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PVL races will heat up after break

PVL Pipeline
By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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It’s spring break for the local high schools. Although our foothill weather may not suggest spring, spring sports are headed toward their conclusion within the next few weeks. While they may not receive the coverage other sports do, these outdoor sports draw huge numbers of participants. For example, the track teams at Placer and Del Oro draw well over a 100 athletes each. Following is a summary of the Pioneer Valley League standings for spring sports. Baseball: The Lincoln Fightin’ Zebras lead the league with an 8-1 record. Placer and Bear River follow with 5-3 records. Colfax comes in with a 4-4 record. Two of those wins were over Placer, and this season has seen the Falcons rebound from a disastrous 0-12 league record last year. Softball: Lincoln sports a 6-0 record. Colfax is 3-2 after a big win over rival Bear River while the Bruins are 4-2. Placer has a 2-3. Girls’ Soccer: The Falcons sport a glossy 5-0-2 record. The Bruins are the surprise of the PVL so far with a 5-1-1 mark. Placer trails with a 3-4 record. If there is one constant in the Pioneer Valley league, it is the dismal showing of the two newest schools, Center and Foothill, in league play. On the baseball diamond the two new schools are at the bottom of the league standings. The same holds true for girls’ softball. In girls’ soccer, Center and Foothill are fourth and sixth, respectively. With the exception of boys’ basketball, where Center won the league title and Foothill finished second, these two schools have been a non-factor in all league sports. Anyone who follows prep sports in the Sacramento area knew that the addition of these two new schools would not add much competition on the athletic field. The other disadvantage these two schools bring to the league is the financial hit at the gate. To attend a home football game for either Placer or Colfax where the opponent is Center or Foothill is to see the visitor’s stands essentially empty. The core of the Pioneer Valley league is rock-solid. Bear River, Colfax, Lincoln, and Placer are all one school-one community schools. Community support for these schools can be seen in the stands. On a consistent basis, these schools compete for league championships. The geographical location of these four schools in relationship to the rest of the Sac Joaquin Section is a major problem. Tucked in the northeast corner of the section, there are simply not enough schools of similar size. The population growth in the section has been the suburbs and the Elk Grove area. To the credit of the CIF section, they have tried to resolve the problem. New teams to the PVL come and go every three years. Six years ago, West Campus left the PVL. Quick… do you have any idea where West Campus is? West… of what? Oakmont came and went. Whitney went on steroids and grew too big. Mesa Verde could not compete. Even El Dorado in Placerville gave it a go for three years. Finally, after countless trips across the American River Canyon, El Dorado said, “Enough was enough.” The PVL is stuck with its two newest additions for the next two years. Dave Krizman’s column runs Wednesdays in the Journal. Comment online at AuburnJournal.com.