What is the No. 1 issue in high school sports?

Leading Off: Sac-Joaquin Section lands a new leader

Published: Thursday, May. 1, 2014 - 7:11 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 1, 2014 - 8:18 pm

Mike Garrison is about to become the most important man in the Sac-Joaquin Section, and he vows to be a “proponent of process” and an authoritative voice on rules and sportsmanship.

Garrison becomes the section commissioner Aug. 1, heading the governing body for high school sports in the Central Valley. He’ll replace retiring Pete Saco, the section boss since 1993 and a visionary who helped elevate high school sports in California, including the introduction of state football bowl games.

Those aren’t easy cleats to fill.

Garrison, an assistant superintendent with the Rocklin Unified School District, had been athletic director, assistant principal and principal at Rocklin High before moving to the district office in 2011, and he’s held numerous positions with the section and California Interscholastic Federation. He vows to be fair, yet firm, and says he welcomes ideas about realignment and playoff concepts. He says he’ll urge schools to monitor transfers and other issues and report when rules are broken.

“My passion has always been high school athletics,” Garrison said. “I love working with people, love seeing kids succeed and enjoy these experiences, so I’m excited.”

Garrison understands athletes aren’t the only ones who compete. Coaches and parents do, too, and sometimes that pressure to win might lead to stretching the truth or checking the wrong boxes on paperwork for transfers.

“It’s OK to make mistakes, but own up to them and be forthright, and (there will) be no judgment later because we learn and move on,” Garrison said. “The bottom line is this is an education-based job, through athletics. (It’s) what’s in the best interest of kids. That’s what we’re here for.”

– Joe Davidson


What to watch I

NBA playoffs, San Antonio at Dallas, 5 p.m., ESPN: The Spurs look to win their third game in a row and close out the Mavericks.

What to watch II

Baseball, Giants at Atlanta, 4:35 p.m., CSNBA: The Giants have hit 34 home runs; the Braves have allowed 13.

Today’s poll

What’s the No. 1 issue in high school sports?

• Budget cuts

• Transfers

• Realignment

• Private vs. public schools

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday’s poll results

Who will win Saturday’s WBC-WBA welterweight title fight?

• Marcos Maidana: 36%

• Floyd Mayweather Jr.: 64%

Total votes: 163

49ers chat today

Join The Bee’s Matthew Barrows today at 11 a.m. to discuss the 49ers, their offseason and next week’s NFL draft. sacbee.com/live

Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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