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Welch returns to Carson

Former Canyon head coach leads team to state’s small schools title game

Posted: December 15, 2008 10:08 p.m.
Updated: December 16, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 

Two years later, Harry Welch will be back in Carson.

The longtime Canyon High head football coach, who resigned after the 2006 state championship season, will be coaching St. Margaret's Episcopal School in the CIF Small Schools Division State Football Championship on Friday.

St. Margaret's of San Juan Capistrano represents Southern California against Northern California's Hamilton Union of Hamilton City in Friday's game at the Home Depot Center in Carson at 4:30 p.m.

In 2006, Welch coached Canyon to a 27-13 upset victory over Concord De La Salle at the Home Depot Center in the first-ever CIF State Championship Division I Championship.

The return to Carson isn't lost on Welch.

"I will be focused, but I still will have the flashbacks," he said. "I think of Santa Clarita every day. I haven't shut it out."

Ironically, De La Salle will play in the later game Friday night against Centennial of Corona.
Welch attended a meeting Monday at the Home Depot Center where he ran into three representatives from De La Salle.

"They told me how they still talk about the Canyon Cowboys in Concord, California," he said. "(They said) that game helped make them a better program. That maybe they needed a refocusing."

As for St. Margaret's opponent Friday, he said Hamilton Union is bigger and maybe even tougher.

Hamilton Union, the Braves, finished 10-2 this season and defeated Willows High 21-14 in the CIF-Northern Section Division III title game. Hamilton was 13-0 last season and its strength of schedule this year helped land the Braves in the first-ever small schools state football championship game.

St. Margaret's has won 42 straight games - an Orange County Record and the longest current streak in the state. Welch has been part of 28 of those wins, including two CIF division titles.

Welch won his eighth CIF title (six with Canyon including the state title and five division crowns) when the Tartans defeated Twenty-nine Palms 17-3 in the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division championship on Saturday.

The coach said he has no regrets about leaving Canyon. He said family took priority over staying in Santa Clarita.

As for other action in the state championships, on Saturday, Grant of Sacramento will face Long Beach Poly in the Open Division title game at 8 p.m.

That contest will be preceded by St. Mary's of Stockton versus Cathedral Catholic of San Diego in the Division II game at 4 p.m. and Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa against St. Bonaventure at 12 p.m. in the Division III game.

All games will be played at the Home Depot Center.

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