By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
CRESCENT CITY Sunday will be the moment of truth for the Del Norte High varsity football and volleyball teams.
Coming off successful regular seasons and Big 5 Conference Championships, both squads will find out who and where they will play in the North Coast Section Playoffs.
Football coach Lewis Nova, along with special teams coach Troy Duncan and head volleyball coach Meagan Curtis, will go down to the Bay Area to their respective selection committees to plead their cases.
The Del Norte High volleyball team went 20-8 overall in the regular season, and for the 19th straight year have won or co-shared the Big 5 title.
The Warrior football team went 9-0 in the regular season and won their third straight Big 5 Conference crown. The squad was dominating all year, finishing up the regular season with a 42-6 win against McKinleyille at home on Nov. 2.
Last year, as the No. 3 seed in the Division 2 Redwood Empire division, the Warriors won two home games, the most ever for a Del Norte team, before falling to Novato in the third round on the road.
This year, Novato is undefeated and is expected to be the No. 1 seed. Novato still had one more game, as did one-loss Healdsburg, the Warriors biggest competition for the No. 2 seed on Friday evening. The section playoffs will consist of eight teams.
Nova said he planned to scout the Healdsburg game and Duncan planned to go the Novato game. When he presents his team's case to the NCS committee, Nova said he will point to the blackboard with all the facts on the Warriors, lay out the team's accomplishments and record and hope the seeding will be fair.
He said he does not expect a seed lower than a No. 3, and believes the Warriors will play at home, hopefully this Friday, although it could happen on Saturday. Nova hopes for a Friday game since this is what his team and the fans have been used to all year.
But, Nova said, anything can happen. He recalled one year when a team that went 5-5 received a higher seed than a squad with a 7-2 mark.
"I feel that our team has done very well this year," Nova said. "I think it's going to be between us and Healdsburg for No. 2, but it's all up in the air down there."
"It's always hard to predict," Curtis said about how the selection committee will select. "It's hard to tell."
She added being way up in Del Norte County and not playing in the Bay Area does hurt what the committee thinks of Del Norte. She said all she can do is present her case and the team's accomplishments and let the rest take care of itself.
The committee can pick up to 12 teams, but Curtis said, it varies each year. She said the game will take place on Tuesday, hopefully at home.
"We would love to have a game up here," Curtis said. "It's very hard to beat us in our gym. We've got great fans, but it's always hard to tell what will happen with the selections."
Last year, Del Norte received the No . 9 seed and won its first game at home against Acalanes High in five games. The next night, they lost on the road to eventual champion Campolindo. Regardless of where they wind up, Curtis said her team will be prepared
"We're ready to play no matter where and whoever it is," she said.
The NCS selections for both squads are expected to be determined by early Sunday afternoon. For more information, check out the North Coast Section Webpage at www.cifncs.org.