MIDVALE Afraid of opening a Pandora's Box of realignment problems, the Utah High School Activities Association's Board of Trustees voted Thursday morning not to make any changes to the 2009-2013 realignment.
"There is always someone who doesn't like realignment," said Laura Baker, the Region 6 representative. "It's a difficult situation (Uintah High is in), especially geographically. No one else in the state has to deal with that. But if we make exceptions for one, we have to accommodate everyone."
Uintah High School's principal and the area's school board members sent letters to the BOT asking for a hearing, which was denied. Their letters pleaded with the BOT to reconsider aligning the school in a 3A region with American Leadership, Carbon, Park City, Union and Wasatch, but then forcing them to compete in 4A for state tournaments.
"They felt that not only weren't they allowed to stay 3A, but now they're having their noses rubbed in it," said Wasatch principal Paul Sweat, who was representing Region 10. "They feel that if they're being asked to compete in 4A, then they need to compete in 4A all year long. They feel like they're in a lose-lose situation."
Teresa Theurer, the Utah State Board of Education's representative on the BOT, made a motion to move Uintah to 4A's southern Utah County region.
"The information we got from Uintah (during the realignment process) was that travel was the biggest issue," she said. "That's why we did what we did, because they were so adamantly opposed to more travel."
If the school wanted to travel to Utah County for region contests, she said, then she thought they should be allowed.
"They feel that this situation they're in trumps the travel issue," said Sweat.
When other board members expressed reluctance to make any moves to the alignment, which will become effective next year, Theurer said the school had unique issues that deserved consideration.
"Isn't this about what is best for Uintah and Uintah's students?" said Theurer said.
The motion to move Uintah was defeated, with Robert Park, Greg Miller, Theurer and Rusty Holmes voting to allow the change.
As a postscript to that discussion, Bill Boyle, who represents Region 9, said he'd like to change the way the BOT overrides previous decisions on realignment because he felt some mistakes were made and they were unable to rectify them because it required a two-thirds vote to change a previous decision.
"It would have made a difference for Murray, and I think we made a mistake there," Boyle said of the decision to move the Spartans to 5A for being 72 students over the 4A numbers.
The BOT did vote on 1A and 2A football regions. Layton Christian was moved to 1A and will play in the 1A North region with Rich, Duchesne and Altamont. The 1A South region is Milford, Whitehorse, Monticello and Monument Valley.
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