Ratings give coaches a gauge, goals

By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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The league strength ratings for both boys’ and girls’ basketball were released by the Sac Joaquin Section on Monday.
This was the first of four announcements from the section that will keep coaches, administrators, and fans up-to-date on where their respective team stands in regards to the basketball playoffs.
In this first announcement, each league is awarded a number which, in theory, identifies how it compares to other leagues in the section. For our local schools, the Pioneer Valley League in boys’ basketball was awarded a 6.3 strength rating.
To place this in perspective, a rating of 6.3 ties the PVL as the eighth most difficult league in the section with the Mid-Empire League. The most difficult league, and it should come as no surprise to basketball fans, is the Delta River League with a rating of 8.2. Second to the DRL is the Sierra Foothill League with a power rating of 7.6.
These ratings are good news for our local teams. The higher the strength ratings, the better chance a school has of receiving a higher seeding for the basketball playoffs. While the strength ratings are only one factor in a complex formula to decide the final seeding, it does show that the section has a high regard for both the SFL and the PVL.
In a format far fairer to basketball coaches than the football seeding process, the section will announce next Monday its first power ratings. Programs will have a good idea as to where they could be seeded, should they make the playoffs next month.
There will be two more power ratings released on consecutive Mondays with the final one identifying the seeding for playoffs. This format allows schools to track who they might be playing once the playoffs begin.
One may recall last fall when the Placer football coaches and players were shocked to find out that they were seeded in the Division III playoffs instead of the Division IV playoffs, where they had reached the finals the previous two years.
For the girls, the SFL received league strength of 7.6, second only to the DRL with an 8.2. The PVL received a league strength rating of 6.7. Again, these numbers bode well for Del Oro of the SFL and Colfax, Placer and Bear River in the PVL.
Returning to the boys, Colfax will be battling for one of the coveted top four seeds. A top four seed guarantees two home games once playoff begins. Schools also competing for those four spots are Modesto Christian, Amador, Summerville, Delta Charter, and Riverbank, all currently rated higher than Colfax by Max Preps.
On the college recruiting trail… A foursome of Placer football players are setting their sights on the next level of football.
According to head coach Joey Montoya, Caleb Mitchell and Collin Burnett are being recruited by Division III power Linfield College in Oregon. Sierra College is showing interest in running back Josh Turney. Darren Centi will be taking a recruiting trip down to the University of Redlands next week. In addition, Pacific University, a small liberal arts college, in western Oregon is showing interest.
Dave Krizman’s column runs Wednesdays in the Journal.