Saturday, First Games at 9 am. …
Charter Oak, Arroyo, Mira Costa, San Jacinto
Monrovia, Diamond Ranch, El Rancho, Upland
La Serna, Santa Fe, South Hills, West Ranch
Glendora, Rosemead, La Habra, Murrieta Valley
WALNUT — There were smiles, frowns and looks of relief at the conclusion of Monday’s Mt. SAC Area re-leaguing meeting held at Walnut Valley Unified School District headquarters.
None of the previously six and soon-to-be seven leagues in the area were immune to some type of change that will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year.
The biggest smiles belonged to Charter Oak High School, which got relief from being in the Sierra League and placed in the Hacienda League. Although the CIF-Southern Section won’t re-division for playoffs until next spring, Charter Oak likely got divisional relief on Monday, too.
“Ultimately, today what we saw was that the process worked out in the end,” said Charter Oak athletic director Dominic Farrar, whose school struggled mightily in the Sierra League in all sports but football.
“We wanted to make sure for every sport that there would be some inspiration and motivation moving forward as far as equity and fairness is concerned.”
Charter Oak is currently in its third year in the Sierra League. The Chargers have won two league championships in football, but the combined average performance of all of Charter Oak’s sports ranked them dead last in the Sierra.
Once in the Hacienda League, the Chargers’ football team will have annual games with fellow local power West Covina and former arch-rival Los Altos. Not to mention being back in a league with Diamond Ranch, which played Charter Oak in two CIF championship games in 2007 and ’08.
“Looking back as well as forward, there’s been some healthy rivalries and relationships between schools,” Farrar said. “I think everybody is excited.”
Relief was the emotion for Bonita, which under some proposals was possibly going to make a dramatic jump up to the powerful Baseline League after dominating the Hacienda League across the board for the past three years.
Instead of the Baseline, however, Bonita will be moving to the Sierra League, which got a major face lift on Monday. The league will soon be Bonita, Glendora, Diamond Bar, Chino, Claremont and South Hills.
“I think it will be a competitive situation for all of us and that’s kind of what you’re looking for,” Bonita athletic director Eric Podley said. “From our perspective, it was fair. We got a situation that is compatible for our level of competition.”
For the past three years, Glendora has lived what Bonita was trying to avoid — life in the Baseline League. The Tartans will have one more go at it next school year, but got the relief they so badly desired on Monday by being placed in the Sierra League.
“It’s a huge weight off,” Glendora principal Paul Lopez said. “We absolutely wanted to be out of the Baseline League. That was the No. 1 objective today.
“The configuration we have now, which I guess will be the Sierra League, I don’t think we could get any better than what was approved.”
Several of Glendora’s marquee sports programs had taken a hit in the Baseline League, including its famed boys basketball team. Even football, which was a force in the Sierra League prior to the move, was mostly overwhelmed in the Baseline League.
During Monday’s meeting, Lopez argued that the travel involved in playing in the Baseline League had cost his school’s teams plenty of support in recent years.
“People don’t travel anymore,” Lopez said. “They don’t want to go out to the Inland Empire to see games. We’re on the road an average of 32.6 miles every time we go to a game. It’s a huge weight off.”
It wasn’t all smiles on Monday, especially for Chino Hills. The Huskies are on their way to the Baseline League starting with the 2014 school year. Crosstown rival Ayala is as well.
Ayala and Chino Hills will join Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Etiwanda and Los Osos.
“I think our kids can step up to the challenge,” Chino Hills athletic director Derek Bub said. “I knew there were some scenarios that we could be placed in the Baseline. I had my hopes that people would look at transportation. That’s the biggest fear I have right now — just sitting on the 60 Freeway and 15 Freeway.
“But it is what it is, and we’ve got to move forward and get our kids ready to play in a tough league.”
The Valle Vista League will go from seven teams to six after the defection of Pomona, which now will be in a yet to be named league with Edgewood, Bassett, Ganesha, Garey and La Puente.
The Montview League was almost cut in half from its current eight-team grouping. The Montview will now be a five-team consisting of Azusa, Duarte, Gladstone, Sierra Vista and Workman. That’s because a new league was formed on Monday.
Baseline: Ayala, Chino Hills, Etiwanda, Los Osos, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland.
Sierra: Bonita, Chino, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Glendora, South Hills
Hacienda: Charter Oak, Diamond Ranch, Los Altos, Rowland, Walnut, West Covina.
Mt. Baldy: Alta Loma, Chaffey, Colony, Don Lugo, Montclair, Ontario.
Valle Vista: Baldwin Park, Covina, Nogales, Northview, San Dimas, Wilson.
