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San Diego Section revisited

GRANT'S TOMB:

November 16, 2001

Last year I was one of the first to criticize our local schools' move to the San Diego Section. This year let me recant and admit that I've seen the error of my ways.

With this year's playoff seedings and subsequent volleyball playoff action, it is obvious to me that our local schools are much better-suited to playing against San Diego competition. We have already had a volleyball team (Brawley) reach the section semifinals and we have three local football teams who have been given byes into the second round of the playoffs.

To that end the San Diego Section is much better-suited for our needs. It gives our local teams a chance to win championships and that's something that was scarce in the Southern Section.

However, this does not mean everything is rosy in San Diego. There are still problems with this section that seem to me to need addressing.

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The first is the constant snub of the teams from Calexico. I wonder how the Bulldogs football team can be 6-2 and not qualify for the playoffs? This seems similar to what happened last season to the Calexico Bulldog team that won 19 games yet still felt the playoff snub. I have been told that Calexico's division (Division II) is among the bigger ones in San Diego, thus it's harder for the Bulldogs to get a playoff berth.

This may be the case, yet it is hard to swallow. It would seem more likely that the little school from the Valley is being snubbed by the bigger boys over the mountain. I hope that with time this will even out. Maybe if the Bulldogs play more San Diego teams and show them they are worthy of playoff consideration, they will be able to play in the postseason. That is certainly something to hope for.

My other problem with the San Diego Section is all of the private schools. I was granted the opportunity to watch Brawley take on University of San Diego High School on Tuesday in a semifinal volleyball match and while the Wildcats certainly played their hearts out, it was obvious USDHS had too much talent for Brawley.

Don't think this is the first time this has happened, either. Last year I saw the Holtville High School football team take it on the chin against Bishop's, and let's face it, this seems to be a yearly ritual. Our schools get into the playoffs only to be eliminated by teams that have recruited many of their players.

I'm not sure how anyone thinks that any public school will ever be able to compete against a private one. You have to figure that the San Diego private schools basically have their choice of any player in San Diego. This means they are choosing players from a pool of 2 million people. Now compare this to a local school that is drawing from a town of 20,000 and I wonder how the public school is supposed to even compete with the aforementioned private school? I honestly don't see a way that such public schools can. Sure, there is the occasional anomaly, but these are too far and few between to mention.

To further illustrate my point I give you this year's Holtville High School football team. The Vikings will enter the Division IV playoffs as the lone public school in a seven-team bracket. Despite the fact that I love this year's version of the Vikings, I can't say I like their chances in this year's playoffs.

I do have a solution for this problem. The section must either move all the private schools that recruit in to the highest division it has or it should just put them all in their own division. If no action is ever taken, then I think the chances of any public school, local or otherwise, are severely limited.

Whether these actions are taken or not, I still would have to say that in the end the move to San Diego has been a fine one. I guess that things really are nicer over there after all.

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