Two of the five El Dorado County high schools will be joining new leagues next year.
Oak Ridge and Ponderosa, which have been members of the Delta River League since fall 2010, are joining new leagues starting in August 2014. Oak Ridge will join the Sierra Foothill League. Oak Ridge and Folsom, which is also in the Delta River League, will join Del Oro, Granite Bay, Nevada Union, Rocklin and Woodcreek in the Sierra Foothill League.
“Oak Ridge is excited to join the new league because the Sierra Foothill League offers the same scope of program and has freshman sports,” Oak Ridge athletic director Steve White said.
On April 24, the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Board of Managers and leagues officials voted 45-6 in favor of league realignment that runs in a four-year cycles starting August 2014 through spring 2018. Section schools voted 139-11 — there were 26 schools that did not cast votes — in favor of the proposal.
Since joining the Delta River League, Oak Ridge has continued its winning ways with most of its athletic programs.
Ponderosa will join the Capital Valley Conference, which is D-II that includes Antelope, Bella Vista, Cosumnes Oaks, Del Campo, Oakmont, Roseville and Whitney.
“Ponderosa is very excited to be joining the Capital Valley Conference,” Ponderosa athletic director Tyson Escobar said. “All of the teams are very similar in the scope of programs they offer and it will be the most competitive Division 2 league in the section.”
Most of the Bruins’ varsity teams have finished below .500 in league play in most major sports since joining the Delta River League.
The Bruins will have to travel more for conference games.
“That is a small sacrifice for the competitive equity that we will see over the next four years,” Escobar said.
El Dorado and Union Mine will remain in the Sierra Valley Conference, which is D-IV, but with some changes. Cosuumnes Oaks, River City and Vista del Lago will exit and Cordova, which is currently D-III, and Rosemont, which is D-II, will enter. The duo will join El Dorado, Union Mine, Galt and Liberty Ranch as a six-school conference.
“We would have preferred a seven-team league, but we will make do with six,” Union Mine athletic director and football coach Dave Johnson said.
Golden Sierra will remain in the Sierra Delta League, with no schools leaving or entering the league for the 2014-18 cycle.
“That is OK with us,” Golden Sierra athletic director Keith Bush said.
Discussions of league realignment started in January that included four public meetings in Stockton.