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Righetti’s Cooper Bagby gets tackled by Pioneer Valley’s Richard Robles after catching a pass at Warrior Stadium last week.

The league season is heating up as the regular season is winding down.

The Mountain League is still up for grabs, though Paso Robles is the unbeaten leader.

The Ocean League is all but wrapped up for Mission Prep while the Channel and Pacific View leagues are wide open.

But does it all matter? To some, yes. But the real topic of discussion is playoff groupings.

Which teams will wind up in which divisions? 

Let's take a look at Righetti.

No. 6 Arroyo Grande (4-3) at No. 10 Righetti (1-5)

If the playoffs started now, the Warriors would be the No. 2 seed in Division 5. That's a great place for the Warriors to be.

If they win against Arroyo Grande Friday night, they may get bumped up to Division 4, where they'd be a very low seed. 

Will that affect how Righetti prepares for this game? Probably not. But it is something to think about, something area coaches brought up before the season.

Would some coaches opt to lose a late-season game to be in a better division? I don't see that happening, but if it results in a CIF championship it would be hard to argue against it. 

Now looking at this matchup, Arroyo Grande should be a pretty solid favorite. The Eagles just didn't have it against St. Joseph last week, but they're a good team. 

I think Righetti should've beaten Pioneer Valley by more than 20-6 last week. Righetti can keep it close for a while, but I don't see them winning this game, which, again, could end up being a good thing once the playoffs start.

The Pick: Arroyo Grande 34, Righetti 20.

No. 5 Paso Robles (4-2) vs. Pioneer Valley (0-6)

Pioneer Valley's defense has done everything it can to win some game this year, it just hasn't happened.

Things don't get easier this week with the matchup against Leo Kemp and the Bearcats. Kemp is a rugged runner who aims for contact and is able to plow through multiple defenders. 

That's just fine with Pioneer Valley's physical defense, but expect the Bearcats to wear them down in the second half.

The Pick: Paso Robles 29, Pioneer Valley 6

Atascadero (1-6) at Santa Maria (2-5)

Santa Maria's offense has also not been very great this year. 

The Saints are probably a small underdog at home against Atascadero, but I think they can win this game. I will predict they will win this game.

The Pick: Santa Maria 16, Atascadero 12.

No. 8: Santa Ynez (5-2) vs. Ventura (4-2)

I thought the Pacific View League was a bit soft, but it has some really tough teams as Santa Ynez saw last week against Buena. 

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The Pirates have another tough one Friday night against the Cougars. 

Santa Ynez is at home, coming off a tough loss. Some of their team has been affected by the Alisal Fire. 

I think Santa Ynez scores an emotional win.

The Pick: Santa Ynez 24, Ventura 18.

No. 9: Lompoc (3-4) at Pacifica (3-4)

Obviously everyone was expecting more out of these Braves after they went unbeaten in the spring and started 3-0 this season.

But I'm not panicking. The Braves have lost these four games by just 15 points, the offense has played solid against some really tough teams. Everyone who beat Lompoc has been pretty good, the list includes Arroyo Grande, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara and Oxnard Rio Mesa. Four winning teams. 

Lompoc has been competitive with everyone and I think they'll hang with these Tritons. But the losing will likely continue.

The Pick: Pacifica 39, Lompoc 30.

No. 2 Mission Prep (6-0) vs. Morro Bay (4-4)

Morro Bay has improved this year but Mission Prep is just too steady for any Ocean teams to keep up.

The Pick: Mission Prep 29, Morro Bay 6.

No. 1 Bishop Diego (5-1) vs. Newbury Park (2-4)

The Cardinals should win the Camino League title pretty easily and Newbury Park shouldn't make any trouble for them this weekend.

The Pick: Bishop Diego 50, Newbury Park 9.

No. 3 Santa Barbara (5-2) vs. Oxnard (3-4)

The Dons should bounce back after falling to Pacifica 24-21 last week, ending their five-game win streak. The Channel League may be the toughest in the region.

The Pick: Santa Barbara 27, Oxnard 20.

San Luis Obispo (4-2) at Templeton (4-3)

The Pick: San Luis Obispo 19, Templeton 12.

Channel Islands (1-6) at Cabrillo (0-7)

The Pick: Channel Islands 19, Cabrillo 8.

Record last week: 9-3.

Season record: 64-25.


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