The one we always keep the most track of is the Bell Game between Brawley and Central of El Centro. The Imperial Valley schools have been playing each other since 1921 and have often played each other twice during the same season. The 149th meeting between them (more than any other rivalry in California history) took place last week and Brawley took home the Bell with a 33-6 victory. Brawley also won earlier in the season over Central by 19-7.
The Bell Game has traditionally always been the matchup between the two toward the end of the season. Brawley has now won 10 straight in the series, which sets up a very intriguing scenario for the first game next year. If Brawley wins again, in the milestone 150th game, that will even up the series exactly at 70 wins for Central, 70 for Brawley with 10 ties.
•In the 2002 regular season, Tardy was timely, Frisbie sailed, Bacon sizzled and Mike Tyson socked a pass receiving TD for Eureka High as the Loggers won their 34th league title, all since 1946 (not in a league before then). Only two schools have won more league titles and both also won this year: Dos Palos with its 44th and Berkeley with its 40th.
•Last Saturday, one school that could say it had a pretty good day was Jesuit of Carmichael. The Marauders won three CIF Sac-Joaquin Section titles on the same day: Div. I soccer, Div. I water polo and Div. II cross country.
On the same afternoon the Jesuit football team defeated Elk Grove, 27-20, in a game that was postponed from the night before due to heavy fog. That win gave Jesuit a 9-0 regular season record.
It was the 19th cross country section title for Jesuit and coach Walt Lange, the reported state records for team and coach in boys cross country.
•Add Sac-Joaquin Section championships: In girls water polo, Davis won its third consecutive section title, finished 31-0, and how has a 72-game winning streak. The Blue Devils were 33-0 last season.
•The third California prep football coach this season has won his 200th career game. The latest to achieve the feat is Ed Burke from Torrey Pines of San Diego.
Burke won his 200th with the Falcons' 63-20 romp past Los Angeles High. The 28-year veteran coach put his mark at 200-87-5 with 140 of the wins at Torrey Pines, according to totals from the North County Times.
The Falcons are the No. 4 seed in the San Diego Section Div. I playoffs and won't play for two weeks when they'll meet the winner of the El Camino at Eastlake game this week.
Mike Wunderley from Valley Christian of Cerritos and Bill Craven from Pacifica of Garden Grove achieved their 200th wins earlier this season.
•Like the De La Salle of Concord football team has proved itself against a school from Long Beach, so should the Spartans' water polo team. De La Salle won its third consecutive North Coast Section championship last week and finished the season with a 28-0 record. Long Beach Wilson, though, is the state's top team and was 29-0 going in to the Southern Section Div. I semifinals this week. Wilson also won the prestigious tournament held annually in Santa Clara County. Too bad De La Salle wasn't in it.
•Bolsa Grande of Garden Grove will start the 2003 football season with the state's longest losing streak at 34 games. If the Matadors pick up a win, the next on the list is Los Molinos of the Northern Section at 0-26 (plus five losses by default). Mira Loma of Sacramento (0-24), Herlong (0-22-1 plus one loss by default) and Blair of Pasadena (0-22-1) aren't that far behind, either. Others we're tracking are Windsor (0-21), Hoopa Valley of Hoopa (0-19-1 plus four losses by default), Brookside Christian of Stockton (0-20), Anderson (0-20), Roosevelt of Fresno (0-20) and Monterey (0-20).
•While we're on the topic of losing football teams, here's our list of the state's winless teams for the 2002 season. This is a delicate topic for sure as we don't mean to make fun of these schools only that it's sometimes interesting to look at these lists because some of these schools at one time were very competitive (such as Live Oak of Morgan Hill). The total for this season was 56. It's one of the highest totals ever.
•Winless 2002 teams: Anderson (0-10), Aquinas of San Bernardino (0-10), Arvin (0-9-1), Baldwin Park (0-9-1), Berean Christian of Walnut Creek (0-10), Blair of Pasadena (0-9-1), Bolsa Grande of Garden Grove (0-10), Brookside Christian of Stockton (0-9), Burton of San Francisco (0-9), Calipatria (0-8), Calvary Chapel of Downey (0-9), Deer Valley of Antioch (0-10), Desert Hot Springs (0-9), El Dorado of Placerville (0-10), Exeter (0-10), Foothill of Bakersfield (0-10), Half Moon Bay (0-10), Hamilton of Los Angeles (0-10), Hawthorne (0-10), Herlong (0-8), Hollywood (0-10), Hoopa Valley of Hoopa (0-4-1 plus 4 losses by default), Hoover of San Diego (0-9-1), Kearny of San Diego (0-9-1), Kennedy of Granada Hills (0-10), Keppel of Alhambra (0-10), Laton (0-9), Lick of San Jose (0-10), Lincoln of Los Angeles (0-8-1), Live Oak of Morgan Hill (0-8-1), Livermore (0-10), Loara of Anaheim (0-10), Los Molinos (0-10), Lutheran of La Verne (0-9), McCloud (0-7 plus 2 losses by default), Mira Loma of Sacramento (0-10), Monterey (0-10), Mt. Carmel of San Diego (0-10), Needles (0-9 plays in Nevada), Ontario (0-10), Orange Glen of Escondido (0-10), Pacifica of Oxnard (0-10), Ribet Academy of Los Angeles (0-9), Roosevelt of Fresno (0-10), San Juan of Citrus Heights (0-10), Santa Barbara (0-10), St. Lawrence of Santa Clara (0-7),Tamalpais of Mill Valley (0-10), Vista del Lago of Moreno Valley (0-7), Washington of Los Angeles (0-10), Windsor (0-10). Eight-Man Football: Calvary Baptist of La Verne (0-7), Calvary Chapel of Redlands (0-5), Trinity Lutheran of Reseda (0-3 plus 2 losses by default), Victor Valley Christian of Victorville (0-9), Villanova Prep of Ojai (0-9).
•Despite not scoring an offensive touchdown, Serra of San Mateo grabbed a piece of its first West Catholic League title in 30 years with a 7-6 win last Saturday over previously unbeaten Valley Christian of San Jose. Serra has gotten a lot of attention recently as the alma mater of both Barry Bonds and Tom Brady, but the Padres really haven't been that good in football since the era of Lynn Swann in the late 1960s and then into the early 1970s. That's changing under current head coach Patrick Brady.
Coming off a tough 18-7 loss to St. Francis of Mountain View, the Padres bounced back against Valley Christian by holding the Warriors to just two field goals. Their own special teams came through when Chris Denny-Brown, probably the most versatile player in the WCAL this year, grabbed a kickoff and ran it back 84 yards for the game's only touchdown.
•Our vote for worst seeding decision in the state goes to the San Diego Section for its Div. IV bracket in which Vincent Memorial of Calipatria was picked in front of Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach. Last year, Santa Fe Christian was the Div. V State Team of the Year and has gone 9-1 this year against a much more challenging schedule than Vincent Memorial. Since the two may meet in the final, it probably doesn't matter much, anyway, but it's still pretty hard to see that one.