Did the Montview League get the shaft, and are public schools paying a hefty price for travel?

I spoke with Azusa High AD Sandy Gahring while covering a softball game Thursday about Tuesday’s appeals. Gahring said if the Montview is forced to move to the Northwest, she is not sure if the school will be able to afford transportation for potential playoff games at schools like Fillmore or Nordoff (Ojai) — from the Tri Valley League — given next year’s school budget. Gahring’s other concern was the gate for home games. She said with the Mid-Valley Division comprised of area teams, it not only makes travel easier, but it increases gate revenue for home playoff games because of the easy travel for visiting area teams. I’m in total agreement with Gahring. Forget the fact the Montview is moving into a tougher division after struggling to compete in its previous division, now you’re going to ask the schools to fork out a lot more money for travel and lose a lot more money in gate revenue. Forget competitive equity for a minute, but shouldn’t the financial costs and the burden it will place on the schools take precedent given the financial situation public schools are in? Geographic proximity, more than ever, should be the most important factor CIF considers when making these decisions. It should be the most important factor in re-leaguing as well. My biggest beef when Glendora was moved to the Baseline was the travel. You’re moving a public school into a league where it’s closest league foe is Los Osos! That’s ridiculous. These aren’t club programs, these are public high schools. As it is, Glendora can’t afford an on campus football coach. You move Charter Oak and South Hills into the Sierra for league games against Claremont, Chino Hills and Ayala when you have other high schools like Covina, Northview, West Covina, San Dimas and others just a few miles from each other which would cut travel costs down dramatically, while also giving athletes that extra hour or two for homework with league games much closer to home. I’m all for competitive equity, but the price the school’s are paying in travel at a time when school’s are forced to cut so many costs makes no sense at all.

By Aram Tolegian
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 league out of the Mid-Valley Division and into the Northwest Division.

The league, represented by Workman High School assistant principal Scott Cavanias, athletic director Victor Perdomo and varsity football head coach Scott Morrison, argued 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 league can appeal Tuesday’s decision at the April 25 Southern Section council meeting, where new groupings will be ratified.


Perdomo said he was unsure if the league would appeal again at the meeting and 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.”

The Tribune also learned the Mission Valley League is scheduled to appeal the new Mid-Valley Division proposal in another appeals hearing on April 4. The league will be represented 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 in the Mid-Valley Division under the new proposal. But 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 currently is made up of the Almont, Mission Valley, Montview, Olympic, Rio Hondo and Valle Vista leagues. Its appeal to local coaches is five of the six leagues are located in the San Gabriel Valley. 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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  • Amat Alumni and Parent

    Obviously I send my kids to Amat and we are a private school so travel comes at the parents’ expense. I also know all about long distance traveling. Have you seen how spread out our league is?

    It is always easy to use cost as an issue and I am sure there are additional costs to this, but instead of complaining have they actually come up with a figure at the possible costs for their travel expenses?

    I would also like to know if they have any possible solutions to cover for these travel expenses other than complaining?

    This is a time when parents and school should pull together and figure out ways to raise money to help with travel expenses. Recruit sponsors, fundraising, and maybe even open up the ol wallet and pay for some of these expenses.

    It is my choice to send my sons to private school and it is our choice for them to play sports at Amat. It is far from free and any Amat parent will tell you we pay quite a bit in sports fees. Believe me when I say most are far from rich and we have have the same financial issues as any other parents in any school.

    This is an extra-curricular and maybe the parents, the school’s administrators, and the students need to figure out how to cover these costs. This is when a community can get together and figure this thing out.

    Make it happen!

    P.S If I hit the lotto on Friday I will cover the Montview League playoff travel expenses.

  • As I see it

    As I have stated over and over again for the last few years it is better to set up these league by ease of travel and rivalries. Because of the loss of income from the state the local public schools are going to struggle to make ends meet. What is wrong with a league of Chino – Don Lugo – Chino Hills – Ayala – Diamond Ranch – Diamond Bar – Walnut – Rowland or one of Covina – West Covina – South Hills – San Dimas – Damien – Bonita – Glendora – Charter Oak. Full of rivals that hate each other not only on the field but in the stands as well. These kids all grow up playing pop waner and little league with and against each and want to play each other in high school. Just these examples alone are competitive not only for football but also baseball or basketball as well. The money saved in travel would huge – all the schools on the 60 are 5 miles from each other. What else could they want?

  • Desert Rat

    I agree with Amat Alumni and Parent.

