BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer email@example.com
Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow said Friday he is confident the CIF will move the section to the Northern California half of state playoffs beginning in fall 2014.
In the past, Crichlow has unsuccessfully appealed to other sections and to the CIF for the move, which has widespread support among school districts, athletic directors and coaches in the Central Section. But he said this time, he has the support of Northern California sections.
"We've made some inroads with folks in the North," Crichlow said. "The biggest obstacle is the volleyball (state) playoffs, where they have an 8-team bracket with six sections. If we became the seventh, that would leave only one at-large. But we've talked about going to 16 teams and eliminating the problem.
"I think it's going to happen. It's easier for us to compete, we get a bigger portion when we start talking financially, trying to get corporate sponsorships."
Crichlow said some companies are split into Northern and Southern California branches, and that the Northern Cal ones -- which often serve the large Fresno/Clovis area -- are reluctant to sponsor the Central Section because it's affiliated with Southern California.
Because the assignment of sections to playoff regions isn't covered in the CIF constitution, Crichlow said CIF executive director Roger Blake tasked the Championship and New Events Committee with changing the format of state playoffs. The committee next meets this fall; Crichlow said a move to the North could come at that point.
BCHS QB wins appeal
Bakersfield Christian quarterback Brandon Jones won his appeal with the Central Section on Thursday, cementing his status as the Eagles' starter in two weeks at Huntington Beach.
Jones, a junior, originally was ruled ineligible for 30 days (six games) because his January transfer from Bakersfield High was made without a full family move out of the Kern High School District area.
But Crichlow said Friday that Jones' appeal for a hardship waiver was approved, so he's immediately eligible.
Hokits transfer to Clovis
Wasco wrestling brothers Isaiah and Josh Hokit have moved to Clovis with their family and enrolled at Clovis High, according to multiple sources.
Isaiah Hokit, a junior, is a two-time medalist at the CIF State Wrestling Championships, taking fourth place at 106 pounds as a freshman and sixth at 113 last year. Josh Hokit qualified for state at 126 last year.
Josh Hokit also was in competition to become Wasco's starting quarterback in football, a job that now likely falls to Austin Sutton.
Falcons fly to Centennial
Three members of Independence's Division III section championship boys basketball team have transferred to Centennial, coaches from both schools have confirmed.
Derek Check, a senior who has twice made the All-Area first team, and Malcolm Johnson, All-Area as a freshman last year, have both transferred, along with Brandon Robinson, Johnson's half-brother. Alec Check, Derek's brother and a standout youth basketball player entering his freshman year, also will attend Centennial.
The new basketball coach at Centennial, Hernan Santiago, is the Checks' uncle.
Crichlow said the Checks made a full family move and are immediately eligible. Robinson and Johnson, who both play football, are eligible for football season but they have not been cleared by the CIF yet to play basketball for the Golden Hawks, Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow said.