Local high schools prepared for new changes
Park City and South Summit bump up, North Summit stays
August 8, 2017
Every couple of years, the Utah High School Athletics Association (UHSAA) reclassifies, creating new regions and allowing teams to jump up or bump down.
This year, the state welcomes a new classification, 6A (six classes already existed in football), forcing many of the larger schools in the state to move up. In turn, the three schools that reside in Summit County — Park City High School, South Summit High School and North Summit High School — were all affected by these changes.
Park City will move up to the 4A classification in all sports save the football team. That group will still compete in the 3AA North division.
"We're excited about it," said Jamie Sheetz, Park City High School's athletic director. "I think everyone was a little bit cautious [at first] because there were few people who knew we were going to six classes. … I think once everybody understood, everyone was OK with it. The cycle changes frequently, so we've been pretty fortunate to have most of the same schools in our region over the past few years, which helps out tremendously."
Joining Park City in its new classification, and the new Region 11, are traditional opponents: Stansbury and Tooele. Also in the region are Ogden-area schools Bonneville, Ben Lomond, Juan Diego and Ogden.
One of the bigger changes for the Miners is going from a five-team region to seven, which the various coaches at Park City hope will provide stiffer competition, as well as more variety in the teams they play.
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"The region is bigger," Sheetz said. "I think that's a positive. Everybody was excited about that, having more teams in the region."
Another aspect to the classification change is travel time. Being in Park City, it can be difficult to make such arrangements, and the Miners have been forced to travel long distances to play teams such as Uintah or Union in the past.
While Sheetz said the school has enjoyed its visits to the Uintah Basin, trips to the Ogden area will be easier to plan, schedule and execute throughout the 2017-18 sports year.
"It'll be a nice change to stay a little bit closer," Sheetz said. "All of our trips are about 70 miles. Everything is about an hour, so that's going to be pretty consistent."
The process of reclassifying and creating new regions can be a difficult one, Sheetz said. Not only does the UHSAA committee need to actually take the time to do so, but each new Region Board of Directors, that includes Sheetz, is expected to get together to compare past schedules.
"Each region would do things differently with scheduling; what days they play on, what times they play on, the formats that they played," Sheetz said. "It takes a while to get everybody together, have a few meetings and get everyone on the same page. Everybody has to agree to say, 'OK, this is how we're going to run the region for two years.'
"It takes some work to get everybody on the same page, everybody willing to do the same thing. Then, you have to put those plans in place."
Meanwhile in Kamas, South Summit High School will also be making a jump from 2A to 3A. The Wildcats will be competing in Region 13, where they'll be joined by American International, Grantsville, Judge Memorial, Morgan and Summit Academy.
South Summit's rival, North Summit High School, might not be experiencing a change in classification — it will remain put in 2A — but the region landscape looks different. The Braves will compete in Region 16, and are joined by Altamont, Duchesne, Great Basin, Layton Christian Academy, Saint Joseph, Utah Military Academy and Venture Academy.
Like Park City, South Summit and North Summit's football teams will stay put in their classification, 2A North, they competed in last season.
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