Predictions, predictions, predictions …

The pairings for the CIF-Southern Section high school football playoffs have been out since mid-day Sunday. That’s more than enough time to turn any of us into an expert as we look ahead to just how each division will play out.

Fans, coaches and players are going to be treated to a wild ride over the next four weeks. The emotions of the playoffs are second to none. The lifetime of memories that will be built up are truly magical.

So why not try and spoil all the suspense by breaking out the crystal ball for a division by division preview of how everything will play out for our local teams?

Here goes …

SOUTHEAST

Southeast Division first round winners: Norwalk, Dominguez, Paramount, La Mirada, La Serna, Downey, Mayfair and Diamond Ranch.

Second round winners: Norwalk, La Mirada, La Serna and Diamond Ranch. Semifinals winners: Norwalk and La Serna. Champion: La Serna.

Explanation: La Serna gets the slight nod and it’s slight because nobody would be shocked if the Lancers lost in the second round to Downey, assuming that match up comes off. Norwalk is a legitimate No. 1 seed, but how many times in the past have we seen 10-0 teams falter in the postseason? It seems like only the truly great ones go 14-0. La Serna has the best quarterback in the division in Frankie Palmer and that should be enough to pull out the close games along the way to a third consecutive trip to the finals.

WESTERN

Western Division first round winners: Serra, Morro Bay, St. Francis, Camarillo, Lompoc, Santa Monica, Ventura and Chaminade.

Second round winners: Serra, St. Francis, Lompoc and Chaminade. Semifinals winners: Serra and Chaminade. Champion: Serra.

Explanation: Ho-hum, this looks like one of the easiest divisions in the Southern Section to call. The Mission League teams lay over the rest of the field and only when they cannibalize each other will they be stopped. St. Francis is the local charge, but asking the Knights to finish the regular season with Serra and Chaminade in back-to-back weeks, then reel off four straight wins is a bit too much … especially with Serra in their half of the bracket.

SOUTHWEST

Southwest Division first round winners: La Habra, Newport Harbor, Los Alamitos, Fullerton, Edison, Villa Park, San Juan Hills and Yorba Linda.

Second round winners: La Habra, Los Alamitos, Edison and San Juan Hills. Semifinals winners: La Habra and Edison. Champion: Edison.

Explanation: Now this is one heckuva division. Let’s get one thing out of the way, though, the Empire League teams are in big, big trouble. The local hope here is La Habra. The Highlanders are back to traditional strength and the No. 1 seed. But they’re very likely to have to beat three Sunset League teams along the way to bring home a banner. If things play out as projected here, the semis should be epic. But this looks like a deceptively tough path for a No. 1 seed to take starting from the second round on. Edison doesn’t have nearly as difficult a draw as the Highlanders and that’s why we lean their way.

MID-VALLEY

Mid-Valley Division first round winners: Monrovia, Montebello, Rosemead, Paraclete, San Dimas, San Marino, Schurr and Arroyo.

Second round winners: Monrovia, Paraclete, San Dimas and Arroyo. Semifinals winners: Monrovia and San Dimas. Champion: Monrovia.

Explanation: The division of good, old-fashioned neighborhood football … and Monrovia. The Wildcats are odds-on favorites to win their fourth consecutive division title, but the real drama is who will play them in the finals. There are three legitimate finals contenders in the “other half” of the bracket and they are San Dimas, San Marino and Arroyo. The best game of the entire playoffs might come in the second round if San Dimas and San Marino meet, which is likely to happen. But in the end, this is all about Monrovia showing off for the bowl committee.

NORTHEAST

Northeast Division first round winners: Mission Prep, Pasadena Poly, Saddleback Valley Chr., Desert, Salesian, Capistrano Valley Chr., Hamilton and Rio Hondo Prep.

Second round winners: Mission Prep, Desert, Salesian and Rio Hondo Prep. Semifinals winners: Mission Prep and Salesian. Champion: Salesian.

Explanation: The way things are seeded, this is supposed to come down a rematch of last year’s finals between defending champ Rio Hondo Prep and Mission Prep. One problem, though, Salesian is the best team in the division. The Kares are likely to see Salesian in the semifinals and will be decided underdogs despite what the seeding says.

INLAND

Inland Division first round winners: Vista Murrieta, Charter Oak, Rancho Cucamonga, Norco, Upland, Eisenhower, Chaparral, Centennial.

Second round winners: Vista Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Centennial. Semifinals winners: Vista Murrieta and Centennial. Champion: Centennial.

