This is one of those weekends when you wish you could be in three or four places at the same time. Instead, the Daily Journal sports department — which consists of Julio Lara and myself — will scatter about the Peninsula to take in and bring to you “Championship Friday” — the day nearly all three Peninsula Athletic League football division races could be decided.
Technically, only one division championship — the Lake Division — will be decided Friday when undefeated Hillsdale takes on one-loss King’s Academy at 2:45 p.m. The winner of that game claims the Lake crown and the automatic Central Coast Section bid that goes along with it.
Hillsdale (4-0 PAL Lake, 6-2 overall) is coming off a complete performance in a 28-6 win over El Camino, while King’s Academy (2-1, 4-4) kept its title hopes alive with a 28-14 win over Carlmont.
Further down the Peninsula and kicking off at the same time is arguably the Game of the Year, when undefeated Terra Nova travels to Atherton to face unbeaten Sacred Heart Prep.
There are a couple of scenarios here, but the easiest one is this: a Terra Nova win and the Tigers are Bay Division champs and likely the top seed in the CCS Open Division (the winner of the Bay Division is automatically placed in the Open Division for the playoffs). Even though they have one game left, it comes against rival Half Moon Bay, which plays in the Ocean Division and would have no bearing on the Tigers’ finish in the Bay.
A Sacred Heart Prep win, on the other hand, could set up a co-championship for the Bay title. A win by the Gators would keep them undefeated in league but, unlike the Tigers who would be done with Bay Division play, SHP still has one game remaining in league play — against rival Menlo School next week. You know the Knights would like nothing better than to deny the Gators an outright division title and a Menlo win would mean a co-championship between SHP and Terra Nova in the Bay Division.
It would also mean, however, the Gators would represent the Bay in the Open Division, based on beating Terra Nova in head-to-head competition.
But let’s just see how Friday shakes out before we start worrying about Rivalry Week.
After those two afternoon blockbusters, everyone who doesn’t have a rooting interest in another matchup should head over to Burlingame to catch the Panthers host Woodside.
Who would have thought Woodside would be in position to share the Ocean Division title after an 0-4 start to the season? Since league play started, the Wildcats have gone 3-1 and a win against the 3-0 Panthers would give Woodside at least a share of the Ocean Division championship.
Again, much like the Bay Division, there are extenuating circumstances. Let’s see if I can describe all of them coherently. First, let’s assume a Burlingame win Friday. A victory by the Panthers would eliminate Woodside from the race. But if San Mateo beats Aragon, that would set up a winner-take-all in the Little Big Game next Saturday.
If Burlingame wins and San Mateo loses, the Panthers will win their first PAL football crown since 2003.
A Woodside win and a San Mateo win will mean at least two teams will share the crown — either Woodside and Burlingame, or Woodside and San Mateo.
Needless to say, there are still a lot of moving parts when it comes to deciding the Ocean Division championship. But at least Friday should be fun if you’re a fan of Peninsula football.
Reason No. 527 Bud Selig can’t retire fast enough as commissioner of Major League Baseball.
A reports suggests MLB would — somehow — have the Oakland A’s play in the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park next season if a short-term lease can’t be worked out for the A’s to play in the Oakland Coliseum.
Let me get this straight: Selig and his people can’t get the Giants to bend on territorial rights in the South Bay, where the A’s, and Santa Clara, want the team to move, yet MLB is — somehow — going to convince the Giants to let the A’s share their stadium? Ha!
Forget the fact the Giants organization owns the stadium and has complete control over who and what uses it. The Bay Area is like many of the other two-market regions in the United States — like Chicago or New York — where fans from both sides would barely tolerate it.
The rivalry between Giants and A’s fans is as acrimonious as it has ever been in the Bay Area. Remember those split Giants-A’s hats? When’s the last time you saw one of those?
The Bay Area rivalry, however, pales in comparison to those between Chicago Cubs and White Sox fans, or New York Yankees and Mets fans. If a plan like this was proposed in those cities, there might be riots in the streets.
If Selig and his self-appointed “blue-ribbon panel” he put together to look into the As’ proposed move to Santa Clara had done ANYTHING over the last six or so years, maybe the A’s and MLB wouldn’t be in this predicament now. If the panel had said “yay” or “no” to a move to the South Bay, the Oakland organization could have moved on to Plan C (remember, Plan A was to move to Fremont).
Instead, Selig and his commission have dragged their collective feet and now they’re going to “force” the Giants to share their facilities with a team they have slightly more feelings for than the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Think again Bud.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117. He can also be followed on Twitter @CheckkThissOutt.