Salem-Keizer high schools could compete in Bend. Again.

There’s been no outrage.

There have been no parents forming groups to make proclamations.

Since being upset about someone else’s ideas hasn’t gone out of style – look at all those fun protests in downtown Portland over the past month – I suspect it’s because people in the Mid-Valley don’t know what’s happening.

So I’m going to lay it out for you:

The Salem-Keizer public high schools – McKay, McNary, North Salem, South Salem, Sprague and West Salem – could end up playing in a league with Bend schools – Bend, Mountain View and Summit – starting in the fall of 2018.

Silverton High School's Maggie Buchholz (8) goes up for a kill but is blocked by Summit defenders during the 2015 state volleyball tournament.

Silverton High School’s Maggie Buchholz (8) goes up for a kill but is blocked by Summit defenders during the 2015 state volleyball tournament.


That’s like putting the Sand People from Star Wars in the same league as the Ewoks.

Sure, they’ll be competitive, but they’ve got a long ride to get there.

And in this case there are no Imperial Starships in the way.

The OSAA formed another one of those fun Classification and Districting committees for the purpose of deciding how to align the state’s high schools in classes and leagues starting in the fall 2018.

That’s something that happens every four years, whether it’s needed or not, because it’s required by the OSAA’s extensive rules.

So far the committee has put out four proposals – two six-classification proposals and two five-classification proposals – and each one has lumped the Salem-Keizer schools in with the Bend schools.

For the most recent redistricting cycle – which came into effect in 2004 – Summit was granted a geographical exemption to remain at the Class 5A level rather than be moved up to Class 6A.

We’ve seen how that worked out.

Last school year, Summit won 11 of 19 state championships in team sports.

That’s like letting Katie Ledecky swim in the Pac-12 Conference; oh, wait, she’s swimming for Stanford this year. Good luck, distance freestylers.

So now Summit is going to move up, Bend is big enough that school is probably going to have to move up and Mountain View is on the cusp of moving up and growing.

And it looks like they might be spending a lot of time in Salem as they grow up.

Remember that this is not the first time this idea has been raised.

Between 2006 and 2009 the Salem-Keizer schools played in a league, the Central Valley Conference, with Redmond.

Before that came to pass, there was great outrage. Parents said they wouldn’t let their children play road games at Redmond. There were dire predictions of catastrophic crashes of buses going over the mountain passes in snowstorms at night.

But it ended up being fine, except for all those fun logistical nightmares coaches, administrators, parents and athletes had to solve due to Oregon’s weather.

I’m not opposed to the move of the Salem-Keizer schools into a league with the Bend schools.

What I think would have to happen to make that work – in terms of minimizing loss of class time – is creative scheduling of games on the part of athletic directors.

I don’t worry about the trip to Bend and back – some of us drove much farther to Hermiston and back last Saturday to see Regis’ football play in the OSAA Class 2A state championship game.

And when you go to Bend you don’t get to stop at Charburger for really good onion rings.

What I worry about is the same thing I worry about when West Albany’s basketball team plays at Forest Grove on a Tuesday night. That hour and a half drive home, when the kids don’t get home until 11 p.m. then have to be in class at school at 8 a.m. the next day is what worries me.

Scheduling basketball, baseball or softball games at the Bend schools on Fridays would be a viable solution to that.

One solution for this whole thing that has yet to be brought up is to move a couple more of the Bend area schools – say Ridgeview and Redmond – up to the largest classification and let the Bend schools play in their own league.

Stranger ideas have worked, such as Eleven blowing up the monster with her psychic abilities on Stranger Things.

There are going to be people who say Oregon needs to go back to four classifications, and that’s fine if they want to express that idea.

But I have no idea how the state can go back after opening Pandora’s Box.

The next meeting of the OSAA’s Classification and Districting Committee takes place at 9 a.m. Dec. 12 at the OSAA’s office in Wilsonville.

If you want to express your outrage since you’re just hearing about this – even though the first version of this came out in October – that’s where you can complain.

That’s if you care. or

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