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Pioneer League's Days Are Numbered After Appeal Is Rejected : Preps: The six schools will be placed in expanded Bay and Ocean leagues beginning in 1994. El Segundo plans to file another appeal.


The Southern Section Releaguing Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to uphold the Coast Area's releaguing proposal and reject an appeal by five of the six high schools in the Pioneer League.

Administrators from South Torrance, West Torrance, North Torrance, Torrance and El Segundo went before the Releaguing Committee seeking to overturn the proposal that will eliminate the Pioneer League and place those schools in expanded, eight-team Bay and Ocean leagues for a four-year cycle beginning in 1994.

Representatives of the 16 schools currently grouped in the Bay, Ocean and Pioneer leagues voted, 10-6, in favor of the proposal last month at the Coast Area meeting. The vote was divided along league lines, with the Bay and Ocean schools in the majority.

After hearing arguments by both sides, the Releaguing Committee voted, 8-0, Wednesday to uphold the proposal. The committee includes Santa Monica Principal Bernard Samuels, the Coast Area chairman.

The decision was a disappointment for Pioneer administrators, who contend the proposal of two eight-team leagues places their schools in inequitable situations with regard to comparative enrollment and competitive parity, two of the three criteria recommended by the Southern Section for releaguing. Distance between schools is the third.

"It was a nice political victory for the schools that pulled this off," El Segundo Athletic Director John Stevenson said. "I don't see how anybody can justify what is being done. It's just not fair."

Under the proposal, El Segundo and Centennial will move from the Pioneer League to the Ocean League to join holdovers Morningside, Redondo, Mira Costa, Culver City and Beverly Hills and Santa Monica from the Bay League. Santa Monica, with an enrollment of about 2,700 students, is the largest school in the proposed league. El Segundo, with an enrollment of 650, is the smallest.

Stevenson said El Segundo plans to file another appeal with the Southern Section Council in October.

"We will continue to appeal until all avenues are exhausted," he said.

South Athletic Director Roger Bryant said the four Torrance high schools have no further appeals planned.

"We wouldn't stand a chance," Bryant said. "It's a dead issue. We'll just have to suck it up and do the best we can."

South, West, North and Torrance--whose enrollments range from 1,400 to 1,800--will be grouped with Peninsula, Leuzinger, Hawthorne and Inglewood in the Bay League. The latter four schools, all current members of the Bay League, have enrollments ranging from 3,000-plus for Peninsula to 1,900 for Inglewood.

Bay and Ocean schools favored going to eight-team leagues because, in their current five-team alignments, the leagues must cross-match their teams every week during the league season to fill out their schedules. This led to problems not experienced by the six-team Pioneer League, administrators said.

One of the alternate proposals favored by Pioneer schools involved moving Beverly Hills into the Bay League to make it a six-team league, and shuffling schools around in the Ocean and Pioneer to form two five-team leagues. Under this plan, every Ocean and Pioneer school would play all the schools in both leagues, with all the games counting in a school's league record.

South Bay Baseball Top 10

Selected by Times Sportswriters. Final

Rank, School, League: Record 1 Redondo (Ocean): 20-10 2 El Segundo (Pioneer): 20-7 3 West Torrance (Pioneer): 18-11-1 4 Westchester (Western): 22-8 5 Peninsula (Bay): 18-7 6 Banning (Pacific): 15-9 7 Carson (Pacific): 17-14 8 Mira Costa (Ocean): 17-10 9 South Torrance (Pioneer): 14-13 10 Mary Star (Santa Fe): 17-8

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