PPS proposes consolidating sports leagues into 6A league

PPS proposes consolidating sports leagues into 6A league »Play Video
Portland Public Schools Athletic Director Marshall Haskins explains Friday what he says will be the benefits of consolidating the sports leagues in the district.

PORTLAND, Ore. – District leaders for Portland Public Schools said Friday they want to go from three leagues to one, 6A league.

6A is the largest classification in Oregon.

Right now only Grant and Lincoln are 6A, but with the new recommendation, there would be nine 6A teams.

The new athletic director, Marshall Haskins, said he doesn't know exactly how that will look at this point or specifically how it will impact each individual school, but he explained the benefits for students in his perspective.

"If that's a middle school kid, their parents are probably going to be happy because we're trying to get their kids involved in extracurricular activities," he said. "If it's a high school kid, they should see the fruits of our labor of better facilities, more competitive games, less travel. So instead of traveling out to Barlow-Gresham, you get to go Lincoln to Wilson. They'll see the benefits of those things hopefully right away."

Haskins said the one-league recommendation to the state was a unanimous decision among some district leaders, including the high school principals.

While some see the benefits of putting all the schools in the same league and competing against each other, others question whether other schools will be at a disadvantage.

"The quality of athletes they're going to be up against, up against Grant, bigger school, it's a little concerning for them," said Brad Smith whose son, who will be a senior next year, plays football for Cleveland.

But other parents, like Pat Bergin, remember the good ol’ days of local competition and less travel, which meant reduced costs for everyone.

"The big road trips were tough for parents to get to," Bergin, also a parent of a student athlete, said.

There will be community meetings coming up to give the public a chance to discuss this change.

The Oregon Student Activities Association must still give the proposal final approval.