Officials of Pacifica and Kennedy high schools will seek permission to transfer to the Garden Grove League next school year in a meeting of Empire League principals today, coaches and principals confirmed Tuesday.
Donald Wise, Pacifica principal, said he and Kennedy Principal Warren Stephenson will propose the transfer at a meeting this morning. The principals will then vote on the plan. Southern Section rules state that schools must receive unanimous consent from principals of both leagues before a transfer can be made.
Garden Grove League principals and athletic directors, who met informally Tuesday to discuss the additions, agreed to the transfers as long as the schools adhere to Garden Grove Unified School District policies governing athletics. The policies deal with use of physical education classes as practice time, and are considered much more stringent than required by the Southern Section.
Pacifica, once a Garden Grove League football power, is a district school. Kennedy, however, is a member of the Anaheim Unified High School District.
"We met to discuss it, yes," said Chuck Leonard, Los Amigos principal and Garden Grove League president. "But we have to wait for them to (formally) come to us with a proposal. What we discussed today were the ramifications of going to an eight-team league and the conditions the new teams would have to meet.
"Once both sides (leagues) agree, we would then go to the CIF (Southern Section), which would accept or reject the change. If it gets that far and is approved, we'd want to make the change as quickly as possible because we'd have to get the fall football contracts sent out."
Stan Thomas, section commissioner, would also have to approve the releaguing.
Said Thomas: "If both leagues feel that it's in their best interests (to make the change), and the vote is one hundred percent unanimous, then I'd approve it. The key is that it has to be unanimous, though.
"If they all agree on that, fine. If you can get that many people (14 principals) to agree on something, that's an accomplishment in itself."
Wise, in his first year at Pacifica, cited dwindling enrollments at both schools as reason for the proposal.
"We're projected at having an enrollment of just 1,200 in two years," Wise said. "There are schools like Esperanza in the Empire League with about 3,000 students. I don't think it's fair to ask a school our size to have to compete with that. . . . I know Kennedy had the same problem. We discussed the matter and came to this decision."
Times staff writers Tom Hamilton and Gerald Scott contributed to this story.