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High school football: Regional bowl games approved for 2012

April 29, 2011 |  6:15 pm

Get ready for a 16-week season in high school football starting with the 2012 season. The CIF Federated Council on Friday gave approval to regional bowl games in the North and South, starting in December of 2012.

All sections will be required to end their playoffs by Dec. 1 in 2012. It means the regular season will begin a week earlier in August. Regional playoff games will be held the weekend of Dec. 7-8 in five divisions. The winners will advance to the state championship bowl games the following weekend.

The regional format was approved despite unanimous opposition from the largest section in the state, the Southern Section. The Southern Section gets only 36 votes out of 137 (26%) on the Federated Council because of a weighted voting system even though it has 582 schools out of 1,494 (39%).

Now the question becomes whether the membership of the Southern Section will choose to opt out of the state playoffs in football. That would seem unlikely, because schools would then be passing up on television opportunities and the chance to play for a state championship. But some schools were adamant that 16 weeks is too long for a football season.

Ventura St. Bonaventure Coach Todd Therrien said: "It's a lot of games for 16, 17, 18-year-olds. In '07, when we won state, after the game in the locker room, my linebacker said, 'I'm excited we won state, but I don't know if I could have played another week.' He was so banged up."

-- Eric Sondheimer

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