No need to sugarcoat this. Every fan of the City Section got robbed of a fantastic finish at the Coliseum Saturday.
The ending to the City Section championship game between Narbonne and San Pedro was just wrong. It was incomplete and unfulfilled. A Shakespearean drama cancelled after the climatic fourth act – quarter in this case.
Any student of literature knows the fifth act is always the resolution and that’s what this game lacked – a definite ending and a definite City Champion.
Some have speculated that San Pedro head coach Mike Walsh should have gone for the 2-point conversion to win it outright. But you can’t entirely blame Walsh for wanting to give his kids a share of the title instead of none.
The blame lies at the feet of the City Section, who should have eliminated the rule when the Southern Section did after the 1999 Division I final between Long Beach Poly and Mater Dei ended in 21-21 tie.
Never mind the fact that Narbonne and San Pedro had played to a tie in regulation when they met in October, a game Narbonne won in triple overtime. The rule change should have been made years ago and has unfortunately given the City Section another black eye it can ill afford.
“It didn’t need to happen this way but it did and is what it is,” Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas said
It is a shame that the bitter rivalry between these two schools could not have been resolved on the field. After the game, San Pedro and their fans cheered wildly like they had won while Narbonne’s fans loudly booed and sulked as if they had lost.
It was just puzzling to see both coaches being presented with the championship trophy and both teams gathering for post-game championship pictures.
The whole scene just felt wrong and unless people paid good money for a soccer championship instead of a football game, they got robbed because of an outdated rule.
City Section Commissioner Barbara Fiege said that they would look into changing the rule for future games but it comes a year too late. Not just San Pedro and Narbonne fans but fans of the City Section.
The split took away from what should be remembered as a great 14-point comeback by San Pedro in the fourth quarter and a great day for Narbonne tailback Melvin Davis who scored all of Narbonne’s touchdowns.
It was a classic game that should have been remembered for just that – not the game that forced the City Section to correct an egregious error they should have done years ago…
Looking ahead to next year, there will be plenty of guys in the class of 2010 to watch and one team that will probably be a Top-10 preseason pick in the region.
Here’s just a partial list of local players to watch: Hayes Pullard (Crenshaw), Robert Woods (Serra), D.J. Morgan (Taft), Sean Parker (Narbonne), James McConico (Compton) and DeShawn Beck (L.A. Jordan).
And my team prediction: Crenshaw, who’ll be returning nearly all of their key players from this year’s squad.
They’ll be seething all year after their heartbreaking loss to Narbonne and with their young players a year wiser – along with nearly every City contender from this year losing valuable parts – the Cougars are my favorite to win it all next year.
Be on the lookout for the All-Sentinel Team to be released next week. Consider it my Christmas gift to the best players I saw this year.