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Some Del Oro teams will play Division I in playoffs this year

By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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The news last May that CIF Sac-Joaquin Section would be elevating schools from the Sierra Foothill League to Division I status for postseason competition took many prep followers by surprise. 

And, it also left many fans of the formerly longtime Div. II SFL somewhat confused – and rightfully so. 

First, it is true that the CIF approved the move of the SFL to play at the Div. I level for postseason competition. But in Del Oro’s case, the Golden Eagles will not be Div. I in post season play in all sports. 

Starting with the current school year, some of Del Oro’s athletic teams will play at the Div. I level. They include by season: 

Fall: Boys Water Polo, Girls Water Polo, Girls Golf, Girls Tennis. 

Winter: Wrestling. 

Spring: Baseball, Boys Golf, Softball, Boys Tennis , Boys Volleyball, Track.

“We were prepared for it,” said Del Oro Athletic Director Justin Cutts when the vote for the SFL to move came about last spring. “When the CIF started adding up all the criteria, the SFL was definitely going to move up.” 

In 2010-11, the SFL won 14 of 22 CIF postseason competitions at the Div. II level. Del Oro only contributed three section title teams – football, girls cross country and boys track. Del Oro’s Masters winning golf team in 2011 didn’t win the sub-section Div. II crown. 

With 1,696 students, Del Oro is the smallest school in the SFL. So far this year, the Golden Eagles have won another Div. III football title and the Div. II girls water polo and wrestling titles. 

Fellow SFL member, Granite Bay captured five Div. II section titles a year ago along with winning the Div. I boys swimming championship. Rocklin, another SFL member, added three section crowns, while Roseville and Woodcreek contributed one each. 

Football at Del Oro will be affected for post season play, but not in a major way. The Golden Eagles have won the last two Div. III section grid titles. Now, in the enrollment-based football playoffs, Del Oro’s football teams may land enrollment-wise in the Div. III range, but because the SFL is designated as Div. I now, the Golden Eagles will most likely land in the Div. II playoffs. That’s because Div. I league schools can only drop one playoff division for football. 

In sports such as girls volleyball and cross country, the Golden Eagles will compete by enrollment, probably Div. II. The same lies true for the boys and girls basketball teams who have been in Div. II already for the past two years. 

Boys and girls soccer are two sports that when approved – probably next month – will be playing the post season in designated enrollment brackets. But because the SFL is now a Div. I league, the soccer teams can’t drop below Div. II for playoffs.