Teams Anticipate Shifts in Divisions

Will Clark, Sports Editor

In the past, LBHS sports teams have been placed anywhere from Division One to Division Five. These division placements have been decided based upon many factors, including a school’s size and how well it fairs in league and playoff competition.
However, how individual teams are placed in their respective divisions could drastically change as soon as next year.
“Divisions will be decided by strength of schedule, the past two years of playoff results, and a point system. Those points will accumulate throughout the season, and you will be placed in a division according to the amount of points that you have,” said athletic director Ted Clarke.
This means that during the regular season, every team will be in the same league as always, with Laguna competing against such schools such as Godinez and Costa Mesa, but after the regular season, each team could possibly be placed in a completely different division for the playoffs.
The division each team will be placed in will be determined by a number of different factors, such as strength of schedule and how well the team has done the previous two years in the regular season and in the playoffs.
“This is supposedly going to help achieve parity among the teams, but we’ll see what happens,” said boys basketball coach Bret Fleming.
One of the goals of this division shift is to level the playing field among all schools. This new system could help challenge the sports teams at our school by moving up a division or two. The goal of the ever-changing system is that no team get absolutely creamed and no team dominate the entire season.
It could also help schools identify opponents more suitable for future competition. The division each team is placed in could potentially change every year, depending on each team’s performance in the past year.
“If we moved up divisions, we’d play harder teams, and it would be more difficult for us, but it would work us harder compared to the bad teams we played in CIF this year,” said junior volleyball player Katie Hayden. “It would be terrible to lose in the first round of CIF, and I’d rather play worse teams and get farther in CIF than lose in the early rounds,” said Hayden.
Some of the teams here at LBHS are not challenged during the playoffs until the semi-finals or even the finals. This change in division organization could cause these teams to face significant opposition as early as the first or second round.
“Moving into a higher division would not be that big of a difference because I feel that my team and I are prepared for the challenges that we will face,” said junior water polo player Judge Washer. “Even though we would be playing in a higher division, we will still have the same goal of winning CIF. I am sure that if we put in the effort and time needed this next season, we will make it to the semis and finals again.”
The new divisional model would affect all sports except cross country, girls and boys golf, track and field and swimming. This change in the way high school sports divisions are decided and organized could greatly benefit many of our sports teams. Some of the teams here at LBHS, such as the girls volleyball team and the boys water polo team, could possibly move up in divisions, while some other teams, like the football team, might move down a division or two.