This past offseason’s re-alignment of CIF-Southern Section playoff groupings for football seems to have left the Los Padres League in a somewhat favored, perhaps targeted spot.
CalPreps.com’s preseason statewide power ratings have Templeton and Nipomo pegged as the top two teams in the new-look Northwest Division, which saw an exodus of heavy hitters find new homes after last year — most notably Serra of Gardena (ranked No. 16 in the nation), which is now in the Western Division. The website has the Eagles tabbed No. 249 in the state overall, followed by the Titans at No. 318.
Of course, these are just preseason numbers at the moment. But outside of the LPL, only one team that made it beyond the first round of last year’s Northwest Division playoffs — El Segundo — still remains in the division. (Other outside contenders figure to be Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello, Nordhoff of Ojai, South Torrance, Verbum Dei of Los Angeles, North Torrance and Compton Centennial.) Coincidentally, with regard to Serra, the Western Division is also now the home of the PAC 7. The first PAC 7 team to check in at CalPreps’ statewide ratings is St. Joseph at No. 149 overall (11th in the Western Division), with Paso Robles slotted No. 150 (12th).
Again, our comprehensive team and league previews are planned to run together at once toward the end of this month. As we build up to those, though, in the mean time, how would you assess LPL teams’ chances to win a Northwest Division championship? Do you agree with the ratings and also consider Templeton and Nipomo the top two teams?
Elsewhere recently, in case you missed it:
• Recently graduated Morro Bay golfer Matt Hansen upset the top seed at the Northern California Golf Association Amateur Championships on Thursday before falling in the semifinals at Spyglass Hill in Pebble Beach. The eighth-seeded Hansen — a Los Osos native and incoming freshman at UC Davis — ousted 51-year-old Randy Haag 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals. He then lost to Scott Hardy, 34, in the semifinal round 3 and 2.
• San Luis Obispo sophomore-to-be pitcher Andrea Reynolds helped lead the San Jose Sting 14-and-under softball club to the ASA national championship last week. The Sting defeated the Corona Angels 1-0 to win the 156-team summer tournament title. On Aug. 5, Reynolds tossed a one-hit shutout in a win over the Georgia Academy Power Red. She also had a double in that game.
• Recently graduated Nipomo baseball star Jeff McNeil was highlighted by Presidio Sports for his play with the Santa Barbara Foresters in the National Baseball Congress summer collegiate World Series (where the Foresters finished third). In the Aug. 12 article, which focused on the Foresters’ 8-3 win over the Haysville (Kan.) Heat, McNeil — a Long Beach State signee — was praised by manager Bill Pintard after coming up with a single, an RBI, a run scored and a sacrifice bunt.
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