Section Managers Set to Rule on Playoff Participation

In what figures to be a hotly debated subject, the San Diego Section Board of Managers is expected to rule on playoff participation limits Oct. 20 in its quarterly meeting.

By then, however, most of the Section's 54 2-A and 3-A football teams will have played six games, and the other five fall sports will be weeks under way as well.

As it is now--and this might come as a surprise to a number of area football coaches--only 12 teams in each division will make the playoffs, four fewer than in the past three seasons.

The Board, which made that ruling at its last quarterly meeting on June 16, has been asked to reconsider the decision.

"The North County Conference as well as some others felt they didn't have a chance to review (the motion)," Section Commissioner Kendall Webb said.

The main issue concerning football involves having a watered-down, but more lucrative, 16-team format as opposed to having 12 legitimate playoff participants.

In each of the past three seasons--since the playoffs were expanded from 12 to 16 teams--at least two teams have qualified for the playoffs with losing records.

A 12-team bracket would eliminate that concern but raise others.

With 12 teams, four league champions would get first-round byes, a supposed bonus for a successful season.

And there's the catch.

In football, where "momentum" and "peaking at the right time" are often cited by coaches as prominent factors, forcing a bye on a hot league champion could be construed as a penalty.

In addition, given the small size of some leagues, a league champion could conceivably have a 3-7 overall record or, in the cases of the City Eastern League's four teams, perhaps even a 2-8 mark.

And then there is the issue of gate receipts.

At a time when high school sports are being cut--and in some districts eliminated altogether--taking eight of the best football teams out of the playoffs for a week doesn't seem to make good fiscal sense. Football, by a huge margin, is the most lucrative sport the schools have.

GAME DEDICATED

Santana's football team dedicated Friday's 13-7 victory over La Jolla to the memory of twins Brian and Frank Pennisi and seven other Santana students injured in a three-car accident Wednesday morning.

Brian and Frank Pennisi, who were juniors and good friends to a number of Santana's football players, were killed in the accident.

CLOSE TO NOTHING

In its 28-7 victory Friday, Morse came close to becoming the first team to shut out Rancho Buena Vista since the Longhorns had a senior class for the first time, in the 1988 season.

Morse led, 28-0, until RBV scored with 35 seconds remaining.

COUGARS SWEEP

Michele Cox's cross-country victory in the Rancho Bernardo Bronco Roundup on Friday was unexpected to say the least.

Cox, who runs for Escondido, was the Cougars' No. 7 runner last year on a team that finished fourth in the Avocado League. Cox's time for the two-mile race at Kit Carson Park, 12:25, was 13 seconds better than runner-up Courtney Kurth of Mt. Carmel.

It was a good day all-around for Escondido runners. Jose Jiminez took first in the boys' race and five other Cougars finished in the top 10.

SAN DIEGUITO HONORED

David Emmerson, the San Dieguito girls' soccer coach, received a pleasant surprise package when he returned to school two weeks ago.

In it was a plaque from the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America, a reward for the Mustangs finishing second in the 1992 Gatorade national top 20.

"I was shocked," Emmerson said. "I knew we had had another good season and figured we'd be in the top 20 somewhere, but I was shocked to see us second."

San Dieguito was 24-0-1 with 21 shutouts and a goal differential of 141-7 last season. The previous year, the Mustangs were 21-1-2 and finished 13th in the national rankings.

"The girls should be proud," Emmerson said. "They've only lost one game in their last 50, and there are a number of seniors this year who have started since their freshman year."

San Dieguito lost only five seniors from last year's Division I Section championship team. The junior varsity lost only two games last year and the freshman went undefeated.

How New Coaches Fared in First Games

Coach School First game result Mike David Marian Def. Banning Twin Pines, 31-0 Trace Deneke San Dieguito Def. Escondido, 28-7 Alan Kaylor Southwest Def. Pasadena Blair, 21-14 Carl Parrick Bonita Vista Def. Mt. Miguel, 14-7 Bob Perone San Diego Def. Clairemont, 15-0 Lee Price Coronado Lost to Mar Vista, 6-0 Gary Pugh Mar Vista Def. Coronado, 6-0 Randy Reid Valhalla Lost to Las Vegas Cimarron, 22-19 Roger Rice Montgomery Def. Crawford, 41-0 Steve Sutton West Hills Lost to Castle Park, 35-7 Bruce Ward Escondido Lost to San Dieguito, 28-7 Gil Warren Castle Park Def. West Hills, 35-7

Football Top 10

No. School (Record) LW 1. El Camino (1-0) 1 2. Helix (1-0) 3 3. Morse (2-0) 5 4. Orange Glen (1-0) 6 5. Point Loma (0-1) 2 6. Vista (1-0) 7 7. Rancho Buena Vista (0-1) 4 8. San Pasqual (1-0) 8 9. Fallbrook (1-0) 9 10. El Capitan (1-0) NR

Others receiving consideration: Mira Mesa (1-0), Montgomery (1-0), Castle Park (1-0).

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