A Public Problem: Only One Non-Private School Makes California's Five Boys Basketball Finals

Only one of California's 10 boys teams playing in state championships Friday and Saturday are from private schools. The lone public school qualifier is Summit High of Fontana, a big underdog to a California state power named Archbishop Mitty from San Jose.

When private schools dominate, folks are going to complain. One example came this week in a newspaper called the Colfax Record. Colfax is a city about an hour north of Sacramento, where the championships are being played and actually closer to Mitty than the sentimental favorite Summit.

''Clever undercover scouting and recruiting off of the radar of the CIF takes skill,'' the columnist  writes. "Not being confined to the same geographic boundary lines as public school coaches makes your surveying area nearly endless. That’s enough to wear any coach out.''

The CIF is the California Interscholastic Federation, by the way.

The columnist's assessment is too harsh. Top private schools with a history of academic and athletic achievement such as Mitty and De La Salle and Mater Dei in California don't need to recruit. Players and their families know what they want, and they find it on their own. Often it's the public schools that do the most illegal recruiting.

But recruiting aside, the challenges of building winning sports teams at public and private schools are just different. As such, it's best when there are championships for each, then perhaps a playoff to follow.

California probably has its good reasons, and it's beside the point what they are.

We just want to say hooray for the Summit SkyHawks, the uncrowned boys basketball champion of California's public schools.

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