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Huskies to change leagues under recent OSAA proposal

If the Oregon School Activities Association’s recent committee proposals hold through December, the North Marion Huskies will be playing their final season in the Tri-Valley Conference this year.

The OSAA’s Classification and Districting Committee approved a request from North Marion School District to move to the Oregon West Conference for the 2014-15 school year at their Sept. 23 meeting. The committee meets regularly throughout the year to balance schools and conferences based on enrollment figures for the coming school year.

The committee takes into account average daily membership (ADM), along with requests to change leagues or classifications for each school district when creating new draft proposals.

North Marion’s request was granted after the committee opted to move 3A Corbett to the 4A Tri-Valley Conference next year, creating space for the Huskies to shuffle over to the Oregon West.

The move allows the OSAA to balance the number of teams in the 4A classification’s seven conferences, while letting North Marion avoid multiple trips to Central Oregon in the coming seasons, said North Marion Athletic Director Andy Jones.

Although the conference changes will not be confirmed until December, Jones said he expects the move to the Oregon West Conference to remain in the Classification and Districting Committee’s final draft.

With Corbett’s move to the Tri-Valley, the committee added two new schools to the Tri-Valley Conference in recent drafts.

Crook County High School, located in Prineville, was added in an earlier draft over the summer. Between Madras and Crook County, North Marion would be forced to double the number of trips over the Cascade Mountains for conference games, trips that routinely eclipse 300 miles and six hours round-trip.

In the Oregon West Conference, North Marion’s longest trip would be to Newport High School at a slightly more reasonable round-trip of 230 miles and four hours.

The move to the Oregon West would end North Marion’s four-year tenure in the Tri-Valley Conference. The Huskies moved to the TVC in 2010 after the 4A Capital Conference split apart in 2009. Cascade and Stayton left the Capital Conference, while the five remaining teams — North Marion, Estacada, Molalla, Gladstone and La Salle — were joined by Madras to form the Tri-Valley.

The committee’s new draft has the Huskies joining Cascade and Stayton in the Oregon West, along with Philomath, Central and Newport. Current Oregon West member Taft was recently granted a petition to play down at the 3A level, opening the door for North Marion.

The Classification and Districting Committee is scheduled to meet again Monday at the OSAA’ office in Wilsonville. For more information, go to www.osaa.org/governance/committees.