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Cathedral Can Celebrate a Day Early

A glance around the high school sports scene:

--Athletic officials at Cathedral vow not to make the same mistake twice after last week’s embarrassing episode with the football team.

The Phantoms’ Santa Fe League game against Mary Star was scheduled for Friday night at Daniels Field in San Pedro. However, Cathedral Coach Kevin Pearson and his team were still on their own practice field two hours before kickoff, because they believed the game was Saturday night.

Pearson, a first-year coach, said the school’s principal and athletic director became aware of the problem at 5:30 p.m. and told him the team would either have to play or forfeit.

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“We couldn’t forfeit because the winner had the inside track on a playoff berth,” Pearson said. “The problem was we weren’t at all prepared. I had already let two of my starters go because of family obligations that night, and two others left early because of work conflicts.”

Mary Star officials weren’t interested in rescheduling, but they did agree to push back the kickoff to 9 p.m.

Pearson said many of his players had to rush home to get jerseys and equipment and to grab a quick bite to eat. The principal managed to get a small bus and three vans to transport the team.

The scurrying didn’t seem to faze Cathedral, whose Sevastian Castellon returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. With the scored tied, 21-21, in the fourth quarter, Castellon scored on a 79-yard punt return to lift the Phantoms, 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the league, to a 28-21 victory.

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--Glendora had to forfeit five football victories last year after it was discovered the team had a varsity player who was 14, which is against CIF rules. The Tartans finished the season 2-8 and out of the playoffs.

California is one of only two states that doesn’t allow a player who is 14 on varsity football teams. The CIF council considered changing that rule last week, but the proposal was soundly defeated.

“I think they should keep 14-year-olds off the varsity and down on farm teams,” said Bell Gardens Coach Dave Newell, whose team had to forfeit two victories last year for violating the rule. “I think a lot of coaches would abuse the young guys if they were allowed.”

--Girls playing football is not new, but Lorenza Coronado of Long Beach Jordan has written herself into the record book.

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Coronado, a 5-foot-7, 140-pound senior receiver, was believed to be the first California girl to score a touchdown when she caught a two-yard pass from Ortege Jenkins in the fourth quarter of a 34-14 victory over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey on Sept. 29.

--Marijon Ancich is discovering it’s not always easy to go home again.

After leading the Santa Fe Springs St. Paul football team to success in the 1970s, Ancich left. He returned to the school three years ago and guided the team to the playoffs in his first season.

But the Swordsmen, who compete in the Del Rey League, lost three of their final four games last year and didn’t make the playoffs. This season, St. Paul is 4-4 and on a four-game losing streak.

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--Wrestlers who starve themselves to make weight at the state tournament will be in for a surprise this season. The weigh-in has been moved back from Friday morning to Thursday night, allowing wrestlers a night to eat before their first-round matches.

--The City Section announces its football playoff brackets on Nov. 10 and the Southern Section on Nov. 12. First-round games begin Nov. 17.


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