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Grizzlies don’t get the call on Division I bowl bid

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Was the decision unanimous or split? Was the jury of 10 section commissioners in and out with a verdict in a matter of minutes or deadlocked in a marathon session?

Ernie Cooper didn’t know.

“They don’t tell you much,” the coach said late Monday afternoon, having learned Sunday his Granite Bay High School football team wasn’t chosen for a CIF State Bowl Game this weekend at The Home Depot Center in Carson.

As expected, San Jose-Bellarmine (12-1) of the Central Coast Section was awarded the Division I bid and will play Santa Margarita at 8 p.m. Friday. Also in consideration in Division I was Concord-De La Salle, which earned another berth in the Open Division game, and San Mateo-Serra.

Granite Bay played seven playoff teams on its way to a 12-2 record and its fourth Sac-Joaquin Section championship and first in Division I. The Grizzlies’ losses were to section champs Vacaville (Division II) and Del Oro (Division III).

Cooper said the section didn’t give Granite Bay much hope before the commissioners met.

“I’m not complaining,” Cooper said. “This was Del Oro’s year. They were going to push for Del Oro. It’s very hard to get a second team in from the section. No sour grapes at all. We’re happy for Del Oro, and we hope they win it. Those are our friends and competitors in our league, so we’re wishing them the best of luck.”

Cooper said he was thrilled with the Grizzlies’ season, which ended with victories over top-seeded Stockton-Lincoln in the semifinals and defending-champion Pleasant Grove in the title game.

“We felt like we were playing our best football at the end of the season,” he said. “As a coach, that’s exactly what you want to happen.”

Sierra Foothill League-champion Del Oro (13-1) will play La Mesa-Helix at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Division II game.

Del Oro’s competition for the Division II bid was Vacaville, Los Gatos, Windsor and Paradise.

CIF STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL GAMES

Where: The Home Depot Center in Carson
TV: Time Warner Cable
Friday: Division IV — Le Grand (12-0) vs. Chatsworth-Sierra Canyon (14-0), 4 p.m. Division I — San Jose-Bellarmine (12-1) vs. Rancho Santa Margarita-Santa Margarita (12-2), 8 p.m.
Saturday: Division III — Moraga-Campolindo (14-0) vs. Fresno-Washington Union (13-0), noon. Division II — Del Oro (13-1) vs. La Mesa-Helix (12-1), 4 p.m. Open Division — Concord-De La Salle (12-1) vs. Westlake Village-Westlake (14-0), 8 p.m.

TV REPLAYS

The Sierra Foothill League clash between Granite Bay and Del Oro is being replayed twice as Comcast Hometown Network televises an encore week of high school football. Granite Bay-Del Oro will be telecast at 7 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Also on the menu is Pleasant Grove-Folsom at 7 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.