With state basketball playoffs using enrollment, what else did you expect, 75 percent of state finalists are private schools. That’s sad

“It is a disturbing trend,” said Dave Vierra, boys’ basketball coach at Oakland Bishop O’Dowd. “Anybody who cares long term about high school sports wants equity. The solutions for the concerns are harder to find.”

When the CIF-SS playoffs started, we said our public schools didn’t have much of a chance with power private schools spread throughout the divisions, and with state playoffs using enrollment, private schools had even bigger advantages, so it’s no surprise that 75 % of the state finalists this weekend are private schools. Diamond Ranch is arguably the areas best girls basketball team, but Bishop Amat girls will play for the Division III title. Bonita and South Hills were arguably the areas best public school boys teams this season, but La Verne Lutheran will represent the SGV in the Division V state finals. Of the ten teams that qualified from Southern California, seven were private schools. The only public schools from SoCal are L.A. City’s Westchester and San Diego Lincoln boys, and the Long Beach Poly girls. In Northern California, eight of the ten finalists are private schools, meaning that 15 of the 20 finalists this weekend will be private schools. What’s wrong with that picture? When you hear public school coaches complain about the unfairness of having to compete with private schools who can draw players from anywhere, this is why.

The Solution: With five state playoff divisions, why not have three public school divisions, and two private school divisions based on enrollment. That would level the playing field considerably. If NoCal did the same, then you could have true public and private school state champions based on enrollment, which would be much fairer than what you have today.

Friday’s State Championship games in Bakersfield
Boys D-IV: St. Mary’s (Berkeley) vs. Price (Los Angeles), 1:30 pm
Girls D-IV: St. Mary’s (Berkeley) vs. Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood), 3:30 pm
*Girls D-II: Carondelet (Concord) vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 6:00 pm*
*Boys D-II: St. Francis (Mtn. View) vs. Lincoln (San Diego), 8:00 pm*

Saturday’s State championships in Bakersfield.
Girls D-V: Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) vs. St. Anthony (Long Beach), 9:30 am
Boys D-V: Branson (Ross) vs. La Verne. Lutheran, 11:30 am
Girls D-III: St. Mary’s (Stockton) vs. Bishop Amat, 1:30 pm
Boys D-III: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) vs. Serra (Gardena), 3:30 pm
*Girls D-I: Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) vs. Poly (Long Beach), 6:00 pm*
*Boys D-I: Newark Memorial vs. Westchester (Los Angeles), 8:00 pm*

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  • Fred Robledo

    You could make three public school divisions based on enrollment, and two private school divisions based on enrollment. A DIII public could be 0-2000, DII could be 2001-3000, and DI could be 3,000 plus. Private schools should split it down the middle, an upper and lower division, which is fair since there are so many fewer private schools anyway. Let the Amat’s, Mater Dei’s, and all other top-heavy privates battle it out for state titles. They already have advantages in the CIF playoff divisions with public schools, why should the advantages be even stronger in state playoffs?

  • Reality

    The reality is there are almost no public schools in the State enrollment Divisions 4 and 5. That makes it almost a certainty that private schools will represent those divisions. So that means in SoCal Divisions 1-3 it is 3 Public and 3 Private. That;s equal – isn’t it?

  • pomona insider

    Diamond Ranch lost to Woodbridge in the playoffs and Brea Olinda in State. When did they become private schools?

  • recruit?

    private schools recruit? yes they do, same as the public schools do,almost…. add-in inter-district transfers and the one time allowable transfers and it’s almost even footing,the state of this miserable economy makes a $6-7000 tuition payment a tough pill to swallow for many, in my mind the quality of coaching is the biggest difference, compare Wiard at Amat with the very young guy at Bonita, day and night difference, as far as DRanch, Amat beat Santa Margarita , 2 Cathiloc schools heads up, something DRanch failed to do so scratch them as the Tribs best !

  • FredJ

    All I’m saying is that separate public and private school playoff divisions would be fairer. Comparing scores is difficult, DRanch beat Bonita in the second game by 28 points without reigning area player of the year Jeanelle Kearney, who was injured late in the year. That same Bonita team hung for a long time with Santa Margarita before falling in the semifinals. Put it this way, if Diamond Ranch were in the DIII state playoffs and Amat were in the DII state playoffs with Mater Dei and Brea Olinda, you might have different teams in the state finals. I’m not taking anything away from Amat, that’s just the truth.

  • curious

    How many of BA starters actually pay tuition? I think that is a better question.

  • to curious

    every one

  • Joe Amat


    You’re talking about an argument that was much better suited for when you were in high school in the ’80s – but doesn’t really hold ANY water now at all. All of the “advantages” that you see are *decisions* – not built in advantages as they were in the past.

