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Return to 'Q' for prep football finals unlikely

04/19/2013, 11:18am PDT
By Terry Monahan

Chargers' schedule appears to preclude games from being played in Mission Valley.

The San Diego Section football championships were played at Escondido High last year, and early indications are at least some of the finals will be played there again in 2013.

When the NFL released its 2013 schedule on Thursday, it was bad news for anyone hoping to have the high school football championships return to Qualcomm Stadium.

Last year’s five San Diego Section championships were moved to Escondido High when the Chargers’ schedule precluded using Qualcomm Stadium, which except for a few years has been the site since 1969.

The same thing may occur this year, too.

This year’s section finals are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6-7, but the Chargers host the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 1 and the New York Giants on Dec. 8.

“Even if we played our semifinals on a Thursday and the finals on a Tuesday, it would fall between those two home games and they don’t really want us in there between home games,’’ section Commissioner Jerry Schniepp said Friday. “I understand they don’t want the field all torn up for an NFL game.

“A couple of times they didn’t care we were in Qualcomm because they were resodding the field as soon as our last game was over.

“I figure they’ll resod after that Dec. 8 game to give it enough time before the next home game (Dec. 22 against Oakland) and the two bowl games.’’

Schniepp said he has yet to speak with officials from Qualcomm Stadium about playing there in between those two home games, but he isn’t hopeful for a return to the Mission Valley site.

In addition to returning to Escondido High, Schniepp will also take a look at San Diego Mesa as well for a place to stage six championship games with the addition of an Open Division this year.

“With six games this year, we may want to split them up,’’ Schniepp said. “I don’t think Southwestern (College), which will be beautiful when it’s finished, will be ready in time for us.

“We were hoping to have four at Qualcomm and the other two at either Escondido or Mesa.

“I asked one time if the Chargers have any control over playing dates and I was told they don’t have any say-so. They laughed at me when I asked that question.’’

This year’s State Divisional playoffs are scheduled for Dec. 13-14 with the State Bowl Games on tap for Dec. 20-21 at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

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