Every four years the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) redistricts all schools across Oregon for high school sports, and under the current draft proposals Lakeview High School (LHS) would be playing in the 3A league beginning in 2022 and lasting the next four years.
Currently, LHS competes in the 2A league in all sports, but under draft proposals being considered by the classification and districting committee LHS would move to the 3A competition, even though it is right on the student cutoff line.
Two earlier proposals that were considered by the Committee would have left the cutoff for the number of students attending a high school at 156. OSAA Assistant Exec. Dir. Brad Garrett said that many schools commented that the cutoff line needed to be changed and that schools in certain areas did not want to travel to compete against other big schools, mostly from the Willamette Valley to Bend.
The Committee then came up with two new proposals in which the cutoff for whether a school would compete in the 2A or 3A was 146 students and this puts LHS right on the line as it has 146 students. This pushed LHS into the 3A.
OSAA Assistant Exec. Dir. Kyle Stanfield said that Lost River was moving down to 1A, as it only has 75 students, and Cascade Christian told OSAA it was moving up to 3A. According to Stanfield this would have left a three-team league of Glide, Lakeview and Illinois Valley as the main ones remaining in the Southern Oregon area to compete against each other, and therefore the number of students needed to compete in the 3A leagues was dropped pushing LHS into 3A.
This potential change would affect all sports except for football; an ad hoc committee for redistricting high school football will meet after the season is over. LHS Head Coach Ryan Moss said he wants to keep LHS football playing 11-man football and is open to the possibility of moving to 3A to continue to play 11-man football. It all depends on if the 2A schools decide to move to playing nine or six man football.
Garrett said one of the goals of the larger leagues is to have more league play and put less pressure and stress on schools like LHS trying to find non-league opponents to face each season. While each league has several teams, not all teams will field a team in every sport every year, so the special districts will still continue. Stanfield said LHS is considered to be in the Southern Oregon Conference and that is one of the reasons it is not placed in the same league as Burns and other eastern Oregon teams.
Under proposal number three LHS would have the following teams in its league: Cascade Christian, Coquille, Douglas, Glide, Illinois Valley, Rogue River, South Umpqua, St. Mary’s and Sutherlin. LHS would be the smallest team in terms of student numbers in the league.
For the first time the Committee is considering a five classification scheme. Before moving to a six classification Oregon schools were spread across four classifications based on size. Even under the five classification scheme, LHS would be in the 3A league, though there would be larger schools in the 3A under the five classification scheme than the six classification scheme currently in place, with some schools as large as 400 students compared to LHS’s 146. Under the five classification scheme the league would then be comprised of: Brookings-Harbor, Cascade Christian, Coquille, Douglas, Glide, Hidden Valley, Illinois Valley, North Valley, Phoenix, Rogue River, South Umpqua, St. Mary’s and Sutherlin.
The Committee will hold additional public meetings, and members of the public are invited to submit comments about the proposals. The final decision on reclassification and redistricting will be made in December for all sports except football.
North Lake and Paisley would remain in 1A, but would gain new opponents as a couple of schools drop down a league.
As of press time LHS Athletic Dir. Christopher Rose had not responded to comment about any of the proposals and their impact on LHS.
People can submit public comments to Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 22 and will be an in-person and virtual hybrid meeting.