At last Tuesday’s NIAA Realignment Committee meeting, Oasis Academy’s appeal to stay in Class 1A was denied.
For the next realignment period, which starts in fall 2023, Oasis Academy was moved from the 1A to 2A based on the enrollment-multiplier rule. Because Oasis Academy is a charter/private school, its enrollment is multiplied by two, which puts the Bighorns in the 2A.
However, Dusty Casey, the school’s athletics director, and Oasis Academy formally appealed to the NIAA for the Bighorns to remain in the 1A. Casey wrote to the NIAA, citing competitive balance, lack of student participation, location and established relationships and rivalries.
All but one member voted against Oasis Academy’s appeal to stay in the 1A.
Donnie Nelson, executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, confirmed with the LVN that the result is final for the next two school years. The NIAA met again this week to discuss rubric points and eventual placement for the 3A, 4A and 5A classes and will discuss winter sports realignment next year.
In the last completed school year, 2021-2022, Oasis Academy had a winning season with the softball team and the boys golf team qualified for the state tournament.
In spring 2022, six students came out for boys golf and 10 for varsity softball. Both teams had solid seasons, with the boys golf program qualifying as a team for the state tournament. The softball team, which was undefeated in the shot COVID-impacted season two years ago, finished 16-4, including 12-2 in Northern 1A.
Oasis Academy also competes in lacrosse, which isn’t an NIAA-recognized sport.
In fall 2021, the Bighorns fielded five runners on the cross country teams, including four on the boys side, and 17 on the girls JV and varsity volleyball teams. The varsity volleyball team finished 3-14, including 2-6 in the 1A West, in 2021.
In the winter season, the Bighorns saw 10 come out for the varsity boys basketball team and nine for the girls team. Donald Schank’s boys team finished last year with a 9-13 record, including 1-7 in the 1A West, after the Bighorns made the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season. Casey’s girls’ team didn’t fare better, finishing 5-12 overall and 2-7 in the league.
In the most recent season, which ended this month, Oasis Academy freshman Matthew Bird qualified for the 1A/2A state cross country meet. The Bighorns’ volleyball team struggled to a 4-16 finish, which included a 1-6 league record. Three of their wins came against Sierra Sage/ROP.