The Hacienda League, thanks to West Covina, is likely to be moving on up when new playoff groupings are announced in January …


Glenn Martinez may have 84 reasons to send the Hacienda League packing

The Hacienda League, mainly by virtue of the West Covina High School football team’s dominant postseason run of the past two years, appears to be a good bet to get a bump in competition for the next two seasons when new CIF-Southern Section Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez releases his football playoff grouping proposals next month.

The Bulldogs, after winning back-to-back Southeast Division championships, figure to be headed to a new playoff division, taking the rest of the Hacienda League with them.

“Wherever they put us is fine with me,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “I think it’s fair. I’d like to think our program is at a point where we can be competitive in the current division, and if we were moved up to a higher division, then we could be competitive wherever we’re at.”

Martinez is in his first year at the Southern Section and is charge of the football playoff groupings. Martinez has ties to the area after serving as an administrator at Bishop Amat and Charter Oak. He was hired by the CIF Southern Section to replace Rob Wigod, who was made Southern Section commissioner following the resignation of Jim Staunton.

The Southern Section reviews playoff groupings and makes changes it feels are necessary based on competitive equity every two years. League groupings are done every four years.

Using a numbers-based formula, Martinez will gauge the competitive equity in all Southern Section divisions and make recommendations for changes where he sees fit. After West Covina’s record-setting run in the playoffs this past season, it’s easy to assume the Bulldogs and the Hacienda will either be moving up or stay put while the Southeast Division beefed up with better competition. The latter appears to be a long shot.

Once Martinez releases his recommendations for the 2012 and ’13 seasons, the schools will have a chance to review them and decide whether they want to appeal. The appeals can only be made on the criteria of competitive equity, geography and enrollment. The Southern Section Council will finalize everything by vote in April.

The Southwest or Central divisions seem to be the best fit if the Hacienda League is moved. Beside West Covina, the Hacienda League consists of Bonita, Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, Los Altos, Rowland and Walnut. The league was formed two years ago after the Miramonte and San Antonio leagues were dissolved. Diamond Bar had previously competed in the Sierra League.

According to Southern Section Director of Information Thom Simmons, Martinez’s numbers-based formula will be based on the entire league’s playoff performance the past two seasons.

Last season, Bonita and West Covina, two Hacienda League teams, met in the championship game. This season, West Covina’s closest game in the playoffs was a 29-point win over La Mirada in the semifinals. The Bulldogs set a CIF record for points in a championship game by scoring 84 on La Serna.

“It’s not Glenn just throwing numbers at a dartboard,” Simmons said. “He’s using a numbers system, as best you can, to determine where a league should be placed. Obviously, there’s no perfect method. Could a (San Gabriel) Valley league like the Hacienda League end up in an Orange County division? Sure, that absolutely possible. It’s happened before. I don’t know that it will happen, but that’s always a possibility.”

Although area fans may like the idea of seeing West Covina placed in a tougher division, the rest of the Hacienda League may not like getting pulled up with the Bulldogs. But that’s just something the other schools will have to accept, according to Bonita coach Eric Podley.

“It will definitely depend on what division we got put in,” Podley said when asked how he and other Hacienda coaches may react to being bumped up on mostly West Covina’s behalf. “Obviously, if we got put in there with the Sierra League and those kinds of schools, for the majority of our league that would be a difficult situation. If we got put in that division with La Habra and those other teams, that might be a little more manageable for us.

“Either way, it’s going to be a little tougher for the rest of the league than it is for West Covina. Two years ago, we were in the finals. So we all play a factor in it. It’s not just West Covina, but obviously West Covina had a pretty dominant in these last playoffs. Maybe another way of doing it would be some of these other leagues moving down instead of us moving up. Maybe they should take some more competitive leagues and put them in our division.”

After two years of success, West Covina faces the same challenge that Charter Oak did after winning the Southeast Division in 2008 and ’09. The Chargers were moved to the Inland Division where they’ve won one playoff game in the past two years.

Unlike Charter Oak, however, West Covina’s success does not coincide with the re-leaguing process. So there’s no chance that the Bulldogs will be placed in a new league like Charter Oak was in 2010 when it moved to the Sierra League. That might be good news for the Bulldogs, but bad news for the rest of the Hacienda.

