Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton coach Pete Lavorato said the goal is to always win a Central Coast Section championship, which his Gators did.
As a result, the dream of being selected to play in the Division III Northern California regional championship bowl game has come to fruition.
SHP (12-1) will take on El Cerrito High School (12-2) on Saturday at De Anza High School in Richmond at 7:30 p.m.. The winner will get the chance to win a state bowl game, which is scheduled for Dec. 20-21 at the StubHub Center in Carson.
“Our goal No. 1 is to win a CCS championship, and then we know we’ll get to play as many games as possible,” Lavorato said. “Getting into the state playoffs is a dream. You have to get voted in and everything has to go right.”
Despite losing 21 seniors and returning only eight juniors off a team that went 13-1 in 2012, SHP, behind running back Andrew Segre, clinched its third CCS Division IV title in four years Saturday with a 56-21 romp over Pacific Grove.
With fellow senior Ricky Grau unable to carry the ball due to a broken hand he suffered in the second round of the playoffs against Monterey, Segre — who has rushed for 1,348 yards and added another 461 receiving with 24 total touchdowns — plowed his way through the Pacific Grove defense, rushing for 351 yards on 28 carries and a whopping six touchdowns.
“He’s got a combination of good power and he’s got really quick feet,” Lavorato said. “He’s a soccer player and he can make quick moves in small areas. With power, speed and agility, that makes him a pretty good high school football player.”
Segre and company will have their hands full with an El Cerrito team coming off of a 53-34 victory over Marin County power Marin Catholic in the North Coast Section Division III championship.
The Gauchos, who average 42 points per game, are led by UCLA-bound running back Adarius Pickett, who rushed his way to 250 yards (18 carries) and four touchdowns against Marin Catholic. Pickett is aided by twin brothers Keilan, the quarterback, and Keith Benjamin.
“They’re a big, fast, strong football team, and they remind you of a West Catholic Athletic League school,” Lavorato said. “We’re not that big, but that doesn’t mean we’re just going to go in there and say, ‘Hey, it’s nice to be here and we don’t care if we win or lose.’ We’re going in and we’re going to compete. We like the challenge and we’ll see what happens.”