A New League Arises

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Bazil Martinez

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Most of us are aware that this year’s athletic season is different. Different teams are playing our Xavier Saints. As of last year schools including Xavier Prep, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, and La Quinta left the Desert Valley League (DVL) and joined the new Desert Empire League (DEL). Last year’s DVL consisted of Xavier Prep, Palm Desert, Indio, Palm Springs, and La Quinta. Now the DVL consists of Cathedral City, Indio, Coachella Valley, Desert Hot Springs, Desert Mirage, the two high-desert schools, Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, and Banning.

The top five teams of last year’s DVL teams have now moved to the DEL. Both leagues’ teams have different schedules and new opponents. The hope of the DEL is to spark new or old rivalries between teams like “The Flag Game” and “Kings Of Cook Street” in the DEL. Now the Indio Rajahs and Coachella Valley Arabs are able to rekindle the historic “Bell Game” in the DVL. With the split of DEL and DVL, historic streaks by the Palm Desert girls Golf team have come to an end. Many teams have reacted to this transfer in different ways. Teams have pushed to play and train harder so their spot next year in the DEL is solidified. With this mindset, games have been more entertaining.

Tommy Brancioner poses for his Senior football pictures. Courtesy of Terry Cervello

When interviewing Xavier College Preparatory Middle Linebacker, Tommy Brancioner, he was very excited about Xavier joining the DEL. He expressed his excitement by saying, “ I am just ready and determined to start playing our league opponents and show everyone in this league why we were included.” Tommy’s goals for this year’s season is to make it to playoffs, win the DEL championship, and to make first team CIF. Tommy is glad that he is able to be able to play Palm Desert and get back the title of “The Kings of Cook Street.”

Fabrice Voyne poses for his Senior football pictures. Courtesy of Terry Cervello

Fabrice Voyne also plays for Xavier College Prep at running back and wide receiver. Both football players had heard of the news of a new league but did not take it seriously until it was announced. The anticipation to see if they had made the league was nerve-racking for the two.  Fabrice Voyne shares Tommy’s goals to be DEL champs, make it to CIF playoffs, and make the first team for CIF. The two have been wanting to make their mark on this new league as Xavier was projected to finish last within the league. Both Tommy Brancioner and Fabrice Voyne agreed they were excited to finally face off against Rancho Mirage and be taken seriously in the league rather than be considered a pushover team. Fabrice explained how the league change has challenged the Saints to up their game in league matches. With this league change, it is obvious that teams can be swapped and exchanged, thus making the Saints and other high school teams understand that they are playing with something to lose.


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