Written By: Jarrtan Ellis-Josch & Nathan Medina
November 8 brought on a stunning and heartbreaking day for our Newport Harbor football team. Finishing 3rd in the sunset league Harbor was expecting to be entered into the division 6 CIF playoffs, but when the news arrived that West Covina would take the last spot in the playoffs the Newport Harbor sailors were devastated.
West Covina, the third-place team from the Hacienda League, earned the final spot into the Division 6 playoffs, beating out Newport Harbor. And for the first time under Brinkley, the Sailors failed to make the postseason for the second straight year.
West Covina went 6-4 in their league while Newport Harbor went 5-5. Although the records speak in West Covina’s favor, the Sailors felt that their competition in the sunset league was much more difficult than that of West Covina.
Coach Brinkley said “I feel sorry for my seniors. The kids were in tears. It’s a shame that it happened to them. Every division, one through 10, the third-place team [from a league] made [the playoffs], except for our division.” As coach Brinkley stated this was mostly heartbreaking to his seniors who hoped to end their high school football careers in the playoffs. Many people feel the decision made was not fair or appropriate and many coaches and players voiced their complaints regarding it. Many people were especially upset because the Huntington Beach Oilers who finished fourth in the sunset league were admitted to the division 7 playoffs.
Even the Edison coach got involved in this heartbreaking event. Edison’s head football coach, Dave White, explained how “[ Newport Harbor not making the playoffs was] ridiculous [because the sailors are] third [in league] and Huntington is fourth, [and the Oilers qualify as an at-large team in the Division 7 playoffs]. I don’t know why they’re in different divisions. They either both should be in [Division 6] or both in [Division 7]. There [are] a lot of flaws. [Newport Harbor not getting in is] a flaw. Brethren Christian not getting in [the Division 10 playoffs with a 9-1 record is] a flaw. They’ve got to figure out a better way.”
Despite this playoff selection controversy, the section committee happened to make some reasonable playoff selections within our local teams. First Corona Del Mar and Edison were the only two teams within the area to make the playoffs as a high seed. Our Rival, Corona Del Mar finished in third place within division 4 and Edison, who was in division 3, finished in second place .In addition, a couple other teams that qualified for the playoffs were Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Los Amigos. Despite this, hopefully Newport Harbor’s football team will break their two year streak and qualify next season.