MODESTO — The current members of the Modesto Metro Conference would stay together for all sports and would add Modesto Christian for boys and girls basketball and Central Catholic would move to the Valley Oak League under the latest plan hashed out Tuesday by the Sac-Joaquin Section realignment committee.
With the MMC staying together, the membership of Central California Conference also would remain static, with El Capitan starting its competitive life as a member of the Western Athletic Conference when the third Merced high school opens this fall.
If the committee does not make additional changes to the plan at its next meeting, scheduled for March 12, it will adopt the proposal, then send it to the board of governors for final approval. The plan then would take effect in the 2014-15 school year.
Central Catholics move to the VOL was added to the plan on Tuesday. The WAC membership recently voted 4-3 to keep the Raiders in the league, but the committee voted 7-2 to move Central into the VOL for all sports.
Several other competition-based moves proposed in earlier meetings appear headed for approval, most notably Sonoras move from the VOL to the Mother Lode League. The school would like to move all its programs into the MLL, whose membership is unanimous in its opposition to that plan.
Orestimba, with programs only occasionally successful in the Trans-Valley League, is headed to the Southern League under the plan, while Ripon Christians basketball teams, dominant in the Southern League, would be placed in the TVL. Neither move was discussed on Tuesday, which would indicate the committees satisfaction with both shifts.
One of the details of Modesto Christians move into the MCC would be whether the Crusaders would play the full double round-robin currently played by MMC teams or if MC would play only one round and thus not be eligible for the league title. That would be a decision made by the MMC membership.
It also appears as though the MMC and CCC both would remain Division 1 conferences, although section commissioner Pete Saco said during Tuesdays meetings that such decisions would be made after the approval of the final realignment plan.
The committee decided to pay special attention to the status of Sonora, El Capitan and Davis, placing the three schools on a watch list and vowing to revisit their statuses in two years as bylaws allowed.
If Sonora dominates the MLL, as the leagues membership fears, it could be moved elsewhere following the 2016-17 school year.
They also fear that El Capitan could grow too large and/or competitive for the WAC within that time frame and that Davis despite the Modesto City Schools redistricting plans may not return to a size or competitive state that would allow the Spartans to remain in the MMC.