Win or lose, Harry Welch could see his legendary high school coaching career come to an end on Friday night when his Santa Margarita team faces JSerra at Saddleback College.
Santa Margarita is 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the Trinity League. There's all kinds of scenarios and help the Eagles will need to get a Pac-5 Division playoff spot. Winning will keep them in the mix, but there's also a distinct possibility it will be Welch's final game.
He announced before the season that he intended to retire as a coach at the end of this season. He has been at Santa Margarita for four years and a head coach overall for 25 years. His career record is 256-59-2, including nine Southern Section championships at Santa Margarita, Canyon Country Canyon and St. Margaret's. He's the only coach to have won CIF state championship bowl games with three different teams.
The word is he's working his team hard this week getting the players ready.
"I promise I will do my best," Welch said Wednesday.
A possible scenerio is Santa Margarita finishing in a three-way tie for third place with Orange Lutheran and Servite. But the Eagles lost to both schools, which means they would have to be given an at-large berth as the fifth-place team in the Trinity. But if Orange Lutheran defeats Mater Dei on Friday, a coin flip could determine third place.
Whatever happens, you can count on Welch battling to the very end.