    Here’s a fun fact to know and tell. If you look at CIF-SS Finals, TWENTY of the TWENTY-FOUR participants were PUBLIC schools. That’s a whopping 83%. Yet private schools have the advantage?

    Boys- 10/12 schools were public
    D1AA-1 public/1 private
    A-2 public
    2AA-2 public
    A-2 public
    3AA-2 public
    A-1 public/1 private
    Girls-10/12 finalists were public schools
    D1AA – 2 public
    A-2 public
    2AA-2 public
    A-1 public/1 private
    3AA- 2 public
    A- I public/1 private

    Long Beach Poly is one of the biggest PROPONENTS of keeping the publics and privates together. Do you think SoCal really wants to be deprived of a Westchester vs Mater Dei D1 boys matchup. Who won that one by the way? Who beat Damien in the Semis? Ike, a public school.

    As “recruit” said below, with open enrollment, school-choice for incoming 9th graders, inter-district transfers, and the one time transfer after 9th grade-in addition to entrance requirements and tuition – the field is level… and some could legitimately argue it is scewed to the public sector.

  • FredJ

    Joe, what is wrong with what I suggested? Is it not fair for private schools? I think a public and private school state playoffs based on enrollment is extremely fair, don’t you? You have two small southern california private schools, Lutheran and Price both playing for state titles. Shouldn’t they have had to meet in a SoCal Regional final, and let the best small school play for a state title?

  • Basic

    Fred, I think you are right on the money with your suggestion, and Joe actually ADDS to it. If the numbers are correct by Joe, then why not break it down into 3 pubs and 2 privates divisions??? This would give privates more schools in, right?

    Joe, as far as advantages, I think the advantages are not the number of schools they get in, but type of players they get (private schools that is). First, not everyone can afford to go to private school so there is your first advantage, if you have the talent, the schools will find a way to get you scholarships. Secondly, you said it yourself, coaching, again being private they can decide what type of coaches they want and can fired a lot easier than public schools can.

    Now as far as what LB Poly wants, it’s easy, they want private schools to STOP ducking them… How many Private schools won CIF titles this year, not state but CIF titles? WHY? because they MOVED DOWN to play the Bonita’s of the world instead of playing each other…

    So, as Fred said and taking it further, why not make Private and Public Divisions in CIF playoffs and then let the winners play each other in state???

  • Joe Amat


    Your arguments are as bad as your reading comprehension. You’ve been on this debate before and the argument is old, tired, and out of date. Fred, the reason they shouldn’t separate is, as evidence shows, there is no need to do so. Publics can achieve if they *choose* to and make it a priority.If they don’t – it isn’t the systems fault. Woodbridge and Brea (and in te past – Troy) girls programs have the same opportunities to build as does Bonita’s girls. The most successful boys basketball program in the SGV over the past 20 yrs is Glendora – yes, a public school.

    Had you actually read the post you would have read that of the top three divisions (of which Bonita was one) “TWENTY of the TWENTY-FOUR participants (in the CIF Finals) were PUBLIC schools. None of those divisions, boys or girls, had two private schools in the finals. Who beat Damien in the semifinals? A public school, who went on to win the division. Centennial, who knocked off Charter Oak, went on to beat Harvard-Westlake – another private school. Luezinger beat Loyola for the second year in a row.

    Bishop Amat girls were eliminated before the finals by … a public school that went on to win the division? And yes your Bonita girls were beaten in the semi’s (nothing to scoff at) by a private school Santa Margarita, a school that *did not move DOWN – but actually moved UP* from their 4AA attendance because of their previous success.

    Just because a public school *chooses* to remain mediocre does not mean it is anyones fault but their own. It is not an unalienable right that everyone should be rewarded for their mediocrity by moving them down to compete for a championship – or move everyone out of their division that’s any good so they compete.

    I’ve said it before – there are more poor and struggling private school programs than there are powerhouses. There are 213 private schools in the CIF-SS. How many of them would you consider “basketball powers”?

  • Fred’s wrong again …but at least he’s pandering to the masses !

    Joe are you being “cruel” again? 20/24? What’s your point ! What point are you trying to make? Too bad this blog doesn’t accept “Pie Charts”

    public private
    public private
    public private
    public private

    Does this help? Fred is slipping, and slipping bad. I’d be embarrassed if some one showed me up like that…with facts!!!! Joe you have absolutely no soul, lol

    The blog has been up for about five years now and in all that time how many private school transfers have there been INTO private schools and how many transfers have there been INTO and BETWEEN public schools. So who’s recruiting who?

