By Tim Peterson
Sierra Canyon won the CIF championship last year. But they were supposed to right? I mean it was the Mid-Valley Division.
“Let’s see what they can do when they play with the big boys,” the critics said. “They won’t last.” Well, not only have the Trailblazers “lasted” after having moved up some six divisions. They haven’t lost a game. Not one.
After a pulling away and turning a close game into a 42-19 rout of Charter Oak last Friday night in the CIF Division 4 semi finals, the Blazers are a perfect 12-0.
They beat Paraclete, a team that will face Los Altos Friday night in the Division 6 Final, 35-7 the first week in November. They beat Viewpoint 54-10, and Taft 53-13. Sierra Canyon went all the way to Utah back in August to knock off Orem 30-20. Then came the post season and the Trailblazers continued to beat everybody in its path. Division 4 comp. The big boys. This is where it was all supposed to end. They shutout Lakewood in the playoff opener and then needed three overtimes to take out Redondo.
They were in a war with Charter Oak through three and a half quarters but the defense made big plays and Bobby Cole did the rest as the Trailblazers turned it into a rout. Now Sierra Canyon is one win away from a second consecutive title, only this time it’s Division 4.
“It’s pretty awesome. We got moved up six divisions this year and to be back in the championship when quite honestly a lot of people didn’t think we could do it because we’re a small school. But we’ve got really good football players. We’re honored to be back in the game,” said Sierra Canyon Head Coach Jon Ellinghouse. “We saw a lot of quotes in the newspapers from the so called experts saying ‘no more hiding’ and a lot of stuff like that and we knew we were a good football team. We’ve played really good teams throughout the playoffs and had some big wins so we’re proud of it.”
The biggest win of course would be still to come when the Blazers face Corona Del Mar Friday night. “We’re going to do everything we can to win it,” Ellinghouse added.
Arroyo is making its first trip to a CIF Final under head coach Jim Singiser who is in his 14th year. It will be the Knights fourth appearance overall. They won the title in 1986 and lost in 1987. They also made their last appearance in 1991 where they came up short. Arroyo has missed the playoffs just once during Singiser’s tenure. What’s most amazing to me is not Arroyo’s consistency in the post season, or the number of league titles that they have won. It’s the fact that the Knights have had two head coaches in 37 years. D.J. MacKinnon began the run in 1980 and lasted 23 years before handing the baton to Singiser in 2003. Two coaches in 37 years! Seriously, who does that?
Burbank continues its magical run in 2016. Last week the Bulldogs earned their first ever trip to the CIF Finals with a win over Don Lugo. Now they will try to bring home the first ever title when they travel to Yorba Linda Friday night. It seems like the more people continue to doubt the Bulldogs, the better they perform.
Is there a more fitting name this week than Khayman King? While Sierra Canyon is perfect so far in Division 4, Los Altos hasn’t stumbled yet in Division 6. We knew the Conquerors were good. But did we know they would be 13-0 heading into December? Playing in the Hacienda League and facing non-league opponents like Newport Harbor, Corona and Glendora it seemed like a pipe dream. Well the dream has become reality as Dale Ziola has the Conqs in the CIF Final for the second time in three years.
Take another look at Alex “Gonzo” Gonzales’ picture of King on his game story on our website. That smile is what high school football is all about.
The Mike Moschetti/La Mirada bashers are real quiet these days…
Nice to see former Downey quarterback Jorge Reyna back in the news. After playing his high school football at Downey and Pasadena Reyna has been toiling away in obscurity the last couple of years at West LA College. Why would he “toil away in obscurity” for two years? To get a scholarship offer from Fresno State, that’s why! Honestly raise your hand if you thought you would never hear from Reyna again. I say let’s give him a pat in the back and an A+ for effort. What makes Reyna’s commitment even more significant is that he’s the first recruit of new head coach Jeff Tedford.
Last note on the CIF Finals matchups this weekend. None of the games have been moved; they are all at the original designated locations. There were rumors that the Los Altos-Paraclete game would be played at Cerritos College and that the Burbank-Yorba Linda Final would be moved to Cal State Fullerton, but the games are at Los Altos and Yorba Linda respectively. La Mirada, Sierra Canyon (at Granada Hills) and Arroyo are all hosting. Saturday night the Knights get the stage all to themselves-at least on the local scene.
The coaching rumors are already starting to fly. Some are true and some aren’t. You’ve probably heard that Walnut HC Alfredo Silva stepped down. That’s true. You may have also heard, or read, that Eric MacIntyre has resigned at El Monte. That’s not true.
“I hadn’t seen that but no I have not (stepped down). I am truly happy to be here and look forward to a great off season and next season,” MacIntyre said Wednesday. “I’m staying. It’s all good.”
Believe it or not, not all of the comments posted on our website are true. Who would have thought?
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.