With a new 6A class, a reunited Region 9 will move up to 4A

Canyon View will rejoin Region 9 in the fall of 2017.

MIDVALE – It’s not official yet, but the new classification and region alignment set forth by the Utah High School Activities Association looks to reunite Region 9 – as a 4A region – beginning later this year.

The UHSAA announced what it calls the “first consideration” for the new region and class alignments, which will add a sixth classification, “6A,” and re-qualify the old Region 9, including Canyon View, as a 4A classification.

“It would be good to have Canyon View back in the region,” Pine View football coach Ray Hosner said earlier this month. “This is where they belong, with the southern schools, and we’ve missed them.”

That sentiment was echoed by athletic directors and coaches throughout Region 9 during the nearly two years that the Falcons have competed with schools from further north in Region 12. Canyon View was at least in 3A, like the rest of the southern schools for most sports. In football, the Falcons competed in a lower classification.

But with the new classification added, the UHSAA felt it would be best to return CVHS to Region 9 and have all seven schools in the region compete in 4A. That includes football.

As part of the study, the UHSAA had to consider school size, upcoming growth and geography. That last consideration was most likely the largest consideration for the southern schools. The past two seasons (this year included), Canyon View has competed with teams in Richfield, Price, Nephi and Mt. Pleasant in region competition.

But certainly school size is a factor. The UHSAA briefly toyed with the idea of moving Desert Hills, the largest school in southern Utah with 1,387 students in grades 10 through 12, up to 5A. But it just didn’t make economic sense to have the Thunder competing in a region that would likely have included teams like Wasatch (in Heber City) and Provo.

Many in southern Utah looked at the UHSAA proposal 12 days ago to move Desert Hills to 5A and have the rest of the region compete in 4A as a terrible move, but the original draft was just that, a draft. The new realignment and region proposal addresses geographic and economic issues more closely.

The new 4A, if the measure passes public input and final certification from the UHSAA board, will include many of the former 3A powers, including Region 9 and teams like Bear River, Park City, Stansbury and Tooele. But it would also include some pretty good programs from the former 4A, including Sky View and Mountain Crest from Cache County and Lehi, Orem and Mountain View from Utah County.

The new 4A classification would have 28 schools, two of which do not compete in athletics (Tuacahn and Venture).

As part of the evaluation process, the UHSAA board looked at school size in the top two grades (11th and 12th), as those are the grades in which most varsity sports draw their numbers. Under the proposal, Desert Hills would be the second-largest 4A school with 916 11th and 12th graders, based on enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 of this year. Payson is the largest with 925 and Lehi is close to those two numbers with 889.

Meanwhile, Canyon View would be the second smallest in 4A with 551 11th and 12th graders. The new school opening next fall in Cache County, Green Canyon, is projected to be the smallest with 548 11th and 12th graders.

By comparison, Pine View is the second largest Region 9 school with 800 11th and 12th graders, Snow Canyon third with 793, Dixie fourth with 758, Hurricane fifth with 616 and Cedar sixth with 599.

In its statement, the UHSAA said, “A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. in an attempt to get feedback from the various districts, schools and communities on the placement of schools into regions. The public hearing will be held at Jordan High School in Sandy. In addition to the hearing, the UHSAA Board of Trustees is seeking public comment regarding region placement of schools through the following link: http://uhsaa.org/realignmentfeedback.

“The assignment of schools into regions will be finalized on Dec. 8, by the Board of Trustees, allowing time for schools and regions to organize and schedule for the two-year alignment period. The first contests under the new alignment will take place the fall of 2017. The enrollment data upon which the alignment is based will be less than one year old.”

When the next realignment rolls around in 2019, new school Crimson High in Washington Fields will be set to open and certainly will factor in school size in St. George. Crimson will take most of its student body from Desert Hills and Pine View.

UHSAA Proposed Region and Alignment for 2017-2019: 2017-19uhsaaregions1stconsideration

UHSAA original proposal (with enrollment statistics): 1stconsideration

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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