Montview: Azusa, Duarte, Gladstone, Sierra Vista, Workman.
Unnamed: Edgewood, Bassett, Ganesha, Garey, La Puente, Pomona.
UPDATE: Upon receiving the form to either sign off on Hull’s transfer or dispute it, West Covina chose to dispute it and provided CIF with a letter/email from Hull’s father that implies the reason for the transfer was because of lack of playing time at quarterback and the opinion that Hull’s talents were not being used properly. The letter/email is what CIF used as proof the transfer was athletically motivated.
Antonio “Noodles” Hull, who transferred from West Covina to Diamond Bar this offseason, has been ruled ineligible to play varsity football for the Brahmas, according to the CIF-Southern Section’s website.
Hull, a junior-to-be, played quarterback, running back and safety at West Covina last season and was named the Tribune’s Newcomer of the Year. He was in the mix this spring for Diamond Bar’s starting quarterback position.
Exactly how long Hull is ineligible for remains unclear, but reading from a letter he said he received from CIF, Hull says he cannot play until Nov. 9.
The decision on CIF’s website cites bylaw 510 as the reason for Hull’s ineligibility. Rule 510 is the bylaw that includes “undue influence, pre-enrollment contact, failure to disclose pre-enrollment contact and athletically motivated transfers”.
Hull said the athletically motivated portion of the rule is what CIF said applies to him and that he plans to appeal the decision.
“I don’t understand why they’re trying to put a dent in a kid’s career,” Hull said. “We have to appeal and fight it.”
Diamond Bar has gained attention over the past year because of the presence of rapper Snoop Dog’s son Cordell Broadus on the roster. Snoop’s nephew Kanya Bell also plays on the team. Both Broadus and Bell are highly recruited players entering their senior seasons.
Hull made a name for himself during his youth football days while playing for the Compton Vikings in the Snoop Youth Football League.
Although many have speculated about a link between Hull’s transfer to Diamond Bar and Snoop’s influence, Hull is adamant the rapper wasn’t a factor in his decision and that it came out of necessity after his family moved to Pomona.
“Snoop didn’t tell me to come to Diamond Bar or anything,” Hull said. “But I played in his football league and that’s how I met him. He had no involvement in me going.”
Hull said his family has moved from West Covina to Pomona since the end of the season. He petitioned to get out of the Pomona Unified School District and was granted his request. He was then accepted at Diamond Bar.
“It was something that I had to do, we moved,” Hull said. “It was out of my hands. I was still going to West Covina when we moved to Pomona, but my mom just couldn’t it anymore. My grandma works in Diamond Bar.”
West Covina coach Mike Maaggiore and athletic director Brian Murphy have not been returned as of this writing. But keep in mind that’s Mother’s Day.
Aram’s take: Like everyone, I have my own opinion on this matter and at its core this is about rules. I think it’s totally ridiculous. Some will agree, some will disagree. What I do need is more understanding and better clarity of the “athletically motivated” rule, which was almost voted out of the CIF Blue Book last fall. 1. I didn’t think kids could be ineligible past Oct. 1 for football. 2. A valid residential change should trump all, but maybe since Noodles is in a different district, it’s different. 3. I didn’t think schools could “challenge” a transfer, which it appears is what West Covina did. In the end, you have a kid whose main goal in life right now is to play football at the next level, and hopefully beyond, denied his eligibility for most of his all-important junior season. And for what? Even if he came right out and said “I DON’T WANT TO PLAY FOR WEST COVINA ANYMORE” what’s it matter? That’s his choice and his parents’ choice, for whatever reason, they/he made it. On every level of sports, EVERY LEVEL, players come and go, coaches come and go, and yet we continue to have a problem in high school athletics where CERTAIN cases are not okay while others are. If you don’t see hypocrisy in that, then you’re blind. Happy Mother’s Day!
Here is a link to the 20 proposals that will be voted on at Monday’s Mt. SAC Area re-leaguing meeting.
Individual schools are allowed to put forth their own proposals in addition to the ad hoc committee’s proposals.
Here some individual school proposals that stood out to me as INTERESTING (for lack of a better term) …
WALNUT PROPOSAL: Put Charter Oak in a league with Etiwanda, Los Osos, Upland, Chino Hills and Rancho Cucamonga.
LOS ALTOS PROPOSAL: A league that consists of Charter Oak, Glendora, Ayala, Chino, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar.
UPLAND PROPOSAL: A league that puts itself in with Glendora, Chino Hills, Chino, Ayala and Don Lugo.
This should be QUITE interesting …