Del Norte

North Coast could be in line to host a state game, or two

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Submitted photo – The St. Bernard’s players celebrate their NCS title on Saturday.

By Ray Hamill — The Del Norte Warriors and St. Bernard’s Crusaders are hoping to make history in more ways than one this weekend.

The two H-DNL teams will play for a NorCal Regional championship in football, and both will have to travel to do so.

If, however, either or both should win it’s being reported they would likely get to host a  state bowl game here on the North Coast next weekend.

That would be a first ever for the area, something both sets of players, no doubt, are well aware of.

“They know what’s at stake,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said of his players. “If we win there’s a really good chance we can host a state championship, and I think they want to be the first team to host a state game in Humboldt County.”

Thats something local sports fans would relish, and a potential doubleheader of state games at the Redwood Bowl would be one of the greatest sporting occasions in the history of the North Coast — especially if they could both win.

Of course, each of them will first have to take care of business against very tough opponents this weekend before they can start thinking of hosting a state bowl game.

In Division 5-AA, Del Norte (12-1) will play at King’s Academy (10-3) in Sunnyvale, while in Division 6-AA St. Bernard’s (10-3) will play East Nicolaus (12-1) in Yuba City.

There are no easy games in December, and any team still playing at this stage of the season is going to be good.

The H-DNL, however, has done a good job recently preparing teams for the postseason, winning five NCS championships in the past five years, to go with two state titles (and counting).

Whether either or both of these programs can add to that tally in the coming 10 days remains to be seen, but one thing is certain.

The H-DNL has become a legitimate force when it comes to the state playoffs, and hosting a state bowl game or two next weekend would be a fantastic occasion for fans here.

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