Realignment looms, and that means change.
Here's a peek at what the Sac-Joaquin Section is proposing for the 2014-18 academic years in all Divisions (with the next realignment meeting scheduled for Jan. 29).
Realignment is based on enrollments, competitive scope and other factors. Some argue that realignment should solely be based on neighborhood programs. But some schools only have a few neighbors and travel becomes a must - Nevada Union, Woodland, Dixon, El Dorado, etc. One school in one neighborhood could be a great deal larger and more successful than any other closely-grouped schools.
Keep in mind that these are suggestions, not set in stone, and the Section isn't out to hose anyone, contrary to popular belief as we field a lot of these sorts of e-mails when realignment hits, "Why does Pete Saco and the section office hate us so much?" Um, the Section office doesn't have time or any reason to pick out teams and shower hate...
Division I proposals
St. Francis (girls)
Comment: From a football standpoint, this new-look Delta would feature powers in Elk Grove, Grant, Franklin and Pleasant Grove with teams that aren't too far removed from power level in Monterey Trail, Jesuit and Davis. Sheldon with its large enrollment is seemingly on the cusp of being formidable. Baseball would also be a muscle-bound league here with Franklin, Elk Grove, Jesuit, Pleasant Grove and Grant. In basketball, Sheldon, Jesuit and Franklin have been heavies. In other sports, Davis and Jesuit have terrific rivalry meetings in soccer and the water sports. This league also would field two of the largest enrollment schools in the section in Davis and Franklin.
Monticello Empire League
Comment: The 707 league remains the same and makes perfect sense. Perfect logistically and rivalry wise.
Sierra Foothill League
Comment: As if the SFL wasn't already a stacked league in football already, take a look at what this proposal would do. Folsom and Oak Ridge added to the mix makes for a super football league, and the section has proposed that four playoff berths be granted in several sports, especially football. Added note about Nevada Union: The Miners are at their lowest enrollment in more than 25 years, and still dipping.
Central California Conference
Modesto Christian (basketball only)
Comment: Great idea to place Modesto Christian basketball - a super power for the girls and boys - here. Imagine the suddent interst for fans and students throughout this league. MC likes it, too.
San-Joaquin Athletic Association
Tri-County Athletic League
Division II proposals
Capital Valley Conference
Comment: Across the board, Ponderosa hasn't much enjoyed its stay in the Delta River League, and the Bruins won't much appreciate some of the travel here, but this is a better fit long term. Bella Vista and Del Campo have been decades-long rivals in everything and Antelope and Whitney have burst onto the sporting scene as newer schools.
Modesto Metro Conference
Comment: Oakdale doesn't like the suggestion as it feels smaller in enrollment, but football and baseball wise, the Mustangs would fare just fine. Better than fine.
Solano County Athletic Conference
Comment: Wood and Fairfield forever feel like MEL schools, but you can't have 15-team leagues...
Division III proposals
Capital Athletic League
Vista del Lago
Comment: At first glance, Sacramento doesn't fit here as it is a charter Metro school and this move pulls it away from decades-long rivals from the Sacramento City Unified School District. Then again, Sacramento is a charter school and you wonder if this isn't a better fit in some aspects. Placer is also an initial odd fit - forever in a foothill-based league, but its enrollment isn't nearly as large as the SFL teams. And for some, travel will become a necessary evil, such as Placer.
Comment: This could work except for Cosumnes Oaks, which prefers to be with more Elk Grove Unified School District teams. The rest of it makes sense as all are similar in enrollment and competitive balance with easy transportation. If this stands, Burbank could continue to rule the Metro in football, but if Cosumnes Oaks ends up here, there's a new rivalry in the making.
Comment: Slight tweaks with Rio Linda and River City coming aboard, but enrollment wise and competitive balance, this makes sense.
Valley Oak League
Comment: Oakdale out of the VOL looks odd, and Oakdale prefers to remain in the VOL. Stay tuned.
Division IV proposals
Pioneer Valley League
Comment: Hard to imagine Colfax and Placer not in the same league, and there are rumblings that Colfax can run away with this league in a lot of sports. But Colfax is also dipping in enrollment so this makes sense in that regard. Lincoln is interesting as it will have the largest enrollment of more than 1,700, but the Zebras haven't been athletically dominant in anything. Competitive, yes.
Sierra Valley Conference
Comment: Very similar to what this league has been in the past. El Dorado and Union Mine reside up Highway 50, beyond Cordova, with Liberty Ranch and Galt in the same town. Rosemont...where else to put this program?
Western Athletic Conference
Division V proposals
Golden Empire League
Mother Lode League
Mountain House (opens in 2014)
Division VI proposals
Central Valley California League
Forest Lake Christian
Sierra Delta League
Modesto Christian (no basketball)
Division VII proposals
Central California Athletic Alliance
Big Valley Christian
Stone Ridge Christian
Mountain Valley League
Northern Paciﬁc Athletic Conference
Global Youth Charter
New Life Christian
Western Sierra Collegiate Prep
Sacramento Metro Athletic League
Sacramento Country Day
Bee photo by Randall Benton: The Bulldogs' head coach Kris Richardson prepares his team prior to the game between the Folsom Bulldogs, and the De La Salle Spartans at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento on Saturday, December 8, 2012. This game was the NorCal Regional open division championship.
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