>In the Bleachers with Billy
After going through the reclassification in 2006, the landscape of Oregon high school sports underwent somewhat of a facelift with the advent of power rankings, hybrid leagues and new conferences.
   Well, sports fans, get ready for it to happen again.
   During the Oregon Schools Acitivities Association reclassification sub-committe meeting Dec. 10, three proposals are being passed around to school administrators, coaches and the public that would cause some pretty significant changes.
   While none of the proposals are final by any means, they are meant to be a discussion piece and the committee is asking for input.
   So, in that case, here's my input.
   One model calls for six classifications across all sports, like what Oregon has been using since 2006, one is for six classes for football only with the rest of the sports competing in five classes, while the other calls for going down to five classes.
   For Madras, the move to Class 4A was enormous. They weren't competing in Class 5A, plain and simple, and needed to make a move. They were the third-smallest Class 5A school in the state when they were moved to the 5A Intermountain Conference and the program, as a whole, couldn't find any footing.
   With the five class model, they would still be considered Class 4A, but with the averager daily membership figure spread, they would be in a conference that looks a lot like the old IMC.
   The ADM range for Class 4A in this model is 580-1,179, meaning schools of almost 600 students would compete against schools nearly twice that size.
   This would not bode well for Madras - at all.
   Madras would be grouped in with Hood River Valley, The Dalles Wahtonka, Mountain View, Pendleton, Redmond, Ridgeview and Crook County.
   While Ridgeview and Crook County make perfect sense, the reason the old IMC was broken up was due to risky winter travel to places like, you guessed it, Pendleton, The Dalles and Hood River.
   Madras has an ADM of 591, by far the smallest school in the proposed conference. The largest school, Mountain View, has an ADM of 1,135. If this plan was to go through, Mountain View would be the fourth-largest 4A school in Oregon and Madras would the be third-smallest.
   Sound familiar? It should, because that's essentially how the old IMC was. It included Hermiston as well, but in this plan that would stay in Class 5A and compete in the Mount Hood Conference against East Portland schools.
   In the plan for six classes across all sports, things look much better for the Buffs.
   They would stay in the Tri-Valley Conference, a place where they are competitive, and would add Corbett, but lose Molalla. A much better alternative.
   As the situation progresses, I will let you know. But for now, Madras fans, I'd be jumping on the bandwagon to keep six classes -- for now.
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