Explanation: The local charge is headed up by Sierra League champion Charter Oak. Although not as flashy as the previous two years’ teams, this Chargers group is likely to wind up with the same bottom line as the previous two: a bow out in the second round. Charter Oak got a wicked assignment having to play Vista Murrieta if both win in the first round. We’re looking elsewhere for teams set to make a deep run. Rancho Cucamonga went from a top-four seed to just a second-place entry after getting stunned by Upland in Week 10. Both Baseline teams are headed to the semis, however, in our opinion. From there, last year’s power teams will take over and meet again in the finals with Centennial coming out on top again.

NORTHWEST

Northwest Division first round winners: Oak Park, La Puente, Carpinteria, Santa Paula, Bishop Diego, Maranatha, Azusa and Nordhoff.

Second round winners: Oak Park, Carpinteria, Bishop Diego and Nordhoff. Semifinals winners: Oak Park and Nordhoff. Champion: Nordhoff.

Explanation: The Tri-Valley League absolutely lays over this division. In fact, it might have the top-five teams and get this, ALL FIVE teams got into the playoffs … yes, even Santa Paula, which went 0-4 in league. We project all five teams will win their first-round games. We also project the semifinals will be four Tri-Valley League teams. Fun isn’t it? And in the end, Nordhoff wins it all. This isn’t what a division should look like, but then again, many have considered the Tri-Valley to be CIF’s wasteland division.

  • Lock-N-Load

    Norco is firing on all cylinders right now….now way RC wins in a rematch…

  • Conq ’76

    Don’t know much about Paramount, so I will just say this. All season long we were told that the Hacienda was the strongest league in the Div. and LA is 5-0 at home. But, should be a fun one….

    • GP AKA Green Machine

      Paramount is Big, Athletic and has speed. However, they lack discipline, and they find ways to lose. Mtown is 2-0 verse the pirates. Their DB’s in the past have given up stupid plays in crutch time…I think the game will be tough, but Los Altos should win by a score.

      • Conq ’76

        Thanks for the scoop….

  • TruTH

    Southeast Prediction
    Norwalk over West Covina in a close game
    Dominguez over El Rancho
    Los Altos over Paramount
    Muir over La Mirada
    La Serna over Burroughs
    Diamond Bar over Downey
    Burbank over Mayfair
    Diamond Ranch over Santa Fe
    Quarterfinals
    Dominguez over Norwalk
    Los Altos over Muir
    La Serna over Diamond Bar
    Diamond Ranch over Burbank
    Semifinals
    Dominguez over Los Altos
    Diamond Ranch over La Serna
    Finals
    Diamond Ranch over Dominguez

    • Southeast follower

      since you picked Diamond Ranch. How have they improved since last year?

      • WCDan

        What I saw from DRanch this year (going on memory from the West Co game) is they opened up the offense, I think they ran out of the I formation last year and hardly threw the ball, this year they are way more balanced and even pass and run out of the spread offense at times.
        Good size, good athletes and lots of speed.

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    Here’s my Inland Bracket breakdown.

    Los Osos vs Vista Murrieta – if this was a season where VM looked vulnerable, this would be it. They can be beat, but it won’t be by Los Osos. VM by 3 TDs (or more).

    Charter Oak vs Yucaipa – the resurgence of the Chargers continues, but ends the following week against VM. The Chargers don’t have the horses VM does, but they do over Yucaipa. CO over Yuc by 2 TDs.

    Rancho Cucamonga vs REV – if RC had beat Upland, I’d be more confident. If they can stop REVs almost 200 yard average on the ground, athlete per athlete I like their chances. RC will have to strike quickly and often with few turnovers. Which means Pucci can’t throw ints. RC over REV by a TD.

    Norco vs Great Oak – Norco is a machine with or without Coach G. They’re averaging almost 340 yards a game on the ground and that’s a clock eater. It also tells GO where the work gets done at. GO will have no answer for that. Somewhere Chuck Knox is smiling. Norco by two TDs.

    Upland vs South Hills – I like South Hills. Not to win of course. Their coach has done a great job with the talent he has. It just won’t show here. I actually believe Damien would have been a better bet at this spot. Their defense could have kept it interesting. But it doesn’t matter. The team with 29 different player zip codes wins big. Upland by 3 TDs or more.

    Eisenhower vs Santiago – Eisenhower is everyone’s feel good story. A program in disarray a few years go, walking tall now. However, I like The Sharks here. They’ve played a tougher schedule and that has to count for something. That grit gets them the win. Santiago by 10.