“Last year there were two games in the playoffs that we could have easily lost, the semifinals and the finals,” Maggiore said. “This year, I think the rest of the division might have been down a little bit and we were playing really well at the end. I don’t think it’s going to happen every year like that

Aram’s take: My vibe is the Hacienda is headed to the Northwest Division or Central Division. Very little chance of the Inland Division. I think that beefing up the Southeast Division would be a better option, but that requires considerable work and more people would face upheaval. I think what’s important to note here is that West Covina’s dominance this year wasn’t because it was a better team than last year. The 2010 team was better and so was the division. This season, Bonita and D-Ranch were considerably weaker. La Serna was even weaker. The Bulldogs were simply too much for a division in rebuild mode. So there’s going to be an overreaction, but it’s probably warranted.

  • WTF

    This message is to all you SGV Coaches and Fans. Football in SGV is bad. We have not had one team in State Bowl. Every other Socal area has had a team represented in state bowl. The fault falls on the lap of coaches they have plenty of talent in area. The fans of some fault because you except this mediocre coaching. The 2012 football season starts in january for all the programs who want to compete. Hey Coaches stop with all that bullcrap recruiting and focus on the freshman squads and help your local youth football teams. If you coaches treated you freshman and JV squads like you do Varisty you would have a contender for then state bowl.

  • New York

    Bring a couple additional leagues into the Southeast so that only the top 2 teams in each league are assured a playoff spot.

    The MidValley Division playoffs are more competitive than the division overall simply because only the top 2 teams from each league are assured a spot.

    I don’t think the Southeast is deep enough to allow so many 3rd and 4th place teams into the playoffs and expect things to be competitive.

  • socalfootball fan

    I think West Covina for football only should be placed in the sierra league and either Ayala or Claremont move down to the Hacienda league. Anytime you score 80 plus points in a championship game is not good for the division. WC than can play vs the elite Inland Valley teams like CC,Vista Murrieta,Upland ect. If I was a WC fan this would excite me playing against some of the best rather than beat up on cupcakes. Win the IV division and you may play in the state games.

  • loves hs football

    That is not fair to the other schools in the Hacienda League- none of the other schools could compete in a higher division. Walnut and Diamond Bar have been struggling and while Los Altos had a good year their program has had several down years- West Covina would be the only school that could compete- they need to wait till its time to refigure the leagues so then WC would get moved to a tougher league- I would suggest making the Southeast tougher- maybe bring in the SG VLY League or move the Freeway league back in to the Southeast like it was a few years ago.

  • Prep Fan

    Like Mr. Simmons said. They will be looking at point totals for wins as a league and they won’t just be looking at this year. Last year it was Bonita and West Covina in the finals and this year everyone but Bonita made it out of the first round. Moving the Hacienda up is one of the easier calls to make (with moving the Marmonte league up being the easiest). Of course nothing is perfect, and it may very well be that the window for success is closing for these teams and they will indeed struggle at a higher level. The system is by definition reactionary and not predictive. If they move up and struggle they will move back down in as few as two years.

  • Jefe

    I wouldn’t mind seeing La Habra & West Covina playing each other in CIF.

  • Movin on up

    Hacienda should be moved to the Southwest. I’d much rather play a game in Orange Co. in November then out in there in the Inland Empire. The Southeast Division would be a minor step up, if not a lateral move for the Hacienda. The top end of the Southeast is a little deeper then the Southeast, but nothing that the top teams in the Hacienda cant’ deal with. It’s not like you would get matched up against Trinity Leagues teams. We’re talking teams like, La Habra, El Torro, Brea, Sonora, Troy, Villa Park, Tustin, etc. These are all teams that are on par with the best teams in the Hacienda and it wouldn’t matter about the worst teams in the Hacienda because they won’t be in the playoffs anyway.

  • Movin on up

    Oooops – I meant to say that the “Top end of the SOUTHWEST is a little deeper then the top end of the Southeast”

  • YOYOYO

    This message is to all you SGV Coaches and Fans. Football in SGV is bad. We have not had one team in State Bowl. Every other Socal area has had a team represented in state bowl. The fault falls on the lap of coaches they have plenty of talent in area. The fans of some fault because you except this mediocre coaching. The 2012 football season starts in january for all the programs who want to compete. Hey Coaches stop with all that bullcrap recruiting and focus on the freshman squads and help your local youth football teams. If you coaches treated you freshman and JV squads like you do Varisty you would have a contender for then state bowl.

