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SPORTS SHORTS

Conference Future:

November 20, 1986

Southern Section--The current football playoff system, with leagues separated into smaller groups called "conferences," is increasingly being criticized by coaches and the media. There have always been complaints about inequities, but this season the system seems to being drawing more vocal critics. One columnist in Orange County suggested a return to the 4-A, 3-A, 2-A, 1-A system that was in use prior to the conference setup. A change could take place in time for the 1987 season. A catalyst to replace the current system, which was begun in 1977, is new Southern Section Commissioner Stan Thomas who, according to a source, favors junking the conference setup for a broader playoff scheme.

VOLLEYBALL: State CIF--Pairings for the state girls volleyball championships will be announced at the CIF headquarters in Fullerton Sunday. Locally, Gahr High School will be competing in the state Div. I championships. Action begins Tuesday.

FOOTBALL STREAKS: La Mirada HS--The Matadors won their last four games and advance to the Southern Section playoffs for the fifth consecutive time.

Santa Fe HS--The Chiefs will have to wait until next year for another shot at snapping the Southern Section's longest active losing streak. Montebello's 42-7 win last week was the 19th consecutive loss for Santa Fe.

Centennial HS--The Apaches are on the heals of Santa Fe after an 0-10 season. Centennial has lost 15 straight dating back to 1985.

Norwalk HS--The Lancers have advanced to the Southern Section playoffs as the Suburban League's No. 3 team each of the past five seasons. Norwalk has lost its previous four openers. On each trip Norwalk has opened with an Orange County team. The Lancers' opponent Friday night in the opening round of the Central Conference championships? Second-rated Saddleback of Santa Ana, which is 9-1. Norwalk is unrated and 6-4.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Stan Thomas, Southern Section CIF commissioner--Responding to the increased legal problems faced by amateur athletics: "The new opponent on our athletic schedule these days is not the aggressive basketball or football player, but sports liability."

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