Prep football notes: Granite Bay coach enjoying big weekend

Published: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 - 7:39 pm

CARSON – Mike Lynch is in the midst of a charmed weekend.

The offensive-line coach for Granite Bay High School reveled in his program's first CIF State Bowl experience against Long Beach Poly, and that's just the opening course for a fun-filled football weekend.

He and his wife of 42 years, Judy, will fly to Chicago today, then attend the Bears-Packers rivalry game Sunday at Soldier Field.

Yes, they have packed their long johns and hand warmers. The Lynches will meet son Mike, an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois, and his wife, Emily – then hold their 1-month-old granddaughter, Madison, for the first time.

"It's the trifecta of a perfect weekend with the perfect ending," Lynch said.

Lynch grew up as a Packers fan while playing on the offensive line for a 9-1 Marysville High team in 1966 – the height of the Green Bay dynasty. His Granite Bay program adopted the block "G" helmet emblem that the Packers made famous.

Lynch knows two Packers assistant coaches in former Merced High star running back John Rushing and former Ponderosa lineman great James Campen, Brett Favre's first center in Green Bay.

Granite Bay's first playoff win came in 1999 over Campen-coached Ponderosa to cap a 13-0 season.

Finale for De La Salle coach?

De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur has hinted that this could be his final season. Regardless, he said his time is near, telling The Bee recently, "It's been a good run."

With a 398-25-2 career record at De La Salle since 1979, Ladouceur, 58, heads what Centennial of Corona coach Matt Logan deems the "the pinnacle of football."

Logan, whose team faces De La Salle tonight in the Open showcase, added, "That's the best program in the history of high school football."

De La Salle (15-0) is aiming for its 16th state No. 1 final finish by Cal-Hi Sports since 1990. It has won a record 21 consecutive North Coast Section titles and 28 overall under Ladouceur.

The Spartans once went 12 seasons without a defeat with a record 151-game winning streak, ending in 2004 for perhaps the most remarkable achievement in national prep sports history.

The Spartans are unbeaten against Northern California teams in their last 238 games since 1991, with Folsom the latest victim in the NorCal Open last week.

De La Salle has a 52-game winning steak against California teams dating to 2008, including winning the last three Open games. It last lost to Centennial in the 2008 Open, 21-16.

Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper first met Ladouceur in the spring of 1987 and still marvels at the man.

"I got my first head-coaching job at Harbor High (in Santa Cruz), and I called him, asked if I could drive there, spend an hour or so with him, learn some things," Cooper recalled. "I told him, 'I've got to figure out how to do a better job with our program.' We talked about blocking, how they always get on the sled. Very gracious coach.

"You learn that when you want to do something at a high level, find someone who is at a high level and milk them. What they've done at De La Salle … they're at a totally different level than the rest of us."

– Joe Davidson

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