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St. Bonaventure loses final appeal on Area Placement

March 20, 2013 |  2:49 pm

The Executive Committee of the Southern Section rejected a final appeal from Ventura St. Bonaventure on Wednesday regarding sending the Seraphs into the Parochial Area for the 2014-18 releaguing cycle. The vote was 12-9.

Oaks Christian also lost its appeal by a vote of 14-6 and will be sent to the Parochial Area. Glendora St. Lucy's, an all-girls school, lost its appeal and will be sent from the Mt. SAC Area to the Parochial Area. The vote was 13-7. Daimen also lost its appeal, 14-6. 

St. Bonaventure, which currently plays in the Marmonte League and the Tri-Counties Athletic Assn. and has been part of the Northern Area, will have to find a new league among private schools unless it decides to go freelance to avoid expected long travel challenges for its sports teams.

Principal Marc Groff said after the meeting his preference would be to go independent with no league affiliation but he will discuss the issue with parents and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

The nearest league for football is the San Fernando Valley-based Mission League, and other teams could have to travel longer distances if St. Bonaventure is put in a different league.

Groff made a presentation seeking to keep St. Bonaventure in the Northern Area and offered a 92-page booklet of statistics.

Oaks Christian Headmaster Jeff Woodcock didn't want his school to leave the Northern Area, citing many of the same concerns as Groff in terms of lost class time, geography and transportation costs. He criticized the appeals process.

"It appears the criteria the CIF sets out for an appeal are meaningless," Woodcock said. "I believe we won the argument on criteria. If you win on criteria, how do you lose the vote?"

The powerful football programs at St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian have caused tension among public schools in their geographic area.

Terry Barnum, head of athletics at Harvard-Westlake and a representative on the Executive Committee who voted in favor of St. Bonaventure's appeal, said, "There's obviously work to be done to improve the understanding and cooperation between private and public schools."

-- Eric Sondheimer