Football: It's playoff time in September
It's September, so why does it feel like December? And who needs a state bowl championship when this weekend 14 teams in The Times' top 25 are playing each other?
I can't remember a better weekend for high school football than what's going to happen Friday night in what is looking like a mini-Southern California elimination tournament.
There are seven games matching top 25 teams. Too bad the winners of the games can't meet next week, and then we'd have a real football tournament.
No. 1 Servite plays No. 12 Edison at Huntington Beach. No. 2 Santa Margarita plays at No. 20 Carson. No. 3 Mission Viejo hosts No. 6 Long Beach Poly. No. 4 Ventura St. Bonaventure plays at No. 7 Westlake Village Oaks Christian. No. 13 Mission Hills Alemany plays at No. 16 West Hills Chaminade. No. 15 Bellflower St. John Bosco plays No. 22 Los Angeles Loyola at Valley College. No. 21 Santa Ana Mater Dei plays No. 23 San Clemente at Santa Ana Stadium.
And there are other top games, such as No. 10 Orange Lutheran playing La Habra at Cerritos College and No. 19 Westlake Village Westlake playing at Thousand Oaks.
The reason top teams are playing tough opponents is because their leagues have become so strong they need preparation. And they want to impress the people who pick the bowl representatives.
So if there's ever a Friday night you can get off to see a game, this is it.
-- Eric Sondheimer