    Realize that only two teams and possibly an at-large would have to travel at max twice in the playoffs. They have more than enough time to get the funding privately or publicly to cover those costs.

    Fred…the Northwest is going to be really weaker than the Mid-Valley as far as talent goes. So the whole “they’re going up” complaint isn’t really a legit beef.

  • Aaron

    Fred…you and Escarcega both need to get out a map!

    I’m going to use my google fu to illustrate to you why you need to take a stenography class.

    Glendora is 11.1 miles from Upland if you take surface streets and 12.5 if you get off on the baseline exit. Glendora is 18.1 miles from Los Osos…do your freakin’ homework before you open up please!

  • Fred Robledo

    You’re right in terms of miles, but the travel time is about equal. Even 11 miles is a long way for a league game. It would be quicker to go to Pasadena. 18 miles to Los Osos is a long way too, especially when Damien, Bonita, Monrovia, San Dimas, Charter Oak and Azusa are far closer to Glendora than all of the schools in its league. But the coaches, athletic directors and principals vote on where teams should be placed, and they’re far more concerned with winning than doing what is practical and what is right given today’s economic climate for public schools. Amat Alum, you’re right, you send your kids to a private school knowing what you’re getting into with costs, travel and fund raising. Public school parents, many of whom struggle and might not have any spare time to fund raise, shouldn’t have that same burden. For many of them, they would just like to watch their kids play, which is difficult when Glendora is playing Los Osos or Etiwanda on the road midweek when they could play neighboring Damien, Bonita or Monrovia. Parents of South Hills and Charter Oak would get to see their kids more and save on gas mileage if they played neighboring San Dimas, West Covina, Northview, Covina and so forth. But everyone is more concerned with winning than anything else, so you have the situation that you’re in.

  • Inappropriate

    “Get the shaft”? Really Freddy? Is that an appropriate phrase for journalism?

  • Fred Robledo

    What makes it so inappropriate?

    get the shaft
    Sl. to be cheated; to be taken advantage of; to be mistreated

  • Robert E Lee

    Time for secession from the CIF altogether. Lets cut offthe beast and take mattersinto our own hands for our sake.

  • Desert Rat

    Fred….you make it seem like these teams are traveling to North Dakota…not around the bend. Relax pumpkin.

    And who said there’s more of an emphasis on winning? They’re trying to level the playing fields and make everyone somewhat comparable to each other.

  • BraveDad

    @Amat Alumni and Parent,

    I could not agree with you more. Robledo, I totally disagree with you about public school parents not having time, etc to fundraise. We Private school parents work too and we MAKE TIME to fundraise. It’s not a luxury, its hard work and it’s something we understand going in. During this tough economic landscape it is time that Public school parents learn how to make it happen. Private school parents pay taxes that go to Public schools, we work, we fundraise, we attend MANDATORY meetings and it’s time publics do the same heck, why should we pay for Public school kids and our kids tuition too (thats a rhetorical questions and I know the answer, I pose the questions to underscore my point).

    Oh and Robledo, you don’t think my wife and I wouldnt mind just showing up on Friday night to watch our kid play? Sorry pal, that’s not how it works and it’s certainly not an action to model. Hard work, dedication, sense of community, that’s what separates Privates from Publics. Oh and finally, Privates also have underprivileged kids who’ve proven they have the academic history, prowess, and drive to succeed academically and they are enrolled in Private schools on financial aid; and guess what, their parents do more volunteer hours than non-financial aid students, so…

    PS
    Sorry Amat Parent, if I win the lottery Friday night Bosco and my parish (elementary school) get part of my money brother. Thats where we disagree, but hey, perhaps youre a better man that I LOL!

  • Joe Amat

    Freddie,

    Weren’t you in favor of sending an Inland League into the Pac5? Aren’t they public schools too? How would that drive be from Temecula or Murrietta to Alemany be?

    Maybe not quite as bad as San Clemente to St Bonaventure already could be this year?

  • Middy

    Easy for you to say Desert Rat. Lancaster is South Dakota for most of us. Lets just say that the Montview should have been placed in the Southern Division. Would have made sense. I don’t mind playing you guys, but the traffic will suck.

  • bfan

    I agree with Robert E Lee..Why do we need the CIF anymore?What do they provide?I say all schools schools should drop CIF like a hot potato.Just like the NCAA Beast.

