“I don’t think it will change a lot for us and we’ll still be playing a lot of the same people, but it will certainly be different and the upper districts will certainly be very competitive.”
Another apparent consequence off the change will be increased travel as the pool of eligible district opponents is cut in half, creating headaches for the East-side teams in the upper division and possibly everyone in the lower.
Though the state’s four largest high schools — Broken Arrow, Tulsa Union, Jenks, and Owasso — are in the Tulsa area, the other 12 schools are all on the west side of the state. That creates added travel for those schools, and the only way to ease that burden would be to lump the four into one district, something many are opposed to based on competitive concerns.
Class 6A’s lower district will be forced to build two districts from a handful of schools on the west side of the state, including as far south as Lawton, and a much larger slate of teams from the Tulsa area. It’s a dynamic that isn’t appealing to school officials grappling with higher travel costs.
“Travel issues are inevitable and there’s nothing they can do about it,” Nation said. “It’s not going to be an east-side, west-side thing anymore. But we can’t do anything but go on with our business as usual and get our kids ready.”
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