“We have talked about that. We would like to have that No. 4 seed and get a home game as a league champion and see who ends up in our bracket. Really, going into that division and not being seeded, you’re at the mercy of some great second- and third-place teams. Any help you can get in terms of seeding and your first one or two opponents is a bonus.” — Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar on Inland playoffs
By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
While several area teams will be playing for league championships and/or playoff berths this week, the Charter Oak High School football team will be simply polishing its resume.
And for veteran head coach Lou Farrar, that’s very important.
The Chargers (8-1 overall, 4-0 in league) have already locked up at least a share of the league championship and will go into next week’s CIF-Southern Section Inland Division playoffs as the league’s No. 1 team even if they lose and Chino Hills wins this week.
But Charter Oak is playing to protect a potential No. 4 seed in the division, and less important to Farrar, a second straight sweep of the area’s toughest local league.
“We have talked about that,” Farrar said of potentially being the No. 4 seed in the Inland. “We would like to have that No. 4 seed and get a home game as a league champion and see who ends up in our bracket.
“Really, going into that division and not being seeded, you’re at the mercy of some great second- and third-place teams. Any help you can get in terms of seeding and your first one or two opponents is a bonus.”
Charter Oak is heavily favored to sweep the league again, but Damien does have something to play for. The Spartans would need some interesting scenarios to unfold in order to get in the postseason as the Sierra’s third-place team – and the first of them is upsetting Charter Oak.
In addition to the postseason implications the game it may also be the last time Farrar and Damien head coach Greg Gano square off against each other.
The two had quite a rivalry going in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Gano was at Los Altos. The two are among the winningest coaches in Valley history, with Farrar having won five CIF championships and Gano four.
If for whatever reason Gano isn’t back at Damien next season or Farrar retires, two of the most storied coaching rivals may be playing their swan song on Friday.
“I really don’t want that to enter into it,” Farrar said. “He and I have been friends since he was in high school. Greg and I go way back. He’s been very good to my kids, my son Dominic especially. And I helped him get started in his career.
“We’re always going to be friends and this is just another game where’s he’s coaching and I’m coaching, and we’re not going to think about first or last or in between.”