By Ray Hamill — The news just keeps getting better for the Eureka Loggers.
After having to endure a coin flip to decide their future early on Sunday morning, the Loggers have been informed they will now host next weekend’s CIF state regional game, as well as a possible state championship the following week if they qualify.
Eureka will host Menlo-Atherton in the NorCal game, with the winner advancing to play Lincoln (San Diego) for the 3AA state championship.
Eureka head coach Jason White watched the coin toss live on Facebook, and afterwards was obviously delighted.
“It was like opening presents on Christmas morning and getting something you weren’t expecting,” the coach said.
It means at least one more home game at Albee Stadium — the team’s ninth at home this year — and a chance to play for a first-ever state championship.
“Everyone’s ecstatic that this is happening,” White said. “Even more excited to be playing at home.”
The players, naturally, were also delighted with the news after being informed via group text after the coin flip, and will now get the chance to play out their careers on the field.
The news comes just hours after Eureka defeated Las Lomas 21-0 in a North Coast Section semifinal showdown at Albee Stadium on Saturday night.
“We all thought that last night was our last home game, and that’s not the case,” White said.
Eureka assistant coach Leon Chalmers was at the NCS offices for the coin toss, along with section commissioner Gil Lemmon and a representative from the Press Democrat.
Saturday’s win should have qualified the Loggers for an NCS championship game against Cardinal Newman.
With the recent delays in the scheduling caused by the wildfires throughout the state, however, the NCS forced the schools to decide whether they wanted to play out the section championship and forfeit a chance to go on to play for a state title, or to allow a coin flip to decide which team moves on instead, with no NCS champion crowned.
The Loggers were adamant all along they wished to keep going in the NCS and play the season out to its conclusion on the field of competition.
The Cardinal Newman players, however, voted to forfeit the NCS and take their chances on the coin flip.
The Cardinals’ season ends with the coin flip.
Eureka now will move on to possibly play for the state title, having previously won three section titles in 1929, 2003 and 2009.
If they succeed, it would be a second straight state championship for the area after Fortuna clinched the 5-A championship a year ago.
Interesting, Fortuna, which defeated Del Norte in the NCS Division-IV semifinals, will now play for a section crown against Moreau Catholic next weekend, while forfeiting a chance to defend the state title.
The NCS has been heavily criticized for forcing schools to make the choice.
The Loggers are 12-0 this season, having won all but one of their games by 21 or more points.
Menlo-Atherton will come into the game with some momentum after the Bears stunned top seed Wilcox 33-28 to win the Central Coast Section Open Division I championship on Friday night.
And they rallied from a 21-point deficit to do so.
It was their second CCS Open I crown in three years.
They are 12-2 on the season.
HOJ’s epic wishing comes to fuition, ah…blasted ncs this am on TST LA RAMS!
Ray in the case of Las Lomas and Eureka High School Gill lemon and the North Coast section chose to side with the side that decided to go with the coin flip it was 50-50 Eureka didn’t want to do a coin flip Las Lomas did so that’s one to one that means Gill lemon came in and NCS came in and decided that they were going to side with the team that decided to go with the coin flip okay that’s like conspiratorial racketeering, that’s like picking and choosing winners and losers before there’s even a coin flip in order to get to the coin flip… hopefully people see that crap…
Eureka is division 3 in Menlo Atherton is Division 1 open is that even? Weird like to compete for a division 3 state championship to get there you got to play a division 1 open team?
HOJ: Once you win your section, the CIF does not take into account school size. They place everyone in divisions based on competitive equity. The Open division are the very best teams (based on strength of schedule, record, etc) and then it goes down to D1-AA, D1-A, etc. So being in division 3-AA is the 6th ranked division out of 13. M-A school enrollment is over 2000 while Eureka is at 1100ish. So it does show the respect the CIF gives to NCS champs compared to other sections.
Not going to disagree because I’ve read some of that already the point is during the regular season versus late post season how and who decides the competitive level when divisions are used in sections to figure that out what’s the calculator method that’s used once you go past that… it’s like you write about population of student body enrollment, but not seeing how the determination is to match up the two schools other than state rankings which are already wishy washy.
Respect versus competetive peer = close game?
Thanks for the detail, it always is appreciated!
It’s all irrelevant now. Allow these boys to play and Coaches to Coach. Stop trying to investigators and theorists.
As if prior it was not ok to have hearty discussion… the matchups need to be competitive and level at the state level.
If division 3 in NCS where is the other division threes in other sections and if there’s so many sections how many of these division 3 teams are playing and who else are they matched up against?
Just trying to have a hearty discussion with other fellow members of the community that care about the program and the kids that they get their full opportunity to win a State title and not be matched up against the team that maybe they shouldn’t be matched up against.
Win or lose it’s not going to change the thought process of how the determination is to put the matchups together what’s the calculator method what’s the process who’s doing the picking and choosing which teams get to qualify where is all this on a master sheet on the NCS website or on the state CIF website… lots of questions that probably never would have come up in the fold of it all had a coin flip not become the center of controversy and state fires that made scheduling difficult and schools that decided that they didn’t want to participate…
Think past this year for the players on the team this year that will come back next year maybe they have a strong or maybe a stronger team next year we don’t know but it’s better to know now for the future how potential matchups occur.
Personally, Home Field is HUGE.