St. Bonaventure High will move to the Channel League for football beginning in 2002 after a vote of schools from the Southern Section Northern Region approved a releaguing proposal Tuesday night.
St. Bonaventure, which is 28-0 the last two seasons and has won consecutive Southern Section Division XI championships, will leave the Tri-Valley League and join Ventura, Buena, Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos in the Channel League.
"I'm excited," Coach Jon Mack said. "The one negative I've been hearing is our small schools label. Now local teams have to play us."
The Seraphs have upgraded their schedule with nonleague games next season against Hart and San Diego Lincoln.
Brad Steward, Ventura's new coach and former offensive coordinator, said he welcomes the challenge St. Bonaventure brings to the Channel League.
"I consider them a worthy adversary," Steward said. "It will be a big game for us. I think their athletes are the same caliber as we have. They need to play people like us."
The Tri-Valley League will otherwise be unchanged. The remaining schools--Oak Park, Fillmore, Carpinteria and Bishop Diego--will form a four-team league for football.
St. Bonaventure outscored those schools, 183-3, last season.
"When you're beating everyone by 50 points, you have to accept that it's time to move," said Athletic Director Cliff Farrar of Nordhoff, a nonleague rival and member of the Frontier League, which also is realigning.
Calabasas will move from the Frontier to the Marmonte League in 2002-03. Nordhoff, Santa Paula, Malibu and Santa Clara will remain in the Frontier, although Santa Clara will begin playing football as a freelance school next season. The Saints were 0-10 last season, but hope to rejoin the league for football in a year or two.
Oaks Christian will join the Frontier League in all sports in 2002-03. The school has been competing in some varsity sports on a freelance basis.
Pacifica, which will open in Oxnard in 2001-2002, will join the Pacific View League and become its sixth member.
Staff writer Eric Sondheimer and correspondent John Klima contributed to this report.