Football: Jon Mack returns to Notre Dame next weekend
It's only fitting that the final playoff spot from the Serra League will come down to Friday night's game between Encino Crespi and host Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, with the winner advancing to the Pac-5 playoffs.
Crespi Coach Jon Mack returns to his alma mater, Notre Dame, where he graduated in 1978 and once served as an assistant to longtime Notre Dame Coach Kevin Rooney. There are reports from ex-Notre Dame players that the fiery Mack used to say not so kind words about Crespi's school colors.
Mack has been so close to Notre Dame that he refused to play the Knights when he spent 17 years as head coach at Ventura St. Bonaventure. Now he has no choice. Crespi (6-3, 1-2 in league) is one win away from a playoff spot. So is Notre Dame (2-7, 1-2).
Notre Dame assistant coach Jeff Kraemer graduated with Mack, who served as the best man in Kraemer's wedding. "You have to forget you have a friend on the other sideline," Kraemer said.
Of course, Kraemer and Mack will be friends afterward, win or lose. Maybe.
"I knew Jon when he had hair and was skinny," Kraemer said.
-- Eric Sondheimer