SOUTH COUNTY — Change is coming next fall for local high school athletic teams as 33 schools that make up the tri-county area will be realigned to form new divisions as part of the Pacific Coast Athletic League (PCAL). Football, cross country, volleyball, and field hockey teams in South County are now part an effort to create equity on the playing fields.
“The change from one division to another has its pros and cons,” said Soledad High Athletic Director Brian Vasquez. “In football and volleyball we are where we should be and in cross country we are in the top division but we feel that are program is improving enough where we can be work to be competitive in the new division.”
The Soledad football team will be playing next fall in the Mission Division that includes Alisal, Carmel, Monte Vista Christian, North Salinas, Scott Valley, and Watsonville. The criteria for placement in each division was based on this year’s finish in league, school enrollment, and how well each program’s JV or frosh programs did this season.
A member of the Cypress Division in football will be the King City Mustangs. Joining the Mustangs are: Monterey, North Monterey County, Pacific Grove, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz, and St. Francis of Watsonville. Gonzales High and Greenfield High will play in the Santa Lucia Division that includes Harbor, Pajaro Valley, Soquel, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The top division of the PCAL is the Gabilan Division and includes league members Aptos, Christopher, Everett Alvarez, Gilroy, Hollister, Palma, Salinas, and Seaside.
“Overall I think the division placements accomplished the goal of “competitive equity” for the new league,” said King City Athletic Director Ralph Rianda. “I am looking forward to the 2018 fall season and feel King City will be competitive with the other schools in their respective divisions.”
In cross country two of the traditional rival team will be in the Mission Division (King City and Greenfield), while Gonzales will compete in the Cypress Division and Soledad will move up to the Gabilan Division.
The Gabilan Division includes, Soledad, Alisal, Carmel, Gilroy, Hollister, North Monterey County, Pacific Grove, Palma/Notre Dame. Running in the Mission Division are: Everett Alvarez, Greenfield, King City, Marina, North Salinas, Salinas, and Pacific Collegiate. Gonzales High will compete in the Cypress Division with Monterey, Pajaro Valley, Seaside, Watsonville, York, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
In volleyball Gonzales and Soledad will stay together in the Cypress Division and will play Anzar, Gilroy, North Monterey County, Pajaro Valley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Watsonville. Greenfield High will play in the Santa Lucia Division with Kirby, Marina, Oakwood, Pacific Collegiate, Trinity Christian, and York. The King City Lady Mustangs will play in the Gabilan Division with Carmel, Christopher, Hollister, Monte Vista Christian, Notre Dame, Salinas, and Santa Catalina.
The Greenfield Lady Bruin field hockey team that was formed two years ago will be part of the Mission Division with Carmel, Salinas, York, Santa Catalina, and Robert Louis Stevenson.