By Mitch Stephens
Sac-Joaquin Section Assistant Commissioner John Williams is a former writer and journalist.
For parts of four decades, Williams wrote for Herburger Publications, including the EG Citizen and Galt Herald.
In 2001, SJS Commissioner Pete Saco hired him as second in command.
"Good things happen to those who wait," Williams said.
We were tipped to Williams' journalistic background on Sunday, when he didn't wait long at all to send out a boat load of fun and informative SJS football playoff notes to the media.
We considered just picking out a few of these morsels for a story, but decided they were too good to cut.
So heading into Friday's first-round football games, here's everything and anything you want to know about the playoffs, supplied by Williams. Click here to find the pairings.
* This year marks the 36th year of Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs.
* 123 championships have been won since the playoffs began in 1971.
* Until 1984, playoffs were designated as Class A (small schools), Class AA (medium schools) and Class AAA (large schools). Those designations changed to Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.) in 1985. A fifth division was added in 2002. Divisions VI and VII were added in 2006.
* In Year One (1971), the only championship offered was Class A with four teams, three games, one championship and no neutral sites. This year, the Section will offer seven championship divisions with 58 teams, 51 games and five neutral site contests.
* Official name for this year's playoffs is: CIF Sac-Joaquin Section/Les Schwab Tires Football Championships Presented by Farmers Insurance.
* All seven eventual Section champions become eligible for participation in the CIF State Football Bowl Game Championships to be played on December 15 at Home Depot Center in Carson. Section Commissioners will select three north and three south teams to compete in three divisional championship games based on enrollment.
* Four teams (Merced, Turlock Christian, Casa Roble and Elk Grove) enter the playoffs with perfect records. If history tells us anything, at least one of these four will win a championship, as there has been at least one unbeaten team in the Section for 13 of the past 14 years. However, there cannot be more than three perfect teams at the end because Merced and Elk Grove are in the same division.
* Only one team enters the playoffs with a sub. 500 record - Vanden (4-6). Six others finished at 5-5. They are Beyer, Christian Brothers, Yuba City, Bret Harte, Argonaut and Le Grand.
* Ten of the 58 teams in the playoffs have never won a playoff game, and five of those 10 - Pleasant Grove, Whitney, Capital Christian, ROP/Sierra Ridge and Bradshaw Christian - are in the playoffs for the first time. The other five non-winners include Beyer, Franklin-EG, Sacramento, Rodriguez and Turlock Christian.
* 38 of the 58 teams in this year's playoffs qualified for the playoffs last year. Twelve of the 14 finalists return as well as all seven Section champions - Vacaville, Grant, Del Campo, Manteca, Central Catholic, Lindhurst and Calvary Temple.
* Four leagues used the 13-point system to separate three-way ties - SL, GEL, MLL and SCAC.
* Central Catholic has won 24 straight playoff games, a Section record. Manteca has won six straight.
* Central Catholic aims for a seventh straight championship this year, and hopes to win for the 10th straight time they have qualified for the playoffs. The Raiders were D4 champions in 1997-99, missed the playoffs in 2000, won a D3 title in 2001 and D5 championships in 2002-06.
* Eight of the top 10 winningest playoff teams -- Central Catholic (37), Grant (36), Escalon (31), Elk Grove (29), Del Oro (27), Merced (23), Lincoln-S (22) and Tracy (21) - qualified for this year's playoffs and will jockey for all-time victory supremacy.
* Extending consecutive playoff appearances are Grant (17), Calaveras and Colfax (11), Escalon (10) and Granite Bay (9).
FIRST ROUND PAIRINGS
* Opponents with the most combined playoff experience - Oak Ridge (34) at Del Oro (39) have combined for a whopping 73 playoff games. The two have met three times in the playoffs, with Oak Ridge holding a 2-1 edge. However, Del Oro beat Oak Ridge 14-0 in last year's playoffs.
* Others with vast experience: 72 games, Vintage (25) and Elk Grove (47); 71 games - Hughson (25) at Central Catholic (46)
* Opponents with the least combined playoff experience - Pitman (3) at Beyer (1) and ROP/Sierra Ridge (0) at Vacaville Christian (4).
