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ED CRISOSTOMO, , ED CRISOSTOMO, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Margarita's JP Hackett, left, and Servite's Michael Bandy are on teams still battling to secure a CIF-SS playoff spot. The playoff pairings will be announced Sunday.

Fryer: Poly forfeits add to playoff pairings drama

STAFF COLUMNIST

Just when we thought we were getting a clearer view of the Pac-5 football playoffs …

Long Beach Poly on Thursday forfeited four games for using an ineligible player. That might affect some of Orange County’s Trinity League teams trying to make the playoffs.

Poly forfeited Moore League wins over Compton, Long Beach Cabrillo and Long Beach Wilson and a nonleague win over Centennial of Peoria, Ariz.

The Jackrabbits, who would have been the Moore League’s No. 1 playoff representative, now are 3-6 overall and 2-3 in league. They could still get the league's third and final guaranteed berth in the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs, depending upon Friday results.

Or Poly could be in the pool of candidates for one of the Pac-5's two at-large berths. Teams do not have to be .500 or better overall to be eligible for at-large berth consideration.

Does that make the Trinity League less likely to get both of the at-large berths?

Also, if Poly does get in as a No. 3 or as an at-large team it would play a first-round away game against another league's No. 1 team or, perhaps, a league's No. 2.

When CIF-SS football playoff brackets are released Sunday, the coach of a Pac-5 Division league champion will just about faint if he sees that his team has to play Poly in the first round.

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• Sunday’s release of football playoff brackets begins with the posting of at-large berth teams at 8 a.m. The list of at-large teams and the brackets for all divisions will be available at ocvarsity.com upon release.

• The Pac-5 football bracket is released at 11 a.m. The East Valley and West Valley brackets come out at 11:30 a.m. The Southern and Southwest brackets are distributed at noon.

• It is possible there will be a five-way tie - JSerra, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Servite and Santa Margarita - for second place in the six-team Trinity League. If so, and because head-to-head results can’t break the ties, coin flips would decide which teams are the league’s Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 playoff representatives. The coin flips would happen at Servite’s athletic director office Friday at 10:30 p.m. or as soon as representatives from the schools involved can be there.

• Subplot to El Modena vs. El Dorado tonight: El Modena coach Ed Drzanek was El Dorado coach Zack LaMonda’s position coach at Servite when LaMonda was an All-County lineman at Servite.

• Dear readers: Servite football coach Scott Meyer needs your help. Tell the coach about your favorite “we should be in the Orange County top 10” football team and why it should play Servite, which has openings in 2016 for Weeks 4 and 5.

• Tickets for the Nike Extravaganza basketball showcase, Feb. 5 and 6 at Mater Dei, go on sale Monday in the school’s basketball office. Tickets, $12 for general admission and $22 for reserved seating, are available on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Transactions are cash only and, no Mater Dei does not have an ATM in its gym, you smart-aleck.

• The first day of the one-week early letter-of-intent signing period for basketball, baseball, softball and many other sports is Wednesday. The number of signing ceremonies and events that take place on signing day might be fewer than normal. Wednesday is Veterans’ Day, a national holiday.

• Girls water polo signings will be plentiful. Among the more recent commitments: Mater Dei’s Kayla Constandse with NCAA defending champion Stanford, and Foothill’s Kenzi Snyder and Brooke Maxson, with UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, respectively. UCLA women’s water polo has commitments from five county players.

• CIF-SS boys water polo playoff brackets will be released Saturday. The pairings will be available at ocvarsity.com.

• CIF-Southern Section girls volleyball playoff brackets will be released today. First-round games are Tuesday. Wild-card round games will be played Saturday.

• The Orange County Retired Coaches Luncheon is Jan. 20 at the Santa Ana Elks Lodge. The guest speaker is former USC basketball coach Stan Morrison. Contact Carl Sweet (sweethawk25@gmail.com) for information.

• The Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s fall dinner meeting theme is “Honoring Coaches with Character.” Athletic directors have been asked to submit a coach to be honored at the event, Nov. 16 at Anaheim Convention Center.

• Register sportswriter Dan Albano hosts two weekly podcasts, one on water polo and another on Trinity League football. Search “dan albano podcast” for links to the latest.

• The Register’s Damian Calhoun and Brian Whitehead perform a football podcast weekly at ocvarsity.com.

• Edison won the game, but Fountain Valley won the student-section competition at “The Battle for the Bell” football game last week at Orange Coast College. There are unofficial student-section competitions at many football games, at several girls volleyball matches and, coming up, at just about every basketball game. And they are fun.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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