Poly Bounced From Division Playoffs for Not Bringing Tapes
Granada Hills High took another step in its turnaround season by earning top seeding Saturday in the City Section championship football playoffs which begin Thursday.
But the real story was in the lower-level Division championship, where Poly was tossed from the bracket less than two hours after earning its first playoff spot since 1993.
The Parrots (3-6-1, 3-4) were seeded 15th and scheduled to play Belmont in the opening round, but City rules stipulate all coaches of playoff teams must bring videotapes of two games to the seeding meeting between 12 and 1 p.m.
At 1 p.m., with Poly a no-show, the section awarded Poly’s spot to Hamilton, the first alternate.
When reached at home, Bob Mesa, Poly’s co-coach, said he was instructed by Jason Garrison, coach at North Hollywood and a Valley Pac-8 Conference representative, that Poly could not attend the meeting.
“This can’t be happening,” Mesa said. “We were told we couldn’t be at the meeting. Nobody called us to tell us we were in. We gave him [our phone] numbers.”
Garrison was not present at the meeting, open to the press, which consisted of a representative from each conference plus two members of the Interscholastic Athletic Committee.
Gil Collins, a North Hollywood assistant, was there in place of Garrison.
Before the coaches left the meeting, Jeff Halpern, a City Section official, suggested affected coaches should be called.
Mesa said he wasn’t aware of what transpired until informed by a reporter from The Times.
Granada Hills, which won three games the previous three seasons, capped an undefeated regular season by defeating Taft in overtime Friday night.
The Highlanders were given the top seeding over Venice--the only other unbeaten team--because the Northwest Valley was considered the superior conference.
“The important thing was to get the home games and get in the top four,” said Tom Harp, Granada Hills co-coach. “We’ll see how the kids react to being a favorite now.”
Taft, which lost a conference game for the first time since 1995, slipped to seventh and will play 10th-seeded Crenshaw. The Toreadors defeated the Cougars, 38-22, in the second week of the season.
The most interesting first-round matchup features San Pedro at Sylmar. The Pirates have won the last two 4-A titles and the teams have combined for four of the last six major division championships but have not met in the 1990s.
The fourth-seeded Spartans (7-2-1, 7-0), Valley Pac-8 Conference champions, lost nonconference games to Notre Dame and Hart, and tied Antelope Valley.
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City Section Football Championships
* No. 16 Jefferson (7-3) at No. 1 Granada Hills (10-0); No. 9 Westchester (8-2) at No. 8 Locke (7-3); No. 12 Roosevelt (7-2) at No. 5 Banning (7-3); No. 13 San Pedro (6-4) at No. 4 Sylmar (7-2-1); No. 14 Kennedy (7-3) at No. 3 Dorsey (7-2-1); No. 11 Carson (5-5) at No. 6 Franklin (9-1); No. 10 Crenshaw (6-4) at No. 7 Taft (8-2); No. 15 El Camino Real (5-4-1) at No. 2 Venice (10-0)
* No. 16 Gardena (3-7) at No. 1 Palisades (7-3); No. 9 Wilson (7-3) at No. 8 Manual Arts (4-6); No. 12 Reseda (6-4) at No. 5 Narbonne (4-6); No. 13 Jordan (5-4) at No. 4 San Fernando (6-4); No. 14 Hollywood (6-4) at No. 3 Van Nuys (7-3); No. 11 Eagle Rock (6-4) at No. 6 Bell (5-5); No. 10 South Gate (6-4) at No. 7 Chatsworth (5-5); No. 15 Hamilton (3-7) at No. 2 Belmont (6-4)
First round Thursday at 7 p.m.