Copyright 2016 The Deseret News Publishing Co.
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
SANDY - Grace Allen's voice wavered as she addressed the Utah High School Activities Association's Board of Trustees at a public hearing on proposed region changes that would impact her high school.
The Timpview junior plays volleyball and was the only student to speak in the 90-minute hearing as district officials, principals, athletic directors and even a few parents weighed in about proposed region and classification changes that would send the Provo high school into a region with Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Cottonwood and Jordan.
"It seems ludicrous to send us (into Salt Lake County), which will not give us enough time for homework and other activities," she said. "I'm going to have to decide if I can even play volleyball next year because I don't know if I'll be able to miss this much school."
In all, about two dozen school representatives addressed the trustees.
Skyridge, Viewmont, Rich, the Salt Lake District, Grand County schools and Ogden district schools all voiced support for the current proposal.
"It's not as good as we've had it," said Rich principal Rick Larsen. "But there is no good fix here. Everyone travels in 1A. I don't know how you can decide what's fair if you don't do it geographically."
That is the challenge facing the trustees, who plan to finalize all regions and classes today. Principals offered various reasons for changes, but they usually had something to do with traditional rivalries, ability to compete and travel time.
Milford, Wayne, North Sanpete, Timpview, Davis and Bingham all objected to their placement in regions that increased their travel significantly. In the case of Milford and Wayne, the estimates were an additional 50 hours of lost class time. They also pointed to the loss of traditional rivalries, which would mean reduced gate revenue.
"That's how our small schools fund our programs," Wayne principal Mary Bray said, "is with ticket (sales) from gate receipts. I don't know if we could even pay our officials."
Juan Diego objected to being placed in 3A for all sports other than football. The Draper private school requested to be moved up to 4A for all sports other than football, but the trustees left Juan Diego in 3A for everything.
Some schools - like Davis, Cyprus and Cottonwood - were asking to be moved to different regions.
Davis principal Richard Swanson said the Darts had the support of every Region 1 school in asking to be moved into that region. Davis is the only northern Utah school in the new Region 2, which includes Granger, Hillcrest, Hunter, Kearns and Taylorsville.
Cottonwood asked to be moved from Region 7 (Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Jordan and Timpview) into Region 6 (East, Highland, Murray, Olympus, Skyline and West).
Cyprus principal Rob McDaniel said the Pirates are not opposed to playing in Region 3 with Copper Hills, Herriman, Riverton and West Jordan, but pointed out the school's two top traditional rivals are Hunter and Kearns (both in Region 2).
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