A tweak of 5A special district alignments was part of the latest update released by the OSAA football ad-hoc committee Friday, and the Canby Cougar football team, which will be playing at the 5A level at least the next two years, was one of the schools affected.
The committee was attempting to better accommodate schools from the Intermountain Conference, including Redmond and Ridgeview, which had been part of Canby’s new league in the original proposal from OSAA.
“In the first attempt, the committee kind of templated it the way it looked the previous two years,” OSAA Assistant Executive Director Brad Garrett — not the actor — said. “They heard testimony Wednesday, and essentially, the IMC would like to be together, if possible. And La Salle was in the room and agreed with it.”
Under the new proposal, Canby’s 5A Special District 2 would include the Northwest Oregon Conference schools Hillsboro, Scappoose, St. Helens and Forest Grove, along with Wilsonville, McKay and North Salem.
At least one trip to Central Oregon — always a dicey proposition in the fall — would be avoided in this new scenario.
“There’s going to be travel, either way,” Garrett said. “I don’t know if the proposal necessarily reduces travel for anybody. … I think in general, the committee thought it made sense to give it a shot for a couple years and see how it works.”
Early indications are that this might be a more competitive league for Canby as well. Wilsonville, who makes sense as a cross-town rival of sorts, is a perennial 5A contender and was also in a league with Canby under the last recommendation.
But this would add two of last year’s playoff teams, Hillsboro and Scapoose, who upset Pendleton last year in the first round of the postseason.
And, interestingly, this proposal would also put three of the four teams playing down at 5A into the same league: McKay, Forest Grove and Canby, leaving out only South Eugene.
The committee’s final recommendations will be forwarded to the OSAA Executive Board for review and potential adoption on Feb. 10.
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