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Football: A backup plan is needed for next CIF bowl finale

In case no one has noticed, technology has made it possible to play a football game without mud. Yes, it's called a synthetic field, and there's dozens of them in Southern California.

Rain greatly influenced last weekend's CIF state championship bowl games at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The field was full of water and mud by the fifth game in two days. Did it affect the games? Absolutely. Would a synthetic field have changed the outcome? Perhaps in one or two of the games but certainly not the Open Division final.

Yes, it was fair to all the teams. But the Northern California schools are used to playing in the rain. The Southern California schools are not. That doesn't mean you cancel a championship game because it's raining. It means the CIF needs to find an all-weather field with enough seating capacity to make people feel comfortable and let the players perform at a high level.

East Los Angeles College, which has an all-weather field and has held 25,000 for Roosevelt-Garfield games, would seem an ideal venue. That's my suggestion for the next time it rains heavily.

One reason they hold the football championships in Southern California is the belief that the weather will be better at this time of year than Northern California. If it's going to rain, then they might as well find a venue in Northern California, because the fans don't seem to mind rain.

 -- Eric Sondheimer

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The City Division I champion lost to a middle of the road SS Inland Division team (Norco) in a game that was not really competitive. And that team deserves an automatic bid to the Open Championship? Please. Crenshaw made it to the Open Bowl Game last year. Hardly brought enough fans to cover the area between the 25 yard lines. If Crenshaw should be guaranteed a game, then what about the Central Valley's Div. I champion. Clovis West won its championship again and has been left out. There is a part of the state between Modesto and Santa Clarita that has never had the opportunity to play in the title game. What about a little love for those student athletes that succeed?


Memo: to bowl committe; The new CIF D1 STATE bowl game will be called the Phenoms bowl. This bowl will be adding our title winner out of our CIF city section. Our socal vs nocal CIF D1 athletes best athletes compete. Take into effect starting 2011. Thank you for this opportunity to compete in a CIF D1 state bowl game. Narbonne players rule. Peace. Phenoms.


@ press box john didn't the bowl committee give those teams a chance to win bowl games? They all didn't come to play because a little rain. Let's give the CIF city section a chance even if they might have a few loss on their record. I guaranty it will be a better show of athletes on our side. CIF City section teams come to play in bowl games. Other than that our CIf SS teams need to schedule some pre-season games against the top Cif city teams. Narbonne Players rule. Phenoms.


@ press box john deserving is the correct word. The CIF City section title winner is the best team even with a two game loss. Who is recruiting what player to the next level? It's our CIf City section players that are becoming our star athletes at the next level. The bowl committee need to add a bowl game so everyone of our title winners play in a bowl game. At the end of the playoffs the hottest ticket would of been De la SalLe vs crenshaw rematch would of packed 20,000 people on a clear day.folsom and grant packed in 20,000 people are their inner city games because of grant athletes. Peace. Phenoms.

Press Box John

Phemons - Really??? A City Section Team guaranteed a Bowl Game? That is about the worst post you have ever had. Do you really think a two loss Crenshaw was more deserving than Servite or Corona Centennial? What about a one loss Mission Viejo team? If Crenshaw was that good they would not have lost two games.


De la SaLLe in 2009 when De Anthony Thomas was injured he was put out by Garrett. One reason only preserve his NFL career. De La SaLLe you were on the ropes and you were going down. Next year the bowl committee will send our best team to the CIF D1 open title game regardless of a 2 game loss record. The courgars were even better this year with added Shacq richardson & a better De Anthony Thomas. Narbonne will be coming you way soon. Servite we will get your game at Cerritos college @ the servite house the CIF D1 title.


At the end of the season & playoffs! It should now be mandatory for the bowl committee to choose the city section title winner to play in the CIF D1 Open title game no matter if their record has two loss on their performance record. Oviously those D1 bound athlete(s) in the city section are well developed to over match De La SaLLe athletes.@apoz watch and learn how to make a winner in the CIF D1 open title game. Peace. Phenoms.


They should have added L.A. Garfield to the mix. At least they would have made an effort.

Orange Bowl Tickets

I'd love stanford to win the Orange bowl game. I think they have accumulated some stregth during this season and will do it.


@ airguy...not sure what you're defending? However, Folsom and PA run the spread too. Just because a team runs the spread doesn't mean they don't know how or need to adjust to the conditions and situations. Many spread teams are equal in the run and the pass. If spread teams don't make adjustments to win, who's fault is that. Should they have just forfeited once one drop of rain hit the turf? What if the sun was shining, not a drop of dew on the grass, should we have excuses ready to go for a running, veer offense, wing-t team against a spread offense if they lose? Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a spread offense only one what side of the ball and half the team? Doesn't a defense play the other? How can 3 SoCal powers let up over 30 pts each (w/ two 40+ outtings), while the 3 NorCal teams only allowed 41 pts combined?! This ain't baseball, you play thru the rain, snow, fire, whatever.


