Skip to main content

South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton stays put, Corner Canyon joins as regions realign

Feb 03, 2023 11:43AM ● By Greg James

Riverton stayed in its Jordan District-centric region for the new realignment. (Photo by Pat McDonald )

Teams in the Utah High School Activities Association’s Region 2 in 6A will become the new Region 4 in 5A.

Every two years the UHSAA adjusts its school's region placement. The changes are scheduled to take effect for the 2023-24 school year. 

“I am excited about the proposed region alignment,” Hunter boys soccer coach Brett Solberg said. “It is our best fit. An ideal region should consist of schools that are similar.”

A public hearing was held on Dec. 14, 2022 to receive feedback from districts and schools. The new alignment was adopted on Dec. 15 and approved by the Board of Trustees. Schools wishing to move up or down in classification had the opportunity to  petition the board in its Jan. 19 meeting. 

“The board is going to reconsider the current realignment based on the petitions of a few schools,” Copper Hills Athletic Director Ben Morley said prior to the Jan. 19 petitions. “I am not convinced the proposed realignment will remain as such a few weeks from now. Many schools are upset at the uneven regions at the 6A level.”

Morley was proven correct. Originally, Copper Hills was placed in 6A Region 2 with Bingham, Lehi, Herriman, Mountain Ridge, Riverton and Westlake. But Lehi and Westlake were moved to 6A Region 3 after the Jan. 19 meeting, with Corner Canyon joining Bingham in the new Region 2. The change was to keep schools within their own counties with Bingham assistant principal Art Erickson telling the UHSAA board they were in favor of an option that kept the southwest valley schools together.

Riverton High principal Rochelle Waite told the committee that realignment affects nonathletic students too and keeping regions geographically closer allows students to travel to away games. 

“They travel better when schools are in closer proximity,” she said highlighting the benefits for the entire student body. 

West Jordan High School was moved to 5A Region 4 with Cyprus, Hunter, Granger, Taylorsville and Kearns.

The move to 5A may indicate a drop in enrollment and the competitiveness of the region.

Region 2 teams have not had much state competition success recently but have amassed 132 football playoff wins. Granger High School began playing football in 1958 and Taylorsville in 1981. The schools have many former players with NFL and NCAA experience

“Playing Kearns and Hunter is good for us,” Cyprus head basketball coach Tre Smith said. “These are our rivals, but at the end of the day, we want them all to be successful. We want our neighbor schools on the westside to be successful and reach their goals.”

The high school association administers and supervises all interschool activities. These activities are a significant educational force for students to develop skills to become contributing members of the community. 

The board of trustees takes into account the opportunity to promote fair competition in its activities. Some of the things the board considers include enrollment, demographics, time out of school, rivalries and competitive success.

“It is more fun to play our rivals. We know each other and may talk a little more trash in those games,” Cyprus guard Quentin Meza said. 

One of the new factors the board of trustees has been considering is the elimination of regions. The RPI system has diminished the importance of regions. If regions are eliminated the coaches could arrange their schedules in whatever manner they wished. Schools could play a demanding or easier schedule depending on what the administrative staff wished. 

“You can’t have your feet in both, one in RPI and one in regions. Maybe it's the learning lesson of this realignment year,” Board of Trustees Chair Jerre Holmes said. 

“Trying to have our cake and eat it too, we can’t sustain regions and RPI. We are working against ourselves,” Wasatch Superintendent Paul Sweat said. 

Erickson said he favored regions with nearby communities matching up against each other. “Regions mean something,” he said, highlighting his days in Logan and how they cherished those region rivalries. 

He has no problem with the RPI, but said region trophies are “still significant” since not every team will win a state title. 

The committee broached the subject during its last realignment in 2020. Riverton boys basketball coach Skyler Wilson said at the time while he likes the RPI system and felt its been productive for basketball in the state, he would not support getting rid of reasons. 

“The biggest reason is it gives kids something to work for,” Wilson told the Journals in January 2021. He pointed to being co-region champs several years ago. 

“That’s something our kids can forever remember, we weren’t state champs we weren't able to get to that level, but it’s something in the history of our school. That was the first one we'd ever had and I know how much it meant to our kids,” he said. “That to me is always something to play for. I like having the regions, I hope we're able to continue having them just because I think it gives the kids something to play for additionally besides a mathematical ranking.”