BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer email@example.com
Garces is moving into the Southwest Yosemite, Independence is moving out, football teams can't play rough in the summer and the Central Section wants to be associated with Northern California for CIF state playoffs.
One-site championships for football, baseball and volleyball? We'll see.
In a nutshell, those were the takeaways from the Central Section Board of Managers meeting Wednesday in Porterville.
Oh, and soon, the High Desert League will be a part of these meetings.
The board, made up of a reprsentative from each league, voted the HDL into the Central Section, including its five Kern County members: California City, Desert, Frazier Mountain, Kern Valley and Rosamond, with the stipulation that none of those teams may host playoff games in any sport for three years. That gives the section time to come up with money to support travel costs for its current members.
Meanwhile, for the third time in as many cycles, a major shift in Kern County's league structure became official. Garces, a private school with an enrollment of about 700, will compete in the powerful SWYL starting in fall 2014, while Independence -- which has won only two championships, one in boys soccer and one in boys basketball, in three years in the SWYL -- will move into the South Yosemite League.
The SYL, which might be re-named, also will include Tehachapi and East from the current Southeast Yosemite League, plus existing members Golden Valley, Ridgeview and West. The SEYL will consist of Foothill, Highland, Mira Monte, North and South.
Here are other major developments from Wednesday's meeting:
* The section eliminated all full-contact football practice in the off-season, something some districts have allowed but others, like the Kern High School District, previously outlawed. Essentially, this move evens the off-season playing field for all section schools.
* The proposal to move all volleyball section finals to one site was tabled until the October board meeting. Section commissioner Jim Crichlow said there was some consternation about holding a five-match championship Saturday at a high school site, so organizers will try to find bigger sites to serve as hosts. West Hills College in Lemoore, Fresno Pacific University, Bakersfield College and Rabobank Arena were all mentioned as possibilities. If approved in October, the one-site finals could still be implemented in time for next fall.
* The board unanimously voted to move forward with two proposals the section will take to the state CIF. One, which Crichlow said has widespread Southern Cal support, would create five divisions for the regional soccer championships; currently there are three.
The other change would alter the entire CIF landscape: The Central Section will ask to be moved into Northern California for all state playoffs. A similar proposal was shot down at the state level in 2007, but Crichlow said he thinks there is more statewide support this time around.
The proposal will be made at a state CIF meeting in the fall, but Crichlow said a final answer likely won't come until spring 2014. The change could be implemented in time for the 2014-15 school year.
* Proposals to move football and baseball section finals to one site were also heard, though votes won't be taken until October.
Crichlow said most of the opposition to one-site plans stems from the money schools make from football championships. The proposal calls for all six games to be held over two days at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno.
Stan Greene, director of school support services for the KHSD, said this week that his schools were loathe to give up home-field advantage. Crichlow said another possibility raised Wednesday was to rotate the finals between Bulldog Stadium and Memorial Stadium at BC.
Three locals named all-state
Garces basketball star Rashad Jackson was named to Cal Hi Sports' first-team all-state juniors team and its first-team all-state Division II team, the website revealed Wednesday.
Jackson, a 6-foot-2 guard and Californian Co-Player of the Year, averaged 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds a game for the Rams.
The other Co-Player of the Year, Independence guard Isaac Clark, was named a second-team all-state junior, as was Mira Monte forward Braxton Huggins.
Charity golf tourneys
The annual Liberty Baseball Golf Tournament is at noon May 11 at North Kern Golf Course.
Cost is $75 per player or $300 per hole with hole-in-one, closest-to-pin and longest-drive prizes that include a Dodge truck.
For more information, contact Kurt Hughes at (661) 301-8337 or Beth Morrison at (805) 245-8041.
North High's Red and Gray Classic, which benefits the Stars golf team, is May 18 at Buena Vista Golf Course. Cost is $350 per team, and hole sponsorship is $100.
For more information, contact Allan Smart at (661) 805-0863.