Sunny Hills’ Nov. 30 CIF Southern Section Division 8 championship game against Santa Barbara to be held at San Marcos High School
The Sunny Hills football Lancers will introduce themselves for one last time for the 2019-2020 season during their CIF Southern Section Division 8 away championship game Nov. 30 against Santa Barbara High School. But because Santa Barbara's home stadium remains closed for modernization, the game has been moved to San Marcos High School in the Santa Barbara school district. Photo taken by Paul Yasutake

This story was updated on Nov. 26 to include more information about the rooter bus.

Because Santa Barbara’s football stadium is undergoing modernization, the CIF Southern Section Division 8 championship matchup between Sunny Hills and Santa Barbara High School will be played Nov. 30 at nearby San Marcos High School instead, according to online Santa Barbara sports news services and the Orange County Register.

Though Sunny Hills students will still be on Thanksgiving break that Saturday, assistant principal Hilda Arredondo sent a Nov. 23 mass email to them notifying them about the availability of riding on a rooter bus to get to the title game — the last of the 2019-2020 football season. (As of Monday afternoon, Arredondo said more than 100 students have expressed interest in going on the bus, but to get two busses, students will need to turn in their parent permission forms by Wednesday, Nov. 27.)

“Be a part of SHHS Football history!” according to Arredondo’s email. “Join us next Saturday, November 30th, as Sunny Hills HS takes on Santa Barbara HS in the CIF championship game at 7 p.m. The first 75 students to sign up and return their permission slips will get to ride our Lancer Student Rooter Bus for $10 (game ticket included). Go to our school website for more information.”

Students like junior Holy Cho who rode on the rooter bus to the Lancers’ semifinal matchup at Trabuco Hills High School are already planning on taking the rooter bus to San Marcos High School.

“Because the school is providing a bus, I won’t need a personal driver that can take me to the game,” Cho said. “On top of that, I think all being on the same bus gets us hyped for the game.”

Others worry that the long drive to Santa Barbara and back will interfere with pre-existing plans.

“I have a wrestling tournament the same day so I don’t think I’ll be able to go,” senior Alex Alonzo said. “Santa Barbara is just too far away to fit my schedule.”

To add to the students that the Sunny Hills administration hopes to bring to the game, the Sunny Hills cheer squad and Lancer Regiment band will also be on hand to support the football team.

Sunny Hills and Santa Barbara will have history to make during the title game. If the former wins, it will end a 27-year CIF championship drought; if the latter team wins, it will end a 30-year CIF title drought.

It’ll also be a matchup of the top two teams in the Division 8 playoff bracket. Sunny Hills (11-2, 4-1 Freeway League) is ranked No. 1, while Santa Barbara (11-2, 5-0 Channel League) is ranked No. 2.

In addition, the Lancer Nation student section earned its second nomination for SoCal Student Section of the Week in as many weeks after being named the Orange County Student Section of the Week by the Orange County Register last week.

“We appreciate Lancer Nation and everyone that came out,” Lancers quarterback senior Luke Duxbury said. “They might not think being loud makes a big difference but having people on our side helps.”

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