* Rematches from 2006 - Woodland-Del Campo, Manteca-Foothill and Oak Ridge-Del Oro. For Manteca-Foothill, this is the third year in a row (and fifth time in the past seven years) the two have met in the playoffs, with Manteca winning all four times.
* Best Combined Regular Season Record: 18-2, Rodriguez (8-2) at Casa Roble (10-0).
* Worst Combined Regular Season Record: 11-9, Le Grand (5-5) at Lindhurst (6-4).
* Division VII final will be played at a hosted site on Friday, November 23.
* Division VI final will be played at a hosted site on Friday, November 30.
* A Division IV-V doubleheader final will take place on Saturday, December 1 at UOP. D5 at 1 p.m.; D4 at 7:30 p.m.
* Division III final will be played at Oakmont High School on Saturday, December 1 at 1:00 p.m.
* Division II final will be played at Folsom High School on Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m.
* Division I final will be played at UOP on Saturday, December 8 at 1:00 p.m.
DIVISION I FACTS
* Welcome: Pleasant Grove makes its playoff debut after winning the Delta River League in its second varsity season.
* Welcome back: Davis Sr. and Tracy. Tracy, one of the 10 winningest programs in Section history, is making its first appearance since 1996. The Bulldogs are exactly 20 years removed from their last Section title. Davis Sr. is back for the first time since 1995.
* Elk Grove won three championships from 1997 to 2001 and compiled a whopping 15-2 playoff record. Since then, however, the Thundering Herd is just 3-4. The Herd has a perfect 10-0 record, in part because of a forfeit win over Franklin-S.
* Jesuit won its second title in 2002, but since then has appeared in just four playoff games, losing three of them.
* Vacaville entered last year's playoffs with nine straight playoff losses dating back to 1990. Now, the Bulldogs have won four straight after winning its first-ever Section title.
* Napa qualified for the playoffs for the sixth straight year and is still seeking its first Section title.
* Franklin-EG made its first playoff appearance last year but was one and out. They are in tough against a very good Napa team.
* Pleasant Grove is playing in and hosting its first playoff game. Meanwhile, Davis Sr. is returning to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
* Merced, back-to-back Division I champions in 1989 and '90, is making its fifth appearance in the past nine years. The Bears are undefeated and hoping to avenge a championship game loss from last year. The Bears have been Section runners-up five times.
* Grace Davis has lost its last four playoff games dating back to 2000.
* St. Mary's is in the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
* Tracy is back in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
* Beyer had so much fun in its first-ever appearance in the playoffs last year, they are back for a second straight year.
* Pitman is making its third appearance in the past four years, but, along with Beyer's one game, the pair have combined for only four total playoff games between them.
* Lincoln-S is making its eighth straight postseason showing. Since 2000, the Trojans have been to the Section finals twice with one championship. They have also posted a 12-6 record in that time frame.
* West is 5-2 in the past two playoff seasons.
DIVISION II FACTS
* Granite Bay has been to the playoffs for nine straight years now and has never lost in the first round. However, after championships in 1999 and 2000 and a finals loss in 2002, the Grizzlies have not been back to the finals.
* Sacramento amazingly has been to the playoffs exactly once in its long history, a 1992 loss to Nevada Union.
* Ponderosa compiled a 7-3 record in the playoffs with two championships from 1977 to 1981, but the Bruins enter the playoffs this year for only the fourth time in the past 26 years with no victories since a 20-14 win over Manteca in the '81 playoffs.
* It only seems that Grant is in the playoffs every year. The Pacers will improve their record for consecutive playoff appearances to 17 when it plays at Ponderosa in a Division II opener. Grant, second all-time in victories (36) and first in games played (54), is making its 25th appearance in the playoffs in the past 28 years. In the last 16 years, the Pacers have compiled a 28-11 record with five Section titles.
* Burbank is back in the playoffs for the third straight year.
* Christian Brothers won 10 of its first 11 playoffs games with two titles from 1981 to 1986. Since then, the Falcons have no titles and seven straight playoff losses.
