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Thousand Oaks

Home-Field Advantage: 2021 CIF Southern Section Football Playoffs

In Division 1 play, undefeated Matter Dei easily beat Servite 27-7. But the real story is …

Lawsuit! Ex Mater Dei football player alleges hazing led to brain injury.

My question is, are they trying to blame a hazing ritual at Mater Dei for a racially-motivated fight between two players with 100 lbs difference in weight, the heavier one being an assistant coach’s son — a situation possibly covered up during the season? Questions remain. Why did the parents of a former player file a lawsuit against Mater Dei ten months after the incident? Why did Mater Dei prevent the boy from participating in any sports at his new high school? The player is said to have a brain injury, yet wanted to play sports that season. What is going on?

I am thinking this is the end of a dynasty for Mater Dei, unless they can weather this scandal and fix their precious football program. I have seen this before, in 2013. Westlake had an issue in Hawaii (a “hazing issue” which was actually much more than that) which led to longtime head coach Jim Benkert leaving Westlake for a head coach job at top rival school, Oaks Christian. Two years later he was head coach at Simi High School. This change led Westlake to spiral downward in the rankings, from top in the nation to missing the playoffs for the first time in years this year … They have gone through three head coaches and been in rebuilding mode ever since …

2021 D5 Champions Valencia Vikings (8-6). (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The big difference between the two incidents, then and now, is that when Westlake had the incident in 2013, it was reported right after the game. It was out before they got home from Hawaii. There was no cover-up … With Mater Dei, the news came out after the season, ten months later … Could be trouble. Let’s wait and see …

Division 2 Last place in the Trinity League, Orange Lutheran beat Alemany in a close game, 38-35. This should show you the difference between D1 and D2 … Orange Lutheran was worst team in the Trinity League but won the title as the best team in D2!

Division 3 Serra easily beat Apple Valley in the championship game, 31-3.

Division 4 Long Beach Poly easily beat Cypress in the championship game, 35-0.

Division 5 Final score: Valencia 28, Oaks Christian 14.

Overcoming Oaks: #32 Daniel Hernandez for Valencia running through #23 Joseph Marsh of Oaks Christian, in Valencia’s victory. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

This was a close game. Valencia (8-4) and Oaks Christian (7-7) are mediocre D2 teams that were placed in D5 and had an easy run through the playoffs. Winner Valencia barely beat Westlake during the season with a blocked field goal at the end of the game … The differences between divisions are huge, yet some coaches want to win at any division. A Marmonte team should never be playing in Division 5. Just sayin’…

See you on the field in 2022 when sports of all kinds continue.


  1. We need to get 19 year olds out of high school sports!! IT IS DANGEROUS!! They are playing against 15-18 year olds!! And we need to eliminate loss of College eligibility in Jr college… It makes no sense to make Jr College kids at 18-19 years of age, take less classes to preserve eligeibliity!!


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