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Seven Inland Empire High School Football Teams Playing for CIF Championships on Friday and Saturday

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Mario Palagi
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Arlington High School football players walking off the field after a play.

Several Inland Empire High School football teams will be hitting the gridiron this Friday to play in CIF Southern Section championship games.

Within the group of the seven local teams playing are several teams who’ve had quite a journey this season. Kevin Argumosa is the head football coach of Riverside’s Arlington High School.

This year was his first season with the Lions, who made it into the postseason after winning just two of their ten regular-season games. He spoke of the mindset he had with his players throughout the season.

“Day by day, winning the day, that was the goal, win each day, win the practice day, win your day on school with academics and be a better person every day every period because it’s going to carry over to the practice field, it’s going to carry on into our games,” said Argumosa.

The Lions had struggled during their previous three seasons, winning just 1 of their 25 games. Argumosa said he learned from his college coach that’s it’s essential to focus on the present and not the past. “It was about what are we going to change and what are we going to do to get better as a program.”

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List of all the CIF-SS Football Championship games being played by Inland Empire high school teams.

Ontario’s Colony High Schools football coach Brian Zavala has had a similar journey, with this being his second season as coach. He said his biggest mission has been to bring back tradition to the team, which won CIF championships in 2006, 07, and 14.

Zavala said, “That’s the hardest thing, I believe, is taking over a program where maybe they got beat up a little bit mentally and didn’t come off some good seasons prior to us taking over. And then just getting them to believe and now their believing, you know, and once you get kids to believe, now they think they have a shot.”

The Titans had a comeback story as well after starting their season 1-5 and being 6-1 in their last seven games. “We take it one week at a time, one day at a time, and also what we can do is control how we approach, now what they’re doing, but what we do,” added Zavala.

This Friday, five other local teams are playing championship games as well. Those will all be listed in the graphic above.

Corrected: November 28, 2021 at 10:17 PM PST
The start times for the games were listed incorrectly. Games took place on Friday and Saturday. Colony, Arlington, and Rialto played on Friday, Nov. 26. Temecula Valley, Aquinas, and California School for the Deaf, Riverside played on Saturday, Nov. 27.