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LaSalle Prep leaves to test its fate at the 5A level, while North Marion shifts to the Oregon West

The Tri-Valley Conference gets a new look next year with LaSalle Prep and North Marion moving out, while Crook County and Corbett are coming in.

LaSalle Prep, a traditional power in the Tri-Valley, is choosing to play up a level as a member of the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference, while North Marion was shifted to the 4A Oregon West Conference.

“LaSalle always has high quality programs, so they’ll compete well wherever they are placed,” Estacada Athletics Director Bonnie Erickson said.

Corbett’s increasing enrollment bumped it up a class from the 3A level where its girls soccer, softball and volleyball programs have been state contenders.

The biggest adjustment is the addition of Crook County, which gives TVC member Madras a nearby competitor, but leaves a long road trip for the other schools in the league. Prineville is a five-hour round trip for Estacada.

“It increases our travel a bit,” Erickson said. “We’re going over there to play Madras anyway, so it tied it together. We’re trying to cut down on preseason travel, but when teams are in your league you don’t have a choice. Taking those long bus trips is expensive.”

The realignment committee kept balance in the 4A plan with six-team leagues across the state with the exception being the four-school Greater Oregon League that ties together remote parts of eastern Oregon.

“It’s nice having six teams. If you end up with an odd number it creates problems with scheduling and bye weeks,” Erickson said.

Tri-Valley mainstays Gladstone, Molalla and Madras return along with Estacada.

“You work tightly with the other schools in your league, so it’s good to keep that consistency in place,” Erickson said.

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