    Chaparral vs Chino Hills – if CH hadn’t laid an egg at Damien, I’d be more enthusiastic. But having seen film of Chaparral earlier in the season, I’m not sure Chap goes into this game too high in the air. CHs offense will have to score and score a lot because their defense couldn’t stop a bunch a 3 year olds. Its not cause of the scheme, its a matter of desire. They need to get off the snide here cause Goliath waits for whomever. CH by a TD.

    Centennial vs Etiwanda – this doesn’t require saying anything more than CCs seconds/thirds will be playing midway thru the third quarter. CC by a lot of TDs.

  • GP AKA Green Machine

    The Playoff coverage and break downs have been awesome by the Trib! The show was one the best to date…

    except for a few hiccups…I could see Schurr beating Viewpoint, and Arroyo Also. Other than that…it’s exactly like you lay it out.

    In the southeast don’t see Dbar beating Downey, Not without a runner. However this field is so loaded, There will be some surprises. I see LM over Muir, and West Co over Norwalk. West Co runs a similar offense, so they know how to defend Norwalk..the question is can WC get a few passing plays together…Jones and Love can catch and run after catch…they have to open things up and possibly spread Norwalk out…I think WC could win it.

    I also could see Norco getting into those semi’s.

    In the North West, I know Nordhoff will win that division. Oak Park beat them for the league, and they will bounce back. Mtown needs Nordhoff to win that, and Mission Oak of Tulare to lose…However, the Bowl committee hand picks the teams, so Monrovia could be picked to play Corona Del Mar. If South Hills has a good showing…and St Francis gets to Semis, that would help us as well. I would love to play the Corona del mar, if they beat Garden Grove in their division…

    • AZTEC PRIDE

      .GP come on how about predicting the AZUSA game?

    • El Cucuy

      Norwalk will destroy West Co. It won’t be close at all. Norwalk is huge upfront, and talented in the skill position. I’d put money on Norwalk to win it all.

      • WCDan

        Norwalk was decent, however I would be suprised if they won the division. West Co gave them a good game and was missing 7 starters and I mean key starters that would have helped a lot in this game. Three O-linemen, and a D-end along with our starting RB/OLB, & FS, & OLB/FB

  • GrimReaper

    What Aram forgot to say,

    All things being equal….

    Barring key injuries and if Scoby stays academically eligible, Monrovia will win every game by 40 points.

    If 5th yr senior Scoby gets a couple of Ds or Fs and QB Potts gets injured, Monrovia will have problems in the final game–as everyother team they will play before the finals is easily beatable.

    Note from last Friday night, you know the fix is in when,,,
    Scoby and four other Monrovia players desert the bench and celebrate in the end zone with the Monrovia back up running back who had just scored a meaningless late touchdown in an out of hand game. The white hat saw it and did nothing.

    But that is how they roll in Mo Town.

    • AramT

      So they white hat should have thrown a flag in a 50-point game? Would the 15 yards have helped the San Marino comeback?

    • GP AKA Green Machine

      Lol…yeah I heard a old guy from San Marino Say that Kurt was doing the ” Hollywood Shuffle”….In the endzone.

      • GrimReaper

        It was too bad, since Scoby is probably the best player I have seen in the division since Napoleon Kaufman when he played for Lompoc.

        • GP AKA Green Machine

          He has a shot. He just has to get in school, stay in school, and stay focused.

  • Don

    Wrote this one pre-Halloween as a breakdown for D1 through 10 and never posted it. Still seems pretty close but I may be off a bit on the Mid-Valley. Boooh!

    I like CalPreps Pac-5 ratings as is: St. John Bosco, Mater Dei. The Bob Johnson QB Camp Team, Oaks Christian, Alleymoney, Notre Dame, the Lutherans (OC not La Verne), Poly, Servite, and Amat. What REALLY sets the D1 apart is that the NEXT 10 or 12 teams can play with most anyone. (See RSM over MD and Servite over the Lutherans.)

    The Inline D has your Matty Logan Traveling All-Stars, your View of Murrietta and then your Cucamonga. After that comes Upityland, Norcow, Santiago (AKA Alemany East), East Diamond Bar, and followed closely by Pride of the Foothills and Charter Oak (which probably gives big tummy aches to about a dozen people I can think of off-hand). Only the top few could move up and win.

    Over in the great Northern I like Hart and Canyon, just like when the Herringtons and Harry were ballin’. They could move up. After that, PV and Valencia (the Valencia one, not the OC one) are pretty good as are Mira Costa and Atascadero. Less after that.

    In the Mission to be in the Pac-5 Division 4 there are Serra J (who is way better than J Serra who is in the Pac-5 and really good just not as good as Serra J from the Western, neither of whom have anything to do with the Serra League . . . got it?) and Chaminade. Then there are a bunch of teams that really do belong in the Western D. Saint Francis is the best of them.

