Two-time defending Los Angeles City Section champion Harbor City Narbonne beat out Crenshaw and Venice to be awarded the No. 1 seeding for the Division I football playoffs that begin Friday.
"Wow, wow, wow, wow," Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett said of the decision.
Narbonne (8-2), No. 2 Crenshaw (6-4) and No. 3 Venice (8-2) all had arguments to be No. 1, but the seeding committee gave the nod to the Gauchos based on the overall strength of the Marine League and a better record than Crenshaw. Carson (5-5) was seeded No. 4.
What it means is that Crenshaw and Venice are headed on a collision course to meet in the semifinals if both win their first two games. Crenshaw could have to face Coliseum League rival Dorsey in the quarterfinals, and Venice could end up playing San Pedro in the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years.
"I don't understand," Venice Coach Angelo Gasca said. "They have some sort of formula and don't follow the formula."
Narbonne Coach Manuel Douglas tried to be diplomatic about his selection as No. 1.
"I think we were in the conversation," he said. "All of us in the top three had arguments to be No. 1. We all lost to Southern Section teams. It was how we lost and the fact our league is the toughest. If you look at the total body of work, we are deserving."
The seedings for Division II were equally confusing. San Fernando (10-0) received the No. 1 seeding, with Granada Hills (5-5) getting No. 2 despite a loss to Chatsworth on Friday. Eagle Rock (10-0) is No. 3 and Sylmar (7-3) No. 4.
"Ridiculous," said one City Division II coach.
Granada Hills received the No. 2 seeding based on strength of schedule. But if the committee used that reasoning, then how come Sylmar, with a victory over Division I team Arleta and a close loss to San Fernando, isn't ahead of Eagle Rock?
In Division III, the top-seeded teams were View Park, Sun Valley Poly, Bernstein and Wilson.
Harry Welch ends coaching career
Harry Welch's legendary 25-year career as a head coach has come to an end.
When Santa Margarita lost to JSerra, 26-7, on Friday night, the Eagles finished 4-6. Welch announced before the season he would retire. He finishes with a record of 256-60-2 at Santa Margarita, St. Margaret's and Canyon Country Canyon.
Welch coached for 42 years. He's the only coach to have guided three schools to CIF state championship bowl victories.
"I started in 1965," he said. "To really leave it, I find myself getting quite emotional."