Adrian, Jordan Valley football comes to end

ADRIAN – Faced with the options of jumping to 2A football or ending the cooperative team with Jordan Valley, the Adrian School Board voted to end the combined team of Adrian/Jordan Valley Tuesday, January 14 during the regular school board meeting.

The unanimous 3-0 vote came about after a long discussion over travel distances, ability to play at the 2A level and the impact on student-athletes attending Jordan Valley.

“This is a difficult decision for us, but ultimately, we need to do what is best for the students at Adrian High School,” said Adrian School Board Member Ryan Martin.

Prior to the vote, Adrian School Superintendent Kevin Purnell explained the reasoning behind the Oregon School Activities Association directive to the district. Using a calculation of number of students in both schools, minus the number of students receiving free lunches and winning percentage of the football team, the OSAA directed the schools to disband the cooperative team or plan on playing at the 2A level next season. The combined schools are 14 students over the 1A cap according to Purnell.

The decision will impact two Jordan Valley players next season. This season, four players from Jordan Valley joined the 1A state champion Antelopes in becoming the first cooperative team to win a football state title. Two of the four graduate this year with no incoming boys looking to play football.

The decision to stay at the 1A level without Jordan Valley may be short lived Purnell warned the board. Due to an increasing student population at the middle school level, Adrian may be forced to enter the 2A fray in the next few years.

If the board voted to remain with Jordan Valley, the Antelopes would enter the 2A Special District 6 with the closest league opponent being the Riverside Pirates, a distance of 96 miles to play a league matchup. Other teams in the Special District 6 are over 200 miles from Adrian.

“We have written letters to the OSAA pleading our case,” said Jordan Valley Superintendent Rusty Bengoa. “The decision basically ends football in Jordan Valley until a class comes through with enough boys. Right now, that looks like the current fifth grade.”

Bengoa said due to the location of Jordan Valley, a cooperative with another team, Crane or Harper, makes no sense currently.

Related: Adrian/Jordan Valley Sports Action Photos