The Southern Section releaguing committee Monday rejected requests by three private schools to join the Orange County placement area for the releaguing cycle that begins in 2002.
Requests by Santa Margarita to leave the Catholic Schools area, and by Orange Lutheran and Calvary Chapel to leave the Small Schools area, were turned down.
An appeals meeting before the section's executive board is Nov. 15. Approval of the requests would open the door for those schools to be placed in public-school leagues.
Currently, Santa Margarita is in the four-team, all-Catholic Serra League, which was created to appease public schools that played the parochial schools in leagues comprised mostly of public schools.
Orange Lutheran and Calvary Chapel are in the Olympic League and are trying to protect their interests as it dwindles from a six-team to four-team league comprised of smaller Christian schools.
"Nobody wants to be [in] a four-team league," said Jim Kunau, Orange Lutheran's athletic director. " We feel our request is very much in line with the spirit and purpose of CIF to serve the welfare of all kids. Also, in different parts of the section, you have a mixture of public and private schools, so Orange County would be the anomaly."
The Capistrano Valley Unified School District felt so strongly about the public-private issue that it prohibited its four schools--Capistrano Valley, San Clemente, Dana Hills and Aliso Niguel--from scheduling nonleague contests against private schools.