|OCVarsity Gridiron: Let the games begin|
The 2012 football season is upon us as Steve Fryer, Carlos Arias, and Dan Albano visit No. 1 Santa Margarita. Can the Eagles win in Arizona? Will Servite beat up Bishop Amat? Can HB defeat El Toro again? Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCRegister.com
|Cory Hahn gets back in the driver's seat|
Former baseball player of the year Cory Hahn received a Toyota Sienna Rampvan that was given to him by an anonymous group of donors. Hahn, was paralyzed after a head first slide in to second base. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCRegister.com
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Fryer on football: Season set for early start
The Orange County high school football season begins this week. If it seems earlier than usual, because it is.
The CIF State Federated Council approved expanding the football season by adding a regional championships round to occur between the conclusion of CIF section championship football games and the CIF State championship games. Regional games in five divisions are set for Dec. 7 and 8, with the state championship games on Dec. 14 and 15. Sites of the regional games have not been determined.
Teams must be section champions to be eligible for the regional playoffs. Regional games will be held simultaneously in the five divisions in Northern and Southern California, with those regionals winners meeting in the state finals.
Adding this regional round forced the season to begin early in all of California.
The first Orange County team to play this season will be San Juan Hills. The Stallions kick off the season Wednesday with a game at Viewpoint of Calabasas. Many more teams open the season Thursday and Friday, with others playing their first 2012 games next week.
300 IN SIGHT
Los Alamitos coach John Barnes is closing in on becoming the first coach in Orange County high school football history to collect 300 victories. Barnes, who became the coach at Los Alamitos since 1979 after one season as head coach at Magnolia, has a county-high 294 career victories. No. 2 is Bob Johnson with 265 victories at Los Amigos, El Toro and Mission Viejo.
The top 10 coaches in county career victories:
1. John Barnes 294
2. Bob Johnson (Los Amigos, El Toro, Mission Viejo) 265
3. Mike Marrujo (Valencia) 247
4. Terry Henigan (Cypress, Irvine) 219
5. Bruce Rollinson (Mater Dei) 218
6. Jeff Brinkley (Newport Harbor) 213
(tie) Dick Hill (Santa Ana Valley, Santa Ana, Orange) 213
8. Bill Craven (Pacifica) 212
9. Herb Hill (Rancho Alamitos, Loara) 191
10. Clare Van Hoorebeke (Anaheim) 189
(tie) Dave White (Edison) 189
Barnes, Johnson, Marrujo, Rollinson, Brinkley and White are active coaches.
LEAGUES ON THE MOVE
Sunset League teams that qualify for the playoffs will play in the CIF-Southern Section's Southwest Division. The Sunset League had been part of the Pac-5 Division since that division was formed in 2006.
The other leagues, all Orange County leagues, in the Southwest Division: Century; Empire; Freeway; and Sea View.
The Marmonte League, made up of schools in western Los Angeles County and Ventura County, replaces the Sunset League in the Pac-5 Division. The other Pac-5 leagues are the Moore, Serra, South Coast and Trinity leagues.
The Southern Division remains the same, comprised of the Garden Grove, Golden West, Orange, Orange Coast and Pacific Coast leagues.
Like last year, the Academy League is in the East Valley Division, the San Joaquin League is in the Northeast Division, and the Alpha League is in the Mid-Valley Division.
Another change this year is playoff representation per league. In previous seasons, the top four finishers in seven-team leagues like the Century and Empire leagues received guaranteed playoff berths, as did the top three finishers in five-team leagues like the Sea View and South Coast leagues.
This year, only the top three finishers in seven-team leagues and the top two finishers in five-team leagues received guaranteed playoff berths.
There will be two at-large berths available in the Pac-5 Division (there were none last year), two in the Southwest Divisions and one in the Southern Division.
AROUND THE COUNTY
The CIF-Southern Section playoffs begin Nov. 2 in 8-man football and Nov. 9 in 11-man football. There are two playoff divisions in 8-man football, and 13 divisions in 11-man football. ... Dana Hills and El Toro have traded places in the two-league Coast View Conference. El Toro moves from the Sea View to the South Coast League, with Dana Hills going from the South Coast to the Sea View. A points system in the 10-school Coast View Conference moves teams from one league to the other every two years. ... The Mater Dei-Servite game will be played at Angel Stadium for the fourth year in a row. It is Servite's home game this year. ... Three Orange County teams are defending CIF champions. Corona del Mar won the Southern Division championship last year, Tustin won the Southwest Division title, and Santa Margarita won the Pac-5 crown before beating Bellarmine Prep of San Jose in the CIF State Division 1 championship.
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