With Damien, St. Lucy’s winning arbitration to remain in Mt. SAC area questions remain on where to send them, and how league schedules can be redone

“There’s no reason to start this entire process over from scratch,” Mt. SAC Area re-leaguing chair Jeff Jordan said. “We worked really hard as a collective group to make necessary adjustments and changes and we haven’t started the new cycle yet. At this point, we have to amend some of our policies so we can effectively add the Damien/St. Lucy’s package back into the Mt. SAC Area.”

“The bye week and when we’re home and away, are all out the door and we have to start over,” Bishop Amat football coach Steve Hagerty said. “Outside of the inconvenience of not knowing when homecoming or senior night is, it’s just a matter of inconvenience not knowing who we’re going to play.”



STORY: Following last week’s arbitration ruling that sent Damien High School and St Lucy’s Priory back into the Mt. SAC Area for league groupings, several questions abound as to what the local league landscape will look like beginning next fall.
The schools that make up the Mt. SAC Area voted last May on a new set of leagues that were set to go into place this fall and run for the next two school years. They did so thinking that Damien and St. Lucy’s had been moved to the parochial area.
After Damien and St. Lucy’s won their arbitration hearing last week, both schools are back and now the Mt. SAC Area is hoping to avoid an extended trip to the drawing board in order to find them a new league home in a very limited amount of time.

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  • FredJ

    Strictly based on competitive reasons, sending Damien/St. Lucy’s to the Baseline is most logical. Both are, after all, private schools and if you’re going to fight so hard to avoid the competition at the parochial level, then you should be placed in the most competitive league in the Mt. SAC area.

    If you base it on what’s best for student travel, for fans, for rivalries then the Palomares makes sense, lumping Damien with Glendora, South Hills, Chino, Diamond Bar, Claremont and neighboring Bonita.

    I’m a sportswriter who covers the area so for me the Palomares is better, but I would understand completely if they were sent to the Baseline.

    • 90’s Spartan

      Damien to Baseline
      Ayala to Palomares
      SH to Hacienda
      Rowland to Valle Vista
      Nogales to Montview

      The End

      • Ray_Morehart

        That’s just stupid. You’re just thinking about football, not every sport.

        • 90’s Spartan

          Great comment. Very insightful.

        • Think again

          The other sports are irrelevant:
          1. Football is by far the most important sport at the high school level
          2. Basketball doesn’t matter what league you are in because everyone in league is in a different division for the playoffs and it doesn’t matter how you fared in league play.
          3. Baseball is hit and miss, some years you have a good team some years you don’t
          4. All most all other sports are individual oriented and it doesn’t matter what league you are in.
          5. Girls sports? Only moms and dads show up to watch anyways.

          • Steve Ramirez

            Softball is big out here, TA. SGV has won its fair share of CIF-SS titles and has sent some of its best to college’s elite. I just believe you align league’s by geography among like schools. When Glendora faces Etiwanda or Rancho Cucamonga, there’s not much excitement going in, but South Hills-West Covina, or South Hills-Covina, a lot more fun, because you know those players crossed passed at one point or another.

          • Think again

            Yeah, that’s why softball and the other girl sports get so many hits on this blog.

          • Steve Ramirez

            Well, I got som pretty good hits on my recent softball video on tout, a lot more than basketball. Plus in the past, softball hads had dome very high comment levels. But I think a decision should be made on what makes best sense of geography and competive balance for the key boys/girls sports (football/volleyball in the fall, basketball in te winter and baseball/softball in the spring.

      • FredJ

        I think that makes a lot of sense for all sports. I’ve been talking to some ADs, there will likely be a trickle down once Damien is placed, most likely in the Baseline. The argument that will ensue is who gets to move leagues. While Ayala makes the most sense, others like Chino Hills will argue it should move back and so forth.

    • Wells

      Fred: Based on Damien/St. Lucy’s being placed in the Palomares League and South Hills being moved down, you have South Hills graded the lowest in the Palomares?

      Every league has league points that they tabulate at the end of the year. Since I have not seen them I do not know about any schools in the Palomares except Bonita and Diamond Bar (the two highest schools in the current Hacienda)

      The private schools should go to the Baseline for the reason you gave about fighting to get out of a stronger, all private, league. Their travel should not be a huge consideration since some public schools will have similar travel concerns. DB goes from many short trips in the Hacienda to many longer trips in the Palomares League.

      If Rowland moves down to the Valle Vista League, Covina or Nogales would be the best choice to move down to the Montview league. This makes every league have six teams.

