SBVC and Chaffey football rivalry ends for the moment

College football season is fast approaching. While much of the attention is focused on the Division I programs such as USC and UCLA, area coaches are also putting their teams through the paces.

The junior college season will have a competely different feel to it, thanks to a new conference alignment and playoff structure. Area coaches like the new structure. The unfortunate thing is it also means a temporary end to the rivalry between Chaffey and San Bernardino Valley College.

The two had long been rivals in the Foothill Conference. Players from the teams know each other from their high school days. The coaches are friends – SBVC’s Pat Meech has coached with Chaffey’s Carl Beach.

The fact that they won’t be playing each other is a shame, especially because they are only 20 or so minutes apart. SBVC, now competing in the Mountain Conference of the American Division, will play non-conference games against Riverside, College of the Desert and Saddleback.

Chaffey, now in the tougher Central Conference of the National Division, plays non-conference contests against Grossmont, Mt. San Jacinto, Southwestern and Antelope Valley – all significantly longer trips.

The new alignment was supposed to address geography and natural rivals but that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Schools were allowed to submit a list of three teams it wanted to keep on its schedule. Meech listed Chaffey first and Beach listed SBVC first. So why that game wasn’t kept is a mystery to both Beach and Meech.

We can only hope that when the new structure is examined again in two years the powers that be see fit to put that game back on the schedule. It’s nice that SBVC will play Riverside but the absence of a game against Chaffey still leaves a void.

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Victor Valley women first to start the season

The Victor Valley College women’s soccer team is the first fall sports team to begin its season. The Rams, defending champion in the Foothill Conference, will play a 4 p.m. match at San Diego Miramar Tuesday.

Then comes a three-game set at Yuba against Northern California foes. Coach Mike Bradbury’s team makes its home debut Sept. 6-7 in its six-team tournament, including defending state champion Cerritos and Grossmont.

Victor Valley graduated its three leading scorers so it will rely more heavily on defense.

“We’re definitely big and strong in the middle,” said Bradbury, who will also be coaching the school’s men’s team. “It will be a little bit different look than we have had in the past but that’s junior college. You’re always going to have a lot of turnover.”

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Chaffey faces tough tune-up

Area college football fans can get their first look at the 2008 Chaffey Panthers this week. Coach Carl Beach’s team will play an exhibition scrimmage at 11 a.m. Friday at Grigsby Field against Palomar College.

Beach said he has played that foe the last several years in a practice game.

“They’re usually a very good team with some size,” he said. “You always want to play someone that is pretty competitive so you can see how you stack up. And it’s a not a team in our conference or one that we’re going to see during the season. It just seems to work for both of us so why change it.”

There will be no admission charge.

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