Did San Bernardino football deserve to go to the playoffs?

San Bernardino High football coach Jeff Imbriani was pretty upset on Sunday (and probably still is today) that his team with a 7-3 record didn’t make the Eastern Division playoffs, while a 3-7 Apple Valley team did.

Did they deserve to go?

Well, based on the criteria that the CIF-SS uses, probably not.

Criteria utilized by the At-Large Selection Committee:
(a) Head-to-head competition of teams under consideration (4 points)
(b) Overall strength of the league from which the team is entered (1 point)
(c) Overall win-loss record (1 point)
(d) Strength against common opponents (1 point)
(e) Strength of schedule (2 points, using overall win-loss record of opponents)
(f) Free lance teams will be part of the pool for the filling of at-large berths

But should that be the criteria?
I would argue, no.
Schedule strength is essentially in there twice: with the strength of the league and strength of schedule.
How do you gauge strength of schedule? CIF-SS says it’s by win-loss record of opponents. But is that really accurate? With all due respect to Big Bear, playing an 8-2 Big Bear team is not the same as playing an 8-2 Upland team. But, teams would get the same credit in strength of schedule for playing either team.
And if you’re gauging win-loss record, is having a 7-3 vs. a 3-7 record only worth 1 point in evaluating teams? I’d argue that’s worth at least 2 points, if not more. If you’re evaluating an 8-2 team vs. a 1-9 team, is that really only worth 1 point in the discussion?
Here’s another one to consider: best team defeated. Not best team played, but best team defeated.
None of Apple Valley’s 3 wins came against a team with a winning record: the best teams being 4-6 Granite Hills and 4-6 Victor Valley, teams that didn’t make the playoffs.
As for San Bernardino, most of their opponents weren’t very good. But, the Cardinals gave Vista Del Lago its ONLY LOSS. Vista Del Lago won the Mountain Valley League and went 9-1. Shouldn’t a big part of the equation be who you’ve beaten not just who you’ve played?

San Bernardino-Pacific football rivalry opens a new chapter

San Bernardino-Pacific, pitting the two oldest public schools in San Bernardino, is one of the longest-standing football rivalries in the Inland Empire. But it is changing this year.
Part of it was obvious. Both teams were leaving the San Andreas League, where they had battled for many years, to the Mountain Valley League, where they would play four Riverside County schools.
A change is that the league is much more competitive, so Pacific and SBHS are actually in the thick of the playoff hunt entering this game. Depending on how other games finish, San Bernardino could finish as high as 2nd, while Pacific could be as high as a tie for 3rd.
But there’s more to it. San Bernardino found an old trophy used for the game, and added recent scores to it and will present it to the winner of the game. The trophy is actually called the “Sun-Telegram Bowl”, and was apparently awarded by the predecessor of The Sun, the Sun-Telegram. ¬†For the record, pacific leads the all-time series, 22-18
And on Thursday, the coaching staffs and about 40 players per team met at a pizza place about halfway between the two schools for a pregame luncheon.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Pacific coach Mike Aragon said of the luncheon.. “But the players really get along, And I talked to coach (Jeff) Imbriani.. I told him to make sure that trophy is cleaned up before they give it to us on Friday.”

 

 

Rooting for Sonnyboy Orfiano

As a sports writer, I generally don’t root. I need to stay unbiased and neutral.
I am just an observer of athletes, coaches and sporting events.

But, there are times in which I feel differently about a subject.
One of those is my latest feature on San Bernardino High senior quarterback Sonnyboy Orfiano. You can read the whole story here, along with other photos and videos: http://bit.ly/10RUpQZ.

Now, there’s a difference between rooting for someone to win a game, and rooting for someone in life. I would like to see Orfiano succeed in life. That could mean winning a few more football games, but really, it’s about more than that. It’s about him getting a break. I root for all athletes in the area to have success after high school, but many of the other athletes don’t need the breaks that Orfiano needs, or deserves.

Up until now, he’s made enough breaks of his own.

He was dealt a rough hand, from growing up in Stockton with little to no money in small living quarters to someone who made his own break, moving in with his brother in San Bernardino.

While things are better in San Bernardino, they’re still not easy. He’s worked hard to help his team to a 4-1 record, and has gotten interest from at least 1 school, Western New Mexico although he hasn’t committed anywhere.

As hard as he has worked, someone still has to offer him a scholarship. He can’t make anyone give him a scholarship. So getting a break would be getting a scholarship to play football, because otherwise, there’s a good chance he won’t be able to go to college and play football.

Sometimes, the biggest question in recruiting a player (especially one from outside the area), is going to stay there or if he’ll get homesick and return home.

To all those schools who might doubt whether Orfiano would stick, I can’t say definitively that he will. But consider this: he made the tough decision to leave his mother, grandmother and two younger brothers to move to San Bernardino (where he had no ties otherwise) to live with his brother.

He made a big leap of faith coming to San Bernardino and so far it’s worked out for him. Now he needs a school to take a leap of faith with him.