Recommendations to move Hood River Valley to a Class 5A athletic league in Portland and to drop The Dalles from 5A to 4A are expected to be made official later this month.

The Executive Board of the Oregon School Activities Association is expected to vote on a final recommendation from its Classification and Districting Committee which outlines Oregon athletic leagues for the 2022-26 four-year time block. The committee held its fifth and final public meeting in Wilsonville on Nov. 22 and released a final recommendation two days later.

The recommendation will be presented to the OSAA Executive Board and Delegate Assembly on Monday, Dec. 13. The proposal does not include the sport of football. A separate committee, the Football Ad Hoc Committee, makes recommendations on that sport separately.

If the proposal is approved as recommended, starting fall 2022, Hood River will be part of the nine-team Northwest Oregon Conference (NWOC) along with Canby, Centennial, Hillsboro, La Salle Prep, Milwaukie, Parkrose, Putnam, and Wilsonville. As he has in previous meetings, Hood River Athletic Director Trent Kroll testified in person at the public hearings, advocating for HRV to be a part of the NWOC.

Gresham’s Centennial is the most recent addition to the NWOC, as the committee approved that school’s petition to play down from the 6A classification. Centennial was listed as a 6A school and a member of the Mt. Hood Conference through Nov. 3 on subsequent OSAA proposals. The final recommendation dated Nov. 24 listed Centennial in the NWOC.

Another recent change affected The Dalles High’s future conference schedule, as well. The Riverhawks will compete in the six-school Tri-Valley Conference along with Crook County, Estacada, Gladstone, Madras, and Molalla. Crook County was added to the Tri-Valley after the OSAA’s classification and redistricting committee moved the upper cutoff point of enrollment to 607 students, which brought Crook County and St. Helens into the 4A classification. Crook County Athletic Director Rob Bonner testified at the Nov. 24 meeting, asking the committee to move the Cowboys out of the Bend/Redmond area Class 5A Intermountain Conference. Bonner argued that Crook County would be competing with schools almost twice its size in that league.

The Tri-Valley enrollment numbers submitted by each school (9th through 11th grade) are as follows: Crook County 603, Estacada 362, Gladstone 440, Madras 418, Molalla 518, and The Dalles 511.  

Bend will have five high schools starting fall 2022 and each is projected to be an average of more than 900 students in three grades — based on enrollment numbers submitted to the OSAA. Redmond and Ridgeview will join the four Bend schools — Bend, Summit, Mountain View and (new) Caldera — in the revamped 5A IMC.

Pendleton is slated to be a part of the 4A Greater Oregon League along with Ontario, Baker City and La Grande.

The Class 1A Big Sky League remains as is.