Schools forced to go through releaguing process again

It’s back to the drawing board for high school athletic directors in the Northern Area to come up with a releaguing proposal after St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian won their arbitration hearings with the CIF-Southern Section, thus allowing the two private schools to stay and compete in an area league.

All the work done last May to realign leagues that include schools from Paso Robles to Calabasas for the 2014-18 releaguing cycle is void. The work was done after the CIF-SS assigned St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian to a Parochial Area with other private schools. The Ventura County schools, which play football in the Marmonte League and compete in the Tri-Valley League in other sports, filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the move. Damien and St. Lucy’s of the Mt. SAC Area also were part of the lawsuit.

The athletic directors now have to go through the grueling process of agreeing on a proposal that includes Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure in an area league for the next four years. They’ll gather at Bishop Diego on Thursday, March 20 to discuss several proposals and vote on one to submit to CIF.

“All 65 schools in the Northern Area are affected,” said Carpinteria Athletic Director Pat Cooney in an email. “The TCAA (Tri-Counties Athletic Association — TVL and Frontier Leagues), Condor and Marmonte are directly affected. It’s wild.”

“All the schedules are out the door,” Moorpark Athletic Director Rob Dearborn told the Los Angeles Times. “I think a lot of people are going to be unhappy.”

One possible proposal is creating a league consisting of the Conejo Valley schools Thousand Oaks, Westlake and Newbury Park, along with St. Bonventure and Oaks Christian for all sports. The proposal would place Camarillo back into the Pacific View League. Agoura, Calabasas, Oak Park, Moorpark, Royal and Simi Valley would then form a six-team league called the Camino League. Under this proposal the Channel League and the other northern area leagues would not be affected.

Other proposals have the Channel League adding a sixth school, the TCAA becoming a three-tiered circuit with the addition of Cate, Thacher and Laguna Blanca, the TCAA forming two non-football and two football-only leagues. The TVL for football would consist of Bishop Diego, Carpinteria, Nordhoff and Santa Paula, while the Frontier League would be Grace Brethren, Fillmore, Santa Clara and Malibu.

The TVL for all other sports would have Carpinteria, Fillmore, Foothill Tech (Ventura), Malibu, Nordhoff and Santa Paula. The Frontier League would consist of Bishop Diego, Cate, Grace Brethren, La Reina, Thacher, Santa Clara and Villanova Prep.

The Condor League would have eight teams: Laguna Blanca, Garden Street Academy, Providence, Besant Hill, Dunn, Midland, Oak Grove and Ojai Valley.

In the North County, there are proposals for football-only Los Padres, Pac-5 and Northern Leagues.

The LPL for football would be Cabrillo, Lompoc, Pioneer Valley, St. Joseph, Santa Ynez.

Pac 5: Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Righetti, San Luis Obispo.

Northern: Mission Prep, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Santa Maria, Templeton.

Fo all other sports, the Los Padres League proposal has eight teams: Cabrillo, Lompoc, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez.

The non-football Pac 7: Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Mission Prep, Paso Robles, Pioneer Valley, Righetti, San Luis Obispo, St. Joseph.

The deadline for proposals is Monday, March 17.

A final releaguing proposal needs to be submitted to the CIF by April.