State Of Play: Mark Tennis
There was a lot of message board and twitter debate about the strength of that Trinity (Euless, Texas) team that De La Salle-Concord lost to 26-21 on Aug. 29 in Mansfield, Texas.
Some don’t think the Trojans are one of the top five teams in Texas this season. Others do, and they are a program that has won three major division state titles.
Even if Trinity loses a game or two, however, that one loss is not going to matter much for De La Salle being in the CIF Open Division game representing Northern California once again. That is assuming, of course, that there are no more losses and that the Spartans win another CIF North Coast Section Division I title. They also have, after all, won five of the last six CIF Open Division state crowns.
Many will recall that there was an unbeaten team in 2008 that was chosen by the CIF commissioners for the Open Division from the North ahead of a DLS team that had lost its only game to a nationally ranked team from New Jersey.
That was a bunch from Grant of Sacramento that got in because the voters were impressed by a pair of wins over state champions from Utah and Idaho. The only strong team this year from Northern California playing solid out-of-state opponents is Del Oro of Loomis, but the Golden Eagles have already lost a game to Punahou of Hawaii. They are also playing De La Salle later this season.
There may be some consideration from the voters for Folsom if it was to finish 14-0 and win another CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title, but it still would likely take another loss by De La Salle this season for Folsom to possibly move ahead. With a second loss, even if the second one is to one of the Southern California teams the Spartans are playing this season (like Long Beach Poly), an unbeaten Folsom team in that scenario may then be a better Open Division choice.
THE GRIM LEAPER
If there was one player in the state after just one week of games that you can point to as being a possible state record breaker, I’d pick senior wide receiver Derrion Grim from McNair-Stockton.
In his first game, a 74-26 win by the Eagles over Calaveras-San Andreas, Grim caught 10 passes for 238 yards and six touchdowns. The Boise State commit also returned the opening kickoff for a score and was our first Cal-Hi Sports NorCal Offensive Player of the Week.
With an effective senior quarterback, Osai Brown, getting him the ball and with his dad, former University of Pittsburgh standout La’Tef Grim, serving as McNair’s offensive coordinator, all the pieces are in place for some record-breaking totals. Besides also obviously avoiding any injuries, it’s also going to help Grim that McNair tends to give up a lot of points on defense. This means the Eagles aren’t often going to be so far ahead that the starters have to come out.
It’s easy to see with all of those factors that Grim could threaten the state record of 34 TD catches for one season that was set just last year by Folsom’s Cole Thompson. He got to play 16 games to get to that total “” which Grim isn’t going to do “” but three to four TD catches per game with perhaps 11 or 12 played just might do the trick. Grim also is very good and probably the best wideout to come out of Stockton since Brandin Cooks (Lincoln High ’10) of the New Orleans Saints.
NOTE: In the last SportStars column, we mentioned Bellarmine’s 1965 team and for readers to check out all-time greatest team rankings on CalHiSports.com. Sorry, but that feature has yet to be completed. Please continue to check the site because it is coming soon.
Mark Tennis is the co-founder of Cal-Hi Sports, and publisher of CalHiSports.com. Contact him at HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter, @CalHiSports.