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A new small-schools sports power in the Valley?

November 14, 2011 | 11:17 am

There could be a new small-schools athletic powerhouse in the San Fernando Valley. Next fall, Los Angeles Baptist in North Hills is to merge with Hillcrest Christian in Granada Hills.

L.A. Baptist put itself up for sale, and Hillcrest Christian, a K-12 school, was the winning suitor. The high school students are to attend classes at L.A. Baptist. The middle school and elementary school students are to be at the Hillcrest Christian campus.

Still to be decided is a name for the new school -- and maybe a new mascot.

L.A. Baptist has had a long and successful sports history and produced Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix in track. Hillcrest Christian has been making strides with its sports program.

Together, things could get interesting. Come spring, sports teams could start working out together, but right now, both schools are trying to figure out how to merge. Coaches will be evaluated. L.A. Baptist has varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams. Hillcrest Christian only has varsity.

"We're still at the beginning stage of blending," Hillcrest Christian Principal Lance Haliday said.

-- Eric Sondheimer