League revisions: Teams will log fewer miles under planned 2014 changes

August, 2013 Posted in Sports & Recreation

James DayBy James Day 

The Oregon School Activities Association is working its way through its quadrennial reclassification process and things have settled to such an extent that we have a pretty clear picture of what the new districts will look like.

The state will remain divided into six classes, and the hybrid experiment, in which schools from different classes played in the same league, will not be repeated in this round.

The biggest change looming for Stayton-area schools is in the Class 2A Tri-River Conference, which includes Regis and Santiam. The only other holdover for the league will be Kennedy.  It would add Perrydale and St. Paul from Class 1A plus East Linn Christian, Western Mennonite and Sheridan while losing Central Linn, Culver, Toledo and Waldport.

The league will be more compact geographically and for example, Regis players and fans likely won’t miss the road trips to Waldport (200 miles round trip) and Culver (265 miles).

There likely will be just one change in the Class 4A Oregon West Conference. Cascade, Stayton, Philomath, Taft and Newport will remain in the league, which will add Yamhill-Carlton and lose Central to the Class 5A Mid-Willamette Conference.

Scio, meanwhile, will remain in the Class 3A PacWest Conference, which will shrink a bit, adding La Pine while losing Blanchet Catholic and Salem Academy.

The final committee meeting to consider the new conference alignments is at 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at the OSAA office in Wilsonville. The plan then goes to the OSAA’s executive board and delegate assembly. The new structure takes effect in the 2014-15 school year.

Area colleges: Here is a look at how athletes with Stayton area ties fared with area colleges this spring:

*Former Cascade High athlete Jessica Slate helped Corban University turn in its best softball season in school history. Slate, who transferred to the Salem school from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., had a 7-2 pitching record with a 2.98 earned run average for the Warriors, who went 43-15, won their first Cascade Collegiate Conference title (24-4) and wound up No. 12 in the final NAIA poll. Slate, a sophomore, pitched four complete games, had two saves and struck out 30 batters in 61 innings.

Sommer Coleman, another former Cascade athlete, played in 12 games and contributed a homer and four RBIs for the Chemeketa softball team.

Wyatt Briggs, a senior from Scio, and Jossalyn Wright, a sophomore from Cascade, both had strong seasons for the Willamette University track and field team. Briggs took third in the hammer, seventh in the discus and ninth in the shot put at the Northwest Conference championships. Wright, meanwhile, was seventh in the shot, eighth in the discus and 14th in the hammer at the NWC meet.

Sophomore Austin Koos of Scio, who went to East Linn Christian High, ran a leg on the Corban 4×100 relay team that finished second at the Cascade Collegiate Conference meet with a time of 41.99.

Key dates for fall: In a blink of an eye we will be back into the high school sports season. Volleyball, football, soccer and cross country teams can begin their conditioning work Monday, Aug. 12. The first day in which the OSAA allows formal practice sessions is Monday, Aug. 19. The first date for fall contests is Thursday, Aug. 29, with the first football Friday on Aug. 30.

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