BUENA PARK — The Southern Section executive council rejected an 11th-hour appeal Thursday from Alemany High to prevent the Catholic Athletic Assn. from moving the Indians to a Division I league in football.
Under the new league groupings, Alemany remains in the Division III Mission League in all sports except football. In football, the Indians move to the Division I Del Rey League, joining Bishop Amat, Loyola and St. Paul, which is also moving up from Division III.
Father James Anguiano, Alemany's principal, argued Thursday during a meeting at the Sequoia Club that his school was not competitive in Division I football and requested that the school remain in Division III.
Anguiano pointed out that Alemany was 10-47-3 while competing in Division I from 1992-97, compared to 9-4 in Division III last season, when the Indians won their first outright league title in the school's 43-year history.
"The record speaks for itself," Anguiano said.
Encino-based attorney David Dicker, representing a group of Alemany parents, told the council it had a responsibility "to take action to insure . . . that kids who can't compete in Division I not be placed in Division I."
Dicker suggested that Notre Dame, which is moving from Division I to Division III in football, swap places with Alemany.
Jim Clausen, an Alemany assistant football coach who has two sons on the team, also addressed the council.
"This [decision] comes down to playoff slots and playoff seedings," Clausen said. "We are not competitive in Division I. We'd show up for a game with Mater Dei. I just hope we can still get on the bus when it's over."
Rebuttal was swift.
"Alemany had every opportunity to have its voice heard and make appeals," said Principal Patrick Murphy of Mater Dei. "Santa Margarita took it all the way to the state level, lost and accepted it. At some point we have to put an end to this and get on with releaguing."
Bill Goodman, principal at St. John Bosco and chairman of the Parochial Area committee in charge of releaguing, said Alemany had the chance to file an appeal on Dec. 2 with the CAA executive committee, and that the deadline was extended to Dec. 18. But no appeals were filed.
Goodman also pointed out that Notre Dame was a private school and, unlike Alemany, not part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and could not arbitrarily switch leagues with Alemany.
After the meeting, Anguiano said he was unsure of Alemany's next step.
Dicker said he would meet with the parents he is representing and review their legal rights. He did not rule out seeking an injunction in court.
"We will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the kids of Alemany," Dicker said. "The vote [Thursday] is evidence of the lack of concern for the safety of student-athletes at Alemany."