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Gorge teams slotted to join Sandys league in latest proposal

Hermiston, Hood River and The Dalles would replace several westside schools in the OSAAs latest plan for the Northwest Oregon Conference


The OSAA classification committee came to a consensus at it’s latest meeting Monday to continue with the 6A format heading into its 2014-2018 time block.

While the state will continue to be divided into six classifications based on enrollment size, the committee is expected to revamp leagues around the state to create larger groupings of schools.

The biggest change in the latest proposal comes in the 5A level where the Columbia River schools Hermiston, Hood River and The Dalles have been added into the Northwest Oregon Conference to join a group of East Portland and Clackamas-area programs.

“Hermiston coming in brings some concerns,” Sandy Athletic Director Scott Maltman said. “They are in a tough situation, but there are concerns about having to drive that distance and travelling through winter-road conditions.”

Current NWOC members Liberty and St. Helens would join the Portland Interscholastic League, while Sherwood is expected to make the move to 6A as a member of the Three Rivers League.

At the 6A level, the Mount Hood Conference and the Central Valley Conference are expected to be the largest with 10 schools apiece. The current MHC would stay in tact with the addition of Portland schools Grant, Lincoln and Cleveland (see box).

The committee also agreed to a minor shift in raising the enrollment limit for 1A schools, allowing for traditional small schools to remain in that classification. The 1A is easily the state’s largest grouping with 85 schools.

The committee next meets March 18 at OSAA headquarters in Wilsonville.