  • Basic


    So out of the 213 Private Schools you mention, how many won CIF-SS Titles? yes both Boys and Girls Basketball??? and don’t limit it to just a few Divisions, let’s take ALL Divisions…Just a wild guess here but I say 10 to 20 percent? This only a guess. Now what percent of Public schools won CIF-SS titles? maybe 5 percent??? So as you can see, you can make the numbers look any way you want them to look. So your twenty out of twenty four number is just that, another number…

    Maybe you’re right and I don’t understand but I wonder why Mater Dei Girls Basketball team played in D3 when they are so Highly ranked??? Maybe trying to avoid Brea or LB Poly???

  • illogical

    basic – you logic is flawed if you want to include the smaller divisions for comparison. There aren’t any public schools to compete against – so of course a private school is going to win. That’s like complaining that Calvary Baptist in La Verne got to the finals with their 50 kids or whatever it is and Bonita, in the same city, didn’t.
    Schools, like Mater Dei, don’t choose where they play – CIF does. They start with enrollment and move them up or down based on performance. So Mater Dei started in their division and moved up because of their playoff wins over the last four years.

  • Can we talk PIE CHARTS ?

    Basic with reasoning like that it’s no wonder I had to pay 20K in private school tuition last year alone. Just kidding! lol

    What is so difficult to understand. Schools that win have coaches and Administration working together with parents, boosters and alumni to win. Norco wins, Northview wins, Los Altos win, Moutain View wins, San Dimas wins, South Hills wins, Charter Oak wins, and on and on until the break of dawn…lol

    How is 20 out of 24 “just a number”? 2 boys out of ten and 2 girls out of team…seems to be pretty consistent doesn’t it?

    Fred can we get color coded pie charts in here?


    So with all this debating going on is the bottom line that public schools cannot compete with privates. Not according to the SGV. Just take a general consensus or better yet Fred throw up a voting thread on the subject and see what the public thinks.
    Let the masses decide.

  • J


  • Basic


    I just wanted to show that you can make numbers appear as you wish and spin them your way. The gist of my comments is that while I like Fred’s idea, I would prefer there be private and public CIF-SS brackets for CIF titles, then in the state round, let those winners play each other, at least in basketball I think this could be done. Four private CIF bracket and Six public, then the top two finishers of the top two brackets could go on for state titles.

    This makes so much sense in my own head…

  • Numbers already decided

    It doesn’t matter what they masses THINK. It already happened. IN divisions that have public AND private schools – PUBLIC schools made up 20 of the 24 teams in the CIF Finals. It doesn’t matter what your OPINION is. The results speak for themselves.

  • Basic


    That is not my point, if public can compete, we all know they can and WIN.

    My point is that why does a Mater Dei Girls Basketball team, that is Highly ranked in the country let alone the state, why do they get a CIF-SS Title when they didn’t have to play a Brea or an LB Poly??? And if they are going to dodge them during CIF, then why not just play OTHER Private schools during the CIF playoffs and not play any public schools??? If they do that, then their current title goes to a Public school, right? That is my point…

    Mater Dei would still get their title in the Private bracket so it’s a win win. Then after their title, they play in the State round and can play against Brea and LB Poly for a true State title.

    We all know each school can decide what they want to be successful in, so I am not complaining about that, all I am saying is why not have a private and public CIF??? then let the winners play in the state round.

  • jcaz

    Gosh, with all of this back and forth, everyone forgot to slam Fred for his picture here. I mean, isnt it every time Fred puts something up about these guys, that someone invariably hammers him about never giving them enough press ?

    Oh well, I guess you cant make everyone happy all of the time, but if you happen to have noticed, and I have BTW, we have, we have had, what ?? maybe 3 or 4 threads recently where we are discussing LVL in some way or the other. So I guess that by now, maybe Fred finally got it from the folks over there LVL ?

    Come on people, give him a few high fives there just for effort !

    Anyway, interestingly, we now have a discussion that is once again about private vs. public, and the perceived disparity that exist those two types of institutions.

    You know people, Joe got it right. He really did. You cant just sit here and punish privates because publics choose to remain mediocre.

    Look, often time we hear so much criticism from people in here about how Amat has advantages over many of the other public schools in this area, but I will (once again) remind you all that as a private school, we as parents, dont enjoy the same advantages that public schools parents do.

    For example, when any of our athletic teams travel to a far away game, there is no public school district with a vast resource of public funds that pays the gas for those busses.

    Same thing for our uniforms, equipment and our overall facilities. We as parents pay for all of that in one way or another. Heck, I would absolutely love it if the tax payers would shell out the hundreds of dollars that I have had to pay out over the years just for my kids text books, but hey, thats for another time and another thread. In the end, it really is the publics that have the biggest over all advantage here, not the privates.

