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Centennial High boys basketball coach Hernan Santiago.

The suspension of Centennial boys basketball coach Hernan Santiago concerns an incident that took place in his weightlifting class while he was outside the classroom, a source close to the situation said.

A student was injured while Santiago was outside the classroom talking to a student or students about a different situation, the source said. Santiago has been placed on paid administrative leave until an insurance investigation into the situation is resolved.

Bryon Schaefer, the assistant superintendent of personnel for the Kern High School District, could not be reached Wednesday for confirmation or comment.

Centennial opens its season Dec. 20 in a tournament in Santa Maria.

Bakersfield Christian has applied to host a possible CIF regional bowl football game Dec. 13, Eagles athletic director Blake Van Der Schaff said Wednesday.

BCHS (10-2) would have to beat top-seeded Tulare-Mission Oak (12-0) in Friday's Central Section Division IV championship game in Tulare to be eligible for a regional bowl. If the Eagles won, they would be placed in the CIF's bowl Division IV, which is only for schools with less than 500 enrollment. Schools can apply to host games in case they're chosen.

CIF section commissioners will choose bowl game participants Sunday in Norwalk, and host sites will be chosen shortly afterwards. Winners of the regional games advance to the state bowl games in Carson on Dec. 20-21.

In Cal Hi Sports' influential regional rankings, Bakersfield Christian is ranked No. 4 in Southern California Division IV, but one of the teams ranked in front of the Eagles has already lost.

The team ranked No. 1 in those rankings, El Cajon-Christian, is embroiled in controversy. The CIF state office told Cal Hi Sports that the Patriots weren't eligible for the D-IV game (even though their enrollment is less than 500) because Christian plays in a San Diego Section division that correlates with Division II for bowl games. Only teams that are in playoff divisions that correlate with Division III for bowl games are allowed to drop to Division IV.

Cal Hi Sports reported that El Cajon-Christian has responded with a legal challenge, meeting with attorneys and a state assemblyman in an effort to persuade the CIF to allow the school into Division IV.

MaxPreps reported Wednesday that the CIF said it wouldn't budge on the ruling unless forced to legally.

That will sit just fine with Bakersfield Christian, which signed a petition earlier this week asking the CIF to delay a ruling on the matter until after Sunday's bowl selections, effectively shutting El Cajon-Christian out of the Division IV game.

Van Der Schaff said three other schools had also signed the petition, but he wasn't sure which ones. San Luis Obispo-Mission Prep and San Juan Capistrano-St. Margaret's are among the teams that would be eligible for the Southern Cal Division IV regional game, but like BCHS, all of them have section title games to win Friday first.

Drillers' chances also murky

The chances of Bakersfield High playing in the Division I regional bowl game aren't any clearer.

The Drillers, who moved up one spot to No. 16 in Cal Hi Sports' overall state rankings this week, play host to Clovis North on Friday for the Division I section title.

If it should win, Bakersfield likely would enter a conversation for the D-I bowl game with San Diego Section champions San Marcos-Mission Hills and San Diego-Cathedral Catholic, plus the winner of the Southern Section Inland Division championship between Vista Murrieta and Corona-Centennial.

Cal Hi Sports has all of those teams ranked above the Drillers in its latest rankings. However, if Vista Murrieta should beat Corona-Centennial, Bakersfield could slip into the game. Cathedral Catholic beat Vista Murrieta this season, and the CIF could keep the Broncos out because of that head-to-head loss and an unwillingness to stage a rematch in a bowl game.

If that were to happen, Cathedral Catholic could play Mission Hills in an all-San Diego Section bowl game, or Bakersfield (10-2) could get its invite.

The Open Division bowl game currently projects to be the winner of the Southern Section Pac-5 title game between Bellflower-St. John Bosco and Santa Ana-Mater Dei, and Gardena-Serra, which is a Division II team. If Serra were to lose in its section final against West Hills-Chaminade, that could potentially create another spot for a Division I team and increase Bakersfield's chances.

In summary: For its best chance at the first regional bowl game in school history, Bakersfield, one of the state's most storied football programs, needs help. The Drillers must first and foremost beat Clovis North on Friday. Then, victories by Vista Murrieta and/or Chaminade help Bakersfield the most.

Carr honored nationally

Fresno State quarterback Bakersfield Christian graduate Derek Carr was honored Wednesday as the recipient of the Sammy Baugh Award, given annually by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) to college football's top passer.

Carr, a senior, has thrown for 4,462 yards and 45 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions. His yardage and touchdown totals lead the nation.

Fresno State (10-1) plays host to Utah State at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Mountain West Conference championship game.

Advance tickets

Tickets for Friday night's Central Section Division I football championship at Griffith Field are available in advance in the Bakersfield High ticket office during school hours until noon Friday.

Bakersfield (10-2) will play defending champion Clovis North (11-2) in the game at 7 p.m. Friday.