While the euphoria of the overall success of Placer High’s athletic program is still lingering from the 2017–18 school year, a new chapter of Hillmen athletics is on the horizon.
In just a few short weeks, Placer’s girls volleyball team hosts Nevada Union on Monday, Sept. 17. It will mark the Hillmen’s first foray into new Foothill Valley League competition.
For Placer athletics, regardless of how strong the Hillmen teams are in the 2018–19 school year, it’s highly doubtful that the Green and Gold will generate the same success it enjoyed this past year.
All total, Placer’s sports teams combined for over 20 Pioneer Valley League and CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship banners in 2017–18. Last year’s banner total followed the 15 league championships won by the Hilmen in 2016–17.
“I can see Placer having success in the new league, but it’s going to scale back some,” said a longtime coach from a Foothill Valley League school that asked to remain anonymous. “They’ll win in some sports but there’s other sports where some of the new FVL schools are stronger in.”
Using MaxPreps’ ratings numbers from a year ago, the FVL coach may be right.
In the eight sports where the MaxPreps rating are used for rankings and playoff seeding – football, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball and boys and girls basketball – among the FVL schools, the Hillmen in 2017–18 had the highest rankings in three sports – football, girls basketball and boys basketball.
In other MaxPreps-rated sports, Ponderosa led the way in girls volleyball, softball and girls soccer. In the other two rated sports, former PVL rival Lincoln led the way in boys soccer and baseball.
Placer, meanwhile, while having a lot of success in the PVL in sports such as tennis, golf, cross-country and swimming, should also be tested in the new FVL as Nevada Union, Ponderosa and Oakmont have track records of success in these sports. In addition, Ponderosa has been a longtime wrestling power in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Again, it should be noted that these MaxPreps final numbers are from last season. Some schools will add strong JV classes to the varsity level this season.
“I like the make-up of the new league,” said the FVL coach. “It should be very competitive in all sports.”
MaxPreps Final 2017–18 Sac-Joaquin Section Rankings
Nevada Union- 16
Rio Linda- 134
Nevada Union- 37
Rio Linda- 41
Nevada Union- 36
Rio Linda- 54
Nevada Union- 83
Rio Linda- 132
Rio Linda- 74
Nevada Union- 107
Nevada Union- 97
Rio Linda- 134
Rio Linda- 66
Nevada Union- 103
Nevada Union- 82
Rio Linda- 138