Local HS rivalries renewed?
by Bob Brownne
Jan 25, 2013 | 2837 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tri-City Athletic League and San Joaquin Athletic Alliance could see a shuffle that once again puts the county’s big cross-town rivalries, including Tracy versus West, in one league.

The Sac-Joaquin Section realignment committee, which met Jan. 8 in Stockton, proposed no changes for the TCAL and SJAA, but left the leagues with the opportunity to propose their own alterations.

League leaders gathered the next day to come up with their own version of realignment, which led to a proposal that will be considered Tuesday, Jan. 29.

A new high school alignment would see Tracy and West, Lincoln and St. Mary’s of Stockton, and Lodi and Tokay of Lodi grouped in the TCAL.

The SJAA would keep Bear Creek, Chavez and Franklin and add Edison, McNair and Stagg, all Stockton schools.

Tracy High athletic director Gary Henderson said most of the schools appear to be in favor of the change, especially among the schools that would be in the new TCAL.

“That brings some of the rivalries back,” Henderson said. “It will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

Will DeBoard, spokesman for the Sac-Joaquin Section, said the 2005 action that split the SJAA into two leagues was fairly unpopular, because it put cross-town rivals into separate leagues.

But at the time, there were few options for what was then a 10-team league, which was set to add McNair and Chavez high schools.

He said that no matter what the future TCAL-SJAA alignment is, the 12 teams currently in those leagues will remain in those leagues.

“We know that in some form or fashion, all of those schools will be together,” DeBoard said.

West High athletic director Matt Loggins said the proposal to be discussed Jan. 29 creates competitive equity because all of the schools in the new TCAL would have freshman programs.

It also puts the most competitive teams into one league, he said, though that wouldn’t make it easier for Tracy and West to win league titles.

“It’s going to be difficult putting West and Tracy in with St. Mary’s, Lodi and Lincoln,” Loggins said, noting that those schools are consistently strong in most sports.

Henderson agreed, but he hopes the Bulldogs embrace the challenge.

“We would rather be in a tougher league, and know when we get to playoffs that we earned it,” he said.

DeBoard said the Jan. 29 meeting is a chance for everyone to discuss proposed changes around the section.

The Jan. 8 meeting, he added, was the first opportunity to see how schools would react to the section’s recommendations.

“That’s just a starting point for the committee and the schools,” DeBoard said. “Everyone can say what they like or don’t like about it.”

Those that would see the biggest shifts include the Sacramento area’s Delta River League and Delta Valley Conference, which could become one league.

The Valley Oak League, which includes Kimball High, could also see changes.

Kimball would likely stay put, but Lathrop and Weston Ranch would move to the Western Athletic Conference, and WAC teams Patterson and Ceres would move to the VOL.

The VOL’s Oakdale would move to the Modesto Metro Conference and Sonora would go to the Mother Lode League.

The team from under-construction Mountain House High School would go to the Trans Valley League, which includes Escalon, Hilmar, Hughson, Orestimba, Ripon and Riverbank.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” DeBoard said. “Every school will have a chance to have their say.”

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

At a glance

• WHAT: Sac-Joaquin Section realignment committee meeting

• WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29

• WHERE: The Reserve at Spanos Park, 6301 W. Eight Mile Road, in Stockton

• INFO: 334-5900, www.cifsjs.org
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