The league season is heating up as the regular season is winding down.
The Mountain League is still up for grabs, though Paso Robles is the unbeaten leader.
The Ocean League is all but wrapped up for Mission Prep while the Channel and Pacific View leagues are wide open.
But does it all matter? To some, yes. But the real topic of discussion is playoff groupings.
Which teams will wind up in which divisions?
Let's take a look at Righetti.
No. 6 Arroyo Grande (4-3) at No. 10 Righetti (1-5)
If the playoffs started now, the Warriors would be the No. 2 seed in Division 5. That's a great place for the Warriors to be.
If they win against Arroyo Grande Friday night, they may get bumped up to Division 4, where they'd be a very low seed.
Will that affect how Righetti prepares for this game? Probably not. But it is something to think about, something area coaches brought up before the season.
Would some coaches opt to lose a late-season game to be in a better division? I don't see that happening, but if it results in a CIF championship it would be hard to argue against it.
Now looking at this matchup, Arroyo Grande should be a pretty solid favorite. The Eagles just didn't have it against St. Joseph last week, but they're a good team.
I think Righetti should've beaten Pioneer Valley by more than 20-6 last week. Righetti can keep it close for a while, but I don't see them winning this game, which, again, could end up being a good thing once the playoffs start.
The Pick: Arroyo Grande 34, Righetti 20.
No. 5 Paso Robles (4-2) vs. Pioneer Valley (0-6)
Pioneer Valley's defense has done everything it can to win some game this year, it just hasn't happened.
Things don't get easier this week with the matchup against Leo Kemp and the Bearcats. Kemp is a rugged runner who aims for contact and is able to plow through multiple defenders.
That's just fine with Pioneer Valley's physical defense, but expect the Bearcats to wear them down in the second half.
The Pick: Paso Robles 29, Pioneer Valley 6
Atascadero (1-6) at Santa Maria (2-5)
Santa Maria's offense has also not been very great this year.
The Saints are probably a small underdog at home against Atascadero, but I think they can win this game. I will predict they will win this game.
The Pick: Santa Maria 16, Atascadero 12.
No. 8: Santa Ynez (5-2) vs. Ventura (4-2)
I thought the Pacific View League was a bit soft, but it has some really tough teams as Santa Ynez saw last week against Buena.
The Pirates have another tough one Friday night against the Cougars.
Santa Ynez is at home, coming off a tough loss. Some of their team has been affected by the Alisal Fire.
I think Santa Ynez scores an emotional win.
The Pick: Santa Ynez 24, Ventura 18.
No. 9: Lompoc (3-4) at Pacifica (3-4)
Obviously everyone was expecting more out of these Braves after they went unbeaten in the spring and started 3-0 this season.
But I'm not panicking. The Braves have lost these four games by just 15 points, the offense has played solid against some really tough teams. Everyone who beat Lompoc has been pretty good, the list includes Arroyo Grande, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara and Oxnard Rio Mesa. Four winning teams.
Lompoc has been competitive with everyone and I think they'll hang with these Tritons. But the losing will likely continue.
The Pick: Pacifica 39, Lompoc 30.
No. 2 Mission Prep (6-0) vs. Morro Bay (4-4)
Morro Bay has improved this year but Mission Prep is just too steady for any Ocean teams to keep up.
The Pick: Mission Prep 29, Morro Bay 6.
No. 1 Bishop Diego (5-1) vs. Newbury Park (2-4)
The Cardinals should win the Camino League title pretty easily and Newbury Park shouldn't make any trouble for them this weekend.
The Pick: Bishop Diego 50, Newbury Park 9.
No. 3 Santa Barbara (5-2) vs. Oxnard (3-4)
The Dons should bounce back after falling to Pacifica 24-21 last week, ending their five-game win streak. The Channel League may be the toughest in the region.
The Pick: Santa Barbara 27, Oxnard 20.
San Luis Obispo (4-2) at Templeton (4-3)
The Pick: San Luis Obispo 19, Templeton 12.
Channel Islands (1-6) at Cabrillo (0-7)
The Pick: Channel Islands 19, Cabrillo 8.
Record last week: 9-3.
Season record: 64-25.
Vote: Langley, Claborn, Valencia, Dickerson among eight up for Player of the Week
Deville Dickerson, Lompoc WR/DB/KRUpdated
Deville Dickerson is putting together one of the more remarkable individual seasons this area has ever seen.
