Wednesday Jan 23 2013
Another view: Proposed 8-team Sierra Foothill League not likely a goBy: Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
There’s a long way to go in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s current realignment meetings.
Those meetings will put the pieces in place for how high school athletic leagues will shape up for competition that runs from the fall of September 2014 through May of 2018.
The recent opening salvo from the CIF’s realignment committee raised quite a few eyebrows around the section, especially the first proposal of an eight-team Sierra Foothill League that would add newcomers Folsom and Oak Ridge to the current six-team SFL model.
While the first proposal compared it football-wise to the Southeastern Conference – i.e. Alabama, LSU, Florida – the reality of it ever coming into focus is probably far-fetched.
As swiftly as the CIF wants to add Folsom and Oak Ridge to the SFL, some of the status quo in the SFL spoke up that they might want to test waters in new leagues.
Roseville was one of the first to acknowledge that the Capital Valley Conference (Rio Linda, Del Campo, Antelope, Whitney) might be a better fit. The Tigers were listed this past year in football enrollments with 1,996 students, but projections show that the school’s population will drop slightly over the next few years.
Nevada Union is the other school from the SFL that also might be looking at where it belongs. The school has 2,255 students, but NU officials have made note to the CIF that in two years, the school’s enrollment will be shrinking into the 1,800 range.
While NU officials at last week’s first realignment meeting said a move to the Div. II Capital Valley Conference may be a better fit, the one drawback about moving the Miners into the league may be the travel to and from Grass Valley.
In the mid 1980s, after years of dominating the SFL, the CIF shifted both Nevada Union and Placer into the Capital Athletic League, which at the time included Bella Vista, Casa Roble, San Juan, Del Campo, Grant and the now-closed La Sierra.
Del Oro has been in the SFL since 1974. Before that the Golden Eagles competed in the North Section. In its final two years in that section, the Golden Eagles were members of the Westside League. If you want to talk about travel, Del Oro was joined in that Westside circuit by Wheatland, Corning, Willows, Gridley and Paradise. One-way travel from Loomis to Corning is 134 miles.
It’s probably more realistic that the SFL – with Folsom and Oak Ridge – will remain either a six-team league or seven-team league, with Roseville most likely moving on.
It may cause SFL football coaches to rethink how they schedule in the preseason when total wins become involved. Playing games in Southern California against state powers Westlake and Oaks Christian may become a thing of the past.
There are three more CIF realignment meetings set – Jan. 29, Feb. 19, March 12 – with a fifth listed for April 9, to be used if necessary. It’s my bet that the April 9 meeting will be needed.