El Dorado 17, Charter Oak 6
Aram’s final thoughts: Here’s your bottom line in the Southwest Division
1. El Dorado
2. Charter Oak
3. Los Altos
…and the rest.
That might look obvious to you, but it says something. First of all, SGV fans know that CO or Los Altos haven’t had one of their juggernaut teams since earlier this decade. That makes both teams reaching the Final Four a very impressive feat. Charter Oak wasn’t seeded, but reached the finals. Los Altos was the “coin flip team”, but that’s really a technicality. The Conqs were easily one of the top teams in the division. What I’m trying to say is that going by the records and seedings, this wasn’t supposed to be the SGV’s year in the Southwest Division. Yet here was CO playing for all the marbles. Here was LA in the semis. Here was West Covina beating the No. 1 seed. Here was South Hills downing a top four seed on the road. None of these teams were “loaded” this year. None of them! In the years that SH, LA and CO won CIF titles this decade, they entered the playoffs as seeded teams … as favorites. That wasn’t the case this year. What you saw in El Dorado was a “once in a lifetime” group. The Golden Hawks don’t reload like LA or SH or CO. I don’t think Trabuco Hills will ever be better than it was this year. I don’t think Foothill can do much better. And I won’t even mention Mayfair … if it didn’t happen this year …
The conclusion to make is that this was El Dorado’s title to lose. They were the favorites. They are legitimately the best team in the division. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been caught on an off night, but there’s no doubt about it – El Dorado is the best team in the division and they simply took care of business. Going forward, the rest of this division – the OC leagues and the 562 league – are in deep hot dog water beginning next year. With the underclass teams CO, SH and LA have, don’t look for Farrar or Gano to retire anytime soon. Don’t look for Bogan to take it easy on anybody in the coming years. Do look for the SGV to be a major force for the next few years.
CO gave it a great run this year. But remember, the difference between this year’s team and ’01 champs or the ’02-03 Conqs or last year’s SH, is that this team wasn’t SUPPOSED to win it. Those teams were all SUPPOSED to win it. Pretty soon, the SGV will have the seeded teams i.e. the teams supposed to win it and I’d imagine they will.
Congrats again to El Dorado. The Golden Hawks were a class act, from players to coaches to fans. They accomplished a major feat for their school and will go down as local legends because of it. I know it was hard for a lot of you to see CO lose, but if you’re going to lose, El Dorado was the kind of team you don’t mind losing to.
Also, congrats to the entire division and all of its players and coaches. Not just locally, but everyone. You guys put on a tremendous show! It was a wild ride. It was classic high school football. It was the perfect reason why I always tell people that going to a game/getting behind a team is their civic duty.