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New O.C. league formats pass as expected

Varsity - 2009 Season
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 by OCVarsity.com
 ctober 22, 2009 6:58 PM

For a complete breakdown of all Orange County leagues for the upcoming cycle, click here.

LONG BEACH - For a while Thursday, the CIF-Southern Section Council meeting looked and felt intense.


Traffic backed up in the parking lot. Extra tables were lugged into the ballroom to accommodate an overflow crowd.

The emotional pleas started early in the public hearing session. And colorful handouts, complete with graphics, were steadily distributed to voters.

Even two former assistant commissioners – Bill Clark and Paul Castillo – took in the drama that is releaguing.

It was the Council's task to approve new league configurations. It made for compelling theater until it was Orange County's turn.

After the North Area's stunning twist, Orange County stepped to the plate. But its leagues for the 2010-14 cycle passed with hardly a whimper.

Representatives from Brea Olinda, Laguna Hills and Western each appealed a plan approved by Orange County's principals, but no member of the Council picked up the flag to continue the fight. None of the three appeals received a motion for a vote, and the show was quickly over.

Orange County's new league alignments were ultimately finalized before the appeals as the county's council representatives voted 12-0 in favor of the principals' plan.

"It was anticlimactic," said Tesoro principal Dan Burch, Orange County's releaguing chairman.

"I think the reason they (the appeals) didn't get any traction was because people weren't convinced that there were procedural errors (in the process)."

Brea Olinda distributed a five-page letter to council members requesting placement in the Freeway League based strongly on competitive equity. Brea Olinda, however, instead remains in Century League, which welcomes Esperanza and Foothill and watches Tustin head to the Empire.

Laguna Hills cited enrollment as a reason for remaining in the Pacific Coast League, but the Hawks were slotted to the 10-team South Coast Conference. A complete list of Orange County's league can be found here on ocvarsity.com.

Western wanted to stay put in the Orange League but the Pioneers were sent packing to the Empire.

Burch said the South Coast now needs to focus on how to operate its conference, which includes will include El Toro, Trabuco Hills and San Juan Hills.

In other releaguing news, Ventura and the Channel League were the big winners. A new proposal by Ventura to pair football powers St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian in the Marmonte League for football only passed 41 to 21, with nine voters abstaining.

In other action, the Council honored Camp Manzanar, a relocation center for Japanese American citizens during World War II. The center also featured a high school. The council also honored Big Pine, the only school that agreed to play Manzanar in athletics. Manzanar's one and only event was a football game in 1944.

Henry Nakano of Fullerton, 82, a member of the Manzanar team, was part of the ceremony Thursday.

Former Mission Viejo girls swim coach Jan Most and former Buena Park athletic director and cross country coach Dan Hirsch were honored with hall of fame awards.


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