The first phase of realignment in the Pacific Coast Athletic League began on Wednesday after the board of managers assigned schools to their respective divisions for next year’s fall sports season.
According to a press release issued by PCAL, the first batch of sports included field hockey, girls tennis and girls volleyball. The remaining sports: cross country, girls golf and boys and girls water polo will be decided sometime in January.
But the hot topic this season has been football and whether or not teams are where they’re supposed to be, especially in the toughest division, known as the Gabilan.
The board will meet on Dec. 18 to make its final decisions for football.
In girls volleyball, the schools will compete in five divisions once again with some of them playing musical chairs, shifting from one division to another.
Santa Lucia division champ Watsonville High moves up to the Cypress division, while St. Francis High will swap sides with the Wildcatz dropping down a division.
Monte Vista Christian and Notre Dame-Salinas move from the Gabilan division to the Mission.
Alisal High jumps from the Mission to the Gabilan division. Soledad High also made a leap from the Cypress to the Mission division.
Pacific Collegiate School will be tested as it jumps from the Arroyo to the Santa Lucia division, while Seaside will drop from the Mission to the Cypress division.
The three divisions in girls tennis will stay in place with the following changes: St Francis drops from the Mission division to the Cypress, while Notre Dame moves from the Cypress to the Mission. There were no moves within the Gabilan division.
PCAL states the process of assigning schools to divisions began with a survey of coaches and work by an Athletic Director Committee in each sport.
Their recommendations go to the PCAL Athletic Director Council, followed with the final decisions made by the board of managers.
PCAL also states the guiding principle for division assignment is to make each of those divisions as competitive as possible.
The most competitive teams in the Gabilan division, the next most competitive in the Mission division, then so on to the Cypress, Santa Lucia and Arroyo divisions.
The number of divisions in each sport depends on the number of PCAL schools that will compete that sport.