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Fall realignment leaves some change in local landscape

Fall realignment leaves some change in local landscape
The Glendale High girls' tennis team captured the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship last season. Glendale was moved to Division III on Thursday. (Tim Berger | Staff Photographer)

After leading his team to a historic title last fall, Glendale High girls’ tennis coach Tom Gossard sensed a change might be in store.

In his first season with Glendale, Gossard guided the Nitros to the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship after knocking off Rancho Mirage. It was the first CIF girls’ title in school history.

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Gossard predicted correctly, as the CIF Southern Section office unveiled its latest division realignments Thursday based on its formula to promote playoff equity.

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Glendale, which finished fourth in the Pacific League, will make the jump to Division III.

“We look forward to the challenge of moving up,” said Gossard, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year. “Everybody told me that we were probably going to move up, but we’ll take it after winning CIF. It doesn’t surprise me.

“I like the way the system works because it gives everybody a chance to have success and contend. You saw [what realignment] did for us last year after not making the playoffs the previous couple of seasons.”

Elsewhere in girls’ tennis, Crescenta Valley, Hoover and Flintridge Prep will be in new divisions in 2018.

Crescenta Valley, which reached the Division III championship match against Redlands, will make the huge move all the way up to Division I, which is arguably the most arduous high school division in the country.

Hoover will go from Division III to IV and Flintridge Prep will be in Division IV after being in Division III last season.

In football, three of the four local 11-man teams will reside in new divisions. St. Francis and Hoover moved up, while Crescenta Valley moved down a slot and Glendale remained in the same division.

St. Francis, which advanced to the Division III championship contest last season against Rancho Verde, is the area's highest-ranked team at No. 30 and moved to Division II. Hoover (No. 299) jumped from Division XIII to XII.

Crescenta Valley switched to Division VII from XI and is ranked No. 124. Glendale (No. 320) will stay in Division XIII.

Flintridge Prep, which competes in eight-man football, wasn’t affected.

There were sweeping changes in girls’ volleyball, starting with Glendale Adventist Academy, which won the school’s first CIF championship in November. Glendale Adventist defeated Santa Clarita Valley International in the Division IX title match. The Cougars will now be housed in Division VII.

Girls' volleyball has a pool of teams for Division I and II that will have a “watch list” with the final Division I and Division II teams being decided with playoff pairings. This will affect Flintridge Sacred Heart, which was in Division I last season and is in the I/II pool.

In addition to Glendale Adventist, Crescenta Valley, Glendale, St. Monica Academy and Holy Family have moved to new divisions.

Crescenta Valley moves to Division IV from Division III while Glendale goes from Division V to Division IV. Moving up will be St. Monica (Division IX to VIII) and Holy Family (Division IX to VIII).

Flintridge Prep and Hoover will stay in the same divisions. The Rebels and Tornadoes will remain in Divisions VI and V, respectively.

Four of the five local boys’ water polo squads will move to new divisions.

Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep and Glendale each moved up one division. Crescenta Valley went to Division III from IV, Flintridge Prep went to Division IV from V and Glendale jumped to Division V from VI.

Hoover went from Division II to III. St. Francis will remain in Division VI.

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