Who wants to argue?
If you want to start an argument, three sure topics to do it are politics, religion and high school athletic realignment.
Last week, the first storm of – “What?” – could be heard from across the vast 181-school CIF Sac-Joaquin Section as the CIF unveiled its first proposal of its planned athletic leagues for the school years 2014-2018.
Actually, before protesters head south and start to picket the CIF offices in Lodi, let’s be realistic. First proposals are just that – first proposals.
The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section made it very clear that coming into this realignment, the lynch-pins of the whole realignment running smoothly probably rested with where Colfax, Placer and Sonora ended up being placed.
In the Pioneer Valley League, there are some schools that would just as soon see the Hillmen ride off into the sunset. Although there has been more than one PVL school that has voiced its concerns with Placer in the PVL, only Colfax had the gall to stand up at last week’s first realignment meeting and say the Hillmen belong somewhere else.
By the numbers, Placer has won 18 PVL championships over the last two years or more than twice of the next two league schools combined. Placer Athletic Director Mark Lee noted that many of the Hillmen championships came in sports such as cross country, tennis, golf and track but the last time I looked, the Hillmen were still putting up those banners on the walls of the Earl Crabbe Gym.
While hot on being asked to depart the PVL, Placer followers seem to have short memories. The reason the Hillmen were let into the PVL in 2006 came after years of struggling to compete in the SFL. Not having success against “neighborhood schools” such as Roseville, Del Oro and Rocklin, sent the Hillmen looking for greener pastures.
Currently Placer has around 1,400 students – 600 more than “neighborhood rival” Bear River and in two years 800 more than Colfax. Sure they want to stay in the PVL; the Hillmen are winning and would continue to do so.’
For years – 1978 to 2004 – Colfax, was the smallest school, before the arrival of Golden Sierra, in the Golden Empire League playing the likes of Folsom, Oak Ridge, Ponderosa, Galt, River City, South Tahoe, Lincoln and in latter years Bear River, which is 1997 was asked to leave because of athletic dominance – and moved to the SFL for four years.
Is this the first time Placer has been asked to leave a league? The answer is no.
In 1984, after dominating the SFL on the football field for nearly a decade, the SFL quietly ushered both Placer and Nevada Union down the hill to the CAL, which then was then comprised of Bella Vista, Del Campo, Grant, San Juan, Casa Roble and the now-closed La Sierra. People that don’t think football success is a big part of the realignment process might want to take another look. Now some 30 years later, the CIF has a proposal to do that again.
What would I do if I was the CIF? Thought you would never ask. First, I would disband the PVL completely. Take Colfax and Bear River and move both to the Golden Empire League. Also, bring back Golden Sierra to the GEL.
Next, I’d create a new league that we’ll call the “Little SFL.” It would consist of Placer (1,400), Roseville (1,875), Lincoln (1,600), Nevada Union (1,800), Oakmont (1,610) and Whitney (1,777). No travel, good competition.
See, I told you I could start an argument.