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Prep football: CIF-SS could shift around divisions

Proposal would shift Marmonte League away from Foothill

Posted: January 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Change may be on the horizon for CIF-Southern Section Northern Division football — and the Foothill League is pleased with the developments.

After watching the Marmonte League dominate the Northern Division during the last divisional alignment cycle, 2010 and 2011, the CIF-SS is currently taking proposals for the next round of realignment talk.

Under the Foothill League’s proposal, the Marmonte League would move out of the Northern Division and one of four leagues would move in.

According to league secretary and West Ranch High School Athletic Director Dody Garcia, those leagues include the Ocean, Pac-7, Pacific and San Gabriel leagues.

“Competitive equity,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington on why the league is asking for the change. “Basically they have been the teams from (the Marmonte League) that have been in the CIF championship the last few years.”

A proposal from the CIF-SS, which Foothill League head coaches were made aware of Thursday, has the 10-team Marmonte League moving up to the Southern Section’s top division, the Pac-5.

The CIF-SS began conducting its biannual survey of playoff divisional alignment in December and the deadline for proposals is today.

A final proposal will be finalized in April and would take effect for the upcoming fall season.

“There is one proposal out and right now the CIF-SS is accepting other proposals from any league that is putting a proposal in,” Herrington said. “And they’re accepting proposals until (today). Then they’ll come back and see what kind of proposals have been submitted and if they meet the criteria.”

Marmonte League teams have won each of the past three Northern Division championships with Westlake winning this season and in 2009 and Oaks Christian winning in 2010.

Then a member of the Channel League and now in the Marmonte League, the St. Bonaventure Seraphs won in 2007 and 2008.

In the age of state bowl games, though, strength of schedule is an important factor and a dilution of talent in the division could have an impact on Foothill League teams going forward.

According to Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez, Thursday’s proposal would see the Pac-7 join the Northern Division to replace the Marmonte League.

And under such a scenario, Gutierrez doesn’t think the Northern Division would suffer at all.

“A movement of that sort, the shift isn’t going to water it down,” he said. “It’s going to change the dynamic of teams, but the competitiveness will still be there.”

Among the teams in the Pac-7 is Arroyo Grande High School, this season’s CIF-SS Western Division champion.

According to, the Pac-7 has an average team rating of 33.3, compared with the Marmonte’s 40.2.

The Foothill League sits at 29.6.

Among the other possible leagues, the Ocean (19.6) would bring in Culver City, this season’s Western Division runners-up, and a Santa Monica team that went 11-2.

The Pacific (7.5) would feature foes familiar to the Foothill League in former league rivals Burbank and Burroughs. And the San Gabriel Valley League (8.8) is led by Dominguez High School of Compton.

The Foothill League plans on submitting its proposal today, and according to Garcia, the proposal is supported by all six league head coaches.

Still, Herrington was quick to caution against thinking the shift was a done deal.

Once the CIF-SS moves forward with any proposals, leagues will have an opportunity to appeal any move they might be forced to make.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Herrington said. “There might be a decision made for other reasons and they might stay status quo. But at the end of February we’ll have an idea.”


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