Courier Sports Editor
AURORA—The Colorado High School Activities Association is set to hold their first Legislative Council Meeting in Aurora at the Red Lion-Denver Southeast on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and Thursday, Jan. 24.
There are several agenda items that will be discussed including one key alignment issue that pertains to the San Luis Valley’s Class 3A schools.
One of the main topics that will be discussed is the move to a six-classification status for non-football sports for the 2014-16 cycle. By the looks of it, the Classification and League Organizing Committee will not push the subject for the next two-year cycle. According to the agenda that was released by CHSAA, the committee forwarded the following recommendation to the Council:
Class 5A schools would be any school that is a member of CHSAA that has over 1411 students. Class 4A would be schools that have between 601 and 1410 students, Class 3A schools would be schools between 241 and 600 students. The top end of Class 2A would be 240 students but the split between 1A and 2A falls at whatever number would balance the counts of basketball schools with enrollments at 240 or lower. All of these figures would be based on 2013 enrollment counts.
One of the schools that it would definitely affect would be The Classical Academy. TCA currently has an enrollment of 618 students meaning it would not be a force in Class 3A, but instead would have to battle with Class 4A schools. TCA was in Alamosa’s region for cross country in 2011 but was moved into Class 4A for cross country only for the 2012 season, as luck would have it, the Titans went on and won the Class 4A girl’s championship.
In football, the A-6 Man Classification would be 1-75, A-8 Man would be 76-135 students, Class 1A would 136-300 students while Class 2A would be 301-599 students. Class 3A would be 600-1049 students, Class 4A would be between 10-50 and 1609 students while schools with more than 1610 students would be Class 5A.
Alamosa High School reported a 2012 enrollment of 532 students, meaning it would stay in Class 2A in football and Class 3A for other schools.
Antonito (81), Sanford (91) and Sangre de Cristo (88) will stay at 8-Man football but should be competing in Class 1A in other sports, but once again it will be up to the council to decide because there is not a clear line between 1A and 2A.
Centauri (278) and Monte Vista (245) will remain 1A football and 3A for other sports, Centennial (61) will remain 1A, Center (161), Del Norte has (174) and Sargent (113) will remain 1A for football and 2A in other sports.
Creede High School has reported 23 students, while Moffat is reporting 45 students and Mountain Valley has 20.
When it comes to cross country action items, Class 2A looks to remain a 40 percent-of-full-teams-qualifying-for-state kind of proposition.
The Valley really becomes involved in the Class 3A agenda items. According to the committee report, "improved geography and travel for schools who submitted a request,” was sought and fixed.
One of the main issues was Centauri traveling so far and a day earlier than it’s neighbor, Alamosa. For the past several seasons, the Falcons were in Region 1 and traveled on a Wednesday to attempt to qualify at Confluence Park in Delta.
This can be seen as both a traveling disadvantage as well as a competitive disadvantage. The athletes would be forced to miss out on the Eric Wolff Memorial Meet that is hosted every season by Sargent, the Friday before regional meets. This past season, the Falcons only had one female junior varsity runner so that were sure that they could be rested for the regional meet. This meet normally doubled as a league meet for the Intermountain League in previous years and the Southern Peaks League, but without Centauri being able to compete, the IML athletic directors decided that the league honors would be decided at the state meet. Unfortunately, Centauri did not have any runners qualify for the meet thus worthy runners did not have an opportunity to earn All-Conference honors.
As a resolve, the committee report stated that Centauri High School was moved to Region 2 and while Lake County, Middle Park and The Academy moved to Region 3. But that leaves the rest of Class 3A in disarray.
That leaves Region 1, which is mainly Western Slope, with just 10 teams, including Monte Vista High School. Unfortunately for that league and Monte Vista, the Pirates have not supplied a cross country team several years. Region 2 now has 14 teams, Region 3 has 17 teams, and Region 4 has 13 teams. Yet the procedure for qualifying for state remains at the top five teams out of the region advance to state.
In a final note, the committee is making the recommendation to the Legislative Council that all regional contests be conducted during the Thursday through Saturday of regional week instead of the Wednesday through Saturday of regional week as it has been the last couple of years.
Some football changes that affect the Valley and are being proposed include:
-In Class 1A, head to head competition will be added to the seeding criteria.
-Addition of California Playoff in the rare event of a seeding tie for playoffs. The California Playoff is a unique and quick way to decide rankings and qualifiers.
-The addition of three wildcard selections in Class 2A. They will be based on the top three teams with the highest wildcard point totals that did not receive an automatic bid. They may come from any conference.