The Legislative Council of the UHSAA has spoken - drop East High from its current 4A classification to the 3A level. And East officials may think that everything will be hunky-dory with a return to neighborhood rivalries with foes such as Judge Memorial, West, Granite, Murray and the rest of the 3A Region 6.
But wait . . . the Leopards could just as easily find itself playing in locations of greater distance - such as Ogden, Logan and the like.The UHSAA board of directors will have to decide where to put East in the four 3A leagues. And, remember, this is a East-placement issue, not a realignment measure. So UHSAA officials are unable to shuffle league members around - such as moving a geographical outsider like Tooele to another league just to make a spot for East.
The problem with adding East to Region 6 is that the league already carries eight member schools. A ninth might make it too large for scheduling league competition and determining state-tournament seeding.
One possible alternative might be to create a two-division system within Region 6. However, you have the possibility of a team winning its division - say, in football - but still not enjoying a No. 1 seed at the state tournament.
UHSAA Executive Director Glen Beere says that another possibility could be to place East in the seven-school Region 5, already comprised of northern 3A teams Bear River, Ben Lomond, Box Elder, Logan, Mountain Crest, Ogden and Sky View. It doesn't make much sense geographically, but it might be the easiest way for all concerned - not just East, but the existing leagues, too.
The decision, however difficult it may be, will come later this month.
RANKING WRESTLING: The mid-January rankings from the Utah Wrestling Coaches Association's newsletter:
4A - 1, Pleasant Grove; 2, Alta; 3, Hillcrest; 4, Clearfield; 5, Layton; 6, Brighton; 7, Viewmont; 8, Orem; 9, Taylorsville; 10, Skyline.
3A - 1, Wasatch; 2, Uintah; 3, Mountain Crest; 4, Box Elder; 5, Payson; 6, Lehi; 7, Tooele; 8, Dixie; 9, Spanish Fork; 10, Pine View.
2A - 1, Delta; 2, Morgan; 3, Millard; 4, Beaver; 5, Juab; 6, North Sevier; 7, manti; 8, South Sevier; 9, Richfield; 10, Hurricane.
1A - 1, Wayne; 2, Piute; 3, East Carbon; 4, Duchesne; 5, Milford; 6, Monticello; 7, Altamont; 8, Panguitch; 9, Monument Valley; 10, Enterprise.
The state wrestling tournaments will be among the first winter sports playoffs to be held. The 1A title will be decided Feb. 1-2 at Southern Utah, with the 2A tournament returning to the same site on Feb. 7-8. And the combined 3A-4A state tournament will return to Weber State on Feb. 7-9.
SPLITTING THE UPRIGHTS: Most may not know that the NCAA will be narrowing its football goal posts from 23 feet 4 inches to the NFL standard of 18 feet, 6 inches next year. The National Federal Football Rules Committee has decided that the 23-4 measurement will remain the same for the high schools - except when high schools play on a collegiate field.
That change of goal post measurements could come into play at the state playoffs, with the 4A and 3A games played at the University of Utah's Rice Stadium. And the 1A and 2A games could return to junior college sites, where they have been occasionally played in the past.
SWING AND A MISS: And another rule change from the national rules committee for next year. While fisticuffs have always brought a possible penalty of ejection on the prep football field, officials say that even a missed attempt to hit, kick or elbow an opponent will be considered grounds for possible ejection.