Chilcott: It's not a bad idea, but I don't know whether that would work. It would take a lot of effort. And to find someone who's objective enough to be that familiar with every single sport and every single school, it would be a big job. In theory, it's not a bad idea.
Stephens: I don't think you would have to do every sport. If you took football and basketball and leagued them separately, everything else would fall into place. I'm not involved in the Orange County releaguing process, but in our (Small Schools) proposal, we are leaguing eight-man football separately than the other leagues. When you take football out of the formula, everything falls into place.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 15, 1993 Orange County Edition Sports Part C Page 13 Column 3 Sports Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Irvine developer--In the Orange County Edition's Prep Wednesday, the name of an Irvine developer Donald M. Koll was spelled incorrectly.
Porter: When Mater Dei and Servite left their parochial leagues, they did the same thing. They developed a league for football apart from the other sports. Barbara Wilson had that for an idea. When she was going around exploring the Orange County section, she indicated that some area where she had been an athletic director before had that configuration where they set the whole league up by sport.
Q. Is competitive balance more important than neighborhood rivalries? Esperanza and Los Alamitos receive a lot of publicity during football season. Are administrators concerned with keeping rivalries like Esperanza-El Dorado and Los Alamitos-Cypress alive?
Doyle: We've already made an agreement with Westminster, if the new releaguing does come in, that we will play them. Ocean View is our next choice as a preseason game. That has to be done on a local level, make it the school's decision. If you go back to when we were in school, our league championship games weren't the games, it was Magnolia-Savanna, those were the big games. The Anaheim-Western games in football and basketball. It's up to the coaching staffs to maintain those if they're taken away by league rivalries. Another factor is money. You'll get more students to come to those games.
Q. How do you envision a county section? How should the divisions and leagues be broken up? Is the consideration of the current releaguing process with an eye to the future of a county section?
Doyle: One of the problems you're going to have with a county section is that you'll have a limited number of leagues and divisions. It makes the playoff structure even more difficult (and harder) to come up with some type of innovative scheduling to get different leagues for basketball and other sports.
If you could go to a college system of leagues where your opening game is a league game some years, but also have byes built in that allow for cross-league scheduling. You would have to have someone with a really good computer program, but it's available. If we had a six-year league cycle of leagues and a master league schedule, we could call an Esperanza and say, "Would you like to have a home-and-home contest for Sept. 4, 1996, and Sept. 5 1997?" You could do that with enough leagues.
Barnes: The other thing about is that everybody schedules their own games. Larry and I know because we've scheduled each others' teams, and we've had a good working relationship. But it's not that way with most. It's very difficult to find games. In football, it's a simple equation. If you're good, you have to play good teams. If you're really good, no one wants to play you, because no one wants to lose in football.
This past year, I called Sunny Hills, Trabuco Hills and Orange, which all needed fourth games, and they all said no, they wouldn't play us. Those are competitive games for us. We ended up with Long Beach Jordan, Long Beach Millikan, Palmdale, Blair and Marina on our nonleague schedule because we can't get any other county teams. That bothers me.
So if we go to an Orange County section, you almost need someone who can say, "You have to play some people, here's your pool of teams to choose from."
Doyle: It's not always just Los Alamitos (having trouble finding games). Edison went through it, Marina went through it. In our down years and Edison's down years, teams wouldn't play them because they were from the Sunset League (a traditionally strong football league). We went through some horrible years, but we still couldn't get people to play us in preseason.
Q. Why do we need a county section? Or do we?
Barnes: They wanted the Orange County section because some of the administrators were fighting with the Southern Section. But I don't think it has been thought out very much.
Porter: It comes down to governance. There's a preference to have the control of the superintendents' level in the public schools. And the Southern Section is clearly a principals' organization. In reality--and I might as well be the one to say it--the motivating influence was whether the private and parochial schools would be leagued with the public schools.