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Southern Section Ends Playoff Regionalization

April 29, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN

The grand regionalization experiment is over.

The Southern Section Council voted Tuesday to end a two-year playoff format that limited team competition to geographic boundaries until the semifinal round.

Starting in the fall, playoff competition will return to the previous format of travel without boundaries in every round.

The concept of regionalization, which was intended to save on travel expenses and time, was unpopular with many coaches in the region.

Under the regionalization format, teams often would be matched against league rivals early in the playoffs.

"The idea is good, but facing schools from your league for the third time in a year is not palatable for anyone," said Kevin Rooney, athletic director at Notre Dame High. "I think most people would be willing to travel a little more."

Closing in on new league: Prospects have improved for forming a football league consisting of larger private schools in the Valley.

An amendment passed by the Southern Section Council paves the way for releaguing among parochial schools and creates the possibility of forming a football league that would combine teams from the Del Rey and Mission leagues.

Included would be Crespi and Alemany from the Del Rey and Notre Dame, Chaminade, St. Francis and Harvard-Westlake from the Mission.

"We're hoping we can get a league made up of San Fernando Valley schools," Rooney said.

"We're all about the same size, in the same geographic regions and have developed some good, friendly rivalries."

The amendment calls for six parochial schools, including Mater Dei and Santa Margarita, to be placed into new leagues for the 1999-2000 school year.

Valley coaches are in favor of placing Mater Dei and Santa Margarita in the Del Rey League with existing members Bishop Amat, Loyola, St. Paul and St. John Bosco, allowing Crespi and Alemany to move to another league.

Releaguing proposals are expected to be heard in September.

Add playoffs: The football playoffs in two Southern Section divisions will have a different flavor starting next season, creating more opportunities for teams in the region.

A 16-team playoff draw in Division III will come from teams in the Foothill, Golden, Mission and Pacific leagues.

The Division IV playoffs will include teams from the Channel, Marmonte and Northern leagues and the newly formed Pacific View League, consisting of five teams from the Oxnard school district.

In Division IV, 16 of 22 teams will earn playoff berths. Last season, 16 of 35 teams earned berths in Division III, which consisted of the Channel, Marmonte, Northern, Pacific and Mission leagues.

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