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Five is enough for CIF

The three-division system for the state football championship bowl games is no more.

The California Interscholastic Federation voted to expand its current three-division format to five divisions, effective next year.

While we know there will be five divisions, we won't know for a little while what those divisions will look like. We also don't know where those extra games will be played.

First, what are the five new divisions going to look like?

One suggestion is to have five enrollment-based divisions similar to the current format in basketball and volleyball.

Another is to have four enrollment-based divisions with a fifth "open" division. In the open division, the CIF would decide the top Northern California team and top Southern California team, regardless of division, and they would face off.

It may be some time before we see the final product.

The CIF football advisory committee, executive committee and all the section commissioners will hold discussions. Their final suggestions would be voted on at a Federated Council meeting.

"It's my understanding there's going to be a vote on this in May," Sac-Joaquin Section assistant commissioner John Williams said.

The second item, where will the extra games be played?

Home Depot Center in Carson, the current site of the games, is a natural grass facility that couldn't handle five games in two days. The CIF could look elsewhere in that vicinity, or it could move two games to Northern California.

"Now the work begins," CIF executive director Marie Ishida said. "We will immediately begin sending out (request for proposals) for a location or locations for the games.

"What develops from those proposals will help dictate the format of the event in terms of whether the games take place at single or multiple sites."

ALSO discussed at last weekend's Federated Council meeting was allowing the 10 individual sections to decide their teams' divisions for the playoffs. Currently, the divisions are all strictly enrollment-based.

But according to Williams, should this motion pass at the May meeting, the Sac-Joaquin Section would most likely decide a school's division by the league it is in.

For instance, if the Trans-Valley League is considered a Division IV league, then all of its members -- including Division V Ripon Christian -- would be considered Division IV for the playoffs.

"If we go this way, then we have to decide the divisions for each of our leagues," Williams said. "The section office is advocating going to divisions based on leagues. But I think there's going to be a lively discussion on this."

BEYER High senior Kendall Morris has verbally committed to compete for the University of California women's track and field team.

Morris, who throws the shot put and discus, was always in touch with the Golden Bears coaching staff.

"But they all left after last year, and they got a new coaching staff," Morris said. "After awhile, I e-mailed them."

The new coaching staff saw her tremendous improvement from last year. She added nearly 15 feet to her best discus throw and an almost unheard of 10 feet to her shot put toss.

"I went to a throwing camp over the summer called Ironwood, it's in Washington," Morris said. "It was a week of intense throwing and training techniques.

"I spent a lot of time working out and getting stronger and faster, and this camp put it all together. We had a lot of Olympic throwers training us."

During her official visit on Jan. 19, she fell in love with the campus as well.

"I knew I was going to go if they offered me," Morris said. "When they did, I took it."

CENTRAL Catholic senior tight end Alex Young has verbally committed to play for the UNLV football team.

"It was kind of a whirlwind deal," said the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Young, who had 31 receptions for 440 yards and six touchdowns. "They didn't get really interested until two weeks ago."

Young took his official visit last weekend, and Runnin' Rebels head coach Mike Sanford made the offer while the two were driving to have lunch.

"He told me they were making offers to me and another tight end, and the first one to commit was going to have a chance to compete next year," Young said. "I committed on Sunday morning."

Before that, Young said he was leaning toward playing at Nevada-Reno or at the Air Force Academy.

"I really liked the whole atmosphere at UNLV," Young said. "I think it's going to be a great fit."

ANOTHER local tight end, Modesto Christian High graduate Zach Sudfeld, also just earned a scholarship to play football. Sudfeld walked on at the University of Nevada-Reno and won the scout team offensive player of the year award.

Sudfeld, 6 feet, 7 inches tall and 230 pounds, has four years of college eligibility.

Will DeBoard's high schools column appears

Thursdays. E-mail him at wdeboard@modbee.com, write him at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, CA 95352-5256, call 578-2300 or fax 238-4551.

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