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Metro will crown three league football champions in 2010 Phillip Brents | Thu, Sep 02 2010 07:29 PM

So, the Metro Conference will have three league football champions in 2010. Evidently, the conference’s governing board — i.e., the principals at each member school — feel that more is better.

The conference’s realignment from two playing circuits — the six-member Mesa League and seven-member South Bay League — came after the North County Conference chose to go from three existing leagues to four because of the recent additions of Del Norte and Mission Vista high schools since its last realignment took place in the 2008-09 season.

The realignment of the larger North County Conference makes sense: there are more schools to spread between the four playing circuits (each now with five schools). This fall, 20 schools will be fielding varsity football teams in the Avocado East League, Avocado West League, Palomar League  and Valley League.

The Metro Conference has just 13 schools.

The “spread” is thus thinner, with the revamped Mesa League dropping from six schools to five and the South Bay League reducing its membership from seven schools to just four. Four schools will participate in the new Metro-Pacific League  — a patchwork of former Mesa League member Hilltop and three refugees from the South Bay League: Olympian, Sweetwater and Montgomery.

Many factors were considered in the realignment process but the outcome is that some of the more competitively-weaker/smaller schools in the Sweetwater district will now have a chance to win a league title. With the two conference’s each birthing a new league, it also means that two fewer slots will now be open for at-large playoff entries, as each league champion automatically gains admittance to post-season play.

The area’s football coaches generally do not favor the three-league format, but have come to begrudgingly accept it.

Conferences within the San Diego Section generally consider realignment every two years, and sources within the Metro Conference say the current alignment is not set in stone, with the possibility that some schools could move between leagues in the future.

What has resulted is a three tier format for football, with the Mesa League inarguably the conference’s top playing circuit, followed by the Metro-Pacific League and the remnant South Bay League.

Bragging rights anyone?

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