MEDFORD, Ore.--While the most tightly contested aspects of the OSAA's reclassification plan involved Salem high schools incorporating Bend high schools, Southern Oregon schools will also experience altered conferences starting in 2018.
The Willamette Wolverines, which had to forfeit their latest high school football game because their roster was down to 14 players, will drop out of the 6A Southwest Conference and into the 5A Midwestern League.
So while South Medford, North Medford and Grants Pass will no longer see Willamette on their schedules, Crater, Eagle Point and Ashland will. This shrinks the Southwest Conference to six teams and bolsters the Midwestern League to nine teams.
On the 3A front, Cascade Christian and St. Mary's will no longer be in the four-team Southern Cascade League with Lakeview and Illinois Valley.
Instead, the Challengers and Crusaders will form the newly developed Umpqua River Conference with Sutherlin, Brookings-Harbor, Douglas and South Umpqua.
Lakeview and Illinois Valley, as well as Rogue River, will play down in 2A.
Reclassification goes into effect for the 2018-2019 school year and will stay in place for four years.