North Bend High athletics preps for changes with move to 5A

North Bend High School (File/SBG photo)

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- North Bend High School will soon jump from its 4A classification to 5A, joining schools from Eugene and southern Oregon.

Oregon School Activities Association recently approved the new realignment for high school sports and activities.

While disappointed with the decision, school officials in North Bend plan to make the best of the situation.

"A school is as good as the students and the staff,” said Principal Bill Lucero. “We have met other challenges and been successful; we're going to do the same thing this time."

The decision by the Oregon School Activities Association puts the Bulldogs in the Midwestern League with schools located up to three hours away.

Students will spend more time out of school to attend away games.

"We're looking at some options that will help students study on the bus, possibly having some internet access on a charter bus when students have to make those long trips to southern Oregon," said Athletic Director Mike Forrester.

The change affects not just the school's athletics teams, but also OSAA sponsored activities such as choir, band and forensics.

But despite challenges ahead, school officials say they will not shift priorities when it comes to education.

"There's a reason we call all of our participants here student-athletes, not athletic-students,” added Forrester, “so we're going to remember the student-athlete part first and move forward from there."

With an optimistic point of view, school officials in North Bend are looking forward to making a mark in the Midwestern League.

The changes take effect in September of next year and will be in place until the next realignment period in 2022.

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