Sports

Shawn Jansen: Shakeup on Merced football coaching staff

Shawn Jansen

Some of the familiar faces that have been around Rob Scheidt the last couple years won't be there next season.

The Merced football coach has lost four of his assistants since Merced's season-ending loss to Stockton St. Mary's three weeks ago.

Defensive coordinator Jake Messina has stepped down so he can pursue head coaching opportunities.

Tom Scheidt and Bob Hobbs are retiring and Steve Hobbs wants to take a break from coaching.

Messina was a finalists for the Elk Grove job last spring.

"The reality of me coming back next year wasn't that good," Messina said. "I wanted to give Rob the opportunity to find someone on staff or bring someone else in."

Messina said he has received a phone call from Cordova and he's talked informally about a couple other positions.

"It's just one of those deals where I got a taste for it with the Elk Grove thing last year," Messina said.

"Mentally, I was ready to do it. When it didn't happen, my focus was right back here on what we are doing.

"Now that the season is over, that taste is back again."

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Messina may not have to look far for his next job.

That's because I don't imagine it will be too long before we hear the Rob Scheidt to Clovis rumors again.

This time, it's Clovis High looking for a coach.

Jerry Campbell resigned as Clovis' football coach on Tuesday.

Campbell, who also interviewed at Golden Valley when Dennis Stubbs left for Los Banos two years ago, led Clovis to dismal 2-19 record in his two years there.

Scheidt showed interest when he was approached by Clovis West last year.

The money might be tough to pass up this time around if Clovis shows interest.

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Merced had two players named to the Sacramento Chapter of the National Football Foundation All-Sac-Joaquin Section team.

Safety Bernard Bolden and defensive end Nathan Mayfield were selected to the team.

Merced running back Stephon Mathis and Hilmar linebacker Carl Jameson received honorable mentions.

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The addition of two state football bowl games this year was supposed to make more people happy.

Why not?

Four more teams are given the opportunity to play in a state championship game.

However, it appears just as many people are upset about the selection process.

The 10 section commissioners, who ultimately vote on the bowl participants, shocked many people when they picked Sacramento Grant over De La Salle for the Open Division bowl game.

So it'll be Grant playing Long Beach Poly in the feature game Saturday night.

De La Salle will play Centennial Corona tonight in the Division I bowl game.

"I didn't anticipate that at all," De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur told the Contra Costa Times.

"I kind of feel we're the best team from Northern California, and from what I've seen on film, Centennial is playing the best football in Southern California. In my mind, I'll consider this the championship game."

De La Salle's only loss came to nationally-ranked Don Bosco Prep-Ramsey from New Jersey.

Grant impressed the selection committee with two wins over state champions from Idaho and Utah.

Meanwhile, De La Salle wasn't the only team that felt snubbed.

San Jose Bellarmine Prep might be the best team in the Northern California and its season is over.

The system definitely needs tweaking.

I don't like the idea of the Open Division game. It takes away from the other games.

I'd also like to see the CIF commissioners add a Northern California and Southern California championship game.

Let the two tops teams from each division play their way into the state championship bowl games.

It's either that or bring on the BCS ranking system.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com.

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