Public, private schools make progress in meetings


Don't get divorced. Stay together for the kids.

That's what the CIF-Southern Section office is asking of the section's private and public schools.

The section has hosted meetings of representatives of private and public schools to discuss their differences and how to better work together toward common goals. The most recent meeting was three weeks ago. CIF-SS assistant commissioner Scott Raftery said the first meeting in 2008 began quite contentious but settled down as it progressed.

The more recent meeting was downright peaceful.

"The biggest challenge among these groups is misconception," said CIF-SS commisioner Rob Wigod, with his usual enthusiasm for everything the section does. "They both have there generalizations and stereotypes. The more dialogue that went on created more understanding, like, 'Oh, I wasn't quite right about that.'"

One of the generalizations that many in the public school sector have about private schools is that all private schools are giants thriving athletically and financially. In recent years, Montclair Prep of Van Nuys and St. Bernard of Playa del Rey have shut down some or all athletic programs. Here in Orange County, St. Margaret's and Santa Margarita have similar names but the similarities end right about there.

The committee is heavy on athletic administrators who have worked in both spheres. Servite athletic director Alan Clinton worked for many years at El Modena before going to Servite. Villa Park athletic director Tom Fox used to work at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs.

Raftery said committee members are finding they have more in common than they have differences, like wanting what is best for their student-athletes. And it is being learned that public/private school difficulties are not new.

"We've found minutes of meetings from the 1920s discussing this issue," Raftery said.

Dividing public and private schools into separate playoff divisions should be discussed and even proposed, if only to investigate if it would be beneficial. But such a separation might not extinguish the mistrust and animosity, Wigod said.

"If privates and publics are placed in different divisions," Wigod said, "frustrations about perceived recruiting and inequalities won't necessary change."

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• Cox3 often plans its football telecasts just a few days before the game, but it already has selected next week's game – El Toro vs. Mission Viejo. Game of the week, you bet.

• The Trinity League's proposal to eliminate from statewide transfer rules the "athletically motivated" language that sometimes keeps a transferred student-athlete from becoming athletically eligible at the student's new school was supported by the CIF-SS Council at its meeting Thursday. That means when representatives of the state's 10 sections meet Monday at the CIF State Federated Council meeting, the Southern Section representative will vote in favor of the proposal. But the CIF State Executive Committee, something of an advisory committee, voted, 9-1, against the proposal, and those executive committee votes usually indicate how the state council will vote.

• Every transfer can be looked upon as being, even to the slightest degree, athletically motivated. It is an oppressive rule that restricts the freedom of young people to seek a better situation without penalty.

• Will San Clemente's Bret Miller get the record this week? John McGrory still holds the CIF-SS record for most consecutive extra-point kicks without a miss, 106, the county and section mark he set last year as a senior at Santa Margarita. Miller has 104 consecutive successful extra-point kicks going into Friday's game against Tesoro.

• Tesoro is represented in the county top 10s in six sports, the most of any county school. Right there with them is Dana Hills, which is in the county top 10 in five sports. The Dolphins are No. 1 in boys cross country, No. 2 in girls tennis, No. 4 in girls cross country, No. 5 in girls volleyball and No. 7 in boys water polo.

• Mission Viejo is No. 4 in this week's state football rankings that can be found at St. John Bosco is No. 5, Mater Dei is No. 6, Santa Margarita is No. 7, El Toro is No. 12, Tesoro is No. 15 and Edison is No. 20. De La Salle of Concord is No. 1.

• Self-promotion time ... yours truly is on the Sports Lodge with Roger Lodge, KLAA/830 AM, every Friday at 9:30 a.m., and can be followed at I only push that stuff about once a month, so relax.

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