St. Bonaventure may be headed for a new league. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
On a day 26 teams playing for Southern Section football championships came together for a luncheon in Long Beach, big news was made off the field with the announcement that football powers Ventura St. Bonaventure and Westlake Village Oaks Christian could be headed to new leagues in 2014.
After years of debate over what leagues Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure belong in, the Southern Section released its Area Placement for the 2014-18 releaguing cycle, and both schools were placed in the Catholic Athletic Assn., which means big changes ahead barring a successful appeal.
Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure have been in the Northern Area, where schools were forced to put them in the Marmonte, Tri-Valley and Channel leagues. By being placed in the CAA, Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure will have to join a parochial league.
The most likely scenario is a revamping of the Serra and Mission leagues in football, but the real issue will be what happens to the non-football sports teams at Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure and the travel headaches that will occur.
"Nobody will deny we have a fabulous football program, but we belong in the Tri-County Athletic Assn. for all other sports," St. Bonaventure Principal Marc Groff said. "All the other students in our school should not have to drive past the schools we've been competing against for 49 years."
This is the first year the Southern Section has taken over the politically sensitive task of placing schools in an area before releaguing can take place. Schools have until March to complete the appeals process, which will be heard by the executive committee of the Southern Section.
"I'm impressed CIF had the willingness to make a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision and necessary for the Northern Area," Moorpark Athletic Director Rob Dearborn said.
A bounty on Su'a Cravens?
Su'a Cravens, the standout USC-bound safety for Vista Murrieta, sent out a Tweet two weeks ago questioning the tactics of opposing coaches and players.
"It's sad when teams you playing against coaches try and coach their players just to hurt me. Lol bounty list? Yal are a disgrace."
Cravens didn't back down from his accusation while attending the Southern Section championship luncheon. He said opponents had been engaging in "cheap shots" against him and other Vista Murrieta players.
"I think that's a disgrace of the game," he said.
Vista Murrieta (13-0) plays host to Corona Centennial (12-1) in Friday's Inland Division final.
Brian Kelly visit
Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly didn't leave town after the Fighting Irish's win over USC on Saturday. He visited Gardena Serra on Monday to speak with standout junior cornerback Adoree' Jackson, and also spoke to several other area recruits.