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January 27, 2022

Prep football equity league finalized

Formation of the new equity league that will combine the 14 boys’ and girls’ prep sports teams that once made up the Tri-County Athletic League and Monterey Bay League took another step toward completion Tuesday night.

The Board of Managers, which is made up of primarily principals of the 15 schools (Palma an all-boys school and Notre Dame an all-girls school), voted on, and approved, recommendations as to the placement of the area’s football, girls volleyball and cross country teams, league commissioner Tim McCarthy said.

“There were some very good discussions,” McCarthy said Thursday. “Where there was disagreement, it was respectable. It was a good meeting.”

The new league keeps the Monterey Bay League tagline and is split into upper and lower divisions – Gabilan and Pacific, respectively.

As for the local schools, next year’s Severance Bowl between the Gilroy and Christopher football teams will carry a bit more with it. Both teams will compete in the Gabilan Division, making the duos’ rivalry matchup not just for the Severance Bell but also a league game as well.

“I think we were placed properly, GHS athletic director Julie Berggren said. “Football will be challenging, but that’s what makes us a great program.”

Palma, San Benito, Salinas, Alvarez and Monterey, which like CHS moves up from the MBL, round out the rest of the Gabilan.

“Being a small school and having to play school’s with 3,000 kids, it’s not ideal for us. But after the season we had, going 10-2 and making it to the semifinals, I think it’s warranted,” CHS athletic director Darren Yafai said. “And I think it will be a neat challenge for our football program.”

Monte Vista Christian School, Seaside, Watsonville, Pajaro Valley, North Salinas, Alisal and North County comprise the Pacific.

– In girls volleyball, both GHS and CHS were slotted into the Pacific. The GHS cross country team is now part of the Gabilan while CHS a member of the Pacific.

– Division placement will vary from sport to sport, McCarthy said, and at the conclusion of each fall, winter and spring season, will be adjusted based on records and performance.

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