  • Fred Robledo

    You miss the point, travel costs for athletic teams is a heavy burden on school districts, especially given today’s gas prices. There is a story today about the Baldwin Park school district having to issue 35 pink slips to teachers, so you need to find creative ways to cut costs, and having teams in league’s where school’s are close in proximity is a way to reduce cost. Otherwise, sports teams are going to start being eliminated, they already have at some schools.

    Brave Dad, I wasn’t talking about all parents, I was generalizing that there are a lot of parents in situations where they have a difficult enough time with rent, food and the basic necessities that families have to take care of first. Not everyone has the time, or type of job that allows them to “make it happen,” as you suggest.

  • Fred Robledo

    I was Joe, but the more you think about it, the more you hear from administrators, travel is a heavy burden. I feel more strongly about it with league re-alignment than division re-alignment, but in both cases I think you have to look at geography more than ever. Look at how many high schools have had head coaches quit in the past year in the San Gabriel Valley. Not one of them was replaced with a full-time teaching job to go with being head football coach. Money is tight.

  • BraveDad

    @ Fred Robledo,

    Point taken. Perhaps a network of the Public school parents at each site that can afford the time and have the type of job (flexibility being the key, right?) should lead the charge. Reach out to philanthropic agencies, hold fundraisers a few times a year, e.g., casino night, Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, a taste of (fill in the blank); Alumni vs. faculty basketball, etc are all examples of ways to raise funds. Set up silent auctions at these events with companies that bring the items on consignment (and they run and staff the auction). The brunt of the planning hours and the heavy lifting could be handled by the sub-group with the time, knowledge, and the aforementioned job flexibility and then the day/night of the event everybody pitches in for a few hours (or they can buy out if they choose not to work). It can be done and Los Altos HS proved it this past Saturday food trucks are a hot way to raise funds right now and I for one will drive over the hills and far away for food truck events. Good luck everyone; as we all know raising and supporting kids and their activities is not easy.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Fred I don’t get it. back in the day when Charter Oak won their BACK TO BACK Championships , they got bounced the next year from their League. Okay Monrovia and WEST COVINA do the same these last two years, but nooooooooo!!! The CIF kicks out the lowly, poor little guy, small guy on campus and you get my point! AZUSA was getting closer and closer each year in the MID VALLEY, but yet we get the boot! Maybe the CIF people are still pissed off at AZUSA, for selecting them #1 seed in the VALLEY that year,and they gave up that game in the FIRST ROUND to that Christian School from SUN VALLEY! By the way CIF PEOPLE you were right on selecting AZUSA that year. We went 10-0, I don’t care what anybody says! By the way Fred who wants to travel way out their to bum,**** EGYPT and play in the FREAKING COLD! HAHAHAH… FRED, YOU KNOW THAT’S WHY ROSEMEAD LOST WHEN THEY PLAYED PARACLETE!THEY WEREN’T USED TO THAT TYPE OF TEMPERATURE!

    MONTVIEW LEAGUE COACHES AND AD’S, get out their fight and APPEAL!

    AZUSA FOOTBALL!

    P.S. FRED, THANK YOU FOR PUTTING UP KENDREC’S ARTICLE! FALLEN AZTEC!

  • Amat Alumni and Parent

    I still find it comical that all these cuts are happening, yet asking the parents and students to do a little more seems out of the question. I don’t understand why they can’t come up with an estimated cost and somewhat figure out the difference and raise that money.

    I am sorry, but that argument about parents having no time is B.S. I know a ton of Amat parents who work two jobs yet find ways to meet their obligations. Students can also find ways to raise money as well. It is a matter of how bad do you really want it? At least try and don’t automatically assume that people won’t do whatever it takes to make this happen.

  • Aaron

    Aztec Pride…I need you to breath for me. Every four years they teams may be moved into different leagues…but every two years that league could be placed in a different division. So if M-Town wins one more they’ll be in the Pacific.

  • ‘splain to me?

    To give you a lilttle financial comparison. In California schools spend $7,434 per student. At Bishop Amat Tuition for 2011-2012 is $6,605 an increase of $220 over 2010-2011 and registration fees are $700 (same as 2010-2011).

    Looks to me like Amat gets roughly the same amount of tuition dollars as the public schools in the state. Why the disparity in what they should be expected to do/contribute?

  • Unimpressed

    I can’t believe how fired up these Amat parents are, and how superior they want to sound. I don’t know why, Amat is darn near a “public school with tuition” Please don’t try to put yourselves in the same category as prestigious high schools such as Loyola, Bosco or Servite. I’ve seen the caliber of student that gets accepted to Amat and to put it best….it’s nothing to write home about.

