Yes, Marin, there is a Santa Claus.
For the first time, two Marin high schools became state champions in varsity football in the same year.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the San Marin Mustangs of Novato defeated Independence of Bakersfield to capture the state 5-AA title. And, that same day in Kentfield, the Marin Catholic Wildcats downed Central Valley Christian to take the state 4-AA title.
It’s never happened before. And, of course, it wasn’t a gift from Santa. It was the product of years of work, sweat and tears for Marin football. And while Marin Catholic and San Marin rose to the top in 2021, the whole league saw improvement. Archie Williams, Tam and Redwood come immediately to mind and people who watch these things say it may signal a shift in prep football powerhouses from the East Bay and the Central Valley to Marin.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Saturday was a glorious day for Marin high school sports.
The day started at the Marin Catholic stadium in Kentfield where the Wildcat dominated Central Valley Christian 33-14. The field was packed and the people were not disappointed. It was vintage Marin Catholic, ruling the gridiron in every facet of the game.
Then later came San Marin’s opportunity to shine. This was more of a nailbiter, but the Mustangs prevailed 20-14 over Independence of Bakersfield.
The game was afoot until late in the the fourth quarter when San Marin put on a mighty defensive stop, halting Bakersfield’s late drive with minutes to play. The crowd was enormous. Half of Novato was on tiptoe to watch the game.