The Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius football teams didn’t exactly finish their respective seasons with a flourish, but both teams have new life in the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Both teams received CCS playoff bids in Division III on Sunday, with Sacred Heart holding the fifth seed and St. Ignatius earning the seventh seed.
Both will have to travel deep into the south end of the section, with Sacred Heart (5-5) facing fourth-seeded Monterey (8-2) and St. Ignatius (3-6-1) taking on second-seeded Aptos (9-1).
“It’s great for The City to have two teams in, and hopefully there will be three soon,” St. Ignatius coach John Regalia said. “It’s exciting for the program and for the guys to be able to have the honor to play in the postseason and that we’ve earned our way to get there.”
The two schools will face relative unknowns in the far-away opponents, but what is known is their records. Aptos dominated the Santa Cruz Coast League en route to a league championship and Monterey finished in a three-way tie for first place in the Monterey Bay League.
“We know absolutely nothing about them,” Sacred Heart Cathedral coach John Lee said. “I met their coach today and he seems like a very nice guy. From what I’ve seen on film, they have some good athletes, but they have some things that we can take advantage of and I’m excited about that.”
While Sacred Heart and SI both have low seeds, the elephant in the bracket is another WCAL rival.
Valley Christian of San Jose chose not to opt up to the Open Division this year, and should be the favorite as the third seed.
The Warriors will take on Burlingame in the first round, and will face the winner of Aptos-St. Ignatius. Valley Christian routed Sacred Heart and only beat SI by three points in WCAL play, but Lee is somewhat relieved both league foes are on the other side of the bracket.
“It’s awesome there are three WCAL teams in there, but they’re going to knock each other off before we get to see either of them,” Lee said.
Both teams have only one CCS title in school history, with SI winning a Medium Schools title in 2006 and Sacred Heart winning a Small Schools championship in 2008, but the overwhelming feeling from both coaches was the joy of extending their season.
“I love our chances,” Lee said. “We have to go down there to their back yard, and that’s a long bus trip, but as long as we’re in the playoffs, we’ll gladly drive.”
A look at Central Coast Section football playoff games involving San Francisco and San Mateo County teams:
No. 7 Terra Nova vs. No. 2 Bellarmine at San Jose City College, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Santa Clara at No. 2 Menlo-Atherton, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Wilcox at No. 1 Serra, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Willow Glen at No. 3 South San Francisco, 7 p.m.
No. 7 El Camino at No. 2 Pioneer, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Sobrato at No. 4 Aragon, 1 p.m.
No. 7 St. Ignatius at No. 2 Aptos, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Sacred Heart Cathedral vs. No. 4 Monterey at Monterey Peninsula College, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Burlingame at No. 3 Valley Christian, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Half Moon Bay at No. 3 Monte Vista Christian, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Menlo at No. 2 Carmel, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Scotts Valley at No. 4 Sacred Heart Prep, 1 p.m.