The Peninsula Athletic League ruled the first round of the Central Coast Section basketball playoffs. Over the weekend, however, it was the West Catholic Athletic League that flexed its collective muscles.
The WCAL went 14-2 in CCS play, with only the Valley Christian boys having played a pair of games, beating San Mateo in the second round and Prospect in the quarterfinals by a combined four points.
Other than that, all the other teams had early-round byes and did not have to play until Friday’s and Saturday’s quarterfinals.
On the boys’ side, the WCAL proved it still rules the Open Division as all four teams from the league advanced to the semifinals tonight. Two PAL teams — the Burlingame and Half Moon Bay boys’ squads — lost in the first round of the Open Division to Riordan and Sacred Heart Cathedral, respectively. While Riordan had a relatively easy time against the Panthers, SHC had a miracle, three-quarter court prayer of shot answered at the buzzer to stun the Cougars.
Serra and Mitty also had relative easy games in advancing to the Open Division semifinals.
In the girls’ Open Division, the WCAL suffered its only two losses — Scotts Valley stunned perennial power Mitty, 67-64, while Pinewood took care of Presentation.
All told, that’s 14 WCAL teams in the semifinals, which continues to demonstrate the league’s dominance when it comes to CCS.
While the name may not be new to longtime readers of the Daily Journal, the byline is officially different.
Terry Bernal, who has served as Daily Journal correspondent for several years, will see his byline changed to “Daily Journal Staff” as Monday he slid into the second-in-command chair of the Daily Journal sports department, replacing Julio Lara as my right-hand man.
Bernal has worked on the Peninsula in several capacities over the last decade or so. He spent time with the Independent newspaper in the early 2000s and since then has worked as a freelancer.
While Bernal’s first love is baseball, he has the knowledge and aptitude to cover a wide variety of sports.
So if you don’t know Bernal already, introduce yourself and welcome him to the Daily Journal family.
The NFL is about to open a big can of worms with the proposed rule of penalizing teams whose players use the n-word during the course of a game.
Good luck with that.
The n-word is so ubiquitous and part of the sports lexicon it will be nearly impossible to police it out of the game.
I hear the use of that word used on the sideline of nearly every high school game I’ve been to over nearly 20 years of covering prep football. Heck, even kids in the stands throw that word around without a second thought.
It’s part of the vernacular on junior college sidelines as well. Having covered both College of San Mateo and Chabot College of Hayward during my time in the East Bay, the word is also used liberally. For the NFL to think it will get rid of the word in its game is either the highest form of hubris or naivete.
As much as people get up in arms over it, I don’t see the n-word leaving our lexicon at any time in the near future. Much like concussion education and avoidance, trying to legislate it out of the game will not happen at the highest level. Education and awareness needs to start at the youth level, and in the case of the n-word, education needs to starts at home.
I believe it is incumbent on coaches at the high school and college levels to institute a zero-tolerance policy, reprimanding and punishing players who use that word in practices or on the sidelines.
I wouldn’t blame coaches for not doing it, however. They already have enough on their plate without having to try to police kids’ language as well. But if we are to get rid of this particular slur, everyone needs to do their part.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.