The Lompoc senior scored for the seventh time on a kick/punt return in the loss to Rio Mesa. He also had nine catches for 135 yards and two plays that every coach should want a copy of for their film sessions.
Dickerson 'hawked' two Rio Mesa players, racing nearly the entire length of the field to track the ball-carrier down and prevent touchdowns. How do you spell max effort? Easy: J-O-K-E-R.
Deville Dickerson, Lompoc WR/DB/KR: 9 catches, 135 yards; KO return TD; 4.5 tackles, 1 TFL; 150 return yards.
🔥Vs Rio Mesa🔥— Deville “Djoker” Dickerson (@Deville2404) October 11, 2021
🔵KO Return TD (7th)
🔵2x METCALFs **
🔵9 Rec - 135 Yrds
🔵4.5 TKLs - 1 TFL
🔵+150 Return Yrds
** Both saved a TD@the_jonesy16 @tfordfsp1 @RFordFSP @BrandonHuffman @Hudl @dkm14 @CalHiSports @CIFSS @FootballRecruit @RyanClaryFSP pic.twitter.com/mmMsuHbzQZ
Malakai Langley, St. Joseph RB/DBUpdated
St. Joseph sophomore Malakai Langley set the tone for the Knights in their game at Arroyo Grande last Friday. He ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run on the game's very first play. St. Joseph raced out to a 21-0 lead about midway through the first quarter and never looked back in a 39-21 win.
Langley finished with 180 yards and two touchdowns on offense and also played defense and returned kicks for the Knights.
Malakai Langley, St. Joseph RB/DB: 18 carries, 180 yards, 2 TDs; four tackles in 39-21 win over Arroyo Grande.
Braden Claborn, Righetti QBUpdated
Righetti quarterback Braden Claborn didn't put up eye-popping stats Friday, but he delivered the type of performance his team sorely needed. Claborn accounted for two touchdowns in the 20-6 win over a tough Pioneer Valley defense to lead Righetti to its first win of the season against his former school.
Braden Claborn, Righetti QB: 129 passing yards, TD; 64 rushing yards, TD in 20-6 win over Pioneer Valley.
Leo Valencia, Santa Ynez KUpdated
Then there's Leonel Valencia, the junior kicker at Santa Ynez. Valencia had a huge night against Buena, making all four of his field goal attempts and a PAT. Valencia's late 25-yard field goal gave Santa Ynez a 19-18 lead, but Buena scored a last-second touchdown to win 25-19.
Valencia made all his kicks, with a long field goal of 36 yards.
Leo Valencia, Santa Ynez K: 4 for 4 on field goals, long of 36 yards, 1 for 1 on PATs, 13 kick points in 25-19 loss at Ventura Buena.
Damian Santos, Arroyo Grande TEUpdated
Arroyo Grande’s Damian Santos has transformed into one of the top tight ends in the area and he had himself a day against St. Joseph. He caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Knights.
Damian Santos, Arroyo Grande TE: 7 catches, 130 yards, TD in 39-21 loss to St. Joseph.
Leo Kemp, Paso Robles, RBUpdated
North County players aren't typically included in this contest, but Paso Robles running back Leo Kemp deserved a nod after his rugged performance against Nipomo. The Bearcats carried the ball 58 times in the 19-12 win over Nipomo and Kemp had 39 of those carries, gaining 203 yards and scoring all three of his team's touchdowns. The junior is certainly a bell-cow back.
Leo Kemp, Paso Robles, RB: 39 carries for 203 yards, 3 TDs.
Kyle Kuhn, Nipomo WRUpdated
For Nipomo, yards weren't easy to come by as the Titans mustered just 232 yards of offense against the Bearcats. Kyle Kuhn was responsible for a third of those yards on his own, catching three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the loss.
Kyle Kuhn, Nipomo WR: 3 catches, 77 yards, TD; 1 tackle.
Jacob Sanders, VCA WR/DBUpdated
We can't forget about the 8-man realm either. VCA's Jacob Sanders, who's won the Player of the Week honor once already this year, had another big game, scoring twice on rushes, twice on interception returns and once more on a punt return.
Sanders has scored 17 times in four games this year for the 4-0 Lions.
Jacob Sanders, VCA WR/DB: 9 carries, 75 yards, 2 TDs; 2 INT returns for TDs; punt return TD; 5 tackles, 4 PBUs; forced fumble.