Earlier this week, the Citrus Belt Area, held its releaguing vote with few changes.
But there was a radical idea on the table, from the Citrus Belt League. The Citrus Belt League’s proposal, which Miller athletic director John Romagnoli said finished third, would’ve had a 10-team “conference” with an East Division of the three Redlands schools, plus Yucaipa and Riverside Poly, and a West Division of Cajon, Carter, Miller, Eisenhower and Oak Hills.
While the 10 teams involved might not have been ideal, I think the idea deserves consideration. It would almost be like it used to be in the High Desert with Mojave River and Desert Sky Leagues, two leagues that were five teams before Adelanto High opened.
But the MRL-DSL deal only provided for cross-scheduling with teams on their bye weeks. What the CBL proposed (probably not necessary to include in the releaguing vote) would’ve been to have a championship game between the two divisions. The last week of the season the No. 1s from the two divisions would face each other, and so would the No. 2s, and so on.
I think it’s an idea before its time, but I think it’s an intriguing one. It would cut down on the number of league games now in the eight-team league, and cut down travel in league and keep schools with similar demographics playing against each other. They could still schedule the other “division” but wouldn’t be required to except for possibly the bye week.
Why were there few changes? First, there were no new schools to incorporate into the area, which includes schools from Riverside County and San Bernardino County east of the I-15. The only change, according to San Gorgonio athletic director Matt Maeda, was moving Indio Shadow Hills from the De Anza League to the Desert Valley League. They are being replaced in the De Anza League by Thermal Coachella Valley, which is coming from the Desert Valley League.
There had been talk that several schools might look for relief, including Miller, which has struggled in recent years in the Citrus Belt League.
“We talked about it, but we don’t want to just be thrown into another league,” Romagnoli said. “The last time we did this, they talked about putting us in a league with (Moreno Valley) Vista Del Lago.”
Romagnoli said ideally, if Miller would move, it would be to a league where they would have some natural rivals, like the Sunkist League.
But the Sunkist wasn’t looking to expand.