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Bishop Diego, Dos Pueblos Football Step Up in CIF Playoff Divisions

Girls volleyball and tennis and boys water polo playoff divisions also released

Jake Engel, Bishop QB Click to view larger
Jake Engel returns at quarterback for Bishop Diego, which moves up to Division 4 for the CIF playoffs. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk file photo)

State football champion Bishop Diego rose from Division 6 to 4 while Dos Pueblos elevated five spots to Division 5 in the CIF-Southern Section’s playoff groupings for Fall 2018.

The CIF-SS released the playoff divisions for four fall sports on Thursday.

Division placement is determined by a power-points formula that takes into account the last two seasons of results, strength of schedule, league rank, state rank and post-season success of every team that submits the information to the CIF-SS. The placements are subject to change.


Bishop Diego last season won the section’s Division 6 title and went on to capture the regional and state championships. In 2016, the Cardinals lost in the first round of the Division 5 playoffs.

Bishop lost several outstanding seniors but it has a solid group of returning starters, including quarterback Jake Engel.

Other area schools joining Bishop in Division 4 include Camarillo, St. Bonaventure, Rio Mesa and Grace Brethren from Ventura County. Grace Brethren handed Bishop its only loss last season,  beating the Cardinals, 31-24, in overtime, in the Tri-Valley League championship game.

Division 4 also includes schools like Corona del Mar, Chino Hills, Saugus and Golden Valley. The Cardinals beat Saugus in the semifinals and Golden Valley in the Division 6 title game.

Dos Pueblos makes the big jump to Division 5 after finishing first in the Channel League for the second straight year and winning 12 games in a row before losing to Quartz Hill in the Division 10 championship game. The Chargers won nine games and reached the second round of the D10 playoffs in 2016.

Defensive coordinator Doug Caines takes over as DP's head coach.

Strong programs in Division 5 include Ventura, Harvard Westlake, St. Paul, Antelope Valley, Redlands and Palos Verdes. 

Lompoc, which joins the Channel League this fall with Santa Ynez and Cabrillo, will play in the highest football playoff division of all area schools in the Southern Section — the Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo area schools transferred to the Central Section. The Braves are in Division 3, joining such powerhouse programs as Hart, Sierra Canyon, El Toro, Hart, Damien and Newbury Park.

In 2016,  Lompoc advanced to the Division 4 semifinals, falling to Corona del Mar, 35-34. Last year, it reached the second round in Division 3, losing to El Toro (37-16) without star player Toa Taua.

Santa Barbara High, which has played in Division 9 the last two years, moves to Division 7 this fall. The Dons will be joined by Channel League newcomer Santa Ynez, which has gone 8-2 the last two seasons but missed the Division 10 playoffs because it finished third in a five-team Los Padres League.

There are 24 schools in Division 7 while Division 3 and 4 have 19 schools.

Channel League members San Marcos and Cabrillo, and Carpinteria of the new Citrus Coast League, will be seeking playoffs berths in Division 12, where 46 schools will be vying for 16 spots.


Dos Pueblos is in the Division 1-2 category after reaching the Division 3 final last fall.

A committee will meet at the end of the regular season to determine the 16-team Division 1 bracket and the remaining teams will play in Division 2.

Santa Barbara and San Marcos are both in Division 3, while Carpinteria is in Division 4, Cabrillo and Cate in Division 5 and Lompoc in Division 7.


San Marcos, which tied for the Channel League title and lost in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs last season, is in the Division 1-2 category.

Like boys water polo, a committee will determine the 16 teams for the Division 1 playoff bracket and the others will play in Division 2.

Dos Pueblos is in Division 3, Santa Barbara in Division 4, Laguna Blanca in Division 5, Santa Ynez in Division 6, Cabrillo, Cate and Lompoc in Division 7; Bishop Diego, Carpinteria, Dunn and Garden Street Academy in Division 8 and Providence in Division 9.


The division breakdown is: Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Cate in Division 1; Santa Barbara in Division 2; Cabrillo and Santa Ynez in Division 3; Carpinteria, Laguna Blanca and Lompoc in Division 4 and Bishop Diego and Providence in Division 5.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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