WILSONVILLE – Two football teams comprised of four schools had their appeals denied on Friday, January 24 as the Oregon School Activities Association football ad-hoc committee met and handed down the decisions.
The ruling forced the two co-ops to either move to the 2A level or disband to remain at the 1A level. Speaking on the decision, OSAA assistant executive director Brad Garrett stated the schools’ appeals “didn’t hold muster. I mean, they’re good. That’s a tough sell to make an exception for that. We’re sticking with what our criteria says” according to an article published on the OSAA website.
In previous discussions with Jordan Valley superintendent Rusty Bengoa prior to the appeal denial, Bengoa said the Mustangs will not have the athletes necessary to field even a 6-man team next season. That situation could continue until the present year’s sixth grade enters high school. As with any high school, an influx of students could change that time frame.
Adrian will field a team next season, playing at the 1A level. This past season’s state 1A champions included only four members from Jordan Valley with two of those seniors and graduating in May. Due to the location of Jordan Valley, a co-op with another Oregon school appears to be out of the realm of reality. The closest school available for a possible co-op, Crane, is 109 miles away.
For football only, the committee approved other changes.
The Special District 3 (also known as the Eastern Oregon League to most fans) will see the departure of both Irrigon and Umatilla next season. The Knights and Vikings are dropping to the 2A level. Taking the place of one of the teams will be the co-op team of McLoughlin/Griswold, a current 4A team dropping to the 3A level.
As of today, the departure of Pioneers would leave the Greater Oregon League with only three teams. However, the OSAA is expected to announce soon the combined 3A/4A league comprised of Ontario, La Grande, Baker, Vale, Nyssa and Burns for football only. Where McLoughlin/Griswold fits in with the new league has not been released.