Oceanside football coach John Carroll, middle, won yet another section title Saturday. Sunday, the Pirates found out they had been left out of the state playoffs.
Two San Diego Section football teams will continue their championship seasons this weekend. Oceanside is not one of them.
Sunday’s announcement of the teams participating in the CIF State Regional Bowl Games included Madison, San Diego’s Division IV champion, and Division V winner Santa Fe Christian. The regional games, played in the North and the South in each division, will decide who moves on to next weekend’s State Bowl Championship Games.
Madison, which defeated St. Augustine for its second section title in three seasons, will travel to Monrovia High on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Wildcats. The winner will advance to the Division III state bowl game, to be played against either Marin Catholic or Sutter.
Santa Fe Christian, which knocked off Francis Parker, will play Rio Hondo Prep on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Del Norte High. The winner will play in the Division IV state bowl game against either McClymonds or Central Catholic.
Meanwhile, Oceanside, which claimed its eighth section title in nine years with a 32-10 victory over Poway, was left out of the state postseason. Gardena Serra and Edison will meet on Saturday for the Division II SoCal title.
It was widely believed Serra, ranked No. 1 in the South by Cal-Hi Sports, would face either Edison (No. 2) or Oceanside (No. 3).
Edison (13-1) beat Villa Park in Friday"s Southern Section Southwest Division title game. The Chargers" lone loss this fall came against Pac-5 Division runner-up Mater Dei of Santa Ana.
The Pirates, meanwhile, finished at 12-1. Their only defeat came early this season against Chaparral, which ended at 7-4.
The bowl selection committee, comprised of the 10 CIF section commissioners, worked off several criteria, including strength of schedule and win-loss record. Only section champions — 22 from the North, 26 from the South — were eligible for consideration.
“I’m not surprised,” Oceanside coach John Carroll said of his team’s exclusion. “You basically had three teams and two were gonna go.
“People that saw us play know where we belong and we’ll be satisfied with that. We finished as the best team in San Diego County and, I think, one of the top few teams in Southern California.”
Carroll noted that the Pirates’ only blemish, their loss to an eventual 7-4 Chaparral team, came with a few players sidelined by injuries.
“This is a great football team,” Carroll said. “We went out a great football team and I think everybody saw that (Saturday) night.”
Madison coach Rick Jackson had reason to celebrate after learning of the Warhawks’ second bowl appearance in three years. But even he admitted surprise that Oceanside’s season will not continue.
“Honestly, I don’t know how they can leave Oceanside out,” Jackson said. “That’s a premier team in Southern California, with their pedigree. I know they lost early in the season, but they were missing a few players.”
Madison (12-1) will be making its second bowl appearance. In 2010, the Warhawks lost to Escalon in the Division III game.
Senior running back Pierre Cormier, who rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another against St. Augustine, was a member of Madison’s 2010 team.
“We wanted to make state playoffs,” Cormier said, “just so we could show people everywhere what kind of program we have and just show people we are a good team.”
Santa Fe Christian (10-3) is set for its first bowl appearance.
“I think, for any high school boy, it’s a dream come true,” Eagles coach Nick Ruscetta said. “Winning CIF was huge for the boys. This is just an added blessing.”