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CIF Releases First League Realignment Proposal

Football playoff propsal to be announced Friday
By: Mike Ray Gold Country News Services
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Rumblings circulating out of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section office the last few months promised that sweeping changes would be forthcoming to the section’s league realignment and football playoff system. Wednesday in Stockton at the Elkhorn Country Club, the CIF’s first unveiling of its realignment proposal indeed brought forth what would be the most major of shifts in leagues since the mid 1990s. And, with a new football playoff proposal to be put on display on Friday, there definitely are changes on the way for athletics in local schools. Wednesday’s first proposal was for a realignment cycle that would be implemented in the fall of 2010 and run through 2014. The proposal is now in the hands of the section realignment committee. It will meet four or five times over the next three months, finalizing the proposal using three criteria: competitive equity, scope of program and school enrollment. The realignment committee's final proposal will be voted on by the section board of managers in April, and if approved, will go into effect in 2010. Locally, if the first proposal holds up, the Pioneer Valley League, in which Colfax, Bear River and Placer are members, would take on a new look and move for sports except football from a Div. IV to a Div. III status. In the CIF’s new proposal, the PVL would be comprised of Colfax. Bear River, Placer and Lincoln, all current members, and joined by Center and Foothill to form a six-team league. Three current PVL schools would be displaced into new leagues under the proposal. Whitney would move to the new look Capital Athletic League that features Antelope, Cordova, El Camino and Rio Americano while El Dorado would leave for a newly revamped Sierra Valley Conference joined by the likes of Union Mine, River City, Galt and Vista del Lago. In addition, current PVL member Mesa Verde would be ticketed to a Golden Empire League make-up that would now include Capital Christian, Golden Sierra, Dixon, Lindhurst, Marysville and West Campus. “These early proposals are just that, proposals,” said Colfax football coach Tony Martello who attended Wednesday's meeting. “There will be some grumbling by some schools but I expect there will be more changes.” In its Div. III playoff format for sports such has baseball, soccer, golf, wrestling and track, the PVL would align with the Capital Athletic League, the Solano County Athletic League (i.e. Benicia, Bethel, Vallejo) and the Tri-County Conference (i.e. Inderkum, Woodland, Yuba City). It should be noted that the new football playoff proposal, which will be unveiled on Friday, is expected to use the currently proposed 10 leagues in Div. III, IV and V for playoff needs in Div. III and IV. It is also expected to expand each division from eight to 16 teams and be built more on an enrollment-based criteria. The Sierra Foothill League proposal also has a minor change, albeit, one that could carry a major impact. In the CIF proposal, Oakmont would leave the SFL and go to the Div. II Capital Valley Conference. The Vikings would then be replaced – in all sports – by Nevada Union. Currently, the Miners compete in the SFL in all sports except football. However, because of their enrollment, the Miners would most likely head to a Div. I level for playoffs in football. “This proposal looks like the SFL would be a pretty darn good football league,” said Del Oro football coach Casey Taylor. “Has far as playoffs go, it will be interesting to see how how they are going to determine who is Div. I and Div.II,” Taylor added. Here are the CIF proposals for local area league realignments: Pioneer Valley League – Colfax, Bear River, Placer, Lincoln, Center, Foothill. Sierra Foothill League – Del Oro, Granite Bay, Rocklin, Roseville, Woodcreek, Nevada Union. Golden Empire League – Capital Christian, Dixon, Golden Sierra, Lindhurst, Marysville, Mesa Verde, West Campus. CVCL – Buckingham Charter, Cristo Rey, Delta, Forest Lake Christian, Foresthill, Sacramento Waldorf, Victory Christian.