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Football: After his firing last year, Dean Herrington has Paraclete in CIF final

Dean Herrington still doesn't know why he was fired at 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.

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All has turned out well, because Herrington was hired at Paraclete, and now the Spirits are one win away from a CIF title.

They will play Los Altos next weekend for the Division 6 championship after defeating Lawndale, 44-13, in the semifinals.

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Paraclete is receiving strong play from a combination of outstanding sophomores and veteran players. Sophomore running back Jamaal Bell is called by Herrington "a special player." Bobby Brown, a two-way player, keeps producing big plays.

Further, Herrington is getting help from his brothers, Mike, the head coach at Hart, and Rick, his former defensive coordinator at Alemany. And his staff of assistants keeps producing, too.

"We started five sophomores on offense last night and two on defense, so the future looks bright," he said.

Perhaps no one should be happier than quarterback Tooni Ikahihifo. Herrington was known for producing top quarterbacks at Hart and Alemany, and now Ikahihifo is benefiting.

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