Reedsport’s football team will be in a league with all new foes starting next fall if the final proposal of the Oregon School Activities Association’s Football Ad Hoc Committee is adopted by the OSAA Executive Board at its meeting next month.
The committee also said Class 2A football will change in two years to smaller squads on the field, with two options under consideration: nine-man football or eight-man football (schools that want to continue playing 11-man can play up to Class 3A in football only).
The league changes came as the ad hoc committee tried to balance leagues while adjusting for schools that have qualified to play down a classification or play an independent schedule.
In the proposal, Reedsport would be in a seven-school special district with Central Linn, Lowell, Monroe, Oakland, Oakridge and Creswell. Lowell and Oakridge are moving back up after playing eight-man football the past two years and Creswell is playing down from Class 3A.
Reedsport’s Sunset Conference rivals Coquille and Bandon will be in a six-team league in Southern Oregon that also will include Glide, Illinois Valley, Lakeview and Rogue River.
Toledo will be in a district with Culver, Gervais, Jefferson, Kennedy, Regis and Santiam.
The other three regular Sunset Conference schools all will play eight-man football, with Gold Beach dropping down to join Myrtle Point and Waldport, which have played that style the past two falls.
As for the future of Class 2A football, the committee recommends changing the game type for the classification by the 2022 season.
One option, that the committee had previously discussed, would be changing Class 2A to nine-man football.
The other option, which came up at the committee’s meeting last week, is to have Class 2A schools play eight-man football. All schools playing eight-man then would be split into two divisions, Big 8 and Little 8, based on school size. The schools could play across division lines during the regular season, which would make scheduling easier, and play within division for the playoffs.
With either option, schools that want to keep playing 11-man could do so by playing at the Class 3A level for football only, remaining in Class 2A for other sports.
The committee also recommended the playoff structure for next season for Class 2A, with each of the five special districts getting three playoff spots and the final spot being determined by the power rankings.