  • ‘splain to me?

    Unimpressed – not an Amat parent and never been one. Don’t read anything that claims or speaks to the school being superior. Just see things about commitment. And questioning finances or public vs private. Maybe you can ‘splain to me too

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Aaron, thank you and didn’t know that! When was the last time that happened to the Montview League,or any other league in our vincinity.

    GOOD LOOKING!

  • Amat Alumni and Parent

    Unimpressed,

    What in the world are you talking about? If you saw anywhere in my post that I was claiming how superior Amat is then you might have some self-esteem issues.

    My point is I don’t see why public schools can not ask the surrounding communities, family and students to pull together to help out with funding for EXTRA CIRCULAR activities.

    To be quite honest I don’t care what school the kids go to. It is parental guidance and involvement that is the ultimate success of a child. I have seen great people come from different schools and I give full credit to the parents.

  • Been there done that

    Amat Alumni and Parent,

    What makes you think that public schools arent already doing extra fundraising to help cover the cost of transportation for sports. My son is a sophomore and weve been doing the extra fundraising the last two years because if we dont it will have to come out of our(parents)pocket. Not saying its a big deal(fundraising) but transportation was cut out of the schools budget and we as parents knowingly have to cover the cost of transportation(school buses). We do four fundraisers just for football and im sure were not the only school “pulling together and figuring out waysto raise money”.

  • Been there done that

    Amat Alumni and Parent,

    What makes you think that public schools arent already doing extra fundraising to help cover the cost of transportation for sports. My son is a sophomore and weve been doing the extra fundraising the last two years because if we dont it will have to come out of our(parents)pocket. Not saying its a big deal(fundraising) but transportation was cut out of the schools budget and we as parents knowingly have to cover the cost of transportation(school buses). We do four fundraisers just for football and im sure were not the only school “pulling together and figuring out waysto raise money”.

  • Old Timer

    the Amat Parent and others:

    Its funny to sit here and listen to you complain about public school parents and there “so Called Lack of participation” Everyone that has ever been around the SGV like myself for over 30 yrs knows that Amat is just a glorified public school. The school itself recruits like crazy, gets a ton of money from Alums, etc. granted you have to do your part in working a play, snackbar, taking tickets, working a dance etc. Big Deal! Your school also does not have to deal with some of the issues that public schools deal with. Example: You are going to sit there and tell me your 1900 or so kids and there parents are the same as the 1900 kids and the parents of say a Azusa High or Gladstone or Sierra Vista? Come on now, its not even the same thing and everyone on this board that puts there feelings aside knows I am right. Also you have something the public schools done have – “FRIENDS OF THE PROGRAM” you probably know nothing about this seeing as you spend hours on this board etc. I can go down the line and give you example after example of kids at Amat that do not or have not paid a RED CENT NICKLE to attend that school. That is a Fact and not just Hot Air!!
    Public schools are in serious trouble and this is just another example of taking the fun out of athletics and making it about a just a couple leagues thinking there HIGH PROFILE SCHOOL is being screwed, and there complaining parents. Therefore they petition to move all the time, The Montview League has always been getting screwed for as long as I can remember. I love watching the Montview League play sports, why do I say that? I will tell you why, The Montview League is about TEAM SPORTS! Always has been and always will be, they do not have the best Athletes these days but they continue to play team sports w Neighborhood kids. The Team means more then the player. I used to watch South Hills, Amat, Charter Oak etc. all the time In Both Baseball and Football ( who I am is not important) and to tell you the truth they have great athletes but never really saw or felt the team vibe. People w argue this point but once again, I know better as I was in this Hornets Nest many times. Parents always complaining to Coach’s and Admins. Players not really caring for one another because these so called “great” head coach’s always baby there best players. Before you get all mad here ( youngsters ) Ive played, coached, admin, etc in this Valley so I know what I am saying. EXAMPLE: You take a Remkus from Gladstone or Stevens from Sierra Vista and put them coaching South Hills, Los Osos, Etc. they would or be put in a position to win the CIF Championship every year, and the kids would know about hard work, discipline and respect. See anyone can coach a great talent, now you put Smitty over at Gladstone or La Puente and he would not win 5 games. That was proven years ago right guys. Back in the day in Baseball the Montview League teams used to Mop up the likes of Bonita and San Dimas… Its funny how things have changed as Demographics have changed. I remember In football watching Parham at Bassett etc. Wow how things have changed.

