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WILSONVILLE – It would appear when Baker Athletic Director Buell Gonzales talks, the Oregon School Activities Association’s Football Ad Hoc Committee finally listened.
Gonzales, who we believe has testified at every committee hearing and submitted mounds of documentation to back up his concerns, may soon see his recommendations come to fruition.
Late Friday, Feb. 4, the Football Ad Hoc Committee released an update after meeting in a closed session on Wednesday, Feb. 2. During the public portion of the Feb. 2 meeting, Gonzales was joined by Mike Somnis, athletic director for the Pendleton Buckaroos and La Grande’s Eric Freeman advocating for a Greater Oregon League larger than three teams. The committee’s update now recommends just what the three GOL opponents wanted.
The committee is now advising Baker, La Grande and Pendleton be joined by the Crook County Cowboys, the Madras White Buffaloes and The Dalles Riverhawks to make up a six team 4A Greater Oregon League for football only.
The Cowboys played in the 4A Special District 2 last season, going 2-7. The White Buffaloes also come from the 4A Special District 2 and posted a 4-5 record for last fall. The Riverhawks will be stepping down from the 5A Special District 1 where they finished with a 2-6 record last season.
The committee is also recommending Oregon play four types of football in the fall. In addition to the typical 11-player, 2A schools would play 9-player while larger 1A schools would stick with 8-player. The smaller 1A schools would play 6-player. The committee continued their endorsement of the OSAA formally recognizing an OSAA State Championship for 6-player teams, a move easternoregonsports.com formally supported support for in an email letter to the committee earlier this year.
Although the committee is not endorsing an extended season adding an extra week, if approved, the committee is advising a week be added to the end of the season.
The committee is also recommending the following for the 2022-2026 football time block:
- Riverside football remain in the 2A ranks.
- Umatilla football remain in the 2A ranks.
- Ontario be placed in the 3A ranks.
- Enterprise be placed in the 1A ranks.
This most recent committee meeting was previously announced as the final one. That has now changed as a Feb. 16 meeting has been added. The Ad Hoc committee provides recommendations only to the OSAA Executive Board, the final say on changes.
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