SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Section Board of Managers voted Tuesday to combine the 3-A Metro-Mesa League and the 2-A Metro-South Bay League into a 10-team 3-A league for the 1988-89 season.
The board denied the original proposal by the Metro Conference to combine the leagues into a 2-A league because several board members were concerned about the size of enrollments of Metro Conference schools.
Schools in the conference will be allowed to leave the league for any individual sport and join another league or play on a free-lance basis. However, Anthony Trujillo, superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District, said his eight district schools would not leave the conference in individual sports.
Marian and Coronado are the only schools in the conference that are outside the Sweetwater district and would benefit most from playing outside the league.
Coronado is a public school with 704 students, and Marian is a private school with 446 students. Southwest has the largest enrollment in the league (2,067) and Mar Vista is the smallest in the Sweetwater district (1,637).
Coronado moved from 2-A to 1-A in football for two years before returning to the 2-A South Bay League this past season. The Islanders won the 1-A title twice. Marian competed in the South Bay League in football this season, but Tuesday, the board voted to allow the school to compete at the 1-A level for football only, beginning next season.
"The little guys will suffer," said Bob Korzep, football coach at Castle Park, a Metro-South Bay school with 1,795 students. "The main thing that they wanted was for all of the Sweetwater schools to play together, without taking into consideration that the 2-A schools can't compete."
Trujillo said he had no problem with all the Sweetwater district schools competing in a 3-A league. He said that competing in a conference should be the priority for athletes and athletics, not how many teams can be sent to the playoffs.
But Korzep argues that some students lose interest in their studies when their sports teams are not successful.
Trujillo said the Metro Conference, in its proposal to form one league for all sports, took into consideration the amount of time students were away from classes because of having to travel to play nonleague day contests. He said that the Metro Conference would look into playing most of its athletic contests at night.
The section also approved the division of the 3-A Grossmont League into a four-team 2-A league and a five-team 3-A league for all sports. The league is now divided for football only. Starting with the 1988-89 season, El Cajon Valley, Grossmont, Santana and Valhalla will compete in the 2-A Grossmont League, and El Capitan, Granite Hills, Helix, Monte Vista and Mount Miguel will compete in the 3-A Grossmont League.