Usually there is rhyme or reason to the names of most leagues in the CIF Southern Section.
For example, the San Fernando Valley League consists of high schools from the San Fernando Valley, and the Desert Valleys League consists of schools from the Mojave Desert area.
So how do you explain the San Gabriel Valley League, which has no high schools from the San Gabriel Valley?
It consists of Cerritos, Dominguez of Compton, Downey, Gahr of Cerritos, Lynwood, Paramount and Warren of Downey. None is even close to the San Gabriel Valley.
"Evidently they once had a league that went into the San Gabriel Valley or maybe they just made the name up," said Moe Chavez, principal of Downey High. "Naming a league is no problem. Picking the right name is another thing."
Chavez said that over the years there has been talk of renaming the league, most of it idle chatter.
"We thought about renaming the league about 10 years ago and we came up with some crazy names, but nothing ever came of it," Chavez said. "Recently we thought of changing the name again because there are no San Gabriel Valley teams in our league."
Chavez said a name change may be on the agenda when the league meets in mid March.
But for the moment, Chavez says, "We're still the San Gabriel Valley League. Why we are, nobody really knows."
Claremont High has had some pretty good soccer teams and players over the years but the Wolfpack has never had a player earn All-America status.
The player is goaltender Tony Rieger, an 18-year-old senior and two-time All-Baseline League standout who recently was named to the Parade High School All-America team.
Rieger (6-1, 170), who allowed only 17 goals in 21 games this season for a sparkling 0.80 goals against average, was one of 40 players--mostly from the Midwest and East--named to the team.
"It's unusual for West Coast players to make the team because of the timing of the selections," Claremont Coach Jim Ryan said. "The team is picked practically before our season starts."
Even with Rieger in goal, it was not the best of seasons for the Wolfpack, which finished with a 12-4-5 record and lost to Redlands in the first round of the CIF 4-A Division playoffs.
What girls high school basketball team has had the best record in the CIF Southern Section for the last three years?
If you guessed two-time defending state champion Buena of Ventura, guess again.
The answer--by a whisker--is Muir of Pasadena, which has posted a 69-4 record for a .945 percentage during that span. Muir was 20-2 in 1982-83, 27-1 in 1983-84 and is 22-1 entering the CIF 4-A quarterfinals Friday.
Buena is not far behind, having compiled a 82-5 mark and .942 percentage. The Bulldogs were 28-4 in 1982-83, 31-0 in 1983-84 and are 23-1 this season.
A year has made a big difference in the fortunes of the boys basketball teams at Pasadena Poly and Workman high schools.
Both were among the best in the state in their respective divisions last year. Pasadena Poly posted a 25-6 record and finished second in the state in Division III and Workman was 26-4 and reached the state Division II semifinals.
However, things turned considerably for the worse this season. Pasadena Poly slipped to 8-14 and lost to Desert (63-55) in the wild-card round of CIF 1-A playoffs while Workman slumped to 7-15 and did not make the playoffs.