All six Central Section division champions in football next season will qualify for state regional or championship bowls after the California Interscholastic Federation, in a narrow vote, approved maximum bowl expansion.
The Federated Council of the statewide high school sports governing body voted 71-64 this week to give all of California’s 51 section champions the chance to play in a regional — Northern or Southern — or advance directly to a state championship.
There will be 13 divisions — from Open to 6AA — in a combination of seeding and slotting by section commissioners and a state selection committee.
Thirteen state champions will be crowned, an increase of eight in a bowl concept launched in 2006.
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It wasn’t until 2011, when Washington won the state D-III title, that the Central Section was represented in what has been an invitation format. Since, Edison, Clovis North, Bakersfield and Bakersfield Christian also have participated.