Representatives from schools within the Marin-Sonoma-Mendocino Conference are scheduled to meet Monday to prioritize plans to accommodate the addition of three high schools from Napa County.
The new configuration could affect one or all of the Marin County Athletic League, the North Bay League and the Sonoma County League beginning in the fall of 2018.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be at 3 p.m. in the Athletic Convocation Center at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa.
The addition of Napa, American Canyon and Vintage high schools, a move that is already approved, could change the configurations of the MCAL, NBL and the SCL in any number of ways, so participating schools are being asked to either weigh in on proposals that have been put forth by the North Coast Section or to present their own ideas.
“The whole goal of the workshop is we really flush out all of the possibilities,” NCS Commissioner Gil Lemmon said. “It’s basically getting a feel for which proposal is more popular than another.”
The options are myriad.
All three schools could be added to a single league, or one could be added to each league, or all three leagues could be reset top to bottom.
All changes will go into effect in the fall of 2018, Lemmon said.
Leagues should create combinations of schools that meet NCS bylaws requiring competitive equity, creation of an environment in which an athletic program has a reasonable opportunity for success and geographic proximity, Lemmon said.
Rivalries or historic league placement do not factor.
“Our schools are obligated to think this through,” Lemmon said. “There has been a lot of discussion and it’s been healthy.”
If the workshop Monday does not produce any viable plans or plans that gain sufficient support, the NCS alignment committee will proceed on its own, according to Lemmon. More than one plan can be forwarded from Monday’s meeting.
Any recommendations from the represented schools Monday will be considered at a conference meeting likely between Aug. 17-23, according to Lemmon. The NCS alignment committee is scheduled weigh in at its Aug. 24 meeting. The NCS is expected to adopt a plan at the Oct. 3 Board of Managers meeting.
There will be a window to submit appeals to the final plan between Aug. 24 and Oct. 3.
The last major change that affected area schools was in the fall of 2012, when Windsor and Casa Grande joined the NBL and Piner and Elsie Allen moved to the SCL.
You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”
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