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Local teams see winds of change in fall season

Local teams see winds of change in fall season
The St. Francis High football team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III championship game last season. The Golden Knights will now be in Division II after the CIF Southern Section office realigned its divisions for the fall season. (Libby Cline)

Since Jim Bonds took over as head football coach at St. Francis in 2000, the Golden Knights have been one of the premiere local teams on the gridiron.

Last season, St. Francis finished second in the Angelus League before marching to the CIF Southern Section Division III championship game. St. Francis fell to fourth-seeded Rancho Verde, 44-42, on a field goal with no time remaining.

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It marked the first championship game appearance for St. Francis since 1964 and ultimately led to it being moved to a new division after the CIF Southern Section office unveiled its latest division realignments Thursday via a formula attempting to promote playoff equity.

St. Francis will jump to Division II this season. The Golden Knights are the highest-ranked local team at No. 30.

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La Cañada, which went winless last season, went from Division X to XIII and is ranked No. 310.

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

In girls’ tennis, La Cañada and Flintridge Prep will be in new divisions in 2018. La Cañada will go from Division II to I and Flintridge Prep will be in Division IV after being in III last season.

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.

La Cañada and Flintridge Prep will stay in the same divisions. La Cañada and Flintridge Prep remain in Divisions III and VI, respectively.

Two of the three local boys’ water polo squads will move to new divisions.

Flintridge Prep, which won the Prep League title last season, moved up one division to Division IV. La Cañada went from Division III to IV. St. Francis will remain in Division VI.

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