  • Coach Slayer

    You really are a yoyo. Your vacuous post is so important you had to post it twice? Try again little man but this time make some sense. What bullcrap recuiting, what talent, what youth programs, what jv coaches, who the heck are you talking about?? Think Mcfly!!

  • just sayin’

    Yoyo,

    Really, you are comparing the 35 school SGV to MUCH larger areas. “iInland Empire” is parts of Riverrside AND San Bernardino Counies combined. Orange County goes from Whittier, to Seal Beach to San Clemente? There are even far more schools in the SFV compared to the SGV. if you are going to compare those areas compare them to LA County and it’s a bit more equal.

    More accurate comparison would be to compare the SGv to North Orange County…and the two areas compare favorably – with the SGV having the edge. Until this year the SGV fared well against the better San Bernardino County teams like the Baseline, Mt Baldy, and the Citrus Belt.

    Get off your kick and find a different angle

  • coltfan97

    To YOYOYO,

    Your truly are an idiot!!!!!

    The time these coaches put in with these kids is a tremendous SACRIFICE to there daily lives!!!! For you to make a comment like that shows pure ignorance on your part!!!! Do you really know what it takes to be a coach?

    By the way, if you don’t like what these coaches are doing why don’t you get out there and coach???? Instead of using this blog to sound off on the coaches of the SGV, get out there and do something about it if you don’t like it!!!!

  • Don

    Kinda tough to make an argument for moving the entire Hacienda up a click or two because of WesCo’s domination. The talent just isn’t spread evenly among the teams. Just a quick look at the all-league voting the past two or three years would show you the best talent is featured on just a couple of teams.

    Rowland vs El Toro? Walnut and La Habra? Tustin and Los Altos?

  • Prep Fan

    Dan,

    West Covina AND Bonita were in the finals last year. I believe Diamond Ranch made some noise as well. Also, three Hacienda League teams made it to the quarter finals this year. It is not that hard to make an argument for moving a league up when three of the last four championship game participants are from the same league.

  • SGV FOOTBALL

    Man it’s been a minute since I last visited the blogs!

    Aram,

    You might think I’m a fool for saying this but after looking at all the division in the Southern Section.
    I really think the Hacienda should be bumped down to the Eastern Division. Before you guys start trying to rip me a new one, think about it. The Eastern is numerically lower than the Southeast but thats why CIF SS got away from using numbers in their divisions, right?

    1st the Eastern Division is ranked 12th in the state while the Southeast is ranked 20th in the state.

    2nd Summit the Eastern champ is ranked ahead of West Covina in the state poll.

    3rd Summit is ranked ahead of Charter Oak and Bishop Amat in the state poll.

    4th The Eastern has 4 teams ranked in the top 100 in the state compared to one in the Southeast.

    5th The Eastern has 4 teams ranked ahead of the second and third place teams in the Southeast.

    6th Calpreps has Summit beating West Covina if they played this year!

    I say either move the Hacienda league to the Eastern or the sunkist league into to the Southeast.

    I can keep going and going but I wont.

    Maybe I’m just going crazy since football season in now officially over…

    Anyways have a good Christmas folks!

  • Dan

    SGV Football,
    That would be a good move, I mentioned moving the Hacienda over to either the Southwest or Central division previously, I mentioned the Central because I was thinking schools like Kaiser, Summit, Serrano Pheland, etc, were in that division, but like you say those schools are in the Eastern division. Hacienda would be a nice fit in the Eastern, a step up in caliber for sure.

  • Dan

    Prep Fan,
    Dan and Don = two different people.

  • Aaron

    Anyone know why there’s such a resistance to beefing up the PAC-5?

  • Keep it in the OC

    @Don
    In order to have a matchup of Walnut v La Habra or Rowland v El Toro, both Walnut and Rowland would have to first make the playoffs. You need to keep in mind that moving leagues into new divisions only effects the best teams in the league and has virtually zero effect on the bottom feeders because they won’t be in the playoffs anyway.

    @Dan
    Bite your tongue. Do you really want to be playing a football game in the High Desert at the end of November? 50 MPH cross winds and freezing cold weather, no thanks. For that matter, I hope to hell that if they move the Hacienda it’s not to the Central either. Who the hell wants to be playing football out in the Inland Empire or at the base of the Cajon Pass in late November or early December? Hopefully, if they move the Hacienda, it’s into the Southwest with the Orange County teams and reasonable weather in the late Fall months. Besides, you think it’s “sketchy” having to play Dranch at Ganisha High School? Wait until you roll into the High Desert at night.

