The Mission Valley League voted unanimously, 6-0, to continue forward with its appeal of the CIF-Southern Section proposed playoff grouping for the Mid-Valley Division.
Represented by El Monte High School Keith Richardson, the league will have its appeal heard by the Southern Section playoff groupings appeals committee on Apr. 4.
The league needed to reassess its appeals bid after the Montview League had its appeal denied on Monday. Both leagues prefer that the division remain as is, as opposed to having the powerful Alpha League brought in while the Montview and Olympic leagues move to the Northwest Division.
Under the CIF proposal, the Mission Valley League would remain in the Mid-Valley Division. But staying put combined with the Montview and Olympic being replaced by the Alpha has prompted coaches and administrators to request that they also be moved to the Northwest for better competitive equity.
“You’re trying to make Monrovia play those (Alpha League) teams, but what about everyone else?” El Monte coach Joel Sanchez said. “They’re bringing them in to compete with Monrovia, but they’re not caring about the rest of the leagues.”
Given Monrovia’s dominance the past two seasons, easily winning the past two division championship games by a combined score of 91-22, CIF felt compelled to do something to beef up the competition. Rather than moving the entire Rio Hondo League, on behalf of Monrovia, to another division, assistant commissioner Glenn Martinez felt it was better to make the Mid-Valley more top heavy by bringing in the Alpha League, which features defending Division IV State Championship Bowl winner Sierra Canyon (15-0 in 2011) and Paraclete (11-3 in ’11).
The Montview League, which was one playoff victory in the past two seasons, would be given what CIF feels is relief by moving the Northwest Division. The Mission Valley League, with just two playoff wins the past seasons, would stay put. The Olympic League, which has seven playoff wins the past two years, would also go to the Northwest Division not because of competitive equity but because it’s a better fit enrollment-wise, according to CIF.
The Mid-Valley Division, as it currently stands, consists of six leagues, with five of them local. If you go by this San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group’s circulation area, the sixth league, the Olympic, has two schools considered local and three from out of the area. It all makes for a much easier division travel-wise and creates the kind of local rivalries local fans and coaches embrace.
With the Montview League having already been shot down, the Mission Valley League may need to tweak its argument in time for its Apr. 4 hearing. What that argument will be is something Sanchez said the coaches and principals are currently working on.
“We’re either going to do the same thing (as the Montview), or we’re going to take a different approach,” Sanchez said. “That’s the thing we’re trying to figure out now. Obviously, they got denied. If we want to present the same thing the Montview did, are they going to say ‘OK, these guys are coming in with the same idea. It’s already a ‘no’.’ Or, are they going to say ‘They’re coming in with the same thing and now we have two leagues on board.’
“I just don’t know what CIF wants to do. Are they really going to hear us? Or are they going to hear us out and just say no.?”
Aram’s take: It’s worth a shot. It is a longshot, given what happened to the Montview’s attempt on Monday. Nonetheless, there’s an outside shot the appeals panel hears two league’s not in favor of the change and decides to scrap it. You never know …
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