Football in December in the Rain?? OH NO MR BILL...
Dear Southern California Coaches that are still whinning about the playing conditions. Hey, it was your home field. We had to drive 500 miles and sleep in lumpy hotel beds to play you. So, Suck our Mud!!!! What will be your excuse next time?? You had to ride in a bus to cold Nor Cal?? Bummer dude. How about Folsom spor...tsmanship. Serra could have been forced to forfiet with the illegal cleats they tried to use..See ya next year..Waaaaaa Waaaaaaa


If the So Cal HS players are as prone to making excuses as the So Cal media and parents, then its no wonder why they lost.

Its too bad California's lower half has such a lack of intestinal fortitude.


Crenshaw??? A two loss team in the Open game, whats mamma feedin you? One of those losses was to a three loss team...

Thats your plan for thinking So Cal would have dominated this year??
Your teams and my aunt have a lot in common, she would have been my uncle and they would have won the games but they both lacked the b@llz.


Hey Guys,

Brookside Christian...the only NoCal team to lose...runs a high scoring spread offense. See a trend here? Rain and the spread offense don't mix.


@phenoms DLS had shut down De Anthony Thomas long before he "got hurt". Yes he had an awesome few drives, but once DLS made adjustments, he didn't get anywhere; neither did Crenshaw's offense. I saw the game both live and on tape afterward, Thomas didn't look too "hurt" on the sidelines; he looked scared to get hit some more. DLS hits harder than any HS team I have ever seen.


Are you kidding me with this article??? What a lame excuse. The NorCal teams put in dominating performances all around, whereas the SoCal teams didn't. In fact, one blogger even predicted that the rain would hamper De La Salle and give Servite a big win.. You can't have it both ways when you are wrong. Rain, mud, and snow are generally considered "equalizers" in football. The only game that this may have impacted was Centennial's defeat at the hands of Palo Alto, the others weren't even close enough to blame the weather. Stop making excuses and applaud the SoCal teams for excellent seasons and a great effort on the field. Don't take that away from them with your lame excuses! Also, congratulations to Servite for dignity in such a dominating performance by DLS. Many other teams would have resorted to unsportsmanlike conduct in that situation (as has happened too many times to DLS to list).


According to the National Weather Service's historical rainfall totals, by December 20 Concord and Palo Alto average one more inch of rain than Los Angeles. That's about one more smallish storm per year. I doubt it made any difference.

If anything, the bigger distraction is asking the North schools to travel all day and hunker up in a cheap hotel room for a weekend.


Wow SoCal arrogance is amazing. as if they are so much better than their NorCal counterparts. bottom line rain or no rain their teams got beaten outside of the san diego team. cant take away or add to. hey brought it. your teams did not. no more excuses. the North earned their victories on the field not in computer simulations and on artificial turf. cant take a loss can you? where is your honor?


Eric, only thing I agree in your blog is that the field was wet and muddy, but to take shots (or rather make excuses) why the North won is inaccurate and diminishes what the kids worked hard to accomplish. How about heart, motivation, coaching, game plans, etc? Water and rain effects both sides of the ball and both teams. Second, DLS, Folsom, and Palo Alto did not played in the rain all season, so how can you proclaim they had an advantage in the rain? Only advantage they had was to be smart and logical. DLS brought in a dried ball after each offensive play, who's fault is that if Servite didn't do such a simple and logical thing (not sure if that would have made a difference)? If the weather was hot, muggy or if the air was smoggy and the north teams lost, would you have claimed that SoCal teams had an advantage in that environment? Come on, field conditions is part of the game and equal for everyone. Should we give odds or a bit of an equalizing element to the seemingly disadvantaged team then? Some teams have better equipment, practice facilities, coaches, talent, boosters, etc. so where do you draw the line? In every game, every team you can find some innate advantage or disadvantage over another, right? All I see here is sour grapes, but I can understand, you're trying to analyze where it all went wrong for the south in these games, but really you have to dig deeper and fairly that the North this year was much more prepared, played better, had more heart and didn't carry an arrogance, inevitability and assumption of winning. Think the biggest catalyst was that the south felt entitled and underestimated the North big time. I'm sure next year would be different, but don't take away the North's accomplishments from these kids and blame it on too much water on the field.

Last, they don't play in SoCal because of the weather, they play there because they have a very favorable deal with the Home Depot Center and believes the gate sales would be better due to the population concentration. Folsom vs. Grant in Sac a couple of weeks ago drew 20K plus...perhaps a change in venue or alternating venue would be better...


