UHSSA finalizes school realignment
A new school year will bring a new look to Carbon High's athletic and activities programs. In an effort to keep things competitive and fair in a state with fluctuating population growth, the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSSA) looks at all its classifications and regions every four years and realigns the organization as necessary.
This year was a realignment year and with the plethora of new charter schools and shifting populations came a new look to the UHSSA.
Carbon has been a 3A school in region eight for quite a while. Region eight now belongs to a group of schools in the 4A rankings and Carbon is now in Region 11. Five teams join Carbon in that region. Those schools are American Leadership Academy, Park City, Uintah, Union and Wasatch.
Old rivalries dissolve or take on a different significance as Emery, North Sanpete and Delta move into region 12. Juan Diego, who was also in the old region eight with Carbon, is now in region 10 with its nemesis, Judge Memorial.
The 3A classification is given to schools with a population of 400-999. Uintah has been put into region 11 even though it is a 4A school.
Robert Cox, who is currently with the Carbon School District, but was Carbon High's principal for many years, wasn't thrilled with the new alignment. He felt like the emphasis was on size of school and not on proximity to each other. With rising transportation costs the miles a team must travel to play their schedule will affect the athletic budget immensely.
Current Carbon High Principal Greg Stanfield echoed the same sentiments. Travel costs for sports and activities will be crucial as fuel prices continue to soar.
As far as the region's make up, Stanfield feels that Carbon will remain competitive in the sports that they historically have been competitive in and struggle in those they have not. "This will be a good region and most of our teams will hold their own. We may struggle in some sports, but everyone of our teams has a chance to get into state competition in the third or fourth seed at least," he said.
The other concern for the new alignment is that many schools balked at having to drive to Carbon to compete. Highway 6 is the issue and even though Carbon will have to drive it or Indian Canyon for all their region games with the new alignment, many schools felt it was too dangerous to come here. Uintah a 4A school is in region 11 for the same reason, none of the Wasatch Front 4A schools wanted to have them in their region because of the distance.
Neither Cox or Stanfield knew exactly how Uintah would fit into the region and how their presence would be felt for region rankings at tournament time.
But for now, it is time for all the debate to end and the scheduling to begin. What's done is done and its time to play.
As a side note Principal Stanfield announced that there will be both girls and boys tennis teams this school year. The girls will compete this fall and the boys season is in the spring semester. Coaches are in the process of being hired for these two new teams.