More things change, area schools stay the same

The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) recently released the new prep sports classifications for the 2018-19, 2019-20 sports cycles.

Local schools Leavenworth, Lansing, Basehor-Linwood and Pleasant Ridge all will remain in their current classifications as football remained eight tiers while all other sports have been reduced from eight to six.

Leavenworth and Lansing will remain 5A in all sports, Basehor-Linwood is now in Class 4A, moving from what was called 4A-I, and Pleasant Ridge stays a 3A school in all sports except football where it will be in the new 2A tier that essentially is the current 3A classification.

Changes include 4A now being a 32-school, combined tier in football while the new 3A and 2A tiers are composed of 48 schools each. The new 1A classification will consist of 31 schools while 8-Man Division I and II will have 48 and 52 schools, respectively.

In all other sports, 6A and 5A will remain with 32 schools, 4A and 3A will have 64 schools each, 2A will have 63 schools and 1A will consist of 97 schools.

Class 4A will be divided into East and West regionals as the 6A and 5A have been for this current cycle.

“We are where we thought we would be,” Basehor-Linwood athletic director Ross Schwisow said. “There is some definite interesting jumps or drops for some schools that was unexpected, especially with the changes from 4A to 3A. We are a growing district so we knew we would be right on the top of 4A or the bottom of 5A and that is where we are.

“This process over the last few years has been ongoing. I am a fan of whatever creates the most even field of competition without watering down with too few teams. It will be very interesting on how 4A divides east and west with the new classifications as there are only 14 definitive west schools with 18 true east schools.”

As for Lansing, it will be business as usual.

“I don’t believe it affects our regionals other than what eight schools stay on the east side and what eight schools are on the west side due to Olathe West starting this year as a 5A school,” Lansing’s athletic director Gary Mattingly said.

Pleasant Ridge athletics seems content with its future standing as it does not reflect much change for the Rams.

“I think (the classifications) are still in line with where we are,” PRHS athletic director Mike Koontz said. “I do not think they are hurting us at all. I like only having six classes (for non-football). I feel as though there were too many classes before although I am not sure how it will affect the regions.”

Leavenworth High School athletic director James Vanek did not respond to requests for comment.

To see the future football classifications visit http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/Football/PDF/FootballClassifications-Alpha2017.pdf. 

For all other sports, check out, http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/PDF/SchoolClassifications-Alpha-2017.pdf