CIF boss Jerry Schniepp had a thoughtful response recently to criticism of the San Diego Section playoff formula by writer John Maffei, but even if Schniepp’s assertion that the system implemented this year is the best of several that have been tried, teams like Bonita Vista. 0-11 and counting, continue to get postseason invitations.
Bonita Vista apparently had a stronger “strength of schedule” than 6-4 Brawley or 5-5 Morse, but the Barons were only the most recent example of the “participation trophy” mentality that has been evolving since the CIF first admitted a losing team, coincidentally Bonita Vista, in 1984.
The CIF seemed to even go out of its way to include 0-10 San Marcos in 2006.
Steve Brand, then of The San Diego Union, wrote of the Knights’ inclusion that year:
“Mission Hills dumped San Marcos, 42-0 (in the regular-season-ending game) but the Knights received an unexpected bonus. They were given a playoff berth.
“Madison and Crawford were out of the postseason because of (combined 11) forfeits, but instead of constructing an eight-team playoff bracket in Division IV, the committee of former coaches, overseen by (commissioner) Dennis Ackerman, opted for a 10-team bracket.”
Of the 11 eligible IV possibilities in 2006, San Marcos was picked over another winless club, Kearny.
“0-10 is 0-10,” Knights coach Desi Herrera admitted to Brand, “but the beauty is we’re starting 0-0 and the playoffs are where we aspire to be. I want the players to get used to going to the playoffs every year.”
San Marcos was game but bowed in the first round to Coronado, 27-21. Bonita Vista exited last week after a 35-19 loss to Oceanside.
If not fewer divisions, smaller brackets would make for a more competitive postseason.
That won’t happen. The more the merrier is the financially-enhancing go-to philosophy throughout the state CIF’s 10 sections.
There will be more blowouts this week as the surviving 44 teams from the original 64 reach the quarterfinals in Open, I, II, II, and IV. D-V teams are in the semifinals. Games should tighten up the following week.
The echoes of Rancho Buena Vista’s thundering herd of the late 1980s were loud and clear on Longhorn Drive last week. Running back Dorian Richardson brought back memories of Markeith Ross, Scott Garcia, and O.J. Hall, who ran and ran and ran in that era for the Rancho squads of Coach Craig Bell.
Richardson scored 8 touchdowns and rushed for 499 yards in 37 carries in the Longhorns’ 62-43, first-round win over Santana.
The yardage total bettered the section record of 436 by Mt. Carmel’s Ken James in 2009.
Richardson’s record touchdown total would have led the County for the whole season in 1943 and been runner-up in in 1937 and ’40.
Hoover’s Eddie Crain and San Diego’s Tom Poole each scored 25 points in the abbreviated, wartime, six-game season of 1943. Point Loma’s Paul (Red) Isom had 54 points in 8 games in 1937 and Sweetwater’s Marcus Alonzo had 54 in 8 games in 1940.
Frank Green of Coronado scored 11 touchdowns in one game and a ttoal of 80 points in a 108-0 win over Sweetwater in 1929
Julian upset undefeated and favored Calvin Christian, 26-21, in the D-VI eight-man finals at Ramona.
Eagles quarterback Ozzie Martinez scored 20 seconds into the game when he faked a pass and hustled 65 yards for a touchdown.
Julian’s Roman Sanders halted a Crusaders drive with less than a minute to play when he returned an intercepted pass 28 yards, allowing the Eagles to take possession and do akneel-down.
Despite having a bye, Mission Hills profited from some playoff losses of teams ahead of the Grizzlies, who advanced from 16th to 11th in Cal-Hi Sports’ Top 50…Helix gave ground, dropping to 25th from 24th despite a bye, and Ramona moved from 48th to 44th…The Bishop’s and San Marcos are on the bubble.