Matchup might happen

Corona del Mar and Estancia are two high schools that are 7.7 miles apart.

They are that close to each other.

They are also that close to playing each other in a CIF Southern Section football title game for the first time.

Estancia and CdM are in the semifinals of the Southern Division playoffs. The Sea Kings have been here before as they are making their third trip to this round in four years.

The semifinal appearance is a first for the Eagles.

No one expected Estancia to get this far. Until this season, the program had not won a playoff game in 31 years.

During that same stretch, CdM has qualified for the semifinals seven times, reaching the section finale twice. When the Sea Kings make it to the big game, they win.

Out of the two local programs, CdM has the easier path to the section title game. The second-seeded Sea Kings (10-2) on Friday play at Laguna Beach (10-2), which is in the semifinals for the first time in 47 years.

Under a new coach, Scott Meyer, the Sea Kings are looking to get past the semifinals after failing to do so in 2010 and '08.

The team that stopped CdM in the semis last year is the one that is in Estancia's way on Friday.

The Eagles (10-2) play host to top-seeded Beckman (10-2). The Patriots advanced to the section finale last year, losing to Garden Grove, 31-30. They are trying to get back and win it.

Estancia Coach Mike Bargas is well aware that Beckman has owned the head-to-head series against the Eagles, winning all three games. The closest the Eagles have come to defeating the Patriots was on Oct. 6 at Jim Scott Stadium.

Estancia lost the nonleague game, 12-10. More is at stake on the same field this time around.

"We weren't [fully healthy]," said Bargas, referring to the last time the Eagles faced Beckman without Ben Beck and Levi Stillman, both are wide receivers and defensive backs, and linebacker Colby Koste. "We're at home and we get another opportunity at these guys."

If the Eagles find a way to pull off the upset and the Sea Kings move on as many expect, two Newport-Mesa Unified School District schools will meet in a section title game for the first time in football.


The girls' volleyball season ended for Sage Hill, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar in the CIF State Southern California Regional semifinals on Saturday.

Each team punched their tickets to state by reaching their respective CIF Southern Section title matches. Having three local girls' teams advance to section finales in the same season is a first.


Corona del Mar is the only area boys' soccer program ranked in the CIF Southern Section preseason polls.

The Sea Kings are No. 2 in Division III, behind Paramount, the defending section champion. Paramount knocked off CdM, 2-1, in the semifinals last year en route to claiming its second straight section title.


The Corona del Mar boys' basketball team opens the season at home Saturday against San Gorgonio of San Bernardino. Coach Ryan Schachter said the home nonleague contest is the program's first in three years.

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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