By René Ferrán
Reynolds football coach Ryan Aldred received some welcome news over the weekend that was made official Monday.
The Reynolds School District decided to opt-in to the spring high school football season, meaning the Raiders will play tackle football.
“Obviously, words can’t express my excitement,” Aldred said. “We’re blessed and excited to have this opportunity to progress with our contact season.”
Among the largest school districts in the Portland metro area, Reynolds also was among the last to announce its decision to opt in. It also stands in contrast with other East County districts such as Gresham-Barlow and David Douglas, which announced late last week that they would forego the tackle season and avail themselves of the 7v7 and lineman challenge options provided by the OSAA.
As surrounding districts opted out of the tackle season, Aldred knew the public perception was that Reynolds would likely do the same.
“We just had to pump our brakes, because the decision had not been made yet,” he said. “Our administration, not just at the school but at the district level, kept us in the loop. It was one of those situations where we just had to wait and see, and it ended up happening for us. Better late than never, I suppose.”
The Raiders went 5-5 last season, qualifying for the 6A state playoffs and losing to North Medford in overtime in the first round. They are needing to replace quarterback Dominique Miller among 11 all-Mt. Hood Conference players who graduated, but they bring back several key weapons, including all-Mt. Hood first-team running back Miles Wilson.
“I’m very grateful to have a season knowing others will not get the same opportunity,” said Wilson, who is one of the state’s top unsigned recruits in the Class of 2021. “I am excited to get started on my senior season so I can show how I’ve developed as a football player and show how much work I have put in over the long offseason.”