Prep Rally: State championship bowl matchups are set


Hi, and welcome to another edition of Prep Rally. My name is Eric Sondheimer. The state football bowl games begin this weekend. There’s only two weeks left in the high school football season.

Let’s go bowling

The CIF state championship Open Division bowl game will take place Dec. 10 at Saddleback College and match Southern Section Division 1 champion St. John Bosco (12-1) against San Mateo Serra (13-0). Serra is better than it was last season when it lost to Santa Ana Mater Dei 44-7. The Padres have a good defense and speed. But they are still heavy underdogs. Coach Patrick Walsh believes his team will respond positively to the challenge.

“Our journey to this spot has been perfect,” he said of the school’s first 13-0 season. “We’ve already done something that’s never been done. Why not keep it going?”

Sierra Canyon drew the 1-AA bowl and will play host to San Diego Lincoln on Friday, with the winner facing either De La Salle or Folsom. Sierra Canyon has been playing like a Division 1 team in recent weeks.


Unbeaten Yorba Linda is in the 1-A bowl game and will host Bakersfield Liberty on Saturday.

Here’s the complete bowl matchups.

Here’s a column looking at how an extra week or two playing in the state bowl playoffs can help teams and players for the future.

Naiim Morgan ran through Garfield for 292 yards and four touchdowns for Birmingham.
(Craig Weston)

Every section champion from the Southern Section and City Section received a CIF state championship bowl game berth on Sunday.

Football rewind

St John Bosco quarterback Pierce Clarkson throws downfield against Mater Dei.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The game of the year once again lived up to the hype. St. John Bosco took down unbeaten Mater Dei 24-22 to win the Division 1 championship, stopping a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the score. Here’s the report. It was the final game for retiring Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson and ended Mater Dei’s 29-game winning streak. Here’s the column from Bill Plaschke before the game.

Surging Sierra Canyon won the Division 2 title over Inglewood 23-7. Sophomore running Dane Dunn led the way. Here’s the report.


Birmingham won its third consecutive City Section Open Division championship. The Patriots scored on their first five possessions for a 35-0 lead and defeated Garfield 49-13. Here’s the report.

Granada Hills’ Dijon Stanley put on a show in the City Section Division I final, rushing for 367 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-7 win over Palisades. Here’s the report.

Crenshaw won the City Section Division III championship over Wilson. Here’s the report.

Here’s the complete list of weekend championship scores.

Here’s a Thanksgiving column on the Barnes family from Garfield.

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Basketball rewind

No. 1 Corona Centennial traveled to Texas to take on Duncanville, the team it lost to last season. The Huskies once again were beaten 59-57.

No. 1 Sierra Canyon in girls basketball also traveled to Texas and won over Parkway. Juju Watkins scored 24 points.

Anaheim Canyon (6-0) continues to impress in the early season. Jaden Goodall, a 6-foot-6 junior, has been leading the Comanches.

Rancho Christian defeated Sierra Canyon by three points in the season debut of Bronny James. Harvard-Westlake (5-0) faces Rancho Christian on Saturday.

Sophomore Peyton White of Crespi is coming on strong. Here’s the report.

Here’s this week’s top 25 boys’ rankings by The Times.

Tennis sisters

Marshall sisters Johanna (left) and Julianna Galindo after the LA City Section girls' tennis finals last Wednesday.
Marshall High sisters Johanna Galindo (left) and Julianna Galindo after playing in the City Section girls’ tennis finals.
(Courtesy of Joy Galindo)

They sat quietly next to each other in the backseat a year ago, riding to the City Section girls’ tennis individual finals, an awkward tension suddenly separating sisters.


Johanna and Julianna Galindo didn’t talk to each other at breakfast that morning either, silently eating bagels and eggs. Later that day, they’d be staring at each other on opposite sides of the net, two Marshall High stars playing for a singles championship.

“We just tried our best,” Johanna said, “to pretend like we didn’t know each other.”

Well, they met again for the singles title. Here’s the report.


Distant runners Lex (left) and Leo Young of Newbury Park signed with Stanford.
Distant runners Lex (left) and Leo Young of Newbury Park signed with Stanford.
(Luca Evans)

The legacy of the running Young brothers at Newbury Park High will be talked about for years.

First there was Nico, a two-time state cross-country champion and Gatorade national runner of the year.

On Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno, his brothers, twins Lex and Leo, ran one-two in the state Division II final, with Lex prevailing in 14 minutes 27.9 seconds, an all-time best for Division II and third best in course history.

Leo finished in 14:38.4 and Newbury Park teammate Aaron Sahlman took third place in 14:41.1. The Panthers won the Division II team championship, their fourth consecutive state title.


Here’s the report.

Notes . . .

Mission Viejo track and field standout Jada Gatlin has committed to USC. . . .

UCLA’s baseball recruiting class is ranked No. 3 in the nation and includes lots of local signees. Here’s the link. . . .

Mater Dei girls’ basketball coach Kevin Kiernan is recovering from hip surgery. . . .

La Mirada quarterback Nehuel Garcia has committed to Furman. . . .

Former Los Altos football coach Greg Gano died on Nov. 23. He was 66. He won four Southern Section championships at Los Altos. He also coached at Northview, Damien, Tustin and Don Lugo. . . .

Gersain Pineda is the new volleyball coach at Cathedral. . . .

Junior outfielder Wes Hickey from Yucaipa has committed to USC.

From the archives: Cristian Roldan

The World Cup is under way, and one of the players on the USA team is Cristian Roldan, an El Rancho High graduate.

Back in 2013, I wrote this story on Roldan. which told the story of him deciding to play for his high school team instead of some club program. It’s a great example of someone who was loyal to those who helped him along the way. He was the Gatorade national player of the year in 2013.


He’d go on to play for Washington in college before becoming a professional star.

He’s getting support from his hometown, Pico Rivera.


From the Los Angeles Times, an oral history of Hollywood High’s historic 16 skating spot.

From, a look back from 35 years ago when McFarland High won a state cross country championship that led to a Disney movie.

From the Los Angeles Times, a story on former San Fernando and USC star Anthony Davis 50 years after his memorable performance against Notre Dame.

From the Newhall Signal, a story on the Saugus baseball team working at a food pantry.

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Until next time...

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