2012 - 2013 Football Classifications
Posted: September 29, 2011 - 6:41 PM
On Tuesday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association released the new football classifications for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Classifications for football are determined by the number of students in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades, and are set for a two-year period.
This calculation differs from all other sports in which the enrollment for all four high school classes is counted to determine a schools’ classification annually.
As a result of the new classifications, several traditional powers will find themselves competing at a new level next fall.
Starting in the state’s largest classification, the Hutchinson Salthawks will return to Class 6A in 2012.
Hutch had its string of six consecutive football state titles stopped last season with a semifinal loss to Bishop Carroll. The Salthawks are a combined 83-7 over the past seven seasons including those six state titles – the last of which came in 2009 as they rolled past Gardner-Edgerton 52-14 at Welch Stadium in Emporia. Gardner-Edgerton will also make the move to Class 6A in 2012.
Class 5A will have four new schools for the next cycle. Blue Valley West and Goddard both move down from 6A, while Blue Valley Southwest will move up from Class 4A. The Timberwolves are in just their second full season this year after coming online in 2010. Another new school will begin in 5A as Goddard-Eisenhower will begin in 2012.
The most intriguing new member of Class 4A in 2012 will be the McPherson Bullpups, who are moving down from 5A. Tom Young’s Bullpups have posted a 45-27 record over the past seven seasons including five straight trips to the playoffs.
Class 4A will also have to deal with the Wichita Collegiate Spartans who will make the move up from 3A where they were state champions in 2009. Collegiate has posted a 62-14 record over the past seven seasons, and earned a playoff berth in each of those seasons.
Also joining the 4A ranks are Bonner Springs, traditional 3A contender Frontenac, and Goodland.
Class 3A will have eleven new additions beginning in 2010, but perhaps none more intriguing than St. Mary’s Colgan which makes the move up from 2-1A to become 3A’s smallest team. The Panthers have had an incredible run of success under Chuck Smith, including an 80-10 record with four state championship appearances and one state title over the past seven seasons.
Colgan will be joined in 3A by a handful of former 2-1A schools including traditional playoff contenders St. Marys and Salina Sacred Heart, newly consolidated Riverside High School, and Humboldt, Mission Valley, and Moundridge.
Joining 3A from the 4A ranks are Haven, Hiawatha, Holcomb, and Russell.
In Class 2-1A, the notable addition is the return of the Smith Center Redmen. Smith Center ran roughshod over the classification from 2004 through 2009 going 79-1 with five consecutive state titles and a state runner-up. After a 3-1 start this season, the Redmen have now won 90 of their last 95 games.
Joining Smith Center in the move to 2-1A is Northern Heights, Northeast-Arma, Belleville-Republic County, McLouth, Medicine Lodge, and Sterling.
Three new schools will make the switch from 11-man football to 8-man beginning in the 2012 season. Atwood-Rawlins County and Satanta will make the move from 2-1A, while Uniontown will jump all the way down from 3A to 8-Man Division I, however the Eagles will remain in Class 2A in all other sports.
Other new additions to 8-Man Division I include: Hartford, Linn, Centre-Lost Springs, Flinthills, and South Haven.
Nine new teams will play in 8-Man Division II for the 2012-2013 season including: Chetopa, Colony Crest, Southern Cloud, Goessel, Southern Coffey County, Blue Valley Randolph, Stockton, Sylvan-Lucas Unified, and White City.
***Also of note is the continued erosion of Class 2-1A which will be down to just 41 teams beginning next season. Schools with a football enrollment of under 100 students are given the option to either play 11-man football or transition to 8-man. As a result, the 2-1A classification has lost a net of 20 schools over the past five cycles from a high of 61 teams competing during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.