OSAA proposal sends all Bend high schools to 5A with Redmond, Ridgeview
A final proposal by the Oregon School Activity Association sends all Bend high schools to 5A, joining Redmond And Ridgeview.
The opening of Bend’s newest school, Caldera High is the reason for OSAA’s redistricting proposal.
“With the addition of Caldera to Bend-La Pine, Bend-La Pine has redrawn all their attendance boundaries, which impacts the enrollment of all the other schools as well and so with those changes, their enrollment projections, with the changes to the attendance boundaries to all their four schools now, places them in that 5A level,” said Executive Director, Oregon School Activities Association Peter Webber.
The new league proposal would include six schools, all from Deschutes County
It would have a big impact for both Bend and Redmond high schools as far as competition and travel.
“We felt like at Mountain View in our football program, we worked hard to get to the 6A level and I know the other schools in the area at the 6A level would tell you the same, but I think 5A is where we belong in terms a student population,” said Mountain View head football coach Brian Crum. I think it is who we are and where we fit.”
Mountain View High School is one of the smallest 6A schools in the state with around 1,200-1,400 students.
“You go play a West Salem or a school over there that is over 2,000 kids, Tualatin in the first round of the playoffs at 2,200,” Crum said. “They have a thousand more kids than we do. Which means they have 500 more boys. They have a whole class and a half of boys more that they can draw from. Where we might have one or two guys that are game breakers, they are going to have four or five players that are game breakers and the depth in all of those sports, especially in a sport like football where you are looking for, a lot of it is numbers. How many kids do you have? So, it has been hard to compete.”
The proposal would take the four Bend high schools out of the Salem heavy 6A Mountain Valley Conference and into the 5A Intermountain Conference with Redmond and Ridgeview.
5A-4 Intermountain Conference:
- Bend Senior High
- Mountain View
“Salem was great, they were a very gracious host, it played itself fine in that four-year time block, but we are always excited about the chance to stay closer to home,” said Mountain View Athletic Director Lance Haas.
Crook County High School however, decided not to stay close to home, but rather be more athletically competitive.
“With the new proposals of us being with the Bend schools, even though that are showing 5A numbers, Bend schools don’t look like Crook County does,” said Crook County High School Athletic Director Rob Bonner. “That was the main push, being with communities with like-sized schools.”
When hearing the possibility of Bend schools competing at the 5A level with the Redmond schools, Crook County asked to be taken out of the Intermountain Conference and be at the 4A level in the Tri-Valley Conference with Madras High School.
4A-2 Tri-Valley Conference:
- Crook County
- The Dalles
“With athletics, I think the competitive equity piece won out,” Bonner said. “Since we have six classifications in Oregon athletics, you want to be in the one that is the best fit. That being said, travel is a concern, but we have always traveled, we’re a traveling school, Central Oregon schools all travel and our student-athletes are amazing. We are consistently in the top ten with the academic all-state awards.
“So, our kids and our families deal with that. They handle that real well. So it is a concern, but we get creative with scheduling the best we can to take that burden off. The real long trips we will schedule of Friday’s or Saturday’s and try to minimize the time out of class, so it is very much on our mind, but that competitive equity, if we are going to have both, than we are going to do that.”
OSAA will make its final decision on December 13th.
If passed, the change would start in the fall of 2022 and they’ll re-evaluate again in 2026.