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?

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.

San Bernardino High’s Demetrius Overstreet finds a college home

Recently graduated San Bernardino High basketball player Demetrius Overstreet has figured out where he will play college basketball next year: Oregon State. As reported to me by SBHS coach Darin Graham, he won’t be on scholarship just yet, but Overstreet will receive one of the program’s walk-on spots with the team.

Last year, Overstreet, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals for the San Andreas League champions.He scored in double figures in six of his final eight games last season.