Fryer: Officiating crews of 7 now more common


Seven-man officiating crews will become more commonplace in football.

The Edison-Tesoro game last week used a seven-man crew. So did Huntington Beach’s home game against West Adams Prep of Los Angeles, Fountain Valley-Servite and Bishop Amat-Mater Dei. Tesoro-Mater Dei tonight at Santa Ana Stadium will have a seven-man crew.

The CIF-Southern Section is considering using seven-man crews for its championship games. It has used five-man crews – and five-person crews, to be accurate, as women have worked some CIF-SS finals – in the past.

Every Trinity League game will have a seven-person crew except for league games involving Orange Lutheran. Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen is not a fan of seven-man crews in high school football, although he had plenty of experience with them in his college coaching days.

He is not confident Orange County high school officials have enough experience in seven-person formats to make a seven-person crew efficient.

“To me, it’s just a consistency issue for the officials,” Petersen said. “It’s going to be hard for them to go from being on a five-man crew one game to a seven-man crew the next game and then again back to a five-man crew.”

It will be interesting to watch, and track, if more penalties will be called when a seven-person crew, with those two extra sets of eyes, works a game.

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• None of them would say so. But it would not be crazy to suppose that some of the county’s more-veteran football coaches would call it a career if they win a CIF-SS championship this year. Maybe coaches such Bruce Rollinson, in his 27th season at Mater Dei; Dave White, in his 30th year at Edison where the last of his three sons is in his senior year; and Bob Johnson, with grandson Brock in his senior year at Mission Viejo which looks good enough to win another West Valley Division title.

• That’s all conjecture, so don’t get excited and try to guess possible replacements.

• Membership in the National Football Foundation’s Orange County Chapter includes the opportunity to vote in the College Football Hall of Fame elections and to support the county chapter’s scholar-athlete program that annually awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to county players. To renew or to create a new membership go to

Fran Ursini is in his 50th and final season of football officiating excellence in Orange County. Every coach seems to like him, although there must be one out there who does not. After all, he is a referee.

• Servite quarterback Tyler Little had a gigantic debut last week, passing for 424 yards and two touchdowns. That caught the attention of Washington State, Cal and Temple, all of which made him a scholarship offer this week. Miami had offered earlier.

• The CIF-SS office distributed $1.7 million to its member schools thanks to the section’s championship-game gate receipts, sponsorships and TV contracts from the 2014-15 school year. The section is able to refund its member schools their CIF-SS membership dues. Under Commissioner Rob Wigod and a vigorous marketing team led by John Costello, the section is in the best financial shape of its existence.

• Foothill’s boys water polo team, CIF-SS Division 2 champion last year, is No. 1 in the Division 2 preseason rankings. Division 3 defending champion Laguna Beach is No. 1 in that division. Segerstrom is No. 1 in Division 6.

• Mater Dei is No. 2 in the CIF-SS Division 1 boys water polo preseason rankings. Defending division champion Harvard-Westlake of Studio City is No. 1. Five other county teams are in the Division 1 top 10: No. 4 Orange Lutheran; No. 5 Huntington Beach; No. 6 Corona del Mar; No. 8 Newport Harbor; and No. 10 Los Alamitos.

• Other highly ranked county boys water polo teams: Dana Hills, No. 2 in Division 2; and Capistrano Valley and Aliso Niguel, at Nos. 4 and 5 respectively in Division 3.

• Water polo’s all-important, early-season South Coast Tournament is Sept. 24-26 at Newport Harbor. That one has huge impact on county and CIF-SS rankings, and playoff seedings.

• Aliso Niguel’s girls volleyball team is ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 1A, the division the Wolverines won last year. Defending 3AA champion Sage Hill is No. 1 in that division, and defending 3A champ Saddleback Valley Christian is No. 1 in that division. Mater Dei and Corona del Mar are Nos. 2-3 in 1AA, in which defending champ Redondo Union is No. 1.

• CIF-SS cross country preliminaries will be at a new location this season. They will be held at Riverside City Cross Country Course on Nov. 14. CIF-SS finals again are at Mt. San Antonio College on Nov. 21.

• Which schools fall into what enrollment-based playoff divisions will be released in tentative form later this month, with final placements expected in October.

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