OSAA RECLASSIFICATION – PART ONE
With the Classification and Districting Committee hard at work hearing testimonies and giving out proposals (16 at the time of this writing), we at Prep Talk Eugene thought it would be a good idea to talk about it during the dreaded months of summer while we all await the start of the high school football season.
The main topic of conversation is over whether the state of Oregon is big enough to have 6 classifications. This past basketball season there was 50 schools in 6A, 33 in 5A, 40 in 4A, 41 in 3A, 42 in 2A, and 69 in 1A. When looking the latest proposals, there would be 53 in 6A, 31 in 5A, 36 in 4A, 38 in 3A, 44 in 2A, and 85 in 1A if they decide to stay with 6 classifications. If they were to decide to move down to 5 classifications the layout would be: 61 in 5A, 40 in 4A, 50 in 3A, 51 in2A, and 85 in 1A.
This decision has a few ramifications for a few of the local schools: Lowell, Thurston, and Willamette. For the Colts and Wolverines, the latest proposals has the Colts staying at 5A and being joined by Willamette if the decision is made to keep it at 6. If the decision is made to go to just 5 classifications, the Colts would jump back into the
Southwest Conference, just 2 years after winning an appeal to drop from 6A to 5A. For Lowell, both of the latest proposals has them sticking around in 1A but a couple of the early proposals had them moving up to 2A, that would be a struggle for a school who would be at the bottom of enrollment for that classification.
Looking outside the county, the one thing that jumps out is if there would to be 5 classifications, the Mid-Willamette Conference would consist of: Central (859), Corvallis (1,117), Crescent Valley (937), Dallas (918), Lebanon (1,052), Newport (550), and Sweet Home (639).
The committee would be asking Newport to compete against schools twice their size, this specifically affects them in football. In the upcoming season Corvallis and Crescent Valley both have D1 athletes playing football, Newport is coming off a season where they went 0-7 and scored a total of 46 points.
In my opinion, the best move for the committee as of right now would be to stick to having 6 classifications. It keeps a lot of historical rivalries and keeps the competitive balance intact.
NEXT: Patrick Crawley weighs in on his thoughts and provides a glimpse of the process OSAA goes through, which local schools are impacted most and some of the factors often overlooked in this debate.