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Fryer on football: More coaching changes coming?
One significant coaching move among the county ranks happened already, with Greg Kemp's resignation as head coach at Esperanza ending his four-year tenure running the Aztecs program. Other changes could be coming.
Some who could be at the crossroads: Valencia's Mike Marrujo, unsurpassed in sportsmanship and at consistently getting the most from his roster; Santa Ana Valley's Larry Mohr, because his quarterback son Joe just finished his senior season and sometimes dad coaches exit when son players do; Los Alamitos' John Barnes, who got his targeted 300th victory and has accomplished all that a high school coach can; and Santa Margarita's Harry Welch, who loves coaching in the Trinity League and the Pac-5 Division, but is historically susceptible to disharmony with the administration at whichever school he is coaching.
By the way ...
Sure wish the "Bruce Rollinson should resign" emails from 2011 had been saved. Some of you Mater Dei supporters should explain how the game passed by Rollinson last year, and how he suddenly relearned football this year.
Dissecting the divisions
The Sunset League moved from the Pac-5 to the Southwest Division this season, and the Pacific Coast League stayed in the Southern Division after almost moving into the Southwest.
So do the county-included divisions contain the leagues they should?
St. Bonaventure of Ventura, from the Marmonte League, is in the semifinals but the other three Marmonte playoff teams lost in the first round and two of them by large margins (Moorpark lost by 28 points, Westlake by 32).
In the Southwest, Edison of the Sunset League won its two playoff games by an average margin of 28 points to reach the semifinals. Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach lost in the second round and Los Alamitos was eliminated in the first round, giving the Sunset League a cumulative 4-3 record in the division's playoffs.
Pacific Coast League teams are a cumulative 5-2 in the Southern Division, and has two representatives, Corona del Mar and Woodbridge, in the final four. Last year's Southern finalists were PCL teams, and in 2010 three of the four semifinalists were PCL teams.
Maybe the Southwest Division is over the PCL's heads, but the Southern Division seems like the wrong place for the league, too.
So far, pretty good. Yours truly correctly predicted the semifinalists in the Southern and Southwest divisions, and got three of four correct in the Pac-5, but did have second-round loser Mission Viejo winning the Pac-5 championship.
Pac-5 semifinals prediction: Mater Dei over St. Bonaventure; St. John Bosco of Bellflower over Long Beach Poly. Southwest: Edison over Foothill; Tustin over Villa Park. Southern: Corona del Mar over Woodbridge; Garden Grove over Laguna Beach.
Can't blame him
Tustin coach, and athletic director, Myron Miller resisted the Villa Park request to move the Villa Park-Tustin semifinal to some place other than Tustin's on-campus Northrup Field. Villa Park was concerned that Northrup's 3,700-seating capacity would be inadequate.
Northrup is where visiting teams' playoff aspirations and winning streaks become extinct. Villa Park knows that. So does Myron Miller.
Game of the week
Yes, Mater Dei-St. Bonaventure is a great matchup ... two Catholic school teams, Nos. 1 and 4 seeded teams, both ranked in the state top 10, etc. But the best-looking game involving an Orange County team is the Laguna Beach-Garden Grove semifinal in the Southern Division. Laguna Beach has multi-purporse star Drake Martinez, Larry Stewart making clutch plays at quarterback, and a defense that might be at its peak during these playoffs. Garden Grove's Argonauts are a physical bunch, have the Masoe brothers, Maze and Sione, contributing in a variety of ways on offense and defense, and a quarterback, Angel Martinez, who seems to make only good decisions. This one could be a classic.