Those teams will meet in CIF SoCal D4 regional bowl after El Cajon Christian is denied by a San Diego Superior Court in its attempt to be considered Division 4 instead of Division 2.
The San Diego Superior Court has upheld the California Interscholastic Federation’s interpretation of selection criteria for the state regional football bowls and denied a request by the Christian Unified School District.
In the Monday hearing, the school district, representing Christian of El Cajon, was trying to get the CIF to include its 12-1 football team in the field of eligible teams for the Division IV bowl game due to its enrollment being below the listed cutoff total of 500. Instead, the court said the CIF was correct in its interpretation of the criteria, which also stated that the CIF San Diego Section Division III champion should be in the Division II field of eligible teams.
The announcement of the decision came on Monday near lunchtime and gave the CIF the ability to quickly release the choice of the two schools that will play in the Division IV South bowl game, which will be 13-0 View Park of Los Angeles playing 11-2 Bakersfield Christian on Friday at Centennial High of Bakersfield.
Since View Park and Bakersfield Christian were the only two schools below 500 (other than El Cajon Christian) that won section titles in Southern California this season, it was an easy choice for those two to play each other. A problem could have occurred if Bakersfield Christian had not upset Mission Oak of Tulare 35-34 in its section final. If that had not happened, the CIF would have ironically had to choose a school with enrollment above 500 to play View Park.
“We want to congratulate all of the CIF Section Champions, but it is extremely disappointing that the CIF had to spend thousands of dollars in this legal action that could have been better spent in providing educational programs to the 1,547 member high schools and nearly 800,000 participating student-athletes,” stated CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake. “It is my hope that the focus returns to where it truly belongs; on the student-athletes who just completed an outstanding fall sports season and continuing to provide education based athletic opportunities for students.”
We agree that the focus should return to the student-athletes, but we sure hope the CIF also has learned that it needs to more clearly communicate its criteria in all of its championship events so it is not so confusing and unclear to many in the media and many schools. The same complaints were heard last March in basketball regarding the Open Division.