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THE PREPS / ERIC SHEPARD

Carson Doesn't Deserve Berth in City Playoffs

November 15, 1994|ERIC SHEPARD

Cheaters should not be rewarded with postseason honors, but that is exactly what happened last week when Carson was given a berth in the upcoming City Section football playoffs.

The Colts finished the regular season Thursday with a 2-8 record, including three losses by forfeit for using an academically ineligible player.

The losing record and forfeits did not seem to bother the football advisory committee, however, which decided Carson's winning tradition and strength of schedule were enough to include it among the City's 16 best teams in the Division 4-A playoffs.

Carson is the defending 4-A champion, and has won nine City titles in a record 18 appearances.

Acting on a tip, City Section officials investigated the school's football team two weeks ago and discovered that in three games it had used a sophomore transfer student who did not have a qualifying grade-point average.

Carson has the worst record in the 4-A bracket, but it was the committee's conclusion that it met the criteria of being one of the top teams. The committee could have placed the Colts in the 3-A playoffs, which is reserved for the 16 best teams not in the 4-A.

"If you put Carson in 3-A, you might as well just hand them the trophy," said Barbara Fiege, City commissioner. "Putting them there isn't fair to the other 15 teams."

But allowing Carson to compete in the 4-A playoffs is an unfair reward for a team that did not abide by the rules. The Colts, who play Northern Conference champion Franklin in a first-round game Friday night, should have been placed in the 3-A bracket or left out altogether.

Allowing Carson to compete for the 4-A title sends a message that receiving forfeits for breaking the rules does not mean anything. It is almost as if those losses were counted as victories.

The City could end up having a champion with a 6-8 record, which is not exactly good public relations for a section that is desperately trying to shed its reputation of always making the wrong decision.

But that image will not change until it starts making the right decision, and this most definitely is not one of them.

*

Baldwin Park Sierra Vista might have received the most unfavorable draw in the Southern Section football playoffs with a road trip to Bloomington.

Bloomington, seeded second in Division VIII at 10-0, has been setting all kinds of state scoring records this season, including most points in the regular season with 646. It is coming off a 66-8 victory over Riverside Norte Vista, the second-place team in its league.

Sierra Vista clinched a playoff berth last Thursday with a 22-14 victory over La Puente, improving its record to 5-5.

Bloomington and Sierra Vista both run a wing-T style offense, a cause of concern for Sierra Vista Coach Don LeGro.

"I don't want them to take the same offense we use and run it down our throats," LeGro said. "We're going to line up and do the best we can. Maybe we can be the first team to stop them this season."

*

Alhambra's dream of a perfect season came crashing down last Thursday after it was embarrassed, 42-0, by Montebello in the Almont League title game.

Alhambra, enjoying its best season in more than a decade, came into the contest with a 9-0 record and No. 2 ranking in the Southern Section's Division III media poll. It left wondering what went wrong.

Before the capacity crowd of 5,000 had settled in their seats at Alhambra, Montebello took a 21-0 first-quarter lead.

"To be honest, I felt like the game was over at that point," Montebello Coach Doug Rihn said. "Nobody was going to come back on us with that kind of a lead."

Alhambra trailed, 35-0, at halftime.

Montebello, which racked up 472 yards of total offense, was led by quarterback Fred Montiel, who rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another and also had an interception on defense.

*

One of the hottest football recruits in the Southland is Ignacio Brache, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior from tiny Village Christian in Sun Valley.

His performance last Saturday against Los Angeles Baptist has helped establish Brache as one of the nation's best kickers. His three field goals in that game, including a 60-yarder, tied him with three other players for the most field goals in a season at 16. He had two opportunities to break the record, but attempts from 51 and 52 yards in the fourth quarter fell short.

Five of Brache's field goals this season have been from more than 50 yards. The 60-yarder is third-best in state history.

Brache has been forced to perfect his kicking skills since his mother, Shelly Brache, will not allow him to play a position where he would tackle or be tackled.

Village Christian will be host to Ontario Christian in a Southern Section Division X playoff game Friday, giving Brache another shot at the record.

Prep Notes

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