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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm going to submit these rankings without much comment, because the season is over for all but two teams. Those two teams, of course, are Bakersfield and Bakersfield Christian, who both play in Southern Cal regional bowl games this weekend. Should they win, they'll play for state championships next Friday.
(Side note: As of this moment, neither of the regional bowl games, Bakersfield-Mission Hills or View Park-Bakersfield Christian, will be on live TV in Bakersfield. That could change, but Time Warner Cable, which owns rights to all of the bowl games, but have to sell them to Brighthouse or another provider that is carried locally (TWC isn't available in Kern County). The BHS-Mission Hills game will be live on the SoCal 101 channel, but you can't get that unless you have TWC. However, both games will be available on tape delay on the TWC SportsNet channel, which is the same station most Lakers games are on. The Bakersfield Christian game will air at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the BHS game at 6 p.m. Sunday. I'll pass along more info about a possible broadcast on Brighthouse or something if and when I receive it.)
Bakersfield is pretty much locked into the No. 1 spot no matter how it does Friday night. Actually, scratch the "pretty much." The Drillers proved they are far and away the Central Section's best this year, beating all 11 intrasection opponents by an average of 36 points per game. That included every team in the Southwest Yosemite League (obviously) and four of the six teams in the section's other top league, the Tri-River Athletic Conference.
Bakersfield Christian, on the other hand, could gain a few spots here if it went on to win the state title. Only Washington Union has won a state title for the Central Section in the bowl era, but the Eagles should have a chance to play for one if they can take care of View Park. Then again, the Eagles could still drop a few spots if they were to lose to View Park, which is unbeaten but has struggled with a few teams that aren't nearly as good as Bakersfield Christian.
So, I'll probably make one last update to these rankings when the Drillers and Eagles are done playing. But these are just about the final rankings.
1. Bakersfield (11-2, Division I champion, last week: 1)
2. Fresno-Central (9-4, Division I, last week: 3)
3. Fresno-Edison (9-2, Division I, last week: 4)
4. Clovis North (11-3, Division I runner-up, last week: 2)
5. Clovis (9-4, Division I, last week: 5)
6. Liberty (9-2, Division I, last week: 6)
7. Fresno-Bullard (9-2, Division I, last week: 8)
8. Visalia-El Diamante (11-1, Division II champion, last week: 9)
9. Bakersfield Christian (11-2, Division IV champion, last week: 13)
10. Tulare-Mission Oak (12-1, Division IV runner-up, last week: 7)
11. Clovis West (5-7, Division I, last week: 11)
12. Garces (10-3, Division II runner-up, last week: 10)
13. Sanger (8-4, Division II, last week: 12)
14. Kingsburg (10-2, Division II, last week: 14)
15. Visalia-Redwood (8-3, Division II, last week: 15)
16. Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial (7-5, Division II, last week: 16)
17. Dinuba (10-3, Division III champion, last week: 22)
18. Stockdale (5-6, Division I, last week: 17)
19. Centennial (5-6, Division I, last week: 18)
20. Frontier (4-6, Division I, last week: 19)
21. Liberty-Madera Ranchos (12-1, Division V champion, last week: NR)
22. Ridgeview (8-6, Division III runner-up, last week: 20)
23. Porterville (9-3, Division III, last week: 21)
24. Visalia-Central Valley Christian (8-4, Division IV, last week: 24)
25. Wasco (9-3, Division IV, last week: 25)
Dropped out: No. 23 Mendota