    I hate it that Public Schools have such a difficult time in funding programs. The Parents are not the same these days either, and one more thing, the School District has to worry about all schools and not just one private school.

    thanks for the time

  • Desert Rat

    Work fundraisers? That means I would actually have to give up “ME” time and actually take part in my childs life….l-m-a-o!!!! Its just easier to leave them with the sitter — coughs — football coach and let everyone else figure out the logistics.

  • Anon

    Fred,
    I talked to a transportation person yesterday who knows how Glendora Unified works. Glendora has no busses so they charter everything out. They pay a flat fee for a 5 hour minimum no matter where they go and then 40 bucks an hour after that. The company they use is making a bundle, but, bottom line, Glendora would pay the same amount for transportation whether they were in the Sierra, Hacienda, or Baseline leagues. So please quit telling me transportation is the issue. Competitive equity is the issue. As far as the montview goes, they would have 1 maybe 2 distance trips for CIF. i was told you’re looking at most an extra $600 to $800 per bus. You’re telling me they cant come up with that? Money is tight, but please. CIF laughs when schools talk about having travel. It aint bad when you compare the travel the Northern leagues or the desert leagues have to make. Or how about the league Avalon is in. they have to take the ferry ride every time they go there and pay for the ferry to boot. If you compare Glendora’s travel to RC with say Bishop Union’s travel, give me a break. Maybe they should use a different charter company that doesn’t rape them blind. Maybe their district and others should make decisions about how they have spent money the last 10 years. Financially sound entities plan for good years and bad years and dont spend money before they have it.

  • Tell Us

    Old Timer – since you been around so long and seem to have all the answers and inside info, maybe you can answer ‘splain to me? Who said:
    To give you a lilttle financial comparison. In California schools spend $7,434 per student. At Bishop Amat Tuition for 2011-2012 is $6,605 an increase of $220 over 2010-2011 and registration fees are $700 (same as 2010-2011).
    Looks to me like Amat gets roughly the same amount of tuition dollars as the public schools in the state. Why the disparity in what they should be expected to do/contribute?

  • New York

    Freddy,
    You could do some investigative journalism and follow the money. Where does the gate money from CIF games go? How is it used? I recall that CIF game tickets are always more expensive. Do they still NOT honor ASB discounts? Where does the money go? CIF should direct those gate funds to pay for teams’ bus rides to their playoff destinations.

    Montview fans,
    The Montview once competed against the Los Padres League as well as the Pacific Coast League (South Orange County) and Sunkist League (Riverside). This “Northern” division really is not THAT far north…

    Look at it positively: when else will the players have a chance to get out of the fish bowl and have a real playoff experience? It might sound far-fetched, but driving on a 20 mile road trip might be a big and positive experience for some of the players and families and friends who go to the game.

  • Desert Rat

    So now the MVL is flip-flopping. Is it the money or the competition?

  • Joe Amat

    New York,

    I believe playoff gates are split 60/40 between CIF and the two schools. Expenses used to be paid first, but now I think CIF takes their 60%, then expenses are paid and THEN the schools split whats left.

    So to answer the question, travel expenses come out of the gate. In essense, because expenses are paid before the schools split, the Home and Away teams are essentially splitting that cost.

    i’m like you. This is a chance to get out of the valley and create some memories. I remember trips and away games far more than most home games.

  • New York

    Joe Amat,
    Thanks for the info. I was suggesting that the CIF utilize its aggregate portion to cover travel expenses across the section. That governing body has designed the sections and should assist in the travel expenses that it has created. Maybe that would put teams’ travel accomodations onto an even playing field. That would likely change the splits but it seems reasonable to me…

  • Joe Amat

    NY,

    I think it is fair when expenses come off the top first and THEN the two schools split the net with the CIF. Then they all share equally in the costs.

  • New York

    Joe Amat,
    The opposition’s argument is that the distance will hinder big gate receipts as compared to the local matchups. They argue a double-whammy: smaller gates and higher transportation costs. It might be hard for a D-1 guy like you to imagine, but many lower division playoff games are not sold out on the visitor’s side…or even the homeside if the matchup is not “meaningful.” I was suggesting the CIF subsidize travel costs for some of those lesser-attended matchups where the gates might not cover the costs. Again, what does the CIF do with its 60% of the gate?