Bryce Loidolt received a phone call last Sunday.
But it wasn’t just any phone call.
It’s safe to say, it was call that every young man who has played
football at Laguna Beach High in the past 15 years would have loved
It was on that afternoon that Loidolt learned that the Laguna
Beach football program had earned its first CIF Southern Section
playoff berth since 1987.
It wasn’t a crank call, either.
The futility was over.
“I knew we had a chance, but I was pretty surprised by it, to tell
you the truth. It was an awesome call to get, though,” said the
senior, a two-way starter who plays defensive back and wide receiver.
Laguna Beach (5-5) got into the Division IX playoff field as an
at-large entry and will travel tonight to face top-seed La Habra
(9-1) in a 7 p.m. first round game.
“We don’t care who we’re playing -- we’re just happy to be going
to the playoffs,” Loidolt said. “But we want more than that: we want
to show [La Habra] that we are coming to play, that we’re not just
another wildcard team. We intend to show just how talented we are.”
Loidolt has been a three-year member of the varsity squad and is
one of a few current players to be part of two teams that have had
the most success on the gridiron since the then-Artists of 1987
reached the second round of the playoffs.
Loidolt, a two-year member of the team’s Black Watch unit, was
part of a 2001 squad that finished 6-4 overall and posted the
school’s first winning record since that 1987 team went 10-2.
The at-large berth was going to be awarded to either Laguna Beach
or Garden Grove, said Rob Wigod, assistant commissioner of the CIF
Wigod said a four-member committee considered six points of
criteria when making the selection, noting that, although both
schools finished 5-5 overall, the bid tilted in Laguna Beach’s favor
because the strength of the Pacific Coast League was considered
deeper than the Garden Grove League -- to which Garden Grove belongs
-- and because the Breakers beat a Costa Mesa team that went on to
win the Golden West League championship and finish 8-2 overall.
“It was a difficult situation, but when everything was taken into
consideration, the bid went to Laguna Beach,” Wigod said. “The
committee looked over the six criteria and came to that decision.”
Laguna Beach coach Dave Holland knew that his team was under
at-large bid consideration.
“I’m really, really excited for these kids and our school,” he
said. “It’s been a long time coming.
“Seven years ago I got here, and each year we’ve been creeping up,
making progress. I said before the season that I felt that this was
my best team so far, and their hard work and belief in themselves has
This is the 11th playoff appearance in 68 years of Laguna Beach
“This feels really good right now,” Loidolt said. “Last year, we
had a good team but didn’t get in; this year, we made it. I think
that this playoff berth can be used as a springboard for next year.”
Laguna Beach CIF Playoff History
1987: defeated Elsinore, 28-21; lost to St. Joseph, 20-13
1986: lost to La Sierra, 10-6
1980: lost to Corona del Mar, 22-6
1968: defeated La Quinta, 14-13; lost to Rolling Hills, 42-14
1964: defeated Bloomington, 26-0; lost to Coachella, 20-19.
1962: defeated Hemet, 14-13; defeated Santa Clara, 34-14; lost to
1952: defeated Chula Vista, 19-0; lost to Brawley, 20-6
1949: lost to Bonita, 14-7
1947: defeated Fallbrook, 20-6; lost to San Luis Obispo, 33-14
1946: defeated Corona, 15-6; defeated Barstow, 20-0.
(9-9 record in 10 postseason appearances)
* MIKE SCIACCA covers sports for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. He can be reached at 494-4321 or by e-mail at