Sports anticipate further change in leagues

Will Clark, Sports Editor

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For many years, our sports teams have achieved great success in the Orange Coast League. The Orange Coast League consists of Estancia, Saddleback, Costa Mesa, Godinez, Calvary Chapel and LBHS. Many of our sports programs have soared above our in-league competition and gone uncontested for league championships year after year. This lack of competition evident in our league and many other leagues around Orange County has led to a desire from some schools to change the way leagues are decided.

“In our current league, we don’t face any tough competition and go basically uncontested for a league championship every year. I think it would be great to move to a more competitive league. Our games would be more exciting, and we would be better prepared for CIF,” said junior water polo player Riley Bumgardner.  

In the re-leaguing process, schools from across Orange County will propose new leagues that would better suit their sports programs; then, in order for a proposal to be implemented, sixty percent of member schools must approve the change. This process of proposals and subsequent votes will proceed until one new structure is approved. This new structure would ideally allow for competitive equity for all of the sports programs at LBHS.

“The league format would change. Right now we are in a six team league, and we would most likely move to an eight team conference. Within this conference, the four best teams would be in an upper league, and the four lesser teams would be in a lower league,” said athletic director Lance Neal.

This new conference structure would prevent the need for future re-leaguing, because if at one point a team is clearly succeeding, they would compete in the upper league, and if at another point the same team is struggling, they would compete in the lower league. League placement would have little correlation to division but instead focus on strength of schedule and recent success, similar to the new playoff format implemented this year. If placed in an eight team conference, each individual team at LBHS would have the opportunity to play against teams of equal strength. Currently, Neal and our athletic department are trying to organize a conference with schools in the Irvine area, such as Beckman and Woodbridge. This new conference would place us in a league much more competitive in sports like tennis, golf, volleyball and water polo. Interestingly, the schools in Irvine are of equal academic rigour compared to LBHS. These changes would most likely be implemented for the 2018-2019 season.

“I think a change to a league in which there is more competition would make it harder for our team to be successful, but in the long run it would probably make our program better,” said sophomore football player Chris Hynson.

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