  • Free Private Education

    The BA people aren’t going to start up that one that everyone pays are they. I know for a fact that one of the freshmen that is transferring out in June is going private and getting a free education. Top players if they can’t pay they play for free. Sorry, “They get a low income education grant from the school.”

  • POINTless

    basic – you can’t use the same argument on both sides of the point. earlier you wrote “as far as what LB Poly wants, it’s easy, they want private schools to STOP ducking them…”
    Teams do not “dodge” other teams in the playoffs. You get placed where the CIF places you.Mater Dei didn’t play D3 they were in 2A and had to beat the pretty darn good Woodbridge team Fred mentioned in the semis to earn their title – no one just “gets” one.Not sure where your point was going – because Poly, Brea also “got” their CIF championship.
    and now you say the publics deserve to have their own division? You don’t seem to understand. The public schools that want to be good – want to play the private schools. Competitors want to play the best. Those in the SGV, apparently do not.

  • FredJ

    Why is this turning into a slam on private schools? This being a week of reform, I thought separate public and private playoff divisions for state playoffs would be a fair compromise? Public and Privates already share the same CIF playoff divisions, why do they have to share the same state divisions?

  • basketballfan

    Hey Fred – i am just so happy to see all kinds of comments on basketball – at the end of football you were asking if we should all just jump to baseball blogging – see you were wrong – there are many fans of basketball that are just as passionate about the game! way to go all you crazy fans!!! i love it!!!

  • diogenes

    jcas…you have not been paying attention, parents and families of public high school athletes are paying directly or through their booster clubs ever increasing tabs for their young men and women to to play sports. It is not you don’t pay, they don’t play, but the schools and teams are seriously hurting for financial support. That includes contributions to uniform, shoe, ball, equip, and transport those players. Then there is the mandatory insurance, meals, away travel. If the district, school, or team can’t afford to bus, families provide the wheels. Surely the schools don’t pay for the glamour games at far off sites. In certain jurisdictions, privates and parochials play only each other, have their own tournaments and championships. Most of the nationally recognized schools are not public, particularly in basketball. In places like Ohio, Florida, and Texas, they mix it up. There, of course, publics can hold their own with the other guys and girls, except for the combos of talents that obliterate all comparisons and roll over everyone they play. Then you introduce them to LB Poly, Westchester, Chatsworth. Lakewood and the like. You will never come close to solving this problem until there is unlimited open enrollment among public schools for freshmen and one transfer at the end of that first year. Or take the control away entirely except for the loss of the following year’s eligibility.

  • Freeman Rankings

    13 of the top 25 teams in the country are public. The #1 school in the Nation is Yates, from Houston, a public school, In Texas they separate public and private – and the PUBLIC SCHOOLS are the better ones by far.

  • Jimmer

    Fred, Why separate them if they can all compete against each other. It’s like separating LvL, Amat, Western Christian, Rio Hondo Prep, Southlands Christian in our Valley and asking them to only play each other for our valleys supremacy. Then the rest of the valley will play each other for their own respective spot in the the rankings. Why?

    In terms of CIF, yes Fred it can work by separating them. However, they CAN all compete against each other, so why do it? The point of 22 out of 24 CIF finals teams being public schools prooves that there is not a huge discrepency. So, if every CAN compete then don’t try and separate them.

    I think you, Fred, believe in your own mind that Private schools do hold a competative advantage and that is why you bring up this proposal, but you are wrong. Aside from where person lives at the time of a transfer, all rules for public and private are exactly the same.

    So people, no recruiting (that is correct it is not legal for a private school to recruit), same transfer rules, same everything! How is there an advantage? There isn’t.

  • jcaz


    Thanks for your opinion. I appreciate the points you raised and your perspective.

    I guess all I was trying to point out was that it is far more tougher for the privates than people realize and no, it isn’t always an even playing field out there because in the end, we as parents and alumni, have to flip the bill each and every time !

    Not every now and then.

    Still, it’s refreshing when someone chims in with a different take, and dose’nt resort to calling the other blogger an idiot or some other such thing simply because they disagree.

  • Joe Amat


    “a fair compromise” to what? You wrote “When the CIF-SS playoffs started, we said our public schools didn’t have much of a chance with power private schools spread throughout the divisions…” yet 20/24 CIF-SS finalists in the top 3 divisions were public schools. That’s quite a bit more than “much of a chance. Just so you don’t think this year is special… In 2009 there were 18 Public D1-3 CIF-SS Finalists… and 6 Private School finalists. That’s 18 out of 24. At the State level in 2009 there were 9 public school finalists and 3 private schools represented in the top 3 divisions.

