A CIF-Southern Section playoff grouping appeals committee on Tuesday rejected the Montview League’s appeal of Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez’s proposed playoff grouping that would move the Montview League out of the Mid-Valley Division and into the Northwest Division.
Represented by the Workman High School contingent of assistant principal Scott Cavanias, athletic director Victor Perdomo and varsity football head coach Scott Morrison, the league argued that a move out of the Mid-Valley Division and into the Northwest Division did not make sense on grounds of competitive equity, enrollment and geography.
The playoff groupings appeals committee, however, stood by Martinez’s proposal to move the Montview League to the Northwest Division to give it relief after the league posted just one playoff win in the past two seasons. The Southern Section reviews its playoff groupings every two years and bases its proposals on the past two year’s results. The current proposals would go into effect this fall.
“We thought what we presented was a better fit,” Perdomo said. “We got shot down, but they heard us.”
The Montview League can appeal Tuesday’s decision at the Southern Section council meeting on Apr. 25, at which time the new groupings will be ratified and put into effect. Perdomo said he was unsure whether the league would appeal again at the council meeting and that the next step will be to find out what the league’s coaches and principals want to do in the wake of Tuesday’s denial.
“The principals would have to vote on it and at this point I don’t know if that’s something they want to do, or if they’re ready to pick up the fight,” Perdomo said. “I don’t know how passionate they are about this. I guess we’ll find out when I get back to school tomorrow.”
Also Tuesday, the Tribune learned that the Mission Valley League is scheduled to appeal the new Mid-Valley Division proposal in another appeals hearing on Apr. 4. The league will be represented that day by El Monte principal Keith Richardson, and like the Montview League, will argue to keep the division as is.
Unlike the Montview League, the Mission Valley League would be staying put in the Mid-Valley Division under the new proposal. However, the league would face increased competition in the new-look division with the addition of the Alpha League and the omission of the Montview and Olympic leagues.
The prospect of playing in such a division has caused the Mission Valley League to state it will request to be moved along with the Montview and Olympic leagues to the Northwest Division on the grounds of competitive equity should CIF decide to move forward with the new proposal. The Mission Valley League has two playoffs wins in the past two seasons.
Tuesday’s denial, though, has Arroyo football coach Jim Singiser thinking his league may need to reconsider whether it wants to go forward with its appeal hearing.
“We wanted to keep it the way it was, but now that it’s not an option, we need to ask the (league’s) football coaches ‘How strongly do you feel about wanting to stay in the division?’” Singiser said.
The Mid-Valley Division is currently made up of the Almont, Mission Valley, Montview, Olympic, Rio Hondo and Valle Vista leagues. Its appeal to local coaches is that five of the six leagues are located in the San Gabriel Valley, and the sixth, the Olympic League, has just three schools that would represent any significant travel if a Valley team was to play them in the postseason.
If the Montview League does land in the Northwest Division, its teams could be faced with having to travel to Ojai or San Pedro for playoff games. Conversely, road games against Alpha League teams would possibly mean traveling as far away as Lancaster or Malibu for teams in leagues that remained in the new-look Mid-Valley Division. That’s a major reason why representatives from both the Montview and Mission Valley leagues argue it would be better to keep the division as is.
Monrovia has won the Mid-Valley Division the past two seasons. It’s victories in the last two championship games by a combined score of 91-22 have faced CIF with the conundrum of either moving the Wildcats and the rest of the Rio Hondo League out of the division or keeping the league in the division while beefing up the competition.
“I hate to move a league,” Martinez said earlier this month when his proposals were released. “I almost feel like I’m punishing five or six schools because of one team’s tremendous success. When you move a league up just because of one particular school, it’s just kind of hurting everyone and I don’t think that’s fair.”
Adding the Alpha League would certainly increase the competition at the very top of the Mid-Valley Division. The seven-school Alpha League is headlined by Sierra Canyon, which went 15-0 in 2011 and won the CIF State Championship Bowl Game in Division IV. The league is also home to past Mid-Valley Division champion Paraclete, which went 11-3 last season.
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