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Richardson, Cavaliere weigh in on Sac-Joaquin Section realignment proposal

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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If the Sac-Joaquin Section’s realignment proposal is approved, it will make the Sierra Foothill League, already arguably the toughest football league in the area, even tougher.

With the possible move of Folsom and Oak Ridge from the Delta River League to the Sierra Football League starting in the 2014-15 school year, joining powerhouses Granite Bay and Del Oro, not to mention Nevada Union, Rocklin, Roseville and Woodcreek, the new-look league would be as strong as any.

“If it passes, I think it would be the toughest league in all of Northern California,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “For us and Oak Ridge to be apart of a league with Granite Bay, Del Oro and Rocklin, teams that have played in a state bowl game, us included, that’s obviously a competitive league. I’d be thrilled to be apart of some great football.”

The section also recommended giving the new SFL a fourth playoff berth in most team sports. All schools in the SFL would compete in Division I in the playoffs except for Del Oro and “most likely” Rocklin, which would be in Division II.

Richardson said he’s still interested in seeing how the playoff system would work; how many teams would get in and what divisions they’d be playing in. If he had any other reservations about the league, it would be if teams would have enough gas in the tank for the postseason.

“The playoff teams would definitely come out of league play battle-tested and I think favorites to win section titles, but it’s really going to challenge teams to have depth because teams will be beating each other up,” Richardson said.

Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said he needs more time to think about the proposed move to the new SFL, what Richardson dubbed a super league.

“I don’t know how I feel about it,” Cavaliere said. “I understand what they (the section) are doing and it makes sense, but from a football perspective, I think there’s going to be some really good teams left out of the playoffs and teams of a lesser quality getting in.

“Also, with that many good teams, I think you’ll see a lot of section championship games with teams from the same league playing in and in some cases, playing other teams from the same league and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Those games should be from a broader spectrum.”

Postseason concerns aside, Cavaliere said the plan would make for a difficult schedule.

“It sure would make for a brutal schedule,” Cavaliere said. “We’d go out of the frying pan and into the fryer from the Delta River League to the Sierra Foothill League. I'm all for competition and improving by playing tough teams, but this is something else."

Cavaliere said his team just completed a 14-game season where the Trojans faced probably the toughest schedule in their history. Because many of the games were close, competitive contests, many players on their 50-man roster didn’t see the field and have the opportunity to play. He suggested that could be the case in a league as competitive as the proposed new SFL and had reservations about it.

A final proposal is scheduled to be sent to schools for a vote in early April.