OSAA committee reveals final recommendation
Following more than a year of meetings, testimonies and deliberations, the process of OSAA reclassification is nearly complete.
For the four-year time block from 2018-22, the OSAA reclassification and districting committee was tasked with aligning schools in leagues and some cases, determined which classification to place them in.
The committee submitted its final recommendation after holding its 12th and final meeting in Wilsonville Sept. 25.
Fourty-three people from schools and leagues gave testimony, before the committee held a closed work session to draft a final recommendation.
A few things, which had been established for some time now appear solidified: The six-classification model will remain in place. Madras will stay in its current Tri-Valley Conference at 4A, with current members Corbett, Estacada, Gladstone and Molalla, while also adding North Marion. Crook County has exceeded the 4A cutoff point, with an ADM of 693, and will move up to the 5A Intermountain Conference.
The new-look 4A classification has 33 schools, down from the 40 it currently has.
"The committee heard testimony from a number of 4A schools, particularly those who are at the bottom of the classification," the committee wrote in its final recommendation. "The committee understands the desires for those schools to be placed at the 3A level, but concluded to not move the cutoff point any higher than currently proposed. The committee concluded that there wasn't a distinct cutoff line to be drawn to move schools down a classification and it created issues for many league alignments."
Meanwhile at the 2A level, Culver's move from east to west had long been established, though its position wasn't entirely settled until now.
The Bulldogs will become members of the nine-school Central Valley League, mainly composed of schools located between Portland and Salem.
Schools in the CVL include: Chemawa, Colton, Delphian School, Gervais, Kennedy, Santiam, Sheriddan and Western Mennonite. A few of those schools were part of the old Tri-River League, which Culver most recently competed in during the time block from 2010-14.
Several schools were granted petitions to play down to 2A due to several factors, including Chemawa, Illinois Valley, Jefferson and Gervais.
Likely the biggest issue unsolved leading up to the committee's final recommendation was where to place the three Bend-area schools (Bend, Mountain View and Summit). The three schools have outgrown 5A, and have faced the unique challenge of fitting into a league west of the Cascades, where seemingly no one wants to travel to Bend for away games.
The committee ultimately placed them in the Greater Valley Conference with Salem-area schools.
"The committee reviewed potential placements with Southern Oregon/Eugene schools, Salem schools and East Portland schools," the committee added. "After lengthy conversation, the committee reached consensus that the three Bend schools fit best with the Greater Valley Conference when reviewing the four criteria of placement."
Member schools and the public have between now and the OSAA executive board's final meeting, Oct. 16, in Wilsonville, to offer suggestions and proposals. The meeeting at 9 a.m. is open to the public