CCS Predictions — Version 2011

14 11 2011

I’ve been covering sports on the Peninsula for a handful of years now, and I always get excited for the CCS playoffs. It’s the pinnacle of high school achievement in these parts. This year though, after spending an entire season fully immersed in the overall spectrum that is high school football in these parts, I feel myself becoming that much more invested in our local teams. The brackets for all FIVE divisions were announced yesterday, and after some initial thoughts (and surprises) here is how I believe things will pan out.

For the record, I believe that I after covering football in this area for an entire season, that I still have no idea what I’m talking about. Just saying.

OPEN DIVISION

I want to say I see someone beating Bellarmine. But I extremely doubt it. The Bells’ defense has allowed less than 12 points a game in WCAL play. Rest assured, they’ll be tested against Terra Nova’s offense. Although the closest thing to that in the WCAL is S.I or St. Francis and the Bells still put a beat down on them. It’s a STATE-caliber D. Mitty might give them a run; they put up 19 against them. I honestly believe the Lancers are peaking at a good time and they take down Oak Grove. Paly vs. Leland is probably the Game of the Bracket. Perhaps one of the best of the entire CCS playoffs.

DIVISION I

I will be BEYOND SHOCKED if Serra doesn’t just win the title here, but if they actually break a sweat against any of the teams in this bracket. M-A is your No. 2 seed? With all due respect to Coach Sione and the Bears, but Serra is in a league of their own. Consider than against Wilcox, they put up 56 and could have easily had 70. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch, or a true-homer thing to say, that the Padres will have no problems (if they play their best football) capturing their first CCS title since 1990. I wrote a story about them in today’s Journal. You can read it here and see what Coach Walsh had to say about staying in Division I. 

DIVISION II

I don’t think anyone took more heat from the message boards on the WWW than Coach Butch of Los Gatos. Los Gatos finished second behind Palo Alto in the De Anza and there are those that believed that LG should have opted up to the Open. As such though, LG is the heavy favorite in this bracket, and with good reason — they have an impressive resume including wins over Open Division No. 1 Oak Grove and DI No. 2 Menlo-Atherton. Much like in DI with Serra, LG should breeze through this bracket. I like our local teams to post at least one win. Word is that Willow Glen’s record might be hampered by a slew of injuries. I think the Warriors are confident going in. Aragon should take care of Sobrato. But that means a matchup with LG, a team they have never beat. Pioneer finished third in the Mt. Hammy. It’s a solid league. I’m going homer-pick and taking SSF to reach the final.

DIVISION III

Given that there are three WCAL teams in this bracket, the chances are already high that the catholic league will win the title here. But add to that the fact that these teams are good, and it’s almost an assured thing in my eyes. I have three of the final four coming out of the WCAL. What a tough draw for Burlingame … yeah, Serra put up 40+ plus on them in the season finale, but Valley Christian is a terrific football team. This bracket gets interesting in the final four. No disrespect to Christopher (they’re in Gilroy), but they’re simply a place holder in my eyes. It can go any way in the Final Four, but based on regular season performances, I like VC to claim the title.

DIVISION IV

I think before Selection Sunday, it was very feasible to see Sacred Heart Prep repeat in this division. As it stands, they’re a four seed. But when Palma decided not to opt up to the Open Division, well, that just made them the clear-cut favorites. I like SHP over Scotts Valley, who lost to Half Moon Bay earlier in the season thus making me believe that the Gators will have no issues there. But that means a showdown with Palma, who finished second to San Benito and has a calpreps.com rating 20 points higher than SHP. Up top, that record for MVC seemed inflated to me, and I’m done picking against Matt Ballard and the Cougars. I’m taking them for at least a first round upset. Carmel’s offense is good. I’m wondering whether that’s a ‘league’ thing or if it’s legit. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

 

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2 responses

28 11 2011
Jim Walsh

Division I boils down to Menlo-Atherton vs. Serra. Based on how each team is playing now, how do you see that game?

28 11 2011
julitolara

Jim, I’ve covered enough Serra games to know that, if they play their way, there is no way they lose this game. That’s not to say that they aren’t susceptible to off-moments. Consider that in their losses, Mitty threw for 187 yards on 12 of 16 passing, and Bellarmine, well, they’re one of the best teams in the state.
M-A has some explosive tools, capable of breaking a big play at any point (and I’ve seen the Serra defense vulnerable to a big play here and there). But in M-A’s win against Salinas (I game I covered), I didn’t think the Bears were clean enough, crisp enough. Those big plays they broke against Salinas would have been 3, 4 yard gains against the Padres. They’re just better tacklers than the Cowboys.
Going into that game against Salinas, I wanted to keep an eye on Willy Fonua. I think he’s a better thrower than Joey Erdie, but I didn’t see that accuracy against Salinas that he’s going to need against Serra to have a chance.
Do I think M-A can win? If they play THIS Serra team 100 times, I think Serra wins 99 of those times. I think M-A will have to throw the kitchen sink at the Padres, and play perfect, mistake-free, nothing-to-lose, kind of football to have a chance.

Thanks for reading the blog. We’re working on something for the championship game. My official ‘prediction’ will be there.

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