Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

The Grove Ridgerunners will get more than their fair share of time on the bus once baseball season starts next spring if the districts proposed by the state’s coaches is approved by the OSSAA board on Wednesday.

The 32 teams in Class 5A will be divided into four eight-team districts beginning in 2012. The districts will be used to determine seeding in regional tournaments, a system similar to that used in football. Each team will play the other seven teams in its district twice.

In addition to familiar foes on the east side of the state, the Ridgerunners will also be making a pair of trips to the Oklahoma City area, as both Noble and Oklahoma City Northwest Classen will join a group that includes Claremore, Collinsville, East Central, Coweta and Tulsa Washington.

Noble, a community just south of Norman, is approximately 220 miles and three and a half hours from Grove. Northwest Classen is slightly closer at 195 miles.

The other district on the east side of the state will include Tahlequah, McAlester, Durant, Skiatook, Pryor, Tulsa Hale, Tulsa Central and Tulsa Memorial.

Of those 16 teams, only the Pryor Tigers qualified for the state tournament last year, advancing to the semifinals and finishing with a 29-8 record.