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Thousand Oaks

Home-Field Advantage: Lacrosse Playoff Results!

My son’s last regular season high school lacrosse game was Westlake vs. Crespi, and I enjoyed watching both teams fighting to do well. All the emotions of a good game were there, and by watching it, you never would have known Crespi was getting blown out. They never quit … Tensions did get high when penalties were called and miscalled. Players got more aggressive when the bad calls, or no calls, took place, and there were a noticeable number of hard hits. Referees are there to protect the players, right? They didn’t, but when Westlake emerged on top with a mercy score of 19-7, it was the perfect opportunity for a fight to erupt and destroy the memory of the great battle that had just taken place on the field. I watched the teams congratulate each other, anticipating something negative to happen — and that’s when both teams and their coaches and fans began congratulating everyone on the other side and wishing them well in the playoffs … It was a display of true sportsmanship. Just minutes before, they seemed to hate each other — and not just the players but the coaches and fans, too. What a proud moment at the end when everyone came together and showed the world it’s a game, not a war. Sportsmanship and character come first! I commend both coaches for elevating those qualities, and I respect Crespi for battling and never giving up … God bless everyone who was there …

On the flip side was the classless play of Mira Costa and Palos Verdes in their last game. A fight erupted, and Mira Costa had to forfeit. Some of its players were suspended for the next game, which was scheduled to be a playoff game — until CIF allowed Mira Costa to schedule an inconsequential game so its suspended players wouldn’t have to miss a playoff game vs. Westlake … As a fan, you always want to see a team at full strength in the playoffs, but it didn’t teach the boys who got into a fight a lesson. Or maybe it taught them to manipulate rules and win at all costs. What a shame … Westlake beat Mira Costa anyway, 16 to 10.

A big congrats to our two local teams — Agoura and Westlake — who went to the Southern Section Lacrosse playoffs. Agoura lost in the first round to Loyola, and Westlake lost to Corona Del Mar in the quarterfinals 14-6 (it was Westlake lacrosse’s first trip to the quarterfinals).

I have a confession to make … When I saw the seeding for the Southern Section Lacrosse D1 playoffs and saw how lopsided the brackets were, I sent CIF a letter asking them to explain why Loyola seems to get a cakewalk through the playoffs. Their response was essentially that CIF makes up its own rankings via a convoluted procedure that I don’t think any fair-minded observer would consider straightforward — or just. It really isn’t difficult to figure out who the top 6 teams are, but CIF makes it confusing. I’ve learned that when someone tries to confuse you, they often are hiding something. In this case, the proof is in the results of the ridiculous bracket CIF put together …

Rivalry Game: Westlake vs. Agoura, the 2022 Marmonte League defending champions. #7 Agoura shoots on Westlake’s goalie #99 Jacob Schnelldorfer, and the shot is saved. Westlake won, 9-4, taking the 2023 Marmonte League Championship.

Compare two paths, one fair, one indefensible … In the first round, CIF matched #1 St. Margaret’s and #4 Foothill. That was a solid game. St. Margaret’s was winning in the fourth when Foothill came back and pushed the game into overtime. The result: Foothill won 12-11 in overtime … In the quarterfinals, Foothill beat Mater Dei, 15-7; in the semis, Foothill beat Corona Del Mar, 10-5 … All evenly matched, competitive games.

Now look at the cakewalk CIF scheduled for Loyola … In the first round, CIF matched #2 Loyola against #15 Agoura, a match Loyola won 14-4. In the quarterfinals, Loyola beat Trabuco Hills, 19-8, and in the semifinal game, Loyola beat Santa Margarita, 12-2. No game was close. Loyola pranced through the bracket, winning easily … That is, until the finals when Loyola lost to Foothill, 9-8. Think about it: the best game of the playoffs was in the first round, Foothill vs. St. Margaret’s … How did CIF mess it up so badly?

It seems to me CIF pulled the same shenanigans in the most recent football playoffs to the undefeated Thousand Oaks High School team. For reasons known only to God and CIF, they moved the team into a Division 3 playoff bracket, where Thousand Oaks had no business playing, and the team got killed. One and done … The game was not competitive at all, and worse, the players could have been hurt unnecessarily. Add to that the fact that CIF cheated fans out of a Newbury Park vs. Thousand Oaks rematch. Thousand Oaks had beat N.P. earlier, 41-38, in double overtime! Now, that was a game. But because of CIF’s ridiculous move, #104 Thousand Oaks had to play #53 Chaparral and was blown out 62-14 … CIF did a similar thing, though in the opposite direction, in 2021 by putting Oaks Christian football into Division 5 for a cakewalk of their own … Injury-ridden that year, Oaks Christian almost won the Division 5 playoffs …

There’s a lot of chatter among coaches about how CIF seems to manipulate rankings in multiple sports. If CIF wants to know if qualified observers are questioning their integrity, the answer is, Yes, they are. … There’s more to this story going forward, but for now, let’s congratulate the local boys who fought hard, kept their cool and had great seasons on the lacrosse field. Way to compete!

Local professional Frank Enderle played two years of football at Notre Dame High School, one of the top programs with the best coaches, then played for two years at Calabasas High School. He has a lifetime of sports experience, including coaching his own sons in baseball, football, lacrosse and basketball and serving in their booster programs.


  1. Wonderful article! It’s a sad day when CIF changed the rules to end up with the outcome THEY want! I would’ve never known this was happening without reading this. Keep the great articles coming and keeping the public informed!


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