Perhaps the only drama left for the Southern Section football playoffs happened Sunday morning by learning how many teams would be selected for the Division 1 playoffs. Would it be eight, 10 or 12?
Using CalPreps.com power rankings and the requirement that the No. 1 seed for each of the 14 divisions must be an automatic qualifier, the Southern Section decided 10 teams should be in Division 1, including five Trinity League teams. And it preserved what should be a featured opening matchup of No. 4 Los Alamitos and No. 5 Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium.
“This wasn’t like a decision made. It’s the ratings system that drives this,” Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod said.
There will be two first-round games played Friday: No. 10 Orange Lutheran at No. 7 Huntington Beach Edison and No. 9 San Juan Capistrano JSerra at No. 8 Santa Margarita.
On Nov. 11, quarterfinal games will be the winner of JSerra-Santa Margarita at No. 1-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei and the winner of Orange Lutheran-Edison at No. 2-seeded Bellflower St. John Bosco. Also that day will be No. 6 Mission Viejo at No. 3 Corona Centennial and Los Alamitos vs. Long Beach Poly.
Gardena Serra, the second-place finisher in the Mission League, received the No. 1 seed in Division 2. It will be a division filled with Mission League teams, including league champion Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, La Puente Bishop Amat and West Hills Chaminade. There are some terrific matchups, such as Downey Warren at Sierra Canyon and Ventura St. Bonaventure at Hesperia Oak Hills.
Other top seeds were Corona del Mar in Division 3, Camarillo in Division 4, Villa Park in Division 5, San Juan Hills in Division 6, Lakewood Mayfair in Division 7, Brentwood in Division 8, La Quinta in Division 9, Santa Ana in Division 10, San Juan Capistrano Valley Christian in Division 11, Lancaster in Division 12, Torrance Bishop Montgomery in Division 13 and Garden Grove Bolsa Grande in Division 14.
Bolsa Grande is making its first playoff appearance since 1987.
All six Mission League teams made the playoffs and each one gets to host in the opening round. Anaheim Servite and La Verne Damien were the highest rated teams from CalPreps rankings not to make the tournament.