The Mother Lode League had it's early beginnings in the late 1920's. By the start of the 1932-1933 school year, the League was fully established and had a total of eight member schools. The high schools included Bret Harte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Ione, Jackson, Sonora, Summerville and Sutter Creek High Schools.
In the 1940's, El Dorado High School and Sonora High School were in-and-out of the League before finally leaving in 1948. Sutter Creek High School changed its name to Amador High School in 1950. From 1957-1959, Linden High School and Lincoln High School of Stockton became members schools.
The League remained constant until the 1978-1979 school year, when Linden replaced Ione High School as a member school. Just four years later in 1982, Jackson High School changed its name to Argonaut High School. The next change did not come until 2000, when Brookside Christian High School joined the League for two short years.
In the 2014-2015 school year, Sonora High School rejoined the Mother Lode League. After Linden High School left in 2018, it left the League with six (6) member schools: Amador, Argonaut, Bret Harte, Calaveras, Sonora and Summerville High Schools.
In the 2024-2025 school year, the League's member schools will change due to the Section's realignment. Leaving will be Sonora High School for the Trans Valley League (TVL), and Amador and Argonaut High Schools for the Sierra Valley Conference. Amador and Argoanut High Schools are scheduled to merge in the 2025-2026 school year. Joining will be Big Valley Christian High School from the Central California Athletic Alliance, Riverbank High School from the TVL and returning will be Linden High School from the San Joaquin Athletic Association. For more information regarding the realignment, visit the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section's website.
Since 1932, the Mother Lode League has earned seven (7) CIF State Championship titles and 120 Sac-Joaquin Section Championship titles. In the early years, Sutter Creek High School won the 1928 and 1934 CIF Class B NorCal Championship titles in football. Sonora High School were CIF Class B NorCal Basketball Champions in 1940 and 1941.
The Mother Lode League is one of the longest running Leagues in California. Five of the members schools - Amador, Argonaut, Bret Harte, Calaveras and Summerville High Schools - have been in the League since its inception in 1932.