Last week the OSAA Football Ad Hoc Committee finalized their recommendations for the league plans for the 2022–2026-time block. Starting next fall, the local team’s football leagues will look a little different than they typically have with some teams moving back up a classification or moving to a completely different league.
Cottage Grove, who is currently part of the Sky-Em league in all other sports, will be staying in the 4A division and will be joining the PacWest conference for football starting next year. The Lions will be joined by the Cascade Cougars, Junction City Tigers, Marist Catholic Spartans, Philomath Warriors, Stayton Eagles and Sweet Home Huskies.
After competing in 2A since 2018 in football the Creswell Bulldogs will be returning to 3A and staying in the Mountain Valley Conference.
While the Bulldogs are familiar with the conference itself, the players and faces will look much different starting next fall. The Elmira Falcons, Harrisburg Eagles, La Pine Hawks, Pleasant Hill Billies, Sisters Outlaws and Siuslaw Vikings will be the other teams apart of the conference starting next season.
“It was pretty much what we expected,” said Creswell Athletic Director Brandon Standridge. “We also feel pretty good about our numbers when you’re competing at the 3A level. You're talking about 30 to 35 guys in your program, and we reached that number last year and are expecting similar numbers this coming year too.”
The North Douglas and Yoncalla football programs will combine again similar to what they did two seasons ago however the rules have changed. Now the major difference is the combined schools have to compete at the 2A level and adopt a new version of nine man football instead of the 6 man each school played this past season. They will be joined by the likes of Bandon, Glide, Gold Beach, Illinois Valley, Oakland, Reedsport and Rogue River.
Lastly, Elkton will continue their stay in the six-man Special Conference 2 while being joined by a total of 13 other schools with the league to be split by a north and south division.