There's two weeks remaining in the regular season of high school football. In order to qualify for the Div. I-IV post-season the teams must finish first or second in their league. Then the next best 24 teams in the 40 leagues that comprise the Sac-Joaquin Section's biggest divisions are slid into the playoff brackets based on total wins. Plus, the "wild-card" teams have to win two league games.
First comes Monterey Trail, a team with a 5-3 record, but only one Delta Valley Conference win. Friday they play at Elk Grove and conclude the regular season with a home game against Franklin. Six wins would pretty much assure them a place in the Division I bracket, but can they beat either DVC front-runner?
Davis (5-3, 2-1 DVC) has beat Laguna Creek and M.T. They, too, may slide into Division I. A win over Grant Friday would pretty much assure them a spot and at the same time knock the Pacers out of the playoffs for the first time in 22 seasons. If the Blue Devils do make the post-season it would be their first time since 2007.
Jesuit is 4-4, but 0-3 in the Delta River League. They must beat Sheldon Saturday and Oak Ridge the week after just to get in. Ponderosa is 5-3 after starting the season with four straight wins. They play Folsom Friday and finish at Sheldon. One win in the last two would place them in either Div I or II (likely II) bracket for the first time in a long, long time.
Pleasant Grove is 3-0 in the DRL and pretty much has the post-season made. They'll face Oak Ridge Friday and then travel to Folsom to end the regular year. Likely that last game will determine the DRL championship.
The Section has chosen a committee of principals and athletic directors to start talks about league realignments beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. No one from Elk Grove is on this committee. Schools were asked to fill out a survey where the school could request a move to a different league based on travel, future school enrollment, competitive programs and the like.
The first meeting about realignment will be Jan. 8 at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton at 9 a.m. It is open to the public.
Don't be surprised if Cosumnes Oaks ends up being placed in the Delta Valley Conference with Franklin, Elk Grove, probably Laguna Creek, too.
Just speculating here - The Section's committee will want to keep Davis connected with the DVC so would Monterey Trail be sent packing to a league such as the Metro Conference? The Mustangs have been highly successful in football and track and that's just about it. Adding them to the eight team Metro would allow some of their sports to be more competitive. OR would Laguna Creek be sent packing to the Metro?
I suggested two years ago in the Citizen an "Elk Grove Athletic Association" would financially make a ton of sense. In this age of tight school budgets why not have virtually all games local? Why not put EG, Franklin, COaks, LC, MT, Pleasant Grove and Sheldon into one league alongside of Jesuit/St. Francis? When I lofted that a couple years ago at a meeting at the Section office I was asked, "What would we do with Ponderosa, Oak Ridge and Folsom ... and Davis?"
I basically offered a smart-aleck comment ("Who cares?") but did seriously say that Pondo needed to replace COaks in the Sierra Valley Conference (with Liberty Ranch, Vista del Lago, Union Mine, etc.) because they are getting their butts kicked in every sport in the DRL. Oak Ridge and Folsom could join the Sierra Foothill League, making it an eight-team league (with Del Oro, Nevada Union, Rocklin, etc.). Davis, frankly, needs to be in the Monticello Empire League with Vacaville, Napa, etc.
Someone in the Elk Grove area with some boldness needs to campaign for this. Do we really have anyone?