Bend Teams Merging with Salem?

Bend Schools won’t have to wait much longer to find out if 3 of its high school athletic teams will compete in a league with 5 Salem area schools beginning this fall.

After listening to eight hours of testimony from the Salem-Keizer school district and the Oregon School Activities Association , justice Michael ‘Mick’ Gillette will produce a written decision in 10 days to two weeks on the matter of ‘reclassification’ of Leagues.

The OSAA decided last fall that McNary, South Salem, Sprague, West Salem and McKay would be placed in a league with Bend, Mountain View and Summit. Salem-Keizer then appealed the decision in November.

Salem argued at the appeal hearing the OSAA did not stick to their criteria of safety, minimizing loss of instructional time, cost, and school enrollment data, but instead placed the Salem schools with Bend because of “competitive balance.”

Bend High Athletic Director Dave Williams proposed a plan that would include 45 bus trips for each Bend school, per year, but Salem contends it would be nearly 60 trips per school year for its teams.

Bend schools have increased in enrollment and therefore are being placed at the State’s top level. The only other viable option may be to place Bend schools in the Southwest 6-A Conference competing with Eugene and Medford area teams.

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