* Del Oro returns to the playoffs for the seventh straight year, which includes a title in 2005 and finals appearances in both 2001 and 2004.
* Oak Ridge won nine straight games in winning titles from 2002 through '04. But, the Trojans missed the playoffs in 2005 and lost in the 2006 opener. Now, they face off with the team that had been No. 1 in the D2 North state rankings for most of the year.
DIVISION III FACTS
* Only Del Campo (2006) and Vanden (1975, '84 and '95) have won titles among the eight competitors.
* Bethel is making its seventh straight playoff appearance.
* Welcome back: Yuba City. Yuba City is making its first postseason appearance since 1998. The other seven teams in this division have been to the playoffs within the past two years.
* Del Campo avenged its seven-game playoff losing streak with a run of three straight wins and a first-ever Section title last year.
* Woodland is back for a second straight year and sixth in the past seven years. However, Woodland is 2-5 in that stretch. Del Campo and Woodland square off for the second straight year in the first round.
* Inderkum made its playoff debut last year and returns for a second time.
* Vanden is 1-8 in its last nine playoff games.
* Casa Roble broke its winless streak of five games with a first-round win last year over Bethel. The undefeated Rams hope to go further this year.
* Rodriguez made the playoffs last year for the first time and were beaten in the first round.
DIVISION IV FACTS
* Six of the eight entrants from 2006 return including both finalists, Colfax and Manteca. Each first-round game pits a 9-1 team vs. a 6-4 team.
* Oakdale has compiled an 11-7 playoff record in the past 11 years including its only championship 11 years ago.
* Welcome back: River City. River City is making its first postseason appearance since 1992. The Raiders have not won a playoff game since 1987.
* Colfax is in the playoffs for the 11th straight year and looking to avenge its finals loss against Manteca in 2006. The Falcons have compiled a 17-7 record since 1997, including titles in 2001, `02 and `03. Since 2000, Colfax has been to Section finals five times.
* Rio Linda is in the playoffs for the sixth straight year, which includes a Section title in 2004.
* Foothill has gone 2-12 in its last 14 playoff games.
* Manteca is the two-time D3 defending champion. The Buffaloes have been to the finals four of the past six years, compiling a 15-4 mark since 1990. Manteca is playing Foothill for the third straight year.
* Welcome: Whitney, a new school in Rocklin, went 9-1 in its second varsity season and qualified for the playoffs for the first time.
* Sonora is in the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
* Central Catholic has been the dominant football program in the Sac-Joaquin Section over the past decade, winning nine Section titles and holding a 24-game playoff winning streak.
* Hughson has won four Section titles but is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
* Calaveras is a regular in the playoffs with 23 appearances (11 straight) and a 14-23 record. They have yet to win a championship, despite seven trips to the finals.
* Modesto Christian has never won a Section football title despite reaching the finals four times including three of the past four years.
* Escalon has compiled a 27-5 playoff record dating back to 1993. The Cougars have played in 10 Section title games, winning six, since 1993. However, for the Cougars to reach another Section final, they will probably have to get by Patterson, a team that beat the Cougars earlier this year, in the semifinals.
* Bret Harte returns to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
* Patterson is in the playoffs for the third straight year and hopes to reach the finals after losing in the semifinals the past two seasons.
* Argonaut is making its fifth straight playoff appearance.
* Turlock Christian and Capital Christian draw first round byes. Turlock Christian is undefeated (10-0) on the season, but the Eagles have yet to win a playoff game in three tries. Capital Christian is making its first playoff appearance ever in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
* Lindhurst hopes to repeat as Section champions. The Blazers are in the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
* Le Grand is just 3-9 lifetime in the playoffs, which includes a Section final loss in its last appearance, 2004.
* Denair is also 3-9 lifetime in the playoffs, which includes a Section final loss in its last appearance, 2006.
* Golden Sierra is 2-6 in its last eight playoff games.
* Vacaville Christian and Calvary Temple appear headed to a second straight finals showdown. Both are champions of their respective leagues. Their first-round opponents (see below) have never been to the playoffs before.
* First timers: Bradshaw Christian and ROP/Sierra Ridge.