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Full schedule of Regional championship games awaits CIF division winners

STAFF WRITER

The high school football season is not over.

Today, the CIF State office will release pairings for the CIF Regional Football Championship Bowl Games.

Regional games in 12 divisions will be held Friday and Saturday in the north and south parts of the state. North and south winners advance to the CIF State Championship Bowl Games on Dec. 18 and 19.

In addition, two teams, one from the north and the other from the south, will be selected to the CIF State Championships Open Division. Those two teams skip the Regionals round and are placed in the CIF State Championships Open Division, which is Dec. 19 at Sacramento State. It can be expected that the CIF-SS Open Division champion will be in that game.

When CIF State football championships began in 2006, there were three divisions. This year, there will be 13 divisions.

Only section champions are invited to the Regionals. Orange County teams Canyon, La Habra, Mission Viejo and Saddleback Valley Christian are CIF-Southern Section champions so they will play in the Regionals.

Which teams they will play, and whether they will play home games or away games, and on which specific days, will be revealed today. Regionals games can be played at on-campus stadiums of home teams.

La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta said his team, which beat San Clemente on a final-play touchdown pass Friday to win the CIF-SS Southwest Division championship game, is ready for more football.

“Our thinking is how lucky we are to play together for another week,” Mazzotta said. “I’m lucky I get to spend more time with all of our great kids.”

Mazzotta said his team would have reduced practice time this week. The Highlanders have been gradually spending less time practicing since around mid-season.

Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson, whose team beat Vista Murrieta in the CIF-SS West Valley final Friday, also cut practice minutes during the course of the season.

There will be no practice Monday for Mission Viejo. Just film review and then some fun.

“We’re taking the team bowling,” Johnson said.

But he’s not worried about the team being ready to play this week.

“I never do worry,” Johnson said. “The way our kids have handled stuff, I think our kids will be jacked up to play.”

Canyon coach Mike Ogas said he wonders if winning the Southern Division championship will have the Comanches in a satisfied state.

“I’m a little concerned,” Ogas said. “They’re tired, but I think they’ll rally.”

Orange County has had five state champions: Orange Lutheran in 2006; St. Margaret’s in 2008; Servite in 2009; Santa Margarita in 2011; and Corona del Mar in 2013.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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