Video/The New-Look 209: 5 Small-School Leagues & A Quick Look at Realignment in 2018

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 1, 2018

As we jump into 2018, let’s preview the realignment changes for the 10 leagues in The 209 and what we have to look forward to the next four school years. Here are the five small-school leagues:

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE/DIVISION 4

This is the one league that was blown up and rebuilt, with the old WAC, Trans-Valley, Modesto Metro and Valley Oak leagues contributing teams. It’s a tremendous move for Beyer, which has had some success vs. Modesto’s top public schools … Lathrop also comes out great, departing the meat-grinder that is the Valley Oak League for a league where it will always finish in the top half.

Ceres, Los Banos and Pacheco-Los Banos remain from the old WAC, with Mountain House from the TVL, and Davis and Johansen from the MMC.

Early Predicted Finish: Los Banos, Beyer, Lathrop, Pacheco, Mountain House, Davis. Ceres, Johansen.

MOTHER LODE LEAGUE/DIVISION 5

Not much new here, with Sonora, Calaveras, Argonaut, Amador, Summerville and Bret Harte playing here in 2018 … and finishing in that order. The lone change: Linden leaves for the Division 6 Sierra Delta League.

TRANS-VALLEY LEAGUE

The lone football change has Livingston joining the league in 2018, though Modesto Christian’s hoop teams will be moving to the Tri-City Athletic League. Once one of the premier small-school leagues in California, the TVL has been struggling and the addition of struggling Livingston won’t solve that.

Early Predicted Finish: Hilmar, Escalon, Ripon, Modesto Christian, Hughson, Livingston, Riverbank.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Business as usual, with no one arriving or leaving … which means Orestimba, Mariposa, Gustine, Ripon Christian, Delhi, Waterford, Le Grand, Denair is the early predicted finish.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Another status quo league … with Stone Ridge Christian-Merced, Big Valley Christian-Modesto, Brookside Christian-Stockton, Millennium-Tracy, Rite of Passage-San Andreas, Turlock Christian as the early predicted finish. 

 

About the Author ()

Richard T. Estrada has been covering high school football in The 209 area code for more than 30 years and is the voice of authority on the game in California's Central Valley. He oversaw The Modesto Bee's high school sports coverage for a couple of decades, and also was a national award-winning business and agriculture writer. Black Hat Football not only covers the game, but emphasizes education and the need for The 209's student-athletes to prepare for college.

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