The Popcorn Stand: Strathmore USA, the true Orange County

An update on “Strathmore USA,” my alma mater, Strathmore High, who keeps making history. Strathmore, a small community in Central California (think the fictional Hickory in “Hoosiers”) can now boast its high school football team is the only one in California history to win a Northern California and Southern California Regional title.

On Friday I witnessed SHS defeat St. Patrict-St. Vincent 49-35 at Spartan Stadium in Strathmore in the NorCal 6AA Regional Bowl Championship. Strathmore gained revenge for last year’s 29-28 loss to the Bruins in the state title game, so not even two Saints could beat us this year.

So after Strathmore won the Southern California Regional title last year, it won the Northern California crown this season. And Strathmore also became the first team in Central Section history to go 15-0.

Now it’s onto the state title game in which Strathmore will travel to Orange, Calif., to play Orange High School at El Modena High School, which is in the eastern portion of Orange. The irony here is I doubt there will be an orange grove in sight when the Spartans play Orange for the state title while adjacent to the west side of Spartan Stadium you can see an orange grove behind the scoreboard.

Last week I wrote about how the state playoffs were set up made no sense and while Strathmore was hosting St. Patrict-St. Vincent in the NorCal Regional 6AA bowl, Caruthers, located in Fresno County, was hosting Orange in the Southern California Regional 6AA Bowl — to the north of Strathmore.

It was already determined the SoCal champion would host the NorCal champion for the state title, so nothing against Orange, but we were rooting for Caruthers to beat Orange since Caruthers is about an hour or so away from Strathmore if that. I mean Disneyland is nice, but you can’t blame us for not wanting to make a 3-hour or so trip to Orange.

Alas, Orange beat Caruthers 46-43. No matter, the trip “Strathmore USA” is on has been a memorable one no matter where it takes us.

It’s going to be a long trip, but I’m looking forward to one more journey to witness “Strathmore USA.”

— Charles Whisnand


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