The McPherson school district will vote “no” in June regarding a proposed split of Class 4A into two divisions for post-season and state championship competition.
The USD 418 Board of Education recently voted to support the McPherson High School athletics department in their opposition to the change.
During Monday’s board meeting, Shane Backhus, McPherson High School athletic director, presented data compiled by the Big 7 league in Northeast Kansas. The data shows the 4A classification has had the largest enrollment disparity in the state for the last 10 years.
This year, the enrollment disparity ranged from 250 to 715 students, or a 2.83 ratio. McPherson is the fifth largest school in 4A, with 690 students.
Classification 6A has a 1.70 ratio, 5A a 1.82 ratio, 3A a 1.61 ratio, and 2A a 1.56 ratio. Classification 1A has a 6.73 ratio and already is split in several sports.
The data also showed schools in the top 25 percent of 4A have had advantages in playoffs and state championships in the last decade.
Discussions to even the disparity have been ongoing for several years. As opposed to a previous proposal, this split would only affect 4A schools in football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.
“As a school in the top 25 percent of 4A, overall as a coaching staff, we are not in favor of it, so our recommendation is to vote ‘no,’” Backhus said. “That is because we don’t see a clear advantage for us being a bigger school, and the majority of our staff don’t think we need an eighth classification in a state the size of Kansas.”
Backhus said one advantage would be eliminating extra playoff games. However, overall, the staff was either indifferent or not in favor of the proposal.
The decision on the measure will be determined by a majority vote of 4A schools. Backhus said he expects it to pass, since the smaller half of 4A schools would likely vote yes, and it would only take one larger school to make the majority vote. Results are anticipated in early June.
If passed, the change would go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year for basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. Football would change for the 2014-2015 school year, as it is on a two-year rotation.
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