    Enrollment dictates those lower divisions will be almost all private schools, hence private school champions. It’s hard for me to feel any sympathy for 4AA that still had a dozen or so public schools, Amat beat three teams with losing records to get to the semis and most of the public schools in F4AA were eliminated by other public schools. Can’t blame that on public/private? I think Price moved all the way up from D6AA with their 75 HS kids. How far up should they move?

    People always think of the same private schools that seem to “dominate” But besides Mater Dei some of the biggest State powers have been Crenshaw, Westchester, Dominguez, Artesia among the Boys and LB Poly, Brea, Lynwood, Narbonne, and Troy on the girls side. All public schools.

    Where is this “compromise” that’s needed for the public schools.

    Then we can do this just for kicks and giggles. You start naming all the Private School Powers until you run out of schools. Then I’ll start from the bottom and start naming private schools that are awful until I get to the average ones. No one feels bad for them. And no one wants to reward the mediocre ones.

    You’re trying to create a “No Child Left Behind” for sports. Must be that soccer background and the AYSO mentality. Here’s an interesting quote from Eric Sondheimer, who’s about as anti-private school as they come (no offense intended) It’s about football – but it’s appropriate here in regards to the wussification of the FishBowl.
    He wrote
    “Fans had better be ready to be disappointed because the truth is the Pac-5 is the best, and it’s not going to be treated like Little League, where everybody gets a trophy.” http://is.gd/aTJLA

  • sherlock

    I like that we are rehashing this. And I love the idea for playoffs being separate until the states.

    The privates feel they would be getting punished, hogwash. If they want to schedule publics they can, and play in the tournaments where there are publics. Last time I checked publics can not have open houses or advertise in the tribune day after day (promoting championship sports programs) for new students, . Or give scholarships to players. Or pay their coach six figures to coach and teach study hall. Or hier as many coaches as they want. Our district will not allow the boosters to supplement any of the coaches salaries or even fund for more coaches. We are tied to the stipends we get. But the stipend can get divided up. Go figure but thats what we are faced with.

    Joe amat, you are right on about if the publics want to compete they can if its a total team effort, but, there are only a few of those that choose to do so, so what about the rest? What you and all others fail to get is the kids of all the other schools who do not have supportive principals or good coaches well the kids deserve the chance to get in on the fun. The kids have no vote, no say, no power, they play with the cards they are dealt with unless they are lucky enough to have parents that can afford a private or can make a transfer work. It seems that many of the publics view athletics as a necessary evil given all the parent complaints etc they have to deal with. But once in awhile a public and their kids have the moons all align and make it big (San Dimas baseball). Guess what, they had to go thru amat and were lucky that they did not use there lefty pitcher to close.

    So, if parents choose the private route more power to them, but let them play private too. Why intermingle when it was their choice to go private? I never got this. Let the publics play publics and the privates play private until the state but not the cif ss.

  • Basic


    I agree with most of what you are saying but there are those that keep bringing up the issue of “let them compete against each other to see who the best is.” So why did Mater Dei not tell CIF that they wanted to compete against the Best and asked to be moved up??? Because this would mean playing a Brea or LB Poly and not for a State title but for a CIF Title and possibly loosing AND not even getting an invite to State. Now Joe will say they came up in divisions and were put there by CIF blah blah blah..which is true but come on did any one think they were not going to win a CIF title in D3? AND get a shot at State???

    That was my original point, IF Privates say they want to play all schools, then play where it will be a challenge for you and not where you are almost guaranteed a CIF title. IF NOT, then why not break it down into 4 Private CIF Brackets and 6 Public CIF Brackets??? and then in the State round, take the top two finishers from the top two brackets and let them move on for a shot at State. Now someone said, if they did that this year, Mater Dei would have still gotten a title, which I also agree with, BUT that D3 title they got in CIF would have gone to a Public…

    So if Privates want to play all schools, then play where it is not going to be a cake walk, regardless of the number of students OR if that’s unfair, then play only other Privates, at least in CIF playoffs until the state round.

    Now this is only for Basketball…

  • Baseball NUT!

    This is REAL simple!

    Keep the PUBLIC AND PRIVATE together, BUT do as Fred says. BUMP UP the ENROLLMENT.

    We can dump the 12 divisions for all sports.

    I mean who really needs
    3AAA and so forth. Way TO MANY!

    If the Mater Dei’s and Brea’s for girls play in the “PLAYOFFS, then they should be in the SAME divison DURING the season.

    IF A respected school petitions to BUMP up a divison OR TWO to compete then GREAT. There should NEVER be a DROP in competition because your school LOST 75 kids from last year.

