CIF Central Section Approves League Realignment
THS Will Be In SYL In 2014-15

Posted May 5, 2013 by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

The central section recently made some milestone changes in a meeting held last Thursday, with a few of the decisions having an impact on Tehachapi High athletics.

The first big news comes in yet another league change for Tehachapi High, with a move to the South Yosemite League becoming official starting in the 2014-2015 school year. The Warriors will join East, Golden Valley, Ridgeview, Independence and West to form the new six team mix.

It should be noted, Tehachapi will remain a current member of the SEYL with North, Garces, Highland, Foothill and East through this upcoming 2013-2014 season. The change to the SYL will not occur until the beginning of the 2014 school year.

Garces, a perennial powerhouse in the SEYL in recent years, was rewarded for their winning efforts in a movement to the Southwest Yosemite League, joining current members Bakersfield, Frontier, Centennial, Liberty and Stockdale. This move will also take place starting in the fall of 2014.

Other league realignment news pertinent to our area involved the High Desert League, which was officially extended an invitation to join the Central Section, severing ties with their long standing membership in the Southern Section. The league members (Bishop, Cal City, Desert, Frazier Mountain, Kern Valley and Rosamond) will remain intact. All six teams will vie for either the Division IV, V or VI playoff pool, depending on where the Central Section places each team, starting in November.

"An agreement was that the HDL teams would have to travel to all CIF (playoff) competitions for the first three years, except games between themselves," said Tehachapi High Athletic Director Patrick Snyder. "After that time, the highest (playoff) seed would then again be the host team. This movement does not impact Tehachapi at all. We will continue to compete in the Yosemite division."

When the dust settled on realignments, virtually all Kern County teams are now officially in the Central Section, with exception of Immanuel Christian (Ridgecrest), Burroughs (Ridgecrest), Boron, Mojave and Maricopa.

Another significant change in the central section meeting was solely football related, officially outlawing full-contact practice (helmet and shoulder pads) section-wide during off-season workouts. Kern High School District already was ahead of the curve on this change, having already implemented this policy prior to the section ruling for schools in the greater Bakersfield Area. Now other districts in the central section are required to follow suit.

"By initiating this rule in the section, it has leveled the playing field for all schools," added Snyder. "From a safety standpoint, it is lowering the amount of contact that our athletes are receiving. The risk of injury, especially concussions, will fall."

Implications of this rule change means that the traditional wing-t camp held at Tehachapi High over the past decade in June is now scrapped, since it is now illegal for a team to participate in a full contact camp where their coaches are present. Student athletes can go to camps on their own, but no school issued equipment can be utilized and the players would have to attend these events as individuals.

If any team is found in violation of this rule, per the Central Section Porterville Office, they would forfeit their eligibility for the playoffs during that school year.

Schedule-wise for Mountain Football, practice will begin on July 29, with day 1-2 consisting of helmets and cleats only. Beginning on day 3 (early August), the use of helmets and shoulder pads are authorized.

Other significant proposals discussed and tabled to the fall included the Central Section possibly joining with Northern California teams in the state playoff bracket pools for all sports and football, volleyball and baseball section finals held at one venue (In football, a yearly rotation form Bakersfield College's Memorial Stadium and Fresno State's Bulldog Stadium, for example). These discussion points will be re-addressed again in October.

2014-2015 Central Section / Kern County League Realignments

Southwest Yosemite League - Bakersfield, Frontier, Garces, Centennial, Liberty, Stockdale

South Yosemite League - Tehachapi, East, Golden Valley, Ridgeview, Independence, West

Southeast Yosemite League - Foothill, Highland, Mira Monte, North, South

South Sequoia League - Bakersfield Christian, Taft, Shafter, Cesar Chavez, Wasco, Arvin, Kennedy

Desert League - Bishop, Cal City, Desert-Edwards AFB, Frazier Mountain, Kern Valley, Rosamond

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