The California Interscholastic Federation has selected Bakersfield High School to play in the Division I Southern California regional bowl game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at San Marcos-Mission Hills High School in northern San Diego County.
It's the first bowl game berth for the storied program since the CIF started the state bowl system in 2006 (the regional bowl system began last year). Bakersfield (11-2) extended a state record by winning its 36th Central Section title with a 60-21 victory over Clovis North at Griffith Field on Friday.
Bakersfield High last played for a state championship in 1927. The CIF didn't have state championship games again until the bowl games began 79 years later.
Mission Hills (12-1) is the San Diego Section Open Division champion. The Grizzlies beat Oceanside 36-14 for the section title last Monday. They feature two linebackers committed to Division I college programs, Ricky Liuchan (Oregon State) and Fred Warner (BYU).
In Calpreps' computer rankings, Mission Hills is ranked No. 55 nationally and Bakersfield is No. 56.
Bakersfield Christian (11-2), the Division IV Central Section champion, is expected to be picked for the D-IV regional bowl game. The CIF didn't make an announcement on that matchup Sunday afternoon, instead issuing a statement that it would wait until Monday to allow El Cajon-Christian to challenge a CIF eligibility ruling in court.
El Cajon-Christian has legally challenged the CIF to be included in Division IV. CIF guidelines state that a school is eligible for Division IV if it is a Division III school with enrollment of fewer than 500. El Cajon-Christian's enrollment is 390, but it plays in a San Diego Section division that is considered Division II.