High School Sports

City Section football semifinals point to need for new playoff format

Kameron Denmark
Kameron Denmark and Narbonne have rushed their way into the City Section Division I championship game.
(Michael Baker / For The Times)

It might be time for the City Section to start deciding its football playoff divisions at the end of the regular season instead of every two years based on what happened on Friday night when four of the six semifinal games resulted in running clocks in the fourth quarter because the deficits reached 35 or more points.

In Division I, Narbonne opened up a 54-0 lead before beating El Camino Real, 54-20. In Division II, Hawkins defeated Grant, 63-20. Los Angeles defeated Westchester, 52-6. In Division III, Reseda defeated Hollywood, 37-0.

One of the issues is that Hawkins and Los Angeles are good enough to play Division I but not under the City Section rules that require waiting until 2017 to revise the divisions.

Another issue is that the schools with few transfers might have a great team once every four years, then suddenly drop off and go through a rebuilding process. It leads to mismatches against the schools that never have rebuilding years because transfers fill in for the graduated seniors.


Next Saturday’s final schedule is set for El Camino College. Narbonne (13-0) will play Dorsey (10-3) for the Division I title at 7 p.m.; Hawkins (12-0) will play Los Angeles (10-3) for the Division II title at 3 p.m. and Reseda (11-2) will play Franklin (12-1) for the Division III title at 11 a.m.

Coach in demand

Dean Herrington still doesn’t know why he was fired at Mission Hills Alemany at the end of last season. Seven league titles in 10 years. Produced top players such as Vernon Adams, Steven Mitchell and Devin Ross. Helped Alemany become one of the top programs in the San Fernando Valley.

“It was shocking to say the least,” Herrington said Saturday when looking back. All has turned out well, because Herrington was hired at Lancaster Paraclete, and now the Spirits are one win away from a CIF title.


They will play Hacienda Heights Los Altos on Friday for the Division 6 championship after defeating Lawndale, 44-13, in the semifinals.

State titles

Temecula Great Oak won CIF state cross-country titles for boys and girls in Division I on Saturday in Fresno.

Capping a season filled with accomplishments, sophomore Claudia Lane of Malibu won the Division IV individual girls’ title by running 16:45, a course sophomore record.

Basketball community mourns

It was more than just Gardena Serra mourning the death of boys’ basketball Coach Dwan Hurt on Friday at age 53. The Southern California basketball community had great respect for Hurt, who won state titles in 1993 and 2010 and was known for teaching his players about discipline and team work.

USC defensive back Adoree’ Jackson, a former Serra basketball player, tweeted, “The Man, The Myth, The Legend Coach Hurt. Rest In Paradise Coach and thank you for everything.”