@jpoz please child! The bowl committee should of put crenshaw in the CIF D1 open! Who would care if the mighty Dela SalLe stomp on them! In fact it would be a joy for some in socal! Then bump the teams down a notch. Socal would of won all the other gams! No peace! Phenoms!

not a nd grad

possible solution to the rain: get rid of the regular season bye week. play 10 games in 10 weeks. less chance of rain if the game is played on the 2nd saturday of december, rather than the 3rd.
either way, de la salle's performance was maybe the greatest display of football in the history of california football. being outweighed by about 50 lbs per man in the trenches. their oline blocks better than any hs team ever & their dline sheds blockers like they are invisible.


I saw all the games and only have to say one thing. Congratulations to all the winners, regardless where they came from. The players in those teams played with a desire to win. They wanted it, they fought for it on every play, they never hanged their heads, like some our stars, even when they were down. Let's not make any excuses for their defeats, all the teams had to play under similar conditions. It might appear that sometimes, not the best team, but the one who wanted it the most, won. I noticed that in those teams there were hardly any stars, but a lot of support players that played as a team-this can't be said for some of our teams. This can be a great lesson for our kids, that in real life you have to want and fight hard to get what you want and most of the times even when you give your all you're not going to get it, at least right away. I think is time to look forward and start thinking toward next year.


Pitifull that you would call it an advantage to the North. Sad sour grapes. You do realize that Sacramento is a high desert region? You know that it rained ONCE during our play-offs? And the North GIVES you the advantage of a frickin' bike ride from your house to the stadium versus a 8+ hour bus ride right? It's not that folks from Folsom ENJOY sitting in the rain (it sucked!) but we don't have the choice of walking back to our house and catching the game on TV! Just sad.


I like ! the frequent use ! of the exclamation point! in all your posts!
You have every ! right to be ! so excited about your ! 6-6-0 team!

Onto real news regarding real teams....

I agree the games should be played on a rotating basis, Norcal, Socal...

Will Boeger

Yes, and in the name of fairness, we might switch to locale where the Southern teams make the six to eight hour bus ride, with or without the supporters, and stay in a strange hotel the night before the game.

Would an occasional home venue for the Northern teams have affected the outcome of any of the previous games? Certainly not for the 2010 Open division final, as to the others, who can be sure? It is generally accepted that the home field presents an advantage to the home team.


@ just your a bum! Crenshaw will blow chunks of mistakes just like you are doing now! Next year crenshaw will be Narbonne Gauchos door mat you clown! Crenshaw took a back seat in the bus this year your lame luck! Narbonne sits in the front of the bus! Narbonne Players Rule! No Peace! Phenoms!


Along time ago 1974, I played in San Jose for a state championship against a National JC ranked team . The opportunity was there and we defeated San Jose JC 33-14..We drove from ELA to San Jose??????? It was friggen cold and wet. We had better atheletes. 20 kids went to D-1 Football that year. We had not even thought about an excuse. Neither did Concord De La Salle that night!ITS DESTINY..........


You just gotta love the excuse making by the LA newspapers.

Football has always been a man's sport. You play no matter what the conditions and YOU DON'T MAKE EXCUSES about them.

If it was 100 degree heat, should the Norcal teams complain about that since they would be "less used to it" then the SoCal teams? No and if they did, you'd be calling them wussies (and rightfully so).





Phenoms, you are a clown, Narbonne? Beat Crenshaw first then start thinking of going undefeated and play tough teams in preseason. You are so naive to think that Narbonne can even stay close to DLS. You have no clue of what you are saying. Guys like you just talk but don't understand the game of football. DLS has won 151 games in a row before, 44 games in a row, now at 26 so what makes you think that Narbonne can even play with them. Please, what has Narbonne even done???

Optimus Prime

L.A. Valley College is a better venue than ELAC. Parking, beautiful facilities, Grant High School's field next door for teams to warmup.

Eric Seedman

An overwhelming majority of the NorCal teams play most of their games on artificial turf. If the games were played on the artificial surface, then the complaints from the SoCal teams would have been that they were playing on an unfamiliar surface. Face it - SoCal got beaten down, fair and square. Don't forget, the NorCal teams had to travel via bus for the better part of a day. Excuses are just lame.


Yeah. Crenshaw High School. When the media helicopters are'nt borrowing the Crenshaw Cougar field for emergency landings and such. A brand new multi-million dollar field(state of the art with artificial turf) centrally located, Lemert Park adjacent,and shopping at Magic Johnson Plaza Mall, Call Coach Robert Garrett for times and availability, cozy,quaint and they got ribs baby.................PERFECTION!


