Let’s give Bulldog athletes a chance to compete

By Bill Tamburrino

One year ago the headlines for my Time Out column read: “Ramona teams face stiffer competition in Palomar League.”

Ramona competed in the Valley League in 2010 and a two-year re-leaguing plan was adopted that placed Ramona in the Palomar League for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.

The competition was indeed much stiffer in the Palomar League and as a result of the stiffer competition Ramona’s win/loss percentage in league play dropped from .562 to .216. Ramona’s overall record (boys and girls sports combined) in the Palomar League was 40-145-1, down from 122-95-5 in the Valley League last school year.

Ramona came in 20th out of 22 schools in the North County Conference. Last year the Dawgs and Lady Dawgs combined for the seventh best record in the then 19-school NCC.

Ramona had the worst won/loss record in the Palomar League. Last year Ramona had the third best record in the Valley League.

Palomar League foe Torrey Pines had the best overall record. The Falcons went 166-40-4 for a .806 winning percentage. The rest of the Palomar League’s records in league action in the NCC are as follows: Rancho Bernardo (.652) seventh, Poway (.580) eighth, Westview (.441) 14th, Mt. Carmel (.382) 18th and Ramona. Mt. Carmel does not compete in the Palomar League in football.

The Bulldog boys’ teams went 32-64-1 for a .333 percentage, which placed them 16th out of the 22 NCC schools. Last season the Dawgs went 74-40-0 (.649) in the Valley League, which was the sixth best league winning percentage in the NCC.

Ramona’s boys had the fifth best record in the Palomar League (five teams) compared to last year’s second place finish overall in the seven team Valley League. The Bulldogs finished higher than Mt. Carmel’s boys, who went 31-74-3 for a .295 and a 20th place finish.

La Costa Canyon had the best boys’ record in the NCC. The Mavericks went 71-19-1 for a .791. The rest of the Palomar League’s boys teams in NCC action were: Torrey Pines (.733) third, Poway (.528) 10th, Westview (.466) 13th, Ramona, Mt. Carmel (.295) 20th.

The Lady Dawgs compiled an 8-81-0 record in league action for a .090 and the 20th out of 22 teams. Last year the Lady Dawgs went 48-55-5 .466 and were ranked 12 out of 19 in the NCC.

League rival Torrey Pines went 89-12-2 .881. The rest of the Palomar League finished as follows: Poway (.632) sixth, Rancho Bernardo (.589) seventh, Westview (.416) 16th, Mt. Carmel (.374) 17th.

Ramona’s girls’ finished fifth in the Palomar League compared to last year’s fourth-place finish in the seven team Valley League.

For the first time since 1998, when Ramona entered the Valley League, Ramona did not win one league title in any sport in 2010-11. Some teams competed well and won their share, but none were league champions.

Fewer Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs earned all-league honors than in the recent past.

Some will argue that Ramona did well when it reached the playoffs. That is my argument, too. The CIF makes the playoffs fair. The NCC does not make the leagues fair, at least not to Ramona.

If anybody remembers “Dragnet,” the preceding was a Joe Friday special. “Just the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts”

Now the opinion. Ramona’s student athletes did not get worse over a summer. Ramona was placed in a league where the majority of our teams did not and cannot compete with the other teams in the league. Check the demographics: average education per household, average income per household, the schools API ratings, facilities, money spent by the district on athletics. They all count. We are not near the top in any category.

Families with more money can hire personal coaches, pay for club teams and hire trainers. That is happening in the Palomar League, especially in the country club sports.

Facilities: Ramona is the only school in the Palomar League and NCC that does not have a wrestling room. Ramona is the only school in the Palomar League and NCC that has only one baseball field. Ramona is the only school in the Palomar League that has only one softball field on campus. Ramona is the only school in the Palomar League and NCC that does not have any tennis courts on campus. No schools have a golf course on campus — yet. Ramona has the worst physical education facilities and athletic facilities in the NCC.

Ramona is the only school in the NCC that does not provide transportation for at least some of its teams. Most provide transportation for all teams. Do we cut kids if their parents can’t or won’t drive? Not now and hopefully not in the future.

It matters when every coach and every program has to raise money just to survive.

Ramona has fewer on-campus coaches than any other school in the Palomar League and NCC. Check the API and SAT scores; they all add up. We do not belong in the Palomar League in most, if not all, sports.

When re-leaguing takes place after next school year, I have some suggestions. If we are hell-bent on staying in the NCC, then we should suggest re-leaguing in all sports on a sport-by-sport basis. Put the top five or six best football schools in the Palomar League, the next best schools in the Avocado West, and so on and so forth. Do it in every sport.

Or re-league by putting the top six schools according to winning percentage in the Palomar League and on down the line. Or do it by girls’ sports and boys’ sports.

I am not looking for a league that we can dominate in every sport. I just want our student/athletes to have a chance to compete in every sport. With the economy what it is, participation will drop off. I remember when we couldn’t compete in the Avocado East. Our numbers dropped drastically in almost every sport. We had to cancel JV football twice. We have already dropped several frosh sports because of numbers and that was before we entered the Palomar League.

Student/athletes not only want a chance to compete, they deserve a chance to compete. We don’t put students in academic classes in which they can’t compete or don’t belong.

I am not knocking anybody. Ramona got into the Palomar League to see how it would do against the best competition. Now we know. Hopefully we know better.

I want to commend all of the coaches. They accepted the challenge and I did not hear one complaint or excuse. They worked very hard and still are working very hard.

I want to commend the parents and guardians. The majority of the parents are supporting their children in every way possible. Can the majority of our parents support their children monetarily as much as Torrey Pines parents can? The RBBC is working overtime. Does it have the resources that Poway schools and Torrey Pines have? Our athletes give it their all, always have and always will. Now we have to give all of our athletes a chance, just a chance, to compete.

Related posts:

  1. Ramona teams face stiffer competition in Palomar League
  2. Ramona finishes eighth in conference
  3. Seniors give Bulldog boys 3-0 soccer win over Jaguars
  4. Bulldog baseball offense comes to life in a heartbreaking loss to top-ranked team
  5. Consider the rhetoric behind league realignment

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Jul 13 2011. Filed under Timeout with Tambo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Let’s give Bulldog athletes a chance to compete”

  1. Matt Dart

    Well said Tambo. I like the fact that we want to compete with the top schools but it is a matter of #s. We do not have the number of students to choose from that the bigger schools have and as you say the amount of $$ at the disposal of the bigger schools compared to us is ridiculous.

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