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Sportsbeat : Long Beach Unified School District Junior High School All-city Saturday Sport Program

April 23, 1987

The Junior High School All-City Saturday Sports Program was created by the Long Beach Unified School District, according to a district brochure, for the purpose of "rendering a valuable service to youth," in the city. Prototypes of the program began in the early 1920s. Three decades later the school district administered the program in conjunction with the city's recreation department. The school district has run the program alone for the past 20 years.

The All-City program consists of flag football, basketball track and field, baseball and volleyball for boys. The girls participate in volleyball, basketball, track and field and softball. The school district establishes seasons for each sport so that none run concurrently. Competition is broken down by age group in most events.

Fifteen city schools participate in two divisions that roughly divide the city in half. Junior high schools in the Northern League are Hughes, Marshall, Hamilton, Lindbergh, DeMille, Bancroft, and Hoover. Franklin, Rogers, Stephens, Hill, Newcomb, Stanford, Jefferson and Washington make up the Southern League. Newcomb competes in grades 7-8. All others compete in grades 7-9.

After a series of intra-divisional games, league champions square off to decide the city title. In track and field an all-city meet is held to determine individual champions.

The All-City Sports Program functions as a farm system for the city's five public high schools and has been a proving ground for many successful future amateur and professional athletes.

The district also offers after-school intramural competition on a weekly basis.

"The school district views this program as an extension of the curriculum," says a brochure. Students must maintain a "C" grade average to participate.

Margie G. Godfrey is the Director of Physical Education, Recreation and Safety Services for the district. Consultant Glenn Butler, right, serves as commissioner for the program.

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