    The way it is going now, WAS instituted by none other then GARY McKNIGHT the coach AND A.D @ Mater Dei. He wants to guarantee as many CIF titles as possible, THEN “taking a chance” at a state title IF that ever became possible. Lets remember the STATE playoffs is LESS than 15 years old.

    Also I guess I am old school. IF you didn’t WIN a CIF title, or were a runner up , YOU should NOT participate in the STATE PLAYOFFS! It will NEVER happen though because CALIFORNIA is WAY TOO BIG!

    Enrollment would be close to Fred’s

    3500 + DIV I

    2,000- 3450 DIV II ( GIVE OR TAKE 50 KIDS, oterwise schools will fudge attendence)

    1000-1950 DIV III

    0-1000 DIV IV

    Lets face it, we hear about the private schools because they always seem to be in the championship of the MOST popular sport FOOTBALL!

    The schools with 3,000+ enrollment public schools USUALLY are in the game with them.

    So for now it stays the same, BUT it would be interesting for a change of some kind.

  • Joe Amat


    No where in any of this did anyone say anything about “private schools being punished”. In fact the tone of the thread is the exact opposite. And yes, public schools CAN advertise in the paper , I’ve seen plenty of Troy advertisements in our paper trying to attract students from our area to their school. On a more serious not, public schools don’t HAVE to pay to advertise – they can go straight to the consumer. The local public school simply sends a flyer home to every middle school student in their attendance area advertising what’s going on. Teachers from the high school can come on campus, and there is a natural flow from that feeder school to the high school. Private schools do not have that and must market their product to *paying customers*.

    At least in your second paragraph you admit the problem is unsupportive principals, administration, the district, and the individual schools choices. But that is not a CIF problem – it is a school problem. If they feel “the kids deserve it” then they’ll do something about it. If not – your beef is with them.

  • Joe Amat


    I don’t think I can say this any more clearly – and I hate to scream, but….


    So Mater Dei can’t do what you propose. Did you read that AND comprehend? CIF DOES NOT ALLOW DIVISIONAL CHOICE!!!

    Now repeat after me, “SCHOOLS… ARE… NOT… ALLOWED… TO… CHOOSE TO MOVE UP!!!!”

    You might say they SHOULD be allowed to. Well, we’ve been there…and done that. When you could move THEN you had the ducking that you speak of. Schools could look around and make a strategic move. You write, “IF Privates say they want to play all schools, then play where it will be a challenge for you and not where you are almost guaranteed a CIF title”… yet you want to separate them (Mater Dei) from the very schools (Brea, Poly) that you say they are ducking.

    So let’s continue to use Mater Dei as your example (who by the way were a very pedestrian 13-14 in ’07 and 15-13 the year before). If it were public/private… then who would they play? The next best girls private school teams are Santa Margarita (they swept them in league by 29 once and 39 the next time. THAT’S the challenge you want them to face)and Amat, who Santa Margarita played close – so the Amat/Mater Dei matchup might be the same. But you want “a challenge” Try this, start at the top, with Mater Dei as you like to do, and list the next best 32 private school teams. THAT’S your playoff bracket. It wouldn’t be very pretty and MUCH less balanced than it is today.

    Schools are placed by enrollment and a formula gives points for every playoff win the past 4 years(1pt for a 1st rnd win, 2 pts, 2nd rnd, etc). So their performance in 06 & 07 (only 1 playoff win) keeps them from moving up as far as their boys did. Both CIF-Finalist are automatically in the State playoffs – so MD losing there does not eliminate them from State. Amat lost in the SEMIS and got invited. Not that it matters because you won’t get it anyway – but that Brea team Mater Dei was “ducking”…. just lost to the Monarchs in the State playoffs.

    How much more fair can it be than to put schools (who ALL play under the same CIF rule book) where they belong enrollment wise (as they do in the entire state) and THEN move them up based on their performance. Teams that do better – move up more. What isn’t equitable about that?

  • Fish Bowl Politics

    Joe you’re a cruel bastard if I ever saw one!

    The fact that you know what you’re talking about and have those GD facts to back you up only add to your twisted enjoyment. Why can’t you let people enjoy their Fish Bowl distorted view of the world? Seems very heartless to be so cold. Why insert the 20 out of 24 teams argument when this conversation is much more fluid than that and much more complex….lol

    Joe instead of coming at arguments from an “Ocean” view consider the view of a Fish Bowl “fish”. How would they know differently unless the “fish” have ever been in the Ocean? Reminds me of those that go to the Beach and say the water is too cold…really? Probably deep as well.

    Some say private schools have an advantage “yet” Damien has one Football playoff win in 7 years, won no league titles in Basketball in 10 and has how many league titles in Baseball in the past 8 years? And tehy enjoy being the “only” Private school in their division…not just league!

