Editor’s Note: After reading the poem “Ode to the SCL” by Petaluma High School graduate Griffin Epstein in the June 7 edition of the Argus-Courier, reader John Zugnoni of Alameda offered a historical perspective on Petaluma High School’s involvement in the North Bay and Sonoma County leagues.
Petaluma High School belonged to the Northwestern League from the founding of the CIF and NCS until 1926, when it became a charter member of the newly-formed North Bay League.
The Sonoma County League was formed in 1971, but Petaluma remained a member of the North Bay League. Petaluma was realigned into Sonoma County League in the middle of the 1990s.
The reason for the present realignment is that the Napa County public schools, the Vallejo public schools, and Benicia faced extreme travel requirements for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff competition in the Central Valley (Sacramento to Merced). Because of the North Coast Section’s interest in aligning schools by geography, it was reasonable to place the four Napa County schools, Sonoma Valley, and the Petaluma schools in one league.
One advantage of the placement of the two Vallejo schools in the Tri-County Athletic League (western Contra Costa County, Albany, and Saint Mary’s) is that the TCAL can now split its schools into two divisions, one of six schools and the other of seven schools. The TCAL had been composed of just 11 schools for the past two school years, and thus was divided into two divisions, including one of five schools, an inadequate number of schools for a viable league.
Regarding travel: Please consider the distances from Fort Bragg to Clear Lake, from Del Norte High School in Crescent City to Eureka, and for the more remotely-located schools in the Northern and Southern sections.