By Aram Tolegian
@AramTolegian on Twitter
The local high school football teams who were fortunate to make the CIF-Southern Section playoffs were handed their postseason assignments on Sunday. And judging by the matchups, it could be another banner year for the area.
High expectations abound across a myriad of divisions and things will get under beginning Thursday and Friday.
For Bishop Amat, the area’s consensus top team playing in Southern California’s top division, the good news came in the form of a first-round home game on Friday against Lakewood.
The Lancers finished in a three-way tie for the Mission League championship, but were made the league’s No. 2 entrant after tie-breaking coin flips. Amat enters the game at 7-3 and riding a five-game win streak. Lakewood is 6-4 and finished second in the Moore League.
“The order of happiness is: we’re in the playoffs and we have a home game,” Lancers head coach Steve Hagerty said. “Those are both good things. I don’t know anything about Lakewood, but we’re anxious to see what they look like (on film) and how we match up.
“Usually, my experience has been that the later (in the season) you play the Moore League teams, the better they executed with each passing week.”
St. Francis finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. The Knights were rewarded by being given the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Division. They will host Mayfair (5-5) in Friday’s first round.
“It is nice,” St. Francis head coach Jim Bonds said of being made the top seed. “We were preseason No. 1 in the division and to be able to carry that through 10 games is pretty nice.
“I give our guys a lot of credit for being able to stay focused. Mayfair isn’t what I had on my bracket. I don’t know a lot about Mayfair, but at this time of the year, it’s all or nothing. Win or go home.”
Muir (6-4) will get a chance to avenge an early season loss to Cathedral (9-1) when the two teams meet in Friday’s first round at Cathedral High.
The Central Division is chalk full of local hopefuls with championship aspirations. Leading the way is Monrovia (9-1), which was made the No. 2 seed and will host Don Lugo.
San Marino (8-2), which finished second behind Monrovia in the Rio Hondo League, also got a home game and will host Claremont (6-4) on Friday.
Charter Oak (6-4) needed to win its last two regular season games to win the Hacienda League. The Chargers did just that and will host Colton elsewhere in the Central Division.
Glendora (8-2) was the No. 1-ranked team in the Central Division going into last week’s loss to South Hills. The Tartans did get a home game, though, and will host Summit. South Hills (6-4) will host Los Altos (5-5) on Friday at Walnut High.
Elsewhere in the Central, La Canada (6-4) visits No. 1 seed Colony. Bonita (6-4), which was awarded an at-large berth, plays at Kaiser. West Covina (7-3) hosts Chaffey.
The Valley has had a hammer lock on the Mid-Valley Division in recent years, but that may not be the case this season if seedings hold up.
Paraclete and Sierra Canyon, respectively, were made the top-two seeds. Pomona (6-4) won the Miramonte League and was made the No. 3 seed. The Red Devils host McAuliffe on Friday.
San Dimas (7-3), the division’s defending champion, will host Baldwin Park (6-4) in the first round. Northview (9-1) won the Valle Vista League and was given the No. 4 seed. The Vikings host at-large Brentwood.
Also in the Mid-Valley, Azusa (7-3) hosts El Monte (6-4) on Thursday. Rosemead (6-4) hosts Covina (6-4). La Puente (7-3) visits Montebello (6-4). Bassett (5-5) got an at-large berth and play at Paraclete.
Arroyo (4-6), which had a streak of 30 consecutive years in the playoffs, filed for an at-large bid after finishing third in the Mission Valley League and was denied.
If seedings hold up in the Northwest Division, then locals Maranatha (10-0) and Pasadena Poly (10-0) are on a championship game collision course.
Maranatha was made the top seed in the division and will host Mission Prep on Friday. Pasadena Poly is the No. 2 seed and gets a home game against Morro Bay.
Rio Hondo Prep (4-5) hasn’t had its typical successful season, but the Kares made the dance and will visit Big Bear on Friday.
Mayfair at St. Francis
Muir at Cathedral
La Canada at Colony
Claremont at San Marino
Don Lugo at Monrovia
Covina at Rosemead
Mission Prep at Maranatha
Rio Hondo Pep at Big Bear
Morro Bay at Pasadena Poly
ALL GAMES SCHEDULED FOR 7:30 P.M.
By Aram Tolegian