September 27, 2007
A championship question

Question: Why not have Grant and De La Salle of Concord play for the state football bowl title?

- Steven Bonds, Sacramento

Answer: Under the CIF's bowl format, which is entering the last season of a two-year experiment, Grant and De La Salle cannot face each other in the state D-I final. Only one team from Northern California's D-I eligible pool (the team must be a section champion) is selected to play against Southern California's selectee.

A lot of folks would like to see Grant play De La Salle, and it briefly reached the talking stages during the offseason. But De La Salle reportedly wanted to share the gate and also was only willing to play Grant in 2007 and 2009, but not 2008. Grant coach Mike Alberghini wisely turned that proposal down. This year's Grant team, while still having a shot at repeating as the section's D-II champion, isn't nearly as strong as last year's squad and would be outmanned in a game against this year's De La Salle team, which after three weeks appears to be the best in Northern California. The Pacers, who are playing a lot of juniors on defense, might have a better shot at being competitive with the Spartans next year.

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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