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The Californian

East High School head coach Dave Thorp in a file photo.

East High coach Dave Thorp said Wednesday he is retiring from coaching, citing family and personal reasons.

Thorp, 52, just completed his third year as East's head coach. He was 10-20 at the school and led the Blades to the Central Section Division III playoffs in 2011.

Thorp, a 1979 East grad who served as senior class president, could not be reached for further comment. He previously served a successful stint as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Bakersfield College.

Before that, Thorp worked two stints as the Blades' defensive coordinator. In 2011, he inherited an East team that had won just six games the previous three seasons and went 5-4 in the regular season before losing 33-13 to Hanford in the first round of the playoffs.

Thorp teaches special education at East.

Six football teams hit road

Six of the seven Kern County high school football teams alive in the section semifinals this weekend play on the road, the exception being top-seeded Bakersfield in the Central Section Division I playoffs.

The Drillers (9-2), who moved up a spot to No. 17 in the latest Cal Hi Sports state rankings, play host to Fresno-Central (9-3).

Three local defending champions all must win on the road to continue their title defense: No. 3 Garces (9-2) is at No. 2 Kingsburg (10-1) in Division II, No. 6 Ridgeview (7-5) is at No. 2 Porterville (9-2) in Division III, and No. 4 Wasco (9-2) travels to top-seeded Tulare-Mission Oak (11-0) in Division IV.

In addition, Independence (6-6) is at Dinuba (8-3) in Division III, and Bakersfield Christian (9-2) plays at Visalia-Central Valley Christian (8-3) in D-IV.

In the Southern Section Northeast Division semifinals, Desert (10-2) plays at San Luis Obispo-Mission Prep (10-2).

Jones record watch

Bakersfield Christian junior quarterback Brandon Jones threw three more touchdown passes in the Eagles' 61-21 Division IV quarterfinal victory over Kerman on Friday, giving him 45 for the season.

The Central Section record, according to section historian Bob Barnett, is 50, set by Tulare Union's Emmanuel Lewis in 2005. Jones could play as many as four more games if BCHS were to win the section title and play in regional and state bowl games.

The other complicating factor: Farmersville's Sam Metcalf has thrown for 49 touchdown passes this season. The Aztecs, though, have just one game remaining: This Friday's Division VI championship against Strathmore.

BCHS volleyball plays Saturday

Bakersfield Christian's volleyball team plays its next state playoff match Saturday against Saddleback Valley Christian in San Juan Capistrano.

The match, which is a Southern California semifinal, begins at 7 p.m. at St. Margaret's High School in San Juan Capistrano.