La Salle has a truly amazing program having won TWENTY consecutive C.I.F. North Coast Section Championships! They have 27 of those crowns overall.

They have appeared in a Bowl Game all six years that this system has been in existence winning four of them.

Their Head Coach, Bob Ladouceur, has a career record at De La Salle of 383-25-3!!!

The Spartans also hold the National Record for the longest winning streak with a 151 game skein from 1992 to 2004.

They have not lost to another Northern California team in 20 years, going 221-0-2 in that time.

Their last loss to another California team was in the 2008 California Division I Bowl Game when the lost to Corona Centennial 21-16.


Still, it was amazing to read that this incredibly great De La Salle team lost a game in Florida by a score of 30-6 to a Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas team that didn't even win their own league on the way to a 10-3 record. How good is Florida football?

The final score of our game was De La Salle (13-1) 35 - Westlake (14-1) 0.

Wait 'Til Next Year!!!

No comments: