Pasadena Poly will experience a football playoff game unlike any other: TV, radio, print and 3,000 strong as Bishop Union hosts Friday’s Northeast Division semis.

One night a year, downtown street merchants in the city of Bishop – population 3,700 – stay open until well past the typical 5 p.m. closing time. Residents gather for the annual “Street of Lights” and light the town’s Christmas tree at the local city park. Some merchants serve hot chocolate, and most have some sort of giveaway in an effort to draw customers in for a late-night shopping spree.

That night this year is Friday and begins at 6, the same night and time when Bishop Union, the town’s only high school, hosts Pasadena Poly in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division football playoffs.

“We’re a little conflicted,” Bishop Union athletic director Stacy Van Nest said.

“It’s a huge town event that evening, but at the same time, this town heavily supports athletics. Half the town will be (at the event) and half the town will be at the game.”

Bishop Union (11-1) is the top seed, and despite its small student enrollment (645), the school still maintains a stadium with a maximum seating capacity of 3,000.

Pasadena Poly (9-3), to say the least, will experience a playoff game like no other.

Bishop Union’s football games are broadcast live on KOBB-AM radio, home and away. Sierra Wave Television, the only local independent cable station in the area, televises every game on delay. Given the magnitude of Friday’s game, the local FM station, KIBF, will carry the game because of its stronger signal strength.

“I was in Idaho last week and I wanted to listen to the game,” said Van Nest, referring to Bishop’s 49-20 win at Chadwick last week.

“Our broadcasters travel to all the games and they were able to patch me through, so those in town going to the Street of Lights will hear the game live on the radio.”

The game will be televised late Friday night and replayed Sunday afternoon.

Pasadena Poly will make its longest trip in school history for a CIF-Southern Section playoff game. Pasadena Poly athletic director Steve Beerman said the school has planned measures to alleviate the five-hour-plus drive to Bishop.

For starters, the Panthers football team will leave Thursday afternoon for Lancaster, where they’ll practice at Paraclete High from 4 to 6:30, then immediately head for Bishop, where they’ll spend the night.

Paraclete, the top seed taking on St. Margaret’s at Antelope Valley College in the East Valley Division playoffs, will practice early to give the Panthers enough time for a walk- through.

Beerman said practicing at Paraclete is more about beating traffic than getting acclimated to playing in low temperatures.

“We played in 28-degree weather last week in Lancaster,” Beerman said.

“It’s not like we don’t now what cold is. The biggest thing is we don’t want to sit in a bus for a long time.”

Pasadena Poly initially requested to move the game to Saturday, but Bishop couldn’t accommodate, because the school is hosting a middle school basketball tournament. The next request was to move it from a 7:30 start to 6, and Bishop kindly obliged.

“We asked for 6 because after the game, we’ll get right on the bus and head home,” Beerman said.

“Anytime any team has to travel, there’s some sort of request or disbelief that we could possibly be in the same section,” Van Nest said.

“We have people come from as far as San Pedro. That’s what we do, make it as easy as possible.”

Bishop’s no stranger to making long drives, either. The Broncos, who play in the High Desert League and use all of its district funding for travel pay, drive four hours – restroom breaks included – one way to participate in any one of the 18 sports its 27 teams are involved in.

“We’re the only very distant one they have to travel to,” Van Nest said.

The aura that will fill the air in smalltown USA will be a pleasant experience in itself.

“I think this just adds to the specialness of the evening,” Beerman said.

“The whole trip is just going to be a new experience for everybody making the trip.”

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  • Golden Bear

    GO PANTHERS!

  • Anonymous

    good grief, these blog pimps/spammers are really taking over…aren’t they?

    Go Panthers.

  • Anonymous

    is there a link to the radio station or TV station so those who cant travel 6 hours can listen or watch the game on line?

  • Desert Rat

    Congrats to Poly…you all are a bunch of scrappers. Always enjoyed watching your games. Good luck this weekend!

  • Minutemen Supporter

    Good Luck Poly! I hope you guys beat them. I went up to Bishop Union when Maranatha played them in baseball and they used one of the football bleachers including the baseball bleachers to sit all the fans so I cannot imagine how many people show up to their football games. It’ll be an exciting game and something all of you will remember for the rest of your lives! Best of luck!!

  • Manic Hispanic

    I believe the FM radio station that will carry the game live is KIBS not kibf.
    The steaming website for the station is:
    http://www.ontheradio.net/kibs – from here, click the “Live Radio” link.

    It looks like you may have to download the web player first. Hope it works.

  • Bronco Fan

    GO BRONCOS!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Manic Hispanic – Thanks

  • Big Daddy

    Rio Fan….Wish you no injuries and great victory.
    Go Pasadena Poly.

  • Speaking of Paraclete

    Does anyone know how Paraclete ended up in the Alpha League? How does a team go from being the Division 11 CIF champion 2 years ago and move down a division, despite having a lot more kids than most teams in the division (12)? Maranatha moved in the right direction and they have a smaller enrollment than Paraclete.

    Does this mean, if Paraclete wins CIF this year, they move down to division 13? (semi-sarcasm)

  • East LA to Bishop

    Congradulations to both Bishop & Poly for reaching the Semi’s.Panther fans should dress as warm as possible.The community has been having Bronco spirit week and the town is ready for a great game.This game is almost as big as the East LA Classic with my old high school in Boyle Heights (Roosevelt).Good luck to both and to the Bishop Broncos, lets make history boys.

    LOCK THE YARD DOWN DEFENSE!!!

  • Bigfatfan

    Go poly, Blake, have a huge night. Brotherhood Crusade football alum.

  • Desert Rat

    Speaking of Paraclete….

    Long story…something the staff did not like whatsoever. The plan was to go up, but was sabotaged by the Athletic Director.

  • Some where in the AV

    To speaking of Paraclete,

    Enrollment at Paraclete is 818 students per Calpreps.com, half the size of most Mid-Valley division schools. As for why they got moved down a division I don’t know. Maybe Desert Rat has some inside knowledge, which he can share.

  • B Greene

    Bishop will run away in this game. They are too explosive…..travel, altitude, and small town hard hitting will be way too much for Poly. Bishop by 3 touchdowns.

  • Speaking of Paraclete

    “half the size of most Mid-Valley division schools”

    …except the Olympic League, which is doing pretty well in the Mid-Valley playoffs. Paraclete has a 100 plus enrollment advantage (at least) on every team in the Olympic League. Also, 800 students in a private school is WAY different than at a public school, especially at a school that’s had football success. For example a private school like Oaks Christian, with 790 kids, would certainly beat Arcadia, with 3500 kids, in football. That’s because a number of kids go to Oaks Christian just to play football from in and outside of what a school district would be.

    I guess my main point is that Paraclete was doing great in the Mid Valley and has a great football program. Playing down a division after that success makes no sense. Come back to the Mid-Valley :o )

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