@ miguel hawk, I agree with your list of teams for 2011 except for two: La Habra and St. Paul. Don’t get me wrong, St. Paul and La Habra are decent and solid programs, respectfully, that is when they stick to their D3 and D6 competition (that said, St. Paul kind of had a rough go this past season). La Habra was totally exposed by the three Trinity League teams they played this past season and those teams (Bosco, Servite, and O-Lu) will take care of La Habra again in 2011. Further, none of the schools you've listed, including La Habra, would waste their time scheduling St. Paul. Servite and Bosco played St. Paul a couple times each in recent years and the games were so one sided that the matchups would generate very little interest in the future; Trinity teams like to schedule tough non-league games to prepare for league.


when did reporters go from checking facts to spewing opinion.......
the whole it rains all the time on NorCal teams was so overplayed its shameful to be taking the credit away from all those kids who worked so hard. Facts are this, Norcal teams played as many games in rain as the Socalers did, and they are mostly played on turf not grass...Better team ball, better execution from up north this year, simple really..

Phenoms, 3 open division games, 3 Norcal wins.


Waaaaaa. Waaaaaa. Waaaaaa. If it snows in Penn, Wisc, or Ohio do they whine about it...Because you finally ran into a buzz saw of nor cal talent, blame the rain.....Boo hoo....


Agreed, although I believe the outcome would have been the same no matter where they played, I do agree that changing the venue to ELAC would be a step in the right direction.

There is no need to play this game in the mud.

This isn't the 1940's. We do have something called synthetic turf. Or do we think it just looks cool to have the guys' uniforms look all muddy?


For all those who think de la Salle was that much better than Servite, I say bull. But I will say this: the responsibility begins and ends with the staff. This was a team that completely unprepared for this game, and that is the coach's fault. de la Salle's JV team would have beaten Servite on Saturday night, and Corona Centennial probably had the same problem.

As for the quality of the field, for once CIF, think about the fans. These games were almost unwatchable and these games should never again be scheduled for natural turf fields. If I was Fox Sports, I would be tempted to write into the next contract that CIF needs to play these games under the best possible circumstances, and that doesn't include a grass field.


@ miguel hawk what are you talking about in 2009 crenshaw had De la Salle on the ropes until De Anthony. Thomas was hurt! Our City teams have players which over match De la SaLLe teams! QB Troy WiLLiams and company, Gauchos would dominate De la SaLLe! Set thing thing up bowl commission for 2011! Narbonne will whip the spartans! Narbonne Playerz rule! Phenoms!

sammy culture






The weather only affected the attendance, not the outcome of the games. Serra lost because they could not hold Folsom on defense. Servite lost because as Coach Thomas said, "We tried our best but they dominated us up front and I have to take the blame for that". While an all weather venue would help the footing, the ball will still be wet.
The venue should alternate between Northern and Southern California. Real fans make the trip wherever it is played. The fans in Northern California make it down every year so the real fans from So.Cal should be able to make the trip.


Sprtndad: That is not true. Escalon's coach is on record at halftime on TV stating that they had played in weather like this 4 weeks in a row! He said the northern teams prayed for the storm because they knew it would give them an advantage. When players can practice in rain it allows them an advantage over teams that cannot when it rains. The weather totally skewed the results of these games and altered the outcomes. That's a fact.


Get over it Corona Cenntenial! Get over it Servite! Get over it Serra! The beast has to come out and you didnt have it that day!!!!!it has to do with coaching preperation and heart! You didnt have it!That 5'7" back Dunne did including, their -lines? So make a pot and pitty in it cuz, my hat goes off to the smarter coaching staff that, knows how to prepare for anything and includes snow,huh! Good Luck next year and get some coaches that prepare or know how to prepare for Football.

Miguel Hawk

David beat Goliath one more time.

De la Salle will play anybody. Lets see, Narbone, Amat, Poly, La Habra, Centenial,

St. Paul, Bosco, Norte Dame, Mater Dei

ELAC would be a great venue.


@ es nobody wants to play on art-turf at east LA college? My predictions for the 2011 football season for socal! 1. Narbonne 2. Servite 3. Mission viejo 4. Corona cent. 5. Bishop amat 6. Alemany 7. Poly L.b. 8. Tesoro 9. Crenshaw 10. Carson


Games should be played at ELAC..Great Idea ........Good parking also....
A Minature Coliseum at a level that could be filled up as far as seating....
great for food aslo/right across the street/The Hat,Cinese and Mexican including Shakeys Pizza. Lots of Motel room in Monterey Park and Montebello?

Lorenzo Obregon

Weather is part of the game the game of football... Kudos to NorCal.


For the record, it rained on only one game in No. Cal all year. The same as So. Cal. Blaming the weather for getting beaten badly doesn't hold water (pun intended)Neither group was any more or less affected. 1)I do agree there should be a better venue with synthetic turf. 2) Games should alternate north and south every few years.


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