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New Football Playoff Format Proposed

November 22, 1987|VINCE KOWALICK | Times Staff Writer

A proposal to restructure the Southern Section football playoff format is being drafted by Marmonte League coaches and will be presented to the Southern Section office, league coaches said.

Under the proposal, which was approved at a league meeting last week, only the first- and second-place teams from each of the five leagues in the conference would be guaranteed playoff berths.

The remaining six playoff teams would be designated as at-large teams based on such criteria as head-to-head competition, overall record and difficulty of schedule.

Under the existing playoff format, the top three teams from each league qualify for the playoffs, with one fourth-place team getting an at-large berth.

The proposal is being drafted by Westlake High Coach George Contreras. Westlake, despite its 6-4 overall record, missed the playoffs after finishing fourth in the league. Quartz Hill, also 6-4, was selected over Westlake for the at-large berth.

Contreras does not quarrel with Quartz Hill getting the at-large nod. Under the proposal, however, both Quartz Hill and Westlake would have qualified over third-place teams with sub-.500 overall records.

"I just can't understand teams qualifying with losing seasonal records," Contreras said. "Schools can pad their nonleague schedules with weaker teams. Making the playoffs should be a reward for a decent season."

For most teams, it is. Only four teams in the eight five-league Southern Section conferences--Lakewood, San Marcos, Monrovia and Fullerton--made this season's playoffs with a losing record. Still, Marmonte coaches are unanimous in their support of the proposal.

"The proposal talks about the injustices of some team that had won two or three games getting into the playoffs," said Joel Gershon, coach of Marmonte League champion Channel Islands.

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