Damien, St. Lucy’s win arbitration with CIF to remain in Mt. SAC area instead of going to Parochial leagues

“It’s somewhat ridiculous, in my mind, as to what CIF put these schools through,” said attorney Robert Prada, whose firm represented Damien and St. Lucy’s. “From our point of view, the welfare of these students was not their concern. I think this result validates that.”


By Aram Tolegian, Erik Boal, Staff Writers
Get ready, because Damien High School and St. Lucy’s Priory will once again be coming to a league near you, while Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure could be returning to a familiar place.

The four schools won their arbitration hearing against the CIF-Southern Section on Friday, with Damien and St. Lucy’s headed back to the Mt. SAC Area for playoff grouping rather than being placed in a parochial grouping. Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure will remain part of the Northern Area.

“This has been a long, hard process, and we are pleased to have resolution,” said Jim McClune, assistant superintendent for the Department of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ response to the ruling.

“We are glad that the arbitrator understood the concerns that we had about the Area Placement decision, and its effect on our students. We look forward to working cooperatively with CIF-SS to implement the arbitrator’s decision allowing us to remain in the Northern Area and Mt. SAC Areas. We appreciate that the independent arbitrator rendered his decision promptly, so that all the affected schools can begin planning for the upcoming year.”

Damien, St. Lucy’s, Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure took to the legal system last spring after they were placed in the parochial area and put into new leagues for the new re-leaguing cycle that runs 2014-16.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Michelle Dymerski

    What does this mean?????? I have two daughters at St Lucy’s and was actually entertaining the idea of transferring them out because they would have to miss so much school for sports games….

    • FredJ

      What it means is that St. Lucy’s and Damien will not go to the Parochial Leauges they will go back to the Mt. SAC area which has to releague all over again …. It means Damien and St. Lucy’s are back in public school leagues. They will likely be part of the Palomares or Baseline leagues, but who knows how those leagues get re-worked now

      • PatrickHT

        The ONLY schools in the area that bitch and get what they want!!!

        • Mike Johnson

          These two schools have been playing local public schools for over 40 years. They have never “dominated” in any sport. It all comes down to travel and time for homework. Please explain your comment about “…bitch and get what they want”. What exactly did they “get”? Not having to travel 50+ miles one way for away games? Not having to be taken out of school at 11:00 AM to make an away game? Please elaborate, PatrickHT, I’m curious what your gripe is about.

          • Bumoto Yo

            Academics matter to these schools, 100% of their graduates go to college. Excessive travel time would cut into their rigorous curriculum.

          • Valley Athletics

            If it is all about travel time why do they schedule palm desert , temescal canyon , Los alamitos . Palm desert is way farther than notre dame Sherman oaks which is the most farthest team they would of played . bishop Amat has been traveling that far to crespi, alemany and Notre Dame . There was only 2 games that I see far on the shedule . Notre dame and Serra . amat and Loyola are not far in my opinion . And by the way those schools also have to travel and they are not complaining .

          • Mike Johnson

            Travel time is only part of the equation. You also have to consider the “rivalries” Damien and St. Lucy’s have built up over the years with the local public schools. Back in my day, we had a great rivalry with Chaffey HS in Soccer. That rivalry was replaced by Claremont after Damien left the Baseline and went into the “old”Baseline, now Sierra, League. Then you had the Glendora rivalry in FB and BB. Ex-coach DHS teacher/coach LeDuc moving to Glendora way back when. These kids (DHS and all the local High Schools) all grew up together, competed with each other from little league, AYSO, etc… It’s fun to watch, fun to be a part of, fun to stay “local” as they go through their HS years. Yes, travel time is a part of it…but those pre-season games (travel) are only a small portion of their overall schedule. It is what it is…and (IMO) the arbitrator ruled correctly.

          • For sure

            You pined the tail right on the donkey. If you look at the situation even closer you would have noticed that Damien was going to have their non football teams placed in the Del Rey league which consists of SGV Privates in Whittier, La Puente and Pasadena which would be on par with the distance of teams in the Baseline. In addition, for football with only 5 teams in the Private League there would have only been 4 league games which means only 2 games on the road vs. league opponents. If Damien had decided to re-work their non league schedule and only played local SGV teams, the totality of travel time would have been less travel time then what they are currently traveling over the course of the football season. This is nothing more the Damien wanting the “Private School” sporting advantage over the rest of the Public Schools in the MSAC Association.

        • Bumoto Yo

          Oh Pat

  • Lupe

    A Public school should sue not to play them. Then we can not play any sports. Waah you have to travel and play OTHER private schools.

    • Bumoto Yo

      Lupe, you are brilliant! You have amazing writing skills and are also a legal expert. Way to represent public schools!!

  • New York

    It is nice seeing rulings against the CIF and in favor of what schools choose for themselves. I’d like to see more rulings in favor in favor of what the individual students choose as well.

  • Wells

    If the main reason that these schools won their hearing was excessive travel, the committee to re-league the area should use that as a more important criteria for leagues. Level of play for teams can vary greatly from year to year, but the proximity between schools does not change. A 10 minute drive compared to a 30 minutes drive through traffic for most league matches would be preferred. Competitive equity is still very important.

    However, in soccer the Hacienda league was very balanced and the scores reflect this. In fact, soccer is fairly balanced across the entire valley.

  • Lupe

    I would bet Damien is baseline bound.