    The Central has Rancho Verde which is so much better than anyone else in the Division they were given their own lake, right across the street. There are some other teams in the D but they don’t have their own lakes and play accordingly.

    Division 6 now has both the Freeway and Sunset Leagues so that both east and west OC have a chance to win rings. La Habra, Los Alamitos, Newport Harbor, Edison, Fountain Valley, and Buena Park and Fullerton are followed by some schools in the Sea View League. The teams from the Empire and Century Leagues don’t much like any of this.

    Here in the Southeast there is Norwalk, La Serna, the Roddy Layton Maulers, and Muir then the three D’s, Downey, Dominguez, and Diamond Bar followed by a whole bunch of other guys who will finish 2 or 3 in their league.

    The Eastern Division (8) has a bunch of teams from way far away that play each other.

    Divison 9 has Corona Del Mar who is not only pretty dang good, but play where most of you would love to live. The best of the rest of the D aren’t very good and play other teams from near the beach so as not to mess up their tans.

    Tri-Valley is the only league that matters in the Northwest. The guys at the SS got mixed up and put the Montview in this division which was a geographical goof. The only thing Azusa is Northwest of is Pomona. I think this is where they punish teams for doing well in the sub-D10 divisions.

    Our own Mid-Valley has Monrovia . . . usually there are other
    teams like Clete and San Dimas and Sierra Canyon. This year, the haters are hoping for upsets from the likes of Arroyo and Pomona. Maybe they could put Monrovia in a league with Corona Del Mar. Play in Anaheim or something.

    • AZTEC PRIDE

      Thanks Don, and way at the bottom you mentioned AZUSA! Montview league is treated like the REDHEADED STEPCHILD, on here but we want the same results just like any other football team! Getting the W on Friday! LOL..

      • Don

        AP, the very fact that ALL FIVE of the Tri-Valley teams made the D X playoffs is testament to how rotten the whole SS alignment is. Whatta lazy bunch of yahoos. Good luck to your guys going forward, (especially next week, YIKES!).

  • Just a tought

    I have a feeling a lot of san gabriel valley teams lay an egg this friday. something tells me sierra canyon shocks the mid valley folk.

    • GP AKA Green Machine

      That’s a horrible thought…what do you think they will shock the midvalley by giving up 500 yards Rushing? They lost to Viewpoint…

    • observantcat

      Something tells me that you’ve been drinking. Please stay in on Friday, There will be a running and I do mean running clock by 8:45 p.m on Friday.

      • PatrickHT

        LOL

        • observantcat

          This one didn’t take a Guru to figure out…. LOL

  • Eastern Ave.

    Rio Hondo Prep did to Pasadena Poly what Monrovia did to the Titans of San Marino. “TH-WACK!”

    Incontestably, the superior teams won.

    Monrovia vs. RHP? Maybe? Someday? Hmm? Arcadia did? :D :P

    Scoby if he has good support around him should play D1 and maybe on Sundays. Sundays are for the few.

    The RHP Offensive Line has improved markedly from week one.

    RHP’s 3 peat will have to go thru a talent laden Salesian squad with 3 or 4 D1 quality players on it.

    If they both get to the semi’s, the game will be closer than conventional wisdom concludes.

    RHP system vs. the talent of Salesian. I take the system team.

    La Salle will be done early but the school from Hasting’s Ranch has had 2 good seasons and should be proud.

    And Maranatha is well Maranatha. Yawn.

    Have fun everyone! :D

    Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that. – Bill Shankly

    • New York

      Monrovia and RHP should play to see how things shake out. It would be interesting. Why not? They were each in a regional bowl last year.

  • ssssssshhhh!!!1

    Aram T ,
    what game are you going to friday?
    What is going to be the first round upset?

  • Football Dad

    Chino Hills, South Hills, Charter Oaks, and Monrovia LETS GET IT DONE.

  • Southeast follower

    My predictions ( sorry chiefs reality is reality…prove me wrong)

    Norwalk over West Covina in a close game

    Dominguez over El Rancho


    Paramount
 over Los Altos
    Muir over La Mirada
    
La Serna over Burroughs

    Downey over Diamond Bar (under/over on ejections 2.5)

    Burbank over Mayfair

    Diamond Ranch over SantaFe


    Quarterfinals
    Norwalk over Dominguez
    
Muir
 over Paramount
    La Serna over Downey
    Diamond Ranch over Burbank


    Semifinals

    Norwalk over Muir
    La Serna over Diamond
    Ranch

    Final
    La Serna over Norwalk

  • Football fan

    The truth and fred got it right aram way off

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