The Sonoma Valley High Dragons will be in a new athletic conference next fall.
After being a part of the Sonoma County League for years, the Dragons are going into a yet-to-be named conference with Napa, Vintage, Justin-Siena, American Canyon, Petaluma and Casa Grande.
It’s part of the North Coast Section realignment that was approved Tuesday by the NCS board of managers.
The realignment came about when Napa, Vintage and American Canyon wanted to transfer into the NCS from the Sac-Joaquim Section because of the distances the schools had to travel.
Back in August, the schools that make up the Marin-Sonoma-Mendocino Conference unanimously approved the realignment.
While the realignment created the yet-unnamed conference that the Dragons find themselves in, the North Bay League and the five remaining schools in the soon-to-be-defunct Sonoma County League were melded into a 12-team “superconference” that will be broken up into the NBL I and NBL II.
At the August meeting, Sonoma Valley High Principal Kathleen Hawing wanted to make sure that there was a chance that the Dragons could play football in a more competitive conference. And while she received no assurances that it would happen, she was told that it was a possibility.
“We have safety concerns with football,” Hawing said.
Hawing’s concerns with the football program is because Sonoma’s numbers have been down in recent years and at 1,336 students, Sonoma is a lot smaller than American Canyon (1,582 students), Casa Grande (1,708), Napa (1,884) and Vintage (1,845). Petaluma, which has been a longtime SCL foe, has 1,355 students while Justin Siena, which is in the Marin County Athletic League, has 672.
Right now, there are a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
Thursday, Hawing said the athletic directors of the seven schools have just started to meet to iron things out.
“This is all so new,” she said. “We’re still asking questions and we don’t have the answers yet.”