    • Think again

      A big no on that idea. 1st off, nobody wants a private school in their all public school league. If Damien is going anywhere it’s the Baseline, period end of story. Ayala is school that would and should be moved to the Palomares League and Walnut, not Rowland should be moved to the Valle Vista. Personally, if I had it my way, I would put Damien in their very own MTSAC Private School league which would consist of Damien and nobody else that way Damien wouldn’t have to travel at all.

  • Don

    Put ’em in the Baseline. Then move Ayala to the Palomares, Bonita (back) to the Hacienda, Rowland to the Valle Vista, and Nogales or Wilson to the Montview.

  • Valley Athletics

    To make it eAsy just add them o baseline . Moving other schools around is to difficult with most schools having to do schedule all over .

  • jcaz

    The only problem with that idea is that Baldwin park would most likely dominate the Montview. Also, what do you know so far about next years schedules ? I find it very surprising that no one saw this comming

    • FredJ

      You nailed it, the biggest fear for all the ADs was Damien/St. Lucy’s winning and everyone having to redo their schedules. Most football schedules were already set, this forces everyone to re-work them, especially if there is a trickle effect with several teams switching leagues. If it was simply putting Damien/St. Lucy’s int he Baseline, it would be just a Baseline problem, but if you move just one team in every division, it’s a scheduling nightmare for all.

      • Steve Ramirez

        Yes, just dropping Damien/St. Lucy’s in the Baseline is the easiest option. But the good thing about your plan is that it keeps most of the natural rivals together (sans Los Altos/Wilson, hopefully that gets corrected by the next cycle), which is a good thing. But you know politics will be the deciding factor.

        • jcaz

          Hi guys. Glad to see your all doing well. Anyways, Steve, I got to tell you that mountview league isnt quite the same as the league that Baldwin park currently resides in. Unfortunatly, given the history between BP and Sierra Vista over the last few meetings, I somehow do not have too much faith in a “Dons” victory anytime soon. Now, having said that, Sierra Vista has been very good over the past two seasons, but even with that, you just cant over look the fact that BP has put up almost 150 points on teh Dons over the last two years. Of course the pride of the Mountview league Aztec Pride, might very well beg to differ, but even the Aztecs “MIGHT” be able to hang with BP……. for at least 3 quarters…but, thats about as far as that argument goes im afraid. BTW, I kinda think that outside of Aztec pride, im about the only other guy in here thats been (somewhat) of a proponent of the Mountview league over the last few years, especially when it comes to Sierra Vista. GO DONS !!

        • Think again

          LA and Wilson play each other every year regardless if they’re in the same league or not.

    • Steve Ramirez

      I don’t think so….Azusa will still be the team to beat in football, and Sierra Vista will give them a strong run in baseball and boys and girls soccer, and Workman’s the fave in boys and girls basketball.

  • Bumoto Yo

    I agree with Fred, Palomares makes the most sense.

  • Ray_Morehart

    I hate to say it but I like Fred’s plan. Here is another idea. Move Wilson to the Montview, Rowland to the Valle Vista, Diamond Bar to the Hacienda (their league this year), and put Damien/St. Lucy’s to the Palomares.

  • dad of bulldogs

    Damien/ St. Lucy’s to Baseline. Ayala to Palomares. South Hills to Hasienda. Rowland to Valle Vista. Baldwin Park to Montview. This would help Ayala and Rowland.

  • I thought Damien shoulda been placed in the Baseline last time around instead of Glendora, so I’d do this:
    Damien to Baseline
    Ayala to Palomares
    SH to Hacienda
    Rowland to Valle Vista
    And the biggest question mark may be who goes to Montview, and I’d say Baldwin Park.


    This is the Area’s administrators chance to pull their head outta the last century and be a little progressive. It’s time to form an Association of 3 conferences of 2 or 3 leagues each (as other leagues have done) and have the leagues within the conferences adjust by their success in individual sports, both boys and girls.

    The 3 conferences (you could name them) in the Joe Amat Association could be:
    Conference A- Baseline, Mt Baldy
    Conference B- Palomares, Hacienda
    Conference C- Valle Vista, Montview, Miramonte

    The reason I like this type of affiliation is it keeps things relatively local, maintains some league familiarity, yet is fair to all sports – both boys and girls.

    I hereby waive any consulting fee due me from any local ADs and grant full permission to gain favor and claim the idea as their own (as long as they it the Joe Amat Association)

    • coachbilly

      Agree with most of your comments, but still wondering how Charter Oak doesn’t stay in Palomares? I get the all sports fairness, but they dominated in Sierra in football and did okay with other sports. Seem to me, the other sports might have a good shot now, but in football not seeing much comp for them.

