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Realignment Puts Park City And Wasatch High Schools In Same Athletic Region

Park City High School Athletics has been pin-balling around four different possible regions next year. The Miners have finally landed on Region 8, which means a renewal of the Wasatch High School rivalry.

As we’ve reported Park City High School will be moving up a classification in high school sports excluding football at the beginning of next school year. Park City has been competing in Region 11 which means the Miners travel to play teams in Tooele and Ogden. Park City High School’s athletes and administrators welcomed the challenge of moving to a higher division next year, with the understanding that travel time would be reduced significantly. The Utah High School Activities Association placed Park City in Region 5 which would have not improved the travel time. Athletic Director Jamie Sheetz says they appealed the decision asking to be placed in Region 6 located in the Salt Lake Valley.

“Our appeal to move to Region 6 was still considered there was much discussion on it, but when they got down to the nitty-gritty they didn’t feel comfortable with a nine-team region. Even though, we would’ve been fine with it because the travel is just so much better. So, we didn’t feel it was real fair to have those Region 5 schools to have to come all the way to Park City. That was kind of asking a lot. As this discussion was going on Dave McKee who is the Principal at Spanish Fork who represents Region 8 had asked if we would consider being in 8. Of course, Wasatch is in region 8 and then those schools that are down in Utah Valley on the south end are part of 8. So we had a quick discussion between Mr. Arbabi, Mr. Fine, and myself and said yeah that would be fine.”

The move means that Park City will be traveling south through Provo Canyon for all their region games.

“Region 8 I think was our next best alternative for us in terms of our kids in terms of staying in class and class time. We haven’t really gone South since I’ve been here, and I don’t think even before that did, we spend a lot of time in a region that had those Utah Valley schools in it. You get your neighbor rival back in Wasatch. 16 miles away is a nice trip for the schools instead of having to go 60 or more miles every single time.”

Sheetz says he thinks the renewed Wasatch-Park City rivalry will be a positive thing.

“Our plan is for it to be something positive. Everyday it seems like the communities keep getting kind of blended closer and closer together with as much growth as is going on. A lot of our kids know a lot of their kids down there some of the kid’s cross boundaries to go to school. Some of our teachers live down there. The communities are right next to each other. It should be a positive thing.”

The Utah High School Activities Association also announced on Thursday that the state will change the way they seed the state tournaments in baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball. The new seeding format will use a formula that places weight on team’s and their opponent’s winning percentage as opposed to region championships. Sheetz thinks the change could one day lead to the elimination of traditional regions.

“They’re going to this RPI factor for the bigger team sports. I think in this next alignment after this one, for the ’21-’23 alignment, I think the whole concept of the region is going to be changed. I don’t think it’ll be so strict in terms of class being together. We could be in a region that had South Summit, Wasatch and Park City in it, even though we’re in different classes. It sounds like that’s the direction that everything is headed.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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