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South Salt Lake Journal

Cottonwood High athletics to be moved down to Class 4A, Region 10 in all sports

Mar 09, 2023 10:51AM ● By Brian Shaw

In 2019, the Colts and Spartans faced off in region play. Cottonwood and Murray will be back in the same region starting next year. (File photo City Journals)

With the football program on life support, said Cottonwood Athletic Director Greg Southwick, the school petitioned for a move down from Class 5A to Class 4A. 

“We were given a choice (by the Utah High Schools Athletics and Activities Association),” said Southwick. “The administration (at the school) decided if we could do that, it would be an awesome region for us.” 

Several factors played into the decision, added Southwick. 

The first, and perhaps most important, was that students attending Cottonwood’s prestigious AMES (Academy for Math, Engineering and Science) school but who were competing for athletics programs at other area schools were counting against the school’s overall enrollment. 

“If they’re in our school, we’d like to have them participate for us,” said Southwick, who added that AMES students who played football at Kearns High, for example, did not help Cottonwood based on a sliding scale the UHSAA implements to determine which classification a school is placed in. 

The second reason was that Southwick said Cottonwood has a high number of students receiving free and reduced lunch. Third, traveling to away games at schools in southern Utah and Uintah county may have added some stress and strain on the Granite School District’s budget for school buses and bus drivers. 

But now that Cottonwood has been realigned into what will be Class 4A with Jordan as well as crosstown rivals Murray and Hillcrest, Stansbury, Tooele and Park City, that’s less strain on a budget and school bus drivers can get home earlier, said Southwick. 

The Colts have been competitive in almost every sport since they’ve been moved into a new region within Class 5A, however, overall enrollment at Cottonwood High School is slightly down from the time it last realigned. 

“It worked out good with the travel,” said the Cottonwood AD. “There won’t be any long trips; even the Park City and Tooele bus rides are about 45 minutes away.” 

The new changes will go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year.