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UHSAA establishes 2023-25 Utah prep sports alignment; 8 schools in 5A Region 5, 6 in 6A Region 1 | News, Sports, Jobs


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Bronson Belnap (3) of Roy and Peyton Kotter (4) of Clearfield grab for the basketball in a game on Friday, December 9, 2022 in Clearfield.

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard Examiner

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Morgan High’s Brecklee Charlton (left) runs with the ball while being pursued by an Ogden defender during a 3A girls soccer playoff game at Morgan High School on Saturday, October 15, 2022.

Patrick Carr, Standards Reviewer

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MIDVALE — Utah’s prep athletics alignment for the 2023-25 ​​school years has been finalized.

At its meeting Thursday, the UHSAA Board of Trustees approved the new alignment, which more than doubles the size of the 4A classification, reduces the 6A classification from four regions to three, and brings eight schools into the Northern Utah-based 5A Region 5 .

Several schools in 5A and 4A were in different regions Thursday than in last week’s first draft. None of the moves directly affected northern schools, which essentially got what they wanted in this round of realignment.

Roy and Clearfield are moving from 6A to 5A to join Region 5 where they believe they will be a better fit for the competition.

For the next two years, 6A Region 1 will consist of Weber, Fremont, Layton, Davis, Syracuse and Farmington.

Region 5 has Bonneville, Roy, Clearfield, Northridge, Box Elder, Viewmont, Bountiful, and Woods Cross.

Region 13 in 3A will have Ben Lomond, Ogden, Morgan, Grantsville, Union and South Summit. The 3A North football region includes five of the same six teams, with South Summit (2A for football) swapping for Juan Diego.

Enrolling with Ben Lomond and Ogden initially put them in 4A, but since their student population has a more than 50% free and discounted lunch rate, they were both able to stay in 3A where they are in the current orientation.

During Wednesday night’s public hearing and Thursday’s board meeting, there was a lengthy discussion on whether to allow Logan High’s motion to move from 4A to 3A and join Region 13. The request was rejected.

Layton Christian remains in 3A but moves from Region 13 to Region 14 with Judge Memorial, Juan Diego, Providence Hall and Summit Academy.

LCA Football is at 2A North. LCA boys basketball and soccer currently play as 4A free schools and are also expected to apply for the next orientation as 4A (or higher) free schools in January.

A big sticking point is how Region 14 will function with only three teams playing boys basketball and four playing boys soccer in the region.

The board said it would make sure the other three boys’ basketball and soccer teams could find games in Region 14 to fill the scheduling gap left by the LCA and Juan Diego.

Ogden’s St. Joseph Catholic will be in 2A Region 17, but is no longer paired with Weber County’s Utah Military Academy (in Riverdale), which will be in Region 16. St. Joseph is among the nine teams currently expected to play eight-player football in 2023.

Alignment 2023-25 ​​is not 100% complete yet. Schools can go to the board during the January 19, 2023 board meeting and request that a specific sport or activity be moved to a higher classification for 2023-25.

It’s a new rule introduced by the board after LCA and Juan Diego successfully applied earlier this year to move their boys’ basketball teams (and LCA boys’ football) to higher classifications.

WESTFELD HIGH

West Field High, the new Weber County school in Taylor, will open for the 2024-25 school year in the midst of the upcoming alignment period.

UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff said the board will decide where to house the school in January 2024 once the Weber School District has completed a boundary study and has a solid idea of ​​how many students will attend West Field.

Depending on how much Fremont High enrollment will drop as a result of West Field opening, Fremont may apply to be downgraded to 5A, which schools can do if their enrollment drops 40% annually.

WSD has previously indicated that West Field will open with about 1,400 to 1,500 students, which would theoretically place the school in 5A and logically in Region 5.

Cuff has previously hinted that a new school opening center doesn’t necessarily have to go directly to a region. Rather, it can open as an independent school, play whoever it wants, build its programs, and then go to a region in the next alignment.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE VOLTAGE

Tensions between public and private schools (as well as public charter schools) simmer beneath the surface of Utah high school sports on a daily basis.

UHSAA board member Larry Bergeson called on UHSAA and its board to “thoroughly evaluate” the impact of private and charter schools on Utah’s prep-sports landscape as a whole to see if tensions between public and private schools can be eased.

Officials and parents of public schools, mostly rural schools in grades 3A-1A, sometimes complain that they fall in the same grades as private and charter schools.

Private and charter schools are typically accused of having unfair advantages and recruiting student athletes (concrete evidence is rarely, if ever, made public to support the latter charge).

REGIONS VERSUS RPI DISCUSSION

As the UHSAA board and staff sorted through regions, classifications, school preferences, and more, discussions kept revolving around one topic: the possibility of UHSAA abandoning the current setup, where schools are sorted into regions and based on their RPI for State Tournament Qualifying Ranking.

The UHSAA in 2020 proposed the idea of ​​doing away with regions and classifying them by sport using the RPI. The schools wanted to keep the regions, so the idea fell through.

At the very least, the board and staff seem to have expressed a desire to talk in detail about getting rid of regions and completely switching to using RPI.

They’ve had many such discussions over the years, but the tone of Thursday’s discussion implied that the pure RPI idea is gaining momentum. The board is expected to further discuss the RPI versus region issue at its March meeting.

Below is a list of regions for the 2023-25 ​​alignment that include schools in the standard examiner’s coverage area. A full breakdown of the 2023-25 ​​alignment is available online at uhsaa.org/news.

2023-25 ​​NON-FOOTBALL ALIGNMENT

6A region 1: Weber, Fremont, Davis, Farmington, Layton, Syracuse

5A Region 5: Bonneville, Roy, Box Elder, Clearfield, Northridge, Bountiful, Viewmont, Woods Cross

4A area 11: Bear River, Sky View, Green Canyon, Ridgeline, Ridgeline, Logan

3A area 13: Ben Lomond, Ogden, Morgan, Grantsville, South Summit, Union

3A area 14: Layton Christian, Judge Memorial, Juan Diego, Providence Hall, Summit Academy

2A area 16: Utah Military Academy, APA-West Valley, Freedom Prep, Intermountain Christian, Merit Prep, Rockwell, Real Salt Lake Academy, UMA-Camp Williams, Wasatch Academy

2A area 17: St. Joseph Catholic, American Heritage, American Leadership, APA-Draper, Maeser Prep, Rowland Hall, Waterford

FOOTBALL ALIGNMENT

6A region 1: Weber, Fremont, Davis, Farmington, Layton, Syracuse

5A Region 5: Bonneville, Roy, Box Elder, Clearfield, Northridge, Bountiful, Viewmont, Woods Cross

4A area 11: Bear River, Sky View, Green Canyon, Ridgeline, Ridgeline, Logan

3A north: Ben Lomond, Ogden, Morgan, Grantsville, Juan Diego, Union

2A north: Layton Christian, Judge Memorial, South Summit, Summit Academy, Providence Hall

8 player league: St. Joseph, Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Altamont, Diamond Ranch, Monticello, Rich, Monument Valley, Water Canyon, Whitehorse



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