The Central Coast Section playoffs are on, but not for Los Altos and Mountain View highs.
Encouraged by recent changes in the California Department of Public Health guidance regarding youth sports, the CCS Executive Committee recently voted to move forward with section playoffs in all team sports for CCS Season 2.
Just days later, the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board of Managers – which includes the principals of Los Altos, Mountain View and 12 other public schools in the county – unanimously voted against allowing SCVAL athletes to participate.
SCVAL Commissioner Brad Metheany declined to comment on the decision – made at a special meeting held April 29 – when contacted by the Town Crier last week.
The board had tabled the playoff discussion at its previous three meetings. Some members wanted to wait and see what the CCS decided – the section approved team playoffs April 26 – and a few expressed concerns about having their schools compete beyond graduation.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s out of our control,” Mountain View High baseball coach Kris Mims said. “We’re disappointed, but we have to move on.”
Mountain View High athletic director Shelley Smith acknowledged that he has received emails from parents unhappy with the league’s decision, but not that many.
“It’s been limited,” he said Thursday, “and I think that’s because we did a pretty good job of being proactive – we communicated with our coaches, and they communicated with the parents about what was
As soon as the SCVAL chose to go its own way early this year – forgoing the section’s two-season schedule for a three-season slate that granted each sport six weeks of competition – Smith said it was fairly clear that the playoffs were off the table.
“We knew we were probably not going to be able to that,” he said. “But at the time, we made the decision for the right reasons, and we’re getting the right results. It’s an opportunity to get everyone on the field and play.”
SCVAL Season 3 sports will finish right around the time CCS Season 2 concludes at the end of the month, but sports played in the league’s previous seasons don’t sync up with the playoffs.
“The timing is awkward for a sport like soccer that ended in April,” Smith said. “The playoffs don’t start until May 22 – that’s a whole month delay.”
The SCVAL’s decision leaves only two local schools eligible for postseason play: St. Francis and Pinewood. The Lancers and Panthers play in the West Catholic Athletic League and West Bay Athletic League, respectively.
The CCS plans to have team-sport playoffs for basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, team tennis and boys volleyball. According to the section’s website, playoffs would start as early as May 22 (soccer) and run as late as June 19 (baseball).
The CCS also announced in a press release that it has received permission at the county level to move forward with the boys and girls golf championships at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch. Those events are scheduled June 1 and 8 for the boys and June 9 for the girls.
A few more sports may soon be added to the playoff docket. According to the release, section officials “are actively working with the six counties that compose the CCS regarding individual sports that are outdoors. Their approval is required prior to these events occurring.”
These sports include swimming and diving, and track and field. If approved, the swim meet would be May 27-29 at Independence High; the track semifinals and finals would be June 12 and 19, respectively, at a site to be determined.
Due to the CDPH guidance, the CCS Executive Committee determined that individual tennis, wrestling, badminton and gymnastics championships will not happen this spring.
“While it was the intention of the CCS to hold these events this year, the myriad of obstacles has presented itself to be too great for these events to occur,” the release stated.
Those participating in sports with playoffs will not advance beyond CCS. The California Interscholastic Federation, which governs the state’s high school sports, announced April 28 that only Southern California teams will have regional championships.
“With only two of the six Northern California region sections offering championships at this time (Central Coast Section and Oakland Section), it is not feasible for the State CIF to conduct Northern California Regional Championships,” CIF officials explained in a press release.