    Success is mandated on more things than tuition and parents who “lawyer up”. To hear Baldwin Park’s coach after the Mustangs beat them might have added fuel to this fire but who was crying the blues for Salesian when the doors were closing or when we were losing Football games to Loyola, Crespi, Notre Dame, St. John Bosco and other BIG FISH private schools. Who was crying when we played Banning, Pasadena, Muir, Blair and other CITY POWERHOUSES..no one.

    The Fish Bowlers out here have to realize the areas of their success and build on them, like baseball. What are the Fish Bowlers going to do when they enter the Ocean that is College admissions…ask to be reviewed separate from Private school kids who have some sort of academic advantage? History has shown “separate but equal” doesn’t work…never has.

    Instead of arguing from a position of weakness why not applaud a SEMI finalist being “invited in” and reaching the State Championship Game…that’s a story worth discussing…well that and the fact that Wiard is fast becoming our version of Geno Auriemma.

    Coaching Matters and always will. Too many Fish Bowlers say “We/They have NO TALENT”…ever seen the Bishop Amat girls…I say this respectfully mind you. Ever seen a Bishop Amat Football practice? Coaching Matters but player’s that commit, are disciplined and work hard matter as well.

    Fred you’re getting lazy if you missed Joe’s stat before the argument was made. I see you pandering but come on….you’ve seen the Ocean.

  • Fred Robledo

    Hey Joe and others, read the little piece in the Times that I attached at the top of this..

  • Joe Amat


    I did see that blog and I quoted Sondheimer from a couple topics later in a post below

    It’s important to separate his comments from the others – as his are editorial. The important points are:

    1) “private schools are dominant in the lower divisions with small enrollments.”

    If there aren’t any (or even very few) public schools in the division – there obviously won’t be a public school representative. The only public schools in the lowest divisions are those in outlying areas like Maricopa, Silver Valley, Mojave… not your typical basketball hotbeds.

    Should private schools be complaining that there aren’t ANY private schools in boys or girls Division 1? You know why? Because there are only TWO private schools in CIF-SS D1 boys and ZERO in the girls. Of course u=you;re going to have a public school representative. Same with the small schools – but different. Kapish?

    2) “Marie Ishida, executive director of the CIF, said, “As long as we continue to divide up our championships by enrollment based, we’ll probably have the issue come up continually in the future.”

    It’s here to stay as long as enrollment is used. And it’s the REST of the state that wants enrollment based playoffs because they have, typically, smaller schools. It’s the only way they can compete across the board and within their region.

    3) “15 of the 20 high school teams headed to Bakersfield this weekend for the state basketball championships are from private schools ”

    Eliminating the bottom 2 divisions and the 8 private schools that represent them, the number is now 7 of the 12 – just one away from equal… and we can thank Coach Wiard orchestrating an upset of Inglewood, or it would have been 6 to 6.

    Now it is Sondheimer’s opinion that “Somebody had better get smart and come up with some good ideas, because one day, it just might be a state championship with only private schools represented.” A bit of hyperbole that will never happen because of sheer numbers. He should have thought about what he wrote a few hours later when he wrote about the Pac5…”it’s not going to be treated like Little League, where everybody gets a trophy.” ”

    Welcome to the State Playoffs.

  • Basic


    I didn’t go to an SGV school but rather a Power City School, ranked number 2 in the NATION my sophomore year so I am not looking from a fish bowl, but hey that explains my understanding, right? city school education…

    One more time, I am not complaining about Privates and their advantages or dis-advantages. My point was and still is: Mater Dei’s CIF title seemed to be a cake walk and took away from a Public getting a CIF title. That is all…Well that and it also gave them a shot at state, which they Might not have had, had they have to play Brea and/or Poly in the CIF playoff round…

    Joe, I KNOW they get placed by CIF but I thought Fred’s comments were about options and or ideas, that is why I chimed in.

    So why not keep it enrollment based, however, give the option to each school to move UP when they have a great team? No they can not ask to be moved down but can petition to be Moved UP and go through a tougher road??? Look at LV Lutheran, I Think this year they could have had a shot at a CIF title in a higher Div, I think they could have beaten Bonita this year which had to play a few divs above Lutheran. Yes this will not happen because we all want to get our CIF titles, but I am just peeing in the pond and throwing ideas out there…

    BTW, the numbers still are:
    “15 of the 20 high school teams headed to Bakersfield this weekend for the state basketball championships are from private schools”
    Are they not???

  • Bigger picture….

    Maybe the big picture in looking at private schools is too look at academic and competitive equity as a whole, thereby determining if any one particular private school is providing a service or disservice to the community as a whole!