      • Think again

        Charter Oak should have been placed in the Baseline, but we would have had to listen to Coach Frarr belly ache for the next 4 years.

    • Wells

      This is a good idea. I actually may have something similar saved on my computer aligning three leagues like they do in the South Bay.

      The top two teams move up and are replaced by the bottom two schools of the higher league. It takes away some of the league rivalry for all sports, but it makes things more equitable for each sport. If leagues change every four years based upon teams varied strength, then this plan would facilitate that much more quickly and perfectly. It takes out the human component where principals vote teams up or down based on their individual preference.

      • Steve Ramirez

        I’m not a big fan of that plan, for what you said, it could split rivals when one us down. If one is down while the other is up, the one that is down, just has to get better.

        • Wells

          Rivalries are split each cycle. Many long time rivals are in different leagues now. They can still play a non-league game.

          If it is just a matter of one school getting better, then there should never be a re-leaguing process (except when a new school is built) Just play with the schools that are the closest. They tend to be the rivalries and it saves a great deal of money on travel and class time lost.

          • Steve Ramirez

            Only because teams/schools rather than trying to get better, would just like relief. I’m with you, place teams in leagues by geography. And in theory, the re-leaguing process was put in place to adjust to new schools, but instead schools have used it to play in more competitive alignment, rather than trying to get better. But I will always say it should be by geography among like schools.

          • Wells

            True. Geography should not the the only criteria, but it should be a stronger component…except for the top league.
            On the rivalry point, I find it odd that so many people think Bonita should be in a much higher league that SD and Diamond Bar is much higher than Walnut (all natural rivals). In both cases, the schools play each other in many sports and the games are all very competitive. Actually, the same could be said of Rowland and DB. Similar demographics and most games I know about were competitive this year. Next year, we will replace two seven minute drives with 30 minute drives. It does not make much sense.

        • Think again

          Rivalry’s could be renewed with the non league schedule. Besides, rivalry’s are always being bounced around every 4 years anyway.

  • Jerry McGuire

    Well I’ll put in my two cents:
    Damien to Baseline
    Bonita to Hacienda
    Chino Hills to Palomares
    Walnut to VVL
    Nogales to MontV

    • Wells

      Chino Hills will not move. They have many strong programs. Mainly in the sports that draw the most attention.
      Bonita has been the #1 team for all athletics in the current Hacienda League, so one of the other schools would leave the Polamares League before them.
      Walnut has been stronger than other Hacienda teams, so those teams should be sent down before them.

    • Think again

      Move CH to the Polomares and not Ayala? What are you smoking?

  • Leo Tolstoy

    There is one reason why Damien needs to play in a public school league. They are 3-16 versus Private schools including one forfeit since 2004 in Football. The Damien/St. Lucy’s powers that be once again chose to doubt the ability of their students to compete. Damein used to compete with St. John Bosco but no more. This past year SJB won the mythical National High School Football Championship while Damien missed the playoffs once again.

    For the most part most parochial schools have stepped up their game while the Spartans continue to whine. This year Cantwell, yes Cantwell, lost to Mater Dei by 10 in the Open Basketball division. Cathedral lost in the championship game, yes the Championship Game, to Mater Dei by 4. Could Damien compete with Cathedral and Cantwell who had at least two players at 6’10” each and a variety of skilled players, probably not. Loyola and Mater Dei best mirror the lofty image Damien has of itself yet no one expects those teams to seek relief.

    Serra, Chaminade, Orange Lutheran, Cathedral and many other private schools parents see Damien parents for what they are, soft, spoiled and scared.

    Make no mistake Damien athletes wish they could compete against the best but as soon as the going gets tough the parents demand change, more wins and more playing time for their children or the money dries up.

    Damien should stop protecting their sons and daughters from competition. Every school mentioned has outstanding academic standards yet somehow deal with travel time issues with less protest and equal accomplishment.

  • HSFootball Fan

    Man that Baseline league looks loaded! With damien in there, they would have to send 4 teams into playoffs. Dont think other leagues will like that.

    • Jastrab

      I know the Moore league sends 4, but I don’t think it will work that way. The 4th place team will probably have a great chance for the Wild Card, but you get to play VM or CC in the first round. The Baseline will be like the Serra, not the best league in the division in terms of getting the top seeding, but it will be from top to bottom the best league in most sports in the division. In my opinion Los Osos has the most to lose as they have been struggling in most sports getting the last playoff slot or a wild card.

  • Lupe

    I like Damien to baseline, Ayala to palomares , Chino to hacienda, Rowland to V.V and Finally Nogales to montview.