3A Ranks Grow, Pioneers Coming To EOL

WILSONVILLE – For 3A fans, players and schools, the big news was not McLoughlin dropping down to the Eastern Oregon League, but the magnitude the ranks of 3A schools grew as the Oregon School Activities Association announced classifications starting in 2022. The decision is in place for the next four years.

The schools playing 3A ballooned from the current 35 to 45 participants. Joining the MacHi Pioneers in dropping down from 4A to 3A is Valley Catholic, Sisters, Elmira, Siuslaw, North Valley and Corbett. Bumping up from the 2A class to 3A is Coquille, Neah-Kah-Nie, Sheridan, Jefferson, Glide, Rogue River and Lakeview.

The new classifications do not determine football as a special committee will assign football leagues. That committee’s first meeting is Dec. 20.

For the Eastern Oregon League, the teams will be Burns, the Pioneers, Nyssa, Riverside, Umatilla and Vale. McLoughlin replaces Irrigon as the Knights dropped down to 2A. MacHi has frequently played EOL teams as nonleague opponents over the last few years.

The change will be after league play is completed and the EOL champion enters state playoffs. Ten new teams, many with a much greater number of students, will now be in the hunt for a state title. The 3A ranks now have the distinction of the greatest discrepancy between small and large schools within the class (the 1A is not included in this as there is no minimum number of students to qualify for 1A).

Playing in the 3A will now include Lakeview (146 students) possibly playing Brookings-Harbor (309 students) in a state playoff game (a difference of over twice the number of students).

Prior to the final decision on classification, a number of school officials made impassioned pleas to play down at the 2A level including Umatilla, Riverside and Neah-Kah-Nie.

The following is the new leagues effective fall of 2022. The student population is also included.

3A Lewis & Clark League

Catlin Gabel                                      266

De La Salle North Catholic            213

Horizon Christian                            99 (The Hawks requested and were granted to play up to 3A)

Oregon Episcopal                            233

Portland Adventist                          158

Valley Catholic                                 275

Westside Christian                          142 (The Eagles requested and were granted to play up to 3A)

3A Coastal Range League

Banks                                                 269

Corbett                                              213

Neah-Kah-Nie                                  158

Rainier                                               177

Riverdale                                           179

Warrenton                                        177

Yamhill-Carlton                                184

3A PacWest Conference

Amity                                                  169

Dayton                                               187

Jefferson                                           151

Santiam Christian                            167

Scio                                                     165

Sheridan                                            148

Taft                                                     266

3A Mountain Valley Conference

Creswell                                             240

Elmira                                                 307

Harrisburg                                         160

La Pine                                               266

Pleasant Hill                                     236

Sisters                                                302

Siuslaw                                               234

3A Far West League

Brookings Harbor                            309

Cascade Christian                            153

Coquille                                             188

Douglas                                             259

Glide                                                   148

Lakeview                                           146

North Valley                                     290

Rogue River                                      173

South Umpqua                                 244

St. Mary’s                                          238

Sutherlin                                            268

3A Eastern Oregon League

Burns                                                  164

McLoughlin                                       290

Nyssa                                                 158

Riverside                                            158

Umatilla                                             211

Vale                                                    169