    For the lack of a better place, please let us start with LVL.

    1) Top Notch Basketball program, with the majority of the kids on the Basketball team on an “athletic scholarship” which covers about half the tuition (or more) (WORDS of the AD, NOT MINE). Not bad – if they are a school with plenty of money that is a great thing, I guess!?!?!??

    2) Football program played 3 of 10 scheduled varsity games, and were seriously outscored (in two of the games) and proceeded to forfeit the rest of the season season and move to JV.

    3) JV team then played three games, were outscored in the range of 200-14 and then folded canceling the last two games. All this occurred in football, after the coach left and recommended they drop football since the school had no money to dedicate to “scholarships” for football players, and these were funds he had been promised!! Check with Mr. Godinez if you doubt this statement.

    4) Baseball team forfeited a game today, do not know all the reasons behind the forfeit – but obviously that is a red flag. Will they finish the season? Or like the football team are they done????

    5) School has a stated goal of the 46th pecentile on PSAT goals – so in other words – if you go to school there – the military or Junior College is your route in life. Hope the four or five DI prospects they have in BB are prepared to meet the demands of the school they decide to attend!!!!! Would be shame for Coach Cooper to go through all this effort and all his “boys” to flunk out of college.

    6) The BB coach is also listed as the information director. This is AFTER being relieved of his duties as a PE teacher due to the clothes scandal. Yeah he was amazed that parents were upset that kids taking PE last year were required to buy (two sets of) clothes from a company HE designated at an extreme mark-up and it turns out HE received a kickback!!! Furthermore, the school’s website under “Trojans in the News” shows nothing except Basketball information, as “information director” I would assume that is his doing????? And this is after he had an assistant coach listed as “Admissions director!!!”

    7) Unless Baseball or Softball makes CIF playoffs (and early returns say no – despite playing in one of the weakest CIF leagues) no team besides basketball will have made it to CIF playoffs!

    I could go on about the complete lack of leadership by the principal of the school, but I think my point is made – the discussion should not be public vs. private, but instead the debate could be are these private schools focused on one sport or another conerned about providing a quality education!?!??!?!

  • Curiouser and curiouser

    If all of this is true, and it sounds like it might be – too many details – we are beginning to see what others have been saying.
    What I found interesting is the list of players that is found on this sight as “Alumni of Quick Shot”. Interesting how many of this years roster are on the list.
    Also interesting that the “Quick Shot Hall of Fame” members are in LVL uniforms

  • sherlock

    Joe Joe Joe Amat,

    You are the ultimate blogger but I hope you can admit when you have it wrong. Publics can not send any of their athletic coaches to the middle schools, only their AD, and are allowed one open house on campus, not many ala the privates. Yes they can send teachers but they are pumping the academics and rightfully so. And did you see Damiens ad in todays paper. And why even bring Troy into this? Name 2 top athletes from the sgv that are at Troy playing Football, Basketball, or Baseball?

    The kids deserve better and do not deserve to go head to head with coaching staffs that are paid WAY more than the publics could ever dream of . If there was a convenient private maybe I would send my kid there now that I understand how the deck is stacked against the publics with players and to me more significantly the coaching.

  • sherlock

    another thought,

    It seems that basketball lends itself to the private domination thing. Why? Its kinda like Duke, and all the private schools that do well in ncaa, schools can get a lot of publicity , maybe win cif , or go to state because their cost in players (via scholarships, coaches needed, equipment cost etc) is the best bang for the buck. In other words they can get a bunch of local publicity, offer year after year of championship games to its future recruits, and basically get all the buzz at a discount rate. Cant do that in football or baseball , it takes to many players and the schools cant give out those kind of scholarships or they would not survive. But they can give out what 3 to 5 freebies to hoops kids and then compete year after year . And then all the other great players with wealthy parents come anyway just because

    Its just not right. Let em play private cause they ultimately chose to do so. And if you want to find out who the best is well that can happen in the state.

  • Trojan Nation said:

    Trojan fan said:For those that would like to go to Bakersfield to watch the Lutheran boys make history,there will be a charter bus leaving early am Sat. morning ($20)rnd. trip,limited seating, call school for your reservation! Go Trojans!

  • Trojan Nation said:

    Trojan fan said:For those that would like to go to Bakersfield to watch the Lutheran boys make history,there will be a charter bus leaving early am Sat. morning ($20)rnd. trip,limited seating, call school for your reservation! Go Trojans!

  • Trojan Nation said:

    Trojan fan said:For those that would like to go to Bakersfield to watch the Lutheran boys make history,there will be a charter bus leaving early am Sat. morning ($20)rnd. trip,limited seating, call school for your reservation! Go Trojans!