Among all the gaudy numbers associated with Bob Ladouceur, the legendary De La Salle-Concord football coach who announced his retirement today, are his 236 consecutive wins against Northern California competition since 1991.
Rarely mentioned is this one: Clovis West 30, De La Salle 12 — at Concord, no less — on Sept. 11, 2004.
Clovis West, of course, is a member of the Central Section. And the Central Section, of course, is affiliated with “Southern California” in only one regard — state playoffs.
We all know Fresno, Clovis, the Central Valley — all are truly part of NorCal.
And, fact is, the Central Section belongs in NorCal, also. It isn’t in large part because NorCal high school administrators won’t vote it in, thereby conveniently avoiding Central Section competition and state playoff positions the existing NorCal schools would expect to lose.
But not to be forgotten — though it so often is — Clovis West 30, De La Salle 12 behind coach Jim Hartigan, quarterback J.J. Jelmini, a Golden Eagles defense that pilfered five turnovers and Ryan Oustad, who returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
De La Salle had defeated 149 straight California foes and won 86 consecutive home games entering that Saturday contest.
Ladouceur, the most successful prep football coach in U.S. history, steps down with a 34-year record of 399-25-3 — a national-best .938 winning percentage.