First, a note: The full explanation for why the North Coast section reverted to a coin flip to determine which teams would compete for its championship goes much deeper than we will here, and is worth more elaboration like what is found in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
That being said, the saga that has resulted in the undefeated, top-seeded Cardinal Newman School (Santa Rosa, Calif.) sitting at home rather than competing for the North Coast title is worth deeper inspection. It starts with the longstanding and finally eradicated Camp Fire, continues to a section meeting where those in attendance and voting never truly thought a coin flip would be required, and ends with Cardinal Newman and second-seeded Eureka in a coin flip to determine which team would play in the NorCal regional final.
The final decision came down to heads or tails. Cardinal Newman was the top seed and got to pick heads or tails. Its representative chose tails, and the flip landed on heads.
Making matters worse, after Cardinal Newman lost the coin flip, it appealed to the California Interscholastic Federation asking to be allowed to compete in a different division, but that appeal was rejected.
As a result, it’s now final: Cardinal Newman, a perfect 12-0 and the top seed in its section, is out of the playoffs … without a loss.
“We made the decision (to flip), and when you make decision you have to live with the results,” Cardinal Newman coach Paul Cronin told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The kids never wavered in their decision. They knew this was a possibility. It’s cool they stuck together during the entire process and will live with the results. I’m proud of them and their season.”