A releaguing proposal that would affect 22 area high schools has drawn opposition from coaches and officials from two Marmonte League schools who fear increased travel and the breakup of many local rivalries.
The proposal, which would take effect beginning in the 1992-93 school year for all sports, was drafted Thursday by five Ventura County football coaches. It has been mailed to the 56 Northern area schools and will be presented to the principals of those schools--perhaps along with many other proposals--at a meeting Jan. 18 in Santa Barbara.
In what they call an effort to promote parity, the five coaches--Rio Mesa’s John Reardon and George Contreras, Thousand Oaks’ Bob Richards, St. Bonaventure’s Jon Mack and Nordhoff’s Cliff Farrar--are proposing a realignment based on enrollment.
“It’s not the world’s greatest idea, but it’s a consideration,” said Contreras, an assistant at Rio Mesa. “We realize it won’t be greeted with 100% approval.”
Administrators and coaches at Westlake have criticized the plan, which calls for Channel League schools Dos Pueblos, Hueneme, Rio Mesa and San Marcos, as well as Marmonte members Westlake and Newbury Park, to be placed in the new Gold Coast League.
“We’re not in favor because it dismantles the Marmonte League and we lose all those league rivals we’ve established the past 10 years,” Westlake football Coach Jim Benkert said.
Camarillo Athletic Director Carl Thompson, who is also the school’s varsity football coach, said there is no need for concern.
“I don’t think (the proposal) is anything that is going to fly,” Thompson said. “It creates too many five-team leagues, which makes scheduling difficult.”
Westlake Athletic Director Jack Loritz is among those in favor of keeping the Marmonte League intact, a motion that he said was unanimously approved by the league’s principals a month ago.
“We are violently against the proposal, and I don’t see our (league) making any move at all to approve it,” Loritz said.
Under the plan, the Marmonte League would consist of Agoura, Channel Islands, Royal, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Camarillo, a Marmonte school, would move into the Channel League with current members Buena, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
The Frontier League would include Moorpark, a Tri-Valley League school, as well as current members Calabasas, Fillmore, Santa Clara and Santa Paula. Nordhoff, a Frontier League school, would join the Tri-Valley, which currently consists of Bishop Diego, Carpinteria, La Reina, Oak Park, and St. Bonaventure.