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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Area High School Leagues Will Have New Look in 2018

Lompoc, Cabrillo, Santa Ynez to join the Channel League for all sports

Are you ready for a Channel League with Santa Barbara High, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos, Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez and without Ventura and Buena?

How about Bishop Diego playing football in a league with Oak Park, Royal, Simi Valley and Agoura?

Or, Laguna Blanca and Providence competing for league titles against Bishop Diego, Cate, La Reina, Grace Brethren, Foothill Tech, Santa Clara, Villanova or Thacher?

Those were just a few of the configurations that were approved by high school athletic directors and principals at Thursday’s releaguing meeting for the CIF Northern Area at Oxnard High.

The CIF-Southern Section goes through a re-leaguing cycle every four years.

Barring appeals to the Southern Section, the reorganized leagues that include high schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.

The releaguing process is never easy, but this year proved to be more challenging after 13 schools from the Santa Maria area and San Luis Obispo County decided to secede from the CIF-Southern Section and join the Central Section, starting in 2018.

The Central Section’s approval to accept those school left Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez without a league. The three former Los Padres League members will join Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos in the Channel League, creating a six-team all-county circuit. Longtime Channel members Ventura and Buena will relocate to the Pacific View League with Oxnard, Rio Mesa, Pacifica and Channel lslands.

"We all saw it coming," San Marcos athletic director Abe Jahadhmy said of the changes in the Channel League. "It's a case of making the best of the situation."

“This decision marks the end of the 30-plus year-old Channel League between the three Santa Barbara schools and the Ventura schools,” said Dos Pueblos athletic director Dan Feldhaus. "We've had a great working relationship with the Ventura ADs and administrative teams, and it's sad to see the end of an era. But there is also some anticipation of starting a new chapter with the new Channel League."

It’s the biggest shake-up since 1999, when the Channel League lost Oxnard, Rio Mesa and Hueneme to the newly created Pacific View League.

Feldhaus said more than 40 proposals were submitted before Thursday's meeting. Proposal No. 5 passed the vote.

The proposal includes three football-only leagues: Camino, Coastal Canyon and Marmonte. Bishop Diego was placed in the Camino League with Oak Park, Royal, Simi Valley and Agoura. For all other sports, the Cardinals will be part of an 11-school Tri-County Athletic Association, which will be broken into two leagues.

"We will certainly will miss playing our long-time Tri-Valley League (football) rivals, yet, we are excited at the challenge of competing against the larger public high schools in Ventura County," said Bishop athletic director  Dan Peeters.

Laguna Blanca and Providence are leaving the Condor League for the TCAA. They’ll join Bishop Diego, Cate, Santa Clara, St. Bonaventure, Thacher, Villanova Prep, Grace Brethren, La Reina, and Foothill Tech.

"We are excited about moving to the TCAA in the 2018-2019 school year," Laguna Blanca athletic director Jason Donnelly said. "When you look at the three main criteria for a league, enrollment, geography and competitive equity, the schools that we will be in the TCAA with are a great fit for Laguna Blanca. We look forward to the challenges that come with joining the Association and relish the opportunities that our student-athletes will have for competing against these schools. We appreciated our many years in the Condor League but see only positives as our school and athletic department prepare to take this next step." 

Providence AD Steve Stokes echoed those sentiments. "Over the past few years our athletic programs have started to really grow and separate from the rest of the schools in the Condor League," he said. "Most of our non league games the past couples years in all sports have been against TCAA schools and they are always very competitive and fun to watch and be a part of. I am really looking forward to having that every night in league play. The TCAA schools are a great fit for Providence both from a competitive stand point and general philosophy on high school athletics is a match as well."

Carpinteria will be placed in a new league for all sports with long-time rivals Santa Paula, Fillmore and Nordhoff. Malibu, Hueneme and Santa Clara (for football only) round out the yet-to-be-named league.

The Northern Area representatives also voted to have a two-year re-leaguing cycle (as opposed to a four year), so school officials can re-evaluate to see how things are working.

Here is a breakdown of the new leagues approved by the Northern Area athletic directors and principals.

Coastal (non football) —Camarillo, Moorpark, Oak Park, Royal, Simi Valley,  Agoura 

Channel (all sports)  —Lompoc, Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Cabrillo 

Coast Valley —Coastal Christian, Coast Union, Cuyama Valley, Maricopa, North County Christian, Shandon, Santa MariaValley Christian 

Marmonte (football only) — Westlake, Newbury Park, Calabasas, Oaks Christian

Coastal Canyon (football only) —St. Bonaventure, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Grace Brethren 

Camino (football only) — Oak Park, Royal, Simi Valley, Agoura, Bishop Diego 

Condor —Besant Hill, Dunn, Garden St Academy, Midland, Oak Grove, Ojai Valley 

New League (all sports) —Santa Paula, Fillmore, Carpinteria, Malibu, Nordhoff, Hueneme Santa Clara (for football only) 

Pacific View (all sports) — Channel Islands, Oxnard, Pacifica, Rio Mesa, Ventura, Buena 

Marmonte (no football) —Calabasas, Newbury Park, Oaks Christian, Thousand Oaks, Westlake 

TCAA —Bishop Diego, Santa Clara, Cate, Laguna Blanca, St., Bonaventure, Thacher, Villanova Prep, Grace Brethern, La Reina, Providence, Foothill Tech 

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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