Fryer: O.C.'s No. 1 fall sports program? Easy call


Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

•The school that is having the best fall sports season, so far, is Tesoro. Tesoro is represented in six county fall sports top 10s — No. 6 in football, No. 5 in boys cross country, No. 6 in girls cross country, No. 4 in girls golf, No. 3 in girls tennis and No. 6 in girls volleyball.

•We might think of water polo as a south county sport or a beach city sport. But the inland schools in the Century League, such as Foothill and Villa Park, have produced excellent boys polo teams for decades. Foothill is No. 3 and Villa Park is No. 8 in the CIF-SS Division 2 rankings. Foothill is in first place in the Century League with a 4-0 record, followed by three teams tied for second at 3-1 — Brea Olinda, Canyon and Villa Park.

•Mater Dei's boys water polo team went undefeated last year, and has not lost this year. The Monarchs, ranked No. 1 in Orange County and in CIF-SS Division 1, were 15-0 going into Thursday's game against defending CIF-North Coast Division 1 champion Miramonte of Orinda. The Monarchs' CIF-SS record winning streak reached 63 games Saturday with their 13-5 victory over Corona del Mar, which is No. 7 in Division 1 and No. 4 in the county.

•Football playoff reminder: Guaranteed playoff berths go to the top three finishers in six- and seven-team leagues, and to the top two finishers in four- and five-team leagues; and teams that do not finish high enough in their final standings to automatically qualify for the playoffs can receive at-large berths and no longer is there a requirement that a team must have a .500 or better overall record to be eligible for an at-large berth. Of the divisions that contain county teams, there are three at-large berths in the East Valley Division, four in the Northeast Division, two in the Pac-5 Division, one in the Southern Division and two in the Southwest Division.

•The CIF-SS football Southwest and Pac-5 division finals again will be at Angel Stadium, but not on the same day. The championship game of the Southwest Division, made up exclusively of county teams, will be Friday, Nov. 30 at the Big A with the Pac-5 final the following day. Sites of other football finals will be announced during the playoffs.

•Tickets for the Edison-Fountain Valley football game, the famous "Battle for The Bell," Oct. 26 at Orange Coast College are on sale weekdays beginning Monday at the schools' financial offices from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., except for during the office lunch break from 1-2 p.m. Tickets, $3-$8, can be purchased by cash only and will not be available at Orange Coast College on game night.

•Six county football teams are in the Cal-Hi Sports state top 25: Mission Viejo is No. 4; Mater Dei No. 5; Santa Margarita No. 6; El Toro No. 12; Tesoro No. 15; and Edison No. 20.

•Five county football teams were undefeated going into this week. They are El Toro and Tustin, both 8-0; Mission Viejo and Segerstrom, both 7-0; and Laguna Beach, 6-0-1.

•Peter Pacifica, longtime No. 1 fan of all things Pacifica, is relocating out of state soon. Friday will be the final Mariners football home game for Peter. He has attended hundreds of the school's athletic events, where his leading of spelling out P-A-C-I-F-I-C-A has been as much a part of Pacifica sports as the national anthem.

•CIF-SS competition in boys and girls cross country begin with prelims Nov. 10. Section finals are Nov. 17 at Mt. San Antonio College. The state meet is Nov. 24 in Fresno.

•Other fall sports playoffs starting dates: girls team tennis, Oct. 30 (CIF-SS finals, Nov. 9 at The Claremont Club in Claremont); girls individual tennis, Nov. 19 (CIF-SS finals, Nov. 29 at Seal Beach Tennis Center); girls volleyball, Nov. 5 (CIF-SS finals, Nov. 17 at Cypress College and Santiago Canyon College); girls team golf, Oct. 22 at four locations including Mile Square Golf Course in Fountain Valley; girls individual golf, final Nov. 1 at Western Hills Golf & Country Club in Chino Hills; and boys water polo, Nov. 6 (CIF-SS finals, Nov. 17, Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine).

•The football season started early, and so will the basketball and other winter sports seasons. First contests in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls water polo and wrestling are Nov. 19.

•At the CIF-SS Council meeting, Oct. 25 in Long Beach, late Ocean View basketball coach Jim Harris will be inducted into the CIF-Southern Section Hall of Fame. He was a great coach, and a great friend to many.

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