Clayton Valley Charter High School football has been one of the top four teams in North Coast Section the past three seasons, but that success has placed the team in limbo with all three local leagues voting against having the Ugly Eagles on their league schedule this fall.
In what appears to be an unprecedented situation in local prep sports, the schools in the Diablo Athletic League petitioned to have CVCHS removed from its football schedule for the 2019 season. Subsequently, both the Bay Valley Athletic League (6-0) and East Bay Athletic League (11-0) recently voted unanimously against adding the Eagles to their league for football only.
The North Coast Section Alignment Committee’s regular meeting agenda this Tuesday morning includes this matter. NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon says, “It will be decided Tuesday. It could have been solved last September but neither league wanted to do it then. Clayton Valley agreed to move, but everybody dug their heels in. It has delayed the process.”
Those comments indicate either the BVAL or EBAL will be adding Clayton Valley Charter to league schedules for this fall. “The alignment committee will decide where to place Clayton Valley,” Lemmon said. The decision Tuesday, which can be appealed, could go before the NCS Board of Managers on Mar. 29 for a final determination.
The Ugly Eagles haven’t lost a league football game since 2011 (in the former Diablo Valley Athletic League and the new DAL since 2016). For the 2016-2020 alignment cycle NCS received proposals that would move CVCHS out of its existing league. The same thing happened in the current alignment cycle as well.
Eleven DAL schools requested that Clayton Valley Charter football (an “overly competitive school in football”) be moved to another league while the rest of the Concord school’s athletic program remain in the DAL. They further requested that the Section “approach neighboring leagues in the Valley Conference to seek cross league scheduling for Clayton Valley football effective for the 2019-20 school year.”
That precipitated the unsuccessful approach to the BVAL and EBAL about adding Clayton Valley Charter to their football league schedule this fall.
New CVCHS executive director Jim Scheible says the school’s preference is to remain in the DAL this fall and then have their new football assignment (if any) be handled as part of the 2020-2024 realignment.
There are other changes afoot for NCS football. The Section is proposing to drop the number of football teams in the playoffs from 80 last fall to 56 this year (seven divisions of eight teams). That would eliminate the four-team open division that has been held the past three years.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.