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Five predictions for the Southwest football playoffs

STAFF WRITER

Five predictions for the Southwest Division playoffs:

1. Which four teams will make it to the Southwest semifinals?

La Habra, Villa Park, Corona del Mar, San Clemente.

2. Which team will win the Southwest title? La Habra.

The Highlanders have suffered some postseason heartbreaks in recent memory: a 44-42 loss to Capo Valley last year and a 49-48 setback to Newport Harbor in 2013 immediately come to mind. Because the defense is worlds better this year, La Habra captures its first CIF title since 2010.

3. Which team will be the "surprise team" in the Southwest bracket? Corona del Mar.

“Surprise” is a reach because this Sea Kings squad is legit. But I think CdM beats San Clemente in the semis and represents the bottom half of the bracket in the championship game against La Habra. 

4. Which player will be the postseason MVP in the Southwest? Eric Barriere.

He’s in his third year starting for Frank Mazzotta and has helped put up 42 and 48 points in playoff losses, so you can’t knock him on his postseason productivity. Because he can make special plays with both his legs and his arm, Barriere helps hoist the CIF trophy in early December.

5. Which O.C. team shouldn't be overlooked in the Southwest playoffs? Villa Park.

They’ve got size up front and they’re as gifted a team as there is athletically. If they can eliminate the penalties, the Spartans play deep into November.


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