The football series between Santa Monica High and St. Monica has ended after four meetings.
The schools hadn’t played for 60 years before head coaches Mike Burnett of Samohi and Jason Strouse of St. Monica arranged a game in 2003 that St. Monica won.
Santa Monica won the second meeting, but in the last two years the Vikings’ victories have been so one-sided that running time was used in the second half, an admission by the trailing team that it has no chance to catch up.
Now, with new coaches at both schools – Zach Cuda at Samohi and Chris Caminiti at St. Monica – the conclusion is that both schools should pursue other opponents for a non-league game in the fourth week of the 2007 season and beyond.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Caminiti. “It doesn’t help either of us – Samo having such a one-sided game and us going against such a large school.
“We’re going to look for opponents with an enrollment of no more than 500 for non-league games. Our league is more in line, with schools closer to our size.”
Strouse envisioned the game becoming a Santa Monica tradition. He wanted to advertise it throughout the city and invite city councilmembers to attend. But an injury wave wiped out St. Monica’s chances last season, and a school with less than 500 students was unable to be competitive against an opponent able to find players from a student body of 3,500.
Santa Monica defeated St. Monica, 52-0, on September 29. The Vikings led at halftime 42-0, and with the clock running without interruption throughout the second half the Corsair Field crowd exited before 9 p.m.
Santa Monica has split its four other games – losing to Venice and Los Alamitos. St. Monica has an 0-5 record and is 1-14 over the last two seasons.
“I agree the series doesn’t make sense,” said Cuda. “Everyone likes the idea of Santa Monica playing St. Monica, but I think both schools will be better served by playing schools their own size.”
Next season Santa Monica will again play Venice in the third week and Los Alamitos in the fifth. The Vikings will decide what type of opponent they seek for the fourth week, but there’s also the possibility of opening a week earlier than usual and taking a bye in the fourth week.
This season two Westside schools – Malibu and Brentwood – opened a week earlier than any of the other local schools. The CIF refers to that as a game on Zero Week.