Commentary: Grant Too Good For Division II

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, November 24, 2006

The grownups who decide which teams play in which leagues should have been with me the other day to watch the Grant High School Pacers play the Hiram Johnson Warriors.

After just four snaps of the ball, Grant had already scored twice. The score was 42 to 0 at half time. I left in disgust. Grant has a perfect 10–0 regular season record, but all its games have been like the one I saw - lopsided cake walks.

I blame the commissioners for local high school sports. Grant has been a football powerhouse for years. Still, they moved it from Division I to weaker Division II. Why? Because Grant has a smaller student body than most of its Division I competitors and doesn’t field high caliber teams in other sports.

OK, so make Grant Division I in football and Division II in all other sports. Too complicated, rule makers said. Other schools might make similar requests. So what? Let them.

Sadly, this year’s Grant seniors have had no chance to hone their skills or build the kinds of stats that impress college recruiters. Typically, varsity players are taken out after the first or second quarter to prevent them from running up scores.

No one plans to correct this mistake for another four years. By that time, without any real competition, Grant football’s proud tradition could be dead.