Prep Impressions: Nov. 11, 2016
CORONA (Calif.) — For some schools, the CIF-Southern Section’s switch to divisions based upon competitive equity means big changes.
For Corona Centennial, nothing has changed.
The Huskies have been playing the section’s best teams in the playoffs for years now, and look up to find 15th-ranked West Hills Chaminade next on the schedule after defeating San Juan Capistrano JSerra Catholic, 55-24, in a CIF-SS Division 1 first round playoff game on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.
“We just have to keep going and getting better every week and not relax on the teams that maybe aren’t as good,” junior QB Tanner McKee said. “Coach Logan prepares us really well on film.”
In recent seasons, Centennial has played Santa Ana Mater Dei three times, Bellflower St. John Bosco three times and Concord De La Salle to cap each of the last two years. The Huskies are a combined 4-4 in those games since ’13, with two losses to Del La Salle and one each to Mater Dei and Bosco. They are 1-0 vs. Chaminade, which they beat (70-29) in last year’s quarterfinals en route to back-to-back PAC-5 Division titles.
This was the first time the Huskies have played JSerra Catholic, one of the oldest and proudest parochial schools in California and an Orange County prep football stalwart. The Lions play in the Trinity League, arguably the strongest collection of teams in Southern California featuring Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, Gardena Serra, Santa Margarita, Orange Lutheran and JSerra.
“They’ve played everyone, so it’ll be a good level to kind of find out where we’re at,” Centennial coach Matt Logan said.
And even though the score may not indicate a close game, JSerra is likely better than any other team in the Big VIII League – up to and including both Eastvale Roosevelt and Norco – this season. To that end, JSerra’s talent would almost certainly make the Lions one of the most competitive teams should they suddenly be relocated to the Inland area.
But not of that obviously matters to Matt Logan, Tanner McKee, Miles Reed et al. The coach has seen it all, and the players know what’s at stake.
“We realized it’s just like practice, just like any other game. There’s nothing special with this,” McKee said.
CIF-SS Division 1 football championships are expected at Centennial. Nothing has changed.
PHOTO by JERRY SOIFER for InlandFieldhouse.com