Class 4A football coaches go back to drawing board
Rose Hill coach Greg Slade is a proponent for altering Class 4A football, pointing directly to the disparity between the Kansas class’ largest and smallest schools.
Maize South is the biggest 4A football school with 564 students in grades 9, 10 and 11 last year, while Cheney and Goodland are the smallest at 197.
So when a proposal to decrease Class 4A from 64 schools to 48 was made in the spring, Slade was hopeful change was coming.
The proposal passed in 4A, the Kansas State High School Activities Associated announced Monday, but failed to pass in Class 3A, 2A or 1A — which would have been affected with a change. The overall voting was 189-101, killing the proposal.
“This is something we coaches have talked about, just to make the class a little smaller,” Slade said.
The KSHSAA board of directors had already passed the proposal, which allowed the schools to vote on it.
The change, for football only, would’ve sent 4A’s smallest 16 schools to 3A, a 64-school class that would’ve then sent is smallest 16 into 2-1A.
What happens next is uncertain, but Slade is insistent that this issue will continue to be raised.
“We have to continue to ask,” he said. “You have to do it again. If that’s what you feel like, you have to continue to work toward that. It is definitely difficult.”
Slade plans to get the word out through the Kansas Football Coaches Association.
“We don’t necessarily get all the smaller schools involved,” he said. “For us to be united as an organization, we have to be more involved.”
KSHSAA executive director Gary Musselman added: “It’s really hard to speculate (what happens next). The feelings are very mixed on the issue. It’s very much understandably where you are in the class, which class you are in and where you are in Class 4A.”
Cheney principal Greg Rosenhagen wasn’t surprised to see the proposal fail. He knew the smaller schools wouldn’t want to deal with the effects of 4A dropping in size.
As for the future of 4A’s move to become smaller, he’s not hopeful.
“Being at the bottom of the 4A classification, it does have an effect on us,” he said of the proposal. “But when we start to departmentalize, you do it for football and it benefits (this group), but doesn’t benefit everyone. We have to have a standard set of rules. You could find an issue with every activity in every classification.”
In recent years there was talk of splitting 4A into two divisions, like Class 1A did for volleyball and basketball. But Rosenhagen doesn’t like that idea.
“I think this (most recent proposal) may have been the best-case scenario,” he said. “I’m not in agreement that we need to divide 4A into two classifications…. I think I was in agreement that this proposal was the best angle to address the issue.”
Class 6A basketball to return to Wichita State — Musselman said that while the KSHSAA doesn’t have the formal agreement from Wichita State, there is an understanding between the two that Class 6A basketball will return to Koch Arena for 2013.
Class 6A and 5A wrestling also will be back at Hartman Arena in Park City for the third straight year, he said.