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Serra-Mater Dei Open Division Clash Highlights CIF State Championship Bowl Lineup

Serra-Mater Dei Open Division Clash Highlights CIF State Championship Bowl Lineup

Sophomore wide receiver Vance Spafford (13) plays for Mission Viejo High School's football team. (Courtesy of Anthony Miller)

Dan Wood

Dan Wood

12/4/2023

Updated: 12/21/2023

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Imagine if San Mateo’s Serra High School and Mater Dei of Santa Ana could stage an alumni coin toss before their CIF Open Division state championship bowl game Dec. 9 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. 
The Central Coast Section champion Padres, representing Northern California, could call on seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann, a mere four-time Super Bowl winner. 
Just for fun, Serra could also trot out Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, as well as several others who have gone on to make significant marks in professional sports. 
The Southern Section champion Monarchs, the best Southern California has to offer, could counter with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks John Huarte, Matt Leinart, and Bryce Young, perhaps with Matt Barkley, among others, in tow. 
While the star power might not be of that magnitude, there will be plenty of talent on both sides when Serra (12–0) and Mater Dei (12–1) meet at 8 p.m. in the feature game among the 15 that will be played at three Southern California sites Dec. 8–9. 
The Division 1-AA matchup between Mission Viejo (12–3) and perennial Northern California power De La Salle (11–2) of Concord, set for 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at Saddleback College, also figures to command plenty of attention. 
De La Salle, which posted a national-record 151-game winning streak from 1992 to 2004, has won seven CIF state championships in its long and storied football history. Mater Dei has captured three, while Mission Viejo and Serra are each gunning for a second. 
Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 10, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 10, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Six other schools involved in this year’s state championship bowl games have previously won titles, including Folsom with four. Grant of Sacramento, Pleasant Valley of Chico, and St. Bonaventure of Ventura have captured two apiece, while Marin Catholic of Kentfield and Strathmore have each won one. 
Birmingham of Lake Balboa and Central Valley Christian of Visalia have previously appeared in state title games, but are looking for their first championships. 
In addition to Saddleback, championship games will also be held at El Camino College in Torrance and Pasadena City College, with each venue hosting five contests between Dec. 8–9. 
Ticket sales for all games will be available online only through the CIF’s ticketing partner, CIF (California) Events and Tickets by GoFan, beginning at noon Dec. 6. 
Daily prices for games at the same venue are $17 for adults, and $10 for high school students, seniors (65-plus), and children. 
Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., on Sept. 18, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., on Sept. 18, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

CIF Championship Bowl Games

At Saddleback College, Mission Viejo 

Friday, Dec. 8

Division 2-AA: La Serna-Whittier (12–3) vs. Grant-Sacramento (12–2), 4 p.m. 
Division 1-AA: Mission Viejo (12–3) vs. De La Salle-Concord (11–2), 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Dec. 9 

Division 3-AA: Birmingham-Lake Balboa (12–2) vs. Acalanes-Lafayette (10–4), 11:30 a.m. 
Division 1-A: St. Bonaventure-Ventura (12–3) vs. Folsom (12–2), 3:30 p.m. 
Open Division: Mater Dei-Santa Ana (12–1) vs. Serra-San Mateo (12–0), 8 p.m. 

At Pasadena City College  

Friday, Dec. 8 

Division 6-AA: Wasco (9–5) vs. St. Vincent de Paul-Petaluma (12–2), 4 p.m. 
Division 4-AA: Jurupa Hills-Fontana (9–6) vs. Soquel (12–2), 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Dec. 9 

Division 7-A: Bell Gardens (10–5) vs. Strathmore (11–4), 11 a.m. 
Division 4-A: Mission Oak-Tulare (10–5) vs. Palma-Salinas (10–4), 3 p.m. 
Division 2-A: Central Valley Christian-Visalia (14–1) vs. Los Gatos (12–1), 7 p.m.  

At El Camino College, Torrance

Friday, Dec. 8

Division 7-AA: Fairfax-Los Angeles (10–4) vs. Ferndale (10–4), 4 p.m. 
Division 5-AA: Ramona-Riverside (10–5) vs. Pleasant Valley-Chico (10–3), 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Dec. 9 

Division 6-A: Sweetwater-National City (8–6) vs. Colusa (13–0), 11 a.m. 
Division 5-A: Banning-Wilmington (9–6) vs. Woodland Christian (14–0), 3 p.m. 
Division 3-A: Mayfair-Lakewood (11–3) vs. Marin Catholic-Kentfield (13–1), 7 p.m.
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Dan Wood

Dan Wood

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Dan Wood is a community sports reporter based in Orange County, California. He has covered sports professionally for some 43 years, spending nearly three decades in the newspaper industry and 14 years in radio. He is an avid music fan, with a strong lean toward country and classic rock.

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