Wrestling's march to Rabobank Arena for the CIF State Championships begins this weekend with league championships across California.
Three of those are in Kern County on Friday: The South Sequoia League meet opens festivities at 10 a.m. at Wasco, with the Southeast Yosemite League meet at East at noon and the South Yosemite League meet at Mira Monte at 12:45.
On Saturday, the Southwest Yosemite League meet begins at 9 a.m. at Frontier, featuring three-time state champion Bakersfield High.
The top several finishers in each league -- the number varies by league -- advance to next week's divisional championships, with the big-school Yosemite Divisional at East and the small-school Sierra/Sequoia Divisional at Dinuba.
After that, it's on to the Central Section Masters Championships, March 1 at Madera South, and then the state meet March 7-8 at Rabobank.
Soccer league titles
Most of the area's league soccer champions have been decided after the Frontier girls clinched the Southwest Yosemite League title with a scoreless draw at Liberty on Wednesday.
That was the first blemish on the Titans' league record, but two other teams are still perfect and have clinched league titles: Bakersfield High's boys (SWYL) and Bakersfield Christian's girls (South Sequoia League).
In the South Yosemite League, West's boys and Ridgeview's girls have clinched championships, and Wasco's boys have won the SSL.
The Southeast Yosemite League titles will both be decided tonight: Highland's boys play at East in a game between teams tied for first place at 7-1-1. On the girls side, Highland (home vs. East) and Garces (at Foothill) are both 8-1.
All-star name change
Kern County's annual indoor senior football all-star game changed its name this week to the U.S. Army All-Star Bowl.
For the past 12 seasons, the game has been known as the Arena Bowl, but event organizers received a cease-and-desist letter from the Arena Football League earlier this month informing them that the term was trademarked.
"It is our desire to continue to enhance our all-star football game, and we want our players to experience the true meaning of playing as an all-star," event director Nick Ellis said in a prepared statement. "The kids bring so much value to this long-standing event, so we have decided to change the name to reflect the true meaning of the game."
Ellis said the All-Star Bowl, scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 4 at Rabobank Arena, had not yet printed any merchandise or programs with the "Arena Bowl" name and that the only costs associated with the name change were changing the domain name of the event's website and having a new logo designed.
"It was only a little cost, under $1,000," said Ellis, who said that though the event donates much of its proceeds to charity and scholarships, it is not a non-profit organization. "We were literally having the tickets printed the day we got the call."
Blade Football Club
East alumnus Jim Scritchfield announced this week the formation of the Blade Football Club, an East football booster club.
Scritchfield, the orgnaization's president, said the non-profit club will encourage community involvement and help the program financially.
"To be a successful football program, it's not just putting a group of student-athletes on the field Friday night," Scritchfield said in an email.
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