Portland could re-establish a local athletics league for high school sports, under a plan announced Friday.

A state-level reshuffling scattered the Portland public high schools into multiple conferences a few years ago.

Marshall Haskins is a former coach at Portland's Jefferson High, and is now the athletic director for the whole district.

He says conversations with high school leaders led him to push to bring back the historic rivalries of the Portland Interscholastic League or PIL.

"We want to be together. We want to be one league like we used to be, and we want to work together to establish the best league in the state of Oregon. Period. We want to be a strong, robust, proud conference called the PIL," Haskins said.

The schools would all join the 6-A level for the state's largest high schools. That means even smaller high schools -- like Jefferson -- would compete against the biggest high schools for state championships.

Haskins argues lessons learned from competition -- rather than the ease of winning championships -- should be the priority.

If approved by the Oregon School Activities Association, the league would be established next year.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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