Football moves to Division II

This season, the football team will be seeing a change in the their schedule. The team was originally seated in Division I of 5A, but has now moved down to Division II. This means that some schools will be appearing on the schedule that the team is not normally set to play.

“The Division II AVCTL teams that we play will be Goddard, Goddard Eisenhower, Andover, Arkansas City, & Valley Center. We still have to play three cross division games with Maize, Hutchinson, and Salina Central to fill our schedule,” athletic director Brian Becker said.

The division shifts are due to enrollment changes in AVCTL member schools.
“With the additional changes to 5A and 6A football playoffs, this meant that Maize South and Andover Central had to go to AVCTL Division 3 and one school from Division 1 would have to move to Division 2 to evenly distribute teams in the divisions,” Becker said. “We offered to move to Division 2 knowing that competitively it was a better fit for us in football.”

Although this move was voluntary and based on the numbers at enrollment, senior football players believe it could be beneficial for their last high school season. However, their biggest rival is still on the schedule.

“I feel moving down will benefit us by giving our team an opportunity to win more games and make us a more successful program,” senior Connor Garcia said. “Even though Hutchison isn’t in our league anymore they have always been our biggest rival. Every year they do very well and this year I would like to beat them and surprise our entire community.”

Becker and former principal Roger Erickson presented the idea at a league meeting. The decision to move to Division II was not finalized until last fall at the November AVCTL meeting.

“In order to change divisions a school has to request that move in writing to the league. That move is then discussed by the league as a whole and voted on by the member schools of that league,” Becker said. “This is how our request was initiated. It morphed into the football only move based on the Football Classifications that came out last September.”

Although this change has been set for this year, this does not mean that football may never move back up to Division I for league competition.

“This shift is certain for the next two years. After the 2017-2018 school year we could potentially end up back in Division 1 based on enrollment numbers and classification adjustments. It will all be based on these numbers in the September 2017 enrollment count,” Becker said.

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