So, the prep football regular season ends this weekend, and you're thinking that, by now, most teams are either making their playoff banners or polishing up those basketball high tops. Right?
Guess again. There are still a lot of unanswered questions in the Southern Section playoff picture, and the final four quarters of play will determine the post-season fate for many Orange County teams.
Here's a rundown of the league races:
In the Angelus League, Bishop Amat has already clinched a tie for first place. Mater Dei, which plays Servite, has also qualified for the playoffs, and Servite is hoping for the remaining spot. A Mater Dei victory coupled with a Bishop Amat loss to St. Paul would make Bishop Amat and Mater Dei co-league champions, with Bishop Amat advancing to the playoffs as the top-seeded team, having beaten Mater Dei last week.
If Servite wins and St. Paul beats Bishop Amat, Bishop Amat would be the league champion and there would be a three-way tie for the remaining two berths, determined by a coin flip.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday November 10, 1987 Orange County Edition Sports Part 3 Page 9 Column 5 Sports Desk 2 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
The El Toro High School football team has not qualified for the Southern Section playoffs, as was reported in The Times on Monday. If El Toro loses to Dana Hills and Irvine defeats San Clemente, three teams (El Toro, Irvine and Dana Hills) would have 2-3 league records and a coin flip would determine the playoff representative.
If Mater Dei, Bishop Amat and Bishop Montgomery (playing St. Bernard) all win, there would be a three-way tie for third place among Servite, St. Paul and Bishop Montgomery, and the berth would be determined by a coin flip.
In the Century League, Santa Ana, which plays Santa Ana Valley, has clinched at least a share of the championship and will be the league's top playoff representative.
Villa Park has also clinched a playoff spot and a victory over Canyon, coupled with an unlikely Santa Ana loss, would make Villa Park the league's co-champion. The remaining playoff spot will go to the winner of the El Modena-Foothill game.
Los Alamitos is the Empire League champion and No. 1-seeded team. The remaining two spots are undecided. If Esperanza beats El Dorado, Esperanza qualifies for the playoffs and the third spot would go to the winner of the Katella-Loara game.
But if Esperanza loses and Katella beats Loara, Esperanza, El Dorado and Katella would all be tied at 2-2-1 and the playoff berths would be determined by head-to-head competition.
In the Freeway League, undefeated Sunny Hills has clinched a share of the championship and the top playoff spot. Troy and Fullerton will be playing each other for the other two spots.
If Troy beats Fullerton and La Habra beats Sunny Hills, Troy will be the co-champion.
If Fullerton beats Troy and La Habra wins, all three teams will have 3-2 records and the playoff spots will be determined by coin flip.
Sonora could enter the picture with a victory over Buena Park, coupled with Fullerton and Sunny Hills victories. In that case, Sonora, Fullerton and La Habra would finish tied for third, and a coin flip would determine the playoff spot.
In the Garden Grove League, undefeated Bolsa Grande is the league's top-seeded team and assured of at least a share of the championship with Pacifica, which has also qualified for the playoffs.
The third spot is undecided, with Rancho Alamitos, Santiago, Kennedy and La Quinta competing for the last spot.
In the Orange League, Anaheim and Western play Friday at Glover Stadium with the winner sharing the league championship with Valencia, which should have no problem beating Magnolia.
Western must win; a victory will make the Pioneers the league's No. 1 representative in the Central Conference playoffs, having already beaten Valencia.
But if Western loses, and Brea-Olinda beats winless Savanna, as expected, Western (7-2, 3-1) won't make the playoffs unless it receives a wild-card berth. Western would be tied with Brea, a team it lost to.
An Anaheim victory would make Valencia the league's top-seeded team because Valencia beat Anaheim.
If only all playoff races were as cut and dried as in the Pacific Coast League. The winner of the Woodbridge-Laguna Beach game will be the league champion. The loser will also go to the playoffs. The winner of the Trabuco Hills-Laguna Hills game will get the third playoff spot.
In the Sea View League, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar will play at Orange Coast College for the league championship. If surprising Corona del Mar, which lost five nonleague games, wins, it will be the league champion.
But if Corona del Mar loses, the Sea Kings probably won't make the playoffs. The second and third playoff spots would be determined by Saddleback and Tustin, which tied each other two weeks ago and have 2-1-1 records. If the teams win as expected--Saddleback plays Estancia and Tustin plays University--Corona del Mar would drop to fourth place and not even be eligible for a wild-card spot because of its overall losing record.
If Corona del Mar wins the championship, Newport Harbor drops to third place, and the Tustin and Saddleback outcomes will determine the second spot. If they tie, it will be determined by a coin flip.