Football: Bishop Diego (0-5) takes on Oaks Christian
The Tri-Valley League season starts Friday, and most agree it's going to be the last season for Westlake Village Oaks Christian (5-0) in the league. The problem is Santa Barbara Bishop Diego is 0-5 and faces the powerful Lions at Oaks Christian on Friday.
"You ask your kids to compete to the best they can," Coach Tom Crawford said. "Hopefully, like going to the dentist, sometimes it's painful, but when it's done, you're a little better for it."
Next week, a vote is scheduled at the Southern Section Council meeting to determine new leagues for the 2010 season. It appears that Oaks Christian could get voted into the Marmonte League for football only or for all sports, as the Marmonte would like. That would be fine with Crawford.
"I know there's some hesitation from leagues to take them, but if you look at their talent level and the number of kids they're sending on to Division I and II, I don't think any fair-minded individual can say they should remain where they are," he said.
Bishop Diego is a young team trying to improve and correct mistakes. "We'll probably talk about Oaks Christian less than any opponent this year," he said. "It's recognition on our part we have to focus on things we can realistically control."
Crawford, though, has no fear about Oaks Christian letting the game get out of control. "I hear all the things about Oaks Christian, but I know from my own experience, both their personnel and play calling, they reflect sportsmanship in the way they handle things," he said.
-- Eric Sondheimer