Whittier Christian finally knows where to go Saturday

I’m not sure why it was such a difficult decision but the site for Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship game has been set for Arcadia High at 7:30 p.m. Apparently both sides had objections and the CIF-Southern Section office had to step in, something that displeased Monrovia principal Darvin Jackson.

“We’ve basically been fighting it for the last 24 hours,” Jackson said. “The difficulty was when you have all the representatives from all sides there, as well as CIF looking at the site.

“We could have kept arguing, but CIF was not going to agree. We were basically told we could not hold it at Monrovia. It wasn’t concession.”

Arcadia High School has been designated as the host site for Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title game between Whittier Christian and host Monrovia with the game time set for 7:30 p.m.

Both schools and CIF-SS officials came to a consensus on the site after it was determined Monrovia did not provide adequate seating for the visiting side.

“I think it’s a good fit for both schools and we look forward to getting ready for the game,” Heralds coach Sergio Gradilla said. “It’s a new turf surface, so that’s nice.”

Monrovia won last week’s coin toss to determine which school would host the game.

Monrovia school officials favored holding the game on campus and made their intent known at Monday’s CIF-SS luncheon, despite concerns from Whittier Christian.

“I don’t blame Monrovia for wanting to host, who wouldn’t want to host?” Heralds athletic director Rolland Esslinger said. “At the end of the day, this is about accommodating the fans and we’re happy the game will be played at Arcadia.”

Whittier Christian protested Monrovia High because of the size and view from the visitor’s stands.

“They can hold about 500 people and we’re expecting a crowd at least twice as big,” Esslinger said.

On the visiting side at Monrovia there is no platform for the bleachers, meaning many spectators can’t see past visiting players and spectators who are on the sidelines.

According to Esslinger, Monrovia principal Darvin Jackson and athletic director Randy Bell along with Esslinger and Whittier Christian principal Bob Brown met with CIF-SS Assistant Commissioner Rob Wigod and Director of Communications Thom Simmons at Monrovia on Tuesday afternoon to explore the school’s viability.

At the meeting Monrovia was told its football field was not suitable.

“They (CIF) felt there was inadequate seating because of the view,” Jackson said. “They basically had 50 yards of obstructed view (from the visiting stands).”

Jackson was disappointed the school was forced to change the venue but felt he had no choice.

“We’ve basically been fighting it for the last 24 hours,” Jackson said. “The difficulty was when you have all the representatives from all sides there, as well as CIF looking at the site.

“We could have kept arguing, but CIF was not going to agree. We were basically told we could not hold it at Monrovia. It wasn’t concession.”

Esslinger said the parties then drove to Arcadia, where the facilities were more than appropriate.

“They have a visitor’s side that holds 1,200-1,500 people with excellent visibility,” Esslinger said. “It think it was a total win-win.”

Esslinger further relayed the move would not cost Monrovia any additional funds since the CIF-SS office would cover moving fees.

As for the need for a bigger stadium, Esslinger said his school was sending at least four rooter busses to Arcadia.

Esslinger also said figures dictate there will be a big Heralds’ fan presence Saturday.

“We had 1,000 people versus Covina and expect at least the same size,” Esslinger said. “It’s Saturday night and the team is playing for its first championship in 20 years. We’ll have a good crowd.”

Staff writer Miguel Melendez contributed to this story.

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  • Hefe

    Good for my man, Bob Brown & Mr. Esslinger!! You don’t mess with Mr. Brown! I learned that back in my days at WCHS in the late 80′s.

    I guess Monrovia thought they were dealing with inexperienced staff over at WCHS. Not the case.

    See you at Arcadia HS on Saturday night!

  • Monrovia!

    well not that the location is settled, we can focus on who is going to win. Monrovia is looking real good right now. After a dominating game against San Dimas, they look to take it all the way! Whittier Christian is going to come ready to play. The cats D is like none they have seen all year. Whittier Christian scores alot of points, but they also give up alot of points. They gave up 42 last week, gave up over 28 pts in all the Olympic league games that were important. The cats have not given up 14 points in 10 weeks. I’d say that is a the best in the area. We know that Monrovia will score against Whittier Christian. My prediction is

    Monrovia 42, Whittier Christian 20. See you Saturday night!

  • pacalen

    Monrovia that’s a pretty good defensive stat. The only problem is you only played a couple of teams with a winning record and one of them beat you. The 2-8, 3-7, 4-6 teams that you played and beat are hardly worth mentioning. Even your playoff games were against teams with barely over 500 winning avg.
    Whittier Christian did have a tough time last week against Village Christian who by the way knocked off seeded teams in the playoffs like Azusa 10-1, and Rosemead 8-4 while Whittier Christian was busy beating seeded Covina 10-2.
    That being said, I think Saturday night will be a barn burner. Both teams are well conditioned, exellently coached, and loaded top to bottom with amazing talent.
    I’ve got my tickets, see you there. I think we’re going to see a game for the record books.
    Good luck

  • ONCE A SWORDSMAN…

    I’m glad the game site has been changed. No school with a visitor section that can only 500 spectators should host a championship game.

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  • oldtimedon

    No team should be allowed to host ANY round of the playoffs if they have less than 500 unobstructed seats.

    I have never been to Monrovia but it sounds like it is as bad as Schurr was? Orange Lutheran was one of the worst. Poor seats and 3 outhouse restrooms on the visitor’s side.

    With the increase in ticket prices mandated by the CIF for the playoffs, they should insure the facilities are at least presentable. $9.00 for an obstructed view is unacceptable.

    It is bad enough to fight for or pay for parking at some schools; let alone pay for a ticket when you are either blocked by the team bench or are forced to stand to watch the game

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