  • Don

    Prep Fan,

    While a case might be made for Bonita and even D Ranch moving up I think the only Hacienda team who would do well consistently on the net tier would be West Covina. They have been at or near the top of the Hacienda and before that, the San Antonio for years.

    Last season’s BoHi squad was what I call a ‘Decade’ team occurring at schools like Bonita only every ten or twelve years. Remember that the last time they made it out of the first round of the playoffs, DeAndre Belin was carrying the ball for Larry Hatley.

    As far as the lower half of the Hacienda League goes, the only thing I could say about their chances in the Southwest or Central D playoffs is they wouldn’t have to play in them.

  • Dan

    Keep it in the OC,
    Just put on some extra layers, it’s only for a game or two, we don’t throw much anyways so crosswinds no big deal, Ha ha,just kidding… I was thinkig more of the matchups, Kaiser, Serrano, Summit,all would be interesting games vs WC. Driving to Fontans not so bad but driving out to Pheland or Ridgecrest is a long ways. In that light, the OC for a Southwest playoff game does sound a lot more tolerable for a Friday nigt, Southwest it is! If it was up to me.

  • Dan

    Don,
    Interesting on what you said about last years Bonita team being a decade team, I agree, that team was loaded and does not get the respect for being as good as they were because of their two losses to West Covina, which were their only two losses for the season. No matter who say’s what, both teams had legit claim, whether head to head or your corner of the world at 1 & 2 in the valley.
    Now as far as Bonita’s decade teams go, don’t you think last years freshman team could lead to another “decade” team for Bonita? I thought I remember them as being 10 and 0 including a blowout over WC.

  • Aaron

    I think we’ll see how good they were when they step on the field as juniors. Skills kids are there…put an o-line together and lets rumble.

  • Don

    Dan,

    Last season’s BoHi Frosh team had a good bunch of kids, made better by one of the best young coaches in the valley, Chuck Chastain. Chuck prepped at Norco under Todd Gerhardt and apparently paid attention as he is a fine Coach. Obviously, working for Podley these past few years hasn’t hurt his development any. Some. Like Hollar and Loy and Diebold, were already contributing this year. It will be interesting to see who continues playing as they become Juniors and Seniors and who chooses to focus on something else.

    Bonita’s football success has always relied upon athletes drawn from other sports, mostly basketball and baseball guys and the number of boys who consider football their first sport is usually limited to a few linemen and maybe a RB or linebacker or two. The schools who seem to field first rate teams year in and year out, Charter Oak, South Hills, West Covina, etc, have far more kids who view football as their number one sport, training year round for the fall season.

    Even last season’s team, as good as they were, relied on guys like Gelalich, Huth, Brungard, and Brandt to go. Heck, even Pendleton and the Horine boys were basketball players long before they ever considered fallsport. Not worse or better, just different

  • Hacienda Hal

    To the Bohi folks I would like to chime in. Principal Ketterling of Bonita does not get enough credit. He discourages recuiting and encourages multiple sport athletes even when it upsets head coaches. He fully supports the athletic teams at Bonita and when something is going on he knows about it. If you think Bonita’s athletic success on multiple team levels is a accident think again. Your once in a lifetime guy is Robert Ketterling and he is no accident.

  • LV Resident

    Hacienda Hal that’s a great point about multi sport athletes at Bonita but you may have skipped a bigger component to Bonita’s student/athlete “team” success stories in multiple sports, great coaching staffs.

    I coached a few of those kids and seen most of the current seniors develop since the 5th grade and their growth is remarkable. Yes there are a few parents who gerrymander their kids success as Huth mentioned but when they get to high school that disappearsto the point of being a very real non factor.

    Last year the Boy’s Big Three sports ( Football, Basketball and Baseball ) had one heck of a run with multi-sport athletes all over the place. The fact that the HC’s in all those sports are outstanding individuals is again a credit to Bonita’s community.

    Add in a CIF Championship in Boys Water Polo and the runs the Girls Volleyball, Softball and Basketball and it’s something that doesn’t get enough attention, and that’s probably the way La Verne likes it. Add in outstanding lower level player development and it’s easy to see why so few Bonita athletes transfer to supposedly greener pastures.

    Never knew how it happened but if it’s the Principal who gets the credit than props to him for understanding the value of the high school experience both on and off the field.