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Sherwood expected to move to Class 6A

by: JOSH KULLA / FILE - Fans of Wilsonville High School athletics will likely cheer on their teams against La Salle Prep and Hillsboro in league competition if the latest OSAA draft holds. Current Northwest Oregon Conference rival Sherwood is expected to jump to Class 6A.If the OSAA classification and districting committee’s final draft holds, Wilsonville will face La Salle Prep and Hillsboro in league sporting events starting next year.

The latest proposal, which is still subject to change, features nine teams in the Northwest Oregon Conference. Sherwood is expected to move up to Class 6A.

Over the last several months, the OSAA committee has received ample public testimony regarding the arrangement of conferences in high school sports across the state.

Using enrollment figures as a guide, the committee has discussed travel, competitive balance, rivalries and other factors in its quest to set conferences for the next four school years.

And although it appears the state’s governing body for prep sports will stick with a six-classification system, there will likely be many significant changes to current league alignments when the OSAA hears the committee’s recommendations Oct. 28 in Wilsonville and finalizes a layout for athletic competition through 2018.

The future NWOC will likely include two new schools in La Salle Prep and Hillsboro, both of which have shared leagues with Wilsonville in previous configurations.

The draft released Oct. 9 moves La Salle Prep, a private Catholic school in Milwaukie, from Class 4A to 5A because the OSAA committee lowered the cutoff attendance figure between the two classes.

The committee’s recommended 4A/5A cutoff is an adjusted enrollment of 675. La Salle Prep, which had 683 students in 2012-13, has an adjusted enrollment of 676. That makes it the smallest student body in the proposed NWOC.

Featuring 21 varsity sports, the current Tri-Valley Conference member has won more than 30 state championships in school history.

The Falcons have been remarkably successful at the state level over the last five years, winning state titles at the 4A level in boys soccer (2009), football (2011), boys tennis (2011), girls cross country (2012) and boys golf (2013).

The school has also earned runner-up state finishes in boys golf (2009 and 2010), girls basketball (2011) and boys soccer (2012) over the last four seasons.

Wilsonville already meets La Salle Prep in league play in boys lacrosse, which is not regulated by the OSAA.

Hillsboro, meanwhile, appears headed back to 5A after a short stint at the 6A level.

The Spartans moved up to the large-school classification in 2010 and reached the state quarterfinals in football that year, but they went 0-10 in each of the next two seasons. The current Pacific Conference participants were 2-4 through six games on the gridiron this year.

HilHi, whose adjustment enrollment is 1,185, has a rich athletic history and a list of former stars that includes Olympic athletes Thomas Garrigus, Josh Inman and Tiffeny Milbrett as well as baseball players Wes Schulmerich, Scott Brow and Bob Beall.

Over the last eight years, the school has won OSAA championships in boys soccer (2006) and football (2009) and has also earned runner-up state finishes in wrestling (2008) and boys swimming (2009 and 2010).

Wilsonville football coach Adam Guenther is familiar with Hillsboro athletics because he was an assistant football coach and head track coach at Glencoe, HilHi’s rival, for a decade before joining the Wildcats in 2010.

Before Guenther arrived, the Wildcats and the Spartans met in league football games in four-consecutive years through 2009. The series included a 23-21 win for Wilsonville in 2006 and a double-overtime 20-17 triumph for Hillsboro in 2008.

The Wildcats’ most recent sporting event against the Spartans was a 5-1 loss in a nonleague boys soccer game Sept. 24.

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