Sports Lounge.eps

The fall sports season is all but finished — with only the end of the football and cross-country campaigns yet to wrap up — and there was a strong showing from San Mateo County teams in the Central Coast Section and Northern California playoffs.

There were 10 CCS championships involving schools from the Daily Journal’s coverage area: El Camino’s Noe Diep and Crystal Springs’ Kaiya Brooks each won individual cross country titles, Division III and V, respectively, while the Menlo girls and the Crystal Springs boys both won team CCS cross country crowns.

Aragon and Burlingame each won a CCS volleyball title, with the Dons claiming the DII crown and the Panthers grabbing the DIII championship. In water polo, both the Sacred Heart Prep boys’ and girls’ teams won Open Division crowns, while the Menlo-Atherton boys grabbed the DI title.

We also saw Menlo School return to the top of CCS girls’ tennis.

Local squads continued to make noise at the Nor Cal level as well, although only the Menlo girls’ tennis team managed to close out a championship. But there were four other teams that managed to get to Nor Cal championship matches — the Menlo-Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep and The Nueva School volleyball teams, and the SHP girls’ water polo squad.

And the county still isn’t done. The Peninsula Athletic League is guaranteed to pick up an 11th CCS title and a spot in a Nor Cal championship game as Bay Division rivals Terra Nova and King’s Academy meet for the CCS Division III football title. The Serra football will also have a shot at a section championship and a Nor Cal bowl game with a win over Valley Christian in the CCS Division I championship game Saturday night.

The cross country state meet is also this weekend, so there is more opportunity to add to the championship haul.

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One of the main reasons CCS overhauled its football playoff brackets was to avoid the dreaded “running clock” during games — the rule that states when a team is up by 40 or more points in the fourth quarter, the clock does not stop as a way of trying to finish the game.

Looks like mission accomplished. Of the 30 games played thus far, 16 has been decided by 13 points or less, including six games decided by 10 points or less.

More importantly, there were no games that used a running clock, with the largest points differential being a 55-20 Branham win over Carmel in a Division IV semifinal.

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The demise of the Bel-Mateo Babe Ruth Baseball season has been greatly exaggerated. While there are plans to renovate the Belmont Sports Complex — home of Bel-Mateo Baseball — the project has not yet started. Even it had, Bel-Mateo officials have already secured the field at Carlmont High School for the 2020 season.

That being said, Bel-Mateo Babe Ruth has begun registration for the upcoming spring/summer season. The registration window opened Nov. 18 and will continue through Dec. 31. For more information and for registration details, go to belmateobaberuth.com.

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It will be one-and-done for Heather Anthony as Serra announced last week Anthony was stepping down as the boys’ varsity volleyball coach because of “scheduling conflicts.”

Anthony served as an assist for two years before moving into the head coach’s chair last season and while it was a short run with the Padres, it was wildly successful one. Last year, in her first year as head coach, she helped guide the team to its first-ever CCS championship when the Padres swept Valley Christian 25-17, 25-20, 25-10 to capture the Division II title.

“Watching them accomplish what’s never been done before in Serra volleyball history is one of my proudest moments as a coach and something I will always remember,” Anthony said in a press release from the school.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117.

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