October 1, 2005
A hot topic in the world of Oregon’s prep sports could, ultimately, result in Hood River Valley High School being placed back into the region of the current Mount Hood Conference in the fall of 2006. It could also result in little change for HRVHS.
Either way, if the OSAA Classification and Re-districting Committee’s plan is accepted in October, the entire state’s districting system will be changed.
For more than a year now the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has been working on a major re-districting plan that would convert Oregon’s current four-class districting system into a six-class system. Changes are meant to improve competitive balance within leagues and help minimize travel and expenses for schools.
In the OSAA Classification and Districting Committee’s Final Recommendations, released last week after several months of testimony and public hearings, Hood River Valley High School would be changed to 5A classification, which includes schools ranging in size from 851-1520 students.
In those Final Recommendations, HRVHS would be placed in the 5A, District-6, which is the same as the current Intermountain Conference with the exception of Redmond High School being moved out and Madras High School being moved in.
But HRVHS has a chance, if approved by the OSAA Executive Board, to be moved into 5A, District-2, which will include Sandy, Milwaukie, Woodburn, Silverton, Parkrose and Wilsonville high schools.
Prior to the Final Recommendations’ approval, the OSAA Committee will hear public testimony on Oct. 24 from schools that request changes in placement from the Final Recommendations.
Local administrators, including Athletic Director Phil Vesel, will testify at that public hearing and will request that HRVHS be placed into 5A, District-2 instead of 5A, District-6.
“It really comes down to class time and money,” Vesel said. “It (5A, District-2) would be better for us because students would miss less class, travel time would drop and it would eliminate overnight trips.”
A point Vesel plans to highlight in the testimony is the fact that the proposed 5A, District-6 would be composed of nine schools, while the other five districts in the 5A class will have only five or six schools.
Also, according to text in the OSAA Final Recommendations, one of the major reasons the entire re-districting shakeup is planned is to “minimize travel/expense for schools.” Hood River’s move back into the Mount Hood region would substantially decrease travel time, distances and costs.
The OSAA Executive Board will consider the final recommendations of the Classification and Districting committee on Oct. 24 after public testimony is heard. Changes will be in effect for the 2006-2010 school years.
“It feels like a long shot,” Vesel said. “But I think there is a chance.”
5A, District-6 Enrollment
Mountain View 1,313
Hood River Valley 1,193
The Dalles-Wahtonka 1,160
Crook County 931
5A, District-2 Enrollment