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Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure go to Catholic Athletic Assn.

After years of debate over what leagues high school sports powers Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure belong in, the Southern Section released its Area Placement for the 2014-18 releaguing cycle on Monday, and both schools were placed in the Catholic Athletic Assn., which means big changes ahead barring a successful appeal.

Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure have been in the Northern Area, where schools were forced to put them in the Marmonte, Tri-Valley and Channel leagues in past years. By being placed in the CAA, Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure will now have to join a parochial league in 2014.

The most likely scenario is a revamping of the Serra and Mission leagues in football, but the real issue will be what happens to the non-football sports teams at Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure and the travel headaches that will occur for all schools in whatever league they end up.

“Obviously, traveling to St. Bonaventure is quite a trip,” Sherman Oaks Notre Dame Athletic Director Kevin Rooney said.

Added Los Angeles Loyola Athletic Director Chris O’Donnell: “How long would it take to get from Loyola to St. Bonaventure on a weekday?”

This is the first year the Southern Section has taken over the politically sensitive task of placing schools in an area before releaguing can take place. Schools have until March of next year to complete the appeals process, which will be heard by the Southern Section Executive Committee.

Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod declined comment on Monday, pending official release of Area Placement on Tuesday.

Rob Dearborn, the Moorpark athletic director who confirmed the Area Placement, said, "I'm impressed CIF had the willingness to make a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision and necessary for the Northern Area."

-- Eric Sondheimer

 
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