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Bishop Diego Football Faces Challenging Schedule in 2018; Carpinteria Game is Dropped

Jake Engel returns at quarterback for Bishop Diego. Click to view larger
Jake Engel returns at quarterback for Bishop Diego. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk file photo)

CIF-Southern Section- and State-Champion Bishop Diego has lined up some formidable football opponents in 2018 to prepare itself for the challenges of playing in a new league that features three large public schools and another strong parochial school program.

The Cardinals will play football in the five-team Camino League with the likes of Camarillo, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and Grace Brethren. Grace Brethren beat Bishop for the Tri-Valley League title last season, won the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 title and lost in the  State Division 2A Championship game.

Moorpark went 11-3 last season and lost in the Southern Section Division 5 final. Camarillo lost to Lompoc in the first round of the Division 3 section playoffs. Thousand Oaks has struggled the last two years after reaching the Northern Division final in 2015, losing to Camarillo.

Bishop’s non-league schedule includes Cabrillo, St. Bonaventure, Lompoc, Nipomo, Golden Valley and St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano.

Lompoc and St. Bonaventure are perennial powers. St. Bonaventure is coached by Tony Henney, who won back-to-back CIF titles with Nordhoff in 2012 and 2013, and beat the Cardinals in the semifinals in 2013.

Golden Valley is the team Bishop defeated for the CIF-SS Division 6 title last season. St. Margaret’s has won five section titles and a state title in the last 13 years and reached the Division 7 semifinals last season.

Missing from Bishop’s schedule is longtime rival Carpinteria. The Warriors moved from the four-team Frontier League to the new seven-team Citrus Coast League (Fillmore, Hueneme, Malibu, Nordhoff, Santa Clara, Santa Paula). The larger league leaves them with fewer dates for non-league games. 

Bishop and Carpinteria, who used to be members of the Tri-Valley League, have played each other every year since the late 1950s. Bishop has won the last seven meetings.

The equation didn't add up for the rivalry to continue this year.

Carpinteria had two-year deals already in place with non-league foes Santa Ynez, Morro Bay and Viewpoint. That, plus seven league weeks made it impossible to schedule Bishop this season, Carpinteria Athletic Director Pat Cooney said. “The football schedule is really challenging to build each year as the CIF calendar seems to change annually, and our CIF-SS Northern Area releaguing will take place every two years.”

The Warriors will be playing a Week Zero game for the first time this year, hosting Vasquez on Aug. 17.

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