Changes are coming to the Three Rivers League
It wasn't easy and it sure as heck wasn't quick, but the Oregon School Activities Association finalized on Monday the shape of Oregon's high school sports leagues for 2018-22.
Following lengthy testimony on Monday, the OSAA's executive board voted to adopt the final recommendation of the Classification and Districting Committee, which has been working since October of 2016 on its quadrennial rearrangement of the state's high school sports leagues.
For member schools of the Three Rivers League, the changes number just two — Newberg and Sherwood will leave the TRL for the reconstituted Pacific Conference, while Oregon City will rejoin the TRL after spending the previous four-year block (which concludes this with the 2018 spring sports season) in the Mt. Hood Conference.
The final recommendation forwarded by the committee features six classifications, with 53 Class 6A teams divided among seven leagues. Schools at the Class 6A level must have 1,230 students or more, or must choose to "play up" — as Lakeridge (1,092 students) did, along with Benson (831), Jefferson (482), Madison (862) and Roosevelt (690) of the Portland Interscholastic League, and Central Catholic (894) of the Mt. Hood Conference.
Under the final proposal, the attendance numbers at the rest of the Three Rivers schools are: Canby (1,314), Lake Oswego (1,301), Oregon City (1,918), St. Mary's (1,446), Tigard (1,813), Tualatin (1,774) and West Linn (1,751).
Sherwood, with an attendance number of 1,597, will be joining the Pacific Conference, which will also include Century (1,433), Forest Grove (1,623), Glencoe (1,407), Liberty (1,359), McMinnville (1,771) and Newberg (1,488).
Among the rest of the state's Class 6A schools, the other significant changes associated with this recommendation are:
• The Metro League will add new school Mountainside to its ranks, while moving Century, Glencoe and Liberty out to the Pacific Conference.
• The Mt. Hood Conference will add Sandy — currently a Class 5A school — to its ranks while moving Oregon City to the Three Rivers League.
• The Greater Valley Conference will move Forest Grove and North Salem out (with Forest Grove heading to the Pacific Conference and North Salem down to the Class 5A Mid-Willamette Conference) and adding Bend, Mountain View and Summit.
• The Southwest Conference — previously considered as a potential home for the three Bend schools — will see Willamette move down to join the Class 5A Midwestern League.
In total, Class 6A will feature 53 schools, Class 5A and Class 4A just 33 each, Class 3A will include 36 schools, Class 2A will have 48 and Class 1A will feature 85.
At the Class 3A level, Horizon Christian (attendance number of 135, and choosing to play up) and Westside Christian (234) will both be leaving the West Valley League and joining the Lewis & Clark League.
Other schools in the Lewis & Clark league include Catlin Gabel (307), De La Salle North Catholic (318), Oregon Episcopal School (313), Portland Adventist (263) and Riverdale (269).