Celebration

The Marshfield Pirates celebrate after winning the semifinal football game.

Four South Coast high schools will move up or down a level if the Oregon School Activities Association Executive Board approves the final recommendation of the OSAA Classification and Districting Committee.

Last week, the committee came out with the recommendation for the next four-year time block that starts next fall, following the final meeting in an abbreviated schedule — the entire process played out over three months instead of a full year that was the time schedule for the committee in the past. The Executive Board will consider the proposal Dec. 13.

The final proposal from the committee did not include any changes for South Coast schools from the previous proposals in terms of which classification each school would be in, but the leagues for some of those schools changed.

The proposal calls for North Bend to drop from Class 5A to Class 4A to join Marshfield, Marist Catholic, Cottage Grove and Junction City in the Sky-Em League.

Coquille would move up from Class 2A to Class 3A and be in an 11-school Far West League that includes former Coquille league rivals Brookings-Harbor Douglas, Sutherlin, South Umpqua, Glide, Rogue River and Cascade Christian, as well as St. Mary’s, North Valley and Lakeside.

Myrtle Point, meanwhile, drops from Class 2A to Class 1A, joining the Skyline League that already includes South Coast schools Powers and Pacific, as well as nine other schools.

Siuslaw of Florence drops from Class 4A to Class 3A, in the Mountain Valley Conference, along with fellow current Sky-Em League member Elmira, Creswell, Harrisubrg, La Pine, Pleasant Hill and Sisters, another school dropping down to Class 3A.

The other big league change involves the other schools of the current Sunset Conference, which is losing both Coquille and Myrtle Point.

After Toledo athletic director Bart Rothenberger pleaded with the committee to not leave the other schools — Reedsport, Bandon, Gold Beach, Toledo and Waldport — in a five-team league, the committee instead put them into a 12-school conference, tentatively called the Central Valley Conference, with the theory that scheduling would be easier in a large league. The others in the league would be Central Linn, East Linn Christian, Illinois Valley, Lowell, Monroe, Oakland and Oakridge.

The Committee also created one other large Class 2A league, the 12-team Tri-River Conference.

Class 2A would have just four leagues in the proposal.

Before coming to its final proposal, the committee had decided to remain with a six-classification system. The group also had to work with a new system used for calculating school enrollment which includes only the freshman, sophomore and junior classes for schools, averaged over a three-year period.

Following a request from officials at Crook County High School, the committee made the upper limit for Class 4A a little higher, moving both Crook County and St. Helens into Class 4A. Crook County made the request after the committee earlier proposed putting the four Bend high schools — Bend, Mountain View, Summit and the new Caldera — in Class 5A with Redmond and Ridgeview.

The Executive Board could adopt the committee’s recommendation or make changes at its Dec. 13 meeting. It will take input from the public during the meeting before making a final decision.

The entire proposal can be viewed at www.osaa.org by clicking the Classification & Districting Committee tab, found in the Committees section under the Governance bar at the top of the page.

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