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Reclassification proposal hits Hillsboro hard

For those of you who have been enjoying the competitive play among the Pacific Conference’s football, soccer and volleyball squads this fall, keep doing so with the knowledge that likely they belong to the end of an era.

Last week, the OSAA Classification and Districting Committee released its final recommendation for the 2014-2018 block. The plan the committee is endorsing will result in major changes for area schools — and the conference — should the OSAA Executive Committee decide to adopt it.

Mainly, after this spring, the Pacific Conference will no longer exist.

Noting that the committee scheduled no more meetings, Century athletic director Kris Welch said Friday, “As far as I’m concerned, that’s the final recommendation that they’re going to make to the executive board on Oct. 28.”

After the Portland Interscholastic League threw a wrench in the committee’s plan in late summer by requesting to play together, the committee blew up its proposal that had seemed largely settled on when school ended last June.

Under the new proposal, Newberg, Tigard and Tualatin are going to the Three Rivers League, Forest Grove and McMinnville are heading to the Salem-based Central Valley Conference, and Century and Glencoe are bound for the Metro League.

Hillsboro is slated to drop down to Class 5A and will rejoin Liberty in the Northwest Oregon Conference, where the Spartans spent four years after the OSAA expanded from four to six classifications in 2006.

Welch and Glencoe principal Bob Macauley testified at the most recent committee meeting, asking that the Pacific Conference remain intact. (All of the league schools are on board with that, by the way.)

“The Pacific Conference is the perfect model for what they want,” Welch noted. “They want bigger leagues of eight, and they want a competitive balance. Other than Tigard, that league is very balanced. Everybody has won something ... and we’ve been competitive, so we feel like we have a chance to win every single game.”

Both Welch and Glencoe AD Scott Ellis said that they are going to return to the Metro League with spirit.

I admire their attitude, and I hope they are incredibly successful. But I worry for their athletes. You see, I graduated from Westview in the early 2000s, and my sister is a proud 2006 Hilhi graduate.

I remember what it was like for the Hillsboro schools in the end of 4A. Little sis’s senior year was the final year of that system. That fall, the district’s entire representation in the state playoffs consisted of her Spartans soccer team and two cross-country runners. Hilhi’s football team went winless that fall. Century and Glencoe did not fare much better.

Playoff procedures — now based on power rankings — are different now, but I still worry about the competitive balance of Century and Glencoe in the Metro, perhaps the toughest league in Oregon across all sports. The Pacific is tough, too, but there tends to be more balance and parity there.

So when it comes to the Pacific Conference, why fix something that isn’t broken?




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  • 28 Nov 2014

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  • 29 Nov 2014

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