New Teams, Higher Competition

Big changes to the SFL questions the advancement of our sports teams into the playoffs


Haley Bradbury

Rocklin High School has been part of the Sierra Foothills League for 25 years, since they opened, but big changes have been made to the SFL this year. Woodcreek and Nevada Union left, with Whitney and Grant joining. However, Grant will only participate in football, leaving the rest of the sports leagues with only six teams, rather than seven.

Woodcreeks athletic director expressed the desire to move the the CVC which includes Antelope, Bella Vista, Roseville, and others.

Their athletic director, Lori Ann Donnell,  said, “We play many of the CVC schools in the preseason now, with varied success. We feel that competitively, we are a good match for the league.”

With the loss of Woodcreek and Nevada Union, and only the gain of Whitney (with the exception of Gant for football), it leaves the question of how playoffs will be determined with a smaller league.

Rocklin’s golf coach, Mr. Frank Shields, explained that with a seven team league, golf was allowed three teams to be sent to the playoffs. But with only six, they only allow two teams to be sent. However, the league did make an exception. If schools can obtain a certain score by the end of golf season, they can be sent to playoffs as well, even if two other teams have already been sent.

Shields said, “We lost two teams that were easily beaten. Whitney is a good team that is used to being their league champs. They strengthened our league and are now making it harder to make it to the playoffs.

According to Rocklin’s tennis coach, Mr. Dale Eckenburg, it doesn’t affect how tennis advances into the playoffs. Tennis is still able to send their normal four teams to the playoffs.

Volleyball’s playoff bid is unaffected as well.

Water polo still sends their usual two teams to playoffs even with having one less team this year. However, water polo is left with only five teams in the league, as Folsom doesn’t have a water polo team. In the past years, water polo has only played each team once and at the end they would have an SFL tournament where they would play three teams.

“Now with five teams we can’t do a tournament style, we went back to the older version of playing every team twice,” Coach Kristin Hamm said.

Luckily, football still has the normal seven teams in league. However, with the new additions to the league, the SFL just got even harder.

¨Every year the SFL is extremely competitive. The best teams in the sacramento area usually come out of our league, and the teams that have gone to state have all come out of our league. To take out Nevada Union and Woodcreek which many would say are the weaker teams, and replace them with Whitney and Grant, it just makes the league all that more premier. We are excited about the opportunity to compete in what I think is one of the best leagues in Northern California,” said Coach Greg Benzel.

Being in one of the toughest leagues in NorCal says a lot about our school. Although many of our sports may not have the best records, being able to compete with such high level schools shows that we are still one of the best. We may not be the best in our league, but we would dominate in any other league.