Exeter drops to D4; Cavaliers may join ESL

By Andrea Camarena

Realignment. Every two years, league representatives gather to realign leagues and playoff divisions for a two-year term.

For the 2004-2006 cycle, changes were made to the East Sequoia League to add both Coalinga and Immanuel to the small school league. Now representatives from the involved schools are looking to move the East Sequoia league away from its current eight-team setup.

"We don't like eight- team leagues. It's easy for scheduling but we lose the oppurtunity to play local schools that we usually do," said Lindsay High School Athletic Director Don Perales.

The proposed East Sequoia League roster drops newcomers Coalinga and Immanuel as well as Dinuba. As a replacement the proposal includes Visalia's Central Valley Christian as a new addition to the ESL.

Exeter Union High School Athletic Director Darin Pace plans to present the league proposal to the CIF Central Section committee at a meeting on Feb. 22.

A main concern for local schools promoting the modified league lineup, is the strain on athletic budgets when traveling during league. For Exeter, competing with Coalinga costs the school $800 each time they make the 164-mile trip.

In Lindsay, the concern is the loss of class time. With high school athletes also being high school students, the trip puts an immense strain on classroom time affecting students' academic performance. The two-hour one-way trip to Coalinga pulls students out of class in the early afternoon, cutting away at two or more hours of class time.

The trip to Immanuel for soccer players, excuses students from class as early as 12:30 to make it to Reedly in time to play without lights.

While schools wait to find out who will be placed in which league, the new playoff divisions for football, soccer, softball, baseball and tennis have already been decided. In the fall of 2006, Exeter Union will move from Division III down to Division IV. CVC and Parlier were also bumped down to Division IV for the 2006-2008 cycle. Kerman, currently in Division IV will move up to Division III.

Kerman High School defeated Lindsay football in the first round of CIF playoffs in 2004.

Exeter proposed their division change in an attempt to become more competitive in the post season.

In a letter to CIF Central Section Commissioner Jim Crichlow on Dec. 23, Pace explained, "We have shown to be non-competitive with larger schools. Our non-league, Division III schedule for the past two years is 12-40. In divisional playoffs, our sports participating in Division III or Sequioa Large School divisions have mustered a 4-9 playoff record."

CBEDS, which is the population of a schools 9-11 grade students places basketball, volleyball, cross country in divisions based soley on school population.

CBEDS currently places Exeter and Lindsay both in Division 4 playoff brackets.

The adjusted Divisions for football, soccer, softball, baseball and tennis shouldmake playoffs a closer level of competition than what was displayed in the fall of 2004. (Both Exeter and Lindsay football teams were bumpedout of playoffs in the first round.)

The approved division four list of teams for the 2006-2008 playoff season includes the following teams:

Chowchilla, Immanuel, Orosi, Wasco, Coalinga, Parlier, Shafter, Woodlake, Corcoran, Kingsburg, Taft, Exeter, Dos Palos, Lindsay and Central Valley Christian.

The Current East Sequioa League currently includes the following teams through the spring of 2006:

Coalinga, Corcoran, Dinuba, Exeter, Immanuel, Lindsay, Orosi and Woodlake.

The proposed East Sequoia League for the fall of 2006 through the spring of 2008 includes the following teams:

Central Valley Christian, Corcoran, Exeter, Lindsay, Orosi and Woodlake.

The league should be solidified by Feb. 22.

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