By Aram Tolegian
From seven to four. That’s the fate of the Suburban League as the latest round of high school re-leaguing meetings have kicked off for the cycle beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
The Foothill Area, of which the Suburban League is part of, voted recently for a major reduction in the size of the league. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, the league will be down to just La Mirada, Bellflower, Mayfair and Norwalk.
And what about Cerritos, Artesia and Glenn, all of which used are now part of the league? They’re headed for the newly formed 605 League, along with Oxford Academy, Whitney and Pioneer, which will leave the Del Rio League after a long stay.
“The four teams left are going to appeal because it puts us in a bad spot only having four teams,” La Mirada athletic director Christine Mead. “We lose playoff spots. There’s chances that if we don’t field varsity teams at all four schools, the teams become freelance, which could end up very bad in the long run.”
It will be up to the principals at La Mirada, Bellflower, Mayfair and Norwalk to handle the appeals process, which will likely include an alternate proposal. Previously, the league had considered going to nine schools by adding Oxford Academy and Whitney. The appeal will be heard by the Foothill Area membership, although a date for that is not known.
Every four years, athletic directors and principals get together to decide the shape of the local league landscape. Every four years, the debate, at least going in to these crucial meetings, are fierce.
Up next is the Mt. SAC Area, where 42 schools comprise the zone that features several local leagues. During the last re-leaguing cycle, there was plenty of movement in the area, but it’s unclear whether things will be so active this time around.
One thing known is that Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, South Hills, Chaffey, Montclair, Ontario and Walnut (football only) have applied for relief from their current league situations. It will be up to representatives from the schools to convince other schools in the area that a change is necessary.
Schools are allowed to make up to two proposals of their own while leagues are allowed no more than three proposals. An ad-hoc committee will also make three proposals. The final vote will take place on April 25 at Glendora High.
A preliminary meeting to put all the proposals together will take place on April 13. One interesting rumor floating around has Chino and Diamond Ranch leaving the Hacienda League for the Mt. Baldy League. They would be replaced in the Hacienda League by Diamond Bar and South Hills, thus sending Alta Loma and Colony to the Palomares League to fill their void.
By Aram Tolegian