Sports Proposal Would Shift Natomas To Division V

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
updated 10:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 2013

A proposed realignment for athletic leagues released Tuesday, Jan. 8 by the Sac Joaquin Section office would have Natomas High School move to the Division V Golden Empire League.

Inderkum High would remain in the Tri-County Conference.

Declining enrollment at Natomas High is the key factor in the proposed division change for the school

“The truth is we want our kids to play schools our size,” Principal John Eick said.

According to Eick, Natomas High’s enrollment was about 2,200 students before Inderkum opened. There were about 1,550 students when the athletic leagues were last realigned in 2010, he said.

Natomas High had 1,095 students enrolled last month.
“It’s unfair to put our kids up against team with 2,500 students. We want them to be competitive,” Eick said. “It is the right move for our school. (The Golden Empire League) more adequately reflects our student population … I see it as move to where we belong – right now we are competing with schools twice our size.”

The proposal awaits comments from affected schools, and if it holds would be made official in April. Changes would take effect 2014-18.

As proposed, the new TCC will keep all its other current members, including Yuba City High School, Pioneer High School, Woodland High School, River Valley High School and Inderkum but add Rio Linda and River City high schools.

For Natomas High, the move puts the Nighthawks with Capital Christian High School along with Dixon, Lindhurst, Marysville, Mesa Verde and West Campus high schools.

Natomas High athletic director Anthony Agrella said moving to the Golden Empire League is a great opportunity for the school to compete.

“We have been, by far, the smallest school in the TCC, in some cases by more than 600 students,” said Agrella. “This move will put NHS right in the middle, enrollment-wise, of the schools in the GEL if this initial proposal stays as is.”
Inderkum principal George Tapanes said the proposed changes would not mean an end to the neighborhood rivalry with Natomas High. He foresees the two schools scheduling games with each other in the future even if they are in different leagues.

“I expect to